Applying to the Graduate Program: International Applicants

The Department of German Studies welcomes international applicants to our Graduate program. Please carefully read through the information provided below before you begin the application process. An international student is anyone who IS NOT a U.S. citizen and does not hold a U.S. Permanent Resident Visa (i.e., "Green Card or Immigrant") as well as students who hold U.S. visas, such as F-1 students, exchange visitors, or any other non-immigrant classifications.

Preparing to Apply

The Department strongly encourages prospective applicants to carefully research and examine the guidelines for graduate admission, before beginning the process of applying. If you have questions regarding basic Graduate School admission policies, please contact the Graduate School Program Coordinator. If you have department-related questions please email our graduate program assistant at

Visit the Graduate Admission Information site for valuable information regarding how the University of Washington handles graduate applications and for on-line application procedures. Further details outlining the conditions of appointment for International TAs are described in the Graduate School Memorandum No. 15.

Meeting Requirements

Prospective applicants should meet the following requirements:

  1. The equivalent of a 4 year U.S. Bachelor's degree is required. This is based on the following criteria: the country's national system of education, type of institution attended, field of study, and level of studies completed.
  2. The University of Washington requires official certification of adequate financial support from each international applicant (for cost of living beyond expenses covered by UW.) For more details, click here.
  3. All students for whom English is a second language must meet the Graduate School requirements (TOEFL) for the admission of international students. We strongly recommend students sign up for this exam as early as possible in October, preceding the application deadline.


The following tests are required for all international applicants: (Please see Memo 8: Graduate School English Language Proficiency Requirements and Memo 15: Conditions of Appointment for TAs who are not Native Speakers of English for detailed descriptions)

  1. TOEFL (The Test of English as a Foreign Language) A satisfactory command of the English language is required for admission to the University of Washington Graduate School. Test scores must be less than two years old from the test date. No waivers accepted.
  2. International Teaching Assistants whose native language is other than English must achieve a score of at least 26 on the speaking portion of the TOEFLiBT before they can assume classroom duties. Students scoring between 23-25 will be required to pass an appeal interview prior to being assigned teaching duties.


When you have read through the preliminary material and determined yourself eligible for admittance to the UW Graduate School and the Department of German Studies graduate program, you should then begin the actual application procedure. 

UW Graduate School Application

Applicants must create an applicant profile. 

Create a profile

Once you have a profile, you can log in to your account to

  • Update your applicant profile
  • Create a new application
  • Edit or submit an existing application(s)
  • Check the status of a submitted application for information such as:
    • receipt of letters of recommendation
    • receipt of test scores
    • a decision on your application
    • if you are offered admission, your student number and personal access code (PAC)
    • if you are requesting a F-1 or J-1 visa, steps to obtain a visa application

Online application:

PLEASE NOTE: International Applicants are strongly encouraged to begin the application process as early as possible to allow sufficient time to comply with U.S. immigration regulations.

Department of German Studies Application

Prepare the following documents:

  1. A signed copy of the UW Graduate School application  
  2. A complete set of official transcripts (certified and translated as applicable)
  3. Three letters of recommendation (Please submit online. We do not provide forms for the recommendations.  Recommendation letters can be in German or English).
  4. A statement of purpose describing your background, training and degree objectives. An optional personal statement may also be submitted. This statement provides an opportunity to let the admissions committee know about educational, cultural or economic disadvantages you may have experienced.
  5. A writing sample (For an MA applicant, the writing sample should be a 8-10 pp. critical paper or part of a thesis paper. For those applying for the Ph.D., it should be 10-30 pp. Papers can be in German or English.)
  6. Complete and submit signed and dated Teaching Assistantship Application (PDF).

Please send a signed PDF of your UW Graduate School application and the Teaching Assistantship Application as attachments to Submit the transcripts, letters of recommendation, statement of purpose and the writing sample, as part of your online application. 

PLEASE NOTE: Applications must be received by January 15, 2024. If you are impacted by Covid-19 and are unable to complete your application by the deadline, please contact us at, and ask if an extension is possible.

To better understand the admissions process for graduate programs at the University of Washington, review the admission procedures.


Applicants can expect to be notified that they have received a Fellowship or Teaching Assistantship by April 15th. The official letters of acceptance (sent by the Graduate School) arrive in May. If you have not heard from the Graduate School by July 1st, please contact the German Studies Department. In recent years the student visa application process has become very complicated. The visa application will not be sent until all application materials have been received by Graduate Admissions, so students are strongly encouraged to complete their applications as soon as possible. Once the student has received the visa application forms, they are required to schedule an interview at the U.S. embassy. Again, with long delays anticipated, it is best to apply as early as possible. The student visas dictate the student may not enter the U.S. more than two weeks before the start date of the University of Washington graduate student orientation (Sept. 15) so do not book travel prior to Sept. 1.