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Transfer personal statement

All applicants must write a personal statement and submit it with the transfer application for admission. The personal statement should be a comprehensive narrative essay outlining significant aspects of your academic and personal history, particularly those that provide context for your academic achievements and educational choices. Quality of writing and depth of content contribute toward a meaningful and relevant personal statement.

You should address the following topics in your personal statement. Within each subtopic, such as Academic History, write only about what is meaningful to your life and experience. Do not feel compelled to address each and every question.

Required elements

Academic History

  • Tell us about your college career to date, describing your performance, educational path and choices.
  • Explain any situations that may have had a significant positive or negative impact on your academic progress or curricular choices. If you transferred multiple times, had a significant break in your education or changed career paths, explain.
  • What are the specific reasons you wish to leave your most recent college/university or program of study?

Your major & career goals

  • Tell us about your intended major and career aspirations.
  • Explain your plans to prepare for the major. What prerequisite courses do you expect to complete before transferring? What led you to choose this major? If you are still undecided, why? What type of career are you most likely to pursue after finishing your education?
  • How will the UW help you attain your academic, career and personal goals?
  • If you selected a competitive major, you have the option of selecting a second-choice major in the event you are not admitted to your first-choice major. Please address major or career goals for your second-choice major, if applicable.

Cultural Understanding

Our families and communities often define us and our individual worlds. Community might refer to your cultural group, extended family, religious group, neighborhood or school, sports team or club, co-workers, etc. Describe the world you come from and how you, as a product of it, might add to the diversity of the University of Washington.

Optional elements (include if applicable)

Educational challenges/personal hardships

Describe any personal or imposed challenges or hardships you have overcome in pursuing your education. For example: serious illness; disability; first generation in your family to attend college; significant financial hardship or responsibilities associated with balancing work, family and school.

Community or volunteer service

Describe your community or volunteer service, including leadership, awards or increased levels of responsibility.

Experiential learning

Describe your involvement in research, artistic endeavors and work (paid or volunteer) as it has contributed to your academic, career or personal goals.

Additional comments

Do you have a compelling academic or personal need to attend the Seattle campus of the UW at this time? Is there anything else you would like us to know?


Content, as well as form, spelling, grammar and punctuation, will be considered. Suggested length is 750-1000 words.

  • Online application: You should write your statement first in a word processing program (such as Word) or a text editor, and then copy/paste it into the text box provided on the application. All line breaks remain. However, some formatting may be be lost, such as bold, italics and underlines. This will not affect the evaluation of your application.
  • PDF application (spring applicants only): Type or write your statement on 8.5’’ x 11’’ white paper. Double-space your lines, and use only one side of each sheet. Print your name, the words “Personal Statement” and the date at the top of each page, and attach the pages to your application.


Tell us who you are

Share those aspects of your life that are not apparent from your transcripts. In providing the context for your academic achievements and choices, describe your passions and commitments, your goals, a personal challenge faced, a hardship overcome or the cultural awareness you’ve gained. Tell us your story. Be concise, but tell the whole story.

Be specific

Personal statements too often include sentences such as “I’ve always wanted to be a Husky” or “My whole family attended the UW.” Although this may be important to you personally, such reasons are not particularly valuable to the Admissions staff because they do not tell us anything distinctive about your experiences and ultimate goals.

Write like a college student

Your personal statement should reflect the experience and maturity of someone who has already attended college. It should reflect your understanding of the components of an undergraduate education, such as general education and the major. We want to read how, specifically, your academic and personal experiences fit into your academic, career and personal goals.

Keep in mind

  • We want to know about your intended major and career aspirations, and we want to know your plan to get there.
  • You have the option of selecting a second-choice major. If you do, be sure to address it in your personal statement.
  • The UW strives to create a community of students richly diverse in cultural backgrounds, experiences, values and viewpoints.

All writing in the application, including your essay/personal statement and short responses, must be your own work.  Do not use another writer’s work and do not use artificial intelligence software (ChatGPT, Bard, etc.) to assist or write your statement.