MSE Graduate Programs Application Instructions and Online Application


Application Overview
Graduate MSE applicants are expected to have earned a baccalaureate degree from an accredited university in various engineering or physical science fields (or will have completed such a degree prior to autumn quarter of the year for which application is made). Competitive applicants generally have earned at least a 3.4 GPA in their last 60 credits in their undergraduate study and have GRE scores in at least the 70th percentile in the quantitative and verbal categories and 50th percentile in analytical writing.


All course prerequisites must be satisfied, either by taking the following courses through independent study or through practical experience in the field. Specific program pre-requisites which may be satisfied after entry into the program are:


  • Knowledge of fundamentals of materials science and engineering equivalent to MSE 170
  • Knowledge of crystallography equivalent to MSE 331
  • Background in materials properties equivalent to MSE 362 and MSE 351
  • Knowledge of kinetics equivalent to MSE 322


The department also requires that all entering graduate students have an understanding of thermodynamics equivalent to the level of MSE 421. If the student does not have two undergraduate thermodynamics courses upon entry to the graduate program, then MSE 421 is required. Other specific courses may be recommended or required by the graduate coordinator after reviewing the student's record.


Application Deadlines
PhD Degree Program – December 15
MS Degree Program - January 15

We only admit students one time per year for the upcoming autumn quarter.


Application Access
All applicants to the UW MSE Program must complete the UW Graduate School online application, which incorporates all program-specific application materials. No printed materials at the time of application. If offered admission, additional materials will be requested at that time. Review the requirements listed below before proceeding.

Create Graduate School Applicant Profile
As you begin the online application process, you will create an Applicant Profile containing basic applicant data, such as your name, contact information, and geographical information. Based on the information entered in your Applicant Profile, the system will identify your application type (US citizen or international, degree seeking or graduate non-matriculated) and present you with the relevant checklist of application requirements and step-by-step instructions.

NOTE: After creating your Applicant Profile, you will be asked to select the degree program to which you are applying. Based on your interest you will select one of the following programs for the MSE Graduate Programs.

Materials Science & Engineering (PhD) 
to apply for the PhD Program  

Material Science & Engineering (MSE - Applied)  
to apply for the MS Program (non-thesis program)

Résumé/Curriculum Vitae (CV)
The resume or curriculum vitae should include a complete history of your academic experience, intern/work experience, membership in professional organizations and/or licenses held, honors received (such as scholarships, awards) and publications (if any). Where appropriate, items listed should be interpreted in terms of their relevance to materials science and engineering.

Three recommendations are required. An electronic form is provided to the recommender through a direct email from Graduate Admissions once they are designated in the online application. Recommendations should be requested of individuals who have knowledge of your academic performance and/or performance in a intern/work setting and who can evaluate your potential for or commitment to a future in materials science and engineering.

Statement of Purpose

This is a one-page statement outlining the applicants desire to pursue graduate studies in MSE. Applications should include specialty areas and research interests, as well as degree objectives.

Applicants are required to upload an unofficial transcript to their online application for each college/university attended where a degree was earned (bachelor's degree or higher).
If an offer of admission is made, applicants planning to enroll must submit an official degree transcript (University of Washington transcripts excluded) to the Office of Graduate Admissions upon request.

Test Scores
Test scores must arrive by the application deadline in order for the application to be reviewed; schedule testing dates accordingly. The University of Washington's Institution Code for score reporting is 4854.


  • GRE
    The GRE is required for all applicants. GRE scores are valid for five years from the time the exam was completed. Scores must not be more than five years old from the application deadline.


    Applicants whose native language is not English - and who have not received the equivalent of a bachelor's, master's, or doctoral degree from a regionally accredited US institution or an institution where all instruction is in English - must submit a valid official score from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). Only score reports less than two years old from the test date to the application deadline will be accepted. The minimum test score requirement is 92 (TOEFLIbt), 237 (TOEFLC), 580 (TOEFL), or 7.0 (IELTS). The UW Institution Code for score reporting is R4854.


  • No waivers of the English competency requirement will be given. For additional information, see the Graduate School website.


Application Fee
An application fee is required by the Graduate School for each application submitted. The application fee is $85.


Begin the MSE Application Process:


Please Note: If a PhD offer of admission is made, the applicant will receive information about available departmental funding support at that time. There is no separate application to complete for this purpose. Our department is not able to offer funding support for our master’s degree program.


Contact Us

Graduate Academic Adviser
302 Roberts Hall
(206) 543-2740