An exceptional education starts here.
The Graduate School confers all Ph.D. and M.A. degrees granted by Washington University in St. Louis. The Graduate School offers a highly selective roster of programs, which means you will walk away with an unbeatable educational experience to help you reach your goals long after you earn your degree. We encourage and give full consideration to all applicants for admission, financial aid, and employment, and our strong commitment to Diversity & Inclusion is put into practice across campus, each and every day.
The Graduate School of Arts and Sciences general application process is provided below. Programs can set individual processes outside of the Graduate School. Please review the website for the department to which you are applying for more detailed instructions.
Applicants must submit the following:
1. The online application.
2. Official transcripts of all undergraduate and graduate courses taken by the applicant. Transcripts must be requested by the applicant and sent directly by the institutions where the studies were pursued. Official supplementary transcripts must be submitted, as soon as they are available, to cover work completed after submitting an application.
3. Three reference forms completed by persons closely acquainted with the applicant, preferably those who have recently taught the student in relevant subjects.
4. Application fee or fee waiver.
5. Any additional material or interview required by the degree program. Even when not required, an interview is usually in the applicant’s best interest.
6. lease check with individual graduate program for GRE requirement. Information on the Graduate Record Examination can be requested directly from the Educational Testing Service website. The examination should be taken in time for results to reach Washington University directly from the Educational Testing Service before the application deadline. Students should take the examination with the view that no decision is made on the basis of standardized exams alone; a high score might strengthen an application, while a lower one is considered in conjunction with other evidence which has been submitted.
Degree programs set their own application deadlines, which must be no later than January 15. Many deadlines are much earlier; applicants should check with their prospective programs.
Applications should be submitted online, but some supporting documents might need to be mailed. It generally is advantageous to the applicant to complete the application well in advance of the deadline. Applicants who miss their prospective program’s deadline may or may not be considered for admission and financial aid. Most applicants who complete the application process by their deadline will be notified of their admission status in March.
Admissions and financial aid awards are for a specific academic year; students who do not matriculate that year must normally reapply. Admitted students can request a deferral of admission for up to one year, but such special requests require approval both of the admitting program and of the Graduate School.
Admission to graduate study is ordinarily free from preconditions. However, when the evidence in an application supports contradictory conclusions about an applicant’s preparedness, the program might recommend provisional admission. Provisionally admitted students enter the program for a semester or two, at the end of which time their faculty must make an unconditional admissions decision. Students who require further undergraduate work before they can engage in graduate study should obtain it before applying to the Graduate School.
Applicants to whom admission is not offered may reapply after gaining additional evidence of qualification. Degree programs in Arts & Sciences rarely admit applicants for spring semester. Students interested in beginning graduate study in the spring should consult their prospective program’s faculty and staff.
Acceptance of Admission and Awards
Washington University, along with most other graduate schools in the United States, subscribes to the following resolution of the Council of Graduate Schools:
Acceptance of an offer of financial aid (such as a graduate scholarship, fellowship, traineeship, or assistantship) for the next academic year by an actual or prospective graduate student completes an agreement which both student and graduate school expect to honor. In those instances in which the student accepts the offer before April 15 and subsequently desires to withdraw, the student may submit in writing a resignation of the appointment at any time through April 15. However, an acceptance given or left in force after April 15 commits the student not to accept another offer without first obtaining a written release from the institution to which a commitment has been made. Similarly, an offer by an institution after April 15 is conditional on presentation by the student of the written release from any previously accepted offer.
It is further agreed by the institutions and organizations subscribing to the above Resolution that a copy of this Resolution should accompany every scholarship, fellowship, traineeship, and assistantship offer. Students to whom admission and financial awards are offered in March are requested to give notice in writing of the acceptance or rejection of their offers no later than April 15. Students to whom offers are made after April 1 are asked to reply within two weeks of receipt of the notice. Offers can be withdrawn if the deadline passes without any response from the student. Requests to extend deadlines or to reinstate withdrawn offers should be addressed to the degree program, which must endorse them before forwarding them to the Graduate School Dean for final approval.