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All UW Professional & Continuing Education students, including fully online students, must provide proof of vaccination against COVID-19 or submit a request for medical or religious exemption. 

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Deferral Policy

A deferral is when a student postpones starting or continuing a certificate program until a later date. Deferral policies vary depending on how frequently a program is offered.

Policy for Certificate Programs Offered More Than Once a Year

Accepted students — students who have been accepted into a program but have not yet begun — may defer their start one time. They must start the program within the following three quarters to keep their seat.

Continuing students may take a break between courses. They can defer only once, and they must resume the program within the following three quarters to keep their seat.  

Policy for Certificate Programs Offered Once a Year

Accepted students may not defer but they may reapply to a future offering.

Continuing students who want to take a break between courses may not defer but they can withdraw and reapply to the certificate program when they'd like to continue.

If you withdraw from a program and return to it later, you don't need to repeat courses you've successfully completed, provided you return within two years of your initial certificate start date, and the curriculum of the program hasn't been substantially revised.

Self-paced programs

Because you can apply and start a self-paced program at any time, deferrals are not available. You have six weeks to register for your first course after being accepted, and four months to finish each course.

Waitlists and Deferrals

When a student is waitlisted, they are offered a spot in the next instance of a program. Being waitlisted is not the same as a deferral, and it does not impact your ability to defer in the future.

Deferral Requests

If you have any questions about deferrals, or if you’d like to make a deferral request, contact Enrollment Services at

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