Graduate Admission Requirements

  • Quad
    Cherry trees blooming in the Quad, home of Savery Hall and the Department of Economics

Application Deadline

The Department admits students for Autumn quarter only each year. All international and domestic application materials must be received by December 15. If possible, international applicants should try to submit their application materials earlier than this deadline to allow additional time for processing.

Application procedures are the same whether or not you are applying for financial assistance from the department. There is no separate application for financial aid.

The Department of Economics does not defer admission. Applicants must begin their studies in September of the year for which they are accepted. If an applicant cannot attend the year for which s/he is accepted, s/he must re-apply for the following year.

Prerequisite Courses and GPA Requirement

Applicants for graduate study in economics are required to have completed undergraduate training that includes at least the following courses:

  • Intermediate level micro- and macroeconomics
  • At least one year of calculus
  • Linear algebra
  • Statistics

In addition, the following courses are very strongly recommended for an application to be competitive:

  • Differential equations
  • Matrix algebra
  • Additional calculus coursework
  • Additional coursework in probability and statistics

An undergraduate major in economics is not required for admission to the graduate program provided that the above prerequisites have been met. Students who seek admission to graduate programs at the University of Washington must have a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0 in the last 90 graded quarter hours or the last 60 graded semester hours.

The average GPA of incoming students enrolled for the last three years was:

Admission Year Average GPA
Autumn 2019 3.68
Autumn 2018 3.69
Autumn 2017 3.77

The Graduate Record Examination (GRE)

For the 2020-21 and 2021-22 admission cycles, submission of a GRE score is optional.

The average GRE General Test scores of incoming students enrolled for the last three years were:

Admission Year Verbal Scores Quantitative Scores Writing Scores
Autumn 2019 156 167 3.6
Autumn 2018 154 167 3.8
Autumn 2017 156 168 3.9

The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFLiBT)

All international applicants (except those noted below) are required to submit a valid TOEFLiBT score  to demonstrate spoken English proficiency. The IELTS test is no longer accepted. The scores noted below meet the UW language requirement for international teaching assistants:

  • 26 on the speaking portion of the TOEFLiBT, or
  • 65 on the Versant English Test (if taken at the UW campus)

Applicants who achieve one of these scores will be given higher priority for departmental funding.


The following international applicants are NOT REQUIRED to take a language test to demonstrate spoken English proficiency:

  1. International applicants who have pursued and completed, or will complete before starting the graduate program, a 4-year bachelors degree at a regionally accredited US institution; or who hold (or will complete) a bachelor’s degree from an institution in Australia, the Bahamas, Canada, Ireland, Jamaica, Kenya, New Zealand, Singapore, Trinidad and Tobago, or the United Kingdom, where English is the medium of instruction. This exemption does not apply to applicants who have completed, or will complete, only a masters degree at a US institution, nor does it apply to students who completed only part of a bachelors degree in the US after transferring from an international university.
  2. International applicants who are native English speakers.

However, the department does reserve the right to require any international applicant to pass the Versant English Test to demonstrate spoken English proficiency in order to preserve the integrity of teaching assignments.

For information about admission procedures and application forms, read the Admission Procedures and Forms page.