Life as a Graduate Student

Get involved

As a graduate student at the UW Bothell campus, you have access to all the resources that the University of Washington has to offer. The UW Bothell Office of Student Life plans and coordinates many events to help build the community on campus. From fitness classes, intramural sports, and social events to participation in student clubs, government, and other leadership opportunities, there is something for everyone on campus.

To learn more or get involved, visit Student Engagement & Activities.

Not only do you have access to the opportunities on the UW Bothell campus, but you are also encouraged to take advantage of your affiliation with the entire University of Washington system to access the extensive library system, theater productions, sporting events, colloquiums, conferences, career services (including job fairs), and much more.

Health insurance

UW Bothell offers information about affordable health insurance options for students. International students are still required to buy UW insurance. The UW International Student Health Insurance Plan (ISHIP) is tailored to international student needs.

Moving to Washington state

Information about becoming a resident of Washington is available through the UW Office of the University Registrar.


By law, you are required to obtain a Washington State ID card once you establish residency locally. New residents have 30 days to fulfill this legal obligation. For more detailed information, please visit the Department of Licensing.

Voter registration

When transitioning to Washington State residency, you also have the option of becoming a voter. Voter registration can be completed online, or paper materials can be requested.


Establishing a local bank can be a painless step. Consider a local not-for-profit credit union, such as the Boeing Employee Credit Union (BECU) that is open to all Washington State residents. You can even get a Mastercard debit card with the University of Washington ‘W’ logo on it.

Tips for success

  • Graduate school is a big undertaking, and while it is exciting, it can, at times, be stressful. It is important to incorporate stress relieving activities into your routines to have balance in your new schedule. The UWB does offer a variety of student support services including career services, veterans support, disability resources, and counseling should you wish to take advantage.
  • Be proactive about making contact with the UW Bothell faculty, staff, and current students; the more you reach out to others, the more you’ll find they serve as valuable resources.
  • Take advantage of the variety of study spaces available to students, including reservable study rooms. You can check out the open study areas in the library map, as well as reserve study rooms here.
  • Explore the website and look through the abundance of information that is out there. Talk with other students, especially second-year students or those from the area, to learn more about the university, the city of Bothell, and the broader Pacific Northwest region.
  • The connections you will make with your fellow students are a valuable part of your experience at UW Bothell. You will be working and learning together throughout your studies here and will have many opportunities to form meaningful relationships that go beyond the classroom.
  • Use your status as a graduate student to your advantage: internships, informational interviews, and other opportunities are within closer reach when people hear or read the words “graduate student.” Part of graduate school involves professional development, and it’s never too early to start (or continue) building your professional network.
  • Make the most of your graduate school experience; you will get out what you put into your time here. This is not only a great opportunity to focus your academic interests and pursue your professional goals, but it is also a chance to take on an internship, explore elective courses, get involved in the local community, and build your personal and professional networks. Take advantage of all the campus and community have to offer.

Be sure to contact the STEM Office of Graduate Studies, or 425-352-5490 with any questions, concerns, or ideas to help make your transition into life as a graduate student go smoothly.