Frequently Asked Questions: Admissions

Q: How difficult is it to get in, and how competitive is the program?

A: Informatics has a competitive admission process and will admit approximately 210 students for an autumn 2017 start. For the past few years, the initial admit rate has been around 30 percent.

Q: Is there more than one application cycle?

A: No. The Informatics major admits students once a year for autumn term, with an application period between April 15 and June 15.

Q: Is there a minimum grade requirement for prerequisite courses?

A: Yes, each prerequisite course must be completed with a 2.0 or higher. We are not able to accept non-numeric grades, such as CR/NC or S/NS.

Q: What are the average grades in prerequisite courses and GPAs of admitted students?

A:  Data from 2016:

  • Average UW GPA (30 or more graded credits): 3.47
  • Range of UW GPA (30 or more graded credits): 2.81 to 3.96
  • Average CSE 142 (or equivalent) grade: 3.50
  • Range of CSE 142 (or equivalent) grades: 2.2 to 4.0
  • Average INFO 200 grade: 3.85
  • Range of INFO 200 grades: 3.3 to 4.0

Q: What can I do to increase my chances for admission?

A: Other than providing compelling information in your one-page application document, the most important criteria for admission is completion of the prerequisite courses (with grades at a 2.0 or higher).

Q: What does the committee evaluate when reviewing the application?

A: After screening applications for prerequisite course completion (see next question) and the minimum 2.0 grade requirements, the majority of the review will focus on the one-page application document. The purpose of that document is for the applicant to communicate to the committee why they want to be in the program and what they hope to accomplish after they've graduated. As noted in the instructions, the applicant can include anything they want in the one-page document (see formatting guidelines), but can choose to focus on one of the three areas listed in the prompt.

The purpose behind having an open-ended application prompt is to allow applicants to focus on what they feel are their best qualities. The Informatics Admissions Committee feels that this is preferable than having all applicants be required to answer the same questions. In other words, applicants know themselves best, so it is more impactful for applicants to have the opportunity to showcase their best traits.

Additionally, applicants may find that the lack of specificity in the application to be what they experience in "real life." Rather than providing a checklist they need to complete or exact question that need to be answered, the Committee prefers that applicants generate their own ideas and be selective about what they want to present to the Committee. The Informatics program wants innovators, creators, leaders, problem solvers and idea generators.

Q: Is it required to have completed all the prerequisite courses prior to applying to the program?

A: Preference will be given to applicants who have completed all five prerequisite courses. However, the Informatics Admissions Committee understands that not all applicants are able to complete each course prior to applying. In particular, it can be difficult to get into INFO 200 or take a statistics course. Therefore, review and/or consideration of applicants who have not completed all prerequisite courses is at the discretion of the Informatics admissions committee.

Q: Will the committee be able to consider prerequisites that are in progress at the time of application?

A: The admissions committee will be able to consider courses that are in progress during spring quarter of the year of application. (We will wait for spring grades to post before reviewing the application.) However, we are not able to consider courses that are in progress during summer quarter, as grades for those courses will not be available until after the decisions have been made.

Q: When will I learn my admissions decision?

A: Admissions decisions are conveyed by email in late July.