FAQ

QUESTIONS ABOUT THE DECEMBER 31 DEADLINE

GENERAL QUESTIONS

QUESTIONS ABOUT THE GENERAL APPLICATION

QUESTIONS ABOUT THE INTERNATIONAL STUDENT APPLICATION


Questions About the December 31st Deadline


HELP! Today is
the deadline and when I look online, my application still shows as incomplete… Will I still be considered for admission in Autumn Quarter?

  • As long as all materials required for the application are received by 11:59 PST on December 31, then we will consider your application complete. Mailed letters of recommendation postmarked by December 31 will be accepted, even if received after the deadline, however please be aware that application review begins very soon after the deadline – it is recommended that mailed materials submitted near the deadline be sent priority or express.
  • The Advising Office is open Monday-Friday PST; it is not open on evenings, weekends, or national holidays. We will update application materials during regular office hours – if you submitted your application and/or materials near the December 31 deadline, please allow 1-3 business days after the deadline for processing. If you have concerns about the status of your materials, please contact the Academic Advisor.

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How do I know if you have received my transcript(s)?

  • The Department of Atmospheric Sciences no longer requires that official transcripts be mailed to the department at the time of application. Instead, we will use the unofficial transcripts that you upload during the online application process. If you have any questions about this change of policy please contact the Academic Advisor.
    • If you have already submitted official transcripts the department will keep them on file for one year. Transcripts that have already been submitted can not be returned and are considered the property of the University of Washington.
    • The Department of Atmospheric Sciences reserves the right to request an official transcript at any time.
    • Applicants admitted to the program who accept our offer will be required to submit official transcripts. If you have already submitted official transcripts we will use those.

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How do I know if you have received my GRE scores?

  • ETS generally will automatically report GRE scores within 3 weeks of the exam date, if given the proper institutional code – the code for UW is 4854 (there is no department code).
  • If you took the GRE within two years of the December 31 deadline, your scores should be automatically reported by ETS (again, provided you gave the proper code).
  • If you took the GRE over two years ago but within five years of the December 31 deadline you will need to arrange for an official score report to be sent to the department as ETS will only electronically report scores less than two years old – score reports may be requested by contacting ETS at 1-800-537-3160 or by email at gre-info@ets.org.
  • GRE scores from exams taken over five years before the December 31 deadline will not be accepted.

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How do I know if you have received my letters of recommendation?

  • Electronically submitted letters are updated automatically by the application system as they are received.
  • If you see that a letter or letters are still showing as not received, you may want to contact the recommender and remind them of the December 31 deadline. Instructions on submitting letters electronically were sent automatically to the recommender via email when you entered their name in your application – we do not have access to the email or instructions departmentally so please ask your recommender to refer to the original email.
  • We will accept emailed letters of recommendation provided they are sent to the Academic Advisor directly from the recommender with applicant’s name explicitly stated in the email, and are formatted as .txt, .doc, or .pdf files. If possible, we would also like the recommender to complete the recommendation form and include it with the letter.

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What is the application deadline for international applicants?

  • We strongly recommend that international applicants submit applications by December 15 to allow additional processing time however international applicants who submit a complete application by the December 31 deadline will receive full consideration for admission

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When will I hear a decision?

  • Application review begins after the December 31 deadline. Decisions are sent out beginning in late January all the way through late March/early April.

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General Questions

 
Do I need to have a degree in Atmospheric Sciences to be eligible to apply to your program?

  • No – graduate students in the atmospheric sciences come from a variety of disciplines: physics, chemistry, engineering, atmospheric, or geophysical sciences, and applied mathematics. Opportunities are broad enough that each of these backgrounds is valuable for specific subfields within the atmospheric sciences. However, students of atmospheric sciences should have in common a sound background in the fundamentals of physics and applied mathematics and an interest in complex natural phenomena.

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What science and math coursework should I take before I apply?

  • While the graduate program has no specific prerequisites, it is generally recommended that at least two years of mathematics (beginning with calculus and going through differential equations) be taken prior to applying for admission into the program, as well as one and one half years of calculus based physics. Other courses in mathematics, computer science and the various physical sciences would also be appropriate, depending upon a student’s interest in a specific aspect of the atmospheric sciences. (A student interested in atmospheric chemistry might, for example, take additional courses in chemistry).

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How do I apply for research or teaching assistantships?

  • All applicants are automatically considered for a research assistantship – there are no additional forms required. Most offers of admission are accomanied by an offer of a research assistantship.

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What salary and benefits are offered with an RA or TA in Atmospheric Sciences?

  • Stipends for beginning Research Assistants in the Dept. of Atmospheric Sciences are detailed in the Variable Rate RA Salary Schedule on the Graduate School’s website. Out-of-state tuition is waived and in-state tuition is paid for Research Assistants, as is medical, visual and dental insurance. Students are expected to work half-time, 20 hours per week, on research during the academic year, and fulltime during the summer. RA and TA appointments are governed by a contract between the UW and the GSEAC/UAW – more info may be found here.
  • Graduate students in Atmospheric Sciences are required to serve as Teaching Assistants for one or two quarters. The first quarter in which a student serves as a TA usually occurs during their second graduate year. The TA stipend will be at the same rate as the student’s research assistantship.
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How many apply to your program? How many are admitted?

  • The Dept. of Atmospheric Sciences receives an average of 140-180 applications each year with an average entering class of 10-14 new graduate students each autumn.

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Is there a minimum GRE score required? What is the average GRE score for admitted applicants?

  • There is no minimum requirement for GRE scores.

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Is there a minimum GPA required? What is the average GPA for admitted applicants?

  • Admission as a graduate student in Atmospheric Sciences is competitive. A minimum undergraduate grade-point average of 3.0 (B averages) is required.

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How many grad students do you have?

  • There are typically 65-70 graduate students in the Dept. of Atmospheric Sciences.

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How long is the MS program? How long is the PhD program?

  • Typically, students in our program earn the MS degree in three years and the PhD degree in an additional two to three years. Timing may vary.

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Should I apply to the masters (MS) program or the doctoral (PhD) program?/#contact

  • If your ultimate goal is to obtain a MS degree only, then you should apply to the masters program. If you intend to pursue a PhD degree, then you should indicate PhD on your application.
  • All students admitted into the Atmospheric Sciences graduate program are admitted initially into the MS program of study with the option of applying to the PhD program in their third year of study.

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How do I make arrangements to visit the department? Is there funding available for me to visit?

  • Visits to the department are welcome. Please contact the Academic Advisor to make arrangements.
  • Travel funding may be available to some applicants who are offered admission.

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Questions About the General Application


How do I apply to your graduate program?

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What is the application deadline?

  • The deadline for admission consideration is December 31.

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How much does it cost to apply?

  • The application fee is $85 USD, subject to change without notice. The fee is paid online using MasterCard or Visa credit or debit cards.
  • This fee is regulated and collected by the UW Graduate School and is paid prior to finalizing submission of the online application. Questions about fee waivers should be directed to Graduate School Admissions.

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May I apply for admission in winter or spring quarters?

  • Autumn quarter is the only quarter for which we accept applications for admission.

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Is an official transcript required for the application? An unofficial transcript?

  • The Department of Atmospheric Sciences no longer requires official transcripts be mailed to the department at the time of application. We will use the unofficial transcripts that you upload during the online application process. If you have any questions about this change of policy please contact the Academic Advisor.
    • If you have already submitted official transcripts the department will keep them on file for one year. Transcripts that have already been submitted can not be returned and are considered the property of the University of Washington.
    • The Department of Atmospheric Sciences reserves the right to request an official transcript at any time.
    • Applicants admitted to the program who accept our offer will be required to submit official transcripts. If you have already submitted official transcripts we will use those.

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How will I know when my application materials have been received?

  • As we receive your application materials, we will update your online application profile, created once you have submitted the online application.
  • Your application will not appear in our departmental queue until you click the submit button – until that time, we are not able to check on receipt of any materials. Please wait to contact our office with questions about receipt of materials until after you have submitted your application and checked your online profile for updates.

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How do I submit my GRE scores?

  • The Department requires that all applicants take the Aptitude Test portion of the Graduate Record Examination. Information concerning the GRE may be obtained by going to: http://www.gre.org. To submit GRE scores, use institutional code 4854 – there is no independent department code.

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What is the deadline for submitting my official GRE scores?

  • The deadline for all application materials, including officially reported GRE scores, is December 31. Because it typically takes three or more weeks for ETS to report official scores, we strongly recommend that you take the exam by mid-December at the latest.

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I took the GRE more than two years ago – may I still apply using these scores?

  • Yes, we will accept GRE scores taken up to five years prior to the application deadline however ETS will only electronically report scores less than two years old. For exam scores that are not reported electronically by ETS we require an official ETS score report – previous score reports may be requested by contacting ETS at 1-800-537-3160 or by email at gre-info@ets.org. Reports should be mailed directly to the Dept. of Atmospheric Sciences.

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How do I make a change to my online application once I have clicked the “submit” button?

  • Some changes – such as contact information – may be made via your application profile. Contact Graduate Program Admissions to request any changes that you are not able to make yourself in your application profile.
  • We will accept updated statements of interest or resumes via email. Please do not send any materials that are not specifically requested in the application checklist.

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When will I hear a decision?

  • Application review begins after the December 31 deadline. Decisions are sent out beginning in late January all the way through late March/early April.

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Questions About the International Student Application


What is the application deadline for international applicants?

  • We strongly recommend that international applicants submit applications by December 15 to allow additional processing time however international applicants who submit a complete application by the December 31 deadline will receive full consideration for admission.

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Is there funding available to international applicants? What kind of funding and how do I apply?

  • All applicants, regardless of citizenship, are automatically considered for a research assistantship – there are no additional forms required. Most offers of admission are accompanied by an offer of a research assistantship. More information on funding may be found here.

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Are there additional forms for international applicants?

  • The UW Graduate School no longer requires additional forms or information from international applicants at the time of application. If an applicant receives an offer of admission from our program, then the Graduate School will require additional paperwork. Click here to see a list of materials, to be submitted directly to the Graduate School only upon offer of admission. Questions about these forms should be directed to the UW Graduate School.

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How many international applicants apply to your program? How many are admitted?

  • In a typical year, 30% of our applicants are residents of other countries besides the United States. Approximately 18% of admission offers go to international applicants.

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What is the minimum score required on English proficiency exams (TOEFL, IELTS)?

  • Information on English proficiency may be found here. Questions regarding English proficiency may be directed to Graduate Admissions.

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Am I required to take an English proficiency exam in order to be eligible for admission?

  • Yes, with some exceptions, all international applicants are required to demonstrate English proficiency according to the UW Graduate School’s policy:
  • A satisfactory command of the English language is required for admission to the University of Washington Graduate School. Applicants, including international applicants, permanent residents, immigrants and transfer students, who are not citizens of the United States on the date of admission, and whose native language is other than English, must meet this requirement. No waivers of this English proficiency requirement may be given. See Graduate School Memo #8 and English proficiency tests comparison tables for the University’s policy.
  • Questions regarding English proficiency should be directed to Graduate Admissions.

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What is the department’s mailing address? What is the mailing address of the Graduate School’s Office of Admissions?

  • Contact information and mailing addresses for application materials may be found here.

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