UW Class of 2025 Pre-Sciences Admitted

Hey future huskies,

Congratulations on the admission! Just wanted to start a thread for us to share as much information as we can get to help each other figure out whether we want to accept the offer and why.

Currently I am still in the process of learning what “pre-sciences” mean. Let’s say, if we cannot get in the major we want at the end of freshmen year, then what, accept a major we don’t like or transfer out?

Did you apply for CS? If so, then being admitted to pre-sciences means that you got admitted to the school, but not the major. It will be very competitive to get into the CS major.

Current UW Students | Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science & Engineering describes how current Washington students may apply to the CS major.

High School Students | Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science & Engineering says that “if you are absolutely certain that you want to major in Computer Science or Computer Engineering and do not receive a DTM offer, you should strongly consider attending another university.”

If your desired major is something else, you can look it up at http://www.washington.edu/uaa/advising/degree-overview/majors/list-of-undergraduate-majors/ to see how you would apply to that major. Most science majors are capacity-limited and have competitive admission.

I plan to get in biomedical or bioengineering or the like… I assume those are competitive too so I was worried about what if I didn’t get in…

Engineering majors have competitive secondary admission after enrolling, but give priority to students who were admitted “Direct to College [of Engineering]”, which means that you would have much diminished chances of getting into an engineering major, particularly if it is one of the more popular ones.

See Direct to College Admission FAQs | UW College of Engineering for more information.

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That’s exactly what I am afraid of. The deadline for applying bioengineering is Jan 15 which means I only have one quarter to prepare myself and compete with those engineering undeclared students…

I’ll read through the website. Thanks!!

The deadline for applying bioengineering is Jan 15 which means I only have one quarter to prepare myself and compete with those engineering undeclared students…

No, the people who don’t get engineering undeclared apply in January of their second year at UW. Which means that you’ll have spent two years at UW without knowing whether you got your desired major or not.

That doesn’t sound like a situation I want get myself into… I’m also accepted to UCSD, my first choice major. Haven’t figure out which one to choose…

I belong to a parents group of current and potential UW students. Yesterday, I asked the group how stressful it is to apply to a constrained major. The takeaway is that it’s very stressful. You are taking several pre req classes during freshman and first semester of sophomore year, then apply to your major. If you want to apply to more than one major as a backup, you would need pre reqs for both. For engineering, I was told my daughter needs to try for a 4.0, but that it was unclear what else they are looking for on the application. Some parents told me that my daughter should seriously consider accepting another schools offer for direct admit, unless she is very flexible about her major, and her first prioriity is being at UW. Many also suggested talking with an advisor before making an admission decision. We are going to do that. My D really likes UW, but the uncertainty of the major is unsettling. We would be paying OOS tuition and I’m also concerned that if she doesn’t get her first choice major, and has to apply to another, she’s going to be there more than four years.

If you did not receive direct admit to CS or Engineering, you will not get in later. They make this perfectly clear. And you can’t look at examples from more than a couple years ago as they changed their policy around 2018. You might hear of one or two kids who have done it but gosh, those are very rare exceptions.

I think you’ve got tons of great points and I totally agree with you. Adding to yours, simply satisfying the basic requirements is probably not enough since other factors can play a role in the decision making (I’ve heard students who were determined to get in bioengineering started networking with professors and former students and try to get a leverage; I don’t know if that makes a difference though; admission is a black box). Plus, it’s highly likely that we have to claim at least two majors in the spring of sophomore, a capped one and a backup, which means we need to succeed in all the pre reqs within 1.5 years, but keep in mind, huge public schools always have a problem, hot classes are hard to register.

I agree. I’m leaning toward UCSD right now first because I want to have the option to switch to bioengineering. But a more important reason is that my counselor just told me: 3 out of 4 college students change major so choose a school that has higher ranking and a realistic system to support you when you want to switch to another major. To that end, UCSD’s ranked 35 in the nation and UW is 58. Also, UCSD is super transparent about admissions to capped major, this is their policy: “Continuing students’ applications will be ranked according to the GPA obtained in the required courses only. Applications to a capped major will be approved, starting with the student having the highest GPA in the required courses, until the predetermined target number is reached.”

I didn’t know I got into the college of arts and science. I just thought that I was accepted to my major at UW. I got into CS major in UCSD, so I think I’ll go to UCSD as well @juediwushi see ya there.

Congrats!! CS major in UCSD is super selective. I heard they created a lottery for sophomore applicants so even people with straight As are not guaranteed to get in if they’re not admitted direct to major

I have a question on merit based scholarship. My daughter has 3.9/4.0 GPA, 1580/1600 in her SAT and 35/36 in ACT, a national merit scholar finalist, presidential scholar semi-finalist and so on
However, she did not receive any merit based scholarship but found out that students who have lower grades, SAT scores etc. received full 4 year merit scholarship
Does anyone know what the selection criteria is?

First, don’t necessarily believe anyone else’s stats.

Second, it seems like UW does a LOT more merit scholarships for out of state students than in-state. Essentially they are just using merit scholarships as a pricing mechanism to give the to out of state students a small discount on the high out of state tuition in order to attract and retain the to out of state applicants. They are competing against schools like Michigan and UCLA for top out of state applicants. They don’t have to do that for in-state applications because the price is already discounted and what else are they going to do? Go to Western or WSU?

I’ve committed to UCSD. It’s been great on CC these days and all you guys helped me navigate this process a bit easier. Thanks all!

Thanks for your response. Sorry for not being clear but in this case both students are in-state. I am not comparing between students, just curious to know what we could have done differently

It is that “holistic” review, you never know what they are looking at/for. Unfortunately, for you guys, the test scores were not viewed at all this year. Though I assume the merit finalist awards were listed on the app so they could see they did well on the tests, if they wanted to truly keep it test blind they might have not considered that. Therefore, they just looked at GPA, course rigor, ECs and definitely essays. The other kids might have had some other hook that you are unaware of.