The Allen School does not keep a waiting list. Decisions made by the
Admissions Committee are final. Because applicants to our program are also
applying to other programs, we expect that a certain number of our offers
will be declined. To account for this, we offer admission to more applicants
than we expect to accept our offer. This ensures that we fill our open spaces
without needing to use a waiting list.
A common question the Allen school receives from Ph.D. applicants is,
"How Can I Improve my Application?". Below you will find a small collection
of links to advice that is often shared amongst graduate students. These
links are the personal experiences of the authors, and the Allen School
is offering them only to share perspectives.
Prepatory Courses & Programs
The UW Graduate School offers a
prepratory course (GRDSCH200) to juniors, seniors and
non-matriculated post-BACC students from all majors and
disciplines. Students taking the course apply to a wide range
of schools and programs located all around the world. The
course is Credit/No-credit and lasts for 10 weeks. The
GRDSCH200 website describes the course as:
The course seeks to engage
students in determining the right “fit” for their individual
graduate education goals through three primary objectives:
- Investigation: What is your desire to attend graduate
- What you need to know about the graduate school
- Revelation: What do graduate school admission
committees actually expect
- Demystify the process
- Personal statements, resumes/CVs and letters of
- Preparation: How does investigation and revelation lead
to finding a “good fit,” and how do you chart a course of
- Why do you want to go? When do you want to go? Where
do you want to go?
- What do you want to do? How can you do it?
Ronald E. McNair Post-baccalaureate Achievement Program
First generation students often face additional challenges when
considering graduate-level education. There is a nationa-wide
program in the US that offers an immersive experience to assist
these students with applying and preparing for graduate school
called McNair Scholar
The McNair Scholars Program is a federal TRIO program funded at
151 institutions across the United States and Puerto Rico by the
U.S. Department of Education. Students who participate in the
McNair Scholar program are awarded funding, and many Universities
within the US will waiver application fees. Visit the
Opportunity in Education's McNair website
information on funding and a list of students who have
participated in the program.
The UW Graduate School offers application fee waivers to U.S. residents
who demonstrate financial need. The process for requesting a fee waiver
from the UW Graduate School is available on their application page. The
Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science & Engineering is
unable to offer a traditional fee waiver. Instead the
Allen School offers to use School funds to pre-pay the application fee of
applicants who participate in approved programs.
Applicants who participate in the GEM
Fellowship Program are eligible for the application fee pre-payment program.
Additionally, applicants who participate in groups/programs which focus
on outreach as it relates to preparing students for computer science
research careers may also be eligible. The list below outlines some of
these programs, and you can email grad-admissions@cs for inquiries about
additional programs that you think may qualify.
In order to request pre-payment of the application fee, the applicant
must first complete all required components of the application.
Prior to submitting, email grad-admissions (at) cs (dot) washington (dot) edu with the
following information at least seven (7) calendar days ahead of the
application deadline (approximately December 6th):
- Full Name
- UW Graduate School Application ID Number
- Proof of Program Participation
- A PDF document using the
following syntax for the file name: "Your name-date of
application-conference or program name" (Les Sessoms-Nov 17
2020-GraceHopperConference). You may use your registration confirmation
email, conference check-in confirmation, or other official document.
Application Pre-payment Approved Organizations + Conferences
The Allen School guarantees funding for all Ph.D. students who enroll in our program. This funding covers a monthly salary, tuition waiver, health insurance, and a quarterly public transit pass. If you are admitted to the program you will be asked to indicate on an
online form that you will be relying on funding from the Allen School.
You do not need to submit any financial information (such as bank
statements), unless you fit specific criteria as an international
student. International students should refer to the Graduate
School's webpage on Admitted International Students for more
Many students are funded by a graduate assistantship. In exchange for 20 hours of work per week, Research/Teaching
Assistants receive: (figures are current as of the 2020-2021 academic
- Tuition waiver of all but approximately $327 per quarter in fees
- Monthly stipend of $3,187 for beginning students
- Health insurance (100% of premium for student, 65% of premium for
There are two major categories of fellowships: those that students can
apply for directly, and those to which students must be nominated by
faculty. Most students will be more interested in the first category,
since these are the fellowships that they can actively seek for
Graduate School Fellowships Page
Prospective students are welcome to
review our Research & Innovation page
. Each research area has its own information page which is updated with the
faculty, postdoctoral researchers, graduate students, and staff involved in research. You may also wish to review these pages in order to learn about ongoing research projects.
The Paul G. Allen School does not expect applicants to have previous
interactions with our faculty, nor do they need to know who they want to
spend their Ph.D.-life working with. All new students are assigned a temporary
faculty advisor based on availability, potential research match, funding, and several other
factors. This initial temporary designation is intentional in order to encourage the exploration of different advisors and research areas. A permanent advising relationship is expected to be formalized prior to the qualifying evaluation, typically about two years into the program.
The University of Washington offers
several benefits and leave options to graduate students in research, teaching,
and graduate assistantship positions. Academic student employees (ASE)
positions have work benefits defined by the ASE
Contract. This contract is the result of a collective bargaining process
between the Union of Academic Student Employees (UAW Local 4121), and the University of
Graduate Appointee Insurance Program (GAIP): ASEs
receive health insurance coverage that covers medical, vision, and
dental. You can read
the UW HR summary here.
Paid Family and Medical Leave (PFML): ASEs are eligible
for paid medical and family leave after completing four calendar quarters
of employment at the standard 50% appointment. PFML requests need to be
the result of a “qualifying event.” You can read
more about UW HR’s policy here.
Leave of Absence: The UW Graduate School has
additional policies that allow graduate students to officially enter
On-Leave status.. Students often use this option if they need a break for
reasons not covered by the PFML policy. Students are eligible for this
option after completing their first quarter of instruction. You can
more about the Graduate School’s On-Leave Policy here.
There may be additional policies for students using F-1 and J-1
visas so please contact the International Student Services office if you
use one of these. There are also potential implications for your funding
packages, so always consult your primary investigator (PI) and academic
advisors before requesting On-Leave status.