Skip to main content Skip to navigation
Washington State University Graduate School

ABD Waiver Program

In 2010 the Graduate School began offering an assistantship service through the “All But Dissertation” (ABD) Waiver Program. This program offers numerous benefits for faculty and students, but most specifically, it encourages the use of extramural grants in support of students seeking their doctoral degrees. The Graduate School will process, monitor, and approve all students who qualify for ABD waivers.

Some of these benefits include

  • Decreasing time-to-degree by offering a set period of five (5) semesters
  • Offering a tangible incentive to move students to ABD status
  • Motivating students to successfully complete their final defense
  • Increasing the PhD graduation number per year with the goal to align WSU with the Association of American Universities (AAU) and the Drive to 25.

To qualify

Fill out an application [PDF] and upload the document in myWSU via Graduate Research Management (GRM). The application must be submitted at least two weeks prior to the first day of the semester you are requesting the ABD waiver (8/1 for Fall or 12/10 for Spring). To qualify for an ABD waiver, the student must:

  • Be formally appointed to a graduate research assistantship appointment, enrolled in 10-18 credits, through the Graduate School.
  • Complete all graded coursework on Program of Study
  • Complete the preliminary exam and submit all related forms (ballots and ballot memo) to the Graduate School prior to the assistantship start date for the semester that the ABD waiver is requested.
  • Be funded (≥.50 FTE) from competitive extramural grants via graduate research assistantship
  • Effective Spring 2018, there are changes to the ABD waiver program for students on extensions for their time to degree. The goals of the ABD waiver program are to encourage the use of extramural funds to support students seeking doctoral degrees and to decrease time-to-degree. In order to ensure program effectiveness, a student on a second or third extension of time to degree is not eligible for an ABD waiver. The eligibility for an ABD waiver of students on a first extension will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

After students qualify, they will

  • Be eligible to receive an ABD tuition waiver for up to five academic semesters.
  • The PERMS should indicate the Preliminary Exam Completion Date as “Prelim Passed MM/DD/YYYY” in the waiver comments section.
  • Waivers will be established at the same values as the current fiscal year Operating Fee Waiver and Non-Resident Waivers value if applicable.