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Freshman Direct

Going to college is an exciting life venture, and you can start by investing in your future at the Foster School of Business through the Freshman Direct Program.

What is Freshman Direct?

Business Administration is one of the most popular majors requested by incoming UW freshmen, and Foster is consistently ranked as the best public business school in the Northwest. We want to offer students interested in business a way to be part of the Foster community from their first day as a Husky. Freshman Direct gives high school students with a strong interest in studying business the chance to apply to the Foster School while filling out their UW application.

Students who are accepted as Freshman Direct will be admitted directly from high school into the business program at the UW. Once part of the Freshman Direct Program, these students will:

Who can apply for Freshman Direct?

  • High School Students
  • Running Start Students (Directly from High School)

(High School Applicants who meet all eligibility requirements can apply for both Freshman Direct and Standard Admission)

Getting Started

Unfortunately, we cannot accommodate one-on-one appointments or drop-in advising for prospective Freshman students or their families.

Information Sessions

High school students interested in studying business at the University of Washington Foster School (who have not yet been admitted and/or committed) of Business are encouraged to attend one of our undergraduate information sessions to learn more about admissions, academic requirements, career options, and scholarships opportunities.

Register at the UW Admission’s Campus tour + freshman information session page.

The only application you need to fill out to be considered for Freshman Direct admission to the Foster School of Business is the general Freshman Admission application to the University of Washington. See the UW Admissions website for more information about general admission requirements and how to apply to the UW.

Pathway Application Deadline Enrollment Quarter
Freshman Direct November 15 Autumn quarter

When you are ready to apply to UW, start the application process by checking out the Office of Admissions’ Freshman Checklist. Once in the application, on the “Choose Your Program” page, there will be two ways for you to indicate Business Administration as your first choice major. You must select Business as your first choice to be considered for Freshman Direct.

Option One – Search by Keyword

Search Business in Keyword Search

Option Two – Search by Colleges and Schools

Search for Michael G. Foster School of Business in colleges and schools

Note for Running Start/Dual Credit High School Students

If you meet all the requirements of Standard Admission, you may simultaneously apply for Freshman Direct consideration and Standard Admission. You still apply to the University of Washington using the freshman application and indicate Business Administration as your intended major and would also need to submit the Foster School of Business application by the April 5 deadline. Please review the Standard Admission pages for details.

Please be aware, while we strive to have Standard Admission decisions come before May 1, you may not hear about the admission decision until after you must commit to UW.

The criteria by which freshmen are admitted to the University of Washington are determined by UW Admissions. The Foster School of Business then selects the best candidates for our program from those admits who have specified “Business Administration” as their first major choice on their applications.

By state law, we are allowed a limited number of spaces within the major. The number of admits is determined, in large part, by the number of spaces we have available at each entry point—freshmen and upperclassmen.

You will hear about admission to the University of Washington and the Foster School of Business at the same time by logging into your UW portal. Additional Foster School of Business offer letters and information will be sent via email prior to May 1, the date by which most admitted freshmen are required to accept or decline their offer of university admission. Students not invited to Freshman Direct will see that they will be entering the University of Washington as a pre-major in the College of Arts and Sciences.

Freshman admitted to the UW, but not direct to major for Foster School of Business, should direct questions to [email protected] by April 15th. Being admitted directly to the Foster School of Business is not the only path to becoming a business major. If you choose UW, academic advisers will be at New Student Advising and Orientation and will be happy to meet with you to discuss strategies to maximize your chances of admission as a sophomore or junior once you are on campus.

Freshman Direct admits are admitted to Foster as general Business Administration majors. Once the lower-division core is completed, a student can declare a specific business Major (a specific area of study, such as Accounting or Marketing) and/or pursue a special program of study.

Visit Curriculum Pages

Students can choose to change their minds and drop Business Administration entirely. We recommend meeting with a general academic adviser in Mary Gates Hall to plan an alternative or meet directly with the new major of interest.

All Freshman Direct admits will automatically be considered for all Freshman Direct Scholarships available. Only students admitted to UW and the Foster Freshman Direct Program will be eligible to receive Foster specific scholarships.


  • Submit the UW freshman application by November 15th.
  • Students selected for Foster scholarships will be notified during mid-March after Freshman Direct Invitations have been sent out.
  • Student must accept award and commit to UW by May 1


Students must have chosen “Business” as their first major choice on the UW application for freshman admissions to be considered. No further application is needed.

Types of Awards

Most awards are need-based, and as such students are encouraged to fill out the FAFSA or WASFA by the UW priority deadline of January 15th. Most scholarships are awarded to students who can demonstrate financial need. For this reason, all students should consider applying for UW Financial Aid, even if you do not think that you will be eligible. The scholarship committee uses the FAFSA and WASFA information to assist with selections even if it is determined that you are not eligible for support by the UW Financial Aid Office.

  • Need: Consider a student’s merit and financial need in determining eligibility for an award. You must be eligible for Financial Aid and have submitted a FAFSA or WASFA to be considered for these awards.
  • Merit: There are limited scholarships that are awarded based on academic merit with no requirement for financial need. These merit based scholarships are available to all incoming Freshman Direct students, including international students.

Note: Scholarships offers are limited to one year, unless otherwise specified during awarding.

Other Funding Opportunities

The UW Office of Merit Scholarships, Fellowships & Awards provides service for finding other funding sources. After the freshman year, business students may apply once annually to be considered for all scholarships that the Michael G. Foster School of Business has to offer to upper division students. Merit only scholarships are highly competitive. Need-based scholarships are moderately competitive.

Visit UW’s Costs & Financial Aid website for a breakdown of costs of attendance, how to apply for financial aid, a list of other scholarships, and more info about paying for college.

In partnership with the Housing & Food Services, the Business LLC Community members gain personal and professional skill development that is core to the Foster School: critical and strategic thinking, problem-solving, collaboration and leadership. Residents have opportunities to engage with other residents, participate in activities and events, connect with Foster School staff, faculty, business leaders and alumni, and develop their leadership skills in their community.

The Business LLC will be housed in McCarty Hall.

Students admitted Freshman Direct have privileged access to Foster’s EY Center for Career Advancement, our dedicated career services office only for Foster students. This allows for early access to resume building workshops, internship searches, and employee recruitment.

Questions? Please email [email protected]