Minimum Admission Requirements

The following minimum criteria must be met in order for an applicant to be admissible to a University of Washington graduate program. For more information, reference the UW Graduate School's minimum admission requirements.


  • Applicants must hold the minimum equivalent of a four-year baccalaureate degree from a regionally-accredited college or university in the United States, or its equivalent from an accredited foreign institution. Holders of a Bologna bachelor’s degree must have a minimum of 180 European Credit Transfer System (ECTS) credits.
  • Alternatively, applicants may hold a master’s (MA, MSc, etc.), doctoral (Ph.D., DPhil, etc.), or professional degree (MD, JD, etc.) from a regionally-accredited college or university in the United States or its equivalent from an accredited foreign institution.

Grade Point Average (GPA)

  • Applicants must have earned at least a 3.0 GPA (on a 4 point scale) for those credits earned at the institution awarding their bachelor’s degree or at least a 3.0 GPA (on a 4 point scale) for their last 90 graded quarter credits or 60 graded semester credits. If you earned additional credits from an accredited institution after your degree, you may include these credits in calculating your GPA.
  • For applicants who hold a master’s, doctoral, or professional degree, the total cumulative average from that degree course may be used.

The average undergraduate GPA of applicants admitted to the Ph.D. program is 3.8. That said, the Ph.D. program does not set a minimum GPA to be considered for admission and the Ph.D. admissions committee reviews eligible applicants' complete academic histories rather than considering only their cumulative or "major" GPAs.

Ph.D. Eligibility Requirements

Computer Science Experience

Most admitted grad students will have a solid background in software development, data structures, discrete math, automata thory, programming systems, computer systems and organization and advanced knowledge of one or more computing topics. A Computer Science degree is not required for consideration. A very small number of students without portions of this background but showing exceptional research promise are admitted each year.

No GRE Score Requirement

The PhD admissions committee will not consider GRE scores. There is no benefit to providing GRE scores during the application process as any scores that are received will not be referenced during the application review process. There is no GRE requirement for this program.

International Applicants

The program supports F-1 or J-1 student visas.

English Language Proficiency

All applicants who are non-native speakers of English must enclose proof of their English proficiency in their application. For official UW Graduate School policy information, please refer to Graduate Policy 3.2: English Language Proficiency Requirements.

The program accepts the following methods by which non-native English speakers may meet this requirement:

  1. Having earned a degree in the United States or another country specified in Policy 3.2 in which English was the language of instruction
  2. Enclosing documentation from the undergraduate degree-granting institution, if outside the US or one of the countries specified in Policy 3.2, that English was the language of instruction
  3. Providing official, valid scores from one of the English language proficiency exams listed below. Scores must be submitted to UW electronically and matched to the application in order for this requirement to be met.
    • Official, valid TOEFL scores showing a total or MyBest score of 92 or higher
    • Official, valid academic IELTS scores showing a total score of 7.0 or higher
    • Official, valid Duolingo English Test scores showing a score of 120 or higher

Further information about enclosing this documentation in the application may be found on the PhD's How to Apply page.