Graduate Admission Requirements

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. Our department does not offer application fee waivers. Please see here Application Fee Waivers | UW Graduate School to see if you qualify for a fee waiver from the Graduate School of UW.

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 five years was:

Admission Year Average GPA
Autumn 2023 3.68
Autumn 2022 3.6
Autumn 2021 3.81
Autumn 2020 3.82
Autumn 2019 3.68
Autumn 2018 3.69

The Graduate Record Examination (GRE)

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 2023 158 164 4.2
Autumn 2019 156 167 3.6
Autumn 2018 154 167 3.8
Autumn 2017 156 168 3.9

English Language Requirement for Admissions (non-native speaker) 

Please see here for the University of Washington requirement for non-native English speakers, Policy 3.2: Graduate School English Language Proficiency Requirements – UW Graduate School.

Below is a list of methods in which you can meet this requirement:

  • A bachelor’s, master’s or doctoral degree from a regionally accredited institution located in the United States and where English is the medium of instruction.
  • A bachelor’s, master’s or doctoral degree from an institution in Australia, the Bahamas, Canada, Ireland, Jamaica, Kenya, New Zealand, Singapore, South Africa, Trinidad and Tobago, or the United Kingdom and where English is the medium of instruction. While enrolled at the degree-granting school, the student must be in residence on campus.
  • Official documentation from the applicant’s undergraduate degree-granting institution (if the institution is in a country other than those listed in #2 above) verifying that all instruction is in English. A minimum of three years of enrollment at the undergraduate institution is required. Documentation must be presented to the Graduate School; credential service reports are not acceptable. Acceptable documentation must be one of the following:
    • Official or attested letter from the undergraduate college, university Registrar, or Controller of Examinations office.
    • Official transcripts, attested mark sheets or degree statements, are also accepted if English is stated as the medium of instruction.
  • Official English Language Test Score (sent electronically to the University of Washington via testing center). 
    • TOEFL iBT or TOEFL MyBest: 92 or higher
    • Duolingo: 125
    • IELTS: 7 or higher

English Language Requirement for Funding (non-native speaker)

All non-native English-speaking applicants (except those noted below) are required to submit a valid TOEFLiBT or IELTS scores to demonstrate spoken English proficiency. Please see here for the Graduate School's requirement to TA, Policy 5.2: Conditions of Appointment for TAs who are not Native Speakers of English – UW Graduate School. The scores noted below meet the UW language requirement for international teaching assistants:

  • 26 on the speaking section of the TOEFLiBT, or
  • 7 on the speaking section of the IELTS


The following non-native English-speaking applicant 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 bachelor's 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 master's degree at a US institution, nor does it apply to students who completed only part of a bachelor's degree in the US after transferring from an international university.

For any additional questions on the University of Washington language requirements, please email

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