UW Graduate School

First-Generation Graduate Students

Meet a few of our first-gen graduate students and colleagues:

Core Programs is dedicated to supporting first-generation graduate students with innovative programming that amplifies their diverse voices and builds community at the University of Washington. A first-gen graduate student is in the first generation of their family to earn a bachelor’s degree – and is now earning a graduate degree. If you’re a first-gen grad student, we are thrilled that you are here and are proud to be able to support you in making the most of your graduate experience! In collaboration with tri-campus partners and our student advisory board, Core Programs promotes inter-campus resources and develops programming to achieve the following goals:

  • Create visibility. Each campus has posted online profiles and digital stories of graduate students, faculty, staff, campus leaders, and alumni who identify as first-generation.
  • Reduce stigma. We promote and host quarterly academic, professional, and community events that center the strengths and diverse experiences of first-generation graduate students.
  • Foster a sense of belonging. We create spaces of connection and community, by convening graduate students who identify as first-gen at our receptions and workshops.
  • Develop sustainable and supportive programming. 2016–2017 was our first year to launch our support of first-gen graduate students.  We are eager to grow our programs on all three campuses and look forward to hearing your ideas.

Ways to Connect

Email or call us at 206.543.1703 to:

  • Join the First-Gen Graduate Student listserv for current news and event information
  • Get help locating university resources
  • Learn how to participate in our Student Advisory Board
  • Share ideas and suggestions

Join the UW First-Generation Graduate Students Facebook page.

Visit our Core Programs offices in Loew Hall, Rooms 302 and 304.

Graduate Student Resources

Need support as you write that seminar paper? Want to connect with affinity groups or graduate student organizations? Interested in learning about opportunities to fund your education? Or maybe you’d like to know about health and wellness support? Follow the link below to see a curated list of resources available to you at the University of Washington:

View UW Graduate Student Resources

Programming and Events

Fall 2017

Fall Reception
Wednesday, October 18, 2017, 6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
HUB 332, Seattle Campus

UW first-generation graduate students are cordially invited to this inaugural fall reception to kick off the new year!  Attend this free event to connect with first-gen grad student peers across the disciplines, learn about important campus resources, and enjoy good food and refreshments.

Welcome Remarks
Rickey Hall, VP for Office of Minority Affairs & Diversity and UW Chief Diversity Officer

Featured Guest Speaker
Dr. Stacia Dreyer, postdoctoral fellow
UW School of Marine & Environmental Affairs and former first-generation graduate student

This event is organized and sponsored by Core Programs in the Graduate School.

RSVP for this event!

First-Generation Graduate Student Welcome!
Friday, November 3, 2017, 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
The Swiss Restaurant & Pub, near Tacoma Campus

Are you in the first-generation of your family to earn a Bachelor’s degree—and are currently working towards a graduate degree at the UW?  If so, you’re invited to attend this free, community-building event!  You’ll have an opportunity to make connections with fellow first-generation graduate students and to meet university staff, faculty and leadership.

This event is a partnership between UW Tacoma Graduate Programs and Core Programs in the Graduate School.

RSVP for this event!

Graduate Student Professional Development Seminar
Saturday, November 4, 2017, 8:30 a.m. – Noon
UW1-103, Bothell Campus

UW Bothell Career Services is hosting a three part Professional Development Seminar specifically designed for graduate students.  Topics include Building your Career Community, How to Leverage LinkedIn, and Fighting Imposter Syndrome.

First-generation graduate students and all UW graduate students are encouraged to register and participate!

Be sure to bring a laptop and materials to take notes.  Light breakfast provided!

This event is hosted and organized by UW Bothell Career Services with co-sponsorship from Core Programs in the Graduate School.

RSVP for this event!

First-Gen Graduate Student Social!
December 2017, Time & Room TBD, Seattle Campus

More details coming soon!

Summer 2017

2nd Annual Digital Storytelling Workshops

JJCJuan Digital Still 2017

Video Still, A Call Back to Home
John Jian-Chen Juan, Summer 2017

FRomero Digital Still 2017

Video Still, In A World That Wants You Tame
Fabien Romero, Summer 2017

The Digital Storytelling Project is a structured, three-day summer workshop held at the Seattle campus. Open to first-generation graduate students, facilitators helped participants gain the skills to work with images, sound, text, and technologies to produce powerful digital stories grounded in their lived experiences. From June 22–24, 2017, a total of seven master’s and Ph.D. first-gen students from UW Tacoma and UW Seattle participated in the program.  This programming was a collaboration between Jane Van Galen (professor in Educational Studies, Bothell campus), Anne Phillips (executive director of CLASS Action in Boston), and Core Programs in the Graduate School.

Watch the digital stories

Spring 2017

Year End Celebration – A First-Gen Graduate Student Social

This event included the following:

Panel:

Moderated by Dr. Jane Van Galen, professor in Educational Studies, UW Bothell

  • Frelimo O. Amili, MAIS ’16, UW Tacoma
  • Elizabeth R. Arreola, doctoral student in Gender, Women, & Sexuality Studies, UW Seattle
  • Lina Huang, M.Ed. ’16, UW Bothell
  • Christian K. Love, doctoral student in Education, UW Seattle
  • Iris Viveros, doctoral student in Gender, Women, & Sexuality Studies, UW Seattle

Relevant Links: E-InvitationEvent Program

Fail Forward – A First-Gen Graduate Student Social

This event included the following:

  • “Failure Resume” story share by Dr. Dave Eaton, first-generation graduate student, vice provost and dean, UW Graduate School
  • A presentation and conversations with Dr. Anne Browning and Polo de Cano (doctoral student in Education) of the UW Resilience Lab
  • Learn how failures are important to our personal and professional growth
  • Share insights and strategies for failing forward with resilience
  • Enjoy free food and refreshments

Relevant Links: E-Invitation | When Things Don’t Go as Planned

Winter 2017

Self and Collective Care – A First-Gen Graduate Student Social

This event included the following:

  • Engage in reflective, interactive activities that promote self and collective care
  • Connect with fellow first-gen grad student peers and leaders
  • Grow your social, academic, and professional networks
  • Exchange student success strategies with one another
  • Enjoy free food and refreshments

Event co-facilitators:

  • Elizabeth R. Arreola, doctoral student in Gender, Women & Sexuality Studies, UW Seattle
  • Akaxia Cruz, master’s/doctoral student in Physics, UW Seattle
  • Adekunle Lawal, master’s student in Educational Studies, UW Bothell
  • Rigo Ordaz, master’s student in Human Centered Design & Engineering, UW Seattle

Relevant Links: E-Invitation | Tools & Resources for Refueling Yourself | Self and Collective Care Small Group Activity

Fall 2016

Inaugural First-Gen Graduate Student Social

This event included the following:

  • Connect with fellow first-gen graduate student peers and leaders
  • Grow your social, academic, and professional networks
  • Exchange student success strategies with one another
  • Enjoy free food and refreshments

Relevant Links: E-Invitation | Activity Handout

Summer 2016

Digital Storytelling Workshops

The Digital Storytelling Project is a structured, three-day summer workshop held at the Seattle campus. Open to first-generation graduate students, facilitators helped participants gain the skills to work with images, sound, text, and technologies to produce powerful digital stories grounded in their lived experiences. From August 4–6, 2016, a total of eight master’s and Ph.D. first-gen students from UW Bothell, UW Tacoma, and UW Seattle participated in the program. This programming was a collaboration between Jane Van Galen (professor in Educational Studies, Bothell campus), Anne Phillips (executive director of CLASS Action in Boston), and Core Programs in the Graduate School.

Watch the digital stories

UW Graduate Student Resources

As first-gen graduate students, we know that one of your strengths is finding your way and making things work! And we are also here to connect you with resources when you need to! Below is a curated list of campus offices and grad student groups that can help you navigate graduate school life and demands – whether you are seeking support for your writing, doing targeted searches for funding, wanting to build connections with peers within and outside of your department, and more.

For Bothell or Tacoma campus resources, check out our Tri-Campus Resources for Graduate Students & Advisors page.  If you can’t find what you are looking for, please reach out and let us know.

Administrative Support & Resources

Provides advising to graduate students on Graduate School policies and processes related to student academic progress and graduation

Provides visa and immigration advising to international students who are at the UW on F or J student visas; advising topics may include lawful status, employment, and travel policies

Services include class registration (except students in fee-based programs who register through PCE), official transcript, enrollment verification, classroom schedules, etc.

Tuition and fees billing and postings, disbursement of aid, and payment acceptance for students on all three UW Campuses; Monitors student tax information and provides appropriate forms for students to file tax returns

Awards and coordinates all major financial aid and loan programs for graduate and professional students, as well as need-based institutional grant programs

Provides low-cost legal representation and advice to UW Seattle students

Serves as a resource for international student exchanges with a commitment to collaboration, ethics, and professionalism

Funding Information and Opportunities

The Graduate Funding Information Service (GFIS) works with current and admitted UW graduate students, helping them identify and locate funding opportunities for graduate school-related expenses including tuition, research, conference and research travel. Bothell, Seattle, and Tacoma grad students can visit GFIS during drop-in advising hours, schedule skype appointments, or request information by email. Sign up for the GFIS blog, to receive the latest funding information opportunities!

Academic Support & Resources
  • Your Graduate Program

Program specific support: academic guidance; faculty advisors and mentors; peer support; research tools and resources

Dedicated to ensuring access for all students with disabilities on the Seattle campus. Serves students with either temporary or permanent physical, health, learning, sensory or psychological disabilities – partnering with students and faculty jointly in the process to establish accommodations, services and access to academic programs

Finding Your Community

Official student government representing all graduate and professional students on campus. The GPSS advocates for graduate students through professional development and community building activities.

FIUTS connects university students to local and global communities through programs that build international awareness, cross-cultural communication, and informed leadership; see International Student Handbook online.

The mission of SACNAS is to encourage Chicano/Latino and Native American students to pursue graduate education and obtain the advanced degrees necessary for science research, leadership, and teaching careers at all levels.

Rainbow Grads is a registered student organization that supports lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, and queer graduate and professional students and their allies at the University of Washington. We aim to foster a safe and inclusive network through which LGBTQ graduate and professional students can interact, collaborate, and pursue activities that enhance their personal and professional development. We hold social events throughout the year, including a Fall Quarter Kick-Off Celebration, a Halloween Bar Crawl, a group trip to the Seattle Lesbian and Gay Film Festival, happy hours, game nights, and more.

Women in Chemical Sciences (WCS-UW) is a student group at the University of Washington. Our mission is to educate and empower women in science and their supporters by providing a safe and open space for dialogue, mentorship, collaboration, camaraderie, and skill building through a variety of activities including guest speakers and panels, student-facilitated discussions, workshops, and outreach to primary, secondary, and post-secondary institutions.

Queer and LGBTQ+ folks are an underserved and underrepresented population in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. The goal of oSTEM is to counteract this lack of representation by declaring to the world of STEM “We are here, we matter, and the science community needs us!” We aim to provide social, networking, educational, and career-building opportunities for queer students, staff, faculty, and allies in the sciences in order to grow and change the cultural perception of LGBTQ+ scientists.

The mission of Student Veteran Life is to achieve three main objectives: 1) Create centralized services and programming that supports student veterans and their dependents in their academic endeavors ; 2) Grow and strengthen the veteran community and identity by cultivating a sense of pride in the sacrifices that student veterans have made in service to their country; and 3) Represent the unique position and needs of our veteran constituents.

Growing Your Teaching Skills

Annual TA conference; consultations for instructors; collection of online resources.

Launching Your Careers

Workshops for career development, 1-on-1 career counseling, career fairs, networking events, HuskyJobs (online job & Internship search system), workshops and online resources specific to international students.

Taking Care of Yourself

Provides safe, accessible, and dynamic recreation experiences to engage students in growth and well-being.

Starting points for students in distress and in need of multiple levels of support. Other critical services include the Student Care Program; Suicide Intervention Program; Sexual Assault Resources, and Alcohol & Other Drug Education

One free doctor’s visit per quarter, phone or drop-in nurse consultations, and crisis counseling are available at no further charge.

Free, confidential and short-term individual, couples, & crisis counseling, career assessments (for a small fee), light therapy, referrals, and consultations.

Through consultations, provides a collaborative and confidential environment for voicing concerns and developing plans for addressing challenging situations.

Night Ride; Husky Nightwalk; Personal safety information; Violence Prevention and Response Training; Hotline: 685-SAFE.

There are different on-campus housing options for graduate students.  Students, including students with families, are encouraged to contact Housing & Food Services for information.