Admission

Ph.D. Program Admission

Applications are now open for August 2020 enrollment.

Our Doctor of Philosophy is a demanding, world-class research program in advanced materials science and engineering. PhD students in our department are prepared to assume leadership roles in academia, industry, and research institutions.

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 for either GPA or exam scores. However, admission to our department is competitive. Historical data on average GPAs and GRE percentiles for students admitted to this program is below.

Admitted Applicants

2014

2015

2016

2017

2018

Average GPA

3.7

3.7

3.7

3.67

3.71

Average GRE Q

84%

90%

92%

89%

88%

Average GRE V

73%

85%

84%

75%

76%

Average GRE W

38%

56%

57%

60%

67%

The application period for admission to autumn quarter 2020 is now open. Deadline: January 6, 2020.

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

  1. UW Graduate School Electronic Application
     
  2. Resume/CV
     
  3. GRE scores
    GRE scores must be submitted electronically by ETS to the University of Washington (Institution Code: 4854). Test scores must be received by the the application deadline.
     
  4. 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.

    Transcripts should be attached to your electronic application. A scan of an official transcript is strongly preferred. However, an unofficial transcript or "academic history" generated by an online student portal is acceptable. 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.
     
  5. Statement of purpose
    A statement of purpose should convey additional 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.
     
  6. 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.
     
  7. Professors and research group interests
    Submit a document listing one to three professors or research groups that would be of interest to you, if admitted to the Ph.D. program. Describe why you find these professors to be of interest (optional).
     
  8. 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's Memo 15.

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.

Clean Energy Institute DIRECT Program

Through DIRECT, MSE graduate students can receive data science training, practice applying new tools and skills in a project-based learning environment, and gain experience working with industry and academic partners on a team-based capstone project. DIRECT trainees who complete the program will be credentialed and equipped for career options that require data science training. Learn more about the Clean Energy Institute DIRECT Program »

NanoTech & Molecular Engineering

MSE Ph.D. students can earn the dual-titled Ph.D. degree: "Doctor of Philosophy in Materials Science and Engineering & Nanotechnology and Molecular Engineering." To gain this dual title, students complete a rotation in an NTME-related project, take courses related to NTME, and take part in NTME seminars. Learn more about the NanoTech & Molecular Engineering Dual Degree ».

If you hold an appropriate undergraduate degree from an accredited university, you are eligible to apply to the PhD 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.