Graduate Preparation Program

Application Steps

Our programs fill up quickly, so please apply early. Preferred consideration is given to applications received by May 31st; applications received afterwards will be reviewed on a space-available basis.

Follow these steps to apply:

  1. Read this website carefully, especially the costs, dates and refund policies.
  2. Download a copy of our Graduate Preparation Program application form.
  3. Fill out an application form and gather the required supplemental materials (see "Application Requirements" below).
  4. Submit your complete application by e-mail, fax, or mail (see "Application Submission" below).
  5. If you are accepted to our program, we will send you an acceptance e-mail with more specific program details.
  6. After you are accepted, get ready to come to Seattle by reading our arrival information and finding your housing.

Information for Students Requiring F-1 Visa Status

If you need an I-20 to apply for an F-1 student visa, you must indicate this on your application. If you are accepted to our program, we will send your I-20 and acceptance packet to your mailing address. The acceptance packet will include information about paying the SEVIS I-901 fee and preparing for your F-1 visa interview appointment.

Even if you already have an I-20 from your graduate school program, you are required to have a Graduate Preparation Program I-20 from UW's International & English Language Programs to enroll in the Graduate Preparation Program and study on an F-1 visa. You should apply for your F-1 visa and enter the United States using only the Graduate Preparation Program I-20. After the Graduate Preparation Program ends, your graduate school can process a transfer I-20 for you.

When traveling on a J-1 (Visiting Scholar) or J-2 (Dependent of a Visiting Scholar) visa, you do not need an I-20 from IELP to enroll in the Graduate Preparation Program. You should indicate on your application that you will be studying on a J-1 or J-2 visa. Email us if you have further questions about visas or other immigration matters.

Transfer Students

If you are an international student who would like to transfer from another school in the United States, you must indicate this on your application. You must also complete a Transfer Eligibility form.

We do not normally issue "transfer pending" I-20s to students prior to the start of our programs unless the student needs the I-20 for the purpose of re-entering the United States.

Application Requirements

To apply to the Graduate Preparation Program, please submit the following items:

  • Completed and signed application form (pages 3-5)
  • Non-refundable application fee of $50 USD
  • Photocopy of the page in your passport with your picture, name, and birthdate
  • Photocopy of your graduate program acceptance letter (if applicable)
    • If you have not yet been accepted to a graduate program, proof of graduation from a four-year baccalaureate (undergraduate) degree program or its equivalent is acceptable.
  • Brief 200-word personal statement answering the following questions:
    • "What is your educational background and your future career goal?"
    • "What are three possible research topics that you are interested in studying?" (For example, previous studentís topics have included patent grace periods, green spaces in urban architecture, health communications in rural developing nations)
  • Photocopy of proof of English Language Proficiency*
    • TOEFL iBT - 84 (no subscore below 17)
    • IELTS - 6.5 (no subscore below 5.5)

*Successful completion of the Intensive English Program University Track at the University of Washington satisfies the Graduate Preparation Program English language proficiency requirement. When applying, please include your UW student number in your application and notify the Graduate Preparation Program staff of your completion date.

Students who need an I-20 to apply for an F-1 student visa must also include the following items:

  • Express mail fee of $40 USD (only required for students who need an I-20 sent to a non-U.S. address)
  • Official bank statement (less than six months old) and letter of sponsorship (if sponsored) confirming you have the funds necessary to cover all tuition and living expenses while you are in the U.S. Both documents must be in English. Please refer to the Program Details page for estimated costs per quarter. Contact us if you have questions about the funds that must be demonstrated for your program.
  • If you will bring any dependents (spouse or children), you must include a copy of each page in their passports that includes their picture, name, and birthdate. In addition, you will need to provide proof of financial funding for each dependentís living expenses.

Application Submission

Submit your application by email, fax, or mail.

  • Email:
  • Fax: 206-685-9572 Attn: Graduate Preparation Program Admissions
  • Regular Mailing Address:
    UW Continuum College
    International & English Language Programs
    P.O. Box 45010
    Seattle, WA 98145-0010
  • Express Mailing Address:
    UW Continuum College
    International & English Language Programs
    4333 Brooklyn Ave NE
    Box 359450
    Seattle, WA 98195-9450

Note: The Graduate Preparation Program is not a degree program. Admission to this program does not constitute or guarantee admission to any University of Washington degree program.


We are happy to answer any questions you may have about applying to the Graduate Preparation Program.


"The Graduate Preparation Program is a great program. It really helped prepare me for the American classroom. What had been taught during the Graduate Preparation Program is what I'm actually doing in class now in my two-year program. I would highly recommend it to future students who would like to pursue their studies in the U.S."
ó Esther, Papua New Guinea