Students with backgrounds in biological or biomedical sciences, engineering, physics, chemistry, mathematics, computer science, among other science or engineering disciplines, are encouraged to apply.

We take a holistic approach to assessing the merits of each application, meaning we review all facets of an application in order to determine an applicant's overall potential and fit with our program. As of 2020, we no longer request or require GRE scores as part of our admissions process.

We are committed to providing educational opportunities to students from all backgrounds including those currently underrepresented in science and engineering. If you would like to talk with a current student about their experience in the program, please contact to be connected with a current student.

The UW Graduate School offers application fee waivers based on financial need. If you do not meet the requirements to be considered for the Graduate School's fee waiver, but still find the application fee to be a barrier to applying, please reach out to our graduate program advisor.

Eligibility Criteria

To be considered for the MolE program, an applicant must:

  • Possess a B.S. or B.A. degree from an engineering or natural sciences discipline
  • Have passed at least one course in thermodynamics, statistical mechanics, or physical chemistry (or a course with comparable topic coverage). If this course is being taken during or after application submission, please indicate this within your application. The admissions committee will consider this current or future course enrollment when making admissions decisions.

English Language Proficiency

Applicants whose native language is not English, and who have not received a bachelor's degree from an accredited U.S. institution (a master's degree does not satisfy this requirement), are required to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), receiving a minimum cumulative score of 92 with at least 26 points earned specifically from the speaking section. For more information, review this memo from the UW Graduate School regarding English language proficiency requirements.

Admission Timeline

At this time, we only offer Autumn Quarter (September) admission.

December 5thApplication deadline. Late applications may be considered, but are at a disadvantage.
December – JanuaryApplications are reviewed by the admissions committee.
January – FebruaryOffers are made on a rolling basis as top applicants are identified.
Last weekend of February
(In 2025; Feb 27 – March 1)
Accepted applicants are invited to visit the UW campus, meet our faculty/students and explore Seattle.
April 15thApplicants must accept or decline offer of admission.

Application Process

Applications to the MolE Ph.D. program are now being accepted through the UW Graduate School's Admissions site and must be completed by Dec. 5. To apply, visit

You will be asked to provide complete information about your academic and professional history (including your CV and unofficial transcripts), a statement of purpose, and contact information for three recommenders. Your recommenders will receive an email at the email address you provide with a link to submit their letter of recommendation online. Letters of recommendation should be from persons who have supervised your research or academic work and who can evaluate your intellectual ability, creativity, leadership potential and promise for productive scholarship. You can monitor the status of each recommendation through the application portal and will be notified when your recommender submits their letter.

Complete the online application process by paying the application fee using a credit or debit card. The Graduate School offers application fee waivers based on financial need.

Frequently Asked Questions

Not finding the answer to your question? Contact the MolE Graduate Program Advisor.