This page outlines general requirements and provides a specific checklist of required materials that must be included with your application.

Optional Pre-Application Review Service

For the 2023-24 academic year, we are launching a pre-application review service (PARS) initiative to provide support and mentorship to PhD applicants from historically marginalized groups, including but not limited to racial and ethnic minorities, women, first-generation students, indigenous students, LGBTQIA+ students, students with disabilities, and students from low-income families. Learn more

General Requirements

We Must Receive all Application Materials by the Deadline to Consider You

Applications for the MS Thesis and PhD programs are due December 1. MS Capstone applications are due January 15. We admit for Autumn quarter only. All required materials, including official test scores and minimum three recommendation letters, must be received by the deadline in order for the application to be considered. Please begin your application early, allowing for enough time for your test scores and letters to be received. We begin reviewing applications immediately after the deadline. Note an $85 application fee is required to submit your application. A limited number of financial need-based fee waivers are available for U.S. citizens and Permanent Residents only. See details at the UW Graduate School website.

Submit Finalized Documents, and Track Receipt of Test Scores and Letters

You may submit your application after you have uploaded all required finalized documents, and before or after official test scores and recommendation letters are received. Once you submit the application, you cannot make any updates to your application materials except for your Applicant Profile and designated recommenders. Make sure that your statement of purpose, personal statement, CV, and transcripts are final versions. We cannot make changes to these documents.

After submitting your application, you are responsible for checking your application status page to track receipt of test scores and recommendation letters. It will take several business days for the system to link your official test scores with your submitted application.

Note, the UW is closed on the U.S. holiday Thanksgiving Day and the day after Thanksgiving (Thursday and Friday in late November). If you submit your application during this time, you may not see a status update until the following Wednesday. In addition, if you need assistance with your online application, the UW Graduate School is busy assisting many applicants near the December 1 deadline for MS Thesis and PhD applications. Please plan your submission date accordingly.

Submit Your Application Online

Apply through the UW Graduate School website. The online application will ask you to select a program to apply to, and allow you to save your progress and complete the application over multiple sessions. Do not mail application materials to the department. Please disregard any instructions stating otherwise in the UW application. Please upload PDF files only.

Only Apply to One Biostatistics Program

As an applicant to the UW Graduate School, you may apply to multiple department programs at the University of Washington. However, for the Department of Biostatistics programs, you must choose a single program - either the MS Capstone, MS Thesis, or PhD. Please choose the one best suited to your goals.

  • There are two pathways for the PhD degree (standard pathway or statistical genetics pathway), but the admissions application is the same for all applicants. Applicants who opt for the statistical genetics pathway may declare their selection of the pathway after they are enrolled.

  • Applicants to our PhD program are not automatically considered for the MS. On occasion when we have many highly qualified PhD applicants, a few of these applicants may be offered admission to the MS due to limited space and funding, but this is rare. Please note that we are unable to accept petitions from denied PhD applicants to be reconsidered for the MS program.

  • Applicants to our MS program who designate "doctoral” as the ultimate degree goal may be considered for both programs, but will be considered primarily for admission to the MS program.

Only Submit Required Materials

We do not accept supplemental materials such as publications, certificates, or other similar types of documents. You may wish to mention them in your CV, but these materials should not be included in your application. Applicants are evaluated equally based on the same required materials and selection criteria.


Required Materials

Submit the following required materials with your application. Carefully review instructions for each item as you complete your application. 

Unofficial Transcripts

Include all prior institutions attended and upload unofficial transcripts onto the online application. Applicants will be required to submit official transcripts once admitted; do not mail them until requested.

  • For information on GPA calculations for the reported GPA, see the Graduate School website. However, you may estimate your GPA and it does not need to be precise; we will look closely at your course grades on your transcripts instead and view your institution's grading scale.

  • Verify that all uploaded transcripts are legible (course titles and grades can be read). If you have trouble uploading a large file, try the following:

    • In Adobe Acrobat, Save as Other, and save the file as a Reduced Size PDF.
    • Use a PDF compressor tool available online.
    • Scan the transcript as a document and not an image.
    • Scan in black and white.
    • Scan each transcript as a separate file.
  • International students: Transcripts not in English must be accompanied by an official English translation. See the Graduate School website for details. We do not accept evaluations from the WES credentialing service; however, we will accept WES certified English translations of transcripts only if the report states that the translator is fluent in the native language (e.g., fluent in Chinese if the transcript is in Chinese).

  • Regarding autumn grades: We do not accept updated transcripts after the application deadline. If we need to see grades for any courses you are taking in the autumn, we will follow up with you. If you are in the process of completing a prerequisite, make sure that the transcript you upload indicates this (or mention it in your statement of purpose).

Statement of Purpose

Submit a 1-2 page statement which includes your reasons for pursuing graduate studies in the field of biostatistics and at our program specifically, your area(s) of interest, relevant experience, and goals.

Personal Statement (Optional)

A personal statement is optional but strongly recommended. Consistent with our goal of enhancing the intellectual excellence of the department and University of Washington community, we actively welcome students from diverse backgrounds and students who have worked with diverse groups. We encourage all applicants to submit a personal statement (maximum 1 page) that details experiences related to your socioeconomically disadvantaged, disability-related, and/or culturally varied background, and/or experiences working with such groups. The statement should address the ways your experiences have affected the development of your intellectual interests, career plans, future goals, and how you may have overcome various obstacles or aided others in surmounting such challenges.

  • While admission decisions are made mainly on the basis of academic performance, applications will be reviewed with consideration of the applicant's background and experiences. We also use the information in such statements to report aggregate data to funding agencies and to apply for funding opportunities for eligible students.

  • The personal statement is not required, and you may include a simple sentence such as "I have not yet had these kinds of diverse experiences." Such a statement does not negatively affect your chances for admission.

Curriculum Vitae (CV) /Resume

Your CV/resume should include all relevant academic and professional experience such as degrees, research experience, publications, posters, presentations, awards, and skills.

Test Scores

Report GRE/TOEFL scores to UW institution code 4854. There is no department code. For the optional GRE, you may use 5199 ("all other departments"), and for the TOEFL, you may use 99 ("any department not listed"), but it does not matter what you enter as long as the institution code is correct.

  • Tests must be taken in time for the scores to arrive by the deadline (at least 18 days prior- - it takes ETS 10-15 days to deliver scores after the test date, and the UW Graduate School 1-2 business days to link scores to your application). Please plan for potential delays and take the tests well in advance.

  • If you took a test multiple times, we will review all scores that you choose to report.

  • If you are applying to multiple programs at UW and entered a department code, your test scores will be matched with all applications, including your Biostatistics application.

  • If you sent your test scores to the University of Washington in a previous year, you do not need to resend them if they are still valid. If the scores were sent for another program's application, they can also still be used and the system will link them to your new application.

  • If you do not have scores for any reason, simply leave the self-report field blank. If you are an international student who is exempt from the TOEFL requirement due to having a degree from a U.S./English-based institution or other reason, disregard any application status note indicating that the scores are missing or incomplete. You should select your reason for exemption under question 10 of the first application page "Indicate how you intend to satisfy the English Language proficiency requirement."

Three Letters of Recommendation

In the online application, submit the names and contact information for a minimum of three recommenders (maximum five). The system will then immediately email them a request to complete a letter of recommendation and an online evaluation by the application deadline. The message will direct them to the online system where they can choose to submit the letter online (by typing directly or uploading a file) or mail the letter to us.

  • Recommendations should be written by individuals who can speak to your academic, professional, and/or personal strengths, and potential to succeed as a biostatistics graduate student.

  • Contact your recommenders prior to submitting their information online so they can expect the email request, and verify that they have received it; occasionally some email systems may block the email or treat it as spam. If for any reason a recommender does not receive the email, withdraw the request and resubmit it with an alternate email address such as their personal address.

  • Please encourage your recommenders to submit the letter online. Mailing hard copy letters may delay the processing of your application.

  • Since recommenders need to complete an evaluation along with their letter, the application system cannot accept letters from recommendation letter services such as Interfolio.

  • All letters must be received by the application deadline. Recommenders can submit their letters both before or after you submit your application. Allow ample time for the letters to be completed.

Application Fee

An $85 application fee is required to submit your application. A limited number of financial need-based fee waivers are available for U.S. citizens and Permanent Residents only. See details at the UW Graduate School website.