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 2018 start. For the past few years, the initial admit rate has been 25-30 percent.
Q: Since the admit rate is so low, why don't you just admit more students?
A: At the present, the Information School does not have the resources (personnel, space, facilities, etc.) to admit more students to the Informatics program. When we admit a student, we are making a commitment to that student that we can support them through their program and provide the best experience possible. Admitting more students may decrease the quality of education and experience that we are currently able to provide. Every single member of our faculty and staff is working hard to find the resources (faculty, space, and money) to correct this, but it will take time. Feedback about this issue can be directed to Andy Ko (email@example.com), Informatics Program Chair and Associate Professor.
Q: Is there more than one application cycle?
A: No. The Informatics major admits students once a year for autumn term. The next application cycle (Autumn 2018) will open in mid-February and will have an April 2 deadline.
Q: Is there a minimum grade requirement for prerequisite courses?
A: Yes, each prerequisite course must be completed with a 2.0 or higher or AP credit. 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 2017 (initial admit list):
- Average UW GPA (30 or more graded credits): 3.53
- Range of UW GPA (30 or more graded credits): 2.75 to 4.00
- Average CS course (CSE 142, 143, 143x, 373 or equivalent) grade: 3.49
- Range of CS course (CSE 142, 143, 143x, 373 or equivalent) grades: 2.1 to 4.0
- Average INFO 200 grade: 3.76
- Range of INFO 200 grades: 2.8 to 4.0
Once the minimum grade requirements were met (2.0 or higher or AP credit), grades and GPA contributed very little to the overall review and admissions decision.
Q: What is the ethnicity and gender breakdown for students in the Informatics program?
A: For the 2016 admissions process, admitted students self-identified as the following:
(Also provided is corresponding data for undergraduate enrollment at the UW.)
|2016 Informatics Admitted Students||2016 UW Undergraduate Enrollment*|
|African American||3%||African American||2.7%|
|American Indian||<1%||American Indian / Alaska Native||.4%|
|Hawaiian / Pacific Islander||1%||Hawaiian / Pacific Islander||.5%|
|Other||1%||Two or more races||7%|
|2016 Informatics Admitted Students||2015 UW Undergrad Enrollment**|
This data will be updated when 2017 enrollment is finalized in mid-October.
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 review will focus on your one-page application document and your transcript. The purpose of the document is for you to express why you want to learn what we teach in Informatics and what you want to do with that knowledge. Students are most successful at learning when they are intrinsically motivated to learn; this document helps us understand what's motivating you. Our review of your transcript will be holistic and qualitative. If you want, your document can help us better interpret your transcript.
The prompt is open-ended because each of you has different experiences, interests, and goals. Only you know which of those are relevant to your interest in Informatics. The open-ended document also allows you to express your voice more clearly because what you include and how you present it is your choice rather than ours. For example, some students might want to convey their extensive work experiences in writing, while others might want to focus on their ambitions or their curiosities visually. All of these are helpful ways for us to understand you as an individual.
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 application deadline is the second Monday of spring quarter. Therefore, the admissions committee will be able to consider courses that were completed during winter quarter. However, we are not able to consider courses that are in progress during spring 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: For the 2018 cycle, admissions decisions will be conveyed in mid-June.