Transfer guidelines for special admission & appeal

Who can appeal?

Applicants who have been denied admission to the UW may write a letter of appeal requesting special consideration if they believe there are extenuating circumstances not explained in the personal statement, or if they believe an error has occurred in the initial evaluation.

Admitted to UW, denied to the major

With the exception computer science and computer engineering, where appeals should be sent to the Office of Admissions, all other transfer students wanting to appeal their departmental decision should work directly with the department.

When do I appeal?

You may submit your written appeal at any time during the application processing period of the quarter for which you are seeking admission. You don’t need to wait until you receive notification that you have been denied. If you have received a deny email, we prefer that your appeal be submitted within two weeks of receiving the denial.

How do I appeal?

You, the applicant, must submit your appeal in writing, preferably typed and no longer than three pages. Please mail your appeal to the address below.

  • List the following information for identification: your name, address, quarter and year of application, and type of application (in this case, transfer).
  • Include with your appeal an updated, official transcript.
  • You may submit up to three letters of recommendation in support of your appeal. Such letters must arrive with the appeal.
  • The Office of Admissions does not interview appellants or consider in-person appeals. Meeting with admissions staff will not affect the outcome of an appeal.
  • Artwork, portfolios, or writing samples will not be considered.
  • The body of your appeal should explain your reason for seeking reconsideration.
  • Your appeal 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 appeal address?

Compose your appeal carefully, and proofread it. An appeal should state your case clearly and effectively. The appearance of the appeal and the quality of the writing (organization, content, spelling, punctuation, grammar) are important in presenting the strongest case possible. The recommended length is one to three pages, typed.
Because individual circumstances vary, the following pointers are intended only as general guidelines. You should address the issues most relevant to your situation. In most cases, appeals should answer the following questions:

  • Why do you want to attend the University of Washington?
  • What major are you interested in? How did your interest in this major develop?
  • If you are inadmissible because of your academic performance, why do you think your previous academic record (including grades or test scores) is an inaccurate predictor of your future academic performance? Please explain your academic record fully and tell us how you plan to be a successful student at the UW. Your explanation may 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 record.
  • If you are inadmissible because you have not completed all of the college academic distribution requirements (CADR), why were you unable to satisfy these requirements? How do you plan to complete this coursework once you are enrolled at the UW?
  • Have you met with an academic adviser in your intended major? Do you have a clear understanding of the admission and graduation requirements for that major? Have you completed all the prerequisites for admission to the major?
  • If you have attended several institutions without graduating, please explain why graduation from the UW will now be possible.
  • If you are seeking admission to a capacity-constrained major, do you have a letter of support from the department? Such letters of support must arrive with the appeal, either mailed in one large envelope or delivered in person.
  • Can you provide evidence of academic ability in recent coursework? For example, if your record shows a poor performance in the past but you have recently completed 30-45 credits with a high grade-point average, you would appeal on the basis of strong recent grades. In other words, you are asking Admissions to consider you on the basis of a portion of your record, rather than averaging in recent grades with older ones.

When will I be notified of a decision?

You will be notified of the decision approximately 1-4 weeks after your appeal has been received.

Mailing address

University of Washington
Office of Admissions
1410 NE Campus Parkway
Box 355852
Seattle, WA 98195-5852

Disability accommodation

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