The Graduate School or 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. The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) if applicable: the GRE is required for admission to graduate programs in Arts & Sciences. 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.