GEMS Blog for Advisors

November 23, 2016

Critical Graduate Admissions Updates

The Graduate School recently received a policy clarification from the U.S. Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency regarding conditional admissions.  In response to this clarification, the Graduate School is changing a few of our admission practices to ensure compliance with federal policy while minimizing the impact on your current admission practices and retaining fairness to all applicants throughout the admission process. Our admissions webpage, Understanding the Application Process, has been updated to reflect these updated admissions practices.

Effective immediately:

  • New – minimum scores for the TOEFL iBT (80 minimum), TOEFL pBT (500 minimum), and IELTS (6.5 minimum) have been established.  Applicants reporting scores below the minimum will not be admissible.  We will continue our practice that requires any student with a score between the minimum and our current recommended scores to complete designated UW Academic English Program (AEP) courses.  Graduate programs may continue to require higher test scores than the Graduate School’s recommended scores.
  • All applicants whose native language is not English must continue to provide the Graduate School (or Designated School Officials at Bothell and Tacoma campuses) with documentation regarding English proficiency.
  • New – a petition to the Graduate School is required before offering admission to an applicant with a self-reported or computed GPA below a 3.0 within their last 90 quarter or 60 semester graded credits.
  • Students may continue to be offered admission before the Graduate School verifies the prior degree (baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited college or university in the U.S., or its equivalent from a foreign institution).
  • New – Graduate Enrollment Management Services (GEMS) is currently developing a plan to ensure prior degrees are verified before the students’ first quarter of enrollment.  More information regarding this plan will be available Winter quarter.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding these new policies and practices, please contact Graduate Enrollment Management Services at

We appreciate your efforts to assist us in complying with federal policies, and thank you for your continued efforts in promoting diversity within your student communities.