How to Apply


The Cultural Studies program admits students only for Autumn Quarter of each year. Applicants are encouraged to begin the application process at any time, but their applications will only be reviewed once they are complete and after the deadline.

Application Process

The Admissions Committee considers several criteria when evaluating prospective students, including professional goals, writing ability, previous academic experience and performance, work history, the applicant’s academic strengths and weaknesses, and the overall likelihood to succeed in the program.

The application to the MA in Cultural Studies is submitted electronically. The first step is to open an application account on the Graduate School website. Then you can upload application materials, designate recommenders, track the receipt of paper and electronic documents, pay the application fee, and submit all materials for review. Your application is not reviewed until all items have been received and you have completed the application electronically. The application can be saved multiple times while in progress.

The complete set of materials that you will be required to submit are as follows:

  • An application to the Graduate School and $85 application fee
  • A statement of intent, describing your relevant background and articulating your goals in seeking a MA in Cultural Studies degree. If you are submitting supplemental materials (optional), explain how they relate to your goals and experience. This statement should be 2-3 pages.
  • A current resume or curriculum vitae
  • Two letters of recommendation, at least one from faculty who can discuss your academic ability. You are welcome to submit additional recommendations, though it is not necessary.
  • A writing sample demonstrating your research skills, critical and creative thinking abilities, and writing capacities. The writing sample should be 10-20, double-spaced, pages and can be a paper from an undergraduate course or part of a senior project/thesis. If you are submitting part of a longer paper, please include a cover page describing the submission. It is ideal if the topic is relevant to your areas of interest in cultural studies and ties somewhat to your letter of application, though that is not required.
  • All unofficial transcripts from prior academic work, including college, university, and technical school. If admitted, you will be asked to submit an official transcript from the institution at which you completed your last degree.
  • [Optional] 1 - 2 items representative of your best work. Items may include your media or creative work, products of your research activities, documentation of community-based or activist projects in which you have played a central role, or any other materials that you consider relevant to your application.

Relevant Information

Applicant Profile

Once you create a new applicant profile and a new application, choose Cultural Studies - (MACS) - Bothell Campus and the quarter for which you are applying.

Undergraduate Degrees

There is not a specific undergraduate degree necessary to be considered for the Cultural Studies program, and students who hold a bachelor's degree in any undergraduate discipline are encouraged to apply.

Your GPA

Enter your GPA based on your last two years of undergraduate or graduate coursework. Our office will make our own calculation once we receive your transcripts. The minimum GPA required for admission is 3.0.


If you do not have a professor to use as a reference (due to being out of school for a long time, graduating in another country, etc.), professional references may be substituted for academic ones. You should mention that you are making this substitution in a separate statement to the Admissions Committee.


The GRE is not required for admission to the Cultural Studies program.


Report all post-secondary schools you have attended, even if you did not earn a degree. At the time of application, U.S. citizens, Permanent Residents, and Immigrants only need to upload unofficial transcripts to the application site. If these applicants are offered admission, the UW Graduate School will verify the authenticity of the degree(s) earned. International applicants and applicants who have earned degrees outside the US should be prepared to submit official transcripts to the Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences Graduate Office.

Optional Submissions

If you have photographs, creative writing, film, or other creative works that you would like to submit as an optional part of your application packet, these items can be uploaded as part of your online application, or otherwise delivered to our office, depending on their format. For more information, please contact the IAS Graduate Office.

International Students & English Proficiency Requirement

There are special application requirements for International Students. Find more information on the Graduate School web site. Proficiency in English is required for graduate study at the University of Washington. Therefore, every applicant or enrolled student whose native language is not English must demonstrate English language proficiency. To learn about English Language Proficiency requirements, please refer to Memo 8 from the Graduate School.

If you have questions at any point in the application process, please contact the IAS Graduate Office at 425-352-3406 or

Transfer Credits

If you have graduate credits from another program and are admitted, up to 6 graduate credits may transfer from a non-UW accredited degree program. The IAS Graduate Office and the Admissions Committee will make the determination about how many credits, if any, can be applied to the degree.

Students interested in taking Cultural Studies or Policy Studies electives in Graduate Non-Matriculated status before their program begins should contact the IAS Graduate Office.

Enrollment Requirements

There are no Cultural Studies program required classes during the summer, but students have the option of taking electives or conducting directed research with faculty supervision.

At this time all classes are classroom-based and there are not currently online classes offered. There is not currently a part-time option in place for the Cultural Studies program. Students are expected to take 10 credits per quarter.

For More Information

If you would like more information about the Cultural Studies or Policy Studies program, you should read all the information on the web site, contact our office, and attend an information session. If you can't come to an information session, we are available to meet with you by appointment in the IAS Graduate Office or over the phone. Please contact us at 425.352.3406.


The priority deadline for Autumn 2020 admissions is February 3, 2020.

Contact an admissions advisor, ph: 425-352-3406.


Apply now!


Choose "Cultural Studies - (MACS) - Bothell Campus " after completing an applicant profile.

Want to learn more?

Attend an Information Session.

Contact the IAS Graduate Office to make an advising appointment. Call 425-352-3406 or email

Contact a Student Ambassador

Connect with current Cultural Studies students, ask questions, arrange a campus tour, and learn about the student experience from our Student Ambassadors.