UW Graduate School

Graduate School Holistic Admissions Workshops and Resources

 Thank you to those who participated in the Holistic Admissions Workshop with Julie Posselt on Wednesday, April 4, 2018


Over 80 faculty and staff tasked with application review for their graduate programs spent an intensive Wednesday afternoon with Julie Posselt on April 4.  Many programs, STEM and Social Sciences, doctorate, master’s and combined were represented, including some that review over 1,000 applications annually. We at the Graduate School deeply appreciate the commitment of time and energy to the work of improving admissions and equity at UW.  The feedback forms show that many concrete and exciting ideas were generated and were taken back to home departments and programs.  The Graduate School plans to reconvene the group in the fall to compare notes on progress and further discuss challenges.

More photos from the workshop



What are participants taking back to their programs after the April 4, 2018 Holistic Admissions Workshop with Julie Posselt?

  • “(I am taking back) a clear picture of how to improve our rubric to focus on important non-cognitive abilities (vs. current rubric, which is focused on experiences) and ideas for improving our pre-admissions committee meeting.”
  • “(I plan to) develop a rubric- two tiered process and bring in community application reviewers for clinical potential and get faculty involved in admissions.”
  • “(I am taking back a plan to) break down the statement of purpose for direct questions that help identify non-cognitive qualities we are looking for and implement a peer-review first round to more faculty to improve review.”


We will continuously update these resources, so check this space often.  If you have resources to add, please send them to Gino Aisenberg, Graduate School associate dean.

National Reports and Initiatives

GRE Information

Selected Research

Additional Examples

Past Holistic Admissions Workshops

Tri-campus faculty and members of departmental admissions committees heard a brief panel discussion of a range of departmental experiences with holistic admissions. They worked in small groups to identify challenges and opportunities for revising approaches to graduate admissions. Challenges discussed included large numbers of applicants, limited review time, financial constraints, and identifying predictors of graduate student success. Each attendee gained concrete strategies for conducting reviews (even with large numbers of applicants) and improving questions on applications.

Reactions to the November 8, 2017 Holistic Admissions Workshop:

  • “I learned there are other departments doing/considering holistic application review.”
  • “Predicting success in grad school depends on many factors (probably things we don’t ask for in application materials).”
  • “I liked hearing how people modified questions on the personal statement so students can speak to research & overcoming challenges.”
  • “I like thinking about using the match between student and program; articulating research and resources they need to get to their goals.”