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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, and possibly through January 31st, will have priority consideration and will be eligible for the annual Visitation Weekend. Applications submitted between February 1st and June 30th may also be considered for fall enrollment depending on funding and availability. 

Can I get an application fee waiver? 

The chemistry department does not offer fee waivers. The number of fee waivers available through the graduate school is very limited, but we advise contacting gradschool@wsu.edu for more information on your options. 

Do you accept applications for a PhD or a master’s degree?

We currently only accept applications for our PhD program.

What are indicators of a strong candidate? 

Letters of Recommendation are important indicators of a strong candidate. Three Letters of Recommendation are required for consideration. Research experience is also one of the best indicators of success in this graduate program. 

What is the deadline for accepting an offer? 

April 15 is the deadline for a student to accept an offer. 

Are official transcripts required for the application? 

Unofficial transcripts are acceptable for the application, but official transcripts are required if you are admitted.  

For more information about applications and graduate school requirements, please visit the graduate school website.   

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. 

If you are unable to take the GRE and need a waiver, please contact Sarah at sarah.o.miller@wsu.edu. 

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 TOEFL 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, Zoom, Teams, or an in-person presentation could be required before an assistantship is offered. List of exempt countries and other international student requirements. 

When an international student is accepted into the program, they are also required to take the IAE exam at the beginning of the semester. A score of 1 is required to receive a teaching assistantship.  

Below is a link to more information about international student requirements: 

https://gradschool.wsu.edu/international-requirements/ 

What are the COVID-19 vaccine requirements? 

WSU system-wide requires proof of the COVID‑19 vaccination for all students engaging in activities at a WSU campus or location. For more information, visit this website. 

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 $40,500 per year which includes a stipend, tuition waiver, and health insurance. When you are supported on an assistantship your gross salary will be about $2,239 per month. You will receive a full tuition waiver ($5,858 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 ($7,225 per semester) for one year. Domestic students who fail to gain residency after one year will be responsible for covering out-of-state tuition 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 may 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 ($5,858 per semester). An additional tuition waiver for non-residents will also cover the out-of-state portion of tuition ($7,225 per semester). Domestic students who fail to gain residency after one year will be responsible for covering out-of-state tuition 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 approximately $1,500 per semester. 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! If students sign up for payroll deduction, they need to resubmit the request every semester. 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 assistantship, 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.  

How many work hours a week are expected for 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 is held during that week. You will have guidance on how to 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 given 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. Once they reach an agreement with the faculty member, they may join their lab. Students must be in a lab by the middle of their second semester. Some students can 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, Grants.gov, Foundationcenter.org, and more. 

What types 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 hold leadership positions at international corporations and/or faculty members in chemistry departments around the country. 

Are there clubs that I can join for graduate students? 

Yes! The Graduate Chemistry Society is committed to improving the social and academic life of chemistry graduate students. GCS organizes social activities, gives information about life in Pullman and about the WSU chemistry graduate student experience, and helps you prepare for exams.  

WSU has many other clubs and organizations that graduate students can get involved with. View the list here 

What is there to do in Pullman? 

Pullman is a small town with recreational trails, laser tag, golf (driving range, 3 courses, frisbee golf), a 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 at the Beasley Coliseum, the Kibbie Dome, and student union (on campus). 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), Hells Canyon (northeastern Oregon and western Idaho), the Washington coast, and Canada. Outdoor recreational gear is available to rent through the Outdoor Recreation Center. 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.  

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 I defer my undergraduate loans once I am accepted? 

Depending on the loan, WSU will notify your lender via National Student Clearinghouse once you are enrolled full-time. If you have questions, please contact the Office of the Registrar at official.statements@wsu.edu or https://enrollmentverification.em.wsu.edu/. 

Common Links for Graduate School 

Graduate School Frequently Asked Questions 

Graduate School Costs 

International Student Requirements 

Financial Aid Programs