Please apply directly online. There is a $75 application fee.

Questions should be addressed to Beth Gartin, the secretary of the Graduate Admissions Committee by email (

Graduate Student Admissions

Students are admitted to the PhD program in the Institute of Materials Science & Engineering in the fall semester, near the end of August. The application deadline is December 15, although petitions for later submission will be considered. We especially encourage applications from women and under-represented minorities.

When selecting the program that you are applying for in the application, Materials Science and Engineering (PhD) can be found under "McKelvey School of Engineering" listing of programs. 

Additional information on admissions Graduate Admissions| McKelvey School of Engineering

Admissions Requirements

A Bachelor's or Master's degree from an accredited institution is required for consideration for admission into the PhD degree program.

GRE Scores: Please have your GRE and/or TOEFL scores sent directly to the University. The institution code is 6929. You do not need to use a department code. The General Test of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is required** for admission to the IMSE. The IMSE does not require a subject test. Please note that the University will consider only scores from tests taken within the last five years.

**Fall 2022 UPDATE: As COVID-19 is making it difficult for some students to be able to safely take the GRE General test, we have decided to make this optional for Fall 2022 applicants. While this will be optional, students are still encouraged to submit their GRE scores if they have already taken the test (even if it is some time ago) or can take it safely by our application deadline, as it gives us additional information when evaluating their application.

English Proficiency Testing

  • Official TOEFL/IELTS scores required for all international applicants. See waiver eligibility requirements below.
  • Due to test site closures as well as personal health and safety concerns, at this time we will also accept the TOEFL iBT Home Edition or the TOEFL ITP Plus for China.
  • Official score reports are only available for scores that are less than two years old. We do not accept expired scores.
  • We recommend a minimum TOEFL score of 90 or IELTS score of 6.5.
  • Applicants must report their official TOEFL scores via ETS to the WashU School Code 6929.
  • We only accept paper copies of the official IELTS score report sent to our institution; electronic copies are not accepted. The address is:

               WashU McKelvey School of Engineering
               Attention: Graduate Admissions
               Lopata Hall, Suite 203
              1 Brookings Drive, CB 1220
              St. Louis, MO 63130

Waiver Eligibility
The English proficiency testing requirement may be waived for applicants who meet any of the below criteria:

  • Is a citizen of Australia, Cameroon, Commonwealth Caribbean nations, Ghana, India, Ireland, Kenya, Liberia, New Zealand, Nigeria, Singapore, Uganda, the United Kingdom, and Zimbabwe.
  • Has completed a minimum of three years of documented study in a university-level academic program in the United States or one of the countries listed above.
  • Has completed a minimum of three years of documented study in an English-medium academic program in Canada, Hong Kong, or South Africa.

Based on the evaluation of your application package, we retain the right to require English testing upon arrival and you may be required to take additional English classes. If you are recommended to take English classes, the cost of the courses will be your responsibility.

Financial Support

Students who are admitted to graduate study for a PhD from the Institute of Materials Science and Engineering (IMSE) at Washington University receive a University Fellowship for the first year (2 semesters) of study. These fellowships provides tuition remission for up to 12 credit hours per semester as well as a generous 12 month stipend. Thus, graduate study in IMSE generally does not require additional student loans, working part-time, or any other outside means of support.

Support beyond your first year is contingent on satisfactory academic performance and your acceptance into a research group that will support you. The McKelvey School of Engineering will provide a subsidy equivalent to 100% of both the mandatory university health fee and the insurance premium, as well as a subsidy equivalent to 90% of the dental insurance for students enrolling in the Washington University health insurance plan. Please note that a condition of this offer is that you not accept additional part-time employment, unless it has been specifically pre-approved by your Research Adviser and the Graduate School. 

You are encouraged to apply for additional fellowships as well.  Washington University in St. Louis offers several opportunities.  More information about funding and support opportunities can be found on The Graduate School website as well as below. 

Internal Fellowship Opportunities

Chancellor's Graduate Fellowship Program 

  • Students must have earned or be in the process of earning an undergraduate degree from a U.S. institution. Applicants must apply for a degree program in which they are not currently enrolled.
  • Students will be selected for the Chancellor’s Graduate Fellowship, who, in light of all pertinent academic qualifications, experiences and attributes, would contribute to the diversity of graduate education at Washington University. Students should have a strong interest in becoming a college or university professor.
  • The University believes that student body diversity entails many dimensions, and is advanced on campus by having a broad variety of cultural, socioeconomic, gender, racial, ethnic, geographical, philosophical/religious, and other distinctive backgrounds and perspectives (e.g., first generation college graduates, experience facing personal or financial hardship).

Dean's International Award

  • Full-time undergraduate student or master’s degree student at any of the universities listed  
  • Meets the eligibility criteria for fall enrollment
  • Applying to an eligible PhD program (includes Materials Science and Engineering)

Spencer T. and Ann W. Olin Fellowship for Women in Graduate Study

  • Applicants must be female, applying for a degree program in which they are not currently enrolled, and have earned or be in the process of earning an undergraduate degree from a U.S. institution. In considering women for our Olin Fellowship, special consideration is given to the following:
  • Evidence of intellectual ability and versatility and of academic achievement.
  • Evidence of commitment to undertake and sustain preparation for a career in higher education or the professions.
  • Evidence of personal qualities necessary to make constructive contributions to higher education or the professions.

McNair Fellowship

First Year Fellowships are offered to former McNair scholars who are admitted to selected doctoral programs (including Materials Science and Engineering)  at Washington University. The Fellowship provides full tuition plus an enhanced First Year stipend.  Five years of support are guaranteed by a combination of University Fellowships and Assistantships.

Additional Internal Fellowship & Award Opportunities

External Fellowships