Degree Works FAQ

General Degree Works Questions

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

You should review your Degree Works worksheet: 

  1. Before you register for classes to identify outstanding requirements. 

  1. After you register to ensure that the classes you selected apply to your requirements as you thought they would. 

  1. After your grades are posted at the end of the quarter. 

  1. Any time you make a change to your schedule or program of study. 

No. Degree Works is only available for Western-issued degrees and certificates. Please speak with your academic advisor or the Office of Certification & Accreditation for more information.

Requirements that need approval from an advisor will show as unmet in Degree Works until an advisor requests specific course(s) satisfy the requirement. Advisors may request courses fulfill specific requirements using the Notes feature in Degree Works.

Students should speak with their departmental advisor for more information.

Speak with your advisor or schedule an appointment with the Academic Advising & Student Achievement Center. Additionally, you can find additional student resources for Degree Works on the Registrar’s Office website.

Using the Worksheet

Students should speak with their academic advisor if incorrect information is displaying in Degree Works, or information is not filtering into requirement areas as expected. Your advisor will work with the Registrar’s Office to research and resolve reported issues.

These are the most common issues and courses of action:

My degree, major, minor, or certificate is wrong on my worksheet. If you have not officially declared your major, minor, or certificate, contact your current advisor for instructions. If you submitted your declaration recently, this process can take a few days for the new major, minor, or certificate to be entered by the Registrar’s Office. If you have officially declared your major, minor, or certificate for a future term, your worksheet may not reflect this new declaration until the future term. If you would like to see how the classes you have taken or are currently enrolled in will apply to your new major, minor, or certificate, you may run a What If analysis for your new major, minor, or certificate.

The requirements for my degree, major, minor, or certificate are wrong. Look at the catalog year that appears in the top of the block on your worksheet. This is the catalog year the Registrar’s Office has on record for your declared degree, major, minor, or certificate. Catalog requirements can change year to year. If you believe your catalog year is incorrect, contact your advisor.

My transfer classes do not appear in the right place. If you have questions or concerns about how your transfer classes are applying to your requirements on your worksheet, speak with your advisor.

Degree Works uses a “best fit” algorithm to fit your classes against the requirements for your program of study. If you believe your classes are not applying to your requirements correctly, contact your advisor.

Look at the Notes section at the bottom of Degree Works. If you see the approval there, contact to make the update to Degree Works. If there is no approval note, contact your advisor to place a Degree Works Note approving the exception to the requirement. Once the note is entered, it will be processed on the following business day.

If you have not officially declared your major, minor, or certificate, contact your current advisor for instructions.

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.)

ADV_APPR@ is a placeholder for ‘Advisor Approved Electives’. Because there are no courses associated with this placeholder, the link does not work. Speak with your advisor for more information on advisor approved electives.

Contact the Degree Evaluation staff in the Registrar’s Office for more information at or (360) 650-3985.

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 confirm that already completed coursework satisfies the requirement(s) on your worksheet, uncheck the “In-Progress” and “Preregistered” courses and Process New Audit to see requirements with just the graded courses.

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.

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. Contact your advisor to ensure you have completed all requirements.

Using What If

All majors and minors available in Western’s catalog are available in What If. 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 What If 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. Refer to the What If instructions in the step-by-step guide for more information.

Speak to an academic advisor for more information about combined majors and minors or running a What If analysis.

Using Plans

At this time, templates are only available for graduate programs. For further information on degree planning, speak with your advisor (find your Primary Advisor on Web4U) or schedule an appointment with the Academic Advising & Student Achievement Center.

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.