Memo 33: Evaluating PhD Student Previous Courses for Core Course Equivalency
A matriculated student in the Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing Science program (PhD) may pursue the process below whereby previous course work will be evaluated for equivalency to core coursework at the UW School of Nursing.
If a previous course is deemed equivalent to a core course, then the total number of required credits to graduate is not reduced. Rather, the student’s program of study, including course equivalency, must be approved by the supervisory committee.
*Note: Some PhD core courses are prerequisites to later core courses. A course instructor has the right to deny enrollment in a course for which the student has not taken a prerequisite. Additionally, the supervisory committee has authority to decide at any time that the student must take a core course, regardless of an earlier recommendation for course equivalency.
For PhD students who have not established a supervisory committee
- The time frame for requests:
- For currently-enrolled students, requests for review must be submitted at least one quarter in advance of when a decision is needed about whether to take a core course. Enrolled students may choose to submit multiple course equivalency review requests simultaneously.
- Newly-admitted students who are not yet enrolled (e.g., those who accept an offer of admission in Spring, but do not enroll and register for classes until Fall quarter) are instructed to contact their newly-assigned Faculty Academic Adviser and work with the FAA to complete a “gap analysis” and, if appropriate, discuss course equivalency review requests (for their first Fall quarter only) and submit requests using the process below as soon as possible for consideration no later than the May PhD Coordinating Committee meeting.
- Student submits information (formal description, number of credits, syllabus, the justification for request from the student’s perspective as to why the course is equivalent, and copy of the transcript that has the course grade) to the PhD Coordinating Committee chairperson (as appropriate) and the Graduate Program Adviser (GPA).
- GPA reviews submission to evaluate for compliance with UW policy around eligibility to accept previous coursework and submits results of the review to PhD Coordinating Committee Chair.
- Based on GPA review, CC Chair:
- Notifies students of eligibility for review for course equivalency
- If eligible for review, brings the matter before PhDCC as appropriate at the next regular meeting and then communicates the decision to the student
- If CC does not accept previous coursework as equivalent, the Chair communicates decision with a brief rationale by email to the student with a copy to GPA.
- If CC decides to accept previous coursework as equivalent, the Chair notifies the student of the decision by email with a copy to the GPA and includes language related to risks incurred by the student seeking core course equivalency as outlined above.
- GPA files the written decision in the student’s academic file to record the decision and rationale.
- The student may appeal the decision by requesting a meeting with the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs. The Associate Dean for Academic Affairs will make the final decision as to acceptance or denial of CC’s justification.
For PhD students who have established a supervisory committee
The student submits information (formal description, number of credits, syllabus, the justification for request from the student’s perspective as to why the course is equivalent, and copy of the transcript that has the course grade) to their Supervisory Committee Chair. The supervisory committee reviews previous course information.
If the supervisory committee finds the course(s) to be equivalent to core courses, the chair of the supervisory committee notifies the Chair of PhDCC in writing documenting the course as fulfilling the core course requirement in the student’s program of study.
PhDCC discusses and acts upon the recommendation by:
- Notifying the student of the decision, including reference to the risks incurred by the student seeking core course equivalency outlined in the note above, and
- Filing the supervisory committee’s written justification in the student file to record either i) the course is considered equivalent to a core course, or ii) the course is not considered equivalent to a core course. A student may appeal the decision by requesting a meeting with the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs. The Associate Dean for Academic Affairs will make the final decision as to acceptance or denial.
Revised January 2018