University of Washington Honors Program

Applying as a freshman to the Honors Program

The application for freshman admission to Interdisciplinary Honors is integrated into the UW Freshman 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:

Then register for a live Q&A with Honors Advisers and Honors Student Leaders or reach out to our Honors Student Leaders:

RSVP HERE FOR AUTUMN 2022 SESSIONS

Find a Student Leader

NOTE:  Due to our small staff size we are unable to offer individual admissions appointments for prospective freshman applicants. Please review the video, attend a Q&A, browse our website, and reach out to our Honors Student Leaders if you still have questions. Thank you for your understanding!

Important Dates

October 1 FAFSA/WASFA opens for 2021-22
November 15 UW Application deadline; a confirmation email will be sent to you from uwhonors@uw.edu acknowledging receipt of your application
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.

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 prompts.
    • If you no longer wish to apply to Honors at any point, you must change your selection to “No.”
  • Complete the UW and Honors sections 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 “@uw.edu” address, it will take priority. If you have not received any confirmation emails, please check your spam/trash folders first, then contact us at uwhonors@uw.edu.

Honors Essays

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

Your essays 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 Prompts for Autumn 2023

Respond to the essay prompts using no more than 300 words each.

  1. Why is an interdisciplinary education important to you? In your response explain why you are interested in the UW Interdisciplinary Honors Program
  2. The Interdisciplinary Honors program encourages students to engage with their local, national, and global communities through a multidisciplinary lens. Tell us about a pressing societal concern that impacts and/or interests you. Why is this issue important to you and how do you imagine engaging with or addressing this concern while at UW?

Tips for Applying

  • Do exercise creativity, and be yourself! This is your opportunity to introduce yourself to us. Let us see who you are and what makes you tick. Demonstrate what why you are interested in our curriculum and what qualities you would contribute to the Interdisciplinary Honors Program.
  • Do remember your audience. The UW is a large and diverse public institution. The people evaluating your application may not have the same political, moral, or religious beliefs you do. Diverse viewpoints are desired in the academic world. Consider this as you frame your essays.
  • Do proofread!
  • Do not send standardized scores or payments/fees to Honors. Send them instead to UW Admissions.
  • Do not send transcripts to Honors.
  • Do not send any 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 holistic review 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 strong performance in courses; and 
  • Demonstrated commitment to community engagement.

To be considered for admission to the University Honors Program freshman 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