What will I learn?

Our applicants typically have strong undergraduate records, as well as previous laboratory experience and demonstrated experimental talents. We encourage applications from students in many different undergraduate majors, because the challenges of modern biochemistry demand interdisciplinary skills. However, most applicants have completed undergraduate courses in calculus, general physics, organic chemistry, biochemistry, or an advanced quantitative science such as physical chemistry.

The first year of the graduate program consists of formal lecture courses, three intensive laboratory "rotations" of three months each, and seminar courses in timely topics ranging from protein structure and function, to molecular and cellular biology. Courses emphasize critical thinking, and frequent faculty contact. Students are free to design individual course schedules that focus on macromolecular structure, biochemistry, or molecular, cellular, and developmental biology. By the end of the first year, students choose a thesis advisor and thesis project, and assemble a thesis committee of three to five faculty members who will provide advice throughout the period of doctoral work. Thesis research dominates the second and third years, although students often take a few additional courses. The department considers teaching experience to be an essential aspect of graduate education, so all students also serve as teaching assistants in three different courses, each lasting one academic quarter. Thesis research is usually completed, and the thesis written, during the fifth year. A detailed description of our graduate program and curriculum may be found under Graduate Program Guidelines.

Which department am I in?

College of Arts and Sciences

Study options

Full Time (90 credit hours)

Tuition fees
US$30,208.00 per year
Start date

Expected September 2022


University of Washington

Schmitz Hall, 1410 NE Campus Parkway,



98195, United States

Entry requirements

For students from United States

Prospective graduate students must meet the following minimum requirements: Hold a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited college or university in the U.S.1or its equivalent from a foreign institution; 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. Other English Language Requirements: 580 paper-based TOEFL.

For international students

Certain minimum entrance requirements are set by the University of Washington Graduate School. These include a baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university in the United States or an equivalent degree from a foreign institution and a minimum grade point average of 3.0 for your most recent 60 graded semester credits or 90 graded quarter credits.

English Proficiency:

The Graduate School is temporarily accepting official test scores for both the Duolingo English Test and the TOEFL ITP Plus For China to assist international students with remote testing options. This policy is currently in effect through the autumn 2021 admission cycle (i.e., students enrolling in autumn 2021).

TOEFL iBT - Minimum Required Score (ELP Required): 80; Recommended Score (ELP Satisfied): 92 or higher

TOEFL pBT - Minimum Required Score: 500

Duolingo: Minimum Required Score (ELP Required): 105; Recommended Score (ELP Satisfied): 120 or higher

IELTS: Minimum Required Score 6.5

*There may be different IELTS requirements depending on your chosen course.


Get in touch