Frequently-Asked Questions

Common questions and answers are posted below. If you can’t find what you’re looking for after reviewing this page,  contact us.

Admissions Applications

The TOEFL, GRE, or GMAT section of my application says 'not received.' What should I do?

If you do not have test scores to provide [don’t have a GRE/GMAT or TOEFL score, etc.] then you can leave those sections of the application blank. As a result of leaving those sections blank, the application status page will show that those materials were ‘not received.’ This is acceptable unless you need to include scores in your application. Your application will still be reviewed and there is no need to contact us to ask us if there are problems with your application.

I made a mistake on my application or have updated test scores to provide. Can I revise it?

If the application deadline has already passed, we will not be able to make any changes to your application. If the application deadline for which you have applied has not yet passed, you can send us an email with the document(s) you want to update. Please note that there are some updates that you can make yourself on your application status page at the UW Graduate School.  Our review process begins immediately after the deadline using the materials on file at the time of the deadline.

Can I still apply even if I have not fulfilled all of the prerequisites?

Yes, although we do not recommend it. A strong business background cannot substitute for the necessary quantitative knowledge.  All competitive applicants will have earned strong grades in calculus, probability/statistics, and programming coursework.

For our campus and online applicants, the admissions review committee will evaluate each applicant and may recommend one or more of several options to students who lack the required prerequisites. The options include:

  • Taking undergraduate-level courses in these areas (either at UW or at a regionally accredited university or community college)
  • For current UW undergraduate students: taking preparatory CFRM courses (CFRM 405, 410, 415, 420, 425) for a grade
Can I mail you a paper application package?

No. We do not accepted application materials sent by postal mail to the Applied Mathematics Department. Utilize self-reporting of scores and submit unofficial transcripts in the application. Materials sent to the department are not opened.

Can I submit additional letters of recommendation, writing samples, or other extra materials?

No. In the interest of keeping applications consistent and fair for all applicants, we cannot accept additional materials for review. Doing so will not improve your chances of success. There are no exceptions to this rule.

Is there an application fee waiver?

The CFRM program does not offer a departmental fee waiver or pre-paid application fee. If eligible, you may request a fee waiver directly through the Graduate School at least 7 days before the posted application deadline. Please refer here for details.

What is the status of my application?

We ask that candidates NOT contact us about their application status. You can check on the status of your application by logging back in to your online application. Decisions will be made after each admissions deadline.

I really, really want to apply for this program, but I just found out that I missed the deadline. Can you help?

No. In the interest of keeping the admissions process fair for applicants who were able to complete the application on time, we do not accept applications after the admissions deadline. You are encouraged to apply to the program for the next round.

What are my chances of admission based on my resume and transcript?

As a matter of policy, we do not comment on hypothetical applications.  There are no exceptions to this rule, and informal advice or hypothetical conversations prior to application are not official determinations of the CFRM staff, but general guidance.  Each year, we receive more qualified applications than we can accommodate in our degree program.  If you believe you meet our entrance requirements and want to know if you will be accepted, please apply.

Why wasn't I admitted to the CFRM MS?

Every year, we are forced to reject a number of qualified applicants. If we did not extend an offer of admission to you, it is because there were other, stronger candidates competing for a very limited number of openings. Please do not submit additional materials or ask for reconsideration. If you complete additional preparatory coursework or gain professional experience, your chances may improve for a future application. However, it is extremely unlikely that you will be admitted after more than two unsuccessful applications.

Minimum Requirements

Are GRE or GMAT scores required to apply?

GRE/GMAT scores are optional for those applying to the Computational Finance & Risk Management MS campus and online programs. These scores may be submitted with your application for consideration, but are not required.

I'd like to still submit my GRE/GMAT results. What is the minimum GRE/GMAT test score you accept?

We do not have a specified cutoff.  Typical students achieve scores at or above 159(V) and 167(Q).

What is the minimum TOEFL or other English language score required?

For non-native speakers of English, please refer to Policy 3.2: Graduate School English Language Proficiency Requirements.

Do you accept IELTS?

Yes. Effective with the Autumn 2022 admissions cycle, we accept IELTS. Please refer to Policy 3.2 for satisfying English proficiency. 

What is the minimum GPA required?

We do not have a specified cutoff.  The UW Graduate School requires a 3.0 on a 4-point scale for the past 90 graded quarter units (60 semester units).  The average incoming campus MS student GPA is around 3.7.

I'm not a native English speaker, but I have earned/will earn a degree from a US university. Do I need to take an English exam?

If you fall within the Graduate School’s guidelines to meet the English proficiency requirements, no.  Leave the English proficiency section of your application blank.  We will see your US degree and confirm that it meets UW Graduate School requirements.

I'm scheduled to take the TOEFL exam after the admissions deadline. What should I do?

Your exam(s) must be completed prior to the application deadline. Leave enough time to be able to self-report scores and submit your application in time. We will not accept late applications due to pending exam score results. Effective April 15, 2021, GRE/GMAT scores are no longer required, so your application can be submitted without including GRE/GMAT scores. Your application will receive full consideration as long as it’s submitted before the admissions deadline.

New Students

I received an offer and the instructions say I have to pay an Enrollment Confirmation Deposit (ECD). What's that?

In order to plan for the number of students who will actually participate in the program, UW asks new degree students to confirm their acceptance by pre-paying a portion of their tuition. 100% of this money is applied to your balance due for the first quarter of enrollment.  The deposit is nonrefundable, regardless of whether you ultimately begin CFRM coursework.

I received and confirmed my offer, but now another opportunity has opened up for me. Will you refund the ECD?

Congratulations! We understand that plans change between application and the start of classes.  However, all ECD payments are nonrefundable.

I received an offer of admission, but I need to defer my enrollment. Can I?

Deferment is approved on a case-by-case basis; please contact us if you have an offer and may need to defer.  If you begin the program and later need to reduce your course schedule or go on leave, the UW Graduate School does have procedures for doing so.  If your anticipated conflicting obligation lies further in the future than your first Autumn quarter, please talk to us about options.

I am an international student. Is the CFRM MS considered a STEM program eligible for OPT extension?

Yes.  CFRM is fully qualified for whatever the current US federal standard allows.

When do I need to arrive on campus to start classes?

The academic year usually begins the last week of September. We generally hold new student orientation the day before classes start. We recommend arriving on campus the week before classes start to acclimate yourself to campus and Seattle. International students should arrive earlier to attend International Student Orientation, called Embark. Details are provided the summer before the program begins.