UW Graduate School

Undocumented Graduate Students

The Graduate Opportunities and Minority Achievement Program (GO-MAP) of the University of Washington Graduate School has compiled information and resources for departments and individuals seeking status (self-identified DREAMers, HB 1079 eligible, and/or DACA approved).

Departments: Please review Undocumented Terms and Definitions. For more information, contact GO-MAP at gomap@uw.edu or 206.543.9016. 

Undocumented individuals are eligible for admission to any graduate program at the University of Washington.

A gold monarch butterfly on a purple flowerUW President Cauce reassures “every affected person that if DACA ends, the University of Washington will do everything within its power to minimize the disruption to your lives and education. We also support all efforts to restore the protections that DACA has provided, including legal actions […] 

Students, faculty or staff seeking individual guidance can find resources at UW Leadership Without Borders Center or by emailing undocu@uw.edu

Safe Space

For DACA students and those with family and friends affected by DACA, we understand the President-elect’s proposed policies could negatively affect millions of Americans.  Please review the Northwest Immigrants Rights Project DACA Advisory that outlines recommendations for community members who have applied for DACA or who are interested in applying.

We would also like to remind graduate students that GO-MAP provides a safe space for all students, including those seeking status.  We encourage you to stop by the office if you would like to speak with someone to express your concerns regarding the current sociopolitical climate or to simply be in solidarity with folks that have your best interest at heart.

Please review the third paragraph in UW President Ana Mari Cauce’s message: “A safe and welcoming place for all” as a reminder that you do belong at the UW and are a part of this campus community.

Diversity at the University of Washington

At the University of Washington, diversity is integral to excellence. We value and honor diverse experiences and perspectives, strive to create welcoming and respectful learning environments, and promote, access, opportunity and justice for all.

Completing the UW Graduate School Application

  1. To apply to a UW graduate program, complete the UW Graduate School application. Please note that the UW Graduate School application and the information provided by GO-MAP does not apply to the following UW professional schools: School of Dentistry, School of Law, School of Medicine, and School of Pharmacy. For more information on these professional programs, please contact those listed below:

UW School of Dentistry
residency and citizenship requirements

UW School of Law
Michelle Gonzalez (gonzm@uw.edu), Assistant Dean

UW School of Medicine
Stella Yee (stellay@uw.edu), Director of Admissions

UW School of Pharmacy
Nanci Murphy (murphyna@uw.edu), Director of Student Leadership Programs

2.  New applicants will be asked to “Create your applicant profile.”  Undocumented students should answer the following questions in this way:

Question 5: “What is your current citizenship/visa status? If you have a non-immigrant visa status, please choose ‘None of the above.’”
Answer: None of the above

Question 10: “Indicate present visa status in the US.”
Answer: None

Question 11: “Type of visa expected.”
Answer: None

An undocumented student should be cautioned that this will sort them into the “international student” application status. The Graduate School is working on adding a selection type for undocumented students.

3.  When applicants are ready to submit their application, there is an opportunity to apply for an application fee waiver. A limited number of application fee waivers are available to applicants who qualify for need-based waivers. Fee waiver requests must be submitted via the online application after all steps of the application have been completed (in the payment section) and at least seven (7) calendar days prior to the program’s posted application deadline — late requests will automatically be denied.

Funding for Undocumented Graduate Students

UW departments are encouraged to review their individual funding resources in detail to determine if undocumented students (that may or may not be DACA approved) are eligible. There are numerous non-federal resources (i.e. state dollars and private grants) that departments can explore to determine eligibility.

Undocumented students with a DACA work permit can legally work in the United States. However, they are not eligible to apply for federal funding through the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

The decision to revoke DACA will not affect financial aid provided by the UW. Legislation to uphold the state’s commitment to providing financial aid to DACA students is expected to be introduced in the next state legislative session. 

If an undocumented graduate student has DACA, they are eligible for consideration of Academic Student Employee positions, including teaching assistantships (TAs), research assistantships (RAs), and staff assistantships (GSAs).

This table provides additional funding information determined by undocumented status eligibility:

HB 1079 Student and DACA Approved Resident Tuition
HB 1079 Student not DACA Approved Resident Tuition
DACA Approved but not HB 1079 Eligible Non-Resident Tuition
Neither HB 1079 Student nor DACA Approved Non-Resident Tuition

Student Support Services for Undocumented Students

The Graduate Opportunities and Minority Achievement Program (GO-MAP) is committed to serving the needs of underrepresented minority graduate students to enhance equity and graduate student success. GO-MAP encourages prospective and current undocumented graduate students to stop by the GO-MAP office to get acquainted with our services and student programming. For more information, please contact Vanessa Álvarez, program officer, at gomap@uw.edu.

The Samuel E. Kelly Ethnic Cultural Center (ECC) has been a place where undergraduate and graduate students can build community with a diverse group of students who may share similar backgrounds and worldviews. This is a center dedicated to inclusion and offers leadership development, education on social justice, advising for registered student organizations, and a strong commitment to diversity programming. The ECC is currently working on expanding Leadership Without Borders programming for undocumented students. For more information, please contact Magdalena Fonseca, ECC associate director, at ecc@uw.edu.