Rules & Regulations

Academic Progress

Students may assume they are making satisfactory progress if they are meeting departmental requirements, taking research seminars and progressing on their theses or dissertations. In order to help entering students articulate their sense of their progress and analyze the direction they see themselves heading in, the department offers Geog 597, Tutorial For Graduate Students.

Failure to maintain satisfactory performance and progress may lead to probation or loss of standing in the program, and will jeopardize renewal of graduate student service appointments (including Teaching Assistantships). Students not performing or progressing satisfactorily will be so informed by the Graduate Program Coordinator or their faculty adviser or Supervisory Committee Chair, with whom they must meet to discuss their plans of study. (See Graduate School Memorandum 16, Continuation or Termination of Students in the Graduate School, for a full explanation of policies, guidelines and procedures for “low scholarship” and “unsatisfactory progress” cases.)

Evaluation of satisfactory progress may, under varying circumstances, be determined by the faculty adviser, Supervisory Committee Chair, other member(s) of the departmental graduate faculty, or by the Department Chair. It is up to the student’s adviser (or Supervisory Committee Chair) or the Department Chair to inform the student, in as timely a manner as possible, when it has been determined that satisfactory progress is not being made. Students are also advised to check with the Student Service Coordinator, in the Geography Advising Office, to make sure all requirements and Graduate School rules and timetables are being followed. Students holding a Graduate School Service appointment(e.g. TA or RA) are required to successfully complete at least 10 credits of course work per quarter.

Performance and progress are to be evaluated by criteria set down by faculty members teaching particular courses, or, in the case of the student’s adviser (or Supervisory Committee Chair), or the Department Chair, by generally accepted criteria appropriate for that student’s chosen field of specialization as well as expectations obtaining for professional geographers in general.

Students designated as “low scholarship” cases (those whose cumulative or quarterly grade point average falls below a 3.0) must be reviewed quarterly and provided with an explanation of performance expectations and a timetable for correction of deficiencies. Doctoral program students are to be reviewed by their Doctoral Supervisory Committee, or by a committee of Departmental Graduate Faculty appointed or elected for this purpose in consultation with the student’s Supervisory Committee. Pre- and post-Master students are to be reviewed by supervisory committees, if such committees have been appointed, or by the Graduate Faculty members who have been designated to oversee the student’s program.

“Satisfactory Progress” shall be determined by the student’s adviser, supervisor, or Supervisory Committee according to a set of criteria based upon a combination of grade point average; performance in the fulfillment of degree program requirements; performance during informal coursework, colloquia and seminars; research capability, performance and progress; and any other information relevant to departmental academic requirements. A determination of “satisfactory progress” may be made upon consideration of the student’s progress relative to other students in the program or to an individually negotiated schedule.

Academic Grievance Procedure

(For a full description of Graduate School grievance policies and procedures, consult Graduate School Memorandum No. 33.)

Graduate students who encounter academic problems related to their academic abilities, but not including evaluation thereof, may seek resolution of their complaints through informal conciliation or formal complaint. These policies apply to such issues as faculty, departmental, college or Graduate School policies affecting individual student prerogatives; deviations from stated grading practices (but not individual grade challenges), unfair treatment, and related issues.

Student who believe they have been discriminated against on the basis of race, religion, color, sex, national origin, age, handicap, or status as a disabled veteran or Vietnam-era veteran should refer to the Human Rights Grievance Procedure contained in the University of Washington Operations Manual, D 45.5

Appeals may be made directly to the department Chair. Appeals beyond this point should follow the process outlined in Graduate School Memorandum No. 33, Academic Grievance Procedure, available in the Geography Department Office or from the Graduate School.

“Full-Time”, “Part-Time” and Residence Credit Requirements

Full-time registration is required for all TA, RA and Graduate Staff appointments. Students must be registered for a minimum of 10 credits to be considered full-time (except 6 credits in the summer). Any students holding teaching or research assistantships who register full-time and subsequently drop a course may be considered to be making unsatisfactory academic progress.

300-level courses outside the field of geography may count toward satisfying credit requirements, only if the student petitions the Graduate Program Coordinator. Petitions will only be granted if the student can demonstrate that the courses count as graduate minor or as supporting courses. No 100– or 200– level courses may be counted for graduate credit.

Graduate 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. For complete details regarding the on-leave policy, refer to Graduate School Memorandum 9.

Request for On Leave Status

On-leave Eligibility

  • Must be a graduate student in good standing.
  • Must have been registered or on-leave the previous quarter.
  • Must satisfy any graduate program policies pertaining to going/remaining on-leave.
  • US citizen and permanent residents must have registered for at least one quarter of graduate study at UW and have approval from their graduate program.
  • International students must have registered full time (10 or more credits) for three consecutive quarters and have approval from both their graduate program and the International Student Services office.
  • Pre-registered students must officially withdraw via MyUW or the Registration office prior to the first day of the quarter. Registered students are not eligible for on-leave status.

Students on-leave are entitled to:

  • return as a graduate student to the graduate program
  • use University libraries
  • maintain access to the UW email account
  • use Hall Health Primary Care Center on a pay-for-service basis
  • use the IMA with additional fee (UW Seattle campus students only)

Students on-leave are not entitled to:

  • faculty and staff counsel/resources (very limited counsel/resources are permitted)
  • examinations of any type (except for language competency)
  • thesis/dissertation filing
  • University housing
  • student insurance
  • financial assistance

Procedure for Requesting Leave

Students requesting on-leave status must submit an online Request for On-Leave Status via MyGrad Program.

For a given quarter, students can submit the request as early as two weeks prior to the first day of instruction and must submit payment of the non-refundable fee no later than 11:59:59 p.m. PST on the last day of instruction. Leave is granted on a quarterly basis, though the following students may request up to four consecutive quarters of leave at one time: PCMI students, military personnel with deployment orders, and some UW Fulbright grantees (with the exception of military personnel with deployment orders, these students will be required to pay the fee for each quarter of leave requested).

Domestic Students

    1. Complete and submit the online Request for On-Leave Status via MyGrad Program. Student will receive a confirmation email that the request has been submitted.
    2. Request will be reviewed and approved by the departmental Graduate Program Coordinator (faculty advisor). Upon approval, students will receive a confirmation email that the department has approved the request.
    3. Return to MyGrad Program to pay the non-refundable On-Leave fee via MasterCard or Visa credit card. Students will receive a confirmation email that their quarterly leave has been processed and their registration status for that quarter is “On-Leave.”
    4. Print confirmation of on-leave verification to be presented for access to the UW libraries and IMA.

International Students

    1. Contact the International Student Services (ISS) office to obtain pre-approval to request on-leave status.
    2. Complete and submit the online Request for On-Leave Status via MyGrad Program.
    3. Request will be reviewed and approved by the departmental Graduate Program Coordinator (faculty advisor). Upon approval, students will receive a confirmation email that the department has approved the request.
    4. Request will then be reviewed and approved by the ISS office. Upon approval, students will receive a confirmation email that the ISS office has approved the request.
    5. Return to MyGrad Program to pay the non-refundable On-Leave fee via MasterCard or Visa credit card. Students will receive a confirmation email that their quarterly leave has been processed and their registration status for that quarter is “On-Leave.”
    6. Print confirmation of on-leave verification to be presented for access to the UW libraries and IMA.

Reinstatement to the Graduate School

Students previously registered in the Graduate School who have failed to maintain graduate student status (on-leave status was not secured or registration was not maintained) but wish to resume studies within the same degree program must file a request for reinstatement to the Graduate School. Requests will first be reviewed and approved by the department. Once the department has approved the request and the Graduate School has confirmed students’ eligibility for reinstatement, students will be notified to pay a non—refundable reinstatement fee before registering for the requested quarter of reinstatement.

For questions regarding on-leave status, please contact James Baginski at (206) 543-3246 ( and/or Graduate Enrollment Management Services at or 206-685-2630.

Facilities and student services

Students wanting information or advice about any aspects of the graduate program should contact the following:

James Baginski, Geography Department Coordinator of Student Services (206) 543-3246

  1. UW computing and networking are described at website
  2. UW library services for graduate students described at website

Departmental Services

New graduate students are assigned desks and mailboxes by the GGSA, the Geography Graduate Student Association. Since office space is limited, new students may have to share a desk for a few quarters.

Printing/Copying Policies

Undergraduate Students

Faculty and instructors may request reasonable printing privileges for students enrolled in their undergraduate classes, in instances where printing is essential to completing and understanding in-class material. For example, some lab sections for Geography taught in Sherman Lab have allotted 200 print pages and 10 color prints for students. Please make this request to two weeks prior to the start of the quarter and inform students that no additional prints will be authorized by individual request. Once an individual student has exhausted their allotment for an undergraduate class, they must print outside the department.

Graduate Students

TA/RA policy

TAs and RAs will get a copy code for the course for which they work as a TA or for research related work which they perform as an RA. The instructor/supervisor will tell the computer specialist how many prints or copies should be allocated for the class or for RA research duties. If the TA/RA finds that he/she goes over the allotted amount for work required in the class, or for RA research, he/she should immediately contact the instructor or supervisor, who will ask the computer specialist to increase the amount allotted. TAs and RAs should *not* pay for copying or printing that has been required by the instructor or supervisor. Graduate students who are serving as the instructor of their own class will define their own quota, but must notify the computer specialist two weeks prior to the quarter how many prints/copies they will need at the beginning of each quarter (Instructors may add to this amount as needed, within reason.) Printing or copying for individual use on a TA or RA account will lead to immediate cessation of printing rights, and will jeopardize future funding appointments.

Printing for Individual Academic Use

In order to enhance the learning experience of graduate students, the department will automatically provide the following copying and printing resources for individual academic use every academic quarter that the student is in residence, except for the summer quarter:

Printing – Black & White Printing – Color Printing

Graduate Students 100 by request

Black & White Printing — 100
Color Printing — 50
Copies — 300

In the quarter of graduation, MA students may request an additional 200 pages to print their thesis, and PhD students may request an additional 500 pages for printing their dissertations. This request should be made to and to the Chair.

Printing and copying over these amounts must be done outside of the department. Please note that all jobs printed on department equipment count against the student quota regardless of location of the printer (this includes print jobs sent to the copy machine, as well as lab and office printers). Please note also that infringement of these regulations will lead to immediate and permanent cessation of individual academic use printing and copying rights for the duration of the student’s time in the department.

All paperless scanning will be provided by the department.

Color Printing

Printing in color may be requested for special research or teaching purposes. Please contact the computer specialist at for color print requests under 10, and the Chair for any over 10. Any reasonable request will be granted.

Please send all printing requests/problems to

Technology Policies and Practices

This document outlines user policies and practices for Geography faculty, staff, graduate students, research assistants, and teaching assistants, as well as any graduate or undergraduate students enrolled in classes that use Geography labs. The University’s central computing policy ( remains the comprehensive document guiding all IT use, but this document outlines important department-level practices that will ensure the integrity of our networks, labs, and data; manage our use of consumable resources such as paper and toner; and help us plan ahead for space, funding, and personnel needs. These policies are intended to provide structure and guidance for our use of shared resources, without squelching creativity. If your computing needs require exceptions to some of the practices outlined here, contact the Technology Committee and/or the Executive Committee.

File storage on department servers

Faculty, graduate students, staff, and undergraduate students enrolled in geography classes are allowed to store files on geography department servers. Individual folders have been created for those allowed to store files on the network. Faculty and research assistants can store files in additional folders set up for specific research projects. Please store what you need to support your work, but recognize that file space on department servers is finite and we all share this resource.

Only files for research, teaching, professional service and administrative work can be stored on department servers. Files for recreational and personal use cannot be stored on department servers. For example, personal photos and music files are not appropriate. If the computer specialist feels there is a potential problem with files you have on the server, s/he may report this problem to the Tech Committee; the Tech committee may ask you for more information about the files and may ask you to remove them from the servers. If the files are not removed from the servers following such a request, they will be removed by the computer specialist.

Remote access

Faculty and staff may remotely connect to their individual workstations via Remote Access. Contact to request remote access and instructions. Please be aware that the department has a limited number of static IP addresses for Remote Access, and these are shared with the History Department. Requests for remote access to individual workstations by other users in the department will be considered on a case by case basis.

Installation privileges and guidelines

·Faculty/staff can install work-related software on their office / personal computers; Faculty/staff can also ask the computer specialist to install new software for them, and should do this if they have any uncertainties about their ability to solve installation problems;

·Grad student requests to install additional software on shared computers in graduate student offices will be reviewed on a case by case basis. Please contact the computer specialist with information about the specific software needed and its intended use;

·No user may install anything on a computer in a lab (unless they have requested and been given explicit permission by the computer specialist).

·All users: Do not download games or any other recreational software to department computers.

·All users: Do not download or install any applications that are unfamiliar or unknown to you.

User accounts on the geography network are set up with varying installation privileges to strike a balance between allowing users to be as independent as possible and guarding against introduction of viruses or software conflicts into the system.

·Staff and faculty users have local installation privileges on their own computers

·Graduate students have local installation privileges on computers in the TA offices.

·Undergraduate students working in Geography labs do not have any local installation privileges

In some cases, troubleshooting lab computers may mean that the computer specialist must grant a group of users greater installation privileges for a short period while trying to solve the problem. The installation guidelines above still apply.

Safe computing practices

Scan all external media (USB drives, etc) for viruses when connecting USB drives to any department computer. Windows users: If the computer does not automatically initiate a scan when you plug in the device, right click on the device and choose ‘Scan with Sophos’.

Report any viruses that are flagged by your virus protection software immediately to

Installing Microsoft updates: Most department computers will receive and install updates automatically. If you are using any department computer and see a gold shield shaped icon in the lower right of your screen, this indicates that updates need to be installed. If you see this, click the icon to start the installation.

Back-up: Department servers (i.e. files on any networked drive such as N:\Research or O:\fsusers) are backed up regularly. Users who opt to store files only on their local hard drives (i.e. C:\MyDocuments) are responsible for backing up these files themselves. Be aware that if your hard drive crashes, files stored only on C:\ may be unrecoverable. If you need advice on how to back up your local drive, please ask the computer specialist.

Requesting computing assistance and problem-solving

Any and all computing needs should be reported to (Do not email the computer specialist directly.) Emailing geoghelp gets your problem/request into the triage system described below. NOTE that ALL needs should come in under geoghelp, not just problems – i.e. if your new computer ordered on research money has arrived and needs to be set up, send your request to geoghelp. (An email reminding users to use geoghelp and what to report will be distributed quarterly to department listservs).

If you have a regular computer maintenance / new computing equipment need – i.e. not something that is currently preventing you from doing your work please email your name, UW NetID, name of computer needing maintenance or new equipment (usually located on the monitor or on the top/front of the computer), its location (room number), and a description of desired maintenance or new equipment.

If you have a computing problem preventing you from doing your work please email your name, UW NetID, computer name (usually located on the monitor or on the top/front of the computer) or printer name, its location, as much info about the problem as you can give (what software, what you were doing when the problem happened, exact text of any error messages that were generated, etc).

Take responsibility for reporting problems you see in the lab; please do not assume that someone else already reported it.

Priority scheme for computing help

The goal is to get computing problems solved as quickly as possible. The computer specialist prioritizes problems in the following order:

  1. Troubleshooting immediate problems (including network problems) that prevent a class or lab from continuing.
  2. Protecting the integrity of our network, data, and workstations from viruses, hacking, theft, and other threats.
  3. Support in setting up or managing software, data, and accounts for specific classes.
  4. Troubleshooting immediate problems with individual workstations.
  5. Administrative support regarding technical issues (e.g., Student Technology Fee proposals, Faculty Workstation Initiative requests)
  6. Providing computing and network services for instructional use (includes most faculty requests for peripherals, technology in the classroom, printing services).
  7. Providing computing and network services for research and administrative use (such as new hardware and software acquisition and set-up, remote access privileges, shared folders for research groups).

Lab access / use

Only currently enrolled graduate students, faculty, undergraduates currently enrolled in a geography class, staff, geography RAs and TAs can use Geography Department labs (Sherman Lab, Collaboratory, Smith 411);

No software is to be downloaded and/or installed onto any of the lab machines without the explicit consent of the Senior Computer Specialist. This includes, but is not limited to, applications, web browser plug- ins and related software, games, fonts, and utilities;

Users should avoid saving anything to the local hard drives of computers in Geography labs. Students enrolled in courses that use the labs are allotted an individual folder on the Department servers to store files related to their work in this course. Other users should store to their own external USB drive, or use the UW’s central file storage services: The UW provides storage space to all students. Storage space is accessible through UW provided file transfer programs:;

In some courses, students will be using very large files that cannot be handled over the network. They are instructed to copy data to C:\Temp while working on the file, and then copy the file back to their allotted network space when finished, to ease network congestion.

Eating and drinking is not allowed in the labs;

When class or lab sections are being taught in the Sherman Lab, other students’ access to empty computers is at the discretion of the instructor teaching there; the instructor can ask disruptive students to leave and/or opt to close the lab altogether during his/her class;

Students enrolled in classes that use the Sherman Lab will have an individual folder on department servers, where they may store files only for that class.

New technology support needs

If you are acquiring a single computer / device, or a single software license, please consult the computer specialist via If you are going to be ordering multiple machines, multi-user licenses, or servers, please consult the Technology Committee, sending an email to the current chair of the committee.

If you (as a faculty member, student, or staff member) are planning an activity (research, new course, course revision, new administrative duty) that will require new computing equipment, substantial data storage, or any resource-hungry software, please consult with the department’s computer specialist and/or the chair of the department tech committee. This applies even if you intend to hire a technical assistant for the activity. (This does not apply if the activity is entirely housed in a unit outside the Department of Geography). The purpose is merely to determine whether and how the existing staff can handle whatever additional time that may be required.

Before signing any grant or course proposals, or submitting any proposals for new hiring, the department chair will check with the department’s computer specialist – unless it’s documented that the computer specialist has already been consulted. This will help determine whether the proposal needs to request additional technical support.

Confidentiality of Files

To insure confidentiality and candor, all student academic files are closed to all persons except the student, departmental faculty and designated departmental staff. Students may inspect all material in their files (except letters written confidentially) in the office of the Student Service Coordinator.

Affirmative Action Statement

The University of Washington reaffirms its policy of equal opportunity regardless of race, color, creed, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, age, marital status, disability, or status as a disabled veteran or Vietnam era veteran. This policy applies to all programs and facilities, including, but not limited to, admissions, educational programs, employment, and patient and hospital services. Any Discrimination is prohibited by Presidential Executive Order 11246 as amended, Washington State Gubernatorial Executive Orders 89-01 and 93-07, Titles VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Washington State Law Against Discrimination RCW 49.60, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, State of Washington Gender Equity in Higher Education Act of 1989, Sections 503 and 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 as amended, Age Discrimination Act of 1975, Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act of 1972 as amended, other federal and state statutes, regulations, and University policy. Coordination of the compliance efforts of the University of Washington with respect to all of these laws and regulations is under the direction of the Assistant Provost for Equal Opportunity, Dr. Helen Remick, Equal Opportunity Office, Box 354560, 4045 Brooklyn Ave., N.E., University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, 98105-6261, telephone (206) 685-3263/V or 543-6452/TTY.”