Informatics Admissions FAQ
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 the 2019-20 academic year. 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 Amy Ko (email@example.com), Informatics Program Chair and Associate Professor.
Q: Can I apply more than once?
A: Yes, applicants can apply for multiple cycles.
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. Note: The application prompt changes from year to year, so applicants should take care to make sure that materials they are submitting are relevant to the current cycle.
Q: When should transfer students apply?
A: At the present, transfer students are not able to apply for spring quarter admission (see the UW application timeline) and should plan to apply for 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. 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 Autumn 2019:
|UW GPA (30 or more graded credits)||3.48||2.21 - 3.96|
|CS course (CSE 142, 143, 143x, 373 or equivalent)||3.34||2.0 - 4.0||6 students used AP credit to fulfill this requirement|
|INFO 200||3.68||2.2 - 4.0|
|Statistics (many different classes accepted)||3.53||2.0 - 4.0||41 students used AP credit to fulfill this requirement|
|English composition (Any [C] course)||3.83||2.1 - 4.0|
|Individuals and Societies course (Any [I&S] course except INFO 200)||3.91||2.8 - 4.0||5 students used AP credit to fulfill this requirement|
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 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). The committee considers several criteria, including your understanding of Informatics as a major; your interest in what the program will teach; your exposure to topics related to Informatics in courses, hobbies and jobs; your ambitions; your ability to communicate clearly and concisely; and the overall trajectory of your grades, especially in courses related to Informatics. Most of these are under your control, and because your writing is how you communicate all of the above, it's the most important thing you can improve. The part that's not under your control is how many other students share your same achievements, interests and goals. The volume of applicants is what makes odds of admission so low.
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: Yes, in order to be included in the review pool, applicants must have completed all five prerequisite courses. Prerequisites must be completed by the end of winter quarter if you are applying before the April deadline for the autumn admission cycle. 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 application?
A: No. During the admissions process, we will not be able to consider courses that are being taken during spring quarter. Prerequisite courses must be complete by the end of winter quarter.
Q: When will I learn my admissions decision?
A: For 2019-20, decisions will be conveyed in mid-June for autumn admission.