UW Bioengineering Graduate Admissions

Bioengineering student and faculty member in lab

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.

The M.S. and Ph.D. Bioengineering programs have the same deadline, application process and admissions timeline.

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 Deadline: All M.S. and Ph.D. applications are due Dec. 1, 2015, 11:59PM Pacific Time, USA for Autumn 2016 admission.

Application Policies

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 17-20, 2016. 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.

Official GRE scores

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.

The Department of Bioengineering will accept self-reported GRE scores by the December 1 deadline. Official GRE scores must be submitted and properly uploaded into a candidate’s application by January 4, 2016. Either official GRE scores or self-reported GRE scores must be entered into the application by December 1 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.

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 self-reported GRE scores are received in the online application by December 1 (11:59PM PST) deadline, and official GRE scores are received in the online application by January 4, 2016 (11:59PM PST).

Unofficial transcripts

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.

Three letters of recommendation

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.

Our official deadline is December 2, 2015. 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

Statement of purpose

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. This statement should be two pages or less. Candidates should review information about UW Bioengineering faculty and research for relevant statement of purpose information.

List of faculty of interest

Brief explanations for each faculty member are optional.

List of fellowships, scholarships, and awards

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

Up-to-date resume or curriculum vitae

International candidates only

Official TOEFL scores (or other UW-approved English language proficiency exams)

International candidates who do not meet English proficiency standards (as determined by the UW Graduate School) are required to take the TOEFL or other UW-approved English language proficiency 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 (or other UW-approved English language proficiency exams), less than 2 years old, directly from ETS to the department. TOEFL (or other UW-approved English language proficiency exams) 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) December 1, 2015.

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.