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Future Students

Ph.D. Program Admission

Application deadline: January 5, 2024

This advanced program trains engineers for leadership roles in academia, industry and research institutions.

Applications must be submitted through the UW Graduate School Online Application. The application process is summarized below.

Previous academic preparation

An undergraduate or master's degree in materials science and engineering, or in a relevant field of study such as another engineering major, physics or chemistry, is required.

Minimum GPA and exam scores

The University of Washington Graduate School requires an applicant to have a minimum 3.0 GPA to be considered eligible for admission. Beyond this, our department does not maintain a fixed minimum. However, admission to our department is competitive. Over the past five years, the average GPA for admitted students was 3.7.

English Proficiency

Proficiency in English is required for graduate study at the University of Washington. If an exam is required, applicants must meet the recommended test scores of 92 TOEFL, 120 DUO, or 7.0 IELTS for consideration. This exam is waived if previous degree was earned in the US, or at least 3 years of degree completion with all instruction in English. See complete requirements.

The department accepts new Ph.D. students for autumn quarter only. Completed applications must be submitted by 11:59 pm (Pacific Time) on the deadline date.

Autumn 2024 Application Deadline: Friday, January 5 (11:59 PM Pacific Time Zone), 2024.

The department does not review applications until after the deadline has passed. You can monitor the status of your application by logging in to the application system. If we have any questions regarding your application, we will contact you.

A select group of applicants will be contacted by early February for individual meetings with faculty. The department strives to provide decisions to all applicants by early March. Decisions are sent via email. Applicants denied admission for the Ph.D. Program can request consideration for the Applied Masters Program. The actual date of notification will vary depending on factors such as the size of the applicant pool.

You must submit the following materials in order for your application to be complete:

  1. UW Graduate School Application
  2. Resume/CV
  3. Transcripts
    We only require transcripts from institutions where you received (or will receive) a degree. Please do not mail official paper transcripts. These will only be requested if an offer of admission is made.

    Electronic transcripts must clearly show the institution's name, the student's name, a list of all courses taken and all grades received, and the title and date of any degrees conferred. Electronic transcripts must be in PDF format.
  4. Statement of purpose
    A statement of purpose should convey information not available on your transcripts or resume. It should be approximately one page in length and offer a clear overview of your reasons for pursuing this graduate degree, your previous preparation, your research experience and interests, and your plans for seeing this degree through to completion. Other relevant information may also be included.
  5. Three letters of recommendation
    Letters from academic references are preferred, but relevant professional references are also acceptable. Strong letters will be substantive, specific, and will address (1) an applicant's technical experience and research ability, (2) the applicant's likelihood of success in graduate-level studies, and (3) the relevance/appropriateness of the MSE program for the applicant's future goals.
  6. Professors of interest
    Within the application, you will indicate 1-3 professors who are of interest to you.
  7. English proficiency
    English language exams may be required by the Graduate School for applicants who do not hold a degree from a U.S. institution. Read further details regarding English proficiency requirements.

    Teaching Assistantships (TAs) will only be offered to international candidates who meet additional English language conditions outlined in UW Graduate School policy.

Optional: GRE scores
GRE scores may be submitted, but they are not required. Institution Code: 4854. The admissions committee will only review GRE scores if they cannot make a decision based on the required documents. 

The department does not review any applications until after the deadline has passed. You can monitor the status of your application by logging in to the application system. If we have any questions or concerns regarding your application, we will contact you.

The department strives to provide decisions within 8-10 weeks of the application deadline. However, the actual date of notification will vary depending on factors such as the size of the applicant pool. You will be notified via email when a final decision has been made.

If you hold an appropriate undergraduate degree from an accredited university, you are eligible to apply to the Ph.D. program. If you are admitted as a full-time, on-campus student, you will be eligible for a visa, issued through the UW Graduate School, subject to certain restrictions and requirements.

When preparing your application, be certain to provide legible, fully translated copies of your undergraduate transcripts.

View the 2020 Info session

The graduate adviser, program directors, graduate faculty and students discuss the master's and Ph.D. programs. Learn about faculty research, the application process, the student experience, and more.