Master of Science admission criteria

Thank you for your interest in applying to the Industrial & Systems Engineering graduate program. ISE's day program is intended for full-time, on-campus students. If you are a working professional or interested in attending graduate school part-time, you must apply to ISE's Professional Masters Program.

Eligibility requirements

To be eligible for consideration to the Master of Science degree, applicants are expected to have a bachelor's degree in engineering, mathematics, or science, with a GPA of at least 3.0. Admission to the University of Washington Graduate School is a selective process. The prospective student must hold a baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university in this country or its equivalent in a foreign country. The student's record should be a strong one with an average grade of B or better.

The primary criterion and the priority for admission of new applicants into a graduate program is the applicant's ability, as decided by the University, to complete the graduate program expeditiously with the highest level of achievement in the student's career. Admission to the department is competitive, and all components of a student’s application will be considered in evaluating his or her eligibility for admission.

Grade Point Average (GPA)

Applicants should have earned at least a 3.0 grade-point-average (on a 4 point scale) for the last 90 graded quarter credits or 60 graded semester credits to be considered for admission.

Academic history

Each transcript is individually reviewed for the quality and difficulty of courses taken and universities and colleges attended. The department recognizes that some academic institutions are more competitive and high grades are more difficult to obtain.

Undergraduate degree

Prospective students should hold an undergraduate degree in engineering. Applicants with strong grades in related disciplines (physics, math, statistics) will be considered.

GRE General Test

The department requires applicants to take the general portion of the Graduate Record Examination. Information is also available at the Educational Testing Service. If you wish to be considered for a graduate assistantship or fellowship, the scores should be received by January 2. Use Institution Code 4854 to submit your scores to the UW.

Letters of recommendation

Three letters of recommendation are required. The confidential letters can be submitted electronically by recommenders indicated on the on-line application. Writers should be in a position to rank the applicant’s performance as a student and/or researcher.

Personal statement

A personal statement should be written providing the department with information about the applicant not found in his or her transcripts and other official documents. For example, statements can include personal histories, professional and academic goals, and specific research interests if applicable.


Include relevant professional experience.

English language requirements

The University of Washington requires documented English language proficiency for students whose native language is not English. Students must get a minimum of 92 or better on the TOEFL exam to be considered. The ISE department's English language requirements are stricter than that of the Graduate School/UW as a whole. Unless students have completed a 4-year bachelor's degree program in the U.S., or their higher education was conducted entirely in English, they will need to take the TOEFL exam. A master's degree from the U.S. will not exempt you from this requirement. Students who intend to apply for teaching assistantships should take the Versant Language Test and must meet additional requirements.

International students

International graduate students constitute an important segment of the Graduate School. The University of Washington encourages academically qualified applicants from other countries and also non-citizen applicants who are attending, or have degrees from, other universities in the United States. International applicants must be prepared to provide evidence of adequate financial support. Learn about the Financial Ability Requirement.