The University of Washington: Tips for Prospective Students

As you begin your college search, the University of Washington should definitely be on your list. With its top-ranked academics, beautiful campus, and exciting Seattle location, UW has a lot to offer prospective students.

In just 100 words, there’s no way to cover everything, but this article will give you an insider’s take on some of the best parts of UW. From the iconic Suzzallo Library reading room to the crazy Dawg Pack at football games, you’ll get a taste of what makes this university so special.

And you’ll pick up some pro tips to help you navigate the admissions process. So keep reading to see if UW might be the place for you!

Overview of the University of Washington

The University of Washington (UW) is a prestigious public research university located in Seattle, Washington. Founded in 1861, UW is one of the oldest universities on the West Coast and has over 46,000 students across its three campuses.

As a prospective student, there are a few things you should know about UW:

  • UW has a competitive admissions process, especially for certain majors like Computer Science, Engineering, and Business. Make sure your application is as strong as possible with excellent grades, test scores, essays, and extracurriculars.

  • UW has a beautiful campus, especially the Seattle campus. Situated on the shores of Lake Washington, the campus has stunning views of the lake and the Cascade Mountains. There are also many attractions within walking distance like the Burke Museum and the Henry Art Gallery.

  • Seattle has a lot to offer as a city. As a student at UW, you’ll have easy access to a culturally vibrant city with opportunities for outdoor recreation, music, food, and nightlife. Seattle is also a hub for major tech companies like Amazon, Microsoft, and Boeing.

  • UW has highly ranked programs, especially in science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine. If you want to study cutting-edge topics with top faculty, UW is an excellent choice.

  • There are over 700 student organizations to get involved in, from cultural clubs to community service groups to sports teams. UW has something for everyone.

  • UW has a friendly rivalry with Washington State University, especially around football. As a UW student, you’ll participate in events like Dawg Daze and Red Square, and maybe even get tickets to the Apple Cup!

In summary, the University of Washington is an outstanding place to earn your degree. With competitive academics, a vibrant campus life, and the thriving city of Seattle as a backdrop, you’ll find endless opportunities for learning and growth at UW. Go Huskies!

Notable Programs at UW

Once you’ve decided on UW, it’s time to choose a major. With over 150 programs across 18 colleges, the options can seem overwhelming. Here are some of the standout degrees UW is known for:

Computer Science and Engineering

UW has one of the top computer science programs in the country. As an international leader in research, the school offers degrees in computer science, software engineering, and more. With tech giants like Amazon and Microsoft nearby, you’ll have opportunities for internships and jobs.


At the Foster School of Business, you can earn a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration or Master of Business Administration. The program has concentrations in areas like finance, management, marketing, and entrepreneurship. UW business students go on to leadership roles at major companies.

Medicine and Nursing

UW’s schools of Medicine and Nursing are at the forefront of health education and research. Whether you want to become a doctor, nurse practitioner, physician assistant or other health pro, UW has a top program for you. With hospitals and research facilities on campus, you’ll get valuable experience.

Environmental Studies

For those passionate about sustainability and conservation, UW offers degrees in environmental studies, forestry, oceanography, and more. You can focus on areas like environmental policy, natural resource management or marine affairs. UW researchers are addressing issues such as climate change, sustainable energy, and environmental justice.

Psychology and Social Work

UW has highly ranked programs in psychology, counseling, social work and speech-language pathology. Whether you want to understand the human mind, help underserved groups, or work with children and families, UW can prepare you for a rewarding career. Hands-on experience through internships, research, and community projects are emphasized.

With a degree from one of these world-class programs, you’ll open yourself up to a wealth of opportunities after graduation. At UW, you can pursue your passion while gaining the knowledge and skills to make a difference.

Campus Life and Student Activities

The UW has over 700 student organizations, so there are plenty of opportunities to get involved in campus life. Whatever your interests are, you’re sure to find a club or group that matches them.

Student Government

The Associated Students of the University of Washington (ASUW) is the university’s student government, with departments focusing on areas like arts and entertainment, community service, diversity, and the environment. Getting involved in student government is a great way to gain leadership experience and have a say in decision making on campus.

Recreational Sports

The University of Washington offers recreational sports and fitness programs for students of all skill levels. With facilities like the IMA Sports Center, you can go rock climbing, play basketball, go swimming, and more. Intramural sports leagues and sports clubs provide opportunities for friendly competition and meeting new people.

Arts and Culture

Culturally-focused student groups promote diversity and offer a chance to celebrate traditions from all backgrounds. The university also has on-campus arts venues like the Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture, the Henry Art Gallery, and Meany Hall for the Performing Arts which feature exhibits, live music, dance performances, and guest lectures.

Community Service

There are many student organizations focused on community service and volunteering. Some work with local charities and non-profits, while others organize student volunteer efforts for various causes. Participating in community service is a great way to gain valuable experience helping others and make a positive impact.

The University of Washington aims to provide students with opportunities to balance their studies with extracurricular activities. With so many options available, you’re sure to find activities and groups that match your interests. Getting involved in campus life is one of the best ways to make the most of your university experience.

Applying to the University of Washington

Getting into a top university like UW can seem overwhelming, but with careful planning you’ll navigate the process smoothly. Here are some tips to help you along the way:

The UW receives many more applications than it can accept, so focus on presenting your best self. Work hard to maintain a strong GPA, participate in extracurricular activities to show your interests and talents, and pursue leadership roles when possible.

Take the SAT and/or ACT in your junior year and aim to score above the national average. Consider taking the tests more than once to improve your score. UW does not require the optional essay for either exam.

Apply via the Coalition Application or Common Application in the fall of your senior year. Meet all deadlines to avoid late fees and ensure your application is reviewed. Provide a compelling personal essay that gives insight into your character and values. Ask teachers you have a strong relationship with to write your letters of recommendation.

Apply for scholarships and financial aid. UW has many merit-based scholarships and need-based aid for which you may qualify. Filling out the FAFSA form is required for need-based aid.

Schedule a campus visit if possible. There’s no better way to determine if UW is the right fit than by visiting in person. Meet with an admissions counselor, sit in on classes, explore campus, and get a feel for student life.

Admission to UW is competitive, so also apply to other schools you would be happy to attend. But if admitted to UW, you’ll be joining a prestigious university with a lot to offer. Go Huskies!

University of Washington FAQs

So you’re interested in attending the University of Washington? As a prospective student, you likely have some questions about what it’s like to go there. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions from students considering UW.

What’s the campus like?

UW’s campus is stunning, with beautiful architecture and lots of green spaces. It’s located in Seattle, so you get the benefits of a college town combined with opportunities of a major city. The campus sits on over 500 acres and includes facilities for every program and interest. You’ll never run out of places to explore!

What are the academics like?

UW offers over 180 majors, so you’ll have lots of options to choose from. Classes are taught by world-renowned faculty, many of whom are pioneers in their fields. UW also has a strong focus on undergraduate research, with many opportunities for students to work directly with professors on cutting-edge projects.

What activities are offered outside the classroom?

There are over 800 student organizations at UW, so you’ll have no shortage of ways to get involved and pursue your interests. Some of the popular activities include:

  • Attending sporting events like football games at Husky Stadium. UW has a very devoted fan base!

  • Joining Greek life. UW has over 50 fraternities and sororities.

  • Getting outdoors. The campus REC offers trips and rentals for activities like hiking, kayaking, and rock climbing.

  • Checking out the nightlife. There are lots of bars, music venues, and dining options along “The Ave” near campus.

How competitive is admissions?

Admissions to UW are very competitive, especially for out-of-state students. The acceptance rate is around 45% for in-state applicants and 18% for out-of-state. Strong grades, test scores, essays, and extracurricular activities will be key to getting accepted. Applying early for the best chance at admission.

Does this help answer some of your questions about the University of Washington? Let me know if you have any other questions!


So there you have it – the top things to know about the UW. From the iconic campus architecture to the stellar academics, stunning natural surroundings, and vibrant student life, there are so many reasons the University of Washington is a top choice for prospective students. The key is finding the right fit – UW offers something for everyone. As you wrap up your college search, keep this info in mind and consider if the UW might be the place for you to thrive over the next four years and jumpstart your future. Weigh your options carefully and go with what feels right. Wherever you land, enjoy the adventure ahead – college is what you make of it.

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