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Standard Admission

Given the recent concerns of COVID-19 and its effect on higher education institutions, the Foster School of Business has adapted its undergraduate admissions policy for pre-application courses where an S grade was earned at the University of Washington during a designated UW Extraordinary Circumstances Quarter (ECQ): Spring 2020, Summer 2020, Autumn 2020, and Winter 2021. The pre-application courses include English Composition, Financial Accounting, Calculus, and Introduction to Micro or Macro Economics.

To be eligible for admission to the Foster School of Business, at least two (2) of the pre-application courses must have a numerical grade (4.0 scale). An S grade from an ECQ in a pre-application course will not negatively affect an applicant’s admission to Foster. For example, if an applicant has a numerical grade for an English Composition course and Calculus then they could submit an S grade for either Micro/Macro Economics and/or Financial Accounting.

Pre-admission courses, which include Introduction to Micro or Macro Economics, Managerial Accounting, Introduction to Law and Introduction to Statistical Methods that were taken during an ECQ with S grades are acceptable for admission to Foster.

S grades from non-ECQ quarters will not be accepted for pre-application, pre-admission or BA BA degree requirements. NS grades will not be sufficient for admission to Foster in any case for admission. Transfer students who have questions about a course’s grade during a similar designation at their institution should contact [email protected].

If you have any other questions, please email [email protected].

Admission to the undergraduate program of the Foster School of Business is competitive, but we encourage all who meet the minimum application requirements to apply. We accept applications for autumn and winter quarters. Students admitted for the autumn quarter have the option to enroll for summer quarter. We only count credits from non-UW institutions that are transferable to UW.

The Foster School is currently not accepting post-baccalaureate applications.


To be eligible to apply to the Foster School of Business, a student must, at the time of application, have:

  • a total of at least 60 graded college credits from UW and/or other accredited colleges and universities.
  • a minimum 2.5 cumulative GPA for all college credits, including transfer credits. Because UW does not allow forgiveness for repeated courses, GPAs are recalculated with repeated courses included.
  • a minimum 2.5 cumulative GPA for all of the following:
    • all business course credits, including transfer credits
    • all UW credits
    • all UW business course (prefix courses include: ACCTG, BA, BCMU, MGMT, MKTG, QMETH, etc.) credits
  • Taken the Writing Skills Assessment and scored at least a 3
  • Completed the required prerequisite courses – see prerequisite course reporting below for more details


Application Review Criteria

Each year, approximately 30-50% of applicants—between 550 and 650—are admitted. For all applicants, index scores are created from three admissions factors: Combined GPA, Pre-application GPA, and Writing Skills Assessment. These factors are standardized and assigned the following weights.

Admissions Factors Percentage of Index Score
Combined GPA 40%
Pre-application GPA 25%
Writing Skills Assessment 35%

Beyond this index, consideration is given to such factors as cultural experiences, significantly higher recent grades, exceptional extracurricular activities or leadership experience and the effect of personal disadvantage on earlier education. We review all applicants together (current and returning UW, transfer, international transfer, and running start) and only use current standing for post-admission demographic data.


Important Deadlines

Foster Application Deadline* Enrollment Quarter
April 5 Summer or autumn quarter
October 5 Winter quarter

*All applicants, other than current UW students, must submit two applications: one to Foster and one the UW Office of Admissions. Please check with UW Admissions for application deadlines and requirements.UW-Bothell and UW-Tacoma are applicants are considered transfer applicants. Please see “Notes for Transfer/Running Start Applicants” section below.

Application Requirements

Create your online profile by logging in with your UW NetID authentication. All transfer students will submit two different applications; one to Foster, and another to the UW Office of Admissions. After completing your UW Admissions application, you will be issued a UW NetID to use. Please check with UW Admissions for application deadlines and requirements.

*Make sure [email protected] will not get sent to junkmail. All communication will occur via the UW email system.

Your personal statement provides you the opportunity to discuss aspects of your life that may not be apparent in the rest of your application materials. You’ll have four boxes and space for 6,000 total characters, including spaces. A common misconception is that you must answer all four prompts. You are not required to answer all prompts; you may choose to focus on the prompts you have the most to talk about or you could choose to answer all four prompts. The most important thing to understand about the personal statement prompts is that they cannot hurt you in any way, they can only help.

Prompt Tips:

  • Be specific; when providing examples of when, how long, and what you learned/gained from your experience.
  • Be concise, direct and truthful.
  • Avoid broad statements such as “I’ve always wanted to attend the Foster School because I want a business degree.” It is a legitimate comment but does not tell us anything distinctive about you.
  • When describing your experiences, don’t assume the reader has had your same experiences or shares your perspective. Keep in mind that what you write in the application is used for admission purposes only.
  • Be thoughtful about your response.
  • Give yourself ample time to write and rewrite your responses. Ensure you are properly using the word limit to effectively express what you are trying to convey.
  • It is not necessary to have two spaces after each period, since extra spacing counts towards your allotted word count. Copying and pasting from a Word document can detract from your total word count. We recommend writing directly into the application itself, however it is wise to save a copy of each essay before hitting submit.

Essay 1: Describe any personal or economic hardship/barriers you have experienced and/or are experiencing. Explain how the hardship/barriers directly affected your ability to be successful in your college academics. As hardships/barriers may occur throughout your life, be specific about when you encountered these hardship/barriers, how long they lasted, and how they impact your academic record.

Essay 2: In the context of your life experience, describe your understanding of cultural differences and how this awareness was acquired. Talk about how your experiences influenced the person you are and what you will bring to the Foster School community (i.e. classroom, extracurricular, future career, etc.). You define what “experience” means to you; if it is important to you, it is important to share.

Essay 3: Describe 1-2 experiences that demonstrate your leadership within a group or organization outside of class. Please do not use examples from high school unless you have completed high school within the past 18 months or your leadership involvement from high school continues today. Examples could be taken from: employment, community service, family responsibilities, student organizations, or similar situations. Explain what you learned about yourself through the experience(s).

Essay 4: How has the educational background of your parents/legal guardians influenced your own education, especially your decision to go to college? What kind of support did you receive in making and pursuing the decision to go to college? Please tell us if you are among the first generation in your family to go to college. (First-generation, defined by the U.S Department of Education as students whose parents/guardians have not completed a bachelor’s (4-year) degree).

Completion Deadlines for Prerequisite Courses

The chart below presents a quick picture of the courses required before application and, if admitted, those required before entering the program. Course numbers are for courses offered at UW Seattle, but equivalents will be considered.

Pre-application courses must be completed by the application deadline (April 5 for autumn/summer or October 5 for winter); pre-admission courses must be completed by the last day of spring quarter for autumn admission and by the last day of the autumn quarter for winter admission.

Courses Required of Applicants Pre-application Pre-admission
Calculus (MATH 112 or 124) 1
English Composition (1 college-level course)2
Financial Accounting (ACCTG 215) 3
Microeconomics (ECON 200) 4
Macroeconomics (ECON 201) 4
Managerial Accounting (ACCTG 225) 3
Introduction to Law (MGMT 200) 5
Statistical Methods (QMETH 201) 6
  1. We will also accept MATH 125, MATH 126, MATH 134, or Q SCI 291 for calculus.
  2. We will accept any UW designated “C” course. The UW does not accept AP credit to satisfy the English Composition requirement, even if your transfer institution did.
  3. If transferring from a college where the fundamentals of accounting are taught in a 3-part series, you must complete the first two courses before the application deadline and the third course by the pre-admission deadline.
  4. Applicants may take either micro- or macroeconomics before applying, but they must complete both by the pre-admission deadline.
  5. If you attend a school where an equivalent course is not taught, contact our office for advice.
  6. We will also accept STAT 311, STAT 390, PSYCH 317 & PSYCH 318, Q SCI 381, MATH 390, IND E 315 or any statistics course with a minimum prerequisite of pre-Calculus.
    Note: STAT 220 (or other previously accepted statistics course that does not meet the above requirements) no longer accepted for admission unless course was completed prior to winter 2018. Transfer applicants please see the “Notes for Transfer and Freshman Applicants” section below.
  • You must submit a separate unofficial transcript from each college-level institution; even if you took college-level courses in high school and/or the courses appear on your UW transcript.
  • If you have had grade changes, they must be reflected on the transcripts you submit with your application. We will not accept grade changes after the application deadline.
  • In order for transfer credits to be added to your UW record, you must also request official transcripts be sent to the Office of Admissions.

Required Format for All Transcripts
The online application will require that you submit PDF copies of your unofficial transcripts from all collegiate institutions you have attended. In most cases, the easiest way to access a PDF version is to print to PDF. In some cases, you may need to get hard copies and scan them as a PDF. This may take extra time. So again, don’t wait until the last minute. Transfer Students: Please wait to submit your transcripts until grades for winter (for April 5 deadline) or spring/ summer (for October 5 deadline) are posted, unless grades post after the deadline

The following information must be on all transcripts:

  • Full name of applicant (former names are acceptable if indicated on application)
  • Name of degree-granting institution
  • Dates of enrollment
  • Names of individual courses
  • Grades, marks, or ratings of individual courses
  • International transcripts must include official English translations
  • Both marks sheets and degree statements are required, if applicable

Please note: While official transcripts sent directly from institutions to the Office of Admission are required for the general admissions application, unofficial copies are still required for the Foster application.


Reporting your Grade Point Average
Convert letter grades to numeric grades using the following chart (For AP, A-Level, or IB courses, do not submit a grade):

B+ 3.3 C+ 2.3 D+ 1.3
A 4 B 3.0 C 2.0 D 1.0
A- 3.7 B- 2.7 C- 1.7 D- 0.7
All standard admissions applicants to the Foster School must take the Writing Skills Assessment administered by Foster School of Business, Bothell School of Business, or Milgard School of Business. In the assessment session, students are given 90 minutes to plan and write two essays. One essay is based on a short workplace scenario (the persuasion task) and one is based on an assertion (the position task). The WSA must be completed prior to the application deadline and we only allow one assessment per cycle.

Register for the WSA

Applicants who have over 150 quarter credits, are planning to pursue a double degree, or Certificate of International Studies in Business (CISB) are required to submit a degree plan along with the application. The degree plan the degree planning sheet is a fillable PDF available to download below. Once completed, you will upload the degree plan directly to your application.

For those planning on a double degree, you must have your degree plan signed by the departmental adviser in the second major. The signature from the Foster School of Business adviser is not required.

Download degree plan here.

You will need to provide PDF copies of syllabi or proof of AP/IB/A-Level scores for ALL pre-admission and pre-application coursework completed at an institution other than UW (unless your course appears on the UW/Community College Transfer Equivalency Guide or you have already had the course evaluated by UW and it appears on your UW transcript as the appropriate course).
Submitted syllabi must include the name of the institution, weekly/daily breakdown of topics covered, and list of all course materials (e.g. textbooks and course readers) used. Failure to submit a complete and accurate syllabus may result in denial of admission to the Foster School of Business. Scores must contain your legal name.
You will need to provide PDF copies of your current registration if you are enrolled for classes during the quarter of application (autumn quarter/semester for the October 5 deadline and winter quarter/spring semester for the April 5 deadline), at an institution other than UW. This allows us to verify that applicants are not in danger of violating the Residency Requirement.

Admission to the Foster School is contingent upon admission to the UW, although we do recommend applying to the University and the Foster School simultaneously. UW Admissions operates on a different timeline; deadline dates differ depending on your application status.

Student Type UW Application Deadlines Enrollment Quarter
Running Start/Dual Enrollment Freshman November 15 Autumn quarter
Transfer* February 15
September 1
Summer or autumn quarter
Winter quarter

*International transfer applicants (those who require an F-1 visa to study in the United States) can only apply to the UW for summer/autumn quarter enrollment.

Online Application Access

A University of Washington NetID is required to register for the WSA. If you are applying for admittance as a new business school student and do not have a UW NetID, you can request a NetID.

Foster Prerequisite Requirements

Accounting: If transferring from a college where the fundamentals of accounting are taught in a 3-part series, you must complete the first two courses before the application deadline and the third course by the pre-admission deadline.

English Composition: The UW does not accept AP credit to satisfy the English Composition requirement, even if your transfer institution did. And, for international applicants, the 3-5 credit course must be completed in Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, or the United States, or taken at an international school where English is the language of instruction.

Statistics: Only QMETH 201 or STAT 311 equivalents will be accepted. STAT 220 equivalents will no longer be accepted for admission after the winter 2020 admission cycle (i.e. after completion of autumn quarter 2019). If you are at a college outside of Washington State and wish to have your course evaluated prior to applying to Foster, please submit syllabi to the Foster School early.

Law: If you attend a school where an equivalent course to MGMT 200 is not taught, contact our office for advice. Please note, our MGMT 200 course covers the American legal system and most international law courses are not equivalent.

Credit Restrictions and UW Residence Requirement

We only count credits from non-UW institutions that are transferable to UW. If you have questions, please consult with an academic adviser at the Foster School.

The UW Foster School of Business honors the Associate Degree Agreement for those students who have an approved associate degree from a Washington community college.

Courses taught at the freshman and sophomore levels at other colleges usually cannot be used to satisfy the School’s upper-division business requirements for graduation.

A transfer student is allowed a maximum of 90 transferable community college credit hours toward the 180 credits needed for the UW bachelor’s degree. Up to 90 credit hours of correspondence or other extension coursework may also apply to the bachelor’s degree.

  • However, every student must complete 45 of the final 60 credit hours in residence at the UW. To meet the upper-division requirement for a BABA, a student must complete six of the nine upper-division core classes (including a capstone course), and 40 of the 53 required upper-division business credit hours at UW Seattle.
  • Students who have taken more than three of the nine upper-division core business courses at another institution, including UW Bothell and UW Tacoma, are generally not admitted to the UW Foster School of Business. Contact a business adviser if you have questions.