How to Get Into the University of Washington

University of Washington
April 17, 2024
9 min read
Expert Reviewed


Reviewed by:

Former Admissions Committee Member, Columbia University

Reviewed: 11/24/23

If you’d like to join one of the world’s most preeminent universities, read on to learn how to get into the University of Washington.

Post-secondary institutions were created to provide students with advanced education and facilitate their pursuit of knowledge and discovery.

The University of Washington, located in Seattle, Washington, was founded in 1861 and is a testament to academic excellence and pioneering research. With a rich history, UW has become a prestigious public research university that consistently ranks among the country’s top institutions.

With an unshakable optimism and staunch commitment to its students’ success, UW is a popular option for students embarking upon the next chapter of their academic and professional journey.

If you’re considering attending this established school, this guide will go over how to get into the University of Washington, its acceptance rate, application process, tuition fees, and more!

The University of Washington Acceptance Rate: 10%

The University of Washington’s acceptance rate is expected to be around 10% for the class of 2028. Of the 69,080 applications received, only about 7,000 students are expected to be admitted

This is a significant decrease from last year’s acceptance rate, so do your best to submit the best application you can. Doing so can increase your chances of receiving significant scholarships and merit-based aid!

To help give you an idea of the UW’s acceptance rate for the past few years, here’s a table.

Year Number of Applicants Number of Accepted Students Acceptance Rate
2024 60,080 7,000 (estimated) 10% (estimated)
2023 52,488 25,212 48%
2022 48,840 26,121 53%
2021 43,868 24,467 55%

As you can see, the acceptance rate of UW has slightly decreased throughout the past few years. For the class of 2028 the acceptance rate will drop significantly.  

The University of Washington Early Decision Acceptance Rate

If you’re considering applying to the University of Washington through their early decision or action route, you’re out of luck. The UW does not participate in early decision or early action admission.

How Hard Is It to Get Into the University of Washington?

With their acceptance rate dropping to 10%, the University of Washington is becoming increasingly selective. Ensure you have a competitive application if UW is your top school of choice!

Take our interactive quiz below to find out how likely you are to get into the University of Washington.

The University of Washington Admissions Statistics

Here are the admission statistics from the University of Washington.

The University of Washington Average GPA: 3.83

The average GPA of admitted students to the University of Washington is 3.83. To be considered a competitive applicant, you should maintain a GPA of 3.8-4.0. 

The University of Washington Average SAT Score: 1410

The average SAT score of admitted students to the University of Washington is 1410. Those in the 25th-75th percentile scored in the range of 1280-1490.

It’s important to note that the UW no longer accepts test scores. However, homeschooled applicants and applicants from schools with non-standard grading practices that do not have letter or numeric grades are still required to submit SAT or ACT scores.

The University of Washington Average ACT Score: 32

The average ACT score of admitted students to the University of Washington is 32. The 25th-75th percentile ranged from 30-34. 

As mentioned above, UW doesn’t require ACT test scores unless you’re a homeschooled applicant or from a school with non-standard grading practices that do not have letter or numeric grades.

What Is the University of Washington Looking For In Applicants?

The University of Washington evaluates applications by looking at the rigor of an applicant’s coursework, GPA, application essay, extracurricular activities, volunteer and work experience.

Here’s a detailed table that shows what UW values in their application process. 

Academic Very Important Important Considered Not Considered
Rigor of secondary school record X
Class Rank X
Academic GPA X
Standardized Test Scores X
Application Essay X
Recommendation X

Non-Academic Very Important Important Considered Not considered
Interview X
Extracurricular Activities X
Talent/Ability X
Character/Personal Qualities X
First Generation X
Geographical Residence X
State Residency X
Racial/Ethnic Status X
Volunteer Work X
Work Experience X
Level of Applicant’s Interest X

Now that you have a better idea of what UW looks for, ensure you focus on them during the application process.

The University of Washington Admissions Requirements

You'll need a competitive academic record to get into the University of Washington. This means a minimum GPA of 3.8 and SAT/ACT scores of 1410 and 32 or above. You can also make your application stand out by including meaningful extracurriculars and compelling essays about your passions and significant experiences.

Below is a list of the required materials for admission into UW

  • Required courses
  • Essays
  • Application fee of $80, $90 for international applicants

Ensure you have all required materials ready before the application deadline to avoid unforeseen obstacles! 

The University of Washington Application Deadlines

The process to apply to UW is simple; UW offers two application platforms, ApplyWeb and the Common App. Students must select one app to submit their application.

As you begin preparing your WU application, there are several deadlines you should keep in mind to avoid any delays:

Application Step Deadline
Winter quarter applications open Early August
Autumn and summer quarter applications open Early September
Winter quarter applications due Early September
Autumn and summer quarter applications due Mid-November
Admission notifications for winter quarter applicants November - December
Admission notifications for autumn and summer quarter applicants Mid-March

Source: The University of Washington

Most students choose to begin their program during the autumn quarter, but UW offers start periods in the winter and summer terms. Applying for admission to these quarters may involve additional application steps. There are no early-decision applications at UW.

UW also does not accept students on a rolling basis. They do not make any admission decisions until they have reviewed all applications, meaning you won’t have to worry about submitting your application early. As long as you submit it before the deadline, you will have an equal chance of getting into UW. 

The University of Washington Regular Decision Deadline

The UW regular decision deadline is November 15. Decisions will be sent out between March 1st to 15th. Ensure you don’t miss the deadline when applying to this school! 

The University of Washington Early Action Deadline 

The early action deadline for the University of Washington is November 15. Applicants who apply by this date will receive an admissions decision by January and be considered for merit-based scholarships.

How to Improve Your Chances of Getting Into the University of Washington 

Understanding the admissions requirements and deadlines involved in the application process will ensure you meet the minimum expectations to be considered for enrolment. 

However, to give yourself an edge and increase your chances of getting into the University of Washington, there are four main tips you should follow:

Focus on Maintaining a High GPA

Because UW values an applicant’s GPA, you must maintain a high one when applying. The grades you receive in your prerequisites, in particular, will be used to assess your academic performance.

As such, you want to put in the effort and hard work to maintain high grades to impress the admissions committee! You should also prove your academic performance through other achievements such as awards, honors, or projects. 

Participate in Useful Extracurriculars

UW prides itself on looking at candidates as a whole rather than just as students. A large part of this is learning how they spend their time outside the classroom

UW looks for students who have demonstrated a clear commitment to community and service, exercise significant responsibility to others, and demonstrate cultural awareness or unique experiences. Prove you have these qualities throughout your application. 

Write Compelling Essays

The final tip to keep in mind as you gather your admission materials is to ensure you don’t overlook the essays. UW considers the application essays as very important during the admissions process. 

Your essays give the admission committee direct insight into who you are, what you value, and what your goals are. Take the time to create impressive responses and proofread your work several times before submission. 

While UW gives little guidelines on the content of these essays, they encourage students to follow these suggestions:

  • Pay close attention to your spelling, grammar, and punctuation
  • Complete your responses well in advance of the deadline
  • Focus on creating a casual yet formal tone
  • Write like it matters, not like you’re texting
  • Don’t overthink it—small moments can still lead to great essays
  • Use language you can manage
  • Keep it simple but real

Pay close attention to word counts and avoid overused topics. Bring new approaches to your essays so your application is more memorable!

The University of Washington Essays Prompts

One key factor to consider when discussing how to get into the University of Washington is the importance of clear and polished writing in your application essays. The best way to assure your essays meet UW’s standards are to begin early and dedicate enough time to revising your responses.

To help you begin the essay writing process, here are the prompts you can expect to see on your application:

1. Tell a story from your life, describing an experience that either demonstrates your character or helped to shape it. (650 words)
2. Our families and communities often define us and our individual worlds. Community might refer to your cultural group, extended family, religious group, neighborhood or school, sports team or club, co-workers, etc. Describe the world you come from and how you, as a product of it, might add to the diversity of the UW. (300 words)
3. Optional essay about your life and circumstances

This final essay is optional and should only be written if you feel you have significant circumstances or experiences that should be shared with the admissions committee. 

Typical responses to this essay involve:

  • Personal hardships in attaining education
  • Work or family obligations that limited your activities
  • Unusual limitations or opportunities unique to the schools you attended

This essay should not exceed 200 words. 

The University of Washington Interview

The University of Washington does not offer interviews for their admissions process. 


For any remaining questions about how to get into the University of Washington, read on to find your answers.

1. What GPA Do You Need to Get Into the University of Washington?

Students should aim to maintain GPAs between 3.8 and 4.0 to have the best chance of getting into the University of Washington.

2. Why Is the UW Acceptance Rate So High?

The main reason the UW acceptance rate has been so high in the past is because this university values inclusion, opportunity, and accessibility. With a commitment to providing as many students with the tools needed to create real change in the world and reach their full potential, they accept over 54,000 students into their programs annually. 

However, for the class of 2028, UW is expected to only accept 10% of their total applicants. Be prepared for the acceptance rate to drop!

3. Is UW a Public Ivy School?

Yes, UW is considered to be a public Ivy school, meaning it offers an equivalent quality of education as the actual Ivy League schools.

4. What Majors Is the University of Washington Known For?

The most popular majors pursued at the University of Washington are those involving Social Sciences, Computer Science, and Biological or Biomedical Science.

5. What Is UW’s Ranking?

UW ranks 40th overall but 15th as the best public university in the nation. 

6. What Is the Tuition Fee for the University of Washington?

UW is considered a low-cost school, with annual tuition rates of only $12,643 for resident students. Non-residents can expect to pay around $41,997 for tuition. The university offers several grants and scholarships to students to help pay for these high costs.

Final Thoughts

The University of Washington facilitates an ideal environment for curiosity, intellectual challenge, and unbridled discovery. By joining this law school, you’re guaranteed to receive a high-quality education that can help you surpass all of your personal and professional goals!

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