Ph.D. Admissions - International Applicants

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Admission Requirements for International Applicants

Like US applicants, international applicants to the Ph.D. program must meet basic Graduate School requirements including:

1. A 3.0 undergraduate GPA or higher over the most recent two years of study
2. A baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution
3. Submission of results from the general Graduate Record Examination (GRE)

In addition, applicants should demonstrate familiarity with the academic field of Feminist Studies at the undergraduate level. Meeting these minimum standards does not ensure admission, however. Students who have earned an M.A. from another institution may apply for our Ph.D. program, but an M.A. is not required for admission to the Ph.D. program.

GWSS does not have a stand alone Master's degree program. "The MA degree can be earned ONLY within a PhD program as a thesis or non-thesis degree." 

Applicants will be evaluated on the following criteria:

1.  A Statement of Purpose, in which applicants describe their academic background in Feminist Studies and their possible area(s) of scholarly focus during their graduate training. This statement should address the applicant's motivation for seeking an interdisciplinary degree in Feminist Studies and their ultimate career goals. 

We actively seek and welcome applicants from diverse backgrounds. You are encouraged to reflect on how your personal history, family background, and other factors influenced your intellectual development and/or professional goals in your personal statement. Please address any educational, cultural, and economic opportunities and disadvantages that you have experienced, and the ways those experiences have affected the development of your special interests, career plans, and future goals.

We aim to admit students whose career goals and scholarly interests can be best nurtured by our faculty and academic milieu. Applicants should indicate why they believe our department can provide a strong foundation in their intended area of study (including ways in which the applicant's interests intersect with those of our core faculty) as well as discuss any unique talents or experiences that applicant will bring to enrich our community of scholars.

2.  Writing sample. This is intended to help us discern the applicant's capacity to express themselves in written English, to research a topic, and to analyze information. Appropriate samples include seminar or course papers, or a selection from an undergraduate or Master's thesis. The writing sample should include a bibliography. Please do NOT submit take-home essay exams.

3.  Three (3) letters of recommendation are required. One (1) letter may be from a non-academic reference who can address the applicant's academic skills. **You will be asked to provide the names and email addresses of your three recommendations as part of the online application process. Your recommenders will then be contacted and asked to fill out the recommendation online. The content of the letter is at your referee's discretion.** 

4.  International transcripts with degree statement, Upload PDF or Word formatted (jpeg pasted into a word document) versions of transcripts from all institutions you attained a baccalaureate or higher degree as part of the on-line application. If you are currently working toward your baccalaureate degree, you should upload transcripts from the institution that will award the degree. If you are offered admission it will be made contingent upon receiving an official transcript from all institutions in which you received a baccalaureate, or higher, degree.  You do not need to request transcripts to be sent at this time if you have successfully uploaded a digital copy of an official or unofficial copy.

5.  GRE scores. Use 4854 as the "institution code" and you do not need a department code.  

6.  TOEFL scores. Use 4854 as the "institution code" and you do not need a department code.

7.  Intended Research Focus. You will be asked to describe (in 40 words or less) your intended research focus.  You should elaborate on this in your Statement of Purpose.

8.  Match with Scholarly Interest of Faculty.  Given your research interest stated in the description of focus you will be asked to indicate up to three core faculty members who most closely match your won research/educational focus.

Application Procedure

You will submit application materials to the Graduate School via the electronic application system.

Students are admitted for Fall Quarter only. The application deadline is December 1. Due to the potential for delays at a variety of stages of the application process, it is strongly recommended that international students submit applications by November 1st. Applications received after this date, but by the December 1 due date, will be processed as soon as possible. The faculty may not review application material that arrives after the December 1 deadline.

Applicants will be notified of the decision of the faculty in late March/early April.

Up to date application instructions can be found at the UW Graduate School's application site:


Incoming students are typically offered a twelve-quarter funding package comprised of a combination of department-based research and teaching assistant-ships and University-wide fellowship funding secured through the department, subject to satisfactory performance which is reviewed annually.

In order to be considered for a Teaching Assistantship, international applicants must achieve a score of 580 (TOEFL) or 237 (TOEFLC) or greater on the International TOEFL (or 90 or greater on the Michigan Language Test) and a score of 55 or greater on the International Test of Spoken English (TSE) or 230 or better on the Speaking Proficiency English Assessment Kit (SPEAK) administered by the University of Washington.


Graduate Funding Information Service (GFIS)

The GFIS manager is always available to meet one-on-one with students if they schedule an appointment. 
The Graduate Funding Information Service (GFIS) works with current and admitted UW graduate students. GFIS helps students identify and use different resources to locate funding opportunities for graduate school-related expenses including tuition, research, and conference and research travel. In conjunction with the University of Washington's Graduate School, GFIS hosts a series of workshops throughout the year. Students can also seek answers to their questions during drop-in advising hours, can schedule individual appointments, or can request information by email. In addition, GFIS maintains a subject guide that lists different funding resources by category and a blog that informs students about fellowships, grants, employment opportunities, and upcoming GFIS events. As time allows, GFIS also works with individual departments to design discipline-specific workshops and resources for their graduate students.

UW Libraries Graduate Student Funding Resources
Students can search for funding in various databases and guides.

International Student Services: International UW Graduate Students
The links below and more can be found on the ISS website.

The Chester A. Fritz Grant is awarded to UW graduate students for the purposes of international study, research or exchange in the social sciences and humanities. The grant is used to fund research or study periods of three months.

This website contains over 52,000 awards and scholarship for international graduate students that are studying in the U.S. In order to start searching, you will need to create a free account.

Unigo is an organization that provides students with access to well organized details on thousands of funding opportunities for college and graduate studies.