University-Wide Policies vs. School-Specific Policies for PhD Students

Washington University is currently restructuring its PhD programs. Students will continue to follow the procedures and policies outlined in the Graduate School Bulletin and website for the remainder of the Spring 2022-Summer 2022.  In this new structure, the Office of the Provost will oversee those policies and elements of WashU graduate programming requiring a centralized, coordinated approach.

The administration of the following policies and university-wide components will be maintained under the vice provost for graduate education. General questions pertaining to these areas may be directed to the office of the VPGE:  

  • Academic and Professional Integrity Policy for PhD Students
  • Involuntary Leave of Absence
  • Financial Policies and Practices
    • Child Care Subsidy
    • Interdisciplinary Courses
    • Minimum Stipend Award
    • New Child Leave

  • University-Wide PhD Requirements
    • Residency Requirement
    • Program Length Limit
    • Qualifying Examinations
    • Mentored Experience Requirement
    • Dissertation
      • Dissertation Defense
      • Dissertation Submission

Each school will continue to administer and maintain admissions, finances, and enrollment management for its PhD programs. Examples of policies and practices administered by the schools include:  

  • Admissions decisions, deferrals, and matriculation  
  • Tuition remission, stipend disbursement and health insurance subsidies 
  • Registration, graduation, grade changes, advisor assignments, milestone record-keeping, dissertation submissions, and degree verifications 
  • Leaves of absence, withdrawal, reinstatement, probation, and dismissal 

Unless a policy or component is determined to be centrally administered by the Vice Provost for Graduate Education, other policies or guidance that reference the “Graduate School” may be administered by the student’s respective home school. The following individuals serve as the first point of contact for their schools if there are questions that arise during the transition process: 

Arts & Sciences:  Andy Wiegert

Brown School:  Joshua Walehwa

McKelvey School of Engineering: Cathy Freesmeier

Olin Business School: Jessica Hatch

School of Medicine: Eva Aagaard


Doctoral Council

The Doctoral Council is a standing committee of Washington University in St. Louis that is advisory to the provost, and represents the faculty and students of schools granting the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree. 


Mentored Experience Requirement

Doctoral students at Washington University must complete a department defined Mentored Experience.  The Mentored Experience Requirement is a doctoral degree milestone that is notated on the student transcript, when complete.  Each department has an established Mentored Experience Implementation Plan in which the number of semesters in which a student must engage in a Mentored Teaching or Mentored Professional Experience is defined.  The Mentored Experience Implementation Plans outline how doctoral students within the discipline will be mentored to achieve competencies in teaching at basic and advanced levels.  Some departments may elect to include Mentored Professional Experiences as an avenue to complete one or more semesters of the Mentored Experience Requirement. Doctoral students will enroll in Mentored Teaching Experience or Mentored Professional Experience to signify progression in completing the overall Mentored Experience Requirement for the degree.


Doctoral Dissertation Guide and Template

See the Graduate School website for the current guide and template.

Academic and Professional Integrity Policy for PhD Students

Please review our academic and professional integrity policy.