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Future Students

How to Apply

The Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Washington welcomes applications for both master’s and Ph.D. programs.


The majority of graduate students are admitted annually, in autumn quarter, although a few online programs welcome new students on a quarterly basis. For graduate students admitted in autumn quarter, preference is given to applications for admission and financial support that are received by December 15, 11:59pm Pacific Standard Time. Applications received after the deadline are considered on a space available basis. 

Applicants may check the status of their application by logging into their online application and checking the status page. Applications will not be reviewed unless they are complete.

Deadline Applicants Notes
December 15 Priority deadline for students applying to research tracks (PhD and MS Thesis), and PMP students who want decisions by March 15. Applicants by this deadline would be eligible for an invitation to departmental visitation events.
May 1 For Professional Master's Program students only and final deadline for international applicants not already in the United States. Individuals would receive an admissions decision by June 15.
September 1 Final deadline for Domestic Professional Master's Program students on a space available basis. Before submitting an application please contact to inquire about the possibility of applying.

Application process

Applications for the program are submitted through the UW Graduate School’s online application. Please do not submit any materials directly to UW CEE as they will not be reviewed. The online application requires a non-refundable $85 application fee. When completing the online application, you will be asked to submit the following items:

  • Statement of purpose
    Detail your educational objectives in 500 words or fewer and include the following information:
    • If you are a prospective master’s student, please indicate whether you are interested in the Professional Master's Program or research track as well as your area of interest from the six specialty areas offered.
    • Why you have selected the area of specialty.
    • How it relates to your educational and/or professional background.
    • Describe relevant work experience, including research or teaching assistantships.
    • What type of career you will seek after graduation.
    • Why you are applying to the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department at the University of Washington.
    • Other matters that are important for the review committee to know.
    • If you are interested in working as a Research Assistant or Teaching Assistant (structures students only), please mention this in your statement of purpose.
    • Please include your name at the top of the document.
  • Letters of recommendation
    Two letters are required for master's applicants, three for Ph.D. applicants. Letters must be submitted via the online application system. After entering email addresses for your letter writers into the online form, an automatic email will direct them to a secure Web site to upload their letter. It is recommended to submit email addresses early, to give recommenders ample time to submit letters. At least one letter should be from a faculty member at the last school you attended as a full-time student (unless you have been out of school for more than five years). Substitutions for faculty recommendations may include work associates or supervisors, or others who can comment on your academic potential for graduate work.
  • Transcripts
    Submit unofficial transcripts (PDF format) with the online application. Before uploading, please make sure your transcript is legible, otherwise the review committee will not be able to review your application. The file size limit is 2 megabytes. If you are offered admission by the department, the Graduate School will require an official final degree transcript prior to registration. The department does not require an official transcript.
  • GPA
    Applicants must enter their GPA for the past two years of study (or 90 quarter credits or 60 semester credits), based on a 4.0 scale. If your previous institution did not grade on a 4.0 scale you will need to convert it. For information on computing and converting an international GPA, please refer to the following documents:
  • Official GRE scores (Optional)
    Test scores may be five years old or less. You will be given the option to self-report GRE scores during the online application. If you have not yet taken the GRE and are planning to, you may enter the date you are scheduled to take the exam and enter your score following the test. The CEE department does not have a minimum GRE score requirement; however, you can find average GPA and GRE scores by viewing graduate student admission statistics. Please request that Educational Testing Services sends your official scores to the University of Washington, institution code 4854.
    • Note: While GRE scores are optional for 2021 Admissions, GRE scores will not be accepted for 2022 applications. 
  • Additional items for Ph.D. applicants:
    • Resume
      A resumé is required for Ph.D. applicants; optional for master’s applicants.
    • Writing sample
      Ph.D. applicants may submit a writing sample, however it is not required.
  • TOEFL: Required for international applicants
    Applicants whose native language is not English must submit official TOEFL test scores, which must be less than two years old. Ask ETS to send official test scores directly to the University of Washington Graduate Admissions Office, institution code 4854. UW CEE does not accept the IELTS for the language requirement. The minimum score required by the Graduate School is 92. Applicants admitted with a score below the minimum will be required to take English as a Second Language (ESL) classes. For details on the English language proficiency requirements, review the Graduate School’s Memo 8.
    You will be asked to self-report your TOEFL scores on the online application. If you have not yet taken the TOEFL exam, enter the date you are scheduled to take the exam. Official scores should be received by the university before the December 15 application deadline.
    Note: A bachelor's, master's or Ph.D. degree from the U.S. will fulfill the English proficiency requirement. International students who were enrolled in a bachelor’s program where all instruction was in English (documentation required) would not be required to provide English proficiency test scores.

Applying for graduate student funding

Funding from the department is typically awarded in the form of Research and Teaching Assistantships, or fellowships. All graduate applicants are considered for financial aid from the department if that request is indicated in the Financial Aid section of the online application. No separate application is required.