Skip to content
Department of Medicinal Chemistry

Med Chem Application Information & FAQs

Application Deadline for entering class of 2022: December 15, 2023
Prospective Student Visits (by invitation only): Late February 2024 (dates to be announced)


We welcome requests for information and applications from students holding undergraduate degrees in chemistry, biochemistry, pharmacy, biology, or related disciplines. Admission decisions are based on academic record (minimum of 3.0 GPA for last 2 years of study), letters of recommendation, research experience.

We are committed to providing a diverse, inclusive and supportive environment for our students, and welcome all applicants regardless of factors such as race, gender, sexual orientation, disability, religion, age, national origin and veteran status.

English Language Proficiency: TOEFL scores are required of international students whose native language is not English. The minimum score on the TOEFL iBT is 92 with a 26 on the speaking portion (equivalent to 237 on the CBT or 580 on the PBT). The department of Medicinal Chemistry does not accept IELTS scores for the English proficiency requirement.  Temporarily, we will be accepting scores from the Duolingo English Test and the TOEFL ITP Plus For China, please refer to the UW Graduate School’s Memo 8 for English Language Proficiency Requirements, as well as Memo 15 on on the subject of TA requirements for those who are not native speakers of English.

Questions about Tests: Check the FAQs at the UW Graduate School website, under the Tests heading for more information about tests and test scores. We as a department no longer require GRE scores.

For more information, email with your questions about the Department of Medicinal Chemistry.

Application Checklist

To be submitted to the Graduate School:

  • Online application for admission to the Department of Medicinal Chemistry includes instructions to:
    • Designate recommendations (3 letters of recommendation)
    • Provide a Statement of Purpose
    • Optionally, provide an additional Personal Statement (see FAQ below)
    • Submit resume
  • Submit unofficial transcripts online. (See FAQ below for information about official transcripts.)
  • Application fee ($85 with online application)
  • TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) scores (international students)

Deadline for Application Submission

The application deadline is usually in mid-December. The deadline for the entering class of 2021 is December 18, 2020. Prospective student visits (by invitation) will be in February, 2021 (dates to be announced). For details about the application process, see the graduate school application web page (

FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Is the Statement of Purpose the same as the Personal Statement?
A: The Statement of Purpose is an application requirement. In no more than 1000 words or 2 pages, explain your educational and professional objectives. Write about your academic background, scientific interests, career goals, and what attracts you to the UW Medicinal Chemistry graduate program specifically. Also, please list at least three Med Chem faculty members who you see as potential research mentors.

On the other hand, the Personal Statement is optional. We evaluate all applicants holistically, looking beyond academic records alone for evidence of personal development, resilience, relevant experience, and contributions to outreach, inclusion, and equity in science. In particular, UW Medicinal Chemistry welcomes applicants from communities and backgrounds that have been historically underrepresented in science based on factors including – but not limited to – race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, mental or physical disability, socioeconomic status, age, and veteran status. To that end, we invite you to include an optional Personal Statement (no more than 500 words or 1 page) describing relevant experiences and accomplishments. This statement could describe how your lived experiences have shaped your scientific interests and future goals, how you have overcome barriers, and how you have helped others overcome their own obstacles.

Q: Can I apply for Spring or Winter Quarter?
A: No. The Department only accepts applications for Fall Quarter. For exact start dates, see the academic calendar.

Q: Do you offer a masters degree?
A: Medicinal Chemistry does not offer a stand-alone masters degree.

Q: Can the application fee to the Graduate School be waived?
A: The $85 application fee can be waived in certain circumstances. Need-based waivers are available to applicants who qualify, if their family or individual income for the most recent tax year fall below certain defined limits. Current McNair Scholars and PPIA (Public Policy and International Affairs Program) Fellows are also eligible for waivers, if they have sent documentation to the Graduate School at in advance. Note – fee waiver requests must be submitted in the online application after all steps of the application have been completed and at least 7 calendar days prior to the Med Chem application deadline. You can find more information in the Application Fee and Fee Waiver section on this page.

Q: When and where do I submit official transcripts?
A: For specific details, see the UW Graduate School’s web page. In general, once you are accepted into the program, you will provide your official transcripts to the Graduate School at the address shown on their web page.

Q: How many applications do you receive and how many students are accepted?
A: We receive about 60 applications and accept 3 to 5 students per year.

Q: Do you interview potential students?
A: Yes, the Department interviews 10-15 selected applicants in February.

Typical Program of Study


Equal Opportunity Statement

The University of Washington reaffirms its policy of equal opportunity regardless of race, color, creed, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, age, marital status, disability, or status as a protected veteran. This policy applies to all programs and facilities, including, but not limited to, admissions, educational programs, employment, and patient and hospital services. Any discriminatory action can be a cause for disciplinary action. Discrimination is prohibited by Presidential Executive Order 11246 as amended, Washington State Gubernatorial Executive Orders 89-01 and 93-07, Titles VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Washington State Law Against Discrimination RCW 49.60, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, State of Washington Gender Equity in Higher Education Act of 1989, Sections 503 and 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 as amended, Age Discrimination Act of 1975, Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act of 1972 as amended, other federal and state statutes, regulations, and University policy. Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action compliance efforts at the University of Washington are coordinated by the Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action, University of Washington, 442A Gerberding Hall, Box 351240, Seattle, Washington, 98195-1240, telephone 206.543.1830 or email