Informatics Admissions FAQ
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 fully meet demand for the program. When we admit a student, we are making a commitment to that student that we can support them through their program, provide them with time, resources, and opportunities. Admitting more students would decrease our ability to do this. Every single member of our faculty and staff is working hard to find the resources (faculty, space, and money) to increase how many students we can admit, but it will take time, and we will likely not be able to serve every student that applies. Direct any feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q: Can I apply more than once?
A: See the admissions materials page for current policy on application limits. Policies are always subject to change, and that page is continually updated with current information.
Q: Assuming the application prompt is the same, can I reuse the same application document for more than one cycle?
A: Yes, you can reuse the same materials if applying for multiple cycles. However, the application prompt changes each cycle in response to feedback and new priorities, so applicants should take care to make sure that materials they are submitting are relevant to the current cycle.
Q: The Informatics application requires that I submit a statement of less than 700 words. Can you clarify what this means?
A: The application is asking you to provide a statement of 700 words. A word count feature is included in many word processing applications, which can assist you in monitoring your word count. You can reference this website to learn about the character count capabilities of several commonly used word processors.
Q: When should transfer students apply?
A: Transfer students can apply for either an Autumn or Winter quarter start. Please note that you must apply separately to the UW and to the Informatics program. The two admission processes have different applications, requirements and deadlines. If your desired goal is to transfer into the UW as an Informatics major, careful coordination of the two processes is required. See the UW application timeline (Note: The UW only accepts International applications for the Autumn Quarter).
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. Prerequisite courses taken for an S during Extraordinary Circumstances quarters will count toward prerequisites; otherwise, 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: We understand that students believe grades are central to their admission. However, as we make clear in our application prompt, grades are only one of four criteria, and GPA is not considered at all. Therefore, we share both the average grade and range of grades in each prerequisite category from the prior year's admissions cycle. The only GPA requirement is that all prerequisites need to be completed with a 2.0 or higher.
Q: What can I do to increase my chances of admission?
A: Complete all prerequisite courses (with grades of 2.0 or higher), and respond to the criteria listed in the application prompt as clearly and coherently as possible. The prompt can be met in many ways, so what you might do as an individual could vary wildly from what another student does. We strongly encourage you to focus on activities that you actually want to do, rather than activities you are only doing to increase chances for admission. Your time in college is too short and the odds of admission are too low for you to spend time on things you aren’t passionate about.
Q: Will I have a better chance of being admitted if I apply during the Autumn cycle or Winter cycle?
A: We try our best to make the admissions rate for each cycle the same so that students have an equal chance of being admitted in either cycle.
Q: Will taking additional Informatics courses boost my chances of being admitted?
A: Not necessarily. The admissions review committee only looks at the materials that are asked for – the grades in the prerequisite courses and the essay; We won’t look at your academic history beyond that. Some admitted students have taken several Informatics courses and many have just taken the bare minimum to meet the prerequisites. Taking additional Informatics could help you better understand your interest and goals in Informatics, which could then be helpful in you writing the essay, but we don’t outright look for students with more Informatics coursework completed.
Q: Where can I get help with my Informatics Application Essay?
A: We recommend students explore the following options for feedback on their application essay:
- Someone who knows you well (e.g. friend, family, etc.)
- IUGA essay review workshops (1-2 weeks before the application deadline. Details on upcoming workshops will be shared on the Informatics Events page as they're scheduled.)
- For current UW Seattle students: Odegaard Writing Center, CLUE writing center, Instructional Center (IC) for eligible students (refer to your IC Canvas pages for online and in-person support options), your UAA or EOP advisor
- For transfer applicants: Your current college's writing center, academic advisor or faculty member at your current college
Note: iSchool Faculty and staff involved in the Informatics admissions review cannot proofread your essay.
Q: Is it required to have completed all the prerequisite courses prior to applying to the program?
A: Yes, to be included in the review pool, applicants must have completed all four prerequisite courses. Prerequisites must be completed by the end of the quarter prior to submitting your application to the Informatics program. Note: Transfer students do not need to complete INFO 200 as a program prerequisite.
Q: Will the committee be able to consider prerequisites that are in progress at the time of the application deadline?
A: No. All prerequisite courses must be completed before the Informatics application deadline. For example, students planning on applying in autumn for winter program entry must have all prerequisites completed by summer. See the admissions timeline.
Q: I finished the prerequisites to apply to the Informatics major, what other courses should I take?
A: If you want to make more progress on the Informatics degree requirements in anticipation that you will be admitted to the major, you could complete the rest of the introductory computer programming courses through CSE 123 or 163, INFO 201, and start some of the 300-level core requirements. As a non-major though, it can be challenging to get into Informatics courses, especially the 300- and 400-level courses. However, we also caution students from trying to complete as many Informatics courses as possible without knowing if you’ve been admitted to the major or not because there are no guarantees that you will be admitted; On average we admit between 30-40% of applicants each cycle. With those odds, it’s important to consider additional pathways to reach your goals, so we highly encourage students take other courses to prepare for another major they may be considering. Talk to your UAA or OMAD advisor to plan out your courses. There are resources on UW’s Career and Internship Center that may help you in exploring other pathways as well.
Q: When will I learn my admissions decision?
A: Decision timelines are outlined on the admissions timeline.
Q: I want to get involved in iSchool activities, how do I do so?
A: Here are some ideas to explore:
- iSchool-affiliated student organizations (e.g. IUGA, Winfo, DubHacks, or ISACA)
- Research with iSchool faculty. Occasionally, faculty will send out emails about an upcoming opportunity, but usually students will just ask iSchool instructors/professors about opportunities directly. iSchool faculty are very open to supporting students in doing research. Every now and then, iSchool faculty will run directed research groups (DRGs) which do have a more formal application process.
- Take an Informatics course.
- iSchool faculty-led study abroad. Application is required. iSchool-led study abroad programs will be advertised on the UW study abroad website.
- TA (Teaching Assistant) for an Informatics course that you completed successfully. Application is required. The iSchool will advertise opportunities for TA positions on our website.