Academics > Masters and PhD

PhD Degree Requirements and Procedures

Please read this entire page carefully, noting all requirements and deadlines.   It is the student's responsibility to see that all requirements are satisfied and deadlines met.


Students who are first completing an MSEE in the department may enroll in the PhD program as of the first quarter after completing the MSEE, pending approval of their continuation request.


Students should have a faculty advisor within the first year of study, and should notify the Advising Office both when an advisor has been determined and if there is a change of advisors. Faculty advisors must be members of the University of Washington's Graduate Faculty and must be endorsed to chair doctoral supervisory committees, per the Graduate School's Memo 12.


The following are degree requirements for PhD students set by the University of Washington Graduate School and the Department of Electrical Engineering:

For additional information, please refer to the Graduate School website.


EE Satisfactory Academic Progress Review for MSEE and PhD Students

To maintain a high quality program, the EE Department has instituted a Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy and Progress to Degree Policy for graduate students enrolled in the daytime MSEE and PhD programs, which includes satisfactory academic performance and progress towards degree milestones as outlined below.

Basic Standards for Satisfactory Academic Performance:

The UW, Graduate School and Electrical Engineering Department requirements for satisfactory academic performance include:

Departmental Expectations for Satisfactory Degree Progress for PhD students

The Department has the following additional expectations about PhD milestones:  

Review of Progress/Probation/Dismissal

All graduate students will be reviewed quarterly for satisfactory academic performance. If a student fails to meet the standards for satisfactory academic performance as described above, the Department will send a letter to the student via email with a copy to the faculty advisor, explaining they will be placed on academic warning or probation for the next quarter in residence. Faculty advisors will be consulted on all cases of probation. Students will be asked to contact the EE Graduate Advisor at within 10 days of receiving a letter. If students are placed on academic probation for more than two consecutive quarters in residence, they may be dismissed from the program. We will send a letter via email and US Mail informing students of dismissal from program to last address on record.

Students may appeal these recommendations by contacting EE’s graduate academic advising at, who will forward the appeal to the Graduate Program Coordinator or Associate Chair for Education. Appeals beyond this point must follow the process outlined in Graduate School Memorandum No. 33, Academic Grievance Procedure.

Additional Expectations

In addition to the above academic and time to degree expectations, we expect from all PhD students:

  1. Satisfactory work performance in your Academic Student Employee (ASE) appointment [Teaching Assistant (TA), Research Assistant (RA) and/or Staff Assistant (SA)]:

    1. Departmental ASE’s are provided with specific job descriptions when offered RA, TA or SA Appointments, and they are expected to perform their job responsibilities as outlined in their job description.  

    2. Students are expected to meet weekly with their advisor or supervisor to ensure that they are fulfilling the responsibilities of the position.

  2. Meeting all standards and requirements of the Student Conduct Code of the University of Washington Handbook.

  3. Failure to meet expectations listed above can result in a loss of funding commitments.

Semi-Annual Faculty Review

In addition, PhD students and research-track MS students will engage in a  semi-annual review with their research advisor and the Graduate Program Coordinator to assess their degree progress and ASE performance, as well as to discuss future goals.  





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