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 2016 start. For the past few years, the initial admit rate has been around 30%.

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 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) grade: 2.2 to 4.0
  • Average INFO 200 grade: 3.85
  • Range of INFO 200 grade: 3.3 to 4.0

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

A: The most important criteria for admission are your overall GPA, grades in prerequisite classes (with an emphasis on grades for INFO 200 and CSE 142), and the strength of your responses to our admissions questions. The questions give you a chance to write about your passion and vision for the field, as well as address any challenges you have had along the way.

Q: What does the committee evaluate when reviewing the answers to the admissions questions?

A: The committee looks at your interests, hobbies, internships or extracurricular activities that make you a good candidate for the program. They want to determine why the Informatics major will help you accomplish your personal and professional goals more than another major.

They also look for a good writing sample. Our graduates will likely be in client-facing positions and/or acting as liaisons between the technical and non-technical functions. Ideally, you should be able to communicate with different groups and present your ideas concisely, accurately and in an engaging fashion.

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

A: Applicants are encouraged to complete all prerequisite courses. 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.