The Graduate School
G-1 Communications Building
Seattle, Washington 98195-3770
What We Do
Did you know?
In 1885, the University of Washington awarded its first graduate degree, a master of arts in classical languages, and in 1914, the University awarded its first doctor of philosophy degree, in the field of chemistry.
The Graduate School was created in 1899 and was established permanently in 1910.
History and Mission →
The UW Graduate School is committed to student success through raising money for fellowships, providing students with professional development opportunities, recruiting and retaining minority students, and helping students and faculty manage graduate educations through the web-based MyGradProgram.
We create endowments and oversee graduate fellowships and awards totaling approximately $11 million a year.
- The Graduate School is supervising 143 National Science Foundation (NSF) fellowships in academic year 2010-11.
- We collaborate with the Seattle Chapter of Achievement Rewards for College Scientists (ARCS® Foundation) – which funds approximately 85 fellowships yearly, totaling nearly $500,000 each year and more than $11 million in the past 32 years – to recruit the best graduate students to the UW.
Through the Graduate Opportunities & Minority Achievement Program (GO-MAP), we recruit and retain the most promising minority graduate students in the country.
- In 2009-10, GO-MAP provided recruitment funding totaling approximately $603,000 to about 25 departments. More than 180 students were welcomed to campus in early 2010 as part of our core recruitment effort.
- GO-MAP holds quarterly receptions to encourage graduate students, faculty and staff to build academic and support networks across campus and disciplines.
- For more than 20 years, the Graduate School has been the institutional coordinator for the National Name Exchange (http://www.grad.washington.edu/nne), a consortium of more than 50 universities that collect and share the names of their talented but underrepresented ethnic minority students. With a $100,000 grant from the Intel Corporation, the Graduate School enhanced the National Name Exchange Academic Portal, a web-based tool that assists member institutions in identifying qualified underrepresented undergraduates from major U.S. universities for graduate study.
We teach graduate students how to be teachers, and we help faculty members become the best mentors they can be through workshops and materials. Our Mentor Memo series covers topics from how to talk about research in lay terms to how to select a lab. The Graduate School facilitates other consultations, mediations and grievances. The Office of Postdoctoral Affairs provides support and orientation programs for postdoctoral scholars at the UW.
- In 2009-10, more than 1,040 graduate students and postdoctoral scholars attended a variety of sessions – an increase of 240 percent over just three years ago.
Our interdisciplinary graduate degree programs respond to the needs of a changing world by drawing together faculty and courses from across the University to create new areas of study. These programs range from the master of science degree in biology teaching to the master of arts degree in museology to the doctoral degree in urban design and planning.
Teaching and learning
The Center for Teaching and Learning, a collaboration of the Graduate School, UW Libraries and Undergraduate Academic Affairs, presents a yearly teaching assistant/research assistant training conference. The center also helps faculty and graduate students evaluate and improve their teaching.
From admission through graduation
The Graduate School provides the infrastructure the UW needs to admit graduate students and manage their educational progress to graduation. Through MyGradProgram, a web-based program that the Graduate School developed, faculty and staff can oversee students’ graduate educations online.
Quality and assessment
By reviewing graduate degree programs, the Graduate School ensures that the UW continues to offer innovative, high quality graduate education. Each year, the Graduate School reviews 15 to 25 existing academic programs and reviews proposals for about 30 new graduate programs.
Educating the community
- The UW Press publishes academic and mainstream books, sales of which exceeded $6.9 million over two years. More than 300,000 volumes were disseminated to scholars, students and lay readers throughout the world.
- The Press prepared 190 digital files in 2009-10 and has published 40 e-books available on the Amazon Kindle or through library consortia.
- More than 20,000 copies of Weather of the Pacific Northwest by UW professor of meteorology Cliff Mass have sold with sales exceeding $300,000.
- The Graduate School’s Danz and Walker Ames public lectureships advance UW research goals while inspiring general audiences.
- Our 10 public lectures and presentations by visiting academic scholars drew more than 5,100 attendees in 2009-10.
Advocacy and Advancement
Graduate School leaders advocate for graduate education on campus, in the community and throughout the state by regularly visiting with leaders in the community, business and government, as well UW supporters, donors, faculty and administrators.