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Future Students

Master's Program Admission Criteria

An eligible applicant to the Master of Science degree has earned a bachelor's degree in engineering, chemistry, or physics from an accredited U.S. college or university or the equivalent in a foreign country.

Admission to the department is competitive and all components of a student’s application are considered in evaluating his or her eligibility for admission.

Academic history

Each transcript is individually reviewed for the quality and difficulty of courses taken and universities and colleges attended. The department recognizes that some academic institutions are more competitive and high grades are more difficult to obtain.

Grade Point Average (GPA)

Applicants should meet a minimum GPA requirement of 3.0 (on a 4-point scale) for the last 90 graded quarter credits or 60 graded semester credits. The average GPA for our 2018 master's degree cohort was 3.4.

Converting to the U.S. 4-point grading system

International students need to provide a U.S. grade equivalency (GPA) on their applications. For help converting grades from an international grading system to the U.S. 4-point scale, see "How do I convert an International Grading System?" on the UW's Admissions FAQs page.

Letters of recommendation

Three letters of recommendation are required to complete the online application. Applicants should ask for recommendations from people able to rank the applicant’s performance as a student, researcher or employee.

Note: Applicants who earned their undergraduate degree from the University of Washington in the past two years are required to submit only one recommendation.

Statement of purpose

The personal statement should summarize the applicant’s motivation for applying to graduate school and the department. Statements can include personal histories, professional and academic goals, and research interests. This statement should be approximately one page in length.


Include academic experience, internship and work experience, professional organizations, honors, scholarships, awards and publications.

English language requirements

Proficiency in English is required for graduate study at the University of Washington. Applicants whose native language is not English must demonstrate English language proficiency. Students must earn a minimum of 92 or higher on the TOEFL exam to be considered for admission. English language proficiency can also be demonstrated in the following ways based on the Graduate School English Requirements including a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution in the United States.

Optional: GRE General Test

You may submit your scores to the GRE General Test, but they are not required. Institution Code: 4854.

International students

The University of Washington encourages academically qualified applicants from other countries and also non-citizen applicants who are attending, or have degrees from, other universities in the United States. Upon admission, international applicants must be prepared to provide evidence of adequate financial support. Learn about the Financial Ability Requirement.