Ph.D. Application Materials
Ph.D. Application for Graduate Study
The online application opens annually on Sept. 1. Visit the Application for Graduate Study and create a login ID and password.
Retain your login ID and password, as you will need them to:
- Save a partially completed application
- Pay the application fee ($85 payable by debit or credit card)
- Monitor the submission of recommendations and test scores (if applicable)
- Check the status of your application
Once you have paid the fee, you will be unable to make further changes to your application with the exception of letters of recommendation, contact information and transcript updates.
Application Fee and Fee Waiver
The application fee is $85 USD, payable online by debit or credit card. Qualified applicants can request a fee waiver from the Graduate School on the ‘Pay fee and submit application’ section of the Application for Graduate Study. The iSchool is not able to waive the application fee.
- Personal Statement
- Diversity Statement
- Research Statement
- Faculty and Research Interests
- Resume or Curriculum Vitae
- Extenuating Circumstances or Additional Information (optional)
- Submit Work Sample (optional)
- Official GRE Scores (optional)
- English Language Proficiency for Non-Native English Speakers
Please tell us about yourself and what brought you to the information field. We encourage you to draw upon your positionality, passions and personal history to discuss how you are uniquely situated to pursue impactful scholarship – research, teaching, and service – in the information field. Please limit your personal statement to 350 words.
The Information School works to address today’s most pressing issues, and believes that diversity, equity and inclusion, in their many forms, are critical to the intellectual and social fabric of the iSchool and the fields of information. We seek applicants who have varied cultural, educational, political, philosophical, and socioeconomic backgrounds, and who recognize their impacts on and relationship to society’s power and privilege dynamics.
With diversity as a core value and foundational concept in the Information School, we strive to create a community of scholars that is inclusive of underrepresented populations and in service to underserved communities. How would you contribute to these efforts? We recognize that your contribution may not necessarily be through your Ph.D. research; teaching, service, and community outreach are equally important areas of contribution. We also welcome your thoughts on how the Information School could ensure that you experience a positive, inclusive environment that supports your growth as a scholar.
Please limit your diversity statement to 350 words. (You may want to consider the iSchool diversity statement when writing your response.)
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 the Application for Graduate Study. 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 could potentially serve as faculty advisors. The Information School faculty you list should be both eligible to advise doctoral students and share your research interests.
- Complete the faculty and research interests form within the online application to indicate the faculty that you most want to work with, ranking them in the order of your preference (#1 being your top choice). The online form will allow you to select as few as one faculty member or as many as five, however, candidates are urged to select 3-4 faculty.
- For each choice, provide a short explanation (2-3 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.
- When listing potential advisors, please confirm they are eligible to advise doctoral students by referencing the Ph.D. Faculty Advisors page. Another good resource is the Research Areas section of the website, where faculty are grouped by research area, though Research Area lists are not restricted to faculty who can advise students.
Many of our successful applicants are admitted after having conversations directly with our faculty. Applicants are strongly encouraged to review faculty profiles and reach out to those who have interests similar to yours. Your cold emails will be warmly and enthusiastically received, so don't be shy!
Resume or Curriculum Vitae
Upload a PDF of your résumé or curriculum vitae. There is no preferred formatting or specific requirements that need to be met. However, your submission should include the following information, as applicable:
- Academic history (including institution, degree, dates of attendance)
- Professional experience (including employer, position title, and dates of employment)
- Involvement with volunteer, community, and/or diversity-related activities (including the organization, position title, and dates of service)
- Honors, awards, publications, and presentations
- Research experience
In the Report Prior Schools section of the the Application for Graduate Study, list all schools (colleges, universities and institutions) where you have earned collegiate-level credit.
In the Submit Transcripts section of the application, upload a transcript for each school listed.
Each transcript should be complete, legible and include the following: name of the institution, name of the student, dates of attendance, courses taken, grades/marks/credits earned and be organized by term (quarters, semesters or trimesters).
Please observe the following guidelines:
- All transcripts should be submitted through the Application for Graduate Study. Please do not mail (or email) transcripts to the iSchool unless specifically directed to do so.
- The following types of documents can be accepted:
- Unofficial transcript from the school, often a PDF
- Official transcript that the applicant scans and uploads into the Application for Graduate Study
- Information from an online system or dashboard (Applicants are welcome to copy/paste into a Word document. As long as it is complete and legible, we are happy to accept it.)
- Degree audits cannot be accepted in place of a transcript as they are not a comprehensive summary of the coursework a student has attempted.
- Applicants should not submit transcripts that they have typed out themselves. Any documentation that is submitted should originate from the degree-granting institution.
- Foreign transcripts: if not in English, must be accompanied by an English translation.
- Certificate coursework: 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.
- Transcripts from a clearinghouse or automated service may not be accessible when submitted through the Application for Graduate Study. As such, it is best to avoid using these services, if possible.
- In order to submit electronic transcripts, the applicant should have them sent to themselves and then upload them into the Application for Graduate Study.
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.
Applicants admitted to the program who accept the offer of admission will be required to submit official transcripts from all degree granting institutions to the Graduate School.
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.
Official GRE Scores (optional)
Though no longer part of our standard requirements, applicants with a lower GPA are encouraged to submit official GRE scores. If it is necessary to enter a low GPA petition with the Graduate School, having submitted official GRE scores may be beneficial and support the petition. When reporting scores, please use ETS report code 4854, no department code.
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. (See UW Memo 8 for Graduate School policies.)
Non-native English speakers will indicate how they will fulfill the requirement in the application. The options are:
- Official TOEFL scores (submitted to the UW with ETS code 4854, use department code 99)
- Official Duolingo scores
- Official IELTS scores (submitted to the UW with organization ID 365)
- U.S. degree (bachelor's or higher)
- Bachelor's, master's or doctoral degree from a specific country in Memo 8
- Medium of Instruction document for undergraduate institution
- The Ph.D. program does not have a minimum TOEFL requirement, though TOEFL scores may be taken into account during application review.
- If fulfilling the requirement via U.S. degree or a degree from a specific country in Memo 8, no additional documentation is required as we'll use transcripts submitted with the application to verify that the requirement has been fulfilled.
- If using a medium of instruction document, we will accept a notation directly on the transcript or a separate document issued by the institution. If submitting a separate document, include it with your transcripts when they are uploaded into the application.