Graduate Studies

WARD Reports for Graduate Students

Introduction

Western's Audit of Requirements for Degrees (WARD) is an automated record reflecting a student's academic progress toward degree completion in his/her declared major. By considering Western's work, transfer courses, and courses in progress, this analysis provides timely information on a student's progress toward meeting degree requirements. Students may view their WARD report through STARS.

A degree is awarded by satisfactorily completing the requirements as set forth in the student’s approved graduate degree plan. The WARD report details this overall degree criteria by itemizing the individual components. The requirement areas are further broken down into specific pieces known as sub-groups or sub-requirements. Each sub-group is independent and must be satisfactorily completed. The overall fulfillment of the requirement is dependent upon the total completion of all sub-groups therein contained. Conversely, the requirement will not be satisfied if any individual sub-group is deficient. Additional criteria may or may not be required at the requirement level (i.e., total hours, grade point average).

How to get a WARD report

A student must have an approved degree plan on file in the School of Graduate Studies before the WARD report can be viewed through STARS. Graduate students can access the audit report by going through “WARD Print Request”.

Does this replace advising?

This report is not designed to eliminate the advising function. It should, however, encourage student contact with an adviser for further academic and career counseling. Advisers can help resolve any problem areas. Some majors still require choosing a series of courses in consultation with an academic adviser, which in turn can be added to the audit to further individualize a student's program.

Description of the degree audit

The Degree Audit is a two-column report with header information. Each Degree Audit is a specific degree program. Each column contains "blocks" known as requirements surrounded by double lines. Contained within the requirement are the sub-groups which are usually numbered sequentially.

Header Information

Header information contained at the top of the WARD Report (above the broken horizontal line) includes the date and time the report was prepared. The header also includes information from the student's academic record: name, student identification number, graduation date, major codes, and catalog year.

Requirement Block

Surrounded by double lines, each requirement is unique unto itself. In addition to requirements seeking specific course/hour completion, there are informational requirements such as the "Legend." The report is read in two columns. Some requirements are conditional in nature and only appear if and when it specifically applies to an individual student. An example is, "Must submit thesis...."

Under Column 1, the first block indicates the status of the report which contains one of the following statements:

* At Least One Requirement Has Not Been Satisfied
* All Requirements Have Been Met

Next are the general graduation requirements. This requirement reports total hours earned and overall GPA. In addition, special messages may also appear regarding deficiency courses, incomplete grades, outdated courses or grades received below a “B”. Following this section are the degree requirements as set forth in the graduate catalog. All courses listed on the student’s graduate degree plan will be listed under one specific sub-requirement titled “You Must Complete the following Required Courses.”

Finally, any extra course work taken as well as transfer received will appear at the end of the audit, just before the Legend.

Legend

At the end of the WARD report is a legend which explains the various symbols contained in the report.

Questions and Answers

1. I decided not to take a course but the audit shows I still need it.
You must submit a petition to correct your degree plan.

2. I cannot see my audit on STARS
Have you filed a degree plan? You must have an approved plan on file in the Graduate Office before you can access your audit on STARS. If you have submitted a plan, you should be able to see your audit by going to STARS and choosing ‘Print WARD request”. (You will not be able to see your audit through “Student Degree Plan Display”.)

3. I have approved transfer work that is not listed on my audit.
Transfer work that has been approved will appear on your audit under “University Electives - All Courses Not Otherwise Required”. If it does not appear in this area, we are either waiting for an official transcript to be sent directly from the university to the School of Graduate Studies or it has not been added by petition to your graduate degree plan.

Reporting an Error

If the error involves a discrepancy between what you have taken and what is listed on your degree plan, a petition or revised degree plan must be submitted. Other errors should be reported to the School of Graduate Studies.

Note: All approved graduate transfer work will appear on the audit in the area titled “University Electives - All Courses Not Otherwise Required”. It will be included in the hours required for the degree.

Current Registration

Courses in which the student is currently enrolled and/or are currently graded "Incomplete" are listed. These courses are reflected with a grade of "IP" or "I" throughout the degree audit and are not included in satisfying any requirement until a successful grade is reported.

Transmittal to a Third Party

The WARD Report is an internal document used for advising. It is not an official certification of your academic record or graduation; therefore, it is unlawful to transmit this document to a third party.