Ph.D. Admissions Contact

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The online application process for the Allen School’s Computer Science & Engineering Ph.D. program opens annually on Sep 1. Applications are accepted for admission for autumn quarter only. The deadline for both international and U.S. students is Dec 15, or the next following business day, if the 15th falls on a weekend.

Admission decisions are announced by mid-February. Students must accept/decline offers by Apr 15.


Thank you for your interest in pursuing your Ph.D. at the Allen School. Admission to our Ph.D. program is competitive. Each year, we receive applications from approximately 2,000 prospective graduate students, from around the globe, for roughly 50 positions. The Allen School hosts its annual Grad Visit Days in March for applicants who have received an offer of admission. This event provides an opportunity for applicants to meet with faculty, get to know their prospective colleagues, and experience the Seattle area’s quality of life.

Underrepresented Communities

The University of Washington and the Allen School reaffirm their policy of equal opportunity regardless of race, color, creed, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, age, marital status, disability, or status as a disabled veteran or Vietnam era veteran in accordance with University policy and applicable federal and state statutes and regulations. We encourage applications from women, students with disabilities and minority candidates.

Learn more about the Paul G. Allen School's commitment to Diversity & Inclusion. With regards to the Ph.D. Program, Les Sessoms was hired to be the Recruitment & Retention Specialist with a focus on underrepresentated minority communities and diversity initiatves.

The Allen School welcomes, and is committed to working with, undocumented students You are welcome to reach out to us if you have questions or concerns. Leadership Without Borders is a division of UW focused on the UW undocumented community. They are eager to offer whatever assistance with or without a collaboration with our program.

Admission Highlights

The Graduate School has some impressive work over on their Application FAQs page. If you can't find an answer to your question here, then that would be the next place to check. If you are still unable to find an answer to your questions, please reach out to us at grad-admissions (at) cs (dot) washington (dot) edu. We will do our best to answer your question or help point you in the right direction.

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.

The Graduate School provides a great FAQ which addresses your question. The Tests sctions states: If you previously sent your test scores to the University of Washington, you will not need to re-send them. These scores are retained on file and can be used for a future application, assuming they are still valid.
Right now there is no option for informal auditing. Students will need to register for any courses they wish to have access to. This is a FERPA regulation. Students can request their grade option to be changed to audit by using this Registration Transaction form. Time conflicts can also be handled via said form. Even if you are added to the Canvas or ED courses manually, you will be kicked out every day.
The Allen School allows for some students to take Allen School 500-level courses even if they are not a currently enrolled Ph.D. student (otherwise known as a 'non-major'). These studen-types include: The Paul G. Allen School Ph.D. program does not accept Graduate Non-matriculated (GNM) students.

In order to request enrollment into one of our courses, should you be in the above classifications, you will need to fill out an enrollment petition. The petition is updated every quarter, so be sure you are submitting your petition when the title reflects the correct term.

The priority deadline is when we'll begin issuing add codes. You may not hear about your petition until the end of the first week of the quarter.
Quarter Petition Opens Priority Deadline Petition Closes
Autumn June 7th September 7th October 4th
Winter December 1st December 21st January 11th
Spring March 8th March 25th April 5th
This petition is only for 500-level classes, and you are not guaranteed a space because you petitioned. You may not receive an add code for several reasons, including but not limited to, lack of seating in the class, instructor preference to keep their course to Allen School Ph.D. students, or not having background skill suitable for the course. We try to send out add codes the first week of the term; please be patient. Email inquiries about when you'll receive an answer may not be responded to. Current CSE Ph.D. students are given priority in our course offerings.

If you are a NM student and you are given an add code, you'll need to submit two forms to the UW. The Allen School uses DocuSign to complete the NM Student Registration Approval Form. You will need to input your information, and then you will receive an email asking you to complete and sign the form. One of the Allen School grad advisors will obtain the correct signature, and you'll be notified by DocuSign when the petition has been completed. Please do not initiate multiple forms. If you are not receiving emails from DocuSign, contact grad-admisssion@cs for assistance. You do not need a DocuSign account to initiate or sign the forms.
In order to take CSE 519 or 520 as a non-major student (any student who is not a Ph.D. CSE student) you will need to be engaged in research with a CSE faculty member. If you are not familiar with CSE faculty, then please consult your program's advisors or your own faculty advisor to see if they can make an introduction for you. Due to FERPA regulations, students cannot unofficially audit these courses. Students will need to register and then submit a grade option change form to the registrar.

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 offers to pre-pay the application fee for applicants who participate in certain programs. Please see the next tab labled "Application Pre-payment" for more information.

The Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science & Engineering offers to pre-pay the application fee for applicants who participate in the GEM Fellowship Program and our Pre-Application Review Service (PARS), detailed below. Applicants who participate in groups or programs which focus on outreach as it relates to preparing students for computer science research careers may also be eligible. In order to request pre-payment of the fee, the applicant must first complete all required components of the application. Prior to submitting, email grad-admissions (at) with the following information at least seven (7) calendar days ahead of the application deadline:

  • Full Name
  • UW Graduate School Application ID Number
  • Proof of Program Participation

Pre-Application Review Service (PARS)

The Pre-Application Review Service (PARS) assists applicants to the University of Washington's CS Ph.D. program. An Allen School Ph.D. student/postdoc volunteer will give one round of meaningful feedback on a prospective applicant's resume/CV and statement of purpose. Members of underrepresented communities and related organizations and conferences are strongly encouraged to submit to PARS!

Submissions will be accepted and reviewed on a rolling basis until November 8 (11:59 pm PST). Please submit a complete first draft of your application materials via this form. PARS volunteers aim to respond within a couple of weeks of submission, and by November 16 (11:59 pm PST) at the latest. Submitting to PARS does not guarantee feedback, as we may close this form early if volunteer feedback capacity is reached.

The Application fee for the Allen School Ph.D. program will be pre-paid for prospective applicants receiving support through PARS. The deadline for the application to the Allen School CS Ph.D. program is December 15 (11:59 pm PST). Participation in PARS is completely separate from the official application process and therefore does not guarantee admission to the Allen School. The volunteer providing feedback won't review official applications from the same individuals. Participation won't be disclosed to the admissions committee or faculty. Information will be aggregated and anonymized to evaluate the impact of this program, but individual responses will be deleted at the end of this application cycle.

If you have any questions about PARS, please email

All accepted students are guaranteed full support for a minimum of 3 years through research assistantships, teaching assistantships, and departmental/external fellowships. Funding after the initial 3 years is usually available and is contingent on satisfactory academic progress and availability of funds. No student in good standing is unsupported in our program and all who graduate are funded until the completion of the Ph.D.

Please refer to our Ph.D. student handbook for details on funding.

Applicants requesting a student visa must meet the University of Washington's financial ability requirement. The financial ability requirement is met by showing proof of readily accessible and adequate funding to cover living expenses, tuition and other campus fees for the first year of study. Stocks, bonds or proof of property ownership are not acceptable financial resources.

You do not need to submit any financial information (such as bank statements). 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.

Prospective students are welcome to review our Research & Innovation page. There you will find information on the may Areas of Expertise at the UW-Seattle Campus. Each area has its own information page which is updated with the faculty, postdocs, graduate students, and staff involved in research. Graduate students and Postdocs are more likely to respond to a prospective student's inquiries, while faculty often are not. It is, in part, this reason that the Paul G. Allen School takes a different approach to the advisor/student relationship. We do 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 grads are assigned a temporary faculty advisor based on availability, potential, funding, and several other factors. The student and advisor do not have to become "permanent" fixtures in each other's career until after the student's Qualifying examination.

If you are interested in finding out how to improve your application for a certain field or advisor, you are better-off contacting graduate students as they can be more frank with their recent experience of the process, and give more relevant advice than faculty and staff.