Your admission to a major at the UW depends on the major you are interested in and your application type.

Freshman admission to majors

Freshman applicants have three primary pathways to a major: pre-major, direct to major and direct to college. If you indicate a program that has a direct to major or direct to college pathway as your first-choice major, you will be automatically considered for that program. Your second academic area of interest is collected for information and academic advising purposes only and is not used for consideration into any direct entry program.


Most students are given “pre-major” at the time of admission, including those who were not admitted direct to major or direct to college. The list below shows what may be requested on the application along with what is given in the offer letter if admitted.

Requested major Major given in offer letter
american ethnic studies american ethnic studies
american indian studies pre-social science
anthropology anthropology
applied & computational mathematical sciences pre-sciences
aquatic & fishery sciences aquatic & fishery sciences
architectural design pre-architecture
art history art history
Asian languages & cultures pre-humanities
Asian studies Asian studies
astronomy pre-sciences
atmospheric sciences atmospheric sciences
biology pre-sciences
bioresource science & engineering pre-bioresource science & engineering
Canadian studies Canadian studies
Chinese pre-humanities
cinema & media studies pre-humanities
classical studies classical studies
communication pre-social science
community, environment & planning pre-architecture
comparative history of ideas comparative history of ideas
comparative literature pre-humanities
comparative religion comparative religion
dance pre-art
Danish Danish
drama pre-art
early childhood & family studies pre-social science
Earth & space sciences Earth & space sciences
economics pre-social science
education, communities & organizations environmental science & terrestrial resource management
English pre-humanities
environmental science & terrestrial resource management environmental science & terrestrial resource management
Environmental studies environmental studies
European studies European studies
Finnish Finnish
food systems, nutrition and health pre-major
French French
gender, women & sexuality studies gender, women & sexuality studies
geography geography
Germanics pre-humanities
Greek Greek
history pre-social science
history & philosophy of science pre-social science
individualized studies pre-social science
industrial design (art & design) pre-art
interaction design (art & design) pre-art
international studies pre-social science
Italian Italian
Japanese pre-humanities
Jewish studies Jewish studies
Korean pre-humanities
Latin Latin
Latin American & Caribbean studies Latin American & Caribbean studies
law, societies & justice pre-social science
linguistics pre-humanities
marine biology marine biology
mathematics pre-sciences
microbiology pre-sciences
near eastern languages & civilization near eastern languages & civilization
Norwegian Norwegian
nursing pre-nursing
oceanography oceanography
philosophy pre-social science
physics pre-sciences
political science pre-social science
pre-art pre-art
pre-environmental sciences pre-environmental sciences
pre-health sciences pre-health sciences
pre-humanities pre-humanities
pre-sciences pre-sciences
pre-social science pre-social science
pre-major pre-major
psychology pre-sciences
public health pre-public health
Scandinavian studies Scandinavian studies
Slavic languages & literatures slavic languages & literatures
sociology pre-social science
south Asian languages & literature (Hindi & Sanskrit) pre-humanities
Spanish pre-humanities
speech & hearing sciences pre-sciences
statistics pre-sciences
Swedish Swedish

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Direct to Major

Some students are accepted directly to a major as a freshman. To be considered for direct to major admission, simply indicate your first choice major on the freshman admission application. If the major you selected has a direct to major program, you will be automatically considered. 

Requested major Major given if admitted Direct to Major Major given if not admitted Direct to Major
business administration business administration pre-major
computer science computer science pre-sciences

The following majors participate in Direct to Major, however, notify students of their admission to the major after the offer of admission is made.

composition (music)*
construction management
ethnomusicology (music)*
guitar (music)*
jazz studies (music)*
music education
orchestral instruments (music)*
organ (music)*
piano (music)*
strings (music)*
voice (music)*

*For most music majors an audition on your primary instrument is also required.

Tip: Don’t be discouraged if you’re not admitted directly to one of these programs as a freshman. The majority of students come in as pre-majors and gain admission to these programs after satisfying prerequisites and meeting departmental admission requirements. The only exception is computer science.

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Direct to College

Direct to college applies only to applicants interested in the College of Engineering. You must select an engineering major on your UW freshman admission application to be considered. All admitted engineering students will be assigned “engineering undeclared” as their major at the time of admission and will be selected into specific engineering majors later.

Tip: If you are interested in engineering, be sure to select an engineering major (or “engineering undeclared”) as your first choice major on the freshman application.

Requested major Major given if admitted Direct to College Major given if not admitted Direct to College
aeronautics & astronautics engineering undeclared pre-major
bioengineering engineering undeclared pre-major
chemical engineering engineering undeclared pre-major
civil engineering engineering undeclared pre-major
computer engineering engineering undeclared pre-major
electrical engineering engineering undeclared pre-major
environmental engineering engineering undeclared pre-major
human centered design & engineering engineering undeclared pre-major
industrial engineering engineering undeclared pre-major
materials science & engineering engineering undeclared pre-major
mechanical engineering engineering undeclared pre-major
engineering undeclared engineering undeclared pre-major

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Transfer admission to majors

There are three types of departmental admission policies. Admission to majors for transfer students depends largely on the program to which you are applying. Some UW programs require that you enroll at the UW before applying to the major, while others require a separate application in addition to the UW application. Use the MyMajor tool to determine what your major requires.


These majors are open to you at the time of admission to the UW or any time thereafter.

Minimum requirements

These majors have set admission requirements, such as completing introductory courses with a cumulative GPA of 2.50. Majors in this category generally admit all applicants who meet the minimum requirements, without any further screening or selection.


Majors with capacity-constrained admission have admission requirements and a selective screening process; they often have an application deadline and may require test scores, portfolios, auditions, letters of recommendation or interviews. Completion of the minimum admission requirements does not guarantee admission to capacity-constrained majors.

Departmental vs. university deadlines. Applicants to capacity-constrained majors should file a UW application and may need to file a separate application with the department. Regardless of the department’s deadlines, you must complete your UW application file by the appropriate deadline.

Tip: What will you do if your first-choice major doesn’t work out? We encourage you to explore and develop a plan to prepare for a second-choice major. (You may apply to more than one major as a transfer.) Use the personal statement to explain what you will do if you are not admitted to your first-choice major. This information will help Admissions staff understand your plans.