General Catalog

First year student admission

A first year student is one who has not earned college-level credit following the summer of high school graduation (including students with Running Start, College in the High School, Advanced Placement, and International Baccalaureate credit).  


Admission requirements

  1. Minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0
  2. Successful completion of the College Academic Distribution Requirements [CADRs]  
  3. Proof of English language proficiency (if required; see the section English Language Proficiency Requirement for more information)

Application checklist

  1. Completed application, including required writing section(s)
  2. Non-refundable application fee ($60 domestic students, $75 international students)
  3. Unofficial high school transcript(s) from all schools attended
  4. SAT or ACT scores (scores are valid for 5 years)

College Academic Distribution Requirements (CADRs)

In accordance with the Washington Student Achievement Council [WSAC] requirements and to ensure that students entering UW Bothell are prepared to succeed in college, all first year students are required to complete a minimum level of preparation in six subject areas through high school or college course work prior to entering the University. 

In general, five quarter credits (or three semester credits) in a college-level course equal one year of high school study. If only a portion of a CADR was completed via high school course work, the balance of the requirement must be completed via college course work. A college course may be used to satisfy both an admission requirement and a UW Bothell graduation requirement.

Read about grading restrictions for CADRs.

English Composition/Literature: 4 years

  • If taken in high school: Four years of study are required, at least three of which must be in college-preparatory composition or literature.
    • One of the four years may be satisfied by courses in drama as literature, public speaking, debate, journalistic writing, business English, or English as a Second Language (ESL).
    • Courses that are generally not acceptable include those identified as remedial or applied (e.g., acting, basic English skills, developmental reading, library, newspaper staff, remedial English, review English, vocabulary, yearbook/annual).
    • English courses taken in another country are considered equivalent to ESL unless taken in Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, or the United Kingdom.
    • International Students: Four high school years of Composition and/or Literature courses in the student's native language satisfy this requirement.
  • If made up through college course work: College course work must be at the 100 level or higher. For the composition/literature component, generally any course with an English or Writing prefix is acceptable.
    • One of the four years may be satisfied by a college course in speech, drama as literature, journalistic writing, business English, ESL, or engineering/technical writing.
    • Courses such as developmental or speed reading, vocabulary, or remedial English are not acceptable.

Mathematics: 3 years

  • If taken in high school: Three years of study are required, at least at the level of algebra, geometry, and second-year algebra.
    • An algebra course completed in the last year of junior high school may partially satisfy the requirement if the second-year algebra is completed in secondary school.
    • Arithmetic, pre-algebra, business math, and statistics will not satisfy the requirement.
    • Mathematics course work taken in the senior year may overlap with the Senior Year Math-Based Quantitative requirement.
  • If made up through college course work: If high school preparation in mathematics was insufficient, one of the courses listed below is required:
    • Intermediate Algebra: At Washington community colleges, qualifying courses in intermediate algebra are listed as equivalent to MATH 098 in the University of Washington Equivalency Guide. The course must be completed with a grade of 'C' (2.0) or better, even though it does not transfer to UW Bothell as college credit, and the grade earned in the course is not used in computing the transfer GPA.
    • Trigonometry: The course must be completed with a grade of 'C' (2.0) or better.
    • Mathematics courses with intermediate algebra as a prerequisite: This includes any higher-level math courses such as elementary functions, calculus, and beyond. Courses in statistics, logic, or computer science do not satisfy the mathematics requirement.

Social studies: 3 years

  • If taken in high school: Three years of study are required in history or in any of the social sciences (e.g., anthropology, contemporary world problems, economics, geography, government, political science, psychology, sociology). Religion courses, consumer economics, student government, or community service do not satisfy the requirement.
  • If made up through college course work: Courses in the social sciences (e.g., anthropology, economics, ethnic studies, history, philosophy, political science, psychology, sociology) satisfy the requirement.

Lab science: 2 years

  • If taken in high school:
    • Two years of lab science are required. At least one of the two years must be in an algebra-based science course, such as chemistry or physics.
    • Lab science course work taken in the senior year may overlap with the Senior Year Math-Based Quantitative requirement.
  • If made up through college course work:
    • College-level science courses with a lab satisfy the requirement. At least one course must be an algebra-based science course with a lab.   

World languages: 2 years

  • If taken in high school: Two years of study in the same language are required.
    • A world language course taken in the eighth grade may satisfy one year of the requirement if the second-year course is completed in high school.
    • Any natural language that has been formally studied may be used to satisfy this requirement, including American Sign Language (AMESLAN, the language of the deaf community) and languages no longer spoken, such as Latin and ancient Greek. However, neither computer 'languages' nor forms of deaf signing aside from AMESLAN are acceptable.
    • International students who entered the U.S. education system prior to the seventh grade must satisfy the world language requirement.
    • The world language requirement will be considered satisfied for students who complete more than half their primary and secondary education in school(s) a) where English was not the language of instruction or b) in countries other than the United States, Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom.
  • If made up through college course work: Students who have never studied a world language will need to complete ten quarter credits (or six semester credits) of a single world language. A student who studied a world language for one year in high school needs to complete only the second five quarter credits (e.g., FREN 102) or the second three semester credits of a first-year language sequence in college.
  • If using an exam: Students who have not completed high school or college course work in a world language can demonstrate their proficiency using test scores.
    • University of Washington Placement: Placement into the third quarter of a world language by a UW Placement Exam satisfies the world language requirement. Contact the UW Seattle Testing Center for information about taking a world language placement exam. If the Testing Center does not offer a test for a language, it may be possible to have proficiency level evaluated by a UW faculty member in a one-on-one test; contact the appropriate UW language department to inquire about this possibility. Placement tests taken at other colleges will not satisfy the world language requirement.
    • International Baccalaureate [IB]: A score of 5, 6, or 7 on an International Baccalaureate Program Higher Level world language B exam will be awarded 5, 10, or 15 transfer college credits and satisfy the world language requirement.
    • Advanced Placement [AP]: A score of 3, 4, or 5 on a College Board Advanced Placement world language exam will be awarded 5, 10, or 15 transfer college credits and satisfy the world language requirement.

Fine, visual, or performing arts: 1/2 year

  • If taken in high school:
    • One-half year or one trimester of study is required in the fine, visual, or performing arts, to be chosen from art appreciation, band, ceramics, choir, dance, dramatics performance and production, drawing, fiber arts, graphic arts, metal design, music appreciation, music theory, orchestra, painting, photography, print making, or sculpture. Courses generally not acceptable include architecture, color guard, creative writing, drafting, drill team, fashion design, world languages, interior design, sewing, speech, web design or graphics, woodworking, and yearbook.
  • If made up through college course work:
    • Two quarter credits (or two semester credits) satisfy the requirement, chosen from art, art history, cinema/filmmaking, dance, drama (except drama as literature), music, or photography. Courses in architecture are generally not acceptable, except for those in architectural history.

Senior year math-based quantitative course: 1 year

  • If taken in high school:
    • One year of math-based quantitative course work is required in the senior year. Any of the following courses will meet this requirement if taken during 12th grade:
      • The third-year level of math, such as intermediate algebra (Algebra II)
      •  Higher level math, such as pre-calculus, math analysis, or calculus (may be completed prior to 12th grade)
      • A math-based quantitative course (statistics)
      • An Algebra-based science course (this may also count toward the lab science requirement)
      • An AP Computer Science course
  • If made up through college course work:
    • College courses in math (e.g., pre-calculus, calculus, statistics) or algebra-based science satisfy this requirement.

Electives in CADR subjects: 1/2 year

  • If taken in high school: One-half year of study is required. Academic electives are courses in any of the six subject areas defined above beyond the minimum number of years specified above.
  • If made up through college course work: Three quarter credits (or two semester credits) completed in any of the six subject areas described above satisfy this requirement.

Grading restrictions

In general, a student must earn a passing* grade as defined by the issuing school’s grading scale to satisfy a College Academic Distribution Requirement [CADR]. A grade of 'Pass' in a course taken on a 'Pass/Not Pass' basis is acceptable; however, students completing CADR through college course work are strongly encouraged to choose a letter or numerical grade, because they may later want to apply the course(s) towards major and/or University graduation requirements, for which grading restrictions pertain.

*While a passing grade is the absolute minimum grade required for a CADR to be satisfied, this does not reflect the grades required of a competitive applicant to UW Bothell.


Advanced Placement (AP), International Baccalaureate (IB) & A-Level/AS-Level credit

UW Bothell will award college credit for students who receive the required minimum scores on Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, and A-Level/AS-Level exams.  Minimum exam scores vary based on subject area; please review the website for detailed information.


Running Start, College in the High School & Tech Prep

UW Bothell will review credits earned through Running Start, College in the High School, and Tech Prep for transferability. An official transcript from the college must be submitted to UW Bothell before the credits can be considered.


Homeschooled students

UW Bothell values all forms of learning. Homeschooled students bring a myriad of unique qualities to our campus, and we welcome their interest in UW Bothell. The Office of Admissions provides the following guidelines to assist homeschooled applicants in becoming eligible for admission consideration.

The following minimum requirements must be met in order for your application to receive a holistic admissions review:

  • Completion of College Academic Distribution Requirements (CADRs)
  • Submission of SAT or ACT scores. The University of Washington Bothell recommends but does not require the Writing section on the SAT or ACT.

Required documents

Homeschooled applicants must present a homeschool transcript that includes course titles of each subject studied, duration of study, a short description of content, and grade or assessment of performance. Preferably, courses completed at home would adhere to a nationally recognized homeschooled curriculum.