Skip to content

Program Review

“We at the Graduate School’s Office of Academic Affairs seek to make the academic program review process useful and informative to the academic unit under review. The goal of this process is to provide an opportunity for reflection and visioning: What has worked well? What can be improved? Where would the unit like to be in five or ten years? It is in that spirit that we provide detailed information on the program review process and instructions on writing a self-study.”

— Kima Cargill
Associate Dean, Academic Affairs

Guidelines for Academic Program Review of Existing Units

Five-Year Reports of New Graduate Programs

List of upcoming reviews

Resources for units under review

About Program Review

The University of Washington conducts program reviews as stipulated in the University Policy Directory (Presidential Orders: Executive Order 20.4): Reviews of all academic units including the graduate and undergraduate degree programs offered by these units are required at least every ten years and are conducted jointly by the Dean of the Graduate School and the Dean of Undergraduate Academic Affairs in cooperation with the relevant School or College Dean.

While academic program review is required by university policy and the university’s accreditation by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU), the process also provides units an opportunity to reflect on strengths, challenges, aspirations, and strategic planning. The primary objective of the review is an assessment of the academic and educational quality of the unit. Units are encouraged to approach the review as an opportunity to engage an expert committee of consultants who can provide
insight on trends in the discipline and across the University of Washington.

Key questions for every review include:

  • Are the unit’s degree programs of high quality? Do they meet the university’s expectations of quality and reputation?
  • How does the unit compare with that of peer and aspirational institutions in terms of educational programs, scholarship, and professional preparation?
  • How can the unit improve the quality of its educational programs and scholarship?
  • What does the unit need to do to increase its regional and national prominence?

In addition to the key questions above, review committees are asked to consider the following additional questions:

  • Do students, faculty and staff find the department a supportive and welcoming environment in which to pursue their degrees and careers as scholars, teachers, and administrators?
  • Are students, faculty and staff from groups that are underrepresented fully included in the intellectual life of the department?
  • To what extent do the unit’s current facilities and building space meet its needs?
  • To what extent is the unit preparing students at all levels for careers and future academic pursuits?

Archived Documentation

The documents that are developed as a part of this peer review process are:

  • Program Self-Study Report (Appendices excluded)
  • Review Committee Report
  • Program Response to Review Committee Report
  • Recommendation to the Provost

These documents are NetID protected.

View archived review documents

Graduate School Program Review Contacts

For more information, contact the program review team at
The program review team members are:

  • Chris Partridge, Director, Academic Program Review
  • Ann Busche, Academic Program Review Specialist