We are happy you have decided to apply to the Master of Marine Affairs program at the School of Marine and Environmental Affairs.

The application process is done entirely online, through The Graduate School website.


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Faculty Advisors

Unlike many other graduate programs, acceptance into the MMA program is not based on having the support of a potential advisor, but strictly on the quality of the submitted application. SMEA accepts students into the department, not the research group of an individual professor.

Application Deadlines

All applications for admission in Autumn quarter 2021 must be received by the School of Marine and Environmental Affairs by December 15, 2021. However, applicants are advised to send their completed applications as early as possible.

Online Steps required by the UW Graduate School

  1. Select your graduate program – “Marine and Environmental Affairs, School of”.
  2. Review requirements and deadlines.
  3. Review checklist of application materials.
  4. Report all undergraduate and graduate schools.
  5. Submit official TOEFL scores for international students.
  6. Pay fee and submit application.

For more information about minimum requirements to apply to UW Graduate Programs and application procedures, please go to:

UW Graduate School Admissions Procedures and Requirements

Graduate Admissions Office
(206) 543-5929

Steps required by SMEA

  1. Submit your resume or Curriculum Vitae. This can be uploaded in Word, PDF, RTF, or written in plain text.
  2. Complete the SMEA Program Application Form.
  3. Designate at least 3 recommendations. While non-academic recommenders are appropriate for applicants who have been out of school for some time, we prefer a majority to be academic in nature, and preferably at least one from the most recent academic experience. The strongest recommendations are those submitted by an instructor or advisor who knows your work well and can give a well-substantiated assessment of your academic potential. When you enter the email address of a recommender, an email will immediately be generated to that person describing our program and giving them the necessary instructions to submit a letter of recommendation online. Please do not ask them to mail a letter to SMEA. It is best to enter this list as soon as possible to allow them sufficient time to respond. You will be able to see, on your application, when your recommenders have responded. It is up to the applicant to track letters of recommendation and check that they have been received by SMEA by the 12/15 deadline.
  4. Submit your Career Objectives. Describe your education and career objectives in marine and environmental affairs. Describe your career goals and/or research interests? Why is SMEA a good fit for these goals/interests? This can be up to two pages, but should be at least one page (single spaced). Please give this section careful thought and preparation. This can be uploaded in Word, PDF, RTF, or written in plain text. Please be sure that your name, School of Marine and Environmental Affairs, and the year and quarter to which you are applying at the top of each page of  your document.
  5. Scan in your transcripts.  Scan in copies or pdfs of ALL your undergraduate and graduate transcripts.  They must be scanned at 100% of full size, and you should also scan in one back page of each transcript, since the back of transcripts often have important information on grading standards, etc.  DO NOT mail transcripts. If you are admitted, the UW Graduate School will then request an official paper transcript be sent directly from one of your schools.  They will notify you, at that time, of which school they want to review.
  6. Note – GRE scores are not required for Fall 2022 applications.

PLEASE NOTE: Be sure to retain a copy of your user name and password. You will use this to check the progress of your application, verify when (and if) your letters of recommendation and transcripts arrive. Because this information is available to you online, we will not be able to answer individual requests for verification of receipt of these documents. All records become part of the official file. They will not be returned or forwarded to other departments. 

International Students

Please review the following information on UW requirements and procedures for international students here:

International Graduate Student Application Procedures and Requirements

Graduate Admissions Office
International Student Advisors
(206) 543-5929

Evaluation Process

The evaluation of applicants and the selection of prospective students is the responsibility of a two to five-member Admissions Committee composed of School of Marine and Environmental Affairs faculty members and second year SMEA students. Applicants are evaluated individually and in competition with one another, and offers of admission are extended to top-ranking applicants within the departmental admissions quota assigned by the SMEA Director.

Evaluation is based solely on information submitted by the applicant for inclusion in his/her admissions file, therefore it is to the applicant’s advantage to thoroughly prepare and promptly submit all application material.

Offers of Admission

Following the evaluation process, the SMEA Admissions Committee will notify candidates of admission or denial to the graduate program. Notification will generally begin in mid-February and continue through mid to late April.

Applicant files will be held for one year and individuals may re-apply at any time. The results of previous evaluations will not enhance or jeopardize an applicant’s chances for future admission.


In some cases students might desire to defer their admission until the following academic year or a future term. SMEA’s Admissions Committee will consider these situations on a case by case basis and if approved by the committee, will submit a petition on the student’s behalf to the Graduate School Admissions Office for final approval. If approved, the applicant will not be charged another application fee and the entire application (transcripts, test scores, resume, career objectives, program application, letters, etc.) will be transferred to that particular year and the student will automatically be granted admission for that term.

If additional coursework has been completed since the original application submission, SMEA will ask for an updated version of the student’s unofficial transcripts as well as a current resume/CV. If funding has been offered to the applicant requesting to defer admission, SMEA is under no obligation to defer those funds to the following year. Each student may only be given an admission deferral once; requests for additional deferrals in subsequent years will not be considered.

Each year, the committee will approve a maximum of five deferrals in any given admissions cycle for the entire incoming class. These will be approved on a rolling basis.  To inquire about the deferral process please contact the SMEA Graduate Program Advisor, Tiffany Dion at tlcdion@uw.edu or 206-543-0106 for more information.

Equal Opportunity

The University of Washington reaffirms its policy of equal opportunity regardless of race, color, creed, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, age, marital status, disability, or status as a disabled veteran or Vietnam Era veteran, or other protected veterans in accordance with University policy and applicable federal and state statutes and regulations. The University of Washington is committed to providing access and reasonable accommodation in its services, programs, activities, education and employment for individuals with disabilities. To request disability accommodation in the application process contact Tiffany Dion at tlcdion@uw.edu or 206-543-0106 or the Disability Services Office at least ten days in advance at: 206.543.6450/V, 206.543.6452/TTY, 206.685.7264 (FAX), or e-mail at dso@uw.edu.

If You Have Questions

Contact Tiffany Dion, Graduate Program Advisor, at tlcdion@uw.edu or (206) 543-0106.

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