About Us

Center for University Studies and Programs Faculy Photo


CUSP is the home for First Year and Pre-Major students at UW Bothell. We are the first place to turn for all of your academic needs, from scheduling classes and meeting faculty to discussing your future career goals.

CUSP Learning Goals

Inclusive Practices - Focuses on how best to deepen the richness of human experience- with its differences of race, gender, ability, religion, age, language, sexual orien-tation, and class.

Critical and Creative Inquiry - Joins reason and imagination to make, investigate, critique, and pursue meaning in the arts, humanities, and the social and natural sci-ences.

Ethics and Social Responsibility - Explores our connections with each other across cultures, languages, natural resources, and values.

Quantitative and Qualitative Literacies - Are complementary ways to understand problems, issues, and questions.

Communication - Is the process of written, oral, performative, and multimedia interaction that enables us to share ideas and practices.


The CUSP mission is to support the successful transition to college of First Year and Pre-Major students and to provide the foundation on which they will continue scholarly and professional development.


We assist with all of your academic advising needs, host student success workshops, direct you to academic and student campus resources, and strive to give you a friendly space to land as you begin your college experience and move toward your future major. We are a friendly group and are eager to help you find your way.

General Information

CUSP courses are created to provide you with the skills to be successful in the 21st century workforce and to make meaningful contributions to your local, regional, and global communities. The Discovery Core, a sequence of required courses designed specifically for First Year students, will increase your capacity for active learning, for critical and creative inquiry, for encountering diversity (of perspectives, of people, of world views and of ideas), for quantitative and writing skills, for interdisciplinary practices, and for communication across different media platforms.

All CUSP courses are oriented toward addressing vital issues of the contemporary world outside your door and in your lives. Together we will learn about the connections between biology and business, mathematics and literature, geography and anthropology, psychology and economics, computer science and the arts, and, in this process, come to know ourselves and each other in important ways.

Our goal is to provide you with a rich learning environment. To continue to do so, we appreciate your feedback and ideas to accomplish this goal. Come by and see us in UW1-173 and begin to connect with as many people as possible. Welcome to UW Bothell!

Leslie Ashbaugh, Ph.D.
Director of CUSP, First Year and Pre-Major Programs
Senior Lecturer, School of Interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences