University of Washington Honors Program

Applying as a first-year to the Honors Program

The application for first-year admission to Interdisciplinary Honors is integrated into the UW First-year Application, with additional required essays and a separate evaluation process. You must complete and submit all of the regular UW Admissions and all of the Honors application materials to be considered for Interdisciplinary Honors admission.

Before applying to Honors, we recommend you explore the following:

Interested in applying for admissions for autumn 2024? Register for an information session!


NOTE: We are unable to offer individual admissions appointments for prospective first-year applicants. Please attend an information, review our presentation slides,browse our website, and reach out to our Honors Student Leaders if you still have questions. Thank you for your understanding!

Important Dates

November 15 UW Application deadline; a confirmation email will be sent to you from acknowledging receipt of your application
December FAFSA/WASFA opens
January 15 FAFSA/WASFA priority filing date
March 1-15 UW notification period
March 15-April 15 If you are admitted to UW: UW Honors notification period – all notifications made via email

If you are offered an Honors scholarship, the award notification is included in the Honors admission notification email. *For 2024: Scholarship offers will be sent separately from our offer of admissions to the Honors Program in mid-May, due to the delay in access to FAFSA information. Please do not contact us inquiring about scholarships, all Honors applicants are considered.

May 1 UW and Honors confirmation deadline
June 1-July 1 Final Honors waitlist notification period

Application Process

To access and submit the Honors application questions:

  • Follow the University of Washington Office of Admissions’ instructions on how to apply;
  • In the UW application, select “Yes” to the question “Would you like to apply for admission to the UW Honors Program (Interdisciplinary Honors?)?” This will open the Honors application and allow you to respond to our essay prompt.
    • If you no longer wish to apply to Honors at any point, you must change your selection to “No.”
  • Complete the UW application AND the Honors section of the UW application.
  • Submit the UW application.
    • You will receive separate confirmation emails from UW and the Honors Program.
  • Check your email. UW Honors uses the email address in your UW application as our primary method of contact, including our decision letters and scholarship offers. If you set up an “” address, it will take priority. If you have not received any confirmation emails, please check your spam/trash folders first, then contact us at

Honors Essay

The heart of the Honors application is the Honors Essay. This essay, separate from the UW Writing section, requires an essay specific to Interdisciplinary Honors. Your response will be evaluated on content as well as form (spelling, grammar, and punctuation).

Your essay should be original, thoughtful, and concise. Do not copy previous essays from your UW application or materials found on the UW Honors Program web site. Draw on your best qualities as a writer and thinker; academic risk-taking is a core value of the Honors Program, so take some risks and be honest. Tell us who you are and why you want an interdisciplinary undergraduate education. Work on the essays early. Have someone proofread your writing but don’t let a proofreader erase your unique voice.

Essay Prompt for Autumn 2024

Respond to the essay prompt using no more than 450 words.

We want to understand your desire to learn new things and to push your education outside of the areas of learning that you are most familiar with. 

Tell us why this type of learning interests you and which subjects you’re excited to explore in college.

Tips for Applying

  • Be yourself and be specific! This is your opportunity to introduce yourself to us. Demonstrate why you are interested in our curriculum and what qualities you would contribute to the Interdisciplinary Honors Program.
  • Remember your audience. The UW is a large and diverse public institution. The people evaluating your application may not have the same beliefs or perspective you do. Diverse viewpoints are desired in the academic world. Consider this as you frame your essays.
  • Proofread! Have someone who knows you proofread your responses, but don’t let your voice and perspective be erased.
  • Do not send transcripts or supplemental materials (recommendations, news articles, resumes, digital media, etc.). These will be discarded upon receipt.

Read our Tips for Applying for more detailed advice.

The Honors Holistic Review & Test Scores

The University of Washington’s Office of Admissions has moved to a test optional policy for Autumn 2021 and beyond. Accordingly, the University Honors Program admissions evaluators will not consider test scores, which have historically been a small factor in our evaluation process. The Honors Program admissions evaluation focuses on many factors, including:

  • Demonstrated knowledge of and interest in our specific interdisciplinary curriculum and values;
  • Demonstrated cultural awareness or unique perspectives or experiences;
  • Demonstrated academic preparation; and 
  • Demonstrated commitment to community engagement.

To be considered for admission to the University Honors Program first-year applicants must first be admitted to the University of Washington. Please refer to the University of Washington’s Office of Admissions to further understand their review process.

Read our admissions FAQs