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Current Students

PhD Annual Review Process

Each year, the HCDE faculty reviews all PhD students actively enrolled in the HCDE PhD program. Each PhD student provides summary information concerning progress-­to-­date in the PhD program. All faculty review the summary documents  in order to (a) identify opportunities to mentor individual students and (b) monitor the health of the PhD program overall. Faculty pay particular attention to senior students (in order to support their completion), first year students (in order to support their success), and students who have encountered challenges. The goal is for all students to benefit from participating in the annual review process.


Each student will be required to submit the following three documents to the Annual Review 2023 Google Form by the end of the third week of spring quarter each year. Documents should be saved as PDFs using last name_document. Documents cannot be submitted as zip files. 

  1. Responses to the annual review questions.
  2. A current CV with activities from the most recent year highlighted in yellow.
  3. An updated and signed course of study form. Links provided below.
  4. An overview slide of high level updates and asks for faculty (see examples)
  5. Doctoral advisory or committee form (optional)

In addition, students seeking funding from the department for the next academic year will be required to complete an additional form, details to come. 

Annual Review Questions

Looking back:

  • What are your current research interests (~100 words)?
  • What were your major activities/accomplishments/areas of growth during the past year?
  • What is something this year that you are particularly proud of? You might choose to highlight an item from the previous question or draw attention to something that might otherwise be more invisible.
  • What progress have you made toward completing your course-of-study requirements, and what is still pending? Did you collect your faculty advisor's/mentor's signature on the form? Are there any courses you have completed from outside of HCDE that were meaningful (specifically any theory or methods electives)?
  • Is there additional information the faculty should know that is relevant to your progress through the program? You might want to include a challenge you did not anticipate, hardships you’ve encountered, and/or anything else that provides us with an understanding of your progress.

Looking ahead:

  • What are your current thoughts about your career goal? Example responses could include ideas such as: I want a faculty position/position in a research lab, I am leaning toward x, I thought I knew but am currently unsure now, I definitely want a faculty position at an xx institution, etc.What are your current thoughts about your career goal?
  • What role(s) do you imagine teaching playing in your future career? Example responses might include: I am hoping for a faculty position in which teaching would be a component, I’d like a teaching-focused position, I plan to go to industry and thus my future teaching activity would probably be more informal, I’d like to be a consultant who occasionally offers workshops. How might you prepare for such role(s) during the upcoming year?
  • What do you plan to do/ hope to do next year?
  • What kind of questions would you like the faculty/department to answer and/or what kind of support would you like to gain following this annual review? The following offers examples/inspiration: (a) “Given my career goals, how do you recommend I strengthen my qualifications over the next year?” (b) “I am struggling  with x (e.g., time management, uncertainty). How can I get advice/support on addressing this?” ­­and (c) “I wish there were more opportunities for x (e.g., teaching, mentoring, writing feedback, presenting my work).” ­

Additional Information

Who participates?

The annual review is a process that involves all the department’s PhD students and tenure-line faculty.


All students who have been admitted to the PhD program but have not yet successfully defended a dissertation will participate in the annual review every year. Students who are officially on leave from UW in the winter quarter may be excused from the annual review for one year; a student may not be excused from the review process for more than one year while in the program. If a student does not participate in the required annual review process, they will not be eligible to register for classes in subsequent quarters until they have met the participation requirements.


The review committee will include all tenure-line faculty members in HCDE with the exception of those faculty members who are on sabbatical leave or are otherwise formally excused by the Chair of HCDE.

What is the schedule?

The general timeline for the annual review process is shown in the table below.



No later than
the second week
of spring quarter

All PhD students submit a completed Annual Review Form, a current CV with activities from the recent year highlighted in yellow, and an updated and signed course of study form to the Director of Academic Services.

On/before the
ninth week of
spring quarter
Review committee sends individual review letters to all PhD students. 
Second week of fall quarter PhD students who receive a less than satisfactory rating in spring quarter submit an updated Annual Review Form and a cover letter explaining what they are doing to improve their performance in the program.
Fourth week of fall quarter Review committee sends individual review letters to all PhD students who were required to participate in this mid-year review process.

What are the potential outcomes of the annual review?

After the review committee has met, it will assign all students a rating of progress. Those ratings and associated requirements are shown in the table below.

Progress Rating


Student Action Required

Satisfactory Student is making expected level of progress through the program. Student continues appropriate work in the program until the next winter’s annual review cycle.
Schedule an interim check-in The faculty recommend a check-in before the next annual review. Typically, this would be in three, six, or nine months. Specific reasons for this check-in will be identified in individual letters. This is equivalent to the graduate school's warn rating. Student meets with their advisor to discuss concerns mentioned in the committee’s letter and to make plans to address those concerns. In the interim review cycle, the student submits an updated annual review (answers to the questions, CV, and specific follow-up to any concerns raised by the committee).
Probation Student is failing to meet in a significant manner one or more expectations associated with the program. Student meets with their advisor to discuss concerns mentioned in the committee’s letter and to make plans to address those concerns. In the next review cycle (either a midyear or annual review), student submits an updated Annual Review Form and a cover letter explaining what they are doing to improve their performance in the program. If the review committee rates a student’s progress as probation in two review cycles, they should discontinue enrollment in the program. 

Documents to Submit