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Guidelines for special admission & appeal

The University’s admission policies must comply with Washington State regulations and faculty-authorized requirements. It is the responsibility of the Office of Admissions to apply these standards consistently and fairly. The faculty recognizes, however, that exceptions should be granted occasionally for students in unusual situations.

Who can petition?

Any denied applicant may appeal. Generally, applicants petition if they believe their academic or personal circumstances could not be considered adequately through the normal freshman review process or that an error occurred in that review.

Direct to College

Freshmen admitted to the UW, but not to the College of Engineering, may petition their Direct to College decision.

Computer science

Freshmen admitted to the UW, but not direct to major for computer science, may petition their decision.

Waitlisted applicants

Waitlisted freshmen may appeal. If you appeal and the request is denied, you will remain on the waitlist until a final decision is made.

What are my chances?

Keep in mind that your application was already carefully reviewed. Very few decisions are overturned on appeal — only about one in twenty.

How do I petition?

You, the applicant, must submit your appeal in writing, via the online form using your UW NetID. Your appeal should be no longer than three pages.

  • You will be required to upload an updated/current, high school transcript. Include a college transcript if you are enrolled in college coursework.
  • The Office of Admissions does not interview petitioners or consider in-person appeals. Meeting with admissions staff will not affect the outcome of a petition.
  • Artwork, portfolios, or writing samples will not be considered.
  • The body of your appeal should explain your reason for seeking reconsideration.
  • Your petition should be clear and concise in presenting your case for admission.
  • Keep in mind that we already reviewed your entire file and expected you to present everything of significance in the initial application.
  • If you believe we missed something of importance, you may direct our attention to it again.

What issues should my petition address?

You may include any information you think is important, but usually petitions address relevant items from the list below:

  • Why do you think you are an excellent candidate for the Seattle campus of the University of Washington?
  • Why do you believe you need to be at the Seattle campus of the University of Washington? Why at this time?
  • If your overall academic record is not as strong as it could be, why do you think it is a poor predictor of your future performance? Explain your academic record fully and tell us how you plan to be a successful student at the UW. Your explanation might include (but is not limited to) a discussion of circumstances and hardships, such as personal or family illness, factors related to a disability, or familial or cultural barriers that may have affected your academic performance and record.
  • If you are inadmissible because you have not completed all of the college academic distribution requirements, why were you unable to satisfy these requirements? How do you plan to complete this coursework once enrolled at the UW?

May I submit letters of recommendation?

You may submit one letter of recommendation in support of your petition. The letter must be uploaded to the petition web form and be submitted together with your appeal.

How and when will I be notified?

You will be notified of the committee’s decision approximately 1-4 weeks after your petition has been received.

Disability accommodation

To request disability accommodation in the appeal process, contact the Office of Admissions.