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College of Arts and Sciences Department of Chemistry

Frequently Asked Questions

When is the deadline for fall applications?

Applications submitted before January 10th, andĀ possible through January 31st, will have priority consideration. Applications submitted between February 1st and June 30th may also be considered for fall enrollment depending on funding and availability.

Minimum GPA for admissions and satisfactory progress?

3.0 on a 4.0 scale.

Is there a minimum GRE score for admissions?

No. We don’t have a set minimum score. New students who enrolled during 2019 have the following average scores:
Verbal-154(65%), Quantitative-157(64%), Analytical 3.75(49%).
GRE scores expire after 5 years. Applicants with a completed Master’s degree in Chemistry in the last two years may request a waiver or use expired scores. Self-reported scores are accepted for the initial application review, however, official scores must be submitted for final application review by the Graduate School.

Do I need research experience to be considered for admission into the PhD program?

No. However, applicants with strong research experience (chemistry related) will be given special consideration.

I am an international applicant. What additional requirements do I need to meet?

International applicants need a minimum English proficiency of 80 on the TOFEL or a 7 on the IELTS to apply. However, applications must demonstrate high spoken English proficiency to be offered a teaching assistantship. Conversations by phone, online mini interview, Skype, and an in-person presentation could be required before an assistantship is offered. List of exempt countries and other exceptions.

What is the normal size of the incoming class of chemistry graduate students?

Approximately 18-25.

If I am offered a teaching assistantship, what is the value?

Approximately $39,000 per year which includes a stipend and tuition waiver. When you are supported on an assistantship your gross salary will be about $2,206 per month (~$1,700 take home depending on taxes withheld), you will receive a full tuition waiver ($5,445 per semester), and health insurance (~$2,000 per year). Domestic non-residents of the State of Washington will be expected to become a resident of the State of Washington as soon as you are eligible (after one year). See more on residency requirements. An additional tuition waiver for non-residents will cover out-of-state tuition ($6,713 per semester) for one year. Domestic students who fail to gain residency after one year will be responsible for covering out-of-state tuition ($6,713 per semester) until residency is established. International applications must demonstrate high spoken English proficiency to be offered a teaching assistantship. Conversations by phone, online mini interview, Skype, and an in-person presentation could be required before a teaching assistantship is offered.

Is health insurance included with an assistantship?

Yes. Click here for more information.

Is there a tuition waiver if I receive an assistantship?

Washington State University assistantship waivers cover ~85% of the cost of attendance while you are on an assistantship ($5,445 per semester). An additional tuition waiver for non-residents will also cover the out-of-state portion of tuition ($6,713 per semester). Domestic students who fail to gain residency after one year will be responsible for covering out-of-state tuition ($6,713 per semester) until residency is established. See more on residency requirements. Additional information for Tuition and Finances.

Do graduate students pay any portion of tuition and fees if they have an assistantship?

Yes, student fees are ~$1,000 per fall and spring semester and ~$325 for summer. See Estimated Tuition & Fees breakdown. Additional information for Tuition and Finances. Payroll deduction is also available for graduate students on an assistantship.

Is there an option for payroll deduction for graduate students paying fees not covered by the waiver?

Yes! For more information see Graduate Student Payroll Deduction. Some course fees not included.

Is there financial support during the summers?

If you are on an assistanship, Yes. Assuming you are making satisfactory academic progress, you will have support throughout the summer. Summer salary support is often available through teaching assistantships, research assistantships, departmental jobs, or grant support from individual faculty members. Students may be required to register for three credits and pay student fees of ~$325.

How many work hours a week are expected on a teaching assistantship?

The usual duties of an assistantship involve teaching two laboratory sections per week, usually around 20 hours including office hours, prep, and grading.

Do Teaching Assistants have training or orientation before teaching?

Yes, your assistantship begins one week before the first day of classes and your training are held during that week. You will have guidance on how run labs and tutorials, a refresher course in safety and first aid, learn of the fire evacuation routes, etc. If you are a general chemistry TA, you will also be give a hard copy of the General Chemistry TA Handbook.

When does a student join a laboratory and start research?

As soon as possible. Students are encouraged to meet with faculty and speak with current graduate students to determine where they might like to work. Students must be in a lab by the middle of their second semester. Some students are able to start research during the summer before they begin attending classes.

Do graduate students have the opportunity to travel and present their research at national meetings?

Yes! Students are encouraged to participate in such activities. Research advisors frequently pay for a student to attend national meetings. Our graduate students are often awarded competitive travel grants to also attend international meetings. Additional funding may be available through Departmental Travel Scholarships, Graduate School, GCS, GPSA/GRSA, New Graduate Student Prestigious Fellowship Workshop, Distinguished Scholarship Workshops,,, and more.

Should I complete the FAFSA form?

Yes. It is recommended you complete the FAFSA form every year you intend to enroll in school regardless if you need to use it.

What sort of jobs do chemistry grads get after graduation?

Many graduates find post-doc, teaching, industry, and DOE positions. Graduates have found post-docs and careers at national labs such as Argonne, Idaho, Los Alamos, Oak Ridge, Pacific Northwest, and more. Some of our alumni are heads of international corporations and/or faculty members in chemistry departments around the country.

What is there to do in Pullman?

Pullman is a small town with recreational trails, a shopping mall, laser tag, golf (driving range, 3 courses, frisbee golf), Pullman Farmer’s Market and Moscow Farmer’s Market each week May-October, community gardens, dog parks, trivia nights at local bars, local theatre performances, festivals, community fitness classes, and many coffee shops and restaurants. Free movies for students play in the student union auditorium almost every weekend. Moscow, Idaho is eight miles east across the Washington border and home to the University of Idaho. With two universities within eight miles there are many activities available for students to be entertained while taking a break from their studies. There are comedy and music entertainment performances in Beasley Coliseum, the Kibbie Dome, and student union(CUB). Many events are arranged by the WSU Student Entertainment Board. Pullman is also within a 30 minute to six hour drive of snowboarding, alpine and cross-country skiing, rock climbing, fishing, hunting, hiking, camping, river rafting, boating, biking trails, Glacier National Park (Montana), Hell’s Canyon (northeastern Oregon and western Idaho), the Washington coast, and Canada. Outdoor recreational gear is available to rent through the Outdoor Recreation Center. For music lovers, the Gorge Amphitheatre is an outdoor concert venue overseeing the Columbia River in central Washington. Need a little city life? Seattle is about a five hour drive west while Spokane and Coeur d’Alene are each less than two hours to the north. The university is also home to PAC-12 sports and great recreational facilities.

Where do I mail my final transcripts?

Graduate School Admissions
Stadium Way
French Administration, Room 324
PO Box 641030
Washington State University
Pullman, WA 99164-1030

How do IĀ  defer my undergraduate loans once I am accepted?

Depending on the loan, WSU will notified your lender via National Student Clearinghouse once you are enrolled full-time. If you have questions, please contact the Office of the Registrar at or