UW Graduate School

Admissions FAQs

Introduction of Application Information

I’m interested in the UW for graduate school, but am unsure what program is the best fit for me. Can I schedule an appointment with an advisor?

Graduate admission at the University of Washington is a decentralized process. Admission decisions are made by each individual department. Therefore, specific questions regarding your application/admission are directed to your department of interest. The Graduate School can answer general questions, but does not provide academic advising. For academic advising, contact the graduate program (s) you are interested in for graduate studies.

The Graduate School hosts the application and will work with you to meet enrollment requirements once a program has admitted you.

Am I eligible to apply to more than one graduate program at the same time?

Yes, there is no limit on the number of graduate programs you can apply to, but you are required to submit an application fee for each application you submit.

When applying, how do I know what my department requires?

  1. Log into your application.
  2. Under “Action” click “edit.”
  3. On the left hand side of the page select “Review Requirements and Deadlines.”
  4. The programs contact information will appear here.
  5. It is usually best to e-mail the department. Please allow 2 business days for a response.

How do I contact my department/program after I have submitted my application?

  1. Log into your application.
  2. Under “Action,” click “status.”
  3. The programs email address is listed here under “Materials Required To Be Sent To Graduate Program.”

The deadline for my application is December 1st. Should the application be completed before 11:59 p.m. on November 30 or 11:59 p.m. on December 1?

If a department has a hard deadline, the application closes at 11:59 p.m. on the day of the deadline, in this example: you have until 11:59 p.m. on Dec. 1 to submit your application.

How may I obtain a receipt of my graduate application?

When you submit your application, please print the confirmation page as this will serve as a receipt. Otherwise, you may send a request via email and include your application ID number. Send your request to GEMS at uwgrad@uw.edu requesting a receipt for your application fee.

I forgot to add a prior school on my application and I have already submitted it. Now I can’t go back in and add the school. What do I do?

  1. Log in to your online application.
  2. Select “Create a new application”
  3. Enter the Program Information again
    1. After entering this information, you will be prompted to “Review Requirements and Deadlines” before seeing all of the steps along the left-side of the screen
  4. Open and complete the step: Report Prior Schools
  5. Open and complete the step: Submit Unofficial Transcripts
  6. STOP – Do not continue filling out the application and definitely do not pay the application fee again.
  7. Confirm you see the school with the unofficial transcript
  8. Delete the newly created application from the Home page in the online application

What if I submitted an incorrect Statement of Purpose, or I would like to update my Statement of Purpose file?

Contact the graduate program you are applying for further assistance.

After submitting my application, I realized a different program would be a better fit for me. Can I change the program I applied to?

Unfortunately, the only option at this point is to create a new application. You will see this option in your profile underneath your current application. Some of your profile items will automatically transfer from your current application, while some items will need to be re-entered. After you start your new application, please withdraw your incorrect one in order to avoid any confusion.

I’m applying as a Graduate Non-Matriculated (GNM) Student. Can I change or defer the date of intended enrollment for my application?

No. Your GNM application is only valid for the quarter and year that you intend to enroll.

Accreditation

How do I know if my school is accredited?

U.S. Schools

If you have been awarded a degree from a college or university, your school must be academically accredited for your degree to be recognized as sufficient for graduate admission.

U.S. regional academic accrediting authorities are the following: Middles States Association of Colleges and Schools; Northwest Association of Colleges and Universities; North Central Association of Colleges and Schools; New England Association Schools and Colleges; Southern Association of Colleges and Schools; Western Association of Schools and Colleges.

If you are not sure of your school’s academic accreditation, refer to AACRAO for further information.

Schools Outside of the U.S.

Completion and award of an international degree that is equivalent to a U.S. bachelor’s degree from a college or university of recognized academic standing.

International schools must hold academic accreditation through the appropriate educational authority in the country, such as, the Ministries of Education, University Grants Commission (UGC), International Association of Universities (IAU), Association of Indian Universities (AIU), and other educational government authorities.

After You Have Submitted Your Application

How do I check the status of my application?

Once you have submitted your application, you can check the status of your application by logging in to your application.

What should I do if I need to defer my application for one year?

If you are offered admission, you may be eligible to request that your application be deferred once. If your graduate program approves your request, they will submit a petition on your behalf to the Graduate School. If the Graduate School approves the petition, your application will be moved to the appropriate year and quarter. You will receive a new offer of admission from your graduate program.

Can my GNM application be deferred to another quarter and year?

Graduate Non-Matriculated (GNM) applications are not eligible to be moved to a different quarter.

How long will the Graduate Enrollment Management Services (GEMS) keep my application file?

If you are accepted but do not enroll or you are denied admission, your application will be kept for one year.

If you are accepted and enroll as a student, your application will be kept for six years after your last quarter of enrollment. In accordance with UW Records Management Policy, as per Washington state and federal laws.

As an enrolled student, how can I request my public record?

Email, write or fax asking for the records you would like to receive. All requests must be in writing.

Application Fee Waiver

How do I know if I’m eligible for an application fee waiver?

Fee waivers are available to applicants who qualify for financial need. Need is determined for applicants who meet Washington Student Achievement Council eligibility requirements for the Washington State Need Grant Program in the most recent tax year preceding the application. The Graduate School currently bases waivers on the 70% Median Family Income (MFI) level. Current McNair Scholars and PPIA Fellows who have sent documentation to the Graduate School at uwgrad@uw.edu are also eligible.

Additionally, fee waiver requests must be submitted in the online admission application after all steps of the application have been completed and at least 7 calendar days prior to the program’s posted application deadline.

Please Note: International applicants expecting a J1 or F1 visa are not eligible for application fee waivers.

How do I request an application fee waiver?

On the last step of the on-line application for fee payment, you can submit your request for an application fee waiver.

How will I know if I am approved for an application fee waiver?

You will be notified via email if your request is approved.

Is there a deadline for requesting a fee waiver?

The deadline for requesting a fee waiver is at least 7 calendar days prior to the program’s posted (hard) application deadline to ensure that your application will be reviewed by the admission committee.

I am an international applicant. Can I apply for an application fee waiver?

International applicants expecting a J1 or F1 visa are not eligible for application fee waivers.

Application process – Troubleshooting

I am unable to upload a file into my application, what can I do?

Here are some suggestions:

  1. If the file is smaller than 1mb, try using a different browser. (This often resolves the issue)
  2. Try setting the scanner to scan as a document and not an image.
  3. Try scanning in black and white.
  4. Try having the scanner save the file as a PDF.
  5. Scan each transcript as a separate file.

If these do not work, please contact your department to determine how to send the files separately, if necessary.

Contact information for the department/program can be found by:

  1. Logging into your application.
  2. Under “Action,” click “status.”
  3. The programs email address is listed here under “Materials Required To Be Sent To Graduate Program.”

I have already submitted my graduate application, but would like to provide an updated resume & statement of purpose: how can I edit the files I previously submitted?

If your application has been submitted, any files that are not part of your Applicant Profile cannot be updated (resume, statement of purpose, supplemental documents). If you have revised versions of these, we recommend contacting the program directly to see if they can be replaced.

GPA Calculating Assistance

How do I calculate my GPA?

We ask that you report the GPA for your last 2 years (aka 60 semester or 90 quarter credits). It is best that you convert your scores to the US GPA system, the help files in the application will link you to some tools to do this. In the individual school section students report using their schools scoring system or the US GPA system, you may choose.

To calculate the Grade Point Average (GPA) for the last 90 quarter or 60 semester graded credits:

  1. Working from the most recent quarter/semester add the graded course credits (excluding thesis or dissertation courses) until you reach 90 quarter or 60 semester credits. Use these 90 quarter or 60 semester credits to calculate your GPA.
  2. To calculate your GPA, multiply each course grade by the credits to achieve grade points. Add all grade points and divide by the total number of credits.
  3. How do I convert between quarter and semester systems on a 0.0-4.0 scale?

Colleges and universities that operate on a semester system award semester credit. The UW awards quarter credit.  If the last 90 quarter or 60 semester credits span two or more institutions on different academic calendars use the following formulas to convert grades to a single system. Multiply by 1.5 when converting from semesters to quarters and divide by 1.5 when doing the reverse. For example a 4-credit class under a semester system is equivalent to a 6-credit class under a quarter system (4 x 1.5 = 6) and vice versa (6 ÷ 1.5 = 4). A student who earns 30 credits in an institution on a semester calendar would have earned 45 quarter credits at the UW.

How do I convert an International Grading system?

You can convert your grading scale by looking up the country and the grading scale used.

The GPA Calculator may also be used.

Additional information on additional grade conversion scales.

Letters of Recommendation

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Check your program’s recommendation requirements before applying. Go to our graduate program locator and select your program to view the requirements.

While you complete your online UW Graduate School Application, you will be able to designate who your recommenders will be.

Do not designate a recommendation until you are ready to have the recommender contacted. You can designate recommendations before and after you have submitted your online application up until the program deadline.

Your recommenders will receive an email stating that they have agreed to provide a reference for you. When you designate a recommendation, the person you have designated is immediately sent an email to submit a recommendation on your behalf.

If, after designating a recommendation, you learn that the recommender will not submit a recommendation, you may withdraw the recommendation. (You cannot withdraw a recommendation once the recommender has submitted it.)

How do I know my recommenders have submitted their letters of recommendation?

Once you have submitted your application, you can check the status of your recommendation letters by logging in to your application status page.

Tests

Is the GRE (Graduate Record Exam) required?

The Graduate School does not require the Graduate Record Exam (GRE). Graduate programs determine whether or not to require the GRE for the admissions review process. Contact the graduate program to learn if GRE scores are required. Our institution code is: 4854. Department code: 5199 (any department).

Do I have to submit an official English proficiency test?

Proficiency in English is required for graduate study at the University of Washington. Therefore, every applicant whose native language is not English, must demonstrate English proficiency. No waivers of this requirement may be given. See Graduate School Memo #8 and English proficiency tests comparison tables.

Will you accept my TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) test?

Yes, we accept the official TOEFL test. Contact the Educational Testing Service (ETS) to order your official TOEFL score report. TOEFL scores are valid for two years from the test date. Our institution code is: 4854. Department code: 99 (any department).

Students must be proficient in English: Applicants whose native language is not English must demonstrate English language proficiency. The ways in which proficiency can be demonstrated are outlined in Memo 8: Graduate School English Language Proficiency Requirements.

Will you accept my IELTS (International English Language Testing System) test?

The Graduate School no longer accepts IELTS scores, unless the test was taken before June 1, 2017. If you took an IELTS test before June 1, 2017, then please check the websites of individual graduate programs to confirm if they will accept your IELTS score (many UW graduate programs do not accept IELTS scores).

The University of Washington only accepts scores submitted electronically by the IELTS testing center. No paper Test Report Forms will be accepted. All IELTS test centers can report scores electronically. You must request from the center where you took the test that your scores be sent electronically using the IELTS system (E-TRF) to the following address: University of Washington All Campuses, Organisation ID 365, Undergrad & Graduate Admis, Box 355850, Seattle, WA, 98105, United States of America. If you have already taken the IELTS, you can go to the IELTS test center location for the email address of the IELTS Administrator to make your request. Allow a minimum of 13 working days for reporting test results to our school. IELTS scores are valid for two years from the test date.

I am planning to apply for a teaching assistantship. Is there a test required for speaking ability?

Applicants who intend to apply for a teaching assistantship or an appointment that does not specify whether duties are for teaching or research are required to meet conditions of the TA appointment and who are not native speakers of English:

My official GRE/TOEFL/IELTS scores aren’t showing on my application and I already had them sent. Why?

Please allow 14 business days from the date you requested Educational Testing Service (ETS) to send your official test scores to the University of Washington (Institution Code: 4854).

From the time you submit your online application, it takes 1-2 business days for your official scores to match your online application. If these times have elapsed, confirm with ETS that your official scores were sent to the University of Washington. If yes, scan and email your score report to uwgrad@uw.edu so we may determine why the scores have not matched to your application.

Note: The Graduate School no longer accepts IELTS scores, unless the test was taken before June 1, 2017. If you took an IELTS test before June 1, 2017, then please check the websites of individual graduate programs to confirm if they will accept your IELTS score (many UW graduate programs do not accept IELTS scores). Contact uwgrad@uw.edu if your IELTS test results are not showing in your application.

How can I confirm receipt of my official GRE/TOEFL/IELTS scores?

You can confirm transmission of electronic test scores by logging into your application, and checking your Application Status Page > Tests section (successfully sent scores will show a date under “Date Received” column). 

What if my name is different from the name I’m using on my application, will my official scored be matched to my application?

If your name is misspelled or listed differently on your application and score report, they will not match up in the system. Please notify us if that is the case as we will need to manually search for your scores.

I applied for admission last year and was denied. Do I need to send my GRE/TOEFL/IELTS scores again or are they still on file?

If you previously sent your test scores to the University of Washington, you will not need to re-send them. These scores are retained on file and can be used for a future application, assuming they are still valid.

If I am applying to two graduate programs, do I also need to send my GRE/TOEFL scores twice? What if I already sent them once, but specified the Biology department code, when I am also applying to the Chemistry department?

If you are applying to multiple graduate programs, you only need to request your official test scores once. As long as you have correctly indicated the University of Washington, institution Code 4854, they will match up with any graduate applications you submit, regardless of the department code.

I submitted my GRE/TOEFL scores to the University of Washington- 4854, however, I’m not sure I selected the correct department code. Should I resubmit the scores?

No, as long as you indicated the Univ of Washington- 4854- as the institution code, your scores will match to any applications on file regardless of the department code you specified. This is not a field we use with our student database.

I will receive a degree from the US, can I be waived from the TOEFL requirement?

This school does not grant waivers of the English proficiency requirement. However, this requirement can be met in a number of ways, as specified in Graduate School Memo #8. If your U.S. degree will be conferred by the start of the program you are applying to, the conferral of your U.S. degree will complete the Graduate School’s English proficiency requirement. If admitted, the Graduate School will ask for an official transcript with degree posted before your first quarter of enrollment, to complete the English proficiency requirement.

The on-line application is asking for me to provide an English proficiency test. I will be receiving as U.S. degree. How do I complete the test section of the application?

You may leave this section blank on your application, as you will be receiving a U.S. degree. You will be able to submit your application and pay the fee.

Transcripts

Do you require official transcripts?

The Graduate School does not require you to send official transcripts during the application process.

Review the application materials required of the graduate program you are applying to, to confirm if you need to send an official transcript directly to the graduate department.

When do I send my U.S. degree transcript to the Graduate School?

If you are offered admission and confirm your intention to enroll, you will be prompted within the application section of your status page, specifying the degree transcripts needed for degree verification upon enrollment. Contact the registrar to mail your official transcript with degree posted, directly to the Graduate School. Your status page will provide the mailing address of the Graduate School.

What is required when sending my international transcripts?

If you are offered admission and confirm your intention to enroll, you will be prompted within the application section of your status page, specifying the degree transcripts needed for degree verification upon enrollment.

Send official transcripts with degree statement, which includes date of award and title of academic degree awarded. Your status page will provide the mailing address of the Graduate School.

Transcript records include coursework with grades issued for each year of study. Your university credentials are official if they have been certified or attested and submitted in the original language accompanied by an official English translation.

Translations must be literal, complete versions of original records, and translated fully and accurately by a university, government official, or an official translation service authorized to translate academic documents. You cannot do your own translation. In addition, the Graduate School does not accept credential evaluation reports from U.S. credential agencies or services.

Are there other options to complete the degree verification of my international degree for my enrollment into the Graduate School?

The Graduate School accepts the following:

  • Original academic credentials issued by the registrar of the institution attended, bearing the original raised or colored seal of the institution and the signature of your institution’s registrar or academic official.
  • Photocopies of academic credentials that have been attested or verified as true copies of the originals by an educational representative of the country’s government or embassy. Academic credentials must bear the verifying official’s signature and stamp.

Will you accept photo, electronic or digital copies provided by a U.S. Notary?

Photo, electronic, or digital copies provided by a U.S. notary public are not official nor acceptable.

Visa Information and International Student Financial Requirements

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.

Am I an international applicant?

You are an international applicant if you are NOT a U.S. citizen, immigrant or green card holder. International students must have a U.S. visa status that allows academic study at the University of Washington. International applicants include students who hold U.S. visas, such as F-1, J-1 Exchange Visitors, H-1, dependent visas or any other non-immigrant classifications.

Where can I get information about tuition and living costs for attending the UW?

I am an international applicant to the UW. Do I need to submit financial documents before I receive an offer of admission?

We do not require financial documentation until after you have been offered admission and you accept the offer. The Graduate School does maintain information on estimated costs and acceptable documentation here:

May I study at the UW on my F-2 dependent visa?

Before you submit an application, please confirm that the graduate program you are interested in, allows part-time study.

Regarding US government regulations (issued June 2015), this new 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 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.

How do I request an I-20 (for an F-1 visa)? Why have I not received anything yet?

After you have been given an offer of admissions, and you confirm your offer of admission: Log back into your application, and go to your Next Steps Page > Request Visa Documents section for further instruction.