Degree Works Guide for Students

What is Degree Works?

Degree Works is an academic planning and degree progress tool that reflects your academic progress towards the completion of your program of study at Western. Degree Works is designed to help you track degree progress and know which courses to take to plan your path to graduation.

Degree Works is designed to aid and facilitate academic advising, but is not intended to replace face-to-face advising sessions.

Accessing Degree Works

To access Degree Works in Web4U, navigate to your Students Tab, select Student Records, and then select Degree Works. 

Web4U -> Students Tab -> Student Records -> Degree Works

In the Degree Works header, you will see your basic information including student ID (Western W number), name, and classification. If you are pursuing multiple degree types — such as a BA and a BS, or a Bachelor’s and a certificate — you must select the degree type from the dropdown list for the worksheet you would like to view. If you are seeking a double major for the same degree type, you will see both majors listed on the same worksheet for the degree type.

example of the degree dropdown menu in Degree Works, screenshot

At the top of your Degree Works worksheet in the Student View section, you will see a review of your current information including your Western ID number, major, college, etc. Additional important information is available in this Student View such as your academic standing and if any holds are present on your account.

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Blocks

Your Degree Works worksheet is divided into groups of information called “blocks”. The blocks which appear on the worksheet vary from student to student, depending on the program of study — degree, major(s), minor(s), or certificates — the student has declared. The blocks described in this step-by-step guide are the blocks common to most students at Western.

Example of a Block: 

List of block requirements both completed and still outstanding

list of block requirements in Degree Works, screenshot
  1. Block title. The block pictured above is the “Major in Biology, BA” block.
  2. Block information including Catalog Year, Credits Required and Applied, and GPA for the classes completing the block requirements.

Note: Degree Works is available for students with a catalog year of 2016-17 or later. You will see your catalog year listed in the top right corner of the block. For example, in the block pictured above, the Catalog Year is 2017-2018. This means that the requirements that appear in the block were present in the 2017-2018 WWU Catalog. If you see a catalog year of 2015-2016 or prior, speak with your academic advisor to determine if Degree Works is the right degree audit tool for you.

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Legend

In order to interpret the information and requirements within the blocks, a legend is provided at the bottom of the worksheet. The legend is a reference guide to identify the completion status of each requirement on the worksheet.

legend of icons in Degree Works, screenshot

 Complete - A checkmark will appear beside requirements within the worksheet that have been completed. The course(s) or credit(s) fulfilling the requirement will appear in the row accompanied by the grade and term the course(s) and credit(s) were completed.

 Not Complete – Outstanding requirements still needing completion. Degree Works will provide advice on what course(s) can be used to fulfill the requirement.

 Complete except for classes In-progress – This icon will appear when a course the student is currently registered for will complete the outstanding requirement as long as the student achieves a satisfactory grade in the course(s). The course(s) satisfying the requirement will appear in the row accompanied by the term and an ‘IP’ in the grade field, indicating the course is In-Progress.

 Nearly complete – see advisor – Appears when a student is near completion for a requirement, however, there may be an unmet component to the requirement.

@ and @@ Any course number and Any subject or course number – Known as a “wildcard” in Degree Works, the @ symbol stands in place of other characters. For example, if the student needs to complete 12 upper division credits in ACCT for their major, you would see “12 Credits in ACCT 3@ or 4@”. The double @ symbol appears when both the subject and course number is part of a range. For example, you would see “90 Credits in @ 1@ or 2@ or 3@ or 4@” if the student could take any 100, 200, 300, or 400 level course from any subject to satisfy this elective requirement.

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Requirements

IMPORTANT NOTE

Certain requirements which require approval from an advisor may show as unmet even after the student has completed the requirement. 

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.

Degree and Certificate Block

The block found at the top of every student’s worksheet is the Degree block or the Certificate block. These blocks list the requirements for your degree or certificate at Western. Please note that if you have not yet declared a major, the Degree block will show as Undeclared.

Example Undergraduate Degree Block:

example degree block in Degree Works, screenshot

Example Graduate Degree Block:

degree block in Degree Works, screenshot

Example Certificate Block:

certificate block in Degree Works, screenshot

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Announcements Block

Important information and announcements are displayed directly on your worksheet in the Announcements block. Content posted in the Announcements block is updated regularly to ensure all students have access to relevant academic and Degree Works news and information.

example of the announcements block in Degree Works, screenshot

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Common Blocks (Major, Minor, GUR, and Upper-Division)

As the worksheet is particular to each individual student, the blocks that appear on your worksheet depend on your declared program of study at Western. Degree Works will display block(s) for your declared major(s), minor(s), and/or certificate(s).

Example GUR blocks:

COM, QSR and SCI GURs shown in Degree Works, screenshot

HUM, SSC and CGM GURs shown in Degree Works, screenshot

Example Major block:

example major block in Degree Works, screenshot

Example Minor block:

example minor block in Degree Works, screenshot

Example Upper-Division block:

example of the upper division block in Degree Works, screenshot

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Other Blocks

Classes that count towards the total credits required for your degree but do not fulfill any specific program requirements are listed under the Electives Block.

sample electives block in Degree Works, screenshot

Courses appearing in the Insufficient Block are not used towards fulfilling degree requirements. Courses in which you have withdrawn or received an unsatisfactory grade will be present in the Insufficient Block. Courses with sufficient grades that are in the Insufficient Block are courses that have been repeated.

example of the insufficient block in Degree Works, screenshot

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Writing Proficiency

IMPORTANT NOTE

Courses with Writing Proficiency (WP) points added with Look Ahead or What If Choose Your Future Classes features will not apply to the Writing Proficiency block.

At Western, Writing Proficiency points (WP1, WP2, WP3) are attributes that are attached to specific section CRNs (e.g. 10572 for MIS 495 offered winter 2019) and not generalized courses (e.g. MIS 495 generally). This is because one instructor may offer a version on MIS 495 with a WP3 and another could offer the course with a WP2 if it’s less writing intensive.

Because there is variability for WP points, Degree Works does not show the Writing Proficiency requirement as ‘Complete’ or ‘Complete except for classes in-progresses’ until students register for the specific CRN of the course with the specific WP points attached.

As soon as you are registered in a course with WP points, the course will apply to the Writing Proficiency block.

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Look Ahead

CAUTION

Look Ahead & Choose Your Future Classes Tools Have Limitations. They DO NOT:

  • Perform checks for non-repeatable courses.
  • Perform checks for prerequisite completion.
  • Apply temporary courses (SUBJ 397x), as they are not in the approved catalog.
  • Apply WP courses to the Writing Proficiency Block. See the Writing Proficiency section for more information.
  • Allow selection of credits for variable credit courses, instead defaults to highest credits (e.g. 5 credits, even if student only intends to take 1 credit).

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.

example of the look ahead tool in Degree Works, screenshotsecond example of the look ahead tool in Degree Works, screenshot

  1. Select Look Ahead from under the Worksheets tab.
  2. Enter the course subject and course number and click Add Course.
  3. You can view how multiple courses would complete requirements on your worksheet. Added courses will appear in the “Courses you are considering” area.
  4. If you wish to remove a course you are considering, select the course and click Remove Course.
  5. By default, Degree Works will include in-progress and preregistered courses on the student’s worksheet.
  6. Click Process New to view the entered courses on the student’s worksheet.
  7. Courses added in Look Ahead will appear highlighted in blue on the student’s worksheet under a future “Planned Term”.

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What If

The What If feature enables students to see how completed and in-progress coursework would reflect in the requirements for a change in program of study including degree, major, minor, or certificate.

CAUTION

Look Ahead & Choose Your Future Classes Tools Have Limitations. They DO NOT:

  • Perform checks for non-repeatable courses.
  • Perform checks for prerequisite completion.
  • Apply temporary courses (SUBJ 397x), as they are not in the approved catalog.
  • Apply WP courses to the Writing Proficiency Block. See the Writing Proficiency section for more information.
  • Allow selection of credits for variable credit courses, instead defaults to highest credits (e.g. 5 credits, even if student only intends to take 1 credit).

Additionally, students can use the “Choose Your Future Classes” feature to see how classes they are considering taking in future terms would apply to this new hypothetical program of study. The “Choose Your Future Classes” feature functions identically as Look Ahead but applies these future classes to the What If analysis.

  1. Select What If from under the Worksheets tab.
  2. Select the new degree, major, minor, or certificate the student is considering, including the Catalog Year, the Program, and Major and/or Minor.
  3. If the student is interested in a second Major and/or Minor, this must been added in the “additional areas of study” section. You must click Add to have the additional area of study selection reflected on the What If worksheet.
  4. If the student is planning to register for courses and would like to see how these courses would be used to fulfill requirements for their new degree, major, minor or certificate, you may include these courses here.
  5. If you wish to save a PDF copy of the student’s What If analysis, or if you wish to print the student’s What If analysis, you must select Save as PDF, before you click Process What-If.
  6. Click Process What-If to see how completed and currently registered classes will reflect on the student’s new hypothetical program(s) of study. 

example of the What If tool in Degree Works, screenshot

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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.

Graduation GPA 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 RemainingCredits Required, and Desired GPA.

graduation GPA calculator in Degree Works, screenshot

Enter the 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.

example of the graduation GPA calculator in Degree Works, screenshot

  1. The student enters their Credits RemainingCredits Required, and Desired GPA.
  2. Click Calculate.
  3. 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.

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Term GPA 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.

example of the term GPA calculator in Degree Works, screenshot

  1. Students select the grade they believe they will receive in the course.
  2. 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.

removing a class from the term GPA calculator in Degree Works, screenshot

  1. Highlight the course(s) graded Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory or Pass/No Pass. Use the Delete or Backspace key on your keyboard to remove the course.
  2. Click Calculate.
  3. Degree Works will provide an end-of-term GPA estimation excluding the removed classes.

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Advice GPA 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.

example of the advice GPA calculator in Degree Works, screenshot

  1. The student will enter their desired cumulative GPA.
  2. Click Calculate.
  3. Degree Works will provide paths for the student to achieve their desired GPA.

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Degree Works FAQs