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Admission to majors

Your admission to a major at the UW depends on the major you are interested in and your application type. The UW uses a holistic review process, and your requested first- and second-choice majors may be used as factors in your admission decision. 

Freshman admission to majors

Freshman applicants have three primary pathways to a major: pre-major, direct to major and direct to college. If you indicate a program that has a direct to major or direct to college pathway as your first-choice major, you will be automatically considered for that program. Second-choice majors are not considered for direct to major programs.

Majors pathways

Most students are assigned “pre-major” at the time of admission, including those who are not admitted direct to major or direct to college. Your next steps as a “pre-major” once you are a student at the UW depend on the major you are interested in. (See more on our majors page.) The list below shows the majors that may be requested on the application and what you will see in your offer letter if admitted.

Requested major Major given in offer letter
American ethnic studies American ethnic studies
American Indian studies Pre-social science
Anthropology Anthropology
Applied & computational mathematical sciences Pre-sciences
Applied mathematics Pre-sciences
Aquatic & fishery sciences Aquatic & fishery sciences
Architectural design Pre-architecture
Art Pre-art
Art history Pre-art
Asian languages & cultures Pre-humanities
Asian studies Asian studies
Astronomy Pre-sciences
Atmospheric sciences Atmospheric sciences
Biology Pre-sciences
Bioresource science & engineering Pre-bioresource science & engineering
Canadian studies Canadian studies
Chinese Pre-humanities
Cinema & media studies Pre-humanities
Classical studies Classical studies
Communication Pre-social science
Community, environment & planning Pre-architecture
Comparative history of ideas Comparative history of ideas
Comparative literature Pre-humanities
Comparative religion Comparative religion
Computational finance and risk management Pre-sciences
Dance Pre-art
Danish Danish
Drama Pre-art
Early childhood & family studies Pre-social science
Earth & space sciences Earth & space sciences
Economics Pre-social science
Education, communities & organizations Education, communities & organizations
English Pre-humanities
Environmental science & terrestrial resource management Environmental science & terrestrial resource management
Environmental studies Environmental studies
Ethnomusicology Pre-art
European studies European studies
Finnish Finnish
Food systems, nutrition and health Pre-major
French French
Gender, women & sexuality studies Gender, women & sexuality studies
Geography Pre-social science
Germanics Pre-humanities
Greek Greek
History Pre-social science
History & philosophy of science Pre-social science
Individualized studies Pre-social science
Industrial design (art & design) Pre-art
Interaction design (art & design) Pre-art
International studies Pre-social science
Italian Italian
Japanese Pre-humanities
Jewish studies Jewish studies
Korean Pre-humanities
Latin Latin
Latin American & Caribbean studies Latin American & Caribbean studies
Law, societies & justice Pre-social science
Linguistics Pre-humanities
Marine biology Marine biology
Mathematics Pre-sciences
Microbiology Pre-sciences
Middle eastern languages & culture Middle eastern languages & culture
Norwegian Norwegian
Nursing Pre-nursing
Oceanography Oceanography
Philosophy Pre-social science
Physics Pre-sciences
Political science Pre-social science
Pre-art Pre-art
Pre-environmental sciences Pre-environmental sciences
Pre-health sciences Pre-health sciences
Pre-humanities Pre-humanities
Pre-sciences Pre-sciences
Pre-social science Pre-social science
Pre-major Pre-major
Psychology Pre-sciences
Public health Pre-public health
Real estate Pre-architecture
Scandinavian studies Scandinavian studies
Slavic languages & literatures Slavic languages & literatures
Sociology Pre-social science
South Asian languages & literature (Hindi & Sanskrit) Pre-humanities
Spanish Pre-humanities
Speech & hearing sciences Pre-sciences
Swedish Swedish

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Some students are admitted directly to a major as a freshman. To be considered for direct to major admission, simply indicate your first choice major on the freshman admission application. If the major you selected has a direct to major program, you will be automatically considered.

Requested major Major given if admitted Direct to Major Major given if not admitted Direct to Major
Architecture Architecture Pre-architecture
Biochemistry Biochemistry Pre-sciences
Business administration Business administration Pre-major
Chemistry Chemistry Pre-sciences
Computer science Computer science Pre-sciences
Computer engineering Computer engineering Pre-sciences
Composition (music)* Music Pre-art
Construction management Construction management Pre-architecture
Guitar (music)* Music Pre-art
Informatics Informatics Pre-major
Jazz studies (music)* Music Pre-art
Music Music Pre-art
Music education Music Pre-art
Neuroscience Neuroscience Pre-science
Orchestral instruments (music)* Music Pre-art
Organ (music)* Music Pre-art
Piano (music)* Music Pre-art
Statistics Statistics Pre-sciences
Strings (music)* Music Pre-art
Voice (music)* Music Pre-art

*For most music majors an audition on your primary instrument is also required.

Tip: Don’t be discouraged if you’re not admitted directly to one of these programs as a freshman. The majority of students come in as pre-majors and gain admission to these programs after satisfying prerequisites and meeting departmental admission requirements. The only exception is computer science and computer engineering.

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Direct to college applies only to applicants interested in the College of Engineering. You must select an engineering major (or “engineering undeclared”) on your UW freshman admission application to be considered. All admitted engineering students will be assigned “engineering undeclared” as their major at the time of admission and will be selected into specific engineering majors later.

Tip: If you are interested in engineering, be sure to select an engineering major (or “engineering undeclared”) as your first-choice major on the freshman application.

Requested major Major given if admitted Direct to College Major given if not admitted Direct to College
Aeronautics & astronautics Engineering undeclared Pre-major
Bioengineering Engineering undeclared Pre-major
Chemical engineering Engineering undeclared Pre-major
Civil engineering Engineering undeclared Pre-major
Electrical & computer engineering Engineering undeclared Pre-major
Environmental engineering Engineering undeclared Pre-major
Human centered design & engineering Engineering undeclared Pre-major
Industrial engineering Engineering undeclared Pre-major
Materials science & engineering Engineering undeclared Pre-major
Mechanical engineering Engineering undeclared Pre-major
Engineering undeclared Engineering undeclared Pre-major

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