New tuition agreement announced for graduate and professional students

As a way to support interdisciplinary study, the deans of Washington University’s seven schools have signed a new graduate/professional tuition allocation agreement that encourages graduate and professional students to take courses outside of their home schools.

The agreement, now in effect, pertains to students admitted to and enrolled in full-time master’s or doctoral degree programs in Arts & Sciences, the Olin School of Business, the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts, the School of Engineering, the School of Law, the George Warren Brown School of Social Work and the School of Medicine.

Edward S. Macias, Ph.D., executive vice chancellor, dean of Arts & Sciences and the Barbara and David Thomas Distinguished Professor in Arts & Sciences, says that the deans’ intention with this agreement is to encourage multidisciplinary learning by graduate and professional students while they are pursuing their major course of study.

“We want our students and faculty to feel comfortable using all the resources of this great University,” said Macias.

“By creating this ‘free-trade’ agreement between the schools, we are encouraging interdisciplinary education. We want our graduate students to be able to easily bridge disciplines and schools for a richer, more in-depth learning experience.”

The other deans who signed the agreement are Carmon Colangelo, dean of the Sam Fox School; Mahendra R. Gupta, Ph.D., dean of the business school; Edward F. Lawlor, Ph.D., dean of the social work school; Mary J. Sansalone, Ph.D., dean of the engineering school; Larry J. Shapiro, M.D., executive vice chancellor and dean of the medical school; and Kent D. Syverud, J.D., dean of the law school.

The agreement does not affect how students pay their tuition, but rather how schools reimburse one another. The schools will no longer charge one another when students take courses that are outside of their home school.

If students decide to pursue multiple degrees or certificates, they will be appropriately charged. Students will not be allowed to earn credit toward two programs while only paying tuition for one.

Courses and students primarily in evening and part-time continuing education divisions, such as University College in Arts & Sciences and Executive Education programs, are not included in this agreement.

Included in the terms of the agreement are the following:

• The students must receive home school approval of any academic credit for the courses taken in the non-home school.

• Courses taken at the non-home school will ordinarily be on a space-available basis.

• The instructor for each course or the program office must give permission.

Because other terms also may apply, graduate and professional students should contact their appropriate advisers for more information.

The new deans’ agreement will be reviewed after two years to assess the extent of across-school activity by graduate students and the financial impact on schools.

“Our intention is to make the free-trade agreement work without significantly increasing the teaching burden for any school and with minimal financial impact,” said Macias on behalf of the other deans.