Apply to UW Bioengineering’s Ph.D. program – GRE Now Optional

Admission to UW Bioengineering’s Ph.D. program is competitive. While we are impressed with the quality of applicants each year and genuinely appreciate each candidate’s interest and application, we regret that only a small number of students will be offered admission each year.

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Have a question about applying?

Review the Ph.D. Admissions Frequently Asked Questions.


Application opens October 1st 2024


Applicants are responsible for ensuring their application is complete and received by the deadline in order to be considered for admission. Late applications will not be reviewed, no exceptions.

Before applying

Application information

The review of completed Ph.D. applications starts in December and continues through the end of January. Virtual interviews for selected applicants will occur mid-January to mid-February, 2024. Admission offers will be sent by mid-February, with a recruitment event in Seattle to follow in March. Students who are selected will be notified well in advance.

If you are waiting to hear about the status of your application, please check the email account you submitted with your online application and also log back into your application profile.

You are a domestic applicant if you are a U.S. citizen or hold immigrant status (permanent residency/have a green card).

You are an international applicant if you have/will have a non-immigrant visa status, including F-1, J-1 Exchange Visitors, H-1, dependent visas. 

International students must have a U.S. visa status that allows academic study at the University of Washington.

International applicants are strongly encouraged to review the UW Graduate School FAQ for International Students.

Domestic and international applicants must complete the Graduate School Application and pay a $85 application fee. Applicants may incur additional costs associated with exams, such as the TOEFL, IELTS, GRE, etc.
Late or incomplete applications will not be reviewed, no exceptions.

GRE Scores – Optional

If choosing to submit, GRE scores must be directly reported from ETS to UW (use institutional code 4854; department code 1603). GRE scores must be valid and five (5) years old or less on the date the application is submitted.

Applicants may submit self-reported GRE scores up until the day of the deadline. Official GRE scores should be submitted and properly uploaded into a candidate’s application by January 1 if they would like to be considered.

Unofficial transcripts

Unofficial transcripts from all institutions attended must be uploaded into the Graduate School online application. Paper transcripts will not be accepted. Applicants should not submit official transcripts unless explicitly requested.

Three letters of recommendation

Each applicant must designate three (3) people who will write letters of recommendation. Each writer will immediately receive an e-mail directing him/her to a secure website to submit the letter of recommendation online and complete an evaluation form of the applicant.

Typically, mentors who have seen you in a lab environment, as a researcher, and can speak to your research experience, content and progress will provide your strongest recommendations. We ask recommenders to talk about your research experience, strengths, and your ability to overcome obstacles.

The official Ph.D. application deadline is December 1, 2023. All letters must be received by the deadline in order for an application to be considered complete. Applicants should track the status of the letters of recommendation by logging back into the online application.

Statement of Purpose

Please answer each of the following questions separately.

1) What research area would you like to pursue for your graduate studies, and why? What have you done in the past, and how has your past experience shaped these interests and passions? You can read about our research themes here.

2) What do you hope to gain from your graduate studies that will be useful for your long-term career goals?  Explain why the Bioengineering Department at the University of Washington will provide a good fit for your research interests and career goals?

3) The graduate student experience and life in general can involve a range of challenges. Describe an example of how you have shown resilience and/or perseverance in the pursuit of your academic goals or in your personal life and how you have grown as a result.

4) If you have a background or experience  that might particularly contribute to the enrichment of the program, please describe it. Examples include unique educational or cultural opportunities, social and economic obstacles that you may have had to overcome, or other and interesting or unusual influences on your personal intellectual development.

5) [OPTIONAL] Provide any additional information you would like in support of your application.

List of faculty of interest

Applicants must provide a ranked faculty list, of 3 (minimum) to 5 (maximum) faculty whose research interests them and with whom they would want to complete their graduate work. Only core and adjunct BIOE faculty may be selected as PI/advisor for our graduate students. For a list of faculty and a description of their research, see our faculty directory

Up-to-date resume or curriculum vitae

All international applicants are encouraged to first visit the UW Graduate School to understand the overall application process.

Official TOEFL scores

International applicants are required to meet English proficiency standards as determined by the UW Graduate School in Memorandum No. 8. International applicants who will not earn Bachelor’s, Master’s or Ph.D. degrees from U.S. or approved English speaking institutions prior to matriculation into a UW graduate program must submit official TOEFL scores, less than two (2) years old, directly from ETS to the department. International applicants must meet minimum score requirements as stated in Memo 8 in order to be considered for admission.

Please use institutional code 4854; no department code is required. Official TOEFL scores must be received by 11:59PM (PST) on the day of the program deadline (December 1, 2022)

International applicants who do not need to complete the TOEFL due to having a US or other approved country degree are instructed to select the TOEFL exam option on their application and enter an exam date that is later than the anticipated graduation date. Applicants should not register for the TOEFL though ETS nor will they need to enter TOEFL exam scores in their application. Once the candidate’s degree is earned and posted on the official transcript, the English language proficiency requirement will be removed from the application.

Applicants should plan to take the TOEFL well in advance of the application deadline to ensure that the official scores are uploaded by the admission deadlines.

To avoid additional and/or unexpected delays, a candidate’s name should appear with ETS and with the Bioengineering application exactly as it appears on the candidate’s passport.

Additional application materials (official transcripts, financial ability, copy of visa, etc)

The Graduate School only requires additional application materials from international applicants when they are recommended for admission. Applicants should not submit additional application materials unless explicitly instructed to do so by the Graduate School.