Office of Admissions

Statement of purpose

This is your opportunity to provide context to your application.

Applicants are expected to answer the following questions in their statements.

Maximum length: 750 words

  1. Why are you pursuing further studies? How did you reach the decision to go into your particular field? What are your long term academic and professional goals? Be as specific as possible.
  2. If you are preparing to enter a second undergraduate or a graduate or professional program (such as medical, dental, or law school), what courses do you intend to take? If, on the other hand, you are ready to begin work in your major immediately, you do not need to list all of the courses comprising the major.
  3. For how many academic quarters do you plan to enroll?
  4. Why is it necessary for you to enroll at the UW? Do other four-year universities or community colleges offer what you need at this time? Can you meet your goal as a nonmatriculated student, attending classes through UW Educational Outreach? (If you are planning to take specific courses in preparation for a graduate or professional program, be aware that access to courses in a particular quarter is not guaranteed.)
  5. If you are seeking admission to an undergraduate program with selective admission criteria: are you assured departmental admission? Applicants preparing for graduate school must meet with an adviser in the department for an assessment of their chances for future admission. It is your responsibility to contact directly the program(s) you are interested in well before applying for admission to the University. Please be aware that postbaccalaureate applicants who are not accepted to their major of choice will not be admitted to the University.
  6. If you feel your undergraduate GPA is low: why might it be an unreliable indicator of your academic potential? Those students with postbaccalaureate coursework on record, be it from a community college, four-year school, or graduate program, may use this opportunity to point out subsequent high performance if it is relevant to their academic plans at the UW.

The  application provides a window in which you paste your statement, but it is not a hospitable environment in which to draft, edit, and proofread this important part of your application. We recommend you use a word processing program or a text editor to write your statement, then copy the entire document and paste it into the window. Don’t worry if formatting, such as bold, italic, line spacing, or font choice, is eliminated when you paste. This will in no way affect the evaluation of your application.

Statements of purpose are reviewed by the Postbaccalaureate Review Committee. Applicants will be notified in writing of the final decision after evaluation of transcripts and the statement of purpose.