University of Washington

Office of Academic Services

Thomson Hall Room 111

Jackson School of International Studies 

General Handbook for Graduate Studies


For Program-specific Handbooks, please select from the following links:

China Studies
Comparative Religion
International Studies
Japan Studies
Korea Studies
Middle East Studies
Russian, East European and Central Asian Studies (REECAS)
South Asian Studies
Southeast Asian Studies



     Taking Courses Outside of Requirements
     Courses Not to Take
     Number of Credits Per Quarter
     Incomplete Coursework
     Supervisory Committee

Welcome to Jackson School of International Studies. The variety of programs at the Jackson School provides a wealth of resources, including colloquia and symposia which bring in outside speakers. We expect you to take advantage of them while you are here.
The Graduate Reading Room in Thomson 311, aside from being a good place to study or meet other students, features 5 computers and a small kitchen with a refrigerator and microwave. A more fully-equipped Computer Lab is located in the Jackson School Basement Annex. Your UW student card is your “key” to the graduate reading room and the computer lab. Be sure to take your card to Mark Haslam (Thomson 408c), the Jackson School Computer Specialist, so that he can activate your card.

Student Services is in room 111. Check the bulletin boards just outside the door and across the hall for general information on visiting speakers, film series, etc.

Check your mailbox regularly for materials not received via e-mail. If you are a student in one of the following programs, your mailbox is located in the Graduate Reading Room, in Thomson 311:

China Studies, Comparative Religion, International Studies, Japan Studies, Korea Studies, Middle East Studies. 

If you are in the REECAS program, your mailbox is located in the Ellison Center, in Thomson 203. In this office, you will also find Ellison Center Associate Director Marta Mikkelsen, Assistant Director for Outreach Allison Dvaladze and Program Coordinator Mark DiVirgilio.

If in South Asian Studies, your mailbox is located in the South Asia Center Office, in Thomson 303. In this office, you will also find Keith Snodgrass, the Associate Director for the South Asia Center, and the Program Coordinator, Molly Wilskie-Kala.

If in Southeast Asia Studies, your mailbox is located in the Southeast Asian Center Office, in Thomson 303. In this office, you will also find Sara Van Fleet, the Associate Director for the Southeast Asia Center, and the Program Secretary, Molly Wilskie-Kala.

China Studies: Once you have established an e-mail account for your UW messages, be sure to e-mail Sara Caka, the China Studies Program Coordinator, so that you can be put on the China Studies email list. This will assure that you receive announcements of talks, courses and other events relevant to China and/or East Asia in general.

For South Asia focused speakers and events sign up for the South Asia weekly bulletin by requesting Keith Snodgrass to add your name to the South Asia student list serve. This is a moderated list serve that you can post to.

For advice on procedures and requirements, contact Paula Milligan, the Graduate Program Adviser (GPA), in JSIS Student Services. For quick questions, you may come during drop-in hours (Mondays 9:00-11:00 am or Thursdays 2-4 pm). For appointments, go to Paula’s on-line calendar or go to the Student Services office. Paula’s office is in Thomson 116. There are approximately 150 JSIS graduate students, so you may need to remind Paula of your name and your program of study when you drop in. You should meet with the GPA at least once a year. It is particularly important to meet with her before registering for your last quarter, to make sure that you have met all requirements and to review graduation procedures. If you find yourself struggling academically, we strongly advise you to meet with the GPA, your faculty adviser, and/or the GPC as soon as possible to discuss your options.

Please see your program's handbook for additional advising information, including an introduction to your Faculty Adviser and Graduate Program Coordinator (GPC). 


Familiarize yourself with both the General Graduate School Requirements for a Master’s Degree as well as the specific requirements for your Jackson School program (see your program's handbook or the Jackson School website. The program requirements are designed to meet Graduate School requirements, but it is important to note that to earn your degree you must satisfy both sets of requirements.

Taking Courses Outside of Requirements
You may take courses that do not fulfill program requirements. Comparative study is encouraged, and classes which do not meet your program's requirements may be useful. However, taking too many courses that do not apply to your degree could prevent you from completing the program within two years.

Courses NOT to Take
While it is preferable for you to take only courses at the 400 level or above, 300-level courses with a Jackson School prefix can occasionally be taken with the approval of the GPC. (However, 300-level courses do not qualify for graduate credit at the UW Graduate School, so this option should only be used when necessitated by future academic or professional goals.) A better option would be to make a contract with the instructor to take the 300-level course as a 600-level Independent Study (form available in the Office of Student Services) and do the work required for the class along with extra work to meet graduate level standards.

Number of Credits Per Quarter
An average load per quarter for Jackson School graduate students is 12-15 credits or 3-4 courses, depending on credits per course. In the second year, some students take fewer courses as they begin to focus on their final paper(s). If you are receiving a scholarship or fellowship, or financial aid, or hold a TA or RA position, you must carry at least 10 credits a quarter. International students must be registered for 10 credits in order to maintain their F-1 status. Students receiving FLAS fellowships must be enrolled full time and for one 5 credit language and one 5 credit area studies course in each quarter. It is a student’s responsibility to meet the requirements of any scholarship or fellowship they are awarded.
You are not required to take a full course load every quarter, but taking a reduced load during Autumn Quarter may put you at a competitive disadvantage for fellowship consideration. It is difficult for the fellowship committee to assess your scholastic performance if you have only taken a course or two.
You are expected to finish your degree in two years. If you do not carry a full load in your first year, it may affect your ability to finish within two years.


Incomplete Course Work
Graduate school is demanding, intellectually and emotionally, and students sometimes struggle to balance life and academic studies. If you are encountering difficulty, consult your professor, advisor, and/or GPC. We strongly discourage students from taking “incompletes” in their courses. In many cases, students never fulfill the work required, or fulfill the work in an unsatisfactory way. Therefore we strongly advise you not to take an incomplete in any class at UW.


Supervisory Committee
The purpose of this committee is to advise you in the final stages of your program and evaluate your thesis and oral defense. Your committee members serve as your consultants and mentors as you write your thesis or write and revise your MA papers and they serve as your examiners. You should make sure that your committee members will be available in the quarters when you need them for advisory work, independent study, and exams.
You form your committee by filing the Supervisory Committee Form which establishes a record that your selections of area of concentration, faculty committee members, and papers/ thesis option are acceptable to your program as represented by the GPC and that your committee members have agreed to undertake supervision of your program. Once you file the form, your primary advisor becomes the Chair of your committee.
You should ask your committee members to clarify their expectations of when you will provide them with evidence of your progress towards completion of the papers or thesis. 

For a guide to your role as an advisee and your faculty supervisor’s role as Mentor, please see the Graduate School’s “Guidelines for Good Practice in Graduate Education.” 


Registration for classes begins in the middle of the preceding quarter (e.g. middle of Spring Quarter for Autumn). Course offering booklets, which contain course descriptions for the upcoming quarter, are available in the Student Services office, in Thomson 111, prior to each registration period. It is a good idea to also check the on-line Time Schedule for changes and additions. As a continuing student you will be eligible to register in the first Registration Period. Registering early will help you gain entry to the classes you want. Keep in mind that with the exception of some intensive language study, few classes useful for your International Studies programs are offered during Summer Quarter.

To graduate, you must apply through the Graduate School’s degree application website. The application period commences the first day of the quarter of graduation.
The Graduate School will send you an email confirmation of your application for Master’s Degree and inform you of Graduate School requirements that must be met by the end of the quarter in which you graduate. The Graduate Program Assistant (Paula Milligan) will be notified of your application for Master’s Degree and will enter information detailing departmental requirements that must be met. This will generate an email from the Graduate School to you informing you of departmental requirements.
If you do not finish in the quarter you applied to graduate, you will have to apply again. You must be registered for at least two credits in the quarter you graduate.
It is important for you to maintain your status as a student until you graduate. To do this, you must be registered for every quarter except Summer Quarter, or be formally on leave.

Once your Supervisory Committee has accepted your final papers, you will need to set a date and time with them for your oral examination. When this is established, complete an Oral Exam Scheduling Form. These are available from the GPA, Paula Milligan. After your faculty mentor and the GPC have signed the form, give it to Paula Milligan, who will schedule a room, if necessary, and notify everyone involved.
Paula will prepare your file for your oral exam. Be sure to make an appointment with her the quarter before you plan to graduate to ensure that this review produces no surprises, and to review procedures for finishing the program. The Graduate School will be informed of any course work necessary to meet departmental requirements for which you have not yet received a grade, and your graduation will be finalized after these grades are received.
Prior to your exam, your file will be given to your Chair. Aside from providing a record of the work you have done in the program, the file will also contain your Oral Exam Completion Form and your Warrant for Master’s Degree. Both of these documents must be signed by your committee members following the successful completion of the oral examination, and will remain in your file. For those in the two-papers option, your committee’s signatures on these this will signify that your graduation is approved, and Paula will notify the Graduate School that your graduation may be finalized. For those in the Thesis option, a copy of your signed signature page also must be given to Paula by 4:00 on the last Thursday of the quarter.

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.


For tuition information, click here. Most Jackson School students are Graduate Tier 1. Students pursuing concurrent professional degrees should contact the concurrent department. The concurrent tuition rate is the controlling rate.
If you are not a Washington State Resident, but are a US citizen or Permanent Resident, it is important that you check the Residency website.
for information about establishing the non-resident tuition waiver by your second year. For information about state residency, click here


You can be considered through the International and Area Studies Fellowship application for most fellowships offered by the Jackson School.  Application procedures will be announced in October; the application deadline is usually January 15, but it is a good idea to check the deadline well in advance. Awards are made in mid-April for the following summer and/or academic year. Specific questions concerning FLAS should be addressed to the Fellowships Coordinator, Robyn Davis (Thomson 126).
Faculty evaluations and grades earned at the UW are of particular importance to fellowship committees, so it is helpful to carry a full load of relevant courses and do well in them. It is important to make good progress toward your degree before applying, and you must continue this progress if you receive a JSIS fellowship.
For information on need-based financial aid, see the Student Financial Aid office website..
There are a few teaching assistantships for which you are eligible to apply. Applications will be available on the Jackson School web site late in Autumn quarter, and will probably be due on February 15.

See your program's handbook for additional fellowships and/or scholarships that may be available to you.


The University has a large library system housed in many different buildings across all three campuses (Seattle, Bothell, and Tacoma). There is a reference section on the ground level of Suzzallo/Allen.

The East Asia Library is in Gowen Hall and the Gallagher Law Library is in William H. Gates Hall; branch libraries also contain China-related resources.

The Slavic and East European Section, directed by Michael Biggins (, is available for additional reference help.

Deepa Banerjee is the South Asian Bibliographer and provides useful reference services. Please email her at for an appointment.

Dr. Judith Henchy is the Southeast Asian Librarian and provides useful reference services. Please call her for an appointment.


The Jackson School Graduate Student Council (JSGC) has been successful on several occasions in applying for funds for computers and equipment. Thanks to these efforts, there are 9 workstations and two printers in the Jackson School Basement Annex, and four workstations and a printer in the third floor Graduate Reading Room. You may use the printers after paying a quarterly fee to JSGC for paper and supplies. This system is maintained by the Jackson School Jackson School graduate students also may borrow one of the three laptop computers, a Macintosh and two PCs. To check these out, or if you have any technical or software problems with the computers in either of the Jackson School computer labs, contact the Jackson School’s computer specialist, Mark Haslam (jsishelp The office of the Jackson School Computer Specialist office is in Thomson 408C.
The University’s Computing Resource Center is in Mary Gates Hall. Information about this and other computer labs can be found on the Web at These labs offer word processing, spreadsheet, database, and graphics applications, and access to the Internet. The Center for Social Science Computation and Research (CSSCR) in Savery 145 offers consultation on computer services for social science students, which includes all JSIS students.


The Jackson School Graduate Student Council was formed to promote better communication among programs. Over the years, in addition to its success with funding equipment, JSGC has greatly improved the facilities in the Graduate Reading Room and organized several social gatherings for the whole school.
JSGC seeks representatives from each of the graduate programs to serve on this Council. The group meets periodically throughout the year.


Name Location Email Telephone

  • Paula Milligan (Graduate Program Adviser), THO 116,, 543-6001
  • Student Services Office, THO 111,, 543-6001
  • James Donnen (Director of Student Services),, 543-6001
  • Kelly Voss (Career Services), THO 124,, 543-0176
  • Robyn Davis (FLAS Coordinator), THO 126,, 616-8679
  • CSSCR (Soc. Sci. Computing) SAV 110 csscr 543-8110
  • Computing Resource Center MGH 131 help. 543-0681
  • Public Affairs, PAR 208, 543-4900
  • Public Health Services, F-357, 543-7952




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African Studies Program
University of Washington
326 Thomson Hall
Box 353650
Seattle, WA 98195

Joel Ngugi / Chair
Associate Professor, School of Law

Mary Kay Gugerty/Adjunct Director
Associate Professor, Evans School of Public Affairs

Erin Murphy/Program Assistant
Autumn Quarter Office Hours: Tues/Thurs 9-12, or by appt.
206.616.0998 office
206.685.0668 fax

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