In this section:

Degree requirements and planning

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.

Minimum degree requirements

The PMP requires 40 credits total to earn a Master of Science degree. All degree requirements are met through a combination of coursework and colloquia. A graduate student’s grade-point average (GPA) is calculated based on numerical grades awarded in 400- and 500-level courses.

  • 32 credits of coursework: All students must complete a minimum of 32 credits of coursework. This is achieved by completing 8 PMP courses (4 credits each, numbered CSE P 5XX).
    • 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 CSE P 590 sections are typically offered at 4 credits, this comes out to CSE P 590 being repeatable up to 5 times.
    • Only graduate-level courses (at UW, those numbered 500 or higher) may count; undergraduate-level courses do not count toward PMP degree requirements.

  • Remaining 8 credits: The remaining 8 credits may be completed with colloquium credits, additional coursework, or a combination of colloquium/coursework credits. A maximum of 8 colloquium credits (1 credit each, numbered CSE 519 or CSE 520), taken from any combination of CSE 519/520, may count.

Maintaining student status

Students must maintain their student status during the academic year (autumn, winter, and spring quarters), either by being enrolled in at least one credit or having obtained on-leave status. 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 temporary leave for a quarter or more during the academic year (that is, registering for 0 credits during autumn, winter, or spring) requires obtaining on-leave status for that quarter. Failing to register or go on-leave during the academic year will result in going inactive and appearing to have dropped from the PMP and UW. Inactive students who wish to continue their studies must be approved for reinstatement. See information about taking temporary leave and reinstatement, below.

Minimum grade and GPA requirements

Coursework: A numerical grade of 2.7 or higher must be earned in a course for it to count toward degree requirements.

  • Courses taken with satisfactory / non-satisfactory (S/NS) grading do not ordinarily count toward degree requirements even if a satisfactory (S) grade is earned.
    • During any quarter or circumstances, students should always contact the PMP program manager before changing their grading option to S/NS.
    • The only exception is for S (satisfactory) grades awarded during quarters officially designated as extraordinary circumstances quarters during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • 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.

Grade point average: A minimum quarterly and cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher must be maintained.

The full PMP satisfactory academic perfomance policy appears in the accordion below. It describes expectations for quarterly and cumulative scholarship, status changes that can result from low scholarship, and performance improvements for removing status changes. All students should review and understand these standards.

Students may continue in the PMP as long as they maintain satisfactory academic performance and progress. UW Graduate School Policy 3.7 articulates policies for the academic performance and progress of graduate students, including guidance on appropriate process for cases where student academic performance does not meet program expectations. In particular, it specifies that all UW graduate students must maintain quarterly and cumulative GPAs of at least 3.0 throughout their studies, and must have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher in order to graduate. Furthermore, a grade of 2.7 must be earned in a course for it to count toward degree requirements (exception: S (Satisfactory) grades in classes taken during extraordinary circumstances quarters count toward degree requirements).

Since PMP students generally enroll in one course at a time, their grade in a given course generally functions as their GPA for that quarter. Accordingly, the program’s satisfactory progress policy is based on a student’s cumulative GPA across multiple quarters rather than their performance in individual quarters or courses.

Furthermore, the PMP generally does not initiate corrective action such as academic status changes until the student has completed three courses. This is to give students ample time to adjust to the program and the addition of school commitments on top of work and personal responsibilities.

Quarterly low scholarship

  • Quarterly GPA below 3.0: no formal action taken. The Program Manager contacts the student regarding their scholarship and is available to provide support, resources, and information.

Cumulative low scholarship: Academic warning status

  • A student whose cumulative GPA is below 3.0 after they have completed at least three courses will be placed on academic warning status for their next two courses.
    • The student is removed from warning status if they earn at least a 2.7 in each class and their cumulative GPA from the two courses is at least 3.0.

Cumulative low scholarship: Academic probation status

  • A student on academic warning who does not meet the conditions to be removed from warning status is placed on academic probation for their next two courses. Probation status is reported to the UW Graduate School but is not noted on the student’s transcript.
    • The student is removed from probation status if they earn at least a 2.7 in each class and their cumulative GPA from these two courses is at least 3.0.

Cumulative low scholarship: Final probation status

  • A student on academic probation who does not meet the conditions to be removed from probation status is placed on final probation for one more course. Final probation status is reported to the UW Graduate School but is not noted on the student’s transcript.
    • The student is removed from final probation status and continues in the program if they earn at least a 3.0 in the course. If the course is the last one needed to meet the 32 credits of coursework required in the PMP, then a grade of 2.7 is acceptable.

Cumulative low scholarship: Drop

  • A student on final probation who does not meet the conditions to continue in the program is dropped from the PMP and UW. The drop appears on the student’s transcript.
    • When dropped, a student is not eligible to complete the program or return later to complete the degree.

Appeals: UW Graduate School Policy 3.8 describes academic grievance procedures for graduate students who believe they have been subjected to unfair treatment in the administration of academic policies.

Last revision: January 2024

Rate of progress, temporary leave, credit load, and timeline to degree

Rate of progress: As students progress through the PMP and plan to complete their degree requirements they are expected to maintain a rate of progress that is sufficient to meet the following benchmarks:

Time in program Progress to date
By end of calendar year 2 At least 15 credits earned toward degree
By end of calendar year 4 At least 30 credits earned toward degree
By end of calendar year 6 40 credits / all degree requirements met; student has graduated

Temporary leave: PMP students may request graduate on-leave status for one or more quarters and their requests will be approved even if their progress to date does not align with these benchmarks (see on-leave procedures, below). Students who have been on-leave for three consecutive quarters (excluding summer) or whose timeline to degree risks exceeding 6 years should have a clear plan and timeline for resuming their studies and completing their remaining requirements.

Credit load: The recommended 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. However, 5 credits per quarter is not a hard requirement and students may select different quarterly course loads if they wish.

Timeline to degree: UW Graduate School Policy 1.1.2 specifies that a student must complete all work required for a master’s degree within six years of first enrollment. Periods spent on-leave or out of status are included in these limits.

Although the PMP sets no specific requirements for students’ quarterly credit loads or timeline to degree beyond the minimum requirements set by the Graduate School, stricter requirements 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.


UW Graduate School Policy 3.5.3 describes reinstatement to the graduate school if on-leave status was not secured and registration not maintained (that is, the student went inactive in their degree program). Students who wish to resume studies within the same degree program must file a request for reinstatement to the Graduate School. Requests are first reviewed by the department/program. Students approved for reinstatement pay a non-refundable reinstatement fee and must maintain enrollment throughout their requested reinstatement quarter. Complete reinstatement policies and procedures appear on the Graduate School’s reinstatement page.

  • All students requesting reinstatement should be prepared to enroll during their requested reinstatement quarter and continue making regular progress toward their remaining degree requirements.
  • The PMP will approve reinstatement requests from students who were maintaining satisfactory academic progress at the time they went inactive and whose progress to date puts them in alignment with the expectations for progress toward degree described in the ‘on-leave and progress toward degree’ section above.
  • Reinstatement requests will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis from students who were not making satisfactory progress due to low scholarship or whose timeline for completing their remaining requirements would cause them to exceed the six-year limit.

Procedure for requesting on-leave status

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 PMP's expectations for rate of progress above.
  2. 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.
  3. The PMP program manager approves the request.
  4. 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.

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

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.