Guidelines for special admission by appeal

The University’s admission policies 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 appeal?

Any denied, waitlisted or incomplete applicant may appeal. Generally, applicants appeal 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.

All appeals include a review of updated information, transcripts and appeal statement in addition to reviewing the original admission application that was submitted. If the first-choice requested major was engineering or computer science/computer engineering the appellant will also be considered for direct admission.

Who cannot appeal through the Office of Admissions?

The Office of Admissions does not review appeals for freshman departmental decisions for the Foster School of Business, architecture, biochemistry, chemistry, construction management, informatics, music majors or neuroscience. Please contact the department directly if you have questions.

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Incomplete application, file closed

Freshmen whose applications were closed because they did not submit missing items that were requested can appeal for an admission decision. Applicants will be required to provide missing items with the appeal form. Please visit the Missing Items Portal to see which items are required to complete your appeal.

Need assistance? Direct your Incomplete, file closed appeal questions to:


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Admitted to UW, denied Direct to College

Freshmen admitted to the UW, but not to the College of Engineering, may appeal their Direct to College decision prior to April 15. Appeal decisions are typically made by late April.

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Admitted to UW, denied to computer science/computer engineering

Freshmen admitted to the UW, but not direct to major for computer science or computer engineering, may appeal their decision prior to April 15. Appeal decisions are typically made by late April.

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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. The waitlist is not ranked so returning to the waitlist after a denied appeal will not impact your chances of being admitted from the waitlist at a future date.

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Denied applicants

Denied freshmen may appeal. If you appeal and the request is approved, you may either be offered admission or invited to join the waitlist.

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What are my chances?

Keep in mind that your application was already carefully reviewed. Very few decisions are overturned on appeal.

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What issues should my appeal address?

Keep in mind that we already reviewed your application and expected you to present everything of significance in the initial application.

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

  • If you have new information to share that was not initially included in your application, please let us know. This can include schedule changes, academic area of interest changes, or other information.
  • If you believe we missed something of importance, you may direct our attention to it again.
  • 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?
  • Why do you think you are an excellent candidate for the Seattle campus of the University of Washington?
  • Artwork, portfolios, or writing samples will not be considered.

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May I submit letters of recommendation?

No, letters of recommendation are not considered as part of your admission application or the appeal process.

How and when will I be notified?

Unless otherwise noted above (i.e. appealing direct to major/college decision), we are typically able to provide a decision within 2 – 4 weeks. Appeal decisions are sent via email.

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Disability accommodation

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

How do I appeal?

  • Your appeal should be clear and concise in presenting your case for admission.
  • The body of your appeal should explain your reason for seeking reconsideration.
  • 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.
  • Complete the eligibility checklist below to access the appeal form.

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