For Prospective UW Students
Health programs are available at the undergraduate and the graduate level. Students interested in environmental health, medical technology, nursing, prosthetics & orthotics, social work, or speech & hearing sciences can complete these as their undergraduate major. If you are interested in dentistry, health administration, medicine, optometry, pharmacy, public health or veterinary medicine, then you will complete a major in something else and then apply to these programs. We don't offer every graduate program at UW, but students can take their prerequisites and prepare to apply to these programs while completing their undergraduate degree at the University of Washington.
If your career destination requires a graduate degree, a diversity of academic paths can take you there. While many pre-health students major in biology, biochemistry, or microbiology, professional schools seek well-rounded applicants who excel in the humanities and social sciences as well. Why? Because the practice of health care is an art as well as a science, calling on a clinician's ability to work sensitively with people and understand them emotionally and socially as well as physically. You'll find future health care providers majoring in everything from art history to psychology to comparative literature. Learn more and explore your options by reading through the other pages available on this website.
What are my chances of getting in my program if I come to UW?
Many prospective students are curious about what percentages of applicants are admitted to health graduate programs. It is important to know that these numbers generally cannot be compared across undergraduate institutions. This is because many schools have a Pre-Health Committee and these schools often only count the applicants who apply through this committee in their acceptance percentages.
At the University of Washington, we do not use the committee process and allow any student to self-identify as being "prehealth." This means that all students can apply to health graduate programs, regardless of whether they use our services. Every year, UW undergraduate students apply to and are accepted at top schools nationwide across various health care fields. It is up to the student to take advantage of the many opportunities available to help her or him to become the best applicant she or he can be.
In addition, University of Washington health graduate programs do not give preference to UW undergraduates, nor do they have reservations about our students. You can complete your undergraduate degree at any institution and be considered for admission by these programs. Pick the school where you will shine! If that is a smaller liberal arts school, then that is where you will become the best candidate for a health care program. If you will excel in a larger, research institution, then the University of Washington should garner your consideration.
State Residency and Admissions
UW health graduate programs do not give preference to a student's undergraduate institution; however, many of them do consider a student's state residency. For example, it is extremely difficult to be admitted to the UW School of Medicine, unless you are a resident of a WWAMI state. This is very common with public medical schools, and applicants will typically apply to the public school in their state of residency and private institutions.
The Dental and Pharmacy schools participate in the WICHE program to determine an applicant's residency. Other programs vary in their applicant priority, so you should always check with the department directly. You can review the Residency Office's webpages to get more information on what is required to establish Washington State residency.
What should I do now to prepare?
Students who plan to study the health sciences at the University Washington are encouraged to complete a challenging curriculum of math, English, and biological, physical, and social sciences. Math through precalculus and at least three years of science are strongly recommended. Since UW's programs in these areas are com¬petitive and rigorous, students may also benefit from the preparation provided by advanced classes (honors, AP, IB). In addition, it is recommended that you volunteer in a health professions area to clarify your goals. Health professionals are expected to be leaders, show commitment to the community and be able to work with a diverse group of people; therefore, undertake activities which will give you experience in these areas.
Services for pre-health students
Due to the number of matriculated students that our office serves, we are unable to meet with prospective students. If you come to the University of Washington, you will be able to work with a prehealth adviser to help you explore your options, prepare and apply to programs.