What You Need To Know About The University of Washington

The University of Washington (UW) is a public research university in Seattle, Washington. It was founded in 1861 as the Territorial University of Washington, making it one of the oldest universities on the West Coast. The university has three campuses: Seattle, Bothell, and Tacoma. It is a member of the Association of American Universities, a group of 65 leading research universities in the United States and Canada. The university receives more federal research dollars than any other public university in the state of Washington. The UW’s alumni include seven Nobel laureates, 17, and 189 members of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.

The university is known for its academic excellence, cutting-edge research, and vibrant campus community. The university fosters a culture of innovation and intellectual curiosity, providing students with numerous opportunities for internships, and community engagement. The University of Washington has a strong sense of community and a commitment to inclusivity. The university also offers a rich and rewarding educational experience for students from all backgrounds.


The University of Washington (UW) boasts a stunning and picturesque campus that spans across 703 acres in Seattle, Washington. The campus is home to several notable landmarks, including the Space Needle, the Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture, and the Pacific Science Center. The campus is also home to several gardens and parks, including the Japanese Garden, the UW Botanic Gardens, and the Drumheller Fountain. The university’s architectural diversity is also a highlight of the campus. From classic brick buildings that reflect the institution’s rich history to modern and innovative structures, the campus seamlessly blends old and new. The iconic Suzzallo Library, with its grand gothic-style architecture and stunning reading room, stands as a symbol of academic excellence and intellectual pursuits.

The Paul G. Allen Center for Computer Science & Engineering, the Molecular Engineering and Sciences Building, and the Foster School of Business are just a few examples of some of the modern and technologically advanced buildings that facilitate groundbreaking research and provide students with exceptional learning spaces.

The campus is also home to a vibrant student community. The Husky Union Building (HUB) serves as the hub of student life, offering a variety of amenities such as dining options, meeting spaces, recreational facilities, and student organizations. Red Square, located at the heart of the campus, serves as a gathering place for students, hosting events, performances, and rallies.

Surrounding the campus, the University District offers a lively and diverse atmosphere. The area is dotted with coffee shops, bookstores, restaurants, and boutiques, catering to the needs and interests of students and visitors. The nearby Burke-Gilman Trail, a popular walking and biking path, provides a scenic route along the waterfront and connects the campus to other parts of the city.

With its stunning natural surroundings, impressive architecture, and vibrant student life, the campus of the University of Washington provides an inspiring and enriching environment for learning, collaboration, and personal growth.

Student Cohort Size

The University of Washington enrolled 60,081 students across all three campuses. 42,616 students are undergraduate and 17,465 students are pursuing graduate or professional degrees. The number of international students enrolled across all three campuses is 8,799 (14.6%) – 8,236 in Seattle, 356 at UW Bothell, and 209 at UW Tacoma. 14% of the admitted students are international.

Four-Year Completion Rate

The graduation rate is among the most important factors when selecting a college.  The University of Washington’s first-year retention rate is 93%. This means that 93% of first-year students continue their education for their sophomore year and beyond. The 4-year graduation rate is 65%. This implies that 65% of students were able to graduate after 4 years. The 6-year graduation rate is 82%. This implies that 82% of students were able to graduate after 6 years.

Student-to-Faculty Ratio

The University of Washington has a student-to-faculty ratio of 21:1 and 28% of the classes have fewer than 20 students.


Acceptance Rate

The Seattle campus received 57,140 undergraduate applications this year, a 6.6% increase from last year. The admissions rate was 47.4%, and 54.8% of Washington residents were admitted.

Acceptance GPA

The middle 50% high school GPA of admitted high school students ranges from 3.73-3.96

Types of Admission

The freshman application is available September 1 each year. The applicants should complete and submit their application by November 15.

Application Components

Complete the application: The students can Apply using ApplyWeb or Apply using the Common App. If you plan to apply to the  Honors Program, you’ll find the Honors application within the general UW application.
Self-report your coursework and complete CADRs: All freshman applicants will self-report their coursework on the application.
Choose your program: The students need to choose their intended first-choice and second-choice major.  If your first-choice major participates in  Direct to Major or Direct to College admission, be sure to select it as your requested first choice to automatically be considered. Second-choice majors are not considered for direct admission programs.
Essay prompt: Tell a story from your life, describing an experience that either demonstrates your character or helped to shape it. 650 words
Short response: 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
Additional information about yourself or your circumstances: Maximum length: 200 words: You are not required to write anything in this section, but you may include additional information here if something has particular significance to you. For example, you may use this space if:
You have experienced personal hardships in attaining your education
Your activities have been limited because of work or family obligations
You have experienced unusual limitations or opportunities unique to the schools you attended


The University of Washington’s schools and colleges offer a wide range of academic programs that can prepare students for a variety of careers. Whether you are interested in computer science, education, engineering, or public policy, you can find a program at the University of Washington that is right for you.

Allen School of Computer Science & Engineering: The Allen School of Computer Science & Engineering is one of the top computer science schools in the world. It offers undergraduate and graduate programs in computer science, computer engineering, and data science. It offers programs that focus on cutting-edge technologies, software development, artificial intelligence, human-computer interaction, and more. Students have access to state-of-the-art facilities and research opportunities in areas such as computer vision, robotics, and data science.

College of Arts & Sciences: The College of Arts & Sciences is the largest college at the University of Washington. It offers undergraduate and graduate programs in a wide range of disciplines, including the humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, and mathematics. Students have the opportunity to explore diverse fields such as psychology, biology, English, history, and sociology.

College of Built Environments: The College of Built Environments offers undergraduate and graduate programs in architecture, landscape architecture, urban planning, and civil engineering. Students in this college gain a deep understanding of designing sustainable and livable environments, urban development, and the integration of technology in the built environment. The college emphasizes hands-on learning experiences and engagement with local communities.

College of Education: The College of Education offers undergraduate and graduate programs in education, child development, and human development. The College of Education prepares future educators, counselors, and educational leaders. It offers programs that focus on teaching, learning, and educational policy. Students have the opportunity to gain practical experience through fieldwork and internships, and they are equipped with the knowledge and skills to make a positive impact in educational settings.

College of Engineering: The College of Engineering is one of the top engineering schools in the country. It offers undergraduate and graduate programs in a wide range of engineering disciplines, including civil engineering, electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, and environmental engineering. Students have access to world-class laboratories and facilities to engage in research and innovation. The college emphasizes interdisciplinary collaboration and hands-on experiences to solve real-world engineering challenges.

College of the Environment: The College of the Environment is a relatively new college at the University of Washington. It offers undergraduate and graduate programs in environmental science, environmental policy, and sustainability. The College focuses on studying and addressing complex environmental challenges. It offers interdisciplinary programs that integrate natural sciences, social sciences, and policy to understand and protect the environment. Students have opportunities for fieldwork, research, and internships to contribute to environmental conservation and sustainability efforts.

Evans School of Public Policy & Governance: The Evans School of Public Policy & Governance is a public policy school that offers undergraduate and graduate programs in public policy, public administration, and international affairs. The Evans School offers programs that equip students with the knowledge and skills to address societal issues and promote effective and equitable public policy. The school emphasizes a combination of rigorous academic training, practical experience, and leadership development.

Foster School of Business: The Foster School of Business is one of the top business schools in the country. It offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in various business disciplines, including finance, marketing, entrepreneurship, and operations management. Students benefit from close connections with the business community, experiential learning opportunities, and a strong network of alumni.

The University of Washington’s schools and colleges offer a wide range of academic programs, research opportunities, and resources to support students’ educational and career goals. Each school and college has its own unique focus, providing students with the opportunity to pursue their interests and develop their skills in a supportive environment.

Cost of Attendance

Nine-month expenses for 2023-24

Budget items Lives with parents/relatives Lives on/off campus Students with dependents
Books & course supplies $900 $900 $900
Housing & food $5,715 $17,982 $22,251
Personal/miscellaneous $2,508 $2,508 $2,508
Transportation $789 $519 $1,581
Resident tuition $12,645 $12,645 $12,645
Resident total costs $22,557 $34,554 $39,885
Non-resident tuition $41,997 $41,997 $41,997
Non-resident total costs $51,909 $63,906 $69,237

Student Life

UW has a diverse student body and a variety of extracurricular activities. The university is home to over 300 student organizations. The university also offers a wide range of athletic teams, including the Huskies football team, which is a member of the Pac-12 Conference.

Overall, the University of Washington offers a diverse and comprehensive academic environment that combines rigorous academic programs with extensive research opportunities. This makes it a leading institution in fostering knowledge, innovation, and academic excellence.

We can help you with your college application process. Working with study abroad consultants, overseas education consultants, or, as more commonly known, college counselors, can help you plan ahead and make those high school years count. Ivy Central offers exceptional focus to help you prepare for college admissions throughout the high school years. Start today!

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