Current Students

Memo 43: Essential Behaviors for Admission, Continuation and Graduation for PhD Students

In addition to the University of Washington Student Conduct Code, students must abide by the following specifications for academic behaviors and abilities in order to be admitted, to continue, and to graduate from the PhD in Nursing Science program.


Students must communicate effectively and sensitively with other students, staff and faculty members, professionals, and others relevant to their programs of study. Expression of ideas and feelings must be clear and appropriate. Students must demonstrate a willingness and ability to give and receive feedback.


Students must be able to reason, analyze, integrate, synthesize, and evaluate in the context of the activities of their programs of study.


Students must:

  • possess the emotional health required for the full utilization of intellectual abilities and the exercise of sound judgment in completing programs of study
  • demonstrate the timely completion of responsibilities in their programs of study
  • be able to maintain mature, sensitive, and effective relationships with study subjects, students, faculty and staff members, and other professionals, under all circumstances including highly stressful situations
  • have the emotional stability to function effectively under stress and adapt to environments that may change rapidly without warning and/or in unpredictable ways as relevant to their programs of study
  • be able to demonstrate empathy for the situations and circumstances of others and appropriately communicate that empathy
  • acknowledge that values, attitudes, beliefs, emotions, and experiences affect their perceptions and relationships with others
  • be accountable for any behaviors or actions that convey racism, bias, or discrimination and engage in reparations as necessary
  • be able and willing to examine and change behaviors when they interfere with productive individual or team academic relationships
  • demonstrate effective and respectful relationships with the diverse academic, professional, and community environments relevant to their programs of study

Professional conduct

Students must:

Reasonable accommodation for disabilities

The School of Nursing is committed to ensuring that students with disabilities are given equal access through reasonable accommodations to its services, programs, activities, education, and employment for students with disabilities. The School works closely with Disability Resources for Students (DRS) in this process. DRS is the contact point for students with permanent or temporary sensory, physical or psychological disabilities interested in requesting reasonable accommodations due to the effects of a disability.

Students who wish to request reasonable accommodations are encouraged to contact DRS to start the process for documenting their disability and determining eligibility for services prior to the start of the program. While this process can be started at any time, reasonable accommodations may not be implemented retroactively, so being timely in requesting your accommodations is very important. The University does have policies regarding the type of documentation required in order to diagnose different disabilities and a process for requesting accommodations. To learn more about the process for establishing services through DRS, please contact:

Disability Resources for Students
448 Schmitz Hall, Box 355839, Seattle, WA 98195-5839
206.543.8924 (Voice)
206.543.8925 (TTY)
206.685.8379 (FAX)

All students are expected to demonstrate all the Essential Behaviors of the program. Students who wish to request reasonable accommodations for meeting the Essential Behaviors should contact DRS. DRS provides services to enrolled students who have a documented permanent or temporary physical, psychological or sensory disability that qualifies them for academic accommodations under the law. The School is not required to provide accommodations that would fundamentally alter or remove the essential functions or standards of the program.

Implementation of the Essential Behaviors for PhD students

Potential students will be advised of the Essential Behaviors for Admission, Continuation, and Graduation in application materials, during orientation, and via the School’s Web site. If and when an enrolled student does not meet expectations for Essential Behaviors, the following will occur.

  1. Problematic behavior documented. Problematic behavior will be identified to the student, communicated as needed to the student’s adviser/supervisory committee chair, and may be documented in the student file by the supervising faculty member.
  2. Problematic behavior results in Warning Card and contract. If a pattern of problematic behavior or a single, very serious lapse in Essential Behaviors becomes evident:
    1. Student’s adviser/supervisory committee chair is informed. The faculty member or Student and Academic Services official will inform the student’s adviser or supervisory committee chair of the behavior(s) of concern.
    2. Warning card and student contract are composed. The faculty member, in consultation with an official of the School of Nursing Office of Student and Academic Services, will prepare a warning notice and compose an accompanying student contract providing documentation of lapse(s) in the Essential Behaviors and describing what the student needs to demonstrate, within a specified time frame, in order to meet the Essential Behaviors.
    3. Coordinating Committee (PhDCC) review and approval. The warning card and individual student contract are reviewed and approved by PhDCC.
    4. Student receipt of warning card and contract. An official of Student and Academic Services and the chair of PhDCC meet with the student to present the warning card and individual student contract. After the student reads and signs the documents (signature indicates that the student has read it), they are placed in the student’s academic file.
  3. Contract monitored quarterly by PhDCC. If the contract is not upheld by the student, the student will be given a second warning. If behaviors are not resolved, the student may be dismissed from the program.

Revised May 2018