The competition for the strongest graduate students is intense!

Every year, UW CSE competes with Stanford, Berkeley, MIT, Carnegie Mellon, and a handful of other programs to attract the finest graduate students in the nation and the world.

Our success in this crucial endeavor depends on many factors: the renown of our faculty; the track record of our recent students; the "atmosphere" of our program (for example, our reputation for investing in and valuing all of our students); our facilities (the new Paul G. Allen Center for Computer Science & Engineering); and the financial support that we are able to offer incoming students.

Teaching Assistantships (funded by the university) and Research Assistantships (funded by federal and industrial research grants and contracts) are the most common forms of graduate student support. However, fellowships are particularly important in competing for the very top students. A fellowship provides the entering student with a measure of independence and flexibility - he or she can focus on his or her studies, rather than immediately becoming a Teaching Assistant (teaching experience has far greater impact in later years) or becoming committed to a specific research project (many entering students need some time to explore various sub fields and find the best match). Several years ago, Stanford raised a $300 million endowment for graduate student fellowships - this has proven to be an enormous competitive advantage in recruiting.

An endowment of approximately $750,000 is required to fully fund an academic year graduate fellowship. However, smaller amounts still have tremendous impact! The principal is invested in UW's Consolidated Endowment Fund, which has consistently performed in the top quartile of endowments nationally. Roughly 4% is available for expenditure every year; additional gains are re-invested to keep pace with inflation.

Profile: The Weil Family Endowed Fellowship in Computer Science & Engineering

Alumnus Dave Weil at the
Allen Center dedication

Dave Weil is a graduate of Stanford University (BS Mathematics, 1974) and the University of Washington (MS Computer Science, 1977). Following graduate school he spent 4 years as a software developer for Boeing. In 1980 he joined Microsoft Corp. where he spent 17 years as a software developer, program manager, and software development manager for a variety of products including Visual C/C++ and Microsoft Works.

Dave and his wife Marsha - who holds UW Bachelors and Masters degrees in Occupational Therapy - established the Weil Family Endowed Fellowship in Computer Science & Engineering to help UW CSE prevail in the recruiting competition. This fellowship is offered annually to a top prospective student, providing him or her a year of flexibility before permanently affiliating with a research project or becoming a Teaching Assistant.

Interested in learning more? Contact Ed Lazowska,, or Erin Walker, CSE Advancement Officer,

Lifetime endowment gifts of $25,000 and above are permanently recognized on the UW CSE Endowment Wall in the Allen Center atrium.

Named funds are available for gifts of $50,000 and above. Appropriate recognition, designed in consultation with each donor, is part of each gift that creates a named fund.

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