In this section:

Degree requirements and planning basics

The UW Graduate School sets minimum master's degree requirements that pertain to grades, timeline to completion, and maintaining status (among other things). Many elements of the official policy are reiterated below within the context of PMP degree requirements.

The PMP requires 40 credits total and awards a Master of Science. All degree requirements are met through a combination of PMP courses (4 credits each, numbered CSE P 5XX) and colloquia (1 credit each, numbered CSE 519 or CSE 520). Only graduate-level courses (typically, those numbered 500 or higher) may count; undergraduate-level courses do not count toward PMP degree requirements.

    All students must complete a minimum of 32 credits of coursework (achieved by taking 8 CSE P courses). Up to two non-PMP courses may be substituted; see non-PMP courses and transfer credit below. CSE P courses are non-repeatable and can be taken for credit only once, with the exception of CSE P 590 (Special Topics) which is repeatable up to 20 credits. As P 590 sections are typically offered at 4 credits, this comes out to P590 being repeatable up to 5 times.

    The remaining 8 credits may be completed with colloquium credits, additional coursework, or a combination of colloquium/course credits. A maximum of 8 colloquium credits, taken from any combination of CSE 519/520, may count.

A typical quarterly schedule is one 4-credit CSE P course plus one 1-credit colloquium course each autumn, winter, and spring quarter for eight quarters (there are no course or colloquia offerings in summer). At this rate, students will complete 15 credits per academic year and complete the program in about two and a half calendar years. Students may select different quarterly course loads if they wish; 5 credits per quarter is not a requirement.

The UW Graduate School requires students to maintain continuous registration or on-leave status during the academic year (see maintaining student status, below).
All degree requirements must be met within 6 years of program start, including summer quarters and any quarters spent on-leave.

The PMP has no specific requirements for students’ quarterly credit loads or timeline to degree beyond the minimum requirements set by the Graduate School, above. However, stricter requirements for quarterly credit loads or timeline to degree may apply to students receiving federal financial aid or GI benefits, or holding certain visas. Students are solely responsible for knowing and complying with any third-party requirements.

Grade requirements and satisfactory academic progress

Coursework: Only graduate-level coursework (numbered 500 or higher) may count toward the master's degree. A numerical grade of 2.7 or higher must be earned in a course for it to count. A graduate student’s grade-point average (GPA) is calculated based on numerical grades awarded in 400- and 500-level courses. Learn more about the grading system and graduate student-specific policies in the UW Scholastic Regulations, chapter 110.

Colloquia: PMP colloquia, numbered CSE 519 and 520, are graded credit/no credit (CR/NC) and a grade of CR must be earned for the credit to count. CSE 519 is titled Current Research in Computer Science and CSE 520 is titled Computer Science Colloquium. Beyond their titles, there are no practical differences between CSE 519 and 520 and a PMP student's registration in one or the other does not affect the sessions they may view/report on in fulfillment of credit.

Courses taken with satisfactory / non-satisfactory (S/NS) grading do not count toward degree requirements even if a satisfactory (S) grade is earned. During any quarter or circumstances, always contact the PMP academic advisor before changing your grading option to S/NS.

  • Exception: S (satisfactory) grades do count toward degree requirements during quarters officially designated as extraordinary circumstances quarters during the COVID-19 pandemic.

A minimum quarterly and cumulative GPA of 3.00 or higher must be maintained for satisfactory academic progress and to avoid corrective action in the form of academic status changes within the PMP or within the Graduate School, such as academic warning or probation.

Colloquium requirements and access

Any of the Allen School's colloquia or distinguished lectures may be viewed and reported on by PMP students in fulfillment of colloquia credit requirements. In-person or live attendance at colloquia sessions is not required, although students may attend sessions live on-campus if they wish and are able to (anecdotally, most PMP students attend via livestream or by watching a posted recording later).

PMP students receive emails announcing upcoming colloquia and distinguished lectures and may also view a schedule of upcoming presentations online, or on the PMP calendar. Note that some weeks may not have a colloquium or distinguished lecture scheduled. Most presentations are available via livestream, with recordings posted to the Allen School's YouTube channel. There is typically a turnaround of ~2-3 weeks for recordings to be processed and uploaded to YouTube.

Colloquia reports

For every 1 credit of CSE 519 or 520 a student registers for, they must report having viewed 8 sessions and of those, write reports on 4. Colloquia reports are due by 11:59pm Seattle time on Sunday of finals week (the last week of the quarter). All viewings and reports are entered in the colloquium reporting tool.

Students may select sessions covering the topics of their choosing and view and report on any number of sessions from the current quarter or quarters/years in the past. There is no particular requirement that a student complete their viewings/reports from sessions that take place in the current quarter. To locate sessions from past quarters or years, students may utilize the reporting tool's search feature.

Reports should be a minimum of 1 paragraph and may be a review, reaction, critique, analysis of the session's contents, or discussion of the contents' relevance to the student's professional practice. Reports should show evidence that the student both viewed the session and thought critically about its contents in some way. Viewings and reports are spot-checked by the PMP academic advisor and students who submit the required number of each are awarded credit.

Colloquium tools for continuing PMP students

Quarterly dates and deadlines

The table below shows recurring quarterly benchmarks and deadlines relevant to PMP students, as set by the Graduate School and the Office of the University Registrar. Reference the UW academic calendar and the Graduate School's dates and deadlines page for a complete list.

Review or subscribe to the PMP Dates and Events calendar for quarter-specific dates and deadlines relating to registration, charges, on-leave status, and graduation.

Quarterly date Deadline or quarterly milestone
Two weeks before the quarter On-leave request available for upcoming quarter
First day Classes begin
Late registration fee for first-time registration
Seventh calendar day Last day to make schedule changes without being assessed a change fee and possible fee forfeiture charges (charges begin on eighth calendar day)
Third Friday Payment deadline for all quarterly fees and charges
Sunday of last week of classes Colloquium reports due by 11:59pm Seattle time
Last day of the quarter (Friday of finals week) Deadline for on-leave students to pay on-leave fee and finalize on-leave status for the quarter
Deadline for graduating students to file their master's degree request
Deadline to change to or from S/NS grading
Sunday following the last day of the quarter (Sunday of finals week) Colloquium reports due by 11:59pm Seattle time

Maintaining student status

Students must maintain their student status during the academic year (autumn, winter, and spring quarters). This means that they must either be enrolled in at least one credit or officially on-leave. Summer is an automatic vacation quarter and students who had status in spring, do not need to register or go on-leave in summer to maintain their status into autumn.

Taking a quarter off entirely during the academic year (taking no credits at all), requires completing the process to obtain official on-leave status. Failing to register or go on-leave will result in going inactive and appearing to have dropped from the PMP and UW. To return after going inactive, a student would need to be approved for reinstatement to the Graduate School and the PMP and pay a $250 fee.

Going on-leave

PMP students who need or want to go on-leave during autumn, winter, or spring quarter must follow the procedure for obtaining official on-leave status. Students can only request on-leave status for one quarter at a time. Staying on-leave for consecutive quarters is allowed but the on-leave process must be completed and fee paid for each quarter, and quarters spent on-leave count toward masters students' 6-year timeline for completing their degrees.

Failure to maintain status by registering or going on-leave during the academic year will result in going inactive and appearing to have withdrawn from the PMP and UW.

To obtain official on-leave status:

  1. Review the official policy information and file an on-leave request with the UW Graduate School. The on-leave request opens two weeks before the start of the quarter.
  2. The PMP academic advisor reviews and processes the request.
  3. If approved, return to the on-leave system to pay the $25 on-leave fee (a link is provided in the confirmation email sent to you when the program manager approves your request). The fee must be paid by 5:00pm Seattle time on the last day of the quarter to finalize your on-leave status!
    • On-leave students requesting loan deferment should plan to complete the on-leave process by submitting payment of the fee no later than 5:00pm Seattle time on the 2nd Friday of the quarter.
Note: students who are enrolled for even one day of a quarter are considered to “have status” that quarter and can drop their credits/take the quarter off without having to complete the on-leave process. Fee forfeiture charges may apply to schedule changes and drops made after the quarter starts.

Non-CSE P courses and transfer credit

A maximum of two non-CSE P courses may be counted toward the master’s degree, such as those taken with graduate non-matriculated (GNM) status or while enrolled in the PMP, or counted through the transfer credit process. While CSE P courses taken with GNM status do not count toward the two-course limit, UW Graduate Policy 1.1.21 stipulates that no more than 12 credits derived from any combination of GNM credits and transfer credits may be applied toward the total master's degree requirements.

Only graduate-level courses (typically, those numbered 500 or higher) may count; undergraduate-level courses do not count toward PMP degree requirements.

Approval to count any non-CSE P course toward PMP degree requirements is required and obtained via petition to the PMP faculty coordinator. PMP student petitions are filed through the PMP student petitions form (CSE login required).

Non-CSE P courses: Students may petition to count daytime CSE courses or courses from a closely-related field. Enrollment permission from the instructor may also be required. Non-CSE P courses must be 500-level/graduate-level only; no 400-level/undergraduate courses will be considered. PMP students are strongly recommended to complete the petition process for a non-CSE P course prior to the start of the quarter.

Transfer credit: Per UW Graduate Policy, up to 6 quarter credits of graduate-level coursework may be transferred from another institution. PMP and Graduate School approval are both required.

The PMP will consider transfer credit petitions for coursework that meets the Graduate School’s requirements and that is similar in content and level to a CSE P course. PMP students must first petition for transfer credit by completing the PMP student petitions form (CSE login required) and provide information about the course they want considered and relevant materials such as its syllabus and sample homework assignments. If approved, the PMP academic advisor will petition the Graduate School on the student’s behalf for final approval of the transfer credit toward the master’s degree.

Academic misconduct

University of Washington students are expected to practice high standards of academic and professional honesty and integrity. Students are encouraged to understand various forms of misconduct and to actively encourage academic honesty and integrity in themselves and others.

As defined in UW's Student Governance Policy, academic misconduct includes:

  • Cheating
  • Falsification
  • Plagiarism
  • Unauthorized collaboration
  • Engaging in prohibited behavior
  • Submitting the same work for separate courses without the permission of the instructor(s)
  • Taking deliberate action to destroy or damage another person’s academic work
  • Recording and/or disseminating instructional content without the permission of the instructor (unless approved as a disability accommodation)

The Washington Administrative Code (WAC) 478-121-107 expands on the above terms. The most robust definitions of each term are found in the Student Governance Policy, Chapter 209, Section 7.C.

Faculty or instructors who suspect a student of academic misconduct file a report with the College or School offering the course, where the case is assigned to a designated Conduct Officer. This is the first step of the Student Conduct Process. Students who are found to have committed academic misconduct may expect to fail the exam/assignment where the misconduct occurred, in addition to other possible sanctions that may be imposed as a result of the conduct process.