Graduate Admissions

Graduate Application

Applications are submitted online through the Graduate School website. A non-refundable application fee of $100 is charged for each application submitted. Admission to the Graduate School is limited to a single graduate program unless two disciplines have an approved joint offering (see University Graduation Requirements section of course catalog for further discussion). Initial application with all supporting materials must be received in the Graduate School Office by March 15th for fall, October 1 for winter, and February 1 for spring. International students should refer to the International Applicants section of the WWU Graduate School webpage.

Admission is granted by the Graduate School of Western Washington University with the concurrence of the Department of Chemistry.

Graduate Admission Requirements

Full Admission

  • A baccalaureate degree from an accredited U.S. college or university, or an equivalent degree from a foreign university in chemistry, biochemistry, or a related field. Two official transcripts from each college or university attended (no exceptions) must accompany the application in a sealed envelope prepared by the Registrar of each institution.
  • A 3.0 undergraduate grade point average (on a 4.0 scale) in the last 90 quarter-hours or 60 semester-hours of study. In order for post-baccalaureate credit to be included in the GPA computation, the course work must be upper division. Post-baccalaureate course work at community colleges will not be included in the GPA used for admission. Applicants with advanced degrees from accredited institutions are considered to have met GPA requirements.
  • Three current letters of reference from professors in the applicant's undergraduate major field, or from others able to make an appropriate assessment of the applicant's academic or professional competence. (Reference forms are available from the Graduate School.) The letters must accompany the application; if confidential, they must be received in sealed envelopes, with the signature of the writer across the seal.
  • Statement of research interests and future goals, including identification of up to three potential research advisors. This statement must accompany the application.
  • Applicants are expected to have completed the following courses (or their equivalent) with a B or better: Chem 333, Chem 434, Chem 351-3, Chem 461-3, and Chem 441 or Chem 471-3. A student with lower than B may be required to repeat that course as determined under advisement with the graduate program advisor.
  • Favorable review and recommendation of applications by the Department of Chemistry Graduate Advisor.

Applicants are advised to plan for the written GRE four to six months prior to the program deadline date. Scores are reported to the Graduate School office approximately six weeks after the test. Contact Educational Testing Service in Princeton, New Jersey at (609) 771-7670 or go to for further information about the GRE testing program. The GRE bulletin is also available at the Graduate School and through the Western Washington University Office of Institutional Assessment and Testing (OIAT), (360) 650-3080. Current GRE board policy, in effect since October 1985, states that scores are reportable for five years. Therefore, the Graduate School will accept scores from admissions tests no older than five years.

Provisional Admission

In special cases, students who do not meet all the requirements for full admission may be granted provisional admission.

International Applicants

Students who are not native speakers of English must demonstrate competence in written and spoken English. This can be done by submitting a satisfactory score on the international TOEFL, taken within one year of the date of application. A minimum composite score of 567 is required for the paper-based test; the scaled score for the computer-based test is 227. Applicants who have received a bachelor's or an advanced degree from an accredited institution in the U.S. or in an English-speaking country do not need to submit scores from the TOEFL.

International applicants must submit official translations to English of all transcripts and diplomas, and a satisfactory statement of financial responsibility and of sponsorship to the Graduate School. Current expenses are $29,305 for one academic year of study. An application for an international student cannot be processed unless accompanied by appropriate financial guarantee documentation. Complete application materials should be received from international students by January 1 for summer quarter admission.