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Graduate Student Guidebook

Last updated for the 2020-2021 Academic Year

Main Office, COVID-19Office Security, Keys, Seminar Room, Supplies, Copying, Computers
Videos, CD Players, Fax, Mail, Payroll, Classroom Changes, Student Evaluations, Absences
Travel, First Aid, End of the Year Checklist, Health and Safety Plan, Asbestos Awareness,
Prevention of Sexual Harassment, Violence Prevention and Response, Reporting Suspected Child Abuse, UW Care Link

Student Complaint Review/Grievance Procedures, Family Educational Rights and Privacy, Colloquia, Final Exam Policy, Foreign Language Credit in Native Languages, Graduate Student Annual Report, Graduate These/ Dissertation Questions, Scandinavian Studies Research Guide

Karoliina Kuisma: Work schedule: Mon-Fri, office hrs TBD email:
Greg Pflaumer: Work schedule: Mon-Fri, 9:00am - 4:00 pm email

Please make sure to follow all current UW guidance around COVID-19 and submit your attestation. Instructions can be found here.

Click here for updates on COVID-19 policy and safe return to in=person learning.

Please be sure doors are locked when you leave. The central office (Raitt 318) and conference/seminar room (Raitt 314) must be kept locked after hours. Raitt Hall hours are 7:00 am - 5:00 pm.

Do not share keys, the building entry code or let people who you don't know into the building after hours.

If you are the holder if any departmental equipment, please make sure to lock it in a drawer or return it to office if you no longer need it.

Report any lost University keys to the Administrator immediately. Departments are required to report lost keys to the Building Coordinator. If lost keys are not found, the Department is responsible for rekeying the office doors and providing new keys to the office users. Replacement keys are charged at the current rekeying fee rate ($15 per key in 2020).

The conference/seminar room is for the use of Scandinavian Studies faculty, graduate students, and staff only. It may be used as a lounge, but scheduled classes, colloquia, video viewing, study and research activities are the primary uses.

Books in the conference room are organized by the following categories: Danish, Finnish, Swedish, Norwegian, Area Studies, and Linguistics/Language Learning. Books may be borrowed, but please return books to their original places.

Limited kitchen utensils are provided by the department (plates, cups, knives, forks, spoons). If you take kitchen utensils to your office, please return them as soon as possible. Food left in the refrigerator that has been there long enough to go bad will be thrown away. Everyone is responsible for cleaning up after themselves and their guests. The Seminar Room is to be kept locked whenever it is not in use.

TAs may use supplies for teaching duties only. Most supplies are located in the main office mailroom. Some supplies are available by request only during office hours. Requests for special supplies should be approved by the TA Coordinator.

TAs may use copy machines to copy instructional materials only for courses that they teach. You may not use these machines to copy materials for courses in which you are enrolled. Take instructional materials to the Copy Centers rather than having students pick them up at the main office. The departmental copy machine does not require an access code number. You can also print use the copy machine to scan items. Other resources for printing are available on campus. Please visit this website for information:

Each TA office should have at least one computer available for your use in preparing course materials, etc. If there are any problems with the computers in your TA offices or in the Graduate Student Computer Lab, please contact Greg Pflaumer at the main office.

The Department owns a PAL-compatible VCR and TV which is kept in Raitt 314. A collection of tapes are available in the main office. Most videos are organized by country and can be checked out and returned to the main office. The video collection room is locked at 4:00 p.m. and on weekends. If you need to view a video after hours or on the weekend, please check out the videos in advance. Videos are to be used only by Scandinavian Studies faculty and graduate students. In certain cases, arrangements can be made for other students to watch videos in the department during office hours.

5 Laptops, 1 digital projector, 1 iPad, 1 region free portable DVD player, and CD/tape players are available. The laptops, iPad, and digital projectors are kept in the main office and can be checked out through office staff for up to one day. The tape/CD players are also kept in the main office and can be checked out through office staff for an entire academic year or less. Please inform the main office via e-mail if you plan on borrowing a tape/CD player for more than one day. Please also note that you are responsible for replacing equipment that is damaged, lost, or stolen as a result of leaving it in the classroom.

The Fax number for the department is 685-9173. You may receive or send faxes by special permission only. Please check with the main office staff before sending a fax.

Graduate students are responsible for their own postage. Please check with the main office staff if you feel there is an exception.

The University has a lagged payroll system. Work performed from the 1st to the 15th of will post on your paycheck that is paid on the 25th of the month and work performed from the 16th to the end of the month will post on your paycheck that is paid on the 10th of the month. If a payday falls on a Saturday, pay will be distributed on Friday. If a payday falls on a Sunday, pay will be distributed on Monday. Any payroll questions can be directed to the Administrator. Please make sure you are signed up for direct deposit. This can be done through Workday.

When your classes are not going to meet in the regularly scheduled room, please inform the main office staff of where you will be meeting. If you have issues with the equipment in your room, contact Classroom Technology & Events. If you need your whiteboard/chalkboard cleaned and/or need the supply of chalk and markers replenished, please contact Custodial Services through their online service request form.

For every course taught, a course evaluation request must be submitted to request the required forms. The course evaluation request form is available online:

Please request the course evaluation forms at least one month before the end of the quarter.

If you are sick or otherwise unable to meet your assigned class, notify the main office of your absence by 8:30 a.m. An e-mail notifying the students should be sent as well. If possible, arrangements should be made so the class is covered. If an illness prevents subsequent meetings with the class, you will have to make arrangements to cover the class. Submit a Request for Absence form and notify the TA Coordinator and provide information on how the class will be covered during your absence. Faculty are willing to substitute whenever their schedules allow. A class should not be dismissed unless no substitute is found. If travel to a conference requires that you be absent, e-mail the main office at least two weeks prior to your departure date.

Funding of graduate student travel to SASS or other conferences is decided by Department faculty. Requests for funding can be made directly to the Chair and travel arrangements must be made through the main office.


First-aid supplies are located in main office mailroom (top drawer to the right). See also Health and Safety Plan located in Appendix.

___ Make sure that the main office has an address and telephone number where you can be reached during the summer.
___ If you are not returning to the UW next year, please notify the main office of any address changes so W2 forms, etc., may be forwarded to you.
___ Turn in any books that are the property of the Department.
___ All office keys should be returned (contact the Administrator if you need to retain your keys over the summer).
___ Your office space should be cleaned up by the third week of June (remove any postings on the walls, recycle old teaching materials, and documents that should be shredded can be sent to the main office).


The first week of classes, provide your class with general information on emergency procedures. Be sure that you know how to report an emergency from the classroom being used. Make sure that persons with disabilities have the information they need. Take responsible charge of the classroom and follow emergency procedures. More information is available on this website:

If there is an emergency:

  • Sound fire alarm/call 911
  • Assist persons with disabilities
  • Evacuate the building using the nearest exit
  • Report to the Evacuation Assembly Point:
    Behind Raitt Hall (between Raitt and Denny)
  • A head count will be done at the assembly site
  • Do not leave the area/campus without reporting your status to someone in charge
  • Do not re-enter the building until authorized to do so

All first-time UW employees are required to complete General Asbestos Awareness training. This training is available online. Please see the following website to complete the online training and be sure to get credit by filling out the registration form at the end of the training:

NightRide is a shuttle service that provides a safe and easy way for the campus community to get home at night. More information is available on this website:

The UW Police website has a lot of useful information about crime prevention, vehicle, bike and personal safety tips:

Graduate student employee applicants complete the sexual misconduct declaration and return it to UWHR Campus Recruiting at, indicating “Graduate student misconduct declaration” in the subject line. The declaration may be completed electronically, returned as a signed scanned electronic document, provided as an image file of a signed document, or sent by mail at Box 354963. UWHR will reach out to the Graduate School and hiring departments should there be any result necessitating review. Complete the form and submit using the above instructions:

The University of Washington is committed to protecting the rights and dignity of each individual in the University community. Discrimination on the basis of "sex" includes sexual harassment. Prevention of Sexual Harassment training will help you to identify and resolve situations of perceived sexual harassment, and to understand applicable law. To register for a free training class, please visit this website:

The University of Washington is committed to providing a safe, healthful workplace that is free from violence or threats of violence. For more information and to sign up for a free training class, please visit this website:

Employees complete this training online by watching a 30-minute video developed by Compliance and Risk Services.

The University of Washington has an employee assistance program that is free to all faculty and staff. Please visit their website:


The Department of Scandinavian Studies maintains a standing Grievance Committee that is available to help students resolve complaints or grievances. This committee will consist of two faculty members who will be elected annually by faculty, and an effort will be made to maintain a balance between male/female and senior/junior faculty. Either an undergraduate or a graduate student representative will be appointed ad hoc by the Chair to serve as a peer on the committee. Before meeting with this committee, a student who has a complaint or grievance will be encouraged first to try to resolve the problem with his/her instructor.

Instructors are reminded that the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 requires that the University treat student records in a confidential manner. Student records include examinations and papers submitted by students. Faculty who plan on distributing grades, papers, and exams through departmental mailboxes or in hallways must first have the permission of their students or be prepared to distribute such papers in ways that safeguard the students’ personal information. Handbook, Vol III-20, WAC 478-140.

Every year, faculty of the Scandinavian Studies have the opportunity of inviting or hosting significant researchers in the field. Faculty vote to invite these people so graduate students and other interested persons on campus can hear them, exchange ideas, make useful contacts, and profit intellectually. Colloquia are also viewed as a professional responsibility and can help graduate students learn how to be professionals in the field. There are good reasons for attending:

  1. It provides the opportunity to learn about a viewpoint, methodology, or theoretical question of interest or feed into one’s own intellectual development.
  2. We may hear something which sheds new light on our own thoughts or research, even if the speaker’s topic is far from our own. In the profession this experience is called “recognizing meta-level significance,” and is essential to scholarship.
  3. We may see in the comfort of our own home institution what a colloquium paper is like. This experience will help when planning conference papers or when preparing to give a talk.
  4. It provides the opportunity to practice your skills in following and critiquing an orally presented argument. This skill requires a lot of practice.
  5. Students may meet someone who will later sit on a grant selection board or be considering them for a job. Not only is the field of Scandinavian Studies is small, but the Scandinavian academe as a whole is small.
  6. It allows the department to present a good image to the rest of the University in the case of jointly sponsored colloquia. If we want the University to take our field seriously, we have to help present it.
  7. Valuable experience of what works/does not work in a colloquium is acquired. (Nothing is more painful that a colloquium that falls apart because of problems in rooms, equipment, format, etc. Nothing is more exquisite to an academic audience than a perfectly arranged colloquium).

The University Handbook states clearly that final examinations must be given during finals week, as published in the time schedule. This policy focuses on time needed for learning and protects students in the following ways: 1) in the quarter system, 10 weeks of class time are scheduled and students are allowed 11 weeks (10 weeks of class time and one week of study and exam time) to learn course material; 2) tests given during the last week of classes disrupt the final week of class time and distract students from assimilating information and completing study in other courses.

Exceptions to this policy are only possible by approval of the appropriate dean or director. Final exams may be postponed or “moved to an earlier time within the examination period if agreed to by all the students and the instructor (UW Handbook, Volume 4, Part II, Chapter 12, Examinations). A final examination is any exam to which a whole class session is devoted, whether or not it is a cumulative exam.

Owing to the similarities which exist between Danish, Norwegian, and Swedish, the Department of Scandinavian Studies has established the following policy regarding enrollment and the receipt of credit by examination in first- and second-year courses in these three languages. Native speakers of Danish, Norwegian, or Swedish are barred from enrolling in first- and second-year courses in any of the three aforementioned languages. Native speakers of Danish, Norwegian, or Swedish will not be granted credit by examination in first- and second-year courses in any of the three aforementioned languages. “Native language” is defined as the language spoken in the student’s home during the first six years of his or her life and in which he or she received instruction through the seventh grade. Instructors should announce the native language restrictions in their first and second-year language courses each quarter. (Department of Scandinavian Studies, January 1, 1995.)

In order to encourage graduate student progress toward the degree and to determine the status of a student's program, the Department of Scandinavian Studies requests an annual report from all continuing students. In the case of first-year graduate students, the report will, of course, only cover work done during Autumn Quarter. A copy of this report will be placed in the student's permanent file in the main office. This report should include:

  1. A list of courses taken with grade earned.
  2. Names of M.A./Ph.D. Advisory Committee members (incoming and first-year students will have a committee chair assigned on a temporary basis).
  3. Date of completion, or expected completion, of language requirement (list language).
  4. RA or TA experience, if any.
  5. Status of thesis/dissertation.
  6. Titles of article(s) published, paper(s) presented, or manuscript(s) submitted for publication.
  7. Scholarships, stipends or grants applied for or received.
  8. Courses to be taken and when these are planned.
  9. Date(s) for written exams - scheduled or planned. It is strongly recommended that M.A. students who also hold an Assistantship complete the requirements for the degree by the end of the second year.
  10. Titles of seminar papers placed in permanent file. (Three graded department seminar papers must be on file by the time the final exams are taken). 

The more complete and easy to read this report is, the better the student can present his/her current status. Please submit one copy of your report to the Administrator and one copy to your Committee Chair by January 5. If you need assistance with this task, please see your Committee Chair. If you wish to be considered for a TA/RAship for the upcoming academic year, please attach a separate letter requesting the TA/RAship to your annual report.