International Students

We welcome applications from international students, and find that our students from abroad contribute greatly to the intellectual vitality of our department.  However, international students are subject to special financial, visa, and language requirements, and non-native English speaking students must demonstrate English language proficiency (by submitting recent and official English language proficiency test scores). 

Demonstrating English Language Proficiency

Please note, our score requirements are different than the general instructions for admission listed by the Graduate School.

We require recent (not older than two years) official standardized English Language Proficiency Scores from ALL applicants who are non-native English speakers, regardless of any previous degrees from English speaking institutions. 

  • We only accept TOEFLiBT scores.  Use Institution Code 4854 (the same as the Institution Code for GRE scores). 
  • Minimum Scores for Acceptance:
    The minimum English test scores to be admitted to our program are
    • TOEFL Overall Score of 92
    • With a minimum TOEFL Speaking score of 26.
  • The ONLY exception made, where students do not need to submit scores, is when a student has received a BA from an accredited institution within the United States, or hold a bachelor’s degree from a specified list of countries on Memo 15, where English is the medium of instruction. While enrolled at the degree-granting school, the student must be in residence on campus. (Note: A master’s degree does not satisfy this requirement).
    • You must email the department at to obtain this exception.
  • Please be sure to watch your application and make sure that your TOEFL scores get attached to your online application.  Note that they will not attach until a few days after you actually submit and pay for your application.
  • IELTS:  We no longer accept IELTS scores. 
    The ONLY exception to this policy is if TOEFL is completely unavailable in your country.  You must email the department at to obtain this exception.  And you will need to take your test as early as possible.
  • Please also be sure to read the funding information on this page (scroll down) as there are minimum scores requirements for all Teaching Assistants, the primary form of financial support we give to incoming students.


Students without a green card must acquire a visa in order to study in the US.  The process of acquiring a visa begins once you accept an offer of admission, and typically continues during the summer before you matriculate.  On acceptance of an offer of admission, the first steps for issuing your visa are taken by filling out the form found on your application status page, and communicating with the Graduate School about getting this paperwork in order.  Additionally, since visa requirements vary by country, the International Student Services office helps facilitate the visa process for incoming students. 

Financial Aid for International Students

International applicants will be considered for graduate funding along with all other admitted applications.  However, since our primary means of graduate support is Teaching Assistantships, non-native English speakers must pass an English language speaking test in order to be eligible to teach. The minimum English test scores to receive departmental funding are TOEFL Overall score of 92, with a minimum Speaking score of 26.  We are required by the university to meet the standard listed in both Graduate School Memo 8, and also Graduate School Memo 15 for all our Teaching Assistants.  If you  have questions regarding this matter, please contact

Other Resources for International Applicants

Foundation for International Understanding Through Students (FIUTS)

FIUTS is an on-campus organization that runs the UW’s international student orientation and provides informal help and support to international students.  They also host lunches and other events that create opportunities for international students to meet one another, practice language skills, and find support. 

International Student Services

ISS is the University of Washington’s primary office for international services.  Staff in this office provide assistance with visas, tax requirements, and various other legal and bureaucratic issues associated with studying in another country.  Their new students page includes a useful pre-arrival checklist that serves as a useful summary of requirements for international students.