Application Process

Applicants must earn a bachelor’s degree, or equivalent, before enrolling in a Graduate program at Washington University in St. Louis. You may be considered for admission before you finish your undergraduate degree.

General information on the application process is provided below. Please review the program website for more detail on deadlines and other materials that may be required for application.

Applications are submitted online, but some supporting documents may need to be mailed or sent electronically. All application materials should be received by the program application deadline. Applications missing materials after the deadline are not guaranteed to be reviewed for admission.

Ready to apply?

Applications are accepted for the fall term beginning September 1 through early December. Applicants should complete and submit the application, as well as all supplemental materials, by the deadline.

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Application Checklist

Application Fee

  •     Fees are payable by credit card or electronic-check issued from a United States banking institution. 


  •     Transcripts must list the applicant’s name, name of the institution, and all grades received, in English.
  •     Include transcripts for your full academic history – both undergraduate and graduate transcripts (where applicable).

Letters of Recommendation

  •     Input recommendation providers’ names and email addresses. Recommendation providers are automatically sent an email requesting a recommendation.
  •     Recommenders must submit their evaluation and letter through the online evaluation and recommendation system.
  •     Applicants may submit their application prior to all recommendations being received.
  •     Ask your recommenders to submit their recommendation by the program application deadline.

Additional Items 

  • Check your program's website for additional application requirements. 
  • Current Resume or Curriculum Vitae (if required by program)
  •  Essays & Writing Samples – if required for your program application, instructions will be provided in the application.
  •  Statement of Purpose – instructions will be provided in the application.
  •  Interview - an admissions interview may be requested after all application materials are received and reviewed. Please note that not all programs conduct interviews.

GRE Scores 

  • Check your program's website for specific requirements.
  • If you apply to a program that requires GRE scores, the exam must have been taken within the past five years. Official GRE scores must be reported via ETS  to WashU School Code: 6929.
  • Scores should be received by the application deadline.

English Proficiency Testing for International Applicants

Applicants, whose native language is not English, must demonstrate English proficiency and are required to provide official score reports from English proficiency testing. See waiver eligibility requirements below.

  •     Official test scores must be less than two years old.
  •     Official TOEFL scores should be sent via ETS to WashU School Code 6929.

Waiver Eligibility for Application

English proficiency testing may be waived for application if any applicant has studied at a regionally accredited university US institution, or a program whose language of instruction is English for a minimum of three years.

Waiver Eligibility for Immigration

The English proficiency test requirement is waived for citizens of Australia, Cameroon, Commonwealth Caribbean nations, Ghana, India, Ireland, Kenya, Liberia, New Zealand, Nigeria, Singapore, Uganda, the United Kingdom, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. It may also be waived for students who have completed three or more years of study in an English-medium academic program in any of the above countries, Canada, Hong Kong, South Africa, or the United States.

If a student has completed three or more years of study in an English-medium university-level academic program in a country other than the ones listed above, the admitting department may request a waiver.

Alternatively, departments may choose to require the TOEFL iBT or IELTS Academic for all applicants whose first language is not English.

Based on the evaluation of your application package, we retain the right to require English testing upon arrival and you may be required to take additional English classes.

Application Status, Evaluation, and Decisions

Application Status

Applicants can check the status of their submitted application by logging into the Slate application portal (coming soon!). This will show an overall application status of “Ready for Review” or “Materials Needed” and applicants can take steps to submit missing materials. The application status should continue to be checked until it is “Ready for Review.”

Application Evaluation & Decisions

Once an applicant record is ready for review, the admissions committee for the program will evaluate applicant records. We appreciate your patience during this period, as some programs will evaluate through April. Once an admission decision is made by the admitting department, an electronic notification will be sent to the applicant and they may log back into the application portal to view the admission decision. Applicants must also accept their offer of admission by the deadline indicated in the admission letter. Admission into a degree program is not transferable to another program.

Washington University, along with most other graduate schools in the United States, subscribes to the following resolution of the Council of Graduate Schools:

Admissions and financial aid awards are for a specific academic year; students who do not matriculate that year must formally reapply. Admitted students may request a deferral of admission for up to one year, but such special requests require approval both of the admitting program and of the Office of Graduate Studies.

Admission to graduate study is ordinarily free from preconditions. However, when the evidence in an application supports contradictory conclusions about an applicant’s preparedness, the program might recommend provisional admission. Provisionally admitted students enter the program for a semester or two, at the end of which time their faculty must make an unconditional admissions decision. Students who require further undergraduate work before they can engage in graduate study should obtain it before applying to the Office of Graduate Studies.

Acceptance of an offer of admission and financial aid (such as a graduate scholarship, fellowship, traineeship, or assistantship) completes an agreement that both applicant and graduate school expect to honor. In those instances, in which the applicant accepts the offer before April 15 and subsequently desires to withdraw, the applicant may submit in writing a resignation of the appointment at any time through April 15. However, an acceptance given or left in force after April 15 commits the applicant not to accept another offer without first formally declining, in writing, the offer from the institution to which a commitment has been made. Similarly, an offer by an institution after April 15 is conditional on the applicant formally declining any other offers already accepted.

It is further agreed by the institutions and organizations subscribing to the above Resolution that a copy of this Resolution should accompany every scholarship, fellowship, traineeship, and assistantship offer. Students to whom admission and financial awards are offered in March are requested to give notice in writing of the acceptance or rejection of their offers no later than April 15. Students to whom offers are made after April 1 are asked to reply within two weeks of receipt of the notice. Offers can be withdrawn if the deadline passes without any response from the student. Requests to extend deadlines or to reinstate withdrawn offers should be addressed to the degree program, which must endorse them before forwarding them to the Office of Graduate Studies vice dean for final approval.

Have more questions? 

Find answers on the Admissions FAQ page

Admission FAQs