Current Students


The department of Human Centered Design & Engineering is committed to helping students successfully complete their graduate studies at the University of Washington.

Satisfactory progress for graduate students relates primarily to remaining in good academic standing and successful continuation of coursework until degree completion.

HCDE adheres to the following academic policies:

Maintaining Enrollment 

To maintain enrollment at the University of Washington, students must register for at least one credit per quarter (excluding Summer Quarter), unless students have officially obtained On-Leave status. If a student withdraws from the University of Washington, whether intentionally or by default, they must reapply for admission.


Incomplete grades become a part of a student's permanent UW transcript. Although they may be updated with a grade, the "I" remains as a permanent entry on a student's official transcript. Students must successfully complete the work by the last day of the next quarter in residence. This rule may be waived by the Dean of the College of Engineering. In no case may an incomplete be converted into a passing grade after a lapse of two years or more. An incomplete grade may be given by permission of the instructor ONLY when the student has been in attendance and has done satisfactory work until within two weeks of the end of the quarter AND has furnished proof satisfactory to the instructor that the work cannot be completed because of illness or other circumstances beyond the student's control. A written statement of the reason for the giving of the incomplete, listing the work that the student will need to do to remove it, must be filed with the instructor (UW Grading System).

With the approval of the Master's Program Advisor, students may choose the Satisfactory/Not Satisfactory (S/NS) grade designation for up to 6 elective credits (not prerequisite courses) not taken to fulfill Research, Design, and Engineering specialized content areas. Only a grade of 2.7 or higher will be considered satisfactory. Courses listed in the Time Schedule as credit/non-credit do not count toward the 6 allowable S/NS credits.

Low Scholarship

In accordance with Graduate School Memorandum No. 16, students whose cumulative or quarterly GPA falls below a 3.0 will be notified by the Student Services Manager of being put on one of the following Low Scholarship statuses:

  • Warn: A warning letter will be issued to students whose cumulative or quarterly GPA has dropped below 3.0 for one quarter.
  • Probation: A state of Probation is triggered if a student has a cumulative or quarterly GPA less than 3.0 for two consecutive quarters.
  • Final Probation: A state of Final Probation is triggered if a student has a cumulative or quarterly GPA less than 3.0 for three consecutive quarters.
  • Drop: A Drop recommendation is triggered if a student has a cumulative or quarterly GPA less than 3.0 for four consecutive quarters. A Drop recommendation means immediate drop from the University of Washington.

Students will be provided with an explanation of performance expectations and a timetable for correction of deficiencies.

In addition, in accordance with Graduate School Memorandum No. 19, a minimum of 2.7 is required in each numerically graded course that is counted toward a graduate degree, and a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 is required for graduation.

An action of "Warn" will not appear on the student's permanent record/transcript. Only actions of "Probation," "Final Probation," and "Drop" will appear on the student's permanent record/transcript.

Questions regarding satisfactory progress should be addressed to the Student Services Manager.

Continuation of Coursework & On-Leave Status

Graduate students are required to maintain graduate status during their program of study. Failure to maintain this status requires reinstatement to the University of Washington. Students who desire to take a quarter or quarters off without going through the reinstatement process must apply for on-leave status for each quarter they do not register (exceptions for Summer quarter). For complete details regarding the on-leave policy, refer to Graduate School Memorandum 9.

HCDE students may take no more than four consecutive quarters of leave during their graduate program. To be approved for on-leave status, HCDE graduate students must get approval from HCDE's Master's Program Advisor. To access the on-line petition, please visit the Graduate School's page on the on-leave process.

All work for the MS degree must be completed within 6 years, including any time spent with on-leave status or any credits transferred from other institutions.