Guidelines for Admission

Autumn 2024 Graduate Applications are now CLOSED!

~~ The deadline for applications for Autumn 2024 was December 15, 2023 ~~

The application for entry in Autumn 2025 will open in September 2024 and the deadline is December 1, 2024


Do you have questions about the application procedures? Check out the information below & also be sure to read our Admissions FAQ.

Admission Requirements

Welcome and thank you for your interest in the Department of Asian Languages and Literature at the University of Washington.

Applicants for MA or PhD programs in the Department of Asian Languages and Literature must meet the requirements of the Graduate School as well as the requirements of the Department of Asian Languages and Literature. The Graduate School has specific requirements regarding degree, GPA, and English language proficiency. Applicants who are not native speakers of English must follow the requirements outlined in Graduate Policy 3.2 to demonstrate proficiency in English.

The Department of Asian Languages and Literature requires that applicants for admission should present an undergraduate major in the relevant language and literature specialization, or background and training equivalent to such a major. Students are expected to have strong language skills in their language of specialization and sound background in linguistics or literature. Students without such a background may be qualified for admission, but will need initially to acquire the expected program prerequisites for graduate study. 

How to Apply

The Department of Asian Languages and Literature admits new graduate students for Autumn Quarter entry only.  The application deadline is December 1. We recommend that everyone, especially international applicants, submit the application earlier than that to allow time to ensure all requirements are being met. We continue to accept applications, letters of recommendation, and test scores until late December, but give priority to those who submit all materials by the above deadline.

PLEASE NOTE: The Asian Languages and Literature Department does not take GRE scores into consideration for admissions and they are not required.

 Each applicant needs to submit via the Graduate School's Application by the December 1 deadline:

  1. Completed application. Fill out the Graduate School online application. Be sure to upload any required documents as well (listed below).
  2. Unofficial transcript(s) from all previous universities attended. (We will ask for official transcripts from any applicant who accepts our offer of admission)
  3. Academic writing sample (in English). The writing sample should not be a translation; academic essay recommended. There is no required format or page limit requirement.
  4. Statement of purpose that describes your academic goals and proposed course of study at the University of Washington (not to exceed five double-spaced pages).

Advice regarding the statement of purpose
One of the most important parts of your application is the statement of purpose. In that statement, please be sure to address the following:

  • Why you seek to pursue graduate studies in this department.

  • What research interests you hope to pursue.

  • Your preparation in the following areas: proficiency in the primary language of research and any secondary languages; academic preparation in your discipline of specialization; English-language proficiency, including writing skills.

  • Areas that will require further training. We appreciate an honest self-appraisal; no one expects applicants to have mastered all necessary skills.

  • Why you have chosen UW for your graduate studies.

5. Three letters of recommendation. Please use the Graduate School online application system to provide contact information for three people who will write letters of recommendation on your behalf. Recommenders should be academic instructors familiar with your academic ability, especially in your intended major language and discipline. The University of Washington is unable to receive letters of recommendation through INTERFOLIO.

6. English language proficiency (for non-native English speakers). Applicants whose native language is other than English must establish proficiency in English. For details and information on how to meet this requirement, please see Graduate Policy 3.2.

7. Resume or curriculum vitae (CV).

NOTE: It is the applicant's responsibility to ensure that the Graduate School has received all the necessary scores by the deadline. The deadline listed above for submitting the application materials coming directly from the applicant is firm. For receipt of those items that must be requested by the applicant but that are sent separately, such as test scores and letters of recommendation, there is a limited measure of flexibility. The applicant should, all the same, arrange as early as possible for these materials to be sent in order to have the best likelihood of meeting the deadline. Incomplete files cannot be considered for admission.

If you have questions about application procedures, please email the Graduate Program Advisor at

Tuition & Financial Aid

Resident tuition (with fees) is approximately $19,000 and non-resident tuition (with fees) is approximately $33,000, but those numbers are subject to change. You can find detailed information on current UW tuition rates at the Office of Planning & Budgeting. Asian Languages & Literature students are classified as Graduate Tier I. Any questions on current tuition and fees should be directed to Student Fiscal Services.

Financial aid for graduate students newly entering the Department is awarded on a competitive basis. The Department in a given year has typically one Top Scholar Award to recruit an exceptionally promising incoming graduate student. For more information about financial aid available to graduate students in AL&L, please click here.

Please note that with the exception of the Top Scholar Award, application for admission to the Department’s graduate program does not automatically constitute an application for financial aid. You must separately apply for financial aid. 

There are a variety of other funding opportunities. To apply for any of these, including TA positions and FLAS awards, you must put in a separate application. Each requires a separate application and we will not consider you for any of these unless you do put in a separate application.

Foreign Language and Area Studies, or FLAS fellowships, are awarded to graduate students for the study of Chinese, Japanese, Hindi, Urdu, Bengali, and Korean. Applicants to the program are encouraged to apply for FLAS fellowships. Please note that international students are not eligible for FLAS fellowships.  See the Jackson School information page for more information and an application.

The Department of Asian Languages and Literature offers its graduate students opportunities for Teaching Assistant positions in Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and occasionally South and Southeast Asian languages. Teaching Assistants must be proficient in the language they wish to teach and must meet other specified requirements. Further information and application forms are available here.

In addition, there are some funding opportunities through GSEE. Founded in 1970, the Graduate Student Equity & Excellence (GSEE) is at the heart of the Graduate School’s commitment to expanding graduate education to underrepresented minoritized (URM) communities. For information, visit the GSEE website. GSEE has many graduate student funding opportunities available as well as opportunities for students to get involved on campus.

International students should check with their own home country’s scholar’s exchange programs with the U.S. in order to see what opportunities for funding graduate study in the U.S. are available.

Several forms of financial assistance available to new and continuing students of the University of Washington, including work-study graduate assistantships, require submission of a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). For information about the FAFSA, please click here. Note that January 15 is the priority deadline for the FAFSA.

Residency, Visas, Housing

Inquiries about residency classification should be addressed to the Registrar’s Office, phone (206) 543-5932, email

Questions concerning international student visas should be addressed to Graduate Enrollment Management Services (GEMS), phone 206-685-2630, email

On-campus housing options for graduate students are plentiful and varied.  Singles and families are encouraged to contact Housing and Food Services for information: phone 206-543-4059, email

International students can contact FIUTS, the Foundation for International Understanding Through Students, who can arrange for a 7-10 day homestay through the Welcome Week Homestay Program at (206) 543-0735. If you already have housing but are looking to make friends, check out the FIUTS Events Calendar.


If you have any questions about the application procedure, first please check out our Admissions FAQ. You may also be interested in learning more about our Graduate Programs in general. If none of the above resources answer your question, please feel free to contact the Academic Counselor at For specific questions about areas of academic study, you are highly encouraged to contact faculty members directly as they will best be able to help you.