Frequently Asked Questions

When is the application deadline?
The deadline is currently December 1 . It is best if your application is complete by this date. That said, if it takes a few days beyond the deadline, this won't be a huge problem.

What if my GRE scores are late?
No worries. Send us a copy of your score report (bgiebel [ a t ] uw.edu) once it is available. Ideally your application materials should all arrive by the Dec 1 deadline, but the world is unlikely to end if one of your items arrives a few days late. Please be aware, however, that we can't review your application until it is complete.

Do you offer an M.S. option?
No. Students are admitted only to the Ph.D. program.

Do I need to have an M.S. degree before applying?
No. Most of our students go directly from a Bachelor's degree to the Ph.D.

What funding package do you offer?
All Genome Sciences students receive full funding, including a tuition waiver (which pays all tuition charges except for approximately $316 per quarter in student fees), health insurance, and a stipend for living expenses ($32,568 as of 7/1/17).

I'm a domestic applicant. Do I need to send in hard copies of my application materials?
No. Really, please don't send a hard copy.

I'm an international applicant. Do I need to send in hard copies of my application materials?
No. Really, please don't send a hard copy.

Don't you need a hard copy of my official transcript?
No. Really, please don't send this. If you do end up enrolling in our program, the UW Graduate School will at that point request official transcripts, but for application review purposes, we do not need this. No need to worry about it at this point.

What can I do to improve my chances for admission?
Get as much research experience as you can! Gaining research experience and attaining an evaluation of it in your letters of recommendation are important components of your application. Admission is quite competitive; between 10 - 15% of applicants receive offers of admission.

What minimum GRE scores (Verbal, Quantitative, Analytical) and GPA do I need to get into the Program?
Our most competitive applicants tend to score near or above the 80th percentile in the Verbal and Quantitative sections. If your scores are significantly below this, you should consider retaking the exam. We strongly suggest that you take the exam in August or September, so that if you end up deciding to re-take the exam, you have time to do so before the application deadline. That said, there is no minimum score requirement used to automatically reject applications. All components of your application are carefully considered.

Do you have a minium GPA requirement?
There is no minimum GPA requirement beyond the UW Graduate School's 3.0 for the two most recent years of study requirement, but high grades in science coursework will, as you might expect, help your chances. A GPA in the neighborhood of 3.6 is typical, but again, there is no minimum requirement.

Do I need to take a GRE subject test?
We do not require a GRE subject test. Some applicants submit them, but the choice is entirely yours. Applicants typically submit scores for either the Biology or Biochemistry tests, but a demonstration of mastery in any relevant subject will bolster your application.

What are the GRE and TOEFL codes for this program?
The institution code for both tests is 4854. You do not need to list a department code.

Which courses do I need to take before applying to the program?
We expect most applicants to have completed one year of calculus and physics at the college level, one year of inorganic and organic chemistry, at least one semester of biochemistry, and basic biology courses. Advanced coursework in mathematics and computer science is also quite valuable. Some deficiencies in these areas can be made up by class work during your first year in graduate school. Our students are chosen from a very competitive pool and come from a wide variety of backgrounds; admission depends less on taking specific courses than on general academic excellence. Generally speaking, the coursework required to complete a degree in a relevant field (Biology, Biochemistry, etc) can be considered sufficient preparation to apply for this program.

Applicants commonly have undergraduate degrees in a science such as Biology, Biochemistry, or Chemistry or a computational field such as Mathematics or Computer Science. An ideal applicant will have some experience in both experimental and computational areas.

How many applications do you receive each year?
We received 270 applications for admission in 2016. Between 10 - 15% of applicants receive offers of admission.

If I apply to Genome Sciences, am I allowed to apply to other UW graduate programs?
Yes. You may apply to as many graduate programs as you wish. The University of Washington does charge a separate application fee for each program.

When will I know the status of my application?
We should have an answer for you by the end of January, if not sooner. Finalists for admission will be invited to visit the department in February.