PhD Application

Autumn 2021 Application Deadlines:

Domestic Applicants: December 1, 2020

International Applicants: December 1, 2020

Program entry: New students start the program in the Autumn Quarter of each year.


Applying to the PhD Program

University Prerequisites

Certain minimum entrance requirements are set by the University of Washington Graduate School. These include a baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university in the United States or an equivalent degree from a foreign institution and a minimum grade point average of 3.0 for your most recent 60 graded semester credits or 90 graded quarter credits. For full details regarding the requirements, review the Graduate School website: http://grad.uw.edu/admissions/understanding-the-application-process/.

Departmental Prerequisites

A major in biology, chemistry, or biochemistry fulfills our departmental prerequisites.

Students with other majors must have completed:

  • 2 years of chemistry (normally general chemistry and organic chemistry)
  • Mathematics through calculus
  • 1 year of physics
  • At least one year of biology
  • Strongly recommended courses include biochemistry, genetics, and physical chemistry

In addition to the formal coursework, most of our applicants also have research experience in some scientific discipline (usually biology or chemistry).

Application Instructions

Announcement: For the Autumn 2021 application, GRE test score submission is not required for the Biochemistry PhD program.

Domestic Applicants: December 1, 2020

International Applicants: December 1, 2020

Submitting an Application

All application materials will be submitted through the on-line Graduate School application.

All materials are due by December 1st. Incomplete applications will not be reviewed for candidacy.

A complete application includes the following:

  1. Online Application: Apply on-line for admission to the Graduate School and the Biochemistry Department. All of the required materials will be described in detail through the application process: https://grad.uw.edu/admissions/apply-now/
  2. Transcripts: All applicants must upload unofficial transcripts from each college and/or university attended to your online application. It is recommended that students upload a copy of an official transcript. There is no need to send official transcripts by mail to the department. If accepted to the program, then official transcripts will be required for verification.
  3. Letters of Recommendation: Applicants must type in the 3 recommender’s names and e-mail addresses and select the “Online” recommendation option. The recommenders will then receive an automatic email with a submission link and instructions on how to upload their recommendation. After the recommender has submitted their materials, applicants will then receive an email stating that the recommendation process has been completed. Applicants can monitor the status of each recommendation on the application web site by logging into the application portal.
  4. Short Answer Questions: Instead of a statement of purpose, each applicant must complete the short answer questions and topics below. On the application, each topic will have a separate text box in which applicants can provide their answers. These text boxes have a 3,000 character limit. The program recommends that each applicant save their answers and then review them before submission to ensure that their answers will be submitted in their entirety. Questions/Topics: 1. What motivates your interest in scientific research? How will earning a Ph.D. help you to achieve your career goals? 2. Describe your previous research experiences. 3. Please describe why you are interested specifically in the University of Washington Biochemistry Ph.D. program. How do your interests and career goals intersect with the intellectual interests and physical resources of the UW Biochemistry graduate program? 4. Diversity of thinking, experience or background shape our academic community and drive our scientific research. Please describe any ways that your personal background, prior experiences or your perspectives on diversity can contribute to the diverse learning community at the UW. 5. Finally, tell us about any interests or hobbies outside of scientific research that you would like us to know about.
  5. Resume: A resume (or CV) is submitted online with the Biochemistry application.

GRE Scores: For the Autumn 2021 application, the Biochemistry program does not require GRE scores.

English Proficiency Note: Proficiency in English is required for graduate study at the University of Washington. Therefore, every applicant whose native language is not English must demonstrate English language proficiency. Details of this requirement are located in Memo 8 of the Graduate School policies.

International Applications

International Applicants: December 1, 2020

An international student is anyone who is not a US citizen or does not hold a US Permanent Resident Visa (i.e., Green Card or Immigrant). This definition also includes students who hold US visas, such as F-1 students, exchange visitors, or any other non-immigrant classification. Applicants educated abroad must meet the same general requirements as applicants educated in the United States, and must have earned the equivalent of a US undergraduate degree.

Submitting an Application

All international applicants should follow the guidelines in the Application Instructions with the following additions:

Transcripts: All applicants must upload official transcripts from each college and/or university attended to your online application. If your transcript is not written in English, you must upload a translated version.

Graduate School Transcript Translation Policies

Send international transcripts with degree statement, including date of graduation and title of academic degree awarded. All coursework with grades issued for each year completed must be submitted for proper evaluation. All international records are considered official if they have been certified or attested and must be submitted in the original language accompanied by an official English translation. Translations must be literal, complete versions of original records, and the documents must be translated by a university, a government official, or an official translation service. You cannot do your own translation.

English Proficiency: Proficiency in English is required for graduate study at the University of Washington. Therefore, every applicant whose native language is not English must demonstrate English language proficiency. Details of how to demonstrate this requirement are located in Memo 8 of the Graduate School policies.

Fluency in spoken and written English is essential for success in our graduate program. For this reason, international applicants must achieve recommended scores on the TOEFL test. The Department of Biochemistry adheres to the "Recommended Score (ELP Satisfied)" requirements for TOEFL testing from the Graduate School. Note: The Graduate School is phasing out usage of IELTS. IELTS results with a test session date after June 1, 2017 will not be accepted.

To submit official TOEFL scores: Use our Institution Code 4854.

Interview Travel: The department holds on-site interviews for selected candidates. If you are invited for an on-site interview, the department will cover the cost of travel from within the United States. You would be responsible for your airfare to the United States.