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University of Washington


University of Washington - SeattleLocated in Seattle, the University of Washington is a top pick for students living in the Pacific Northwest, but the campus is also popular among international students and those living across the United States. Founded in 1861 as the Territorial University of Washington, it had a campus that sprawled across 10 acres of land donated by local residents. When the campus moved to downtown Seattle in later years, it actually took one of its most prominent buildings with it. The university continued adding new buildings and programs, becoming one of the largest colleges in the area in the process.

Its population of more than 45,000 students includes those taking classes on the Seattle campus and those enrolled in its online programs. It also operates two smaller campuses in different parts of Washington. A larger number of its students take classes on one of those campuses before transferring to the Seattle campus. The university is home to 18 schools and colleges, including a College of Arts and Sciences, School of Law, College of Education and School of Social Work, that offer more than 140 degree programs. According to both Washington Monthly and AWRU, UW ranks among the top 20 American colleges.

University of Washington Accreditation Details

The University of Washington offers more than 100 programs of study. Many of those programs have various concentrations available, and some also have specialty accreditation. For example, its engineering programs in electrical, mechanical, civil and other subjects has accreditation from the Accreditation Board for Engineering & Technology (ABET). UW also has specialty accreditation for its midwifery program from the Accreditation Council for Midwifery Education. Some of Washington’s other specialty accreditation comes from:

  • Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education
  • American Bar Association
  • Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications
  • American Society of Landscape Architects
  • Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education
  • Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs
  • National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences
  • Liaison Committee on Medical Education
  • Society of American Foresters
  • Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs and Administration

You should also keep in mind that the University of Washington has regional accreditation from the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NCCU).

University of Washington Application Requirements

The University of Washington places as much importance on your test scores and grades as it does your extracurricular interests and volunteer experiences. That is why it offers a detailed application that asks for more information than just what you did in high school. Each section on that application lets you explain to the university why it should admit you. You’ll have the chance to talk about the work you did for your church or community, whether you participated in any extracurricular activities and clubs and whether you had any other experiences that you think will help you in college. You typically need to apply by the beginning of December to start classes in the fall semester. You must also pay the $70 fee at the time that you submit the application.

Though the university does not require that you attend an admissions interview session, you can sign up for one of those sessions to learn more about UW and to pick up some tips on completing the application. Other information sessions are available throughout the school year for those who want to sit in on classes or tour the campus. You should read the writing prompt on the application carefully and edit your work before submitting that sample. Other requirements for UW include an official high school transcript and an ACT or SAT test score.

Tuition and Financial Aid

UW believes in keeping costs down to make college more affordable for all types of students interested in attending. The resident tuition rate, which applies to all Washington residents, is around $10,800 a year. If you did not live in Washington before enrolling, your tuition will climb to more than $32,000 a year. On-campus housing and a meal plan can add nearly $12,000 to your annual costs. You should also take a look at textbooks and other expenses, which can add a few thousand to the amount you pay every year. UW has a Husky Promise that ensures all Washington residents have their costs covered. This program uses grants and scholarships to cover any costs those students face after receiving government grants and loans. Residents are those who lived in Washington for at least one full year before applying.

Even if you do not live in Washington, you should still apply to UW and apply for financial aid. Many students find themselves surprised at the amount of aid they receive. In addition to loans and grants, the university offers scholarships that can cover many of your costs. You can also apply for help paying for child care and food. The University of Washington also participates in the federal work-study program that is open to college students with more financial need.

Student Experience

The University of Washington is a college practically build with fun in mind. The HUB, which is the center to student life on campus, offers fun activities like bowling but also allows students to grab a meal or cold drink and chat with friends. It fills up quickly on cold nights. Students can also hit the climbing wall and practice their golf skills. UW offers some unique recreational programs too such as a wilderness medical training class that is useful for students who like hiking and rock climbing in the nearby woods and mountain range.

As a student looking for a degree program, you’ll find a number of unique options like a major in American Ethnic Studies. You can further narrow down your degree to study Chicano culture, African American culture or Asian and Pacific Americans. There is also a comparative program available that lets you focus your studies on a comparison between two or more cultures.

Through its College of Environment, UW offers programs in oceanography and environmental studies. Environmental studies majors look at the impact that humans have on the environment and find ways to reduce that impact. As an oceanography major, you can choose a concentration in biological, chemical or physical oceanography. Some of the other unique majors available through the University of Washington include those in speech and hearing sciences, interdisciplinary visual arts, photo media and digital arts and experimental media.