Frequently Asked Questions

What educational background do I need in order to apply?

QERM students come from a variety of academic backgrounds including: applied mathematics, mathematics, aquatic and fishery sciences, marine affairs, forest resources, biology, biostatistics, statistics, microbiology, physics and environmental science.

Competitive applicants have a background in college-level probability and mathematical statistics, linear algebra, and differential equations. Applicants with little or no probability or statistical background are strongly advised to take additional coursework prior to applying to the program.

I don’t have an educational background in ecology/resource management. May I still apply to the program?

Yes! Students who are interested in QERM have backgrounds in a wide variety of areas including biology, math, statistics, engineering, physics, fisheries, oceanography forestry, etc. All applicants, regardless of their previous background, must have a strong quantitative background and completed college-level coursework as outlined above.

When is the deadline to apply?

December 16, 2019 is the deadline (for US citizens, permanent US residents, and immigrants with Green Cards and international students) to be considered for the 2020 Autumn Quarter admission.

How do I apply?

Applications to the Graduate School must be submitted on-line. For more information on the application process, please see the applications procedure and/or international students. Application materials are slightly different for domestic and international, so please read carefully.

I plan to apply by the deadline, but what if my application is delayed?

Students should make every effort to complete the application by the deadline. If letters of recommendation will be delayed, please notify our office.

Must I also apply to the UW Graduate School?

Yes, the UW Graduate School manages all incoming applications material. Our program has online access to this information as well. We have access to online applications, test scores, curriculum vitae, personal statement, recommendation letters, etc.

I just have a resume. Will I be penalized for not submitting a curriculum vitae?

Not at all. A curriculum vitae is best for those who have already been published.

May I submit various papers or publications?

These are not required, but may be submitted if you wish.

If accepted to the program, will I receive any financial support?

Generally, the QERM program provides entering students with a support package that includes a tuition waiver, stipend for living expenses, and health insurance. After the first year of study, students receive funding through fellowships, research, or teaching assistantships.

May I have the GRE test waived?

Recent GRE scores (less than five years old) are required unless a student has been pursuing or has earned a graduate degree since taking GRE. There are no exceptions.

Must I take a subject GRE or the General GRE?

Only the general GRE is required.

When should I take the GRE?

You should plan to take the GRE well in advance of the application deadline to ensure that this important information is considered along with the rest of your application materials. For example, domestic applicants should plan to have taken the GRE by the end of December (at the latest) to ensure the scores arrive by early January when the admissions committee meets.

How recent must my GRE scores be in order to be acceptable for review by the admissions committee?

GRE scores are acceptable up to 5 years after the date the test was taken.

What is the GRE institutional code for the University of Washington?

The GRE Institutional Code for the University of Washington is: 4854. Please note that there is no department/program code. The institution code (4854) is sufficient.

What if my GRE scores are low? Are there preferred scores?

All aspects of a student’s application are considered. For example, coursework completed, high GPA or superior letters of recommendation, excellent statement of purpose, previous research experience, etc. could possibly outweigh low GRE scores. Generally, reviewers are looking for scores in the 85th percentile on the quantitative portion and 75th percentile on the verbal and analytic portions. Applicants might consider retaking the GRE if scores are exceptionally low.

If my GRE test results will not be available until after the deadline, should I go ahead and send the rest of my application materials to you?

Yes. Incomplete application materials can be submitted, however please notify the QERM Graduate Program Assistant of the scheduled exam date.

I wish to submit all of my materials at one time to the program, but I have not received my letters of recommendation and/or transcripts. I’m concerned that I will miss the deadline. What do I do?

For tardy recommendations, applicants should immediately contact the parties involved and ask them to submit their recommendation as soon as possible. It may be better to ask someone else for a letter of recommendation and not to wait for a tardy recommendation. Applicants concerned about missing the application deadline should contact the CQS Academic Advisor.

I’m an international student. Do I have to take an English Proficiency test?

Please see the UW Graduate School site regarding the English proficiency requirement.

Which English test should I take?

The UW Graduate School will only accept the TOEFL. For more information about the tests and scores, see the UW Graduate School Admissions.

How does the Program evaluate applications to its graduate program?

In addition to a strong GPA, previous coursework, GRE scores, 3 recommendations, etc., the program pays close attention to the statement of purpose: Is the statement clear and focused? Does the applicant know what he/she wants to do within his/her area of interest? Does the applicant write maturely and well?

How will I know when my file is complete or if I am missing any materials?

Applicants should check their UW Graduate School online application for the current status of their application. Our Graduate Program Advisor will notify applicants shortly after the application deadline if additional material is needed.

What if I have additional questions that aren’t answered here?

We recommend you check out the FAQs put together by current QERM students. Also, feel free to contact the CQS Academic Advisor, faculty, or students. We are all happy to answer any of your questions.


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