Application Materials

Ph.D. MyGrad Application

The online application opens annually on September 1. Applicants are encouraged to start their MyGrad application as early as possible so as to allow time to become familiar with the program and avoid technical difficulties. The application does not have to be submitted in one session; applicants can log back in multiple times before submitting the application.

Personal Statement
Research Statement
Faculty and Research Interests
Resume or CV
Extenuating Circumstances or Additional Information (optional)
Submit Work Sample (optional)
GRE Scores
English Language Proficiency for Non-Native English Speakers

Personal Statement

The Information School believes that diversity, in its many forms, contributes to the intellectual and social enrichment of the School. We welcome applicants who have varied cultural, educational, and socioeconomic backgrounds. Please tell us about yourself and what brought you to the information field.  We encourage you to draw upon your personal history to discuss how you are positioned to pursue impactful scholarship – research, teaching, and service – in the information field. This statement could also include cultural and educational opportunities and social, economic or other disadvantages that you may have had to overcome. Please limit your personal statement to 500 words.

Research Statement

Your research statement should be between 1,000 and 2,000 words and contain the following elements:

  • Your specific research interests and questions
  • A description of one or two potential research projects
  • Rationale for applying to the UW Information School
  • Research experiences and skills that you will build upon
  • Your professional aspirations; how will you become a leader in the information field?

Recommendations (3 Required)

Enter the names and contact information for three recommenders into the MyGrad application. These individuals will be sent an e-mail prompt with instructions for submitting their recommendation online.

The Ph.D. admissions committee prefers to review recommendations from academic sources. We strongly encourage applicants to choose professors, instructors and/or research staff who are familiar with your research, writing and other academic experience and abilities. Unless academic- or work-related, do not submit recommendations from family members, clergy, or friends.

Faculty and Research Interests

Select three or four Information School faculty members who share your research interests or in whose research you are particularly interested. Think of these faculty members as potential faculty advisors. For each choice, provide a short explanation (3-4 sentences) regarding why you are interested in working with them. Please be as specific as possible and consider providing examples by referencing publications and/or areas of research. Keep in mind, only Tenure Track faculty are eligible to advise Ph.D. students. You may also want to consult the faculty Experts List or Research Areas for additional information about iSchool faculty.

Resume or Curriculum Vitae

Applicants will upload an electronic copy their resume or curriculum vitae.

There is no preferred formatting or specific requirements for your resume/CV. However, applicants are encouraged to include: employment history, academic history, research experience, publications, presentations or open source contributions. You can also include any awards or special recognitions that you've received, such as scholarships, awards or honorary society memberships.


Upload transcripts for all colleges, universities and institutions where you have earned collegiate level credit. Each transcript must include the name of the institution, dates of attendance, courses taken and grades/marks/credits earned. The Information School reserves the right to ask for an official transcript.

Please observe the following:

  • Foreign transcripts, if not in English, must be accompanied by an English translation.
  • You only need to provide a transcript for certificate coursework if you earned academic credit in the process of earning the certificate. If you earned continuing education units (CEUs), a transcript does not need to be submitted.
  • Study abroad (credits earned at a school outside the U.S.) - Please refer to instructions for Foreign transcripts.
  • Study abroad (credits earned at a school inside the U.S.) - Transcripts that fall into this category should be submitted as any other domestic transcripts.

Please note: The Ph.D. admissions committee retains the right to require that official transcripts be submitted for review at any time; during the application process or after admissions decisions have been made.

Extenuating Circumstances or Additional Information (optional)

If there are extenuating circumstances related to your academic transcript, resume or personal history which you haven’t addressed elsewhere but would like the admissions committee to consider, please describe them here. This section of the application can also be used to provide any additional information that you would like the committee to be aware of when considering you for admission. Please limit your response to 500 words.

Submit Work Sample (optional)

Applicants can opt to submit one example of their work. Possible samples include (but are not limited to): research paper, writing sample, portfolio, poster, project, research, presentation (basically anything you want to submit). If the sample you would like to submit doesn’t fit within the size limitations provided or isn’t conducive to the format options (plain text, PDF, Word or RTF), please post it online and provide a link.

GRE Scores

Applicants are required to submit official GRE scores. Score reports should be electronically reported to the University of Washington.

Applicants who have earned a professional or doctoral level degree from an accredited institution in the United States (Ph.D., MD, JD, etc.) are not required to submit GRE scores. Having a master's degree does not provide exemption from the GRE requirement.

English Language Proficiency Requirement for Non-Native English Speakers

Proficiency in English is required for graduate study at the University of Washington. Therefore, every applicant whose native language is not English (regardless of citizenship) must demonstrate proficiency with the English language. The most common way to fulfill this requirement is to submit official TOEFL scores. The ETS report code is 4854.

Additional ways to fulfill the English language proficiency requirement are outlined in UW Graduate School Memo 8. The Ph.D. admissions committee will accept any form of documentation listed, except the IELTS. The Ph.D. admissions committee will not accept the IELTS to fulfill the UW English language proficiency requirement.