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New Student Checklist

There's a lot to do to prepare for your academic career at the University. Making sure you have thought about all of these areas will help your first quarter go smoothly.

Activate UW NetID Basic Services

As an entering student at the UW, you will need to establish your University identity, called a UW NetID, and password that allows you to access your personal information, email, and campus services. If you did not create a UW NetID and password during the admission process, please visit the UW NetID page, and follow the instructions.

Part of the UW NetID creation process will be the activation of your University email account. The University will use this account to share a great deal of important information with you, including your Advising & Orientation registration confirmation, your electronic bill for tuition, and correspondence from UW instructors.

You should activate and check your UW email account on a regular basis. Your UW email address demonstrates your professional identity as a student, and a member of the UW community. Many instructors will not respond to emails that do not come from UW addresses.

IMPORTANT: Although it is possible to forward mail sent to this account to another email account we strongly recommend that you do not forward messages sent to your UW email. Antispam filters utilized by many email providers often inaccurately label mail sent from the University as spam. If you choose to forward your UW mail to another email account it is likely that you will miss important communications from the UW.

Take Any Necessary Placement Tests

You may take placement tests on the day of your Advising & Orientation session, or by coming to the Testing Center during regularly scheduled placement tests. However, you will pay a higher fee. We recommend that you register online for a statewide APTP test to take advantage of lower testing fees. Read through our Placement Tests page to determine if you need to take any placement tests, and for information about how and when to take them.

All new UW students must demonstrate English proficiency before they can register for classes. Please visit the Registrar's webpage on the English Language Proficiency Requirement to determine if you've fulfilled the requirement and what to do if you haven't.

Submit Your AP and IB Scores

If you've already requested that your Advanced Placement and/or International Baccalaureate scores be sent to the UW, they will be evaluated and any credits awarded will be posted automatically to your student record. The awards UW grants for each exam are listed in our AP credit tables and IB credit tables. If you haven't had your scores sent to the UW, follow the instructions at the College Board website (for AP) or the International Baccalaureate website.

The UW usually receives AP and IB scores and posts credit in early July. You'll be able to see the credit posted on your Unofficial Transcript in MyUW. If your credit isn't posted by late July, we recommend you contact Undergraduate Admissions for assistance.

Submit Your Final Transcripts

If you have earned college credits at any other institution, have a final transcript sent to Undergraduate Admissions as soon as all your courses and degrees have been recorded.

As soon as your transfer credit is added to your academic record, you can access it via MyUW by selecting Unofficial Transcript. Just in case a transfer credit evaluation has not been added to your academic record by the time of your Advising & Orientation session, you should bring unofficial copies of your college transcripts to help plan your course schedule.

Freshmen also need to send their final high school transcripts.

Decide Where You Will Live

Living on campus offers access to amenities and support, building a foundation for your success. If you would like to apply for on-campus housing, please observe the deadlines and procedures stated on the Housing & Food Services website

For information about fraternities and sororities, check out the Greek Relations website.

Planning to live off-campus? The student-run Off-Campus Housing Affairs Office maintains an online database of available rentals and has lots of useful information about how to look for a rental in the Seattle area.

Register for an Advising & Orientation Session

Advising & Orientation (A&O) sessions provide new students their introduction to the places, people and programs that make the UW a special community. A&O sessions (and autumn quarter classes) are available on a first-come, first-served basis, so register as soon as possible to get the best selection of programs. New students are required to attend an A&O session.

Sign up for Parent Orientation

Members of your family are invited to attend an optional Parent Orientation session to learn more about student life at the UW. Registration can be completed online at the same time the student registers for Advising & Orientation or family members are welcome to contact First Year Programs (206-543-4905;

Consider Early Fall Start

Students who attend Early Fall Start take a 5-credit intensive course for 4 weeks beginning in late August. Most of the courses offered are restricted to new students. Topic areas include the Arts, Humanities, Natural and Social Sciences, and writing preparation and academic English skills. Benefits include a small class size, an early introduction to college life, and the ability to take a lighter course load during autumn quarter.

If you are an international student and are able to arrive in the US a month early, the language courses may be particularly helpful to you. You do not need to meet the English Language Proficiency Requirement (ELPR) before registering.

Note Your Residence Classification

Note your residency status on the Enrollment Confirmation Acknowledgment you received. If you are classified as a "nonresident" and you believe you qualify for resident status, you may apply for a change of status by completing the Residence Questionnaire, or from the Residence Classification Office, 264 Schmitz Hall.

Update your Student Directory Information

Important mailings from the University are sent according to information in the Student Directory. It is imperative that you keep your information updated in the directory so that you will receive timely and appropriate contact. In particular, the address listed in the directory is used to mail Registration Confirmation and financial aid information.

You can update your contact information on MyUW; select Change of Address.

Privacy Considerations

The University will routinely release student directory information, unless the student requests otherwise. Directory information is defined as student's name, telephone number, email address, major field of study, dates of attendance, degrees and awards received, and, for members of athletic teams, place and date of birth, weight, and height. If you wish to restrict access to this information, so that your name and telephone number do not appear in the Student Directory, you may do so in MyUW. In such cases, the University will release no information, including dates of attendance and degrees granted, without a written release from the student. You can change your authorization at any point in MyUW.

Attend Dawg Daze

While Advising & Orientation introduces you to campus, Dawg Daze is when you connect, explore, and get involved. At Dawg Daze the UW community "kick-starts" your UW experience with a weeklong festival to welcome you to campus. During this week the entire UW community unites to provide you and your incoming class with opportunities to meet other new students, familiarize yourself with campus, and have fun during your first few days on campus.

Each day of Dawg Daze is packed with dozens of great free events: there are concerts, academic workshops, hundreds of student organizations to check out, free dance classes, outdoor big-screen movies, art gallery openings, department fairs, and lots more. Throughout the week you'll meet other new and returning students, as well as University faculty and staff. More information is available at the Dawg Daze website.      

More Things to Do

Before Autumn Quarter begins:

  • Review the registration tutorial online and in your planner. It is important to get comfortable with this process so that you can concentrate on building a successful course schedule.

During Autumn Quarter:

  • Research majors and learn more about the admission process for ones that interest you. Some majors you may be considering require sequenced courses that must be taken early in your academic career. Some are capacity-constrained, while others have minimum requirements.
  • Get to know study resources early, like CLUE, the Instructional Center and department study centers. If you feel you need help in a course, you will want to get it early. Using these resources is a also great way to form study groups.
  • Check course prerequisites and take a placement test if required. You may not register for a class without meeting the prerequisite.
  • Attend an information session about an interesting area of study.
  • Make an advising appointment. Begin building your educational team as you consider your options and begin to make decisions about your future.
  • Be prompt about registering for winter quarter on the date you see on MyUW. Courses fill fast; being prepared and registering on time gives you the best chance to get classes you want.
  • Visit a professor, TA, or department adviser during office hours. Starting early, we ask—and encourage—our students to become purposeful and strategic about their education and their future.