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How to Apply

Preparing to Apply

Application Review


Transfer applicants are students who are currently or were previously enrolled at a college other than the University of Washington - Seattle after high school. Running Start students who are currently in high school and/or did not continue with college after high school graduation are not considered transfer students and should apply as direct-to-major applicants. Students who are already enrolled at UW can apply to the Allen School using our current UW student pathway. The Allen School does not accept undergraduate applications from post-baccalaureate students. This page focuses on the transfer application process. You can learn more about our undergraduate majors here!

Information for Prospective Transfer Students




Info Sessions

The Allen School offers an information session for prospective transfers on the second Thursday of every month from 3:30PM - 4:30PM PT.

Transfer Thursday Drop-Ins

Have a quick question? We offer drop-in advising for prospective transfer students every Thursday from 2:30 - 3:30 pm PT on Zoom!

Meet with an Ambassador

If you are interested in learning more about the student experience at the Allen School, you can schedule an appointment to chat with a current student from our ambassador team!

Schedule an Appointment

During the academic year, prospective transfer students can schedule a virtual appointment with someone from our transfer team. Unfortunately, we are unable to offer appointments during June & July 2024.



How to Apply

Key Dates & Deadlines

The Allen School accepts applications for students to start in both Autumn and Spring quarters, we do not have Winter or Summer admission cycles. Please note: the Allen School departmental application is typically open for about 2 weeks prior to the application deadlines.

Spring Admission

Autumn Admission

UW Transfer Application Deadline:

December 15

Allen School Application Deadline:

January 15

UW Transfer Application Deadline:

February 15

Allen School Application Deadline:

April 5

Allen School admission decisions will be sent in early February

Allen School admission decisions will be sent in mid May

Transfer Application Process

Cover image of "A Guide for Transfer Students" with photo of two students holding their hands together to form the shape of a heart, with the Paul G. Allen School logo and URL for the school

Below is a step-by-step outline of the process for applying to the Allen School as a transfer student. For more details, check out our Guide for Transfer Students (PDF).

The UW Transfer Application

  1. The first step in applying to the Allen School is to submit the UW Transfer Application for Autumn or Spring quarter.
  2. You should list either Computer Science or Computer Engineering as your first choice major.
  3. If there is another major on campus that interests you, you have the option to list it as your second choice major. If you are listing a second choice major, please make sure you learn about their admission process since admission to majors varies by major. Since Allen School applicants are considered in one pool, you should not list an Allen School major as your second choice major.

If you miss the UW application deadline, you will not be able to apply to the Allen School as a transfer applicant. The links below may help you in planning for your UW Transfer Application.

The Allen School Departmental Supplemental Application

  1. The next step for transfer applicants who want to be considered for direct admission to the Allen School is to fill out an Allen School Departmental Supplemental Application (departmental application).
  2. In order to be eligible, students must have their prerequisites completed by the departmental application deadline (see the preparing to apply section for more details).
  3. Please note that the departmental application is completely separate from the UW Transfer Application and will generally be open for about two weeks before it is due.

You are welcome to begin working on your departmental application essay before the application opens. The departmental application essay prompt can be found here. If you are having trouble completing the application, there is a “help” tool that can be very useful for answering your questions. If you cannot find the answer using the “help” tool, you can email our transfer recruitment team at outreach@cs.washington.edu


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Preparing to Apply

Academic Requirements

All academic requirements must be met by the departmental application deadline for the quarter that you are applying. If any academic requirements are not satisfied, the applicant is not yet eligible for transfer admission.

  • Transfer applicants must complete a minimum of 30 graded credits prior to applying. Credit by exam programs like AP and IB, while transferable, are not considered graded credit and cannot be counted toward this requirement.
  • Transfer applicants must meet the Allen School's prerequisite courses for admission (listed below). These courses must be completed and graded prior to the departmental application deadline.
  • Subject Area

    Prerequisites

    Math MATH 124, 125, & 126

    Computer Science

    CSE 143 (or CSE 123) - must have college level coursework in Java

    English Five credits of English composition

    Natural Science

    if Computer Engineering major:

    PHYS 121

    if Computer Science major (choose one):

    PHYS 121, BIOL 180, or CHEM 142 or a course from the approved list


    If you are attending a Washington State community or technical college, you can also use our online Equivalency Guide to determine the transferability of your coursework. If your coursework is from another college or university, you can use our online UW course catalog to determine which courses at your institution are most closely related to our prerequisites at UW. It is important to note, though, that the UW is unable to make evaluations for transfer credit until after an applicant has been admitted.

    Please note that taking two semesters of Calculus is considered equivalent to taking three quarters of Calculus.

    If you have completed exams for credit such as Advanced Placement (AP), International Baccalaureate (IB), or A Level & AS Level exams, please refer to the UW Office of Admissions for information on how your credits would transfer to UW. Please note that English Language & Composition credit from the AP exam is not equivalent to the English Composition prerequisite for admission and does not meet the UW composition requirement.

    All applicants to the Allen School are required to complete the Allen School prerequisite courses (shown above) by the departmental supplemental application deadline for the quarter that they are applying.

    The Allen School’s transfer pathway is designed to be completed within two years of full-time study. Prerequisite coursework is essential to ensure that applicants are prepared for upper division coursework upon entering our program so that they are able to graduate on time. Similarly, prerequisite coursework is necessary to ensure that our academic application review is fair to all applicants.

    In recent years, we have offered a prerequisite exception request process but we do not know yet whether that process will continue next year. You should make every effort to have your prerequisite coursework completed prior to the departmental application deadline for the cycle that you plan to apply. Please check back after November 1 for updates.

    Allen School Departmental Supplemental Application Checklist

    • Review the information on the Transfer Students Webpage
    • Use the Determining Course Equivalency section (above) to find out the best way to identify equivalent courses at your current institution and the University of Washington. Then, make a plan to complete all Allen School prerequisite courses before the Allen School Departmental Supplemental Application deadline (January 16 for Spring; April 5 for Autumn)
    • Apply to the UW - Seattle using the UW Transfer Application (by December 15 for Spring or February 15 for Autumn) and list CS or CE as your first choice major. Learn about how to apply to the UW as a transfer student. You are not done applying, the Allen School requires a departmental application
    • Begin reviewing the departmental application essay prompt (always available); please note that the rubric is closely based on the prompt so you should plan to answer all questions and follow the formatting guidelines. Check to make sure you included relevant information from your UW application in your departmental application. The Allen School does not have access to your UW application when reviewing the departmental application
    • Create a list of all post high-school employment, research, volunteer work, extracurricular activities and clubs that you’ve been involved in since high school; you will put these in the activities section of your departmental application
    • Complete and submit your departmental application. Please note that the application is only open for about 2 weeks so you should plan to prepare in advance. If you will have additional comments not included elsewhere, you may add them to the “Additional Comments” section of the departmental application. This application requires unofficial copies of your transcripts from all higher education institutions that you attended including grades from your most recent quarter
    • Wait for your admission decisions from the Allen School and the UW! Ensure that you are checking the email address that you provided on your application in case we need to contact you!

    Download the Transfer Application Checklist

    Download the CS Transfer Planning Worksheet

    Download the CE Transfer Planning Worksheet


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    Application Review

    Holistic Review Process

    The Allen School admission uses a holistic review process, which considers academic background, personal statement quality, experiences and activities, higher education institution(s) attended, and residency. Priority is given to students who are transferring from a Washington State Community or Technical College (WA CTC) with about two years of coursework (90 quarter credits). We recognize that transfer students often have complex academic histories so upward grade trends are looked at positively, with most recent grades and grades in prerequisite subject areas being weighted most heavily in the academic review. Applicants are encouraged to give context to any academic inconsistencies on their transcript by explaining any circumstances that may have affected their academic performance in their application essay. Most students in our program are transferring from WA CTC and have a GPA of a 3.75 or better. Domestic non-resident (out-of-state) students, international students, and students transferring from a school that is not a Washington State Community or Technical College typically have a GPA of 3.9 or better.

    For additional resources at the UW, please visit our Apply page!

    Allen School Transfer Applicant FAQ

    Program Eligibility Questions

    • Admit rate for all transfer applicants: 20% (69/334)

      • Washington residents: 33% (59/177)
      • Nonresident and International applicants: 6% (10/157)
        • Non-resident: 2% (1/56)
        • International: 9% (9/101)
      • 91% (63/69) of admits are transferring from a Washington State Community or Technical College

    • No. Due to the Allen School’s holistic admission review process, there is no minimum GPA required for admission. However, it is important to note that admission to the Allen School is competitive. The average incoming GPA for Washington state resident transfer admits is 3.75 or higher. The average incoming GPA for domestic non-resident and international transfer admits is 3.9 or higher. We understand that each transfer applicant has a unique story behind their transcript, and encourage students to share their academic journey in the departmental application’s personal statement.

    • No. The Allen School does not offer undergraduate evening or weekend classes or a remote bachelor’s degree program. Transfer students admitted to the Allen School can expect to attend a full-time undergraduate program that offers a wide variety of classes that use theory, exploratory labs, and course projects to teach computing concepts.

    • No. The completion of an associate’s degree is not required for admission to the University of Washington or the Allen School. However, applicants are encouraged to review UW’s transfer credit policies regarding the Washington community and technical college Direct Transfer Agreement (DTA) for additional information about how an associate’s degree may impact your transfer credit if accepted - https://admit.washington.edu/apply/transfer/policies/#wa-ctct.

    • Yes. If you have met the Allen School's academic requirements for transfer admission, you are welcome to before you have completed two years of coursework. However, please keep in mind that the Allen School gives priority admission to applicants who have about two years of coursework (90 quarter credits) completed.

    • Unfortunately, no. Exams for credit do not count toward as graded credits.

    • Yes. As long as you do not have a prior bachelor’s degree and have met UW’s minimum admission requirements and will fulfill the Allen School’s prerequisite requirements in time, you are welcome to apply for transfer admission. Please note that the University of Washington has transfer credit policies that determine how prior transfer credit can apply towards an undergraduate degree at UW - https://admit.washington.edu/apply/transfer/policies/#restrictions.

    • No. Due to extremely high demand for our program from first-time bachelor's students, the Allen School is not currently accepting applications from students looking for a second bachelor's degree (i.e., post-baccalaureate applications for a bachelor's degree) - https://www.cs.washington.edu/academics/ugrad/admissions/postbac.

    • Yes. The Allen School does not have a limit on the number of times a transfer applicant can apply for admission. However, we strongly encourage all applicants denied admission to the Allen School to consider alternative undergraduate computing programs at other institutions or alternative computing-related majors at UW given how competitive admission is to the Allen School.

    Applicant Questions

    • Transfer credit evaluations are completed by the UW Office of Admissions after students are admitted. Please use the "Determining Course Equivalency" section on this website to find the best way to identify how your coursework might transfer. Unfortunately, we are not able to offer transfer credit reviews until after a student has been admitted.

      With that said, our recruitment team is happy to connect with you via email (outreach@cs.washington.edu) if you have remaining questions about whether or not you are eligible to apply. Please note that receiving permission to apply is not a guarantee that all of your prerequisite coursework will transfer as expected through the transfer credit review. Please keep in mind that our Allen School transfer team is unable to provide individualized academic plans for transfer applicants.

    • No. The Allen School is unable to provide personal statement review for transfer applicants seeking admission. For support in writing your personal statement, please use writing and transfer resources at your current institution. All transfer applicants can make an appointment with someone on our transfer recruitment team to speak broadly about the application process but we are unable to read your personal statement as we serve on the admission committee. Historically underrepresented students of color (African American, Latino, American Indian/Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander and Southeast Asian) can reach out to the UW’s Multicultural Outreach and Recruitment team for additional support.

    • Prerequisite courses may be in progress when you apply to the UW, but they should be completed by the departmental application deadline. For example, if you are applying for Spring quarter, they must be completed by January 16. They can still be in progress when you apply to the UW before December 15. At most institutions, this means that Autumn is the last quarter that they can take a prerequisite course for Spring admission.

    • All transfer applicants, U.S. and international, are required to submit unofficial college/university transcripts from each institution attended for their Allen School departmental transfer application. Academic credits do not expire and an applicant’s entire academic record will be considered in the transfer departmental application admission review process. The University of Washington does not practice grade forgiveness. Failure to disclose and submit unofficial transcripts from all colleges/universities attended, even if no credit was earned, may result in denial of admission or dismissal from the UW. The Allen School transfer admission committee recognizes that students may have academic inconsistencies in their academic record. Since the Allen School practices a holistic admission review process, transfer applicants are encouraged to discuss any academic inconsistencies or provide additional context to their academic history in their personal statement.

    • No. Transfer applicants should write their essay answering the specific questions in the departmental application personal statement prompt. Keep in mind that the Allen School transfer admission committee will not be reviewing your UW transfer admission personal statement, so please repeat any relevant information you would like to have considered.

    • No, the Allen School does not accept supplementary materials such as letters of recommendation, applicant portfolios, or interviews from transfer applicants in the departmental application review process.

    Admission Questions

    • Allen School applications are reviewed by a committee of Allen School faculty and staff. We have a rubric that our faculty and staff are trained to follow to ensure that we are reviewing all applications consistently. Generally speaking, we evaluate two pieces of an application: the academic record (grades in prerequisite subject areas and overall grade trends) and the answers to the essay questions. While the rubric provides general guidelines for reviewers, we do have a method for flagging applications that don’t fit the rubric or have other information that needs to be captured during our discussion.

      We know that students are curious about how we evaluate applications. Therefore we provide the rubric here for past cycles. You should, however, take note that using this to prepare for an upcoming cycle may not be in your best interest as this rubric is changed and updated every year. The new essay questions or evaluation materials are posted by Nov 15th each year.

      Although we post the rubric publicly, please note that we do not conduct any pre-evaluations of a student's application. The best way to prepare an upcoming application is to (1) address all the essay questions thoughtfully, carefully, and substantively and (2) do your best academically in all your coursework. We also highly recommend that all prospective students attend an information session to learn more about the Allen School and our evaluation process. These information sessions are free and open to the public. You can find more about our information sessions online.

    • No. The UW transfer admission application process is separate from the Allen School’s transfer departmental application process. Applicants should include any relevant information from the UW transfer admission application in the departmental application that they would like to have considered by the Allen School’s transfer admission committee.

    • Your admission decision will be sent to the email address that you provided in your application.

    • Transfer applicants that submit a departmental application to the Allen School are notified of their admission decision via the email address provided in their application. For spring applicants, departmental admission decisions are sent in early February. For Autumn applicants, departmental admission decisions are sent in mid-May. The Allen School does not send hard copy letters for admission decisions.

    • No. You may not defer your offer of admission to another entry term. The offer of admission is valid only for the quarter indicated on your offer letter. If you are unable to attend the UW at this time but wish to enroll for a future quarter, you will need to file a new application to UW and submit a new Allen School departmental application and meet all requirements and deadlines.

    • Transfer students who are admitted to UW as pre-majors should consider whether or not there is another major on campus that they are interested in. Students who enroll at UW as pre-majors and want to apply to the Allen School will need to apply through our Current UW student pathway. This pathway is highly competitive and there is no guarantee of admission for students who pursue this option. It is only recommended that students enroll at UW as a pre-major if they have other interests outside of the Allen School. Additionally, coming to UW as a pre-major transfer student often extends the amount of time until a student can graduate. For this reason, we highly recommend that students that are not offered direct transfer admission to the Allen School plan for another major at UW or consider similar computing programs at other institutions. For assistance with academic planning as a pre-major student, please connect with an academic adviser in Undergraduate Academic Advising at UW to discuss your options - https://www.washington.edu/uaa/advising/. It is not possible to be admitted to UW as a pre-major student for spring admission.

    • The Allen School does not offer admission decision appeals. If you were not admitted to the Allen School, you would need to reapply to be considered for admission into the Allen School again.

    • Transfer students that are accepted to the University of Washington and accept the offer of admission are eligible for scholarships and financial aid. The Allen School offers departmental scholarships for undergraduate students including incoming transfer students - https://www.cs.washington.edu/academics/ugrad/current-students/resources. For questions about financial aid, please refer to the UW Office of Student Financial Aid’s website - https://www.washington.edu/financialaid/.

    Other Computing Related Degree Programs

    Questions?

    Please email the Allen School transfer recruitment team at outreach@cs.washington.edu. We encourage all prospective transfer applicants to the Allen School to attend an information session. We are happy to answer your questions!