Requirements and Policies

Taking a course as a graduate non-matriculated (GNM) student can be a useful way to make a more informed decision about going to graduate school. It also allows faculty in the Department of Communication to become more familiar with your interests and aptitude for graduate study. The department only grants GNM status on occasion and usually under special circumstances, as faculty focus their graduate teaching on the substantial population of matriculating graduate students in the department. In a typical year, there are only one or two GNM students in the department.

If you are interested in applying for GNM status, please note the following important deadlines and application information. If you are interested in applying to our degree programs, click here. If you have questions about this information, please e-mail the Graduate Program Advisor at

Purpose of GNM Status

Graduate Non-matriculated (GNM) is a classification for post-baccalaureate students who are not seeking a graduate degree at the present time. As such, it is not available to international students or anyone who requires a student (F-1) visa. While you do not need to have GNM status to register for a graduate-level class, you must have it in order to apply the credits to a graduate degree at the University of Washington should you later be admitted as a graduate student. By contrast, courses taken either as a post-baccalaureate student(those seeking a second bachelor’s degree) or as a non-matriculated undergraduate cannot be applied to graduate degree requirements.

The GNM application process is distinct from the regular graduate program application process and GNM status does not influence decisions about admission into the Department of Communication’s graduate program. A separate application package is required to be considered for admission into the graduate program, and you can access information and application details for regular (matriculated or degree-seeking) graduate program admission here.

Limitations of GNM Status

A maximum of 12 GNM credits may be applied toward a graduate degree. In the Department of Communication, this is the equivalent of two 5-credit seminar courses. While a GNM student is permitted to take more than 12 credits, this is the maximum number of credits that may be later applied toward a graduate degree. GNM students are admitted to the Department of Communication for a maximum of three consecutive quarters of study.

GNM students are not permitted to enroll in the core sequence of courses (COM 500, COM 501) or in any COM courses at the level of 590 or higher, with the exception of COM 597, the special topic seminars.

A list of courses is available here >>

Application Deadlines

Autumn quarter entry

Those applying for autumn quarter GNM status must have a complete GNM application in the department’s possession by May 15.

Winter quarter entry

Those applying for winter quarter GNM status must have a complete GNM application in the department’s possession by November 15.

Spring quarter entry

Those applying for spring quarter GNM status must have a complete GNM application in the department’s possession by February 15.

We do not accept GNM applications for summer quarter entry.

GNM Applicant Eligibility Requirements

  • Minimum 3.0 or B grade point average over the two most recent years of study.
  • Bachelor’s degree.

GNM Application Contents

Material Included in the Online Application:

  • GNM application. Note that there is a $75 application fee for GNM status.
  • Unofficial transcripts should be uploaded from each institution from which you received a degree of Bachelor or higher.
  • Letter of intent (2-3 pages) detailing your educational and career goals. This letter should make it clear why you have chosen to apply for GNM status in the Department of Communication. State your academic goals so that the admissions committee may determine whether your goals could be met in our department and through GNM status.
  • Three letters of recommendation. Letters of recommendation from professors are preferred, but if you have been out of school for many years or have another reason for using non-academic references, other professional recommendations are acceptable.
  • Academic writing sample (roughly 10-30 pages). This is typically a paper you wrote for a college or university class, but it can also be a thesis chapter, a journal publication, or a seminar paper. The admissions committee will read your paper to evaluate your writing competence, the clarity of your argument, and the depth of your analysis and insight.
  • Resume or curriculum vitae. If you don’t have a vitae, don’t worry. A resume will do. If you do have a vitae, send it instead.

Materials to be sent to Graduate Admissions

  • GRE scores are NOT required, but should be included in your application if they are available. Official scores should be sent directly by the Educational Testing Service. GRE reporting code is 4854 (no department code).