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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. We accept applications once a year, for entrance in the following autumn quarter. Our application process opens on September 1, and all application materials are due December 15, or the next following business day, if the 15th falls on a weekend. 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.

In this section you will find the information you need to complete an application to our program, including prerequisites, required application materials, deadlines, and answers to the most frequently asked questions we receive from prospective students. All applicants to the Allen School Ph.D. program must submit their application using the University of Washington’s online Graduate School application.

If you have any questions about the Ph.D. application process, you are welcome to contact us by email or schedule an appointment with an adviser.


Under-representated 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 and minority candidates.

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


All students admitted to the Allen School Ph.D. program are guaranteed funding for 3 years in the form of a research assistantship, teaching assistantship or fellowship. After this period and depending upon the availability of funds, students who continue to make good academic progress will be funded through graduation. No application for this extended funding is required.   All or most of the cost of tuition is covered by the assistantship or fellowship.


A variable number of Research Assistantships are available each year through faculty member’s research grants. In addition, Teaching Assistantships for undergraduate courses and some graduate courses are also available; a minimum of at least two quarters of teaching duty is required to graduate from the program. International students should be proficient English speakers to be considered for Teaching Assistant responsibilities.

In exchange for 20 hours of work per week, Research/Teaching Assistants receive: (figures are current as of the 2018-2019 academic year)

  • Tuition waiver of all but approximately $327 per quarter in fees
  • Monthly stipend of $3001 for beginning students  
  • Health insurance (100% of premium for student, 65% of premium for dependents)


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 themselves.

Fellowships Requiring Applications: These are all national, well-known fellowships. In most cases (but not alll), students are eligible to apply during their senior year as an undergraduate, or at the beginning of their first or second year in graduate school. Unfortunately, many fellowships require U.S. permanent residency status at a minimum; most require full citizenship. These fellowships all follow approximately the same application format: 3-4 essays, transcripts, resume or awards list, 3 letters of recommendation, and a research proposal. Don't worry: none of them expects you to follow your proposal; they simply want to see that you can think logically about problems in your field. Also, it is acceptable to get recommendations from both your undergrad and graduate programs (internships/summer jobs/research labs are other good sources for these).

Fellowships Requiring Faculty Nominations: These fellowships come from a wide variety of sources and are applicable to students at various stages in their careers: beginning, n-th year, and postdoc. Most are open to international students, as well. Although you cannot apply for these directly, it can still be helpful to know about them so that you can discuss them with your advisor, if you wish. Some of these fellowships put candidates through a post-nomination interview process, while others are awarded with no student involvement whatsoever.

More specific information about available fellowships is available on our detailed Funding & Fellowships page.