General information about M.S. and Ph.D. admissions

The M.S. and Ph.D. Bioengineering programs have their own separate deadlines, but the application process is the same.

Admission to UW Bioengineering’s Master of Science (M.S.) and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) is competitive. The graduate admissions committee is impressed with the quality of applicants each year. The committee regrets that only a small number of students will be admitted each year. The Department of Bioengineering genuinely appreciates each candidate’s interest in our programs and welcomes each application.

Please review the UW Bioengineering graduate programs frequently asked questions (FAQ) page and UW Graduate School Admissions Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) prior to contacting an Academic Counselor via our contact form.


Annual Application Deadlines:

Ph.D. applications are due Dec. 15, 2016, 11:59PM Pacific Time, USA for Autumn 2017 admission.

MS applications are due Jan. 31, 2017, 11:59PM Pacific Time, USA for Autumn 2017 admission.

Application Policies

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

The Ph.D. and M.S. application processes are for Autumn quarter matriculation only.

Candidates are asked to upload all sections of the online application prior to application submission. Once an application is submitted, it is difficult for the department to enter changes and/or updates. Candidates are encouraged to apply early in order to receive courtesy e-mail notification from the Department of Bioengineering about any missing application items.

The application is an entirely online process. Candidates must submit electronic copies of all application materials where requested in the online application. Only letters from letter of recommendation writers who prefer to use postal mail will be reviewed or considered in paper form (see details below). All other application material must be received electronically.

All application materials must be received (not postmarked) in the appropriate office or submitted via the online application by 11:59PM the day of the deadline in order to be considered for admission. Late and/or incomplete applications will not be reviewed. The Department of Bioengineering will not make any exceptions to this policy.

Selected candidates will be invited to interview March 2-5, 2017. The department is unable to interview candidates at any other time.

Domestic vs. International Candidate Status

A candidate is considered “International” if he/she:

  • Is not a United States citizen, immigrant or green card holder (permanent resident)


  • Currently holds a non-immigrant United States visa (examples include J-1, F-1, H-1, dependent visa)

Otherwise, the candidate is considered “Domestic.”

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

How to Apply

Domestic and International Applicants must complete the Graduate School Application and pay a $85 application fee.

The following materials must accompany each application. All application materials will now be received via the online application unless given explicit directions by the Department or the Graduate School.

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.

For the Ph.D., the Department of Bioengineering will accept self-reported GRE scores by the day of the deadline (December 15, 2016). Official GRE scores must be submitted and properly uploaded into a candidate’s application by January 1, 2017. Either official GRE scores or self-reported GRE scores must be entered into the application by the day of the deadline (December 15) in order for the application to be considered “complete.” Applications that have not self-reported or provided official GRE scores will be considered “incomplete” and the application will not be able to be reviewed or considered for admission.

For the MS, applicants submit official GRE scores by the day of the deadline (January 31, 2017).

Candidates should note that it rarely takes less than six weeks for Educational Testing Service (ETS) to send GRE scores and for GRE scores to be properly uploaded into an application. Candidates should plan to take the GRE well in advance of the application deadline to ensure that scores are delivered by the application deadline.

The Department of Bioengineering will not consider an application “complete” unless GRE scores are submitted and received according to the deadlines indicated above.

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

The application will ask each candidate to 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 where s/he is able to choose the online system or send the letter via postal mail. Candidates and letter writers are strongly encouraged to use the online system.

Letter of recommendation writers who submit letters online will complete an evaluation form as part of the process.

The official Ph.D. application deadline is December 15, 2016 and the official MS application deadline is January 31, 2017. All letters must be received by the deadline in order for an application to be considered complete. Late or incomplete applications will not be reviewed or considered. Candidates should track the status of the letters of recommendation by logging back into the online application.

If any letter of recommendation writers prefer to use postal mail instead of using the online system, their letters and the paper evaluation form should be sent to:

Academic Services
Department of Bioengineering
University of Washington
3720 15th Ave NE
Box 355061
Seattle, WA 98195-5061

The Statement of Purpose is a clear and succinct description of a candidate’s reasons for applying to the Department of Bioengineering at the University of Washington, motivations for entering bioengineering, and preparation for advanced research. Additionally, applicants must discuss unique circumstances or obstacles overcome in obtaining their education, as well as how they could contribute to diversity in the Bioengineering program and at UW. This statement should be two pages or less. Candidates should review information about UW Bioengineering faculty and research for relevant statement of purpose information.

Applicants must provide a ranked faculty list, of 3 (minimum) to 8 (maximum) faculty whose research interests them and with whom they would want to complete their graduate work. For a list of faculty and a description of their research, see our faculty directory

Please list pending graduate school award notifications in addition to any graduate school awards received.

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

Official TOEFL scores

International candidates who do not meet English proficiency standards (as determined by the UW Graduate School) are required to take the TOEFL  exam. The Department does not accept English language proficiency scores below the scores listed on the following website: UW Graduate School Memorandum No. 8. Details about English proficiency exams and who qualifies to waive this requirement can also be found on this website.

International candidates who will not earn Bachelor’s, Master’s or PhD degrees from US or UW Graduate School Memorandum No. 8 approved English speaking institutions prior to matriculation into a UW graduate program must submit  official TOEFL scores, less than 2 years old, directly from ETS to the department. TOEFL scores must be valid and two (2) years old or less as of the date the application is submitted. An international candidate’s application will not be considered “complete” unless the department receives the official English language proficiency exam score by the application deadline. Please use institutional code 4854; no department code is required. Official scores must be received by 11:59PM (PST) on the day of the program deadline (December 15, 2016 for Ph.D.; January 31, 2017 for MS).

International candidates who will earn a Bachelor’s, Master’s or PhD degree from a US or UW Graduate School Memorandum No. 8 approved English speaking intuition prior to matriculation into a UW graduate program  do not have to complete the English proficiency exam requirement. Such candidates are instructed to select the TOEFL exam option on their application and enter an exam date that is later than the anticipated graduation date. Candidates should not register for the TOEFL though ETS. Candidates do not need to enter TOEFL exam scores. Once the candidate’s degree is earned and posted on the official transcript, the English language proficiency requirement will be removed from the application.

Candidates should note that it rarely takes less than six (6) weeks for Educational Testing Service (ETS) to send TOEFL scores and for TOEFL scores to be properly uploaded into an application. Candidates should plan to take the TOEFL well in advance of the application deadline to ensure that the official scores are uploaded by the appropriate deadline.

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. The Graduate School will contact international candidates directly when additional materials are required. Candidates should not submit additional application materials unless explicitly instructed to do so.