Degree Works FAQs - Faculty & Advisors
General Degree Works Questions
What is Degree Works?
Degree Works is a web-based academic planning and degree evaluation tool designed to help students and advisors track students’ academic progress toward the completion of their degree or certificate. Degree Works helps students track degree progress, prepare for future courses, and plan their path to graduation.
Degree Works is available for students beginning with the 2016-17 catalog year. A student's catalog year is set upon admission or declaration for their degree, major, minor, or certificate. If a student is currently registered in a catalog year prior to 2016-17, they may continue to access the prior degree audit system known as CAPP Degree Evaluation (Curriculum, Advising, and Program Planning). Click here for more information on CAPP Degree Evaluation.
Students with a catalog year prior to 2016-17 may use the What If feature within Degree Works. Students may view how completed classes would contribute towards the completion of a new major, minor, or certificate should they declare in a catalog year 2016-17 or later. Additionally, students with a catalog year prior to 2016-17 may use the GPA Calculators within Degree Works.
How do I access Degree Works?
Degree Works is available in Web4U in the Advisor Menu under the Faculty Services tab.
- First, log into your myWestern.edu account. Next, click on the Web4U icon to enter your Web4U portal.
- Navigate to your Faculty Services tab.
- Click on Advisor Menu from the list of resources. (Note: If you are faculty, advisor, or staff member at Western and do not have the Advisor Menu in your Faculty Services tab, you must request access. Please see the FAQ below for more information on requesting access to Degree Works.)
- Click on Degree Works.
How do I request advisor access to Degree Works?
Only Western faculty, staff, and advisors may request advisor access to Degree Works. If you do not have access to the ‘Advisors Menu’ within Web4U, submit a Banner Student Security Access web form following the approval routing instructions on the form. Be sure to indicate on the form that you are requesting access to the ‘Advisors Menu’ in Web4U including Degree Works, and include why you need the access.
How current is the information in Degree Works for students?
Student information in Degree Works is refreshed each night from Banner, Western’s records and information management system. Any changes made today (e.g. adding or dropping a course or declaring a new major or minor) will be available in Degree Works the following day. Advisors have the ability to refresh an individual student’s information from Banner before the nightly refresh if this is required the same day.
How do I find students in Degree Works?
Notice: Degree Works users are required to comply with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). Faculty and advisors with access to student education records are legally responsible for protecting the privacy of students by using information only for legitimate education purposes to advise or assist students. A school official has a "legitimate educational interest" if the official needs to review an education record to fulfill his or her professional responsibilities in support of Western Washington University’s academic mission. Neither curiosity nor personal interest qualifies as legitimate educational interest. Please be advised that Degree Works may not be used for research purposes unless pre-approved through Institutional Research and the Registrar’s Office. For more information on FERPA, including a tutorial, please click this link to visit the FERPA information page on the Registrar’s Office website.
For information on finding students within Degree Works, please refer to the Finding Students in Degree Works Quick Start Guide.
How does the Degree Works worksheet differ from a transcript?
The Degree Works worksheet is a tool designed to help students visualize their program’s requirements and assess progress toward their degree.
The academic transcript is the official university record of courses and the associated grades earned in the student’s academic history. More information regarding transcripts can be found on the Registrar’s Office website.
Why can I not find the major or minor that I am searching for in the Active Major / Active Minor or What If drop-down lists.
All majors and minors available in Western’s catalog are available in the Active Major / Active Minor and What If drop-down lists. If you are unable to find a major or minor from the drop-down list, please refer to the list of available Programs of Study in Western’s catalog.
Combined majors and minors — e.g. Biology/Mathematics, BS and French/German, BA — are listed in Degree Works under the wording found in Western’s catalog. For example, Biology/Mathematics, BS will be available in drop-down lists as this wording appears in Western’s catalog, however, Mathematics/Biology, BS will not be displayed in Degree Works as this wording does not appear in the catalog.
May I use Degree Works for non-Western certifications, including teaching certifications?
No. Degree Works is only available for Western-issued degrees and certificates.
If I have additional Degree Works questions, who should I contact?
You can find additional training and support resources for Degree Works on the Registrar’s Office website.
For general feedback and questions, you can email the Degree Works team at Degree.Works@wwu.edu.
Is in-person training available for Degree Works?
Yes. The Registrar’s Office provides training for faculty, advisors, and staff on Degree Works.
If you would like to request a Degree Works training session for yourself or your department, contact Dennis Miller at Dennis.Miller@wwu.edu or 650-2984.
Using the Worksheet
What is a "worksheet"?
The worksheet is a review of past and current coursework that provides information on completed and outstanding requirements. It can be used as a tool to plan and track progress toward the degree or certificate. The worksheet is also known as “degree evaluation” or “audit”.
What are the Degree Progress percentage bars?
Degree Works helps track the progress of program requirements in addition to overall credits required for the degree or certificate. Because many factors go into how these percentages are calculated, it is suggested to use both progress bars as general guidelines towards degree progress.
What is a "block"?
Degree Works generates an evaluation which displays classes taken, classes in-progress or registered for, transfer classes, and classes still required to fulfill degree requirements. This evaluation is displayed in a logical hierarchy of sections referred to as “blocks”. Each block lists the various components and requirements to complete the student’s degree, major, minor, or certificate.
Block titles are in the top left corner of the block header. Selected blocks on the student’s worksheet list the Catalog Year for the block’s requirements. Additionally, blocks making up the student’s degree, major, minor, or certificate list the GPA for qualifying classes which fulfill the requirements, as well as the credits required and credits applied to complete the block’s requirements, including classes both completed and currently registered classes.
What is the "Announcements" block?
The Announcements block contains important information and announcements for students regarding their worksheet. Content posted in the Announcements block is updated regularly to ensure all students have access to relevant academic and Degree Works news and information. Students with questions about the content within the Announcements block should speak with their advisor.
How should I interpret the "additionally you need minimum of XX Credits …" on the worksheet?
This should be read as "X of these credits must be from …".
Example: A student still needing to fulfill the Major Ensemble Requirement for the Music - Performance Concentration would see the following on their worksheet:
Still Needed: (24 Credits in MUS 271 or 272 or 273 or 278 or 471 or 472 or 473 or 476 additionally you need a minimum of 6 Credits from MUS 271 or 272 or 273 or 471 or 472 or 473 additionally you need a minimum of 18 Credits from MUS 276 or 476)
This should be read as:
Still Needed: (24 Credits in MUS 271 or 272 or 273 or 278 or 471 or 472 or 473 or 476, 6 of these Credits must be from MUS 271 or 272 or 273 or 471 or 472 or 473, and 18 of these Credits must be from MUS 276 or 476.)
Why are classes appearing in the ‘Insufficient’ block even though a sufficient grade was achieved in the course?
Courses with sufficient grades that are in the ‘Insufficient’ block are courses that have been repeated. The repeat indicators on the courses determine which courses are applied to the requirements and which appear in insufficient.
What does the @ symbol mean when it appears on the worksheet?
The @ symbol is known as a wildcard in Degree Works. If you see @ with course numbers after it (e.g. @ 300:399) this means that the student may take any subject area within the number range – in this case, any 300 level course from any subject area. If @ appears after a subject area (e.g. ECON @), this means that the student may take any course within the subject area – in this case, any Economics course. If you see @@ (double) followed by a GUR attribute (e.g. @@ with attribute HUM) it means any subject and/or number with the attribute is needed to fulfill this requirement – in this case any course or subject that fulfills the Humanities (HUM) requirement.
What does the ~ symbol mean when it appears on the worksheet?
The ~ symbol means that a requirement is partially complete. The ~ symbol may appear on a set of requirements using currently in-progress courses to show completion. The double ≈ symbol appears when a student is near completion for a requirement, however, there may be an unmet component to the requirement.
Why do I receive an error when I click on the ADV_APPR@ link?
ADV_APPR@ is a placeholder for ‘Advisor Approved Electives’. Because there are no courses associated with this placeholder, the link does not work. Students are advised to speak with their advisor for more information on advisor approved electives.
Why doesn’t an in-progress course a student is currently repeating satisfy requirements on the worksheet?
This occurs because Degree Works applies historic courses over in-progress courses when a course is being repeated. Once the course is completed and the grade has been rolled to academic history, the course will be selected to satisfy requirements.
A post-baccalaureate student’s worksheet indicates they are missing a GUR. Who should I contact for more information?
Contact the Degree Evaluation staff in the Registrar’s Office for more information at DegreeEval@wwu.edu or (360) 650-3985.
I am reviewing a student that is pursuing two degree or one degree and a certificate (e.g. BA and BS, or a BAE and a certificate). Only one of these appears on the worksheet. How can I check the requirements for the other degree or certificate?
You must select the appropriate degree type from the dropdown Degree list field to view the student’s information for the selected degree. If the student is seeking a double major within the same degree type, information for both majors will be present under the appropriate degree type.
Why do I see credits split across requirements?
In order to make use of the maximum allowed number of transfer credits, Degree Works may split a course to make use of partial credits. For example, Western allows a maximum of 135 quarter (90 semester) credits from any combination of regionally accredited instructions. Of these, no more than 105 quarter (70 semester) credits may be at the lower division (100 and 200) level. (Link to Western’s credit transfer policies.) If a student were to have 107 eligible lower division credits, Degree Works may split off the last two credits exceeding this policy, but retain the other portion of credits from the course to use for requirements on the student’s program of study.
Why is a requirement showing as “Complete except for classes in-progress” when the requirement should already be satisfied by existing coursework?
The Degree Works algorithm prefers to use courses in which the student is currently registered for (both current and future terms) to complete requirements on their worksheet. If you wish to determine if the student has in fact completed the requirement, you can uncheck the “Include in-progress classes” and/or “Include preregistered classes” and click ‘Process New’ in the header of the student’s worksheet to see if the requirement is complete without these in-progress courses. Students are advised to speak with their advisor if they identify this issue on their worksheet.
- Uncheck boxes to exclude in-progress and preregistered classes from the student’s worksheet.
- Click Process New to refresh the worksheet reflecting the checked or unchecked selections.
Why do I see a minimum credits required component marked as “Complete” while courses fulfilling this requirement are still in-progress?
When minimum credits are included in a block, Degree Works assumes satisfactory completion of the coursework. Thus, Degree Works will mark the minimum credits required as “Complete” before the student receives final grade(s) for the course(s).
Faculty and advisors should take care when advising students on requirements including minimum credits to ensure the student is aware of the correct completion status. To see only those courses in which the student has received a final grade, uncheck the boxes for “Include in-progress classes” and “Include preregistered classes” from the top of the students worksheet and click “Process New”.
- Uncheck boxes to exclude in-progress and preregistered classes from the student’s worksheet.
- Click Process New to refresh the worksheet reflecting the checked or unchecked selections.
Why is the minimum Major Credits Required box showing as not completed even though the Electives requirement appears to be met?
Unfortunately, although the electives appear as met, the Minimum Major Credits Required requirement will not show as met until all requirements are complete, including any additional elective credits that are needed.
Why is a requirement showing as complete on a student’s worksheet even though the class is In-Progress (IP) or has an incomplete (K) grade?
Due to the nature of some graduate-level requirements, in order to display information on graduate students’ worksheets in a concise fashion, courses that are In-Progress (IP) or are currently graded as incomplete (K) will appear as completed on graduate students’ worksheets. Please make sure to carefully read the grades associated with graduate students’ requirements marked as complete to provide accurate advising information.
Can I use the worksheet for approving a student’s major, minor, or certificate requirements in the degree application process?
Yes. While every department has their own procedures for approving a student’s requirements for their major, minor, or certificate, the Degree Evaluators in the Registrar’s Office will accept a signed and dated worksheet as an official major, minor, or certificate evaluation.
For further questions, contact the Degree Evaluation staff in the Registrar’s Office at DegreeEval@wwu.edu, (360) 650-3985.
Using What If and Look Ahead
What is a “What-if”?
The “What If” feature allows students to see how their completed and in-progress courses would apply toward the completion of a different major, minor, concentration or certificate. The “What If” worksheet shows the student the requirements, how completed or in-progress courses would specifically apply, and what requirements or courses would still be needed to complete the new program of study.
For more information on the “What If” feature, please see the tutorial videos and PDFs available the Degree Works for Faculty & Advisors website.
What is the “Look Ahead” feature?
The “Look Ahead” feature allows students to plan for future coursework and see how the courses they are considering registering for will apply to outstanding requirements for their degree, major, minor or certificate. Courses that are added in “Look Ahead” will appear on the worksheet under “Planned Term”. The course(s) added through “Look Ahead” will be highlighted in blue on the worksheet and will be treated as In-Progress courses which will go toward fulfilling the student’s outstanding requirements.
Note: Courses added with Look Ahead will only temporarily appear on the student’s degree evaluation. When the student or advisor returns to the worksheet or another function within Degree Works, the courses added in Look Ahead will no longer be present on the student’s worksheet.
For more information on the “Look Ahead” feature, please see the tutorial videos and PDFs available the Degree Works for Faculty & Advisors website.
Under the ‘Plans’ tab, there are no templates available for the degree the student is seeking. Are plan templates available for all degrees?
At this time, templates are only available for graduate programs. Undergraduate students will need to use a “Blank Plan” to build their plan in Degree Works.
Why are some of the student’s remaining requirements not listed in the “Still Needed” drop-down list for their major, minor, or certificate in Plans?
Unfortunately, this is a known issue in Degree Works and are working to resolve this as soon as possible. However, you can still find the remaining requirements on the student’s worksheet and add these requirements to the student’s plan from the “Courses” drop-down list.
Are there additional help and support materials available for Plans?
We are continuing to develop our support and training materials for Plans in Degree Works. Please check back for additional information and updates regarding Plans in the near future.
Using the GPA Calculators
How do I use the GPA Calculators?
Degree Works offers a suite of three distinct GPA calculators designed to help students plan ahead to achieve their desired GPA and meet their academic goals.
For more information on all three calculators available in Degree Works, please visit the Degree Works for Faculty & Advisors website for tutorial videos and PDF guides.
What is the GPA Calc - Graduation Calculator?
The Graduation Calculator is designed to help students plan ahead to achieve their desired GPA upon graduation. The Graduation Calculator requires the user to enter three numbers: Credits Remaining, Credits Required, and Desired GPA.
Credits Remaining are the number of outstanding credits required for the student to complete in order for the student to attain their degree or certificate. These credits must be both completed at Western and graded on the A-F scale. If a student plans to take classes in the future that are not letter graded, or plans to transfer classes from other institutions to Western to complete remaining requirements for their degree or certificate, these credits should be subtracted from the Credits Remaining total.
Credits Required are the total amount of credits required for the degree or certificate in which the student is seeking. Please note that while all bachelors degrees from Western require a minimum of 180 credits for completion, the total number of credits required for the student’s particular program of student may be greater than 180. Students must subtract the total number of credits transferred as well as all credits already completed not graded on the A-F scale from their Credits Required total. This information can be found in the Class History link in Degree Works or on the student’s Academic History (unofficial transcript) in Web4U. Additionally, if a student plans to take classes in the future that are not letter graded or plans to transfer classes from other institutions to Western to complete remaining requirements for their degree, these credits should be subtracted from Credits Required total.
Desired GPA is the cumulative GPA that is sought by the student at the completion of their degree or certificate.
- The student enters their Credits Remaining, Credits Required, and Desired GPA.
- Click Calculate.
- Degree Works will provides advice as to what the student must average over their final remaining credits in order to graduate with their desired GPA.
For more information on the Graduation Calculator, including a detailed example, please visit the Degree Works for Faculty & Advisors website for further information.
What is the GPA Calc - Term Calculator?
The Term Calculator allows students to see how predicted grades for currently enrolled courses will affect their cumulative GPA at the end of the term. Only graded courses taken at Western are factored into the student’s cumulative GPA.
- Students select the grade they believe they will receive in the course.
- Click Calculate to view the estimated cumulative GPA at the end of the term.
Note: A student’s cumulative GPA only reflects graded courses. If a student is enrolled in a course that is graded as Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory or Pass/No Pass, the student will need to remove the class from this list to see an accurate calculation of their cumulative GPA at the end of the term. To remove a course from Term Calculator class list, simply highlight the course and hit the Delete or Backspace key.
- Highlight the course(s) graded Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory or Pass/No Pass. Use the Delete or Backspace key on your keyboard to remove the course.
- Click Calculate.
- Degree Works will provide an end-of-term GPA estimation excluding the removed classes.
What is the GPA Calc – Advice Calculator?
The Advice Calculator provides students with possible paths to obtain their desired GPA. This calculator is particularly useful for students to view pathways towards attaining specific academic goals such as academic standing, or GPAs associated with scholarships or admission requirements. The only input required for this calculator is the student’s desired GPA.
- The student will enter their desired cumulative GPA.
- Click Calculate.
- Degree Works will provide paths for the student to achieve their desired GPA.