Graduate Admissions

We are thrilled that you have taken the first step towards joining the UW College of Education as a graduate student! As you venture into the next phase of your educational journey, know that we are here to support you every step of the way.

Application requirements and materials

Pay close attention to the difference in requirements for programs and degrees. There may be slight differences and additions, like requesting an additional reference or requiring a skills test. Specific steps and details can be found on each graduate program page.

Degree from an accredited institution
  • A four year bachelor's degree is required for our Master of Education (M.Ed.) and Master in Teaching (M.I.T.) programs
  • A master's degree is required for most of our doctorate programs
    • The Ph.D. programs for Learning Sciences and Human Development and Special Education allow applicants to apply with a Bachelor's degree. You can earn your master’s degree as part of their Ph.D. program.
  • The required degree can be in-process at the time of your application but must be completed before the program starts.
Minimum 3.0 GPA

The UW Graduate School requires a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or 3.0 for your most recent 90 graded quarter credits (60 semester credits). However, our College of Education faculty will review your application holistically. If your GPA is below 3.0, contact us at edinfo@uw.edu for advice on how to strengthen your overall application.

Unofficial transcript(s)

You must submit an unofficial transcript(s) with your application. Include one from each institution from which you've earned a degree and one from every institution you have attended in the previous 5 years. Your transcripts must include your name, coursework and degree (if completed). If you are offered admission, the UW Graduate School will require an official transcript from your most recent degree earned.

Please scan all transcript documents into one single PDF to upload to your application.

Note for students with international transcripts: International transcripts must be submitted in the original language and include your date of graduation and title of the awarded degree. If your transcript is not in English, you must also provide a certified English translation. You do not need to have your transcript evaluated for the degree by an agency

Letters of recommendation

Our programs require two or three letters of recommendation. During the online application process, you will be given instructions for adding your recommenders and getting their letters submitted electronically. All recommenders must submit their letters online.

The following programs require 2 letters:

  • All M.Ed. programs 
  • All M.I.T. programs

The following programs require 3 letters:

  • All Ph.D. programs
  • All Ed.S. programs
Resume/Vita

A current academic and professional resume or vita is required. In addition to educational degrees and professional experience, you should include a listing of all relevant awards, publications, presentations or other achievements that will help us evaluate your application.

Statement of Purpose

Your statement should address goals, relevant experience, future plans and how the desired specific program meets your needs. Be sure to include personal experiences that have prepared you for the challenge of graduate school, topics like:

  • Scholarly interests
  • Career goals
  • Your match for the program
  • Faculty interests

Master’s degree statements are generally 1-2 pages. Doctoral statements are generally 3-5 pages. Both should be double-spaced. Some programs may also have specific questions and prompts they would like you to address. We encourage you to review program pages to align your statement with the program/faculty match.

Admissions committees use your statement of purpose, along with other evidence, to determine whether your goals are well-matched with our programs.

Personal History Statement (Option)

While optional, you can add to your application by submitting a personal history statement with each application. This statement should address your intellectual growth and development, inclusive of and beyond your academic goals. Speak to topics like:

  • Educational, cultural and economic opportunities and disadvantages you've experienced
  • Ways these experiences affected the development of your special interests, career plans and future goals.
  • Any additional topics requested on a specific program's page

Statements should be no longer than two pages long. And while there are no standard formatting requirements, we encourage double-spaced text with a legible font. This statement can only be submitted before applying. While you may see it listed on the application checklist when you apply, this is still optional and not required.

Writing sample(s)

If your program requires it, you must submit one sample of scholarly writing (e.g., course papers, articles, essays). The sample should demonstrate how well you can analyze or synthesize and critically reflect on information. The writing sample must have been written by you alone. You are limited to one sample that faculty will review.

If you have no appropriate examples of scholarly writing, we urge you to consider preparing a medium-length (10-12 page) critical essay review of a book that you feel is central to your interests in education. The writing sample will be uploaded in your online application. 

M.Ed. programs in Educational Foundations, Leadership and Policy Studies require a writing sample

ALL doctoral programs require a writing sample except the following:

  • Special Education Doctoral Program
  • Educational Specialist (Ed.S.) Program
WEST-B: Basic skills test for teaching candidates

Most applicants take the Washington Educator Skills Test-Basic (WEST-B) for their basic skills test. In lieu of WEST-B, you may also use reading, writing and math subtest scores from the following providers:

  • Praxis I
  • CBEST
  • ACT
    • Older scores that do not include a writing subtest can be used for reading and math, but must be supplemented with a new writing test
    • Call 319-337-1270 to order your ACT score report, to request that your scores be sent to University of Washington, Seattle (code 4484)
  • SAT
    • Older scores that do not include a writing subtest can be used for reading and math, but must be supplemented with a new writing test
    • Call 866-756-7346 and ask that your scores be sent to University of Washington, Seattle (code 4854)

You can upload your score report when completing your application. Official scores are only needed if you don’t have a score report or if you haven’t previously submitted scores to UW as an undergraduate.

Learn more about substituting WEST-B scores

English language proficiency

You must submit a demonstration of English language proficiency if your native language is not English and you did not attend school in one of the following countries:

  • United States
  • United Kingdom
  • Australia
  • Bahamas
  • Canada
  • Ireland
  • Jamaica
  • New Zealand
  • Singapore
  • South Africa
  • Trinidad and Tobago.

The following tests are accepted if the test was taken fewer than two years ago:

  • TOEFL
    • Minimum score: 80
    • Recommended score: 92+
    • The UW's 4-digit code is 4854
  • IELTS
    • You must request from the center where you took the test that your scores be sent electronically using the IELTS system (E-TRF) to the following address:
      • University of Washington All Campuses, Organisation ID 365, Undergrad & Graduate Admis, Box 355850, Seattle, WA, 98105, United States of America
    • Minimum score: 6.5
    • Recommended score: 7.0+
    • School information for submission:
      University of Washington, All Campuses
      Undergraduate & Graduate Admission
      Box 355850
      Seattle, WA 98195
  • Duolingo
    • Minimum score: 105
    • Recommended score: 120+
    • Follow the instructions on the Duolingo website to submit your scores
Nonrefundable Application Fee

An $85 application fee is required for each graduate program application. The fee payment is the last step to complete in the online application and can be paid by Visa or Mastercard. The UW Graduate School provides application fee waivers for those who qualify and demonstrate financial need. The fee waiver request is final step in the online application.

Interview

Some programs may hold an admission interview. The admission committee reaches out to those applicants selected after the initial application review process. They following programs hold interviews:

  • School Psychology
  • Teacher certification programs
  • Elementary Teacher Education Program
  • Secondary Teacher Education Program
  • Seattle Teacher Residency Program
  • U-ACT
  • Special Education teacher certification
  • Special Education Doctoral Program
  • Danforth
  • Leadership for Learning

Application process

  1. Gather all required materials
  2. Visit the Graduate School's online application (see section below for details)
  3. Log into your account or create a new profile if you are a first-time applicant
  4. Complete all steps in application process and upload your documents
    • During the application process you will select your program's name
    • Double check your program's page for the correct name used in the application
  5. Submit your application and pay the nonrefundable $85 application fee

Important! Be sure to use the correction application system!

The Graduate School is in the process of moving to a brand new application system, it is important that you use the form that aligns with when your desired program begins.

Starting a program between now and summer 2024

If your desired program begins before autumn 2024, you must use the Graduate School's original application system. The following programs begin before autumn 2024 and are accepting applications:

  • Secondary Teacher Education - Begins spring 2024
  • Elementary Teacher Education - Begins summer 2024
  • Danforth - Begins summer 2024
  • Leadership for Learning (L4L) - Begins summer 2024
  • Intercollegiate Athletic Leadership (IAL) - Begins summer 2024
  • Seattle Teacher Residency - Begins summer 2024

Apply to begin by summer 2024

Starting a program in autumn 2024 and beyond

If your desired program will begin in autumn 2024 or beyond, you must use the Graduate School's new application system. Programs not listed above will use this form. Applications for autumn 2024 can be submitted starting September 15, 2023.

Apply to begin autumn 2024 and beyond


Next steps after submitting your application

Once you submit your application, you will receive automated emails from the UW Graduate School. While these will update you on the received status of your application materials, our team in Student Services will also process your application. Even with complete applications, we do a quality check to ensure documents aren’t blurry or missing pages. If anything needs attention, you will receive an email before the review period begins late January.

Student Services processing includes:

  • Making sure all submitted materials came through clearly
  • Confirming that your transcripts are complete and include all required degree and GPA information
  • Verifying English Language Proficiency (when applicable)
  • If applying to a Teacher Certification Program - verifying Basic Skills tests

Student Services will review your application within 2 weeks of the application deadline if not sooner.  If you are missing anything, you will hear about this by January 17th. You will then have a limited time to submit anything before your application is sent to the committee for review on January 26th.

We encourage you to reach out to us with any questions! Please also review the Decision Timeline and FAQ below for some common questions that applicants have.


Decision Timeline

Step 1: Application processing

  • Within 8 business days after the deadline, we will verify that your application is ready for the review - anything required that is pending will be noted in your application checklist as “awaiting”. This does not include the optional Personal History Statement which is not required
  • We will email you if your application needs attention before the review
  • If your application is missing anything, you will have a short amount of time submit these items
  • You can also log into your online application and view your application checklist to view receipt of items

Step 2: Application review

  • Committees begin reviewing applications about three weeks after the deadline
  • You will receive an email when your application has been sent to the committee for review

Step 3: Decision notification

  • The final decision notification will be emailed to you
  • Your status will also be visible in the online application
  • Decision dates vary from program to program. You can find decision date's on the program's page or the application deadline page

We encourage you to reach out to us with any questions! Please also review the FAQ below for some common questions that applicants have.


Frequently asked questions

What kind of updates can I expect to receive?

If you are missing materials, you will be notified about this in order to fix anything before your application is sent for review and when all materials have been received. Otherwise, you will be able to view that your required materials have been received in your application checklist. We will notify you when your application is sent for review. You will also receive notification after the review when there is a decision about your application.

How can I expedite the processing of my application?
  • Review your uploaded transcripts to make sure the uploads have all information with your name, degree (if earned) and all coursework and grades.
  • If submitting an international transcript, be sure the degree certificate is included if your transcript does not list your degree. Incomplete transcripts may delay processing time.
  • Be sure you have listed the minimum number of recommenders and that their letters are submitted.
  • Remind recommenders to submit letters if they have not yet been received.
How can I view the status of my application materials?

You can log back into your application and view your Application Checklist. This is where anything that needs attention will be listed.

How do I know if my application is complete?

You will receive an email notification when all required materials are marked as received in your Application Checklist.

How can I review the transcripts that I upload?

When you log back into your application, under “Schools”, you can click on your school attended. You can then scroll down to preview what you have uploaded for your transcript to ensure it is complete. If it isn’t, you can upload a new document. Be sure you have included information about all schools in which you have earned a degree.

Do I need to submit official transcripts?

For the application review, only unofficial transcripts are needed. If you are offered admission, the Graduate School will then require one official transcript be sent to them directly from your institution.

Applicants should not submit transcripts that they have typed out themselves. Any documentation that is submitted should originate from the degree-granting institution.

If transcripts are not in English, they must be accompanied by an English translation.

Do you accept degree audits instead of transcripts?

No. Degree audits cannot be accepted in place of a transcript as they are not a comprehensive summary of the coursework a student has attempted.

How can I remind a recommender to submit their letter and resend the link?

When you log back into your application, under the Application Checklist, there is a link to revisit the Recommendations page. From there, you can click on your recommender and resend them the link to submit their letter.  

Can I edit or add a new recommender before the review phase?

Yes, when you log back into your application, under the Application Checklist, there is a link to revisit the Recommendations page. From there, you can edit or add a recommender.

My recommender has not submitted their letter yet but the deadline is approaching. Can I still submit my application?

Yes, you should still submit your application by the deadline. Recommendations will still match to your application after the deadline once submitted.

One of my recommenders has not submitted their letter of recommendation. Can I still submit my application?

Yes, you should still submit your application with any missing letter(s) still pending. Letters will be matched to your application once submitted by the recommender(s).

I am using test scores to demonstrate English language proficiency. Do I need to send official scores?

Yes, official scores are required for the applications if you are using TOEFL, IELTS, or Duolingo. For specific instructions on how to send scores, please view the Graduate School’s Submission of Test Scores.

I sent my official language proficiency scores but don't see them as received. When will you get them?

It can take 7 days for TOEFL scores to be matched and it can take up to 9 days for IELTS and Duolingo.  We will alert you in Student Services if these are not located in our system so you will have time to check on this. As long as you sent them before the deadline, they are not considered late due to the time it takes for them to match in UW systems.