Graduate student admission
The University of Washington Graduate School is responsible for determining the requirements for admission to graduate study. Within the limit imposed on overall enrollment in the Bothell campus, admission to a specific graduate program is limited to the number of students for whom faculty, staff, and facilities can provide graduate instruction and research guidance of high quality. Each graduate student must be admitted into a specific graduate program. The Graduate School does not permit general graduate enrollment.
Graduate admission requirements?
Prospective graduate students must meet the following minimum requirements:
- Hold the minimum equivalent of a four-year baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited college or university in the U.S. or its equivalent from a foreign institution or a Bologna bachelor’s degree with a minimum of 180 European Credit Transfer System (ECTS) credits.
- Also acceptable: hold a Master’s degree, a doctoral degree (Ph.D., D.Phil.), or a professional degree (M.D., J.D., D.V.M., etc.) from a regionally accredited college or university in the U.S. or its equivalent from a foreign institution.
- All students confirming enrollment must provide a transcript and degree statement for verification.
- Have earned at least a 3.0 grade-point-average (on a 4 point scale) from a regionally accredited college or university in the U.S. or its equivalent from a foreign institution for the last 90 graded quarter credits or 60 graded semester credits.
- Graduate programs may consider an applicant with a GPA below a 3.0. Graduate programs must submit an admission petition to the Dean of the Graduate School before an offer is made.
- Some graduate programs will have additional admission requirements and may require a higher grade-point-average.
- Applicants whose native language is not English must demonstrate English language proficiency. The most competitive applicants will demonstrate a higher level of English proficiency and will have attained the recommended score to satisfy the Graduate School’s English Language Proficiency (ELP) requirement.
- An applicant who does not meet the minimum required score will not be considered admissible by the Graduate School. The Graduate School does not offer conditional admissions to students who have not yet met the minimum English Language Proficiency requirement.
- Please note: some graduate programs may require a higher score than the Graduate School’s minimum or recommended scores.
Only IELTS test dates prior to June 1, 2017, will be accepted
|Minimum Required Score|
|92 or higher||7.0 or higher||580 or higher|
- An applicant who does not meet the minimum required score will not be considered admissible by the Graduate School. The Graduate School does not offer conditional admissions to students who have not yet met the minimum English Language Proficiency (ELP) requirement.
- An applicant who has attained the recommended score has satisfied the Graduate School’s ELP requirement.
- An admitted applicant below the recommended score will be required to satisfactorily complete 1 to 3 UW Academic English Program (AEP) courses to fulfill the ELP requirement. Students enrolled in AEP courses will pay additional fees.
Additional proficiency requirements:
- Students are expected to register for any required AEP classes beginning their first quarter.
- Test scores are valid for two years and must be valid on the date the application is submitted.
- Graduate students whose native language is not English and who wish to be appointed as teaching assistants (TAs) must meet the conditions for appointment specified in Graduate School Memorandum 15: Conditions of appointment for TAs who are not native speakers of English.
- Questions should be directed to the Office of Graduate Enrollment Management Services.
- Additional information about English Proficiency tests
Citizenship & visa status
The Graduate School accepts applications from U.S. citizens, permanent residents (green card holders), immigrants and international applicants. Undocumented individuals are eligible for admission to any graduate program at the University of Washington. Graduate School admission requirements and application procedures are the same for all applicants regardless of citizenship and visa status.
Once an international student planning to study on an F-1 or J-1 student visa has been admitted and has accepted their offer, they must provide documentation to show proof of adequate financial support. International students must have a visa status that allows academic study at the UW. This status includes temporary U.S. visas such as F-1 student visas, J-1 exchange visitors, H-1 temporary worker, dependent visas or any other non-immigrant classifications. Students who will study on an F-1 or J-1 visa will be required to complete additional steps after confirming their intention to enroll before the Graduate School can process their visa paperwork.
F-2 dependent visa holders
Regarding F-2 dependent visa holders, a June 2015 US immigration rule permits dependents (F-2) of international students to engage in study at SEVP-certified schools in the U.S., as long as they are enrolled in part-time study. Although the F-2s can only study part-time, that part-time study can result in the attainment of a degree. However, the F-2 would not be eligible for any employment, including on-campus, CPT, or OPT. At the University of Washington Graduate School, if an F-2 wants to enroll in a full course of academic study (10 credit minimum), they must apply for and obtain approval to change their nonimmigrant classification to F-1 or J-1. For further information on this new rule, refer to the Department of Homeland Security website.
Graduate admission procedures vary by institution. At the UW, graduate admissions is decentralized. So although the Graduate School works closely with graduate programs on technical, administrative and policy issues, individual graduate programs have a great deal of autonomy.
The role of the Graduate School in graduate admissions:
- establish minimum admission requirements
- support the online application for graduate study at the UW
- process requests for I-20 and DS-2019 visa applications
- verify degrees of applicants who accept an offer of admission
- evaluate English proficiency requirement for non-native English speakers
The role of a graduate program in graduate admissions:
- establish admission requirements for a degree program
- set application deadlines
- decide what application materials are required
- review applications
- make admission decisions
- notify applicants of admission decisions
Special categories for graduate admission
Visiting graduate students
Visiting graduate student status allows students who are actively pursuing a graduate degree at another college or university to take graduate courses at the University of Washington and transfer a limited number of credits back to their home institution. (Acceptance as a visiting graduate student does not confer priority for later admission to a graduate program at the UW.) The length of enrollment is determined by the number of quarters approved by the home institution and the UW graduate program that admits the visiting graduate applicant. Students may hold visiting graduate status in only one graduate program at a time and may not hold any other student status while enrolled as a visiting graduate student.
International students who do not plan to enroll full-time at the University of Washington during their visit, but instead plan to “to participate in full-time supervised research and work-based learning experiences at the University of Washington,” must refer to the Visiting International Student Internship & Training (VISIT) program.
Citizenship & visa status for visiting graduates
U.S. citizens, permanent residents, immigrants, and international applicants are welcome to apply for visiting graduate status. (International applicants requesting an F-1 or J-1 visa must meet the UW’s financial ability requirement to show that they have adequate funding to cover living costs and tuition and campus fees.)
Information specific to J-1 visiting graduates
The majority of Visiting Graduates at the UW attend in the J-1 Visa Exchange Visitor Category because they are receiving over 50% of their funding from their home country government; home institution; US government organization; international organization; and/or a UW department. J-1 Application Requirements:
Submit a Visiting Graduate application (you must upload college or university transcripts into your application).
After you receive an offer from a UW department:
- Demonstrate sufficient funds for your entire intended period of study, with at least 51% coming from funds other than yourself or your family sponsor (example: funds from a home country government or international organization or UW department).
- Demonstrate English Proficiency as required by the U.S. Department of State. All J-1 exchange visitors — including Visiting Graduates — must demonstrate the sufficient proficiency in the English language, so they can successfully participate in their programs and to function on a day-to-day basis. This includes those who are native speakers of English.
- Complete the DS-2019 request form (for J visa application) and upload it into your application’s Pre-Registration page.
- Maintain appropriate insurance during your entire period of study; follow all instructions on the International Student Service’s webpage.
Admission requirements for visiting graduate students
Prospective visiting graduate students must meet the following minimum requirement:
- Be in good standing and actively pursuing a graduate degree at another regionally accredited college or university in the U.S. or its equivalent from a foreign institution (you must upload transcripts from a college or university into your UW application).
Graduate programs may have additional admission requirements.
Application deadlines & procedures
- Review graduate program admissions requirements & deadlines.
- Contact the graduate program with any specific questions.
- Submit a Graduate School Application online
- Visiting graduate students register for classes in MyUW.
- Visiting graduate students must maintain continuous enrollment if they have been admitted for multiple quarters of study or lose their visiting graduate student status.
- Visiting graduate students holding an F-1 or J-1 visa must register for a minimum of 10 credits each quarter of attendance.
- Visiting graduate students can establish a UW NetID and a UW email account.
- Visiting graduate students have access to the UW Libraries.
- Visiting F-1 & J-1 graduate students are required to maintain insurance and are eligible for International Student Health Insurance (iSHIP).
- Visiting U.S. citizens or permanent residents should refer to the Student Affordable Care Act.
Graduate non-matriculated (GNM) status allows post baccalaureate students who are not presently seeking a graduate degree at the University of Washington to take UW graduate courses and apply the credits toward degree requirements should they later be accepted into a graduate program at the UW. (Acceptance as a GNM student does not confer priority for later admission to a graduate program at the UW.) GNM students may take any number of credits, however a maximum of 12 graduate-level credits may be applied toward degree requirements. Students may hold GNM status in only one graduate program at a time and may not hold any other student status while enrolled as a GNM student.
Citizenship & visa status for GNM students
Students expecting to be issued F-1 student visa documents are not eligible for GNM status. Current holders of B-1 visitor visas are not eligible for GNM status.
Admission requirements for GNM students
Prospective GNM students must meet the following minimum requirements:
- Hold a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited college or university in the U.S. or its equivalent from a foreign institution.
- Have earned at least a 3.0 grade-point-average (on a 4 point scale) for the last 90 graded quarter credits or 60 graded semester credits.
Graduate programs may have additional admission requirements.
Deadlines are determined by the faculty of each graduate program. Applicants should contact the graduate program advisor (GPA).
GNM applicants follow the same application procedures as other applicants and apply online to the Graduate School. GNM students are not required to send official transcripts to the Graduate School. To find out if the graduate program requires official transcripts, GNM students should contact the graduate program advisor (GPA).
- GNM students on the Bothell and Tacoma campuses register for classes in MyUW and must maintain continuous registration (except summer quarter) or lose their GNM status.
- GNM students participating in the UW or state employee Tuition Exemption Program register for classes in MyUW and must maintain continuous registration (except summer quarter) or lose their GNM status
- GNM students can establish a UW NetID and a UW email account.
- GNM students have access to the UW Libraries.
- GNM students who wish to receive financial aid should contact the UW Office of Student Financial Aid (OSFA) to find out if they are eligible for financial aid.
- GNM students are not eligible for student health insurance because it is restricted to students enrolled in degree programs.