A Step by Step Guide to Getting into the University of Washington (UW) Computer Science Program

If you’re interested in Computer Science, you may be asking yourself, how do I get into the University of Washington Computer Science program? This university offers a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science that can lead to careers in software engineering and game design or further study in graduate programs. However, with only 16% of applicants getting accepted each year, it’s essential to understand the process to achieve your goal of studying Computer Science at UW.

Why the University of Washington?

Why the University of Washington

If you’re thinking about applying for computer science at UW, there are a few reasons you should give it serious consideration. 

  • The first reason is that it’s one of few programs that offer an accelerated pathway to graduate school, so your time here will be spent in front of a computer instead of in class.
  •  UW has strong relationships with local tech companies like Microsoft and Amazon. So if you do choose to go down the entrepreneurship route (and I highly recommend that you do), these relationships will only serve as an added advantage. 
  • Seattle is a fabulous city with lots to offer—it’s great being in a city where culture meets technology. This is truly the place where dreams come true. 

The University of Washington’s computer science program is a prestigious, highly competitive program. Typically, students are accepted or rejected early during their junior year. However, if you can’t take an AP computer science class during your junior year, it is still possible for you to get into UW through additional coursework and test scores. You must have a clear plan for your application strategy to avoid wasting time and money on applications that aren’t suited for you.

The Requirements to Join the University of Washington Computer Science Program

Admission for applicants is offered once a year on a rolling basis. Students are admitted based on their high school curriculum, including four years of English and math, with at least three years each, and two years each of social studies and natural science, with one year being laboratory science. 

Additional requirements include two years of foreign language or computer programming (or both), plus one year combined with any other subject area. 

All students who apply for admission to any undergraduate program at UW Bothell must submit an official transcript from all secondary schools attended, including international schools. A minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 is required for all students. Advanced Placement credit does not substitute for English, math, or lab science courses required for admission. 

Note that UW Bothell’s admissions process differs from UW Seattle’s; prospective applicants should contact Undergraduate Admissions directly if they have questions about applying to either campus.

The Application Process to Join the University of Washington Computer Science Program

If you’re applying for an early decision or action, your application must be within a specific deadline. Check out your school’s website for details. Most schools will ask you for standardized test scores and a high school transcript. 

You should also ask your counselor if you need to follow any special requirements or recommendations to apply. Finally, remember that each application is unique and requires specific information; pay close attention when filling out applications and be honest—it can hurt more than it helps if you get caught lying on an application. 

If you have questions about anything, don’t hesitate to contact your college’s admissions office directly. They want to help you succeed! Once you submit your application, don’t sit around waiting—keep working hard so that you can impress admissions officers once they’ve received your file. 

Follow up with admissions officers at least once a year (even if it’s just an email) until you’ve been accepted or rejected; after all, what is the better way to make yourself memorable? 

Prepare for Technical Interview

One thing you will most likely encounter during your college application process is a technical interview. Technical interviews are a standard part of getting into any competitive program and require practice.

One way you can help prepare for these difficult questions is to work with a mock interviewer. Many teachers have been trained in behavioral interviewing techniques and can guide you through an interview, helping you identify potential weaknesses and better ways to present yourself. 

For example, consider asking these sample behavioral interview questions: What do you think are your strengths? What do others see as your weaknesses? 

To help prepare for technical interviews, talk with a career counselor or teacher who has experience conducting mock interviews so that they can demonstrate different approaches and teach you how to respond effectively.

Acceptance Process at the University of Washington

Acceptance Process at the University of Washington

The UW computer science program takes a holistic approach when accepting students. If you meet or exceed their minimum grade requirements, you are almost guaranteed to get accepted. According to their website, to be admitted in their major, applicants must have a high school GPA of 3.7 in courses required for admission and an SAT math score at least 70 points higher than their verbal score

To be accepted as a transfer student, applicants must have completed 60 credits at another college or university with grades equivalent to those earned at UW. They must also submit three letters of recommendation from faculty members familiar with their work. 

If you do not meet these requirements, there is no guarantee that you will be admitted into their program! Luckily, there are alternatives:

  • One alternative is taking classes at community colleges like Seattle Central College (SCC). They offer several classes that may satisfy some of their requirements. 
  • Another option would be taking online classes through UW’s extension school. This would allow you to take more classes per quarter while still getting credits towards your degree. 

Majors Offered at the University of Washington

The University of Washington offers four undergraduate majors: 

  • Computer Science.
  • Information technology. 
  • Computational biology.
  • Applied mathematics. 

The school also offers a master’s degree in computer science and a Ph.D. in computational biology. All programs emphasize collaboration with other disciplines through interdisciplinary research centers focused on human-centered challenges that use data from multiple sources to provide insights into biology, medicine, and health care. 

Choosing the Right Major

You’ve applied, been accepted, and even gotten an academic scholarship. Congratulations! You’re about to get an excellent education at one of the country’s top universities. But what major should you choose? 

The field is increasing—IBM predicts it will need 1.5 million developers in 2022 and beyond—but it’s also very competitive. One-third of applicants are rejected from most top computer science programs. Most large universities receive more than 300 applications for only 50 spots in their CS degree programs every year. 

So how do you make sure your application stands out? It all starts with choosing your major wisely. 

Choosing a major isn’t as simple as picking your favorite topics or activities. Before deciding what to study, talk to people who work in these fields and learn if they enjoy their jobs. If they didn’t like certain parts of their jobs (whether because it was too technical or not creative enough), ask them why they keep doing them if they aren’t passionate about it. 

Also, find out which software engineers consider themselves successful; those who have found success after gaining valuable experience at start-ups and other companies are ideal role models for students entering these fields.

The Tech Culture at the University of Washington

The computer science and software engineering degree program at UW is highly regarded. The undergraduate curriculum in computer science includes extensive programming courses with a strong focus on data structures and algorithms. 

To prepare for advanced computer science classes, many students choose to complete a double major or minor in math, physics, or another technical field. You should expect most of your coursework to be general education requirements (math and writing) plus introductory CS classes in your first year. 

The school also encourages you to pursue research projects during your time at UW; if you don’t find one you’re interested in, don’t hesitate to apply for off-campus opportunities in nearby tech hubs like Seattle and Redmond. 

Research experience can look great on grad school applications and help build a network of industry contacts. Many programs will require some project report as part of their application process. If it’s required for admission, definitely include it in your portfolio later when applying to grad schools. 

Remember that doing research can also open up job opportunities after graduation. Many Ph.D. programs accept master’s level students and credit them for their Ph.D.

What You Should Know about the University of Washington Computer Science Program?

The U.S. News & World Report ranks UW as one of America’s Best Colleges, and The Princeton Review named it one of America’s Most Popular Study Abroad Programs. It is also a member of The Association of American Universities, meaning that its research facilities are top-notch. 

If you choose computer science as your major, you will have opportunities to study with experts at different stages in their careers. You may even be able to work alongside faculty members on their research projects.

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