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Inbound MBA Exchange Students

Thank you for your interest in attending the Foster School of Business MBA Program as a visiting graduate student (exchange student). Please review all of the information below and email the MBA Exchange Program Coordinator with any questions.

MBA Exchange Program Coordinator:
(Ms.) Angela Shelley
[email protected]

Select the headings below to learn more.


Graduate/MBA students from any of these partner institutions are eligible to spend one academic term at the University of Washington. You must be nominated by your home institution and apply for visiting graduate student status at the University of Washington.

  • China: Hong Kong University of Science and Technology
  • China: Shanghai Jiao Tong University
  • Denmark: Copenhagen Business School
  • Finland: Aalto University
  • France: Ecole Superieure de Commerce, Paris
  • India: Indian Institute of Management in Bangalore
  • Japan: Keio Business School
  • Japan: International University of JapanNetherlands: Rotterdam School of Management
  • Singapore: Nanyang Technological University
  • South Africa: University of Cape Town
  • South Korea: KAIST Graduate School of Management
  • Spain: Institute de Empresa
  • Switzerland: University of Zurich

Nomination deadlines are as follows:
Fall Quarter: March 1
Winter Quarter: August 1
Spring Quarter: November 1

Nominating schools must send the student’s CV/resume and proof of English proficiency to the MBA Exchange Coordinator by the above deadline.

Application Materials

Please complete the UW Exchange Application & the UW Graduate School Application (instructions for both provided after nomination) by the deadlines listed below:

Fall Quarter: March 15
Winter Quarter: August 15
Spring Quarter: November 15

Your UW Graduate School Application will require you to submit a Statement of Purpose, CV, transcripts, and current proof of English Language Proficiency.

Evidence of English Proficiency

The University of Washington accepts TOEFL test results as an indication of English proficiency. Minimum scores for the MBA program are 600 (paper-based), 250 (computer-based), and 100 (internet-based). TOEFL scores must be from the past two years.

IELTS is accepted in place of the TOEFL. Applicants who complete the IELTS must score 7.0 or higher to qualify for admission. IELTS scores must be from the past two years.

There are several additional ways to demonstrate English Language Proficiency as outlined in the UW Graduate School Policy 3.2.

If you have questions regarding the English proficiency requirement, please contact the MBA Exchange Program Coordinator.

Health Insurance

Exchange students must have health insurance during their term of exchange. You can either:

  1. Purchase the UW student health insurance policy for one academic quarter.
  2. Submit a health insurance waiver form by the 5th day of the academic quarter. This form indicates you have sufficient health insurance coverage from your home country and the policy is valid in the United States. Documentation of this health coverage must be in English.

Questions regarding proper health insurance coverage should be directed to the International Student Services (ISS).


The University of Washington requires that all students provide proof of vaccination for measles/rubella immunity. Your ability to register for class won’t be complete until you provide proof of immunization on your arrival to campus. If needed, you can receive immunizations for free from the UW Hall Health Center. Students can also request to waive immunization requirements for religious, personal, or medical reasons. More information on immunization requirements can be found here.


A variety of housing options exist near the UW campus or in the greater Seattle area. Some on-campus housing is available, though cannot be guaranteed due to demand. Whether you choose to live on- or off-campus, it is your responsibility to secure accommodations; however, we are happy to answer your questions and offer assistance where we can.

Students have the option of registering for on-campus housing. This is not guaranteed and is assigned on a first-come, first-serve basis. You may need a letter of confirmation that you will be enrolled at the UW; please contact the MBA Exchange Program Coordinator for this.

There are many options for housing near campus. Most short-term accommodations will be shared housing, though there are also furnished apartments available in the area. In some cases, you can arrange housing before you arrive in Seattle; if you prefer, you can secure a hotel room nearby and secure your accommodations after you have arrived. More resources for finding housing will be shared once you are admitted to the program.

Academic Terms

The University of Washington operates on an academic quarter system. MBA exchange students can enroll in any academic quarter that best matches their home institution schedule.

Autumn Quarter: Late September to Mid December
Winter Quarter: Early January to Mid March
Spring Quarter: Late March to mid June

For specific quarter schedules, visit the UW Academic Calendar.


Course Selection

Visiting graduate students may enroll in either full-time or evening elective courses. Due to the nature and structure of MBA CORE courses and MPAcc courses, these classes are not available for exchange students.

A full-time MBA student at the University of Washington is generally enrolled for 16 credits. Please check with your home institution to the number of courses or credits required during your academic exchange at the University of Washington. To maintain your J-1 student visa status, you must enroll in at least 10 credits with a maximum of 18 credits.

Course Registration

Prior to your arrival you will be asked to select the courses that most interest you in order of preference. The MBA Program Office will attempt to enroll you for your top course selections. After the course selections are submitted to the MBA Program Office, you will receive an email confirmation of the courses you will be able to register for.

Some courses are extremely popular and others are required for various MBA certificate programs. Therefore, you may not be able to register for some of the courses you are interested in. Students are permitted to change their schedule during the first week of the academic quarter with permission from the professor and on a space available basis. Procedures for adding and dropping courses will be discussed during orientation.

Elective Courses

As an exchange student, you are eligible to choose from MBA elective courses. There are a variety of elective courses each academic term. Though course selection each quarter will vary, you can view course descriptions and a representative list of current and recent quarters on the UW Course Catalog. Information can also be found on the Full-time MBA website.


UW Foster School Exchange Program: After arriving in Seattle, you will meet with the MBA Exchange Program Coordinator who will provide you additional information about the Foster School of Business, the MBA program, and the details you’ll need to make the most out of your time at the Foster School of Business.

University of Washington Study Abroad: There will be an orientation for all incoming Exchange Students at the start of each quarter. More information on this orientation will be provided after acceptance.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How do I apply as a visiting graduate student?
A: Your home institution must first nominate you as a visiting graduate student (exchange student) to the Foster School of Business.

Q: What materials are required for my application?
A: The following materials must be submitted by the appropriate application deadline:
A completed UW Exchange Application and a completed UW Graduate School Application (instructions for both provided upon nomination). A statement of purpose and proof of current English Language Proficiency are required parts of the UW Graduate School Application.

Q: When is the application deadline?
Fall Quarter: March 15
Winter Quarter: August 15
Spring Quarter: November 15

Q: Do I need to pay the application fee?
A: Yes, the online graduate school application fee must be paid in order to submit your application.

Q: What is the academic calendar at the University of Washington?
A: The University of Washington is on the quarter system. The academic year is divided into four quarters (autumn, winter, spring, and summer).

Q: What are the dates of each quarter?
A: Autumn quarter is usually from late September through the third week in December. Winter quarter begins in early January and concludes after the third week in March. Spring quarter is from early April through the second week in June.

Q: When can I attend the University of Washington?
A: Visiting graduate students (exchange students) can enroll in autumn, winter, or spring quarters.

Q: Is there a minimum professional experience (work) requirement to attend Foster?
A: Yes, given the unique structure of the Foster MBA Program, we require a minimum of 18 months of professional work experience. The current MBA class at Foster has an average of six years of professional work experience prior to starting the program.

Q: Is there a minimum GPA requirement?
A: Yes, a current GPA equivalent to a 3.0, on a 4.0 scale, is required. A GPA lower than 3.0 will require special approval.

Q: How do I apply for a student visa?
A: The Graduate Admissions Office and MBA Program Office will review your application materials. After the materials have been processed, the Graduate Admissions Office will issue a DS-2019 directly to you. The form and any supporting documents can be presented to a U.S. Embassy or Consulate for an J-1 student visa. At that time, you can inquire about visas for any family members accompanying you to Seattle.

Q: When should I arrive in Seattle?
A: The dates for orientation will be emailed prior to your arrival. You should make every attempt to arrive in Seattle for orientation. Most exchange students find it helpful to arrive several days or at least one week prior to orientation to adjust to life in Seattle.

Q: How are MBA classes structured?
A: MBA classes range in size from 15-45 students depending on subject matter. Most professors expect classroom participation and many require group projects and presentations. The expectation of student involvement in class might be different than your home country. Please keep in mind that you’ll be expected to actively participate in class and share your opinions.

Q: How many credits/courses do I need to take at the University of Washington?
A: You are required to take the appropriate number of courses/credits as required by your home institution. Full-time UW MBA students generally enroll in four 4-credit courses for a total of 16 credits each quarter. To satisfy your student visa status, you must be enrolled in at least 10 credits with a maximum of 18 credits. Four credits = 36.67 contact hours.

Q: How do I register for courses?
A: Prior to your arrival, you’ll receive a list of courses and will be asked to select from this list. The MBA Program Office will enroll you in the courses that you request, on a space available basis. Courses can be limited by class size and some are required for MBA certificate programs, so those students have first priority.

Q: Will I receive confirmation of my courses before arriving in Seattle?
A: Yes, your course list will be emailed to you once it is available.

Q: Can I change my schedule once I arrive to campus?
A: Yes, on a space-available basis. All MBAs are allowed to add and drop courses during the first week of the academic term with permission from the course professor. Add and drop procedures will be covered in orientation prior to the start of the academic term.

Q: Are there any additional fees that I will need to be aware of?
A: Aside from the application fee, MBA Exchange Students must also pay the UPASS (transit pass) fee and the International Student Health Insurance Plan (ISHIP) fee.