The Graduate School confers all PhD and MA 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.
Washington University encourages and gives full consideration to all applicants for admission, financial aid, and employment. The University does not discriminate in access to, or treatment or employment in, its programs and activities on the basis of race, color, age, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, veteran status, disability or genetic information. Inquiries about compliance should be addressed to the University’s Vice Chancellor for Human Resources, Washington University, Campus Box 1184, One Brookings Drive, St. Louis, MO 63130.The Graduate School's 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.
General Instructions are provided below. Please review the department website, of the program to which you are applying, for more detailed instructions.
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.
The application is a web-based, online document. There are a series of tabs that an applicant clicks to complete each section. Once signed in, our online system will generate a password and send it to the email address that is listed. The applicant will have an option to change the password. The application does not have to be completed at one time. The application may be saved and returned to at any time before the application deadline.
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. The deadline to apply is program specific. Please visit departments & deadlines to view the deadline for an intended program.
Please complete and submit the application, as well as all supplemental materials by the date provided.
All applicants must have a U.S. bachelor’s degree or its equivalent from an accredited institution.
Applicants, whose native language is not English, must demonstrate English proficiency and are required to provide an official score report from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). Some programs have specific course requirements. Please visit the program website for infomation.
Three letters of recommendation must be submitted from faculty members acquainted with the applicant’s work in the major area of study.
The Graduate School requires one copy of the official, confidential transcript from each institution (undergraduate or graduate) the applicant has attended. Essential to the review of the application will be transcripts from any institution where the applicant earned (or will earn) a degree, studied for one year or more, or took classes that relate to the current application for graduate study (for example, prerequisite courses). Transcripts must be in a University envelope signed-across-the-seal by the appropriate institutional official. Submit official transcripts to the program to which you are applying.
Subject tests may be required by department; please check the departmental website for requirements.
Please note that the University will consider only scores from tests taken within the last five years.
Proficiency in English is required of all applicants. Applicants, whose native language is not English, must demonstrate English proficiency and are required to provide an official score report from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). Only scores from tests taken within the last two years will be accepted.
To be eligible for a TOEFL waiver the applicant must have completed a full-time bachelor’s or master’s degree from a regionally accredited university located in the United States. Please note that the entire program of study must have been completed at the institution.
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.
admission of international students
International students considering application to Washington University for graduate study should have a general familiarity with academic practices and university customs in the United States. All international students are required to present evidence of their ability to support themselves financially during graduate study. International students whose native language is not English must submit score reports from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). The test should be taken in time for results to reach Washington University directly from ETS before the application deadline.
To be eligible for a TOEFL waiver the applicant must have completed a full-time bachelor's or master's degree from a regionally accredited university located in the United States. Please note that the entire program of study must have been completed at the institution.
categories of admission
Students are admitted to the Graduate School as full-time candidates for a specific degree program. There are also two ways to take graduate courses without admission to candidacy for a degree: as a Student Not Candidate for a Degree (SNCD) or as an Unclassified Graduate Student.
Student Not Candidate for a Degree (SNCD)
SNCD admission may be granted to qualified students who hold a bachelor's degree or its equivalent, who wish to enroll in graduate courses on a non-degree basis, and who receive approval from a degree program. Examples include international exchange students who are studying at the university for a limited duration, students in good standing at other graduate schools, and students who wish to test their capabilities in a graduate setting. Students in this category are assigned faculty advisers and are accorded the same privileges as degree candidates. Applicants for SNCD study in the Graduate School should follow all application procedures outlined in the section headed "Application Process." Continuation as a Student Not Candidate for a Degree is subject to the same academic and other standards that apply to degree candidates. In special cases, SNCD students might be eligible for financial aid.
Unclassified Graduate Student
A student who wishes to enroll for selected graduate-level courses without admission to the Graduate School is generally permitted to do so by registering as an Unclassified Graduate Student with the registrar of the Graduate School. Application for admission is not required for such registration, and permission to register as an Unclassified Graduate Student does not constitute admission. Permission to take more than 6 hours of graduate credit in any one program requires the approval of that program's director of graduate studies. Unclassified students are not eligible for student services, including financial aid.
acceptance of admission and award offers
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.
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 support (such as a graduate scholarship, fellowship, traineeship, or assistantship) for the next academic year by a prospective or enrolled graduate student completes an agreement that both student and graduate school expect to honor. In that context, the conditions affecting such offers and their acceptance must be defined carefully and understood by all parties.
Students are under no obligation to respond to offers of financial support prior to April 15; earlier deadlines for acceptance of such offers violate the intent of this Resolution. In those instances in which a student accepts an offer before April 15, and subsequently desires to withdraw that acceptance, 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 or a link to the URL 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.
status of your application
After submission, applicants can verify the status of all supporting materials by going to the Check Application Status page to see if their transcripts, letters of recommendation, GRE and TOEFL (if applicable) have been received. Please review this page often and follow up with the appropriate institution or person to ensure that the information is sent to the department to which you are applying Timely receipt of these documents is necessary for the review of the application.
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.