Admissions and FAQs

Click here for FAQs.

Preparation for admission to the Graduate Program:

The Department of Microbiology strongly recommends that undergraduate preparation include courses in biochemistry, physics, general and organic chemistry, microbiology, molecular biology, and cell biology.  It’s important that prospective students seek opportunities to carry out undergraduate research. Selection is based on the evaluation of a student's undergraduate record for indications of the ability to excel in independent and creative research. Applicants must have completed a baccalaureate or advanced degree by the time of matriculation.

How to apply:

Deadline: December 15th for domestic and international applicants. Interviews are by invitation only and are normally held in February.

Apply Online: Review the information before starting the application process. The UW Graduate School’s application fee is paid online using MasterCard or Visa credit or debit cards. Apply online here.

Tips While Applying Online:

  • Graduate Record Exam: Please register to take the exam by October in order for the scores to arrive in time. The UW Institution Code is 4854. A subject exam is not required.
  • TOEFL: International applicants only.
     English Language Proficiency Requirements.. Institution Code 4854. Scores are valid for two years.
  • Transcripts: Unofficial transcript(s) are to be uploaded into the provided space. Do not send hard copy transcripts. Official transcripts will be required of those admitted to the University of Washington.
  • Resume: Include your educational background, course work in progress, work experience, honors, internships, awards and prizes, and papers that you have co-authored, if any.
  • Statement of Purpose: Include specific information about your research experience, what inspired you to pursue graduate studies, why you are interested in our program, and what are your research goals.

    Applicants with varied cultural experiences and educationally or economically disadvantaged backgrounds are encouraged to include these factors in the review of their application.

  • Letters of Recommendation and Evaluation: Limit of 3 letters. When you list your references, they are automatically sent instructions on how to submit a letter of recommendation, and an evaluation. Be sure that the email addresses are correct.
  • The review is done online: Please do not send application materials.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What is the application deadline?
A. December 15th. Incomplete applications will not be reviewed by our Admissions Committee. It is recommended that international applicants apply by November 1st.

Q. Do you offer admittance more than once a year?
A. No. We accept students for only autumn.

Q. Can I apply to more than one program or department at the University of Washington at the same time? 
A. Yes. However, you must submit a separate application and pay an additional fee for each program to which you apply.

Q. Do you offer a Masters Degree Program?
A. No. Our program is designed for those seeking a Ph.D. degree.

Q. Is it recommended that I contact individual professors to request their support of my application?
A. No. Our first year students are required to complete three laboratory rotations before choosing a permanent lab.

Q. Is the GRE Exam required?
A. Yes. We require the General Exam (Verbal, Quantitative, and Analytical Writing.) The Subject Exam in biology is recommended, but not required. ETS will keep your GRE scores on file for five years after the test date.

Q. What are your GRE codes?
A. The Institutional Code is 4854.

Q. Is the TOEFL required for international students?
A. Yes. TOEFL requirement is 237 computer-based or 580 paper based. TOEFL scores are valid for 2 years.

Q. Is the TSE required for international students to be accepted into the program?
A. You do not need to take the TSE until after you are accepted into the program.

Q. Is funding available?
A. Yes. Typically, microbiology graduate students are supported by research or teaching assistantships. These positions provide a monthly stipend for living expenses, tuition waiver, and health benefits. Students are responsible for paying a student activity fee quarterly. Note: Students are encouraged to apply for training grants and fellowships (often international students are not eligible). Foreign applicants are advised that financial assistance in the form of a teaching assistantship cannot be awarded unless the applicant has scored above 580 on the Test of English as a Foreign Language.

Q. Can I be a part-time student?
A. No. We do not accept students on a part-time basis.