Congratulations! Welcome to the University of Washington. We know you have many questions about what you should do next and where you can get help. We want your transfer to the UW to be as smooth as possible.
Read the Welcome! booklet
Read carefully everything in the Welcome packet you received with your offer of admission. It contains answers to many of your questions. Be sure to follow all the instructions in the Welcome! booklet.
Visit the Checklist for New Students
The Checklist for New Students, combined with the prompts at the top of your student page in MyUW, will walk you through a host of important tasks that require your attention, including financial aid, housing, transcripts, and UW NetID basic services.
Subscribe to the Advising Podcast
The Advising Podcast allows any listener with access to a computer to hear host and UAA Advising adviser Clay Schwenn, along with frequent guests, discuss issues pertinent to transfer students such as how credits transfer from the community college to the UW and how to take advantage of published department email lists even before you're accepted to the UW. Most episodes are four minutes long, and you can easily listedn to the episodes on your laptop, desktop computer, or mp3 player.
Surf our Websites
This website, as well as UW's online Student Guide, include a wealth of information. Use them to learn more about:
- Advising and Orientation
- Transfer and Returning Student Interest Groups (TRIGs)
- UW's general education requirements
- UW's grading system
- Internship and volunteer opportunities
- Computer services on campus
- Financial aid, scholarships, housing, commuting, student organizations, and many other aspects of student life
Plan Your Major
One of the most important decisions you'll need to make at the UW is the selection of your major. Since we expect students to declare a major by the time they reach 105 credits, most transfer students need to be ready to declare their major soon after transfer. There are many things you can be doing now to help you make this decision and gain admission to your major.
- Starting at the Choosing a Major tab, you can read about the requirements of all UW majors. The charts of majors organized by Academic Learning Link summarize the admission requirements of majors and will help you compare the majors you're considering. Some UW majors have very competitive admission, so plan ahead and keep your options open. It's a very good idea to develop a list of potential majors, including at least one or two that don't have competitive admission.
- Many UW majors and professional programs offer information sessions. If you can come to campus, attending these sessions is a great way to get the basic information about the majors you're interested in. There will also be an opportunity to ask questions. To assist students making a special trip to campus we offer many of the information sessions on Thursday afternoons, so you may be able to attend two or three sessions in one trip. Check out both the Transfer Thursday page, and the complete list of information sessions offered on all days.
- Many UW majors have email lists that they use to send out information about new courses, lectures, internship and job opportunities, changes in requirements, etc. Anyone with an email address can sign up. This is a great way to get the "flavor" of a department you're considering as a major.
- If you have specific questions about a UW major, you can contact the department adviser.
Start Thinking About Classes
Before you come to campus to register for your first quarter, there is a lot of information at the UW website you can look over. In the Selecting Courses and Registration and Add/Drop sections of the Student Guide you can look at:
- the Course Descriptions
- the Time Schedule of courses for the upcoming quarter
- Instructor Class Descriptions
With this information, you can start thinking about what courses you want to take in your first few quarters at the UW.
You can't actually register for classes, however, until your Advising & Orientation date. You won't be meeting with a UW adviser before that date to discuss your class schedule, for two reasons:
- The evaluation of your transfer credits won't be completed until just before your Advising and Orientation date. We can't help you plan your first few quarters at the UW until we know how your previous courses have transferred.
- Courses close as registration goes on. It can be very frustrating to put too much work into designing a perfect class schedule in June if you won't be registering for classes until August.
If you have questions about what to take at your current college in your final quarter(s) before transferring, you may want to drop in and talk to a UW adviser during one of our Transfer Thursdays. While you're on campus, you could attend other information sessions, take a campus tour, pick up handouts, etc. But detailed planning of your classes for your first quarter at the UW will have to wait until your Orientation date.
Look at Your UW Unofficial Transcript
The official transcripts you send to UW's Office of Admissions will be evaluated and the courses and credits translated into their UW equivalents. The evaluation is generally completed just before your Advising and Registration date, but once it is you can review the evaluation by looking at your Unofficial Transcript in MyUW.
Courses that are transferrable but don't have an exact UW equivalent will be posted as "X" credit. For example, an 100-level political science course might be posted as POL S 1XX if the UW doesn't teach a course on exactly the same topic. An 300-level home economics course might be posted as UW 3XX because UW doesn't have a home economics department. Interdisciplinary courses are usually posted as UW 1XX.
X-credit courses can be counted toward requirements. In some departments this is done automatically. Since UW counts all political science courses as Individuals & Societies, for example, a POL S 1XX course will automatically count toward I&S. Other departments, for example psychology and philosophy, have courses that count toward different general education requirements depending on the topic of the course. If you are transferring a course in one of these departments from a Washington community college, it should be assigned the same designation that appears in the equivalency tables. If you are transferring such courses from another college, it will have to be evaluated by an adviser.
You can use UW's Degree Audit Reporting System (DARS) to see how the credits you have completed so far count toward a particular major. DARS is available in MyUW. Any X credits won't be assigned to general education areas until after you meet with an adviser, but you'll see how any other courses will count toward requirements.
Reviewing your transfer credits with an adviser
During your Advising & Orientation session you will meet with an adviser to go over your transfer credits. The adviser will determine how all your credits count toward requirements, so you know what requirements you have yet to fulfill.
For more detailed information on transferring credits...
...please see the Office of Admissions' website on transfer credit policies.