The competition for admission to the UW CSE Ph.D. program is keen. In recent years, the number of applicants has far exceeded the number of openings for the program. More than 1,200 applications are received annually for a target class of 40-45. Please read this page to determine if you are eligible to apply to the Ph.D. program and then refer to Required Materials for a complete list of items to be included in your online application package.
Bachelor’s Degree and GPA
To be admitted into the CSE Ph.D. program, a student must satisfy the admissions criteria outlined by the Graduate School. These criteria include the completion of a bachelor’s degree and a 3.0 GPA in the latest two years, as required by the UW Graduate School. Note that the average GPA of those offered admission is much higher--usually around 3.8.
The average GRE scores of recent applicants were: Verbal 83% (including international applicants), Quantitative 93%, and Analytical 61%. While grades and test scores form an important component of an applicant’s case for admission, letters of recommendation and other factors – such as undergraduate research projects or unusual experience that would predict excellence in graduate school – all enter into admission decisions in a significant way. No component in isolation will guarantee or preclude admission. See Required Materials and FAQs for more detail.
The CSE department expects that most entering graduate students will have a solid background in software development, data structures, discrete math, automata theory, programming systems, computer systems and organization (e.g., see CSE Courses 311, 331, 332, 351) and advanced knowledge of one or more computing topics. However, we welcome applications from students who may lack a portion of this background but show exceptional promise, and we accept a small number of such students each year.
With certain exceptions, international students must take the TOEFL and be proficient English speakers to be eligible for Teaching Assistantships. For more information, read the Internation Student Status section of the FAQs and click here.
Women and Minorities
The University of Washington and the Department of Computer Science and Engineering 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.
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