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Transfer 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 appeal?

Applicants who have been denied admission to the UW may submit an 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.

How do I appeal?

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, college transcript.
  • 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 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?

You may include any information you think is important, but usually appeals 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?
  • 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.
  • 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.

May I submit letters of recommendation?

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

How and when will I be notified?

You will be notified of the decision approximately 1-4 weeks after your appeal has been received. Appeal decisions are sent via email.

Disability accommodation

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