Office of Admissions

Admission to Majors

At the UW, we see things differently: We look at what might be, not just what is. That goes for majors, too. What ignites your love for learning – is it world languages? Business? The arts? So many different paths can emerge from a single interest. With 180+ majors, you can find the focus that’s right for you.

For freshmen applicants there are three primary pathways to a major at the UW. To be considered for direct admission to a major or college, simply indicate your first choice major on your UW freshman admission application. No additional application is necessary.


Most students are assigned “Pre-Major” at the time of admission to the UW, including those who were not admitted Direct to Major or Direct to College. This category includes pre-professional fields, such as medicine and law.

Requested Major Assigned Major
American Ethnic Studies American Ethnic Studies
American Indian Studies Pre-Social Science
Anthropology Pre-Social Science
Applied & Computational Mathematical Sciences Pre-Sciences
Aquatic & Fishery Sciences Aquatic & Fishery Sciences
Architectural Design Pre-Architecture
Art History Art History
Asian Studies Asian Studies
Astronomy Pre-Sciences
Atmospheric Sciences Pre-Sciences
Biology Pre-Sciences
Bioresource Science & Engineering Pre-Bioresource Science & Engineering
Canadian Studies Canadian Studies
Chinese Pre-Humanities
Cinema & Media Studies Cinema & Media Studies
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-Arts
Danish Danish
Drama Pre-Arts
Early Childhood & Family Studies Pre-Social Science
Earth & Space Sciences Earth & Space Sciences
Economics Pre-Social Science
Education, Communities & Organizations Education, Communities & Organizations
English Pre-Humanities
Environmental Science & Terrestrial Resource Management Environmental Science & Terrestrial Resource Management
Environmental Studies Environmental Studies
European Studies European Studies
Finnish Finnish
French French
Gender, Women & Sexuality Studies Gender, Women & Sexuality Studies
Geography Geography
Germanics Pre-Germanics
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
Mathematics Pre-Sciences
Microbiology Pre-Sciences
Near Eastern Languages & Civilization Near Eastern Languages & Civilization
Norwegian Norwegian
Oceanography Oceanography
Philosophy Pre-Social Science
Physics Pre-Sciences
Political Science Pre-Social Science
Pre-Arts Pre-Arts
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
Scandinavian Studies Scandinavian Studies
Slavic Languages & Literatures (Hindi & Sanskrit) Slavic Languages & Literatures (Hindi & Sanskrit)
Sociology Pre-Social Science
South Asian Languages & Literature South Asian Languages & Literature
Spanish Pre-Humanities
Speech & Hearing Sciences Pre-Sciences
Statistics Pre-Sciences
Swedish Swedish

Direct to Majors

A small percentage of students are accepted directly to majors as freshmen. For all but Business and Computer Science, students admitted directly to the major will be notified 1-2 weeks after general admission decisions are made.  If not admitted Direct to Major as freshmen, students may apply to these majors later via the standard admission process, which usually requires completing minimum prerequisites and submitting a separate departmental application. For departments with Direct to Major programs, the majority of students are admitted through the standard admission process.

TIP: Don’t be discouraged if you’re not admitted directly to one of the following programs as a freshman! Many strong students come in as Pre-Majors and gain admission to these programs after satisfying prerequisites and meeting departmental admission requirements.

Requested Major Assigned Major if admitted Direct to Major Assigned Major if not admitted Direct to Major
Architecture Architecture Pre-Architecture
Biochemistry Biochemistry Pre-Sciences
Business Administration Business Administration Pre-Major
Chemistry Chemistry Pre-Sciences
 Composition (Music)*  Composition (Music)* Pre-Major
Computer Science Computer Science Pre-Sciences
Construction Management Construction Management Pre-Architecture
Ethnomusicology (Music)* Ethnomusicology (Music)* Pre-Arts
Guitar (Music)* Guitar (Music)* Pre-Arts
Informatics Informatics Pre-Major
Jazz Studies (Music)*  Jazz Studies (Music)* Pre-Arts
Music Music Pre-Arts
Music Education Music Education Pre-Arts
Neurobiology Neurobiology Pre-Sciences
Orchestral Instruments (Music)* Orchestral Instruments (Music)* Pre-Arts
Organ (Music)* Organ (Music)* Pre-Arts
Percussion (Music)* Percussion (Music)* Pre-Arts
Piano (Music)* Piano (Music)* Pre-Arts
Strings (Music)* Strings (Music)* Pre-Arts
Voice (Music)* Voice (Music)* Pre-Arts

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

Direct to College

Applies to applicants who select a major in the College of Engineering only. All admitted Engineering students will be assigned “Engineering Undeclared” as their major at the time of admission. Admission to the College of Engineering is the primary pathway for later selection to engineering majors.

TIP: If you have an interest in engineering, be sure to select one of the following or “Engineering Undeclared” as your first choice major on the freshman application.

Requested Major Assigned Major if admitted Direct to Major Assigned Major if not admitted Direct to Major
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