This page focuses on the DTM application process. Prospective students who are in high school, or have not completed any college credit since graduating from high school, should apply through our Direct-to-Major (DTM) admission pathway. Running Start students are considered DTM applicants. All other students should review our Apply! page to determine the appropriate admission pathway. You can learn more about our undergraduate program here!
Connect with The Allen School
How to be Considered for Allen School DTM Admission
Key Dates & Deadlines
UW Freshman Application Deadlines
The UW Office of Admissions only considers applicants for DTM admission into the Allen School for Autumn quarter admission. High School applicants should plan to submit their application during the Fall of their senior year to start at UW - Seattle the following year. Direct admission into the Allen School is not available for students who apply for Winter, Spring, or Summer quarters.
DTM Application Process
- Make sure you are on track to meet all UW - Seattle admissions deadlines and requirements as outlined on the UW Freshman Admissions website.
- Apply using the UW - Seattle Application for Freshman Admissions between September 1 and November 15 of the year before you intend to enroll. To be considered for Allen School DTM, you must list either Computer Science or Computer Engineering as your first choice major.
- If applicable, submit your financial aid application (FAFSA or WASFA) between October 1 and January 15. Note 2024 Admissions Cycle date changes below!
Please note that there is no separate application for Allen School DTM applicants and no additional materials are required. Applicants should follow the UW Freshman Application guidelines; you do not need to craft a computing-focused application. Your application will be reviewed by the UW-Seattle Office of Admissions, so questions about the application should be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
DTM Admission Statistics
Applications to UW Listing Computer Science or Computer Engineering as their first choice major
Offered Admission directly to Computer Science or Computer Engineering
Acceptance Rate for 2023
*Data from UW Office of Admissions - generally updated on November 1st each year
DTM Admissions Priorities
The University of Washington is a public institution which means that funding for the university comes partially from Washington State. For this reason, the University of Washington offers priority in admissions to residents of Washington State. Domestic non-resident students and international students can note in their personal statement any compelling reasons why they wish to attend college in Washington. Likewise, it is important to note that Allen School DTM is designed primarily for Washington state resident students - around one quarter* of Washington resident applicants are offered admission to the Allen School directly as a freshman (*admission statistics vary year-to-year).
Application Review Criteria
What factors are considered in the Application Review?
As mentioned previously, the UW-Seattle Office of Admissions selects students for DTM admission into the Allen School, based on criteria developed in partnership with the Allen School. The UW-Seattle Office of Admissions prioritizes academically strong, motivated, and well-rounded students.
Applicants are evaluated based on both academic achievement and personal characteristics. The academic portion of the review is based on high school grades and the rigor of coursework. The personal portion is based on a log of extracurricular activities and the essays in the freshman application. Applicants are strongly encouraged to explain any academic inconsistencies or gaps in their activities section through the writing portions. It is not necessary to take computer programming in high school, or to have computer-related work experience. However, if you have access to computing opportunities, we encourage you to take them!
Second Choice Major
Despite substantial growth in capacity, there continue to be far more applicants who meet all of the admissions criteria than the Allen School can accommodate. Applicants are encouraged to choose a second choice major on campus if there is another field (besides Computer Science or Computer Engineering) that they would consider studying; there is no penalty for selecting a second choice major. Allen School applicants cannot be considered for direct admission twice so they should not list an Allen School major as their second choice. As a reminder, students who list another major as their first choice and an Allen School major as their second choice will not be considered for direct admission into the Allen School.
Below is a sampling of other majors on the UW-Seattle campus you may want to explore, based on your interest in our program. Please note that most of these majors are also competitive so it is important to reach out to them and discuss their application procedures.
Questions about our undergraduate program:
Questions about the application:
Additional support for American Indian/Alaska Native students and other historically underrepresented students of color, students from low-income backgrounds, and first-generation college students:
DTM offers many benefits to selected students including (but not limited to):
- Guaranteed to study Computer Science or Computer Engineering at the UW - Seattle (no competitive application process later)
- Participation in Allen School events and activities from your first day on campus
- More flexibility in planning your Allen School coursework over four years of college
- More time to do internships and participate in research
- Access to Allen School labs, facilities, and events
- Connection to other Allen School students who share your academic interests
The Office of Admissions uses a holistic review process to make DTM decisions. Most students offered DTM have a high school GPA of 3.85-4.00 (unweighted). Remember that these numbers are only one factor in their selection process. Applicants with academic inconsistencies will have the opportunity to explain any circumstances that may have impacted their academic performance in their essays. Also note that hundreds of students with these high grades are not offered DTM; no GPA guarantees admission.
Students are considered for admission into the Allen School in one pool, regardless of which Allen School major they have listed as their first choice. You have the exact same chance of being admitted to the Allen School if you list Computer Science or Computer Engineering as your first choice. It is relatively easy to switch between them once a student has been admitted, as long as it does not delay graduation. You cannot be considered for the Allen School twice or admitted directly into a second choice major, so your second choice major should not be an Allen School major.
No, we do not expect DTM applicants to have any programming experience. We anticipate that students will enter with a variety of experience levels and our introductory curriculum is set up to meet students at their current level. Students will have the opportunity to self-select into the appropriate introductory course that meets their experience with computing. CSE 121 is designed for entering students with no experience at all!
The UW-Seattle Office of Admissions looks for well-rounded students who receive strong grades across their subject areas. Competitive applicants will go beyond the College Academic Distribution Requirements in most subject areas. The best academic preparation for Computer Science or Computer Engineering is taking the most rigorous curriculum offered at your high school. This includes advanced classes if available (Running Start, Honors, AP, IB, etc.), especially in English, math, and science. If you do not have access to these opportunities, you should include a note about that in your application.
Running Start students can use the UW Equivalency Guide (https://admit.washington.edu/apply/transfer/equivalency-guide/ ) and MyPlan (https://myplan.uw.edu/audit/#/equivalency) to determine which courses at UW are equivalent to their Running Start courses. The degree requirements for both the Computer Science and Computer Engineering majors can be found on our website at https://www.cs.washington.edu/academics/ugrad/current-students/degree
Allen School DTM decisions are sent at the same time as UW freshman admission decisions, during the month of March. Your major will be listed on your acceptance materials. Students offered DTM Admission will see Computer Science or Computer Engineering listed as their major. Students who are not offered DTM will see Pre-major or Pre-science listed as their major.
In March, the Allen School will also contact DTM students with information about our program. Everyone offered Allen School DTM will receive multiple emails from the Allen School.
Many applicants who select Computer Science or Computer Engineering on their UW - Seattle application will be admitted to the UW - Seattle but not offered DTM to the Allen School. We encourage students to be open-minded. Many students arrive at UW - Seattle thinking they want to pursue one major, but develop a passion for another major during their freshman year. UW - Seattle offers more than 180 majors, including a number of technology-related majors other than Computer Science and Computer Engineering, which are popular choices for many students and can be a great fit for your future plans.
However, if you are absolutely certain that you want to major in Computer Science or Computer Engineering and do not receive a DTM offer, you should strongly consider attending another university.
Yes! One of the advantages of a large institution like the UW - Seattle is the enormous number of academic options, and we encourage Allen School students to explore subjects outside the department. Many of our undergraduates pursue more than one major or degree and seek minors in other disciplines. Because Allen School DTM students can start our curriculum early, they often have more flexibility to plan for a second major or minor. Please note that, due to the overlap in requirements, students cannot double major in Computer Science and Computer Engineering.
You can drop your Allen School major at any time if you decide it's not the right fit. We anticipate that DTM students, like all students at the University, will spend their first year or two exploring many options.