Academic Information and Policies

Graduate Program

Master's degree programs are offered in Biology, Education, Media Ministry, and Social Work. Graduate study is planned with reference to the student's previous academic preparation, experience, personal qualifications, and future objectives. Close cooperation between the student and adviser is essential.

Objectives of the Graduate Program
Graduate programs provide an atmosphere which stimulates intellectual curiosity and independent thinking. They are designed to develop an appreciation for the value of research, to provide involvement with basic research techniques, and to strengthen professional competence in areas of specialization.

Program Administration
Graduate programs are directed and supervised by the Graduate Council, which is the legislative body responsible for all graduate academic policies and curricula. Actions voted by the University Board or the Graduate Council at any time shall have equal force to, or if necessary shall supersede, statements published in this bulletin.

Classification of Students

Graduate Students are defined as those who have been accepted into one of the graduate programs.

Postgraduate Students are those who have completed a baccalaureate degree and are registered for coursework which applies toward an advanced degree.


The grade-point average is computed by totaling the grade points of all courses taken at Walla Walla University and dividing by the total quarter hours for which grades are received. Only the best grade of a repeated course will be calculated in the grade-point average. Default grades of Incompletes are included in the grade point calculation. The AU, IP, NC, S, W and X are disregarded in computing the grade-point average.  A report of grades is available on the WWU website for students at the end of each quarter. Classes taken for 0 credit may only be graded S/NC.

The following system of grades and grade-point values per quarter hours is used for evaluating graduate credit:

A 4.0 B 3.0 C 2.0 D 1.0
A- 3.7 B- 2.7 C- 1.7 D- 0.7
B+ 3.3 C+ 2.3 D+ 1.3 F 0

In place of grades, the following symbols are used:

I Incomplete
  In the case of incomplete work due to justifiable cause, the instructor may assign a grade of incomplete (I), allowing the student until three weeks before the close of the following quarter to complete the course requirements. Along with the incomplete (I) grade, the instructor also submits a default grade for the class based on what the student has accomplished as compared with the overall class requirements. The student will be assigned the default grade if the incomplete work is not completed in the allotted time. Default grades for courses with incomplete (I) grade(s) will be calculated into the cumulative GPA for the purpose of determining probationary status.
  If, due to justifiably extenuating circumstances students are unable to complete the class requirements within this time period, they may request an extension from the Associate Vice President for Graduate Studies beyond the above mentioned next-quarter deadline.  If students do not complete the class requirements during this further extended time period, they are assigned either the default grade or another grade submitted by the instructor.
I* Standing Incomplete
  Final grade for coursework not completed within appropriate timeframe.
IP In Progress
  An IP can be given by the instructor for independent work such as field work or practicum, research, and thesis which extend past the regular end of term. The IP designation is changed by the instructor to a letter grade upon completion of all course requirements.
IP* Standing In Progress
  Final grade for coursework not completed within appropriate timeframe
S/NC Satisfactory/No Credit
  Indicates that credit earned was satisfactory (C or better) or that the credit was not earned because performance did not meet the minimum standards for a satisfactory grade. A grade of S will not be acceptable for graduate credit except for courses that require S/NC grading. Some professional schools calculate the NC mark as an F grade when computing the grade-point average.
W Official Withdrawal
  Courses dropped during the first two weeks of the term will not appear on the student's record. Courses dropped thereafter will appear on the permanent record with a W.
X Unofficial Withdrawal
  Indicates that the student discontinued class attendance prior to the fifth week, mid-term, but failed to withdraw officially.
AU Audit
  An AU is assigned for class attendance and participation generally excluding tests and outside-of-class assignments. Arrangements to audit a class are made with the Office of Graduate Studies. The cost for audited credit is one-half the regular tuition rate.

Grade Errors and Corrections
  Grades will be processed and posted to the Web for viewing at the close of each quarter. Upon viewing grades via the secured web site, the student should carefully check the accuracy of the courses recorded, quarter hours, and grades. Grades may be changed only if an error has been made in calculating or recording the grade. Students will have until the last day to drop classes during the next regular quarter to report any discrepancies to the Academic Records Office.
  Graduate GPA
  Grades of all courses on the approved graduate program and in the program area, excluding deficiencies, will be computed in the grade-point average.
  Uniform Course Numbers
  By general agreement certain course numbers are reserved for classes that are of such a general nature as to be found in the three graduate departments.  The prefix assigned to the numbers designates the discipline.  The following are courses that carry uniform numbers throughout the bulletin:
500 Topics 
  Courses in specialized or experimental areas conducted through regular class activities and approved by Graduate council as one time offerings. See the Class schedule for all approved Topics courses.
  8; 24
  Continuation credit for graduate students who have completed all of the program requirements for their graduate degree except for Thesis Research and/or Thesis. Continued enrollment is permitted for up to 3 quarters. (Course fee of $100 per quarter applies).
559 Supplemental Studies 
1-2; 2 
  Supplementation of previous course work when portions of a course required in the student’s program have been omitted.  Ordinarily supplementation will occur only with transfer students or within a program that has undergone a major curriculum change. A study proposal is to be outlined in consultation with the instructor of the course being supplemented and approved by the department and the Graduate Academic Standards committee. May not be substituted for existing courses.
569 Advanced Study 
1-3; 3 
  Advanced directed study by which students may enhance the program area in breadth or depth not covered within the department curriculum. The study proposal must be approved by the department and the Graduate Standards Committee and is to indicate the methods of evaluation. May not be substituted for existing courses.
579 Directed Research/Project 
1-2; 2 
  Individualized research, laboratory or learning experience of particular interest to the student; may include contributions from conference attendance or travel related to an academic topic.  A project proposal and permission of instructor are required prior to beginning the project.

Directed Reading

  Independent reading for students who wish to broaden their knowledge in a particular discipline.

  Students withdrawing from a graduate program must file a withdrawal form with the Office of Graduate Studies. If individual courses need to be changed, added, or dropped during a term, students must file an official change of registration form with the Office of Graduate Studies. These forms must first be signed by the adviser and the instructor(s) concerned. The final date for dropping a course is listed in the academic calendar.
  Changes in Registration
  Changes in registration may be made during the first four days of the term without charge. Course changes after that time require advance permission from the instructor and from the student’s academic adviser. Courses may not be added after that tenth day of any quarter.
  Academic Integrity Statement
  An integral part of the mission of Walla Walla University is to prepare its students to be responsible individuals who are guided by Christian values. The University, therefore, expects all members of its community to practice integrity, including a steadfast adherence to honesty. Faculty have a responsibility to foster integrity by example and instruction. Students have a responsibility to learn, respect, and practice integrity. All acts of academic dishonesty, including cheating, plagiarism, forgery, misrepresen­tation, falsification, prohibited collaboration, and unauthorized use of files, are unacceptable. Departments may have more specific criteria for behavior and skills suitable to their disciplines which will be communicated to students, typically in course syllabi. A violation of academic integrity will result in disciplinary action, which may include failure of the course and/or dismissal from the program.
  Deficiencies must be made up as early in the program as possible, and may not be made up by audit. A challenge exam over deficiency content can be taken. See undergraduate and financial bulletin for policy and fees.
  Student Appeals
  Student appeals of unsatisfactory decisions and actions related to their graduate programs should be initiated in consultation with the major department and then submitted, as appropriate, to Graduate Council. If satisfaction is not obtained, consult the Walla Walla University Grievance Policy.
  Unregistered Student Attendance of Classes
  Only students who are officially registered will be allowed to attend graduate classes after the 10-day of school.

GRADE ERRORS AND CORRECTIONS. Grades will be processed and posted online for viewing at the close of each quarter. Upon viewing grades via the secured website, the student should carefully check the accuracy of the courses recorded, quarter hours, and grades. Grades may be changed only if an error has been made in calculating or recording the grade. Students will have until the last day to drop classes during the next regular quarter to report any discrepancies to the Academic Records Office.


The maximum credit load per quarter for graduate students is 14 hours for social work, education, and media ministry, and 12 hours in biology. Incomplete grades from previous quarters are added to the total course credit load of each quarter. A petition must be made to Graduate Council to exceed these limits. For purposes of loan deferment 7 hours of graduate work is considered a minimum load. For visa qualification 8 hours of graduate work is considered a minimum load.

Examination Requirements

Each candidate is responsible to take the appropriate, required final oral/comprehensive examination(s). A candidate who fails a required examination is granted only one opportunity for retake after the lapse of at least one quarter. Examinations should be scheduled and taken so that the results can be known at least two weeks before spring commencement.

Transfer Credit Requirements

A maximum of 12 credit hours of graduate level work taken at other accredited institutions but not previously applied toward a degree may be approved by petition to the department. No courses with grades less than B qualify for transfer credit. Extension courses may be transferred if they are acceptable as graduate credit by the accredited college or university offering them. "P" or "S" grades may be transferred after specific review by the designated department, but will not be considered when computing the GPA.