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The Graduate School

G-1 Communications Building
Box 353770
Seattle, Washington 98195-3770

Phone: 206.543.5900
Fax: 206.685.3234

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Graduate School Admissions

Minimum Admission Requirements

Prospective graduate students must meet the following minimum requirements:

  • Hold a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited college or university in the U.S.1 or its equivalent from a foreign institution2.
  • Have earned at least a 3.0 grade-point-average (on a 4 point scale) for the last 90 graded quarter credits or 60 graded semester credits.
  • 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.

Graduate programs will have additional admission requirements and may require a higher grade-point-average. These requirements can be found in the graduate program listing, select a graduate program.

Citizenship and Visa Status

The Graduate School accepts applications from U.S. citizens, permanent residents (green card holders), immigrants and international applicants. Graduate School admission requirements and application procedures are the same for all applicants regardless of citizenship and visa status.

  • International students must have a visa status that allows academic study at the UW. This status includes temporary U.S. visas such as F-1 student visas, J-1 exchange visitors, H-1 temporary worker, dependent visas or any other non-immigrant classifications. Students who will study on an F-1 or J-1 visa will be required to complete additional steps after confirming their intention to enroll before the Graduate School can process their visa paperwork.
  • Regarding F-2 dependent visa holders, a June 2015 US immigration 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 the 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.

Student Type

The Graduate School accepts applications for three types of students. Graduate School admission requirements and application procedures are different for each student type.

  • Graduate students are working toward a master's or doctoral degree. Students must be admitted as a graduate student in order to earn a degree.
  • Visiting graduate students plan to transfer a limited number of graduate credits to their home institution where they are actively pursuing a graduate degree.
  • Graduate nonmatriculated (GNM) students are not currently seeking a degree but may apply a maximum of 12 graduate level credits toward degree requirements should they later be accepted into a graduate program. (Acceptance as a GNM student does not confer priority for later admission to a graduate program.) Students holding or expecting to hold F-1 or visitor visas are not eligible for GNM status.

Application Deadlines

Deadlines for each degree program are determined by the faculty of that graduate program. Deadlines can be found in the graduate program listing, select a graduate program.

The Cost of Graduate Education

Tuition and fees at a major university is broad and complex topic. Graduate programs at the UW are either state subsidized or fee based (administered through UW Educational Outreach) and may be grouped into categories and tiers. Tuition rates are maintained by the Office of Planning and Budgeting and may vary based on your residency status, tuition tier, the total number of credit hours for which you are registered, etc. Rates may also differ depending on which campus you attend, due to slight variations in Services & Activities fees. Additionally, tuition and fees change annually. It is best to contact the graduate program for this information.

Current tuition and fee rates are available at: If you cannot locate the tuition rate for your specific program, contact the program in which you plan to enroll.

For questions regarding tuition and fee distribution, please visit the Office of Planning and Budgeting (OPB) website for contact information.

Newly admitted students requesting an F-1 or J-1 visa must meet the UW's financial ability requirement to show that they have adequate funding to cover living costs and tuition and campus fees for the first year of study.

Financing Your Graduate Education

Determining how to finance your education may be a critical factor in your decision to apply to graduate school. Although some students have strong financial support from their family or government, most need to plan carefully. There are many forms of financial support that you may be eligible for as a graduate student. Begin your search early and seek all possible funding options.

  • Office of Student Financial Aid (OSFA) – Get information on qualifying for, applying for and receiving need-based financial aid such as student loans and work study.
  • Fellowships - You will need to plan ahead for fellowship applications. There are fellowships that are discipline-specific as well as broad. Most fellowships are offered by graduate programs.
  • Assistantships – At the UW, Academic Student Employees (ASEs) are hired directly by the employing department and are covered by a union contract. There are three types of assistantships: teaching assistantship (TA), research assistantship (RA), and staff assistantship (SA).
  • Other Funding Resources - When looking for funding you need to be creative: look on the internet, talk with staff and students from your prospective department about what kind of funding students have found in the past. It can be a time-consuming process to find and apply for funding, so be prepared.


1 U.S. Regional Institutional Accrediting Organizations: Middle State Association of Colleges and Schools; Northwest Commission 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; Western Association of Schools and Colleges.

2 Accreditation for a foreign institution: The official recognition status of the degree granting institution is verified through the appropriate educational authority in a country, such as, the Ministry of Education or other governmental authority.