UW Seattle Acceptance Rate: Key Statistics and Trends for Applicants

The University of Washington, located in Seattle, WA, is a top public research university known for its diverse programs and competitive admissions process. Prospective students often wonder about their chances of getting in. The acceptance rate for UW Seattle is approximately 48%, making it moderately competitive.


Over recent years, the acceptance rate has fluctuated, reflecting the growing number of applicants. Students vying for a spot must present strong academic records, with most admitted students boasting SAT scores between 1300 and 1520 or ACT scores ranging from 27 to 33.

Beyond just the numbers, UW Seattle evaluates candidates on a holistic basis, considering extracurricular activities, personal achievements, and community involvement. This comprehensive approach gives a broader array of students a chance to become part of the vibrant UW community.

Key Takeaways

  • UW Seattle has a 48% acceptance rate.
  • Applicants generally have high SAT or ACT scores.
  • Admissions consider academic and extracurricular achievements.

Historical Acceptance Rate Trends

The University of Washington’s acceptance rate has experienced notable changes over the years. These trends highlight shifts in admissions policies and the increasing competitiveness of gaining entry.

Changing Admissions Rates Over Time

The acceptance rate at the University of Washington has varied historically. From 2016 to 2017, the acceptance rate was 45.3%, and it increased slightly to 46.4% in 2017-2018 according to AcceptanceRate.com.

In the past 10 years, the average acceptance rate has been 51.24%. For 2023, the acceptance rate stands at 47.52%, as reported by College Tuition Compare.

Men and women have different acceptance rates. Men have an acceptance rate of 48.01%, while women are at 53.95%. This indicates a higher acceptance rate for women in recent admissions cycles.

Comparison With National Averages

When compared with national averages, the University of Washington’s acceptance rate shows it is moderately selective. The current 47.52% acceptance rate places it in a competitive range among public universities.

Nationally, top public universities often have acceptance rates around 40-50%. This puts the University of Washington on par with other notable institutions in terms of selectivity.

In recent years, gaining admission to the University of Washington has become slightly more challenging, consistent with trends at many large public universities which are seeing more applications but admitting a smaller percentage of applicants.

Overall, these trends demonstrate changes in competitiveness and reflect shifting dynamics in higher education admissions.

University of Washington Overview

The University of Washington campus in Seattle bustles with students and faculty. The iconic cherry blossom trees bloom, framing the grand architecture of the university buildings

Located in Seattle, Washington, the University of Washington is known for its large student population and strong academic reputation.

Campus and Location

The University of Washington sits in an urban area in Seattle, giving students easy access to city life and numerous professional opportunities. The campus hosts approximately 36,201 undergraduates.

Seattle is renowned for its vibrant tech industry, including companies like Amazon and Microsoft. This proximity offers students valuable internships and job prospects. The campus itself features notable landmarks like the Suzzallo Library and has extensive research facilities.

Academic Prestige

The University of Washington is recognized for its rigorous academic programs and research capabilities. It offers 247 bachelor’s degrees across various fields. The school has an average graduation rate of 84%, reflecting its commitment to student success.

Admissions to this public college are selective, with an acceptance rate around 53%. Accepted students typically have high SAT/ACT scores, ranging from 1300-1520 and notable GPAs. The university is a member of the Association of American Universities, emphasizing its status as a leading research institution.

Engineering programs are particularly competitive, requiring top grades for direct admission. The university also boasts a chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, highlighting its academic excellence.

For more specific data, visit the Office of Admissions and US News Best Colleges pages.

Admissions Criteria


To get into the University of Washington Seattle, applicants need to meet specific criteria, including test scores, GPA, activities, recommendations, and essays. Understanding these criteria helps applicants prepare a competitive application.

Standardized Testing Requirements

The University of Washington requires all applicants to submit standardized test scores. Applicants can submit either SAT or ACT scores. The middle 50% of admitted students score between 1300 and 1520 on the SAT and between 29 and 34 on the ACT.

Due to the ongoing changes in testing policies, always check the university’s official admissions page for the most current requirements. It’s important to prepare thoroughly as test scores play a significant role in admissions decisions.

GPA and Class Rank

The high school GPA for admitted students at UW Seattle typically falls within the 3.75 to 3.98 range on a 4.0 scale. This range represents the middle 50% of admitted students. High academic performance in challenging courses, including honors and AP classes, can significantly boost an applicant’s profile.

While class rank is also considered, it is not required for all applicants. However, a strong GPA and class rank can demonstrate consistent academic success.

Extracurricular Activities

Applicants should highlight their extracurricular activities to show their interests and leadership skills. Participation in clubs, sports, volunteer work, and other activities can set an applicant apart. Leadership roles and long-term commitments are particularly valued.

Quality over quantity is key here. It’s better to deeply engage in a few activities rather than superficially in many. Showcase achievements and how they contributed to personal growth.

Letters of Recommendation

While not always mandatory, letters of recommendation can support an application. Usually, these letters should come from teachers or mentors who know the applicant well and can speak to their abilities and character.

Strong letters provide personalized insights into the applicant’s personality, academic strengths, and potential for success at UW Seattle.

Application Essay

The application essay is a critical component of the UW Seattle application. It allows the admissions committee to understand who the applicant is beyond their grades and test scores. The essay should be personal and reflective, showcasing unique experiences and insights.

Applicants should be honest and introspective, concentrating on how their experiences have shaped their goals and values. A well-written essay can significantly impact the admissions decision.

Application Process


The application process for the University of Washington (UW) in Seattle involves various important steps and deadlines. This section covers the key dates for applying, specific information for international students, and guidelines for transfer students.

Deadlines and Early Decision

The UW’s application deadline for fall admission is November 15. Applicants must submit their materials by this date to be considered for the upcoming academic year. Early decision and early action options are not available, meaning all applications are reviewed after the deadline. Notification of admission decisions typically occurs between March 1 and March 15. For those aiming for more competitive programs, it’s crucial to meet the stated deadlines to ensure full consideration.

International Student Admissions

International students must submit additional materials alongside their main application. Key requirements include proof of English proficiency, such as the TOEFL or IELTS scores. The university looks for a high level of academic achievement, similar to domestic students. International applicants are not eligible to apply for the winter quarter. For further details and specific guidance, international students should contact the Admissions Office.

Transfer Student Information

Transfer students, including veterans, need to submit their applications by February 15 for autumn entry and by October 1 for winter entry. The application involves submitting college transcripts and a personal statement. Those applying to specific majors, particularly competitive ones like engineering, should pay close attention to program-specific requirements. More details can be found on the university’s admissions page.

Admission Statistics


The University of Washington – Seattle campus has specific admission statistics that reflect its selective nature. These numbers highlight the demographics, the balance between in-state and out-of-state students, and the typical SAT/ACT scores of admitted students.

Demographic Breakdown

The demographic breakdown at UW Seattle shows a diverse student population. The university’s 2022 entering class is its largest and most diverse, with significant representation from various racial backgrounds. The male to female ratio is approximately 47:53, indicating a slightly higher number of female students.

Additionally, the school’s focus on diversity has been crucial in shaping an inclusive learning environment. The increase in undergraduate applicants by 6.6% demonstrates the university’s growing appeal.

In-State Versus Out-of-State Admittance

In-state students have a higher acceptance rate compared to out-of-state applicants. For Washington residents, the acceptance rate is around 54.8%, reflecting the university’s commitment to supporting local students.

Out-of-state students face a more competitive admission process, leading to a lower acceptance rate. This trend underscores the appeal of the University of Washington to students nationwide, despite the challenges of securing an offer.

SAT/ACT Score Distribution

For admitted students, the middle 50% SAT scores range between specific scores, while ACT scores fall within a similar middle range. These scores reflect the rigorous academic standards upheld by the university.

Applicants often submit their superscores, combining the highest section scores from multiple test dates, to strengthen their applications. This practice can boost their chances of meeting or exceeding the university’s benchmarks.

Understanding these statistics helps potential applicants gauge their competitiveness and better prepare their applications.

Academic Programs


The University of Washington in Seattle offers a wide range of academic programs designed to meet the diverse interests and career goals of students. From popular majors in engineering and business to specialized programs in fields such as marine biology and creative writing, the university provides numerous opportunities for undergraduate and graduate research.

Popular Majors and Departments

The University of Washington is renowned for its strong engineering and computer science programs. Many students pursue degrees in Bioengineering, Computer Engineering, and Artificial Intelligence.

The Business school also attracts a large number of students, offering a variety of majors including finance and marketing. Environmental Health and Marine Biology are popular among those interested in sciences related to environmental studies.

The College of Education provides majors tailored for future educators, and degrees in Chemistry and Physics are also widely sought after.

Specialized Programs of Study

Students at UW Seattle can engage in specialized programs that cater to niche interests.

Programs like Creative Writing offer an in-depth curriculum for aspiring writers. The school’s Marine Biology program provides students with unique opportunities to study marine ecosystems firsthand.

Other specialized fields include Bioengineering, which blends biology with engineering principles, and Artificial Intelligence, focusing on cutting-edge technology and innovation.

These programs often integrate research opportunities, internships, and partnerships with industry leaders to enhance educational experiences.

Research Opportunities

Research is a cornerstone of the academic experience at the University of Washington. The university promotes research across all levels of study, including both undergraduate and graduate students.

Students can participate in groundbreaking projects in fields like Computer Science, Chemistry, and Physics. Programs often involve direct collaboration with faculty members, offering hands-on experience and mentorship.

Environmental Health research addresses critical issues related to public health and sustainability, while Bioengineering projects often intersect with medical and technological advancements. Research in Marine Biology benefits from the university’s proximity to diverse marine environments.

These opportunities prepare students for advanced careers and further studies by providing an in-depth look at their fields of interest.

Financial Information


Understanding the financial aspects of attending UW Seattle is crucial. This section explores tuition and fees, along with available financial aid and scholarships, offering a detailed look at costs for both Washington Residents and Out-of-State students.

Tuition and Fees

Tuition at the University of Washington Seattle varies significantly between Washington Residents and Out-of-State students. For the 2024-2025 academic year, residents can expect to pay approximately $12,000 per year in tuition and fees.

Out-of-State students, however, face higher costs, with tuition and fees totaling around $39,000 annually. Additional expenses include books, supplies, and living costs, which can add another $16,000 to $20,000 per year.

Financial Aid and Scholarships

UW Seattle offers various financial aid options to help manage these costs. About 58% of students receive some form of aid, with an average aid package of $14,731 per year. Aid can come in the form of grants, loans, and work-study programs.

The university also provides numerous scholarships. Merit-based scholarships are available for academically exceptional students, while need-based ones consider the financial status of the student’s family. Washington Residents may qualify for state-specific funding, making the university more accessible to locals.

To apply for financial aid, students should complete the FAFSA by the priority deadline to maximize their aid potential.



After receiving an acceptance letter from UW Seattle, accepted students begin important next steps to transition smoothly. This includes enrollment processes and orientation activities to integrate students into the university community.

Enrollment Processes

Accepted students need to follow specific enrollment processes to secure their spot at UW Seattle. Key steps include submitting an enrollment confirmation deposit, which indicates their commitment to attend. This is usually non-refundable and must be paid by a set deadline.

Students will also need to complete any required entrance exams and submit final high school transcripts. Ensuring that all immunization records are up to date is another important task. Making sure financial aid and scholarship applications are completed and understood is essential at this stage.

Enrolling in classes comes next. Students should consult with academic advisors to understand required courses and registration timelines. Key actions include:

  • Paying enrollment confirmation deposit
  • Completing entrance exams
  • Submitting final transcripts
  • Updating immunizations
  • Finalizing financial aid details
  • Registering for classes

Orientation and Next Steps

Orientation is a pivotal part of the process for newly enrolled students. UW Seattle offers a comprehensive orientation to help students acclimate to campus life. During orientation, students will learn about campus resources, meet faculty and peers, and get familiar with their new environment.

There are various orientation programs tailored for different groups, such as freshmen, transfer students, and international students. Participation in orientation is often mandatory. Orientation activities often include campus tours, workshops, and social events.

After orientation, students should get their student ID cards, set up their university email accounts, and explore housing options if they plan to live on campus. It’s also a good idea to purchase or rent textbooks and other study materials in advance. Here’s a list of next steps:

  • Attend orientation sessions
  • Get student ID cards
  • Set up university email
  • Explore housing options
  • Purchase textbooks and supplies

Following these steps will ensure a smooth transition and help students start their journey at UW Seattle on the right foot.

Campus Life


The University of Washington’s Seattle Campus offers a vibrant community with diverse housing options, numerous student organizations, and a strong athletics program. These elements make campus life engaging and fulfilling for students.

Housing and Living Arrangements

Students at the University of Washington have various housing options. Residence halls offer a traditional dormitory experience, with opportunities to meet fellow students and participate in floor activities. Popular halls include McMahon and Lander.

Apartments provide more independence and are ideal for upperclassmen. The Mercer Court Apartments are a favorite for their modern amenities and proximity to classes. Students can also explore off-campus housing in neighborhoods like the University District.

All on-campus housing includes amenities like dining halls, study areas, and recreation spaces. Housing services also offer support programs to help students adapt to campus life and build a strong community.

Student Organizations and Activities

UW Seattle is home to over 800 student organizations. These groups cater to diverse interests such as academic, cultural, volunteer, and recreational activities. The HUB (Husky Union Building) is the central hub for these organizations.

Popular clubs include the Sports and Recreation Club, the Environmental Club, and the Debate Team. Students can also join professional groups like the Engineering Society to connect with future career opportunities.

Events and festivals frequently take place on campus, providing students with a chance to unwind and network. Notable events include Dawg Daze, which welcomes new students each fall, and the Spring Show, a celebration of student talent.


Athletics play a significant role in campus life at UW Seattle. The university competes in the Pac-12 Conference, and their teams are known as the Huskies. The football team, which plays at Husky Stadium, draws large crowds, and game days are major events.

Intramural sports offer students a chance to participate in athletics without being part of a varsity team. Activities include soccer, basketball, and ultimate frisbee. The IMA (Intramural Activities Building) is a popular spot for these activities.

Fitness facilities are available to all students, featuring modern equipment, group fitness classes, and wellness programs. These amenities support students’ physical health and provide an outlet for stress relief.

Future Career and Alumni Network


The University of Washington-Seattle Campus offers various resources to support future careers and a strong alumni network that can benefit graduates significantly. This includes specialized career services and an engaged alumni community.

Career Services and Job Placement

The University of Washington provides a variety of career services to help students plan for their futures. Available resources include access to a career library, job listings, and personalized career counseling.

One key program is the Career & Internship Center, which collaborates with various academic departments to collect data on student outcomes. The center helps students develop essential career skills and offers workshops, resume reviews, and interview preparation.

Graduates can also benefit from connections with industry-specific career fairs held on campus. These events help bridge the gap between students and potential employers, facilitating smooth job placement. Additionally, students can utilize tools like Handshake to explore job opportunities and network with employers.

Alumni Relations and Engagement

The university’s alumni network is robust and provides numerous opportunities for engagement and professional growth. Joining the UW Alumni Association grants access to networking events, job postings, and mentoring programs.

New graduates can take advantage of special membership rates offered by the association. Networking events include industry-specific gatherings and general meet-ups, creating an environment for forming valuable connections.

Moreover, the alumni network provides access to exclusive resources such as an alumni directory and career workshops. Mentoring programs connect young graduates with seasoned professionals, offering guidance and advice for career advancement.

Through these programs, the alumni network ensures that graduates remain connected and supported as they progress in their careers. For more details, visit University of Washington Alumni.

Frequently Asked Questions

The University of Washington Seattle (UW Seattle) has a detailed admissions process influenced by various factors. Acceptance rates can differ greatly based on residency status, international status, major, and program competitiveness.

What factors influence the University of Washington Seattle’s admissions decisions?

Admissions decisions at UW Seattle consider multiple elements. High school curriculum quality, personal essays, extracurricular activities, and letters of recommendation play significant roles. High test scores, if submitted, can also be considered, especially for students on the borderline of admission criteria. The admissions process aims to evaluate the holistic profile of each applicant.

How does the out-of-state acceptance rate compare to in-state for the University of Washington Seattle?

The acceptance rate for out-of-state applicants is generally lower than that for in-state applicants. For instance, the acceptance rate for Washington residents is approximately 54%, while the overall acceptance rate including out-of-state applicants ranges between 48-53% (UW Seattle Out of State Acceptance).

What are the GPA requirements for admissions to the University of Washington Seattle?

UW Seattle does not state a minimum GPA requirement explicitly. They conduct a holistic review of applications. Historically, competitive applicants often have high GPAs, particularly those in rigorous coursework. Recommendations and consistent academic performance throughout high school are crucial.

How competitive is the engineering program at the University of Washington Seattle based on acceptance rate?

The engineering program at UW Seattle is known for its competitiveness. Admission rates for this program are significantly lower compared to the general acceptance rate due to high demand and limited spots. Prospective students are encouraged to have strong academic records in STEM subjects.

What are the acceptance rates for international students applying to the University of Washington Seattle?

International students face a selective admissions process at UW Seattle. Factors like English proficiency test scores (TOEFL: 105, IELTS: 7, Duolingo: 131) are crucial. Comparatively, international acceptance rates can be lower, reflecting the increased competitiveness among global applicants (Freshmen by the numbers).

Does the acceptance rate vary significantly among different majors at the University of Washington Seattle?

Yes, acceptance rates vary significantly among different majors. For instance, programs like computer science and engineering are more competitive due to higher demand. Each department has unique criteria and space limitations, making some majors harder to get into than others across UW Seattle’s diverse academic offerings.

Helpful Resources

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