How to Apply

Personal Statements

Personal Statement

All transfer applicants must write a personal statement and submit it with their application for admission.  The personal statement should be a comprehensive narrative essay outlining significant aspects of your academic and personal history, particularly those that provide context for your academic achievements and educational choices. Both the quality of writing and depth of content contribute toward a meaningful and relevant personal statement.

Personal Statement Prompts

For majors (other than those listed below) and undeclared major applicants, the personal statement prompt is the following:

What is your intended major, and how did your interest in this subject evolve? Describe any relevant experience you have had in the field (employment, internships, military service, volunteer work, campus or civic activities, etc.) and what you have gained from your involvement. How will UW Bothell prepare you for your future endeavors?

Please limit your response to 650 words. 

Certain majors have personal statement prompts specific to their application. If you are applying to any of the following majors, please download the prompts, as found on the application, here:

Additional Tips for Writing a Personal Statement


Our Writing & Communication Center is a great resource and you can utlize their services even before you are a UW Bothell student. They work with students of all writing abilities, and will help you craft a great personal statement.

Schedule an appointment with the Writing & Communication Center here.


While the personal statement is only one of many factors we consider when making a holistic admission decision, it helps provide context for the rest of your application. We encourage you to share those aspects of your life that are not apparent from your transcripts.  In providing the “backdrop” for your academic achievements and choices, describe your passions and commitments, your goals, a personal challenge faced, a hardship overcome, or the cultural awareness you’ve gained.  Tell us your story.  Be concise, but tell the whole story (even if you need a little more space). 

Do not simply restate what can already be seen on your transcript. However, you should use your personal statement to explain any questionable items, attendance gaps, or downward grade trends on your transcripts. Point out what happened, what you have changed to improve the situation, and any other relevant information you think we should be aware of in making an admission decision.


Personal statements too often include sentences such as, “I’ve always wanted to be a Husky” or “My whole family attended the UW.” Though this may be important to you personally, such reasons are not particularly valuable because they don’t tell us anything distinctive about your experiences and ultimate goals. 

Transfer students are encouraged to discuss specifically why the Bothell campus is of interest, as opposed to the UW in general, and especially why they are interested in their intended major.

If you are applying to transfer from another 4-year university, you will need to explain why you have made this decision, and specifically why completing your degree at UW Bothell is a better decision for you than staying where you are (or were).

Students applying to transfer with less than 40 college credits and/or prior to declaring a major should use the personal statement to clearly articulate the reason(s) and provide detailed context for this decision. You should also explain your academic plan and expected timeline for declaring a major, especially if you are applying with close to or exceeding 90 college-level credits.


Your Personal Statement should reflect the experience and maturity of someone who has already attended a college.  It should reflect your understanding of the components of an undergraduate education, such as general education and the major. We want to read how your academic and personal experience to date – in concrete, specific ways – fits into your academic, career, and personal goals.

Content as well as form, spelling, grammar, and punctuation will be considered.  Your personal statement should reflect your own ideas and be written by you alone, but others you trust — family, teachers and friends — can offer valuable feedback and proofreading assistance.  It can also be helpful to have someone read your statement out loud to you to see how it sounds.

Consider using the optional “Additional Comments” section of the application if you would like to explain something with particular significance to you that you were not able to address in any of the other writing sections of the application, or if telling us your story requires more than 650 words.  For example, use this section if: 

  • You have experienced hardships in attaining your education. This can include illness or injury, frequent moves, learning disability, personal or familial hardship, etc.
  • To explain low grades or downward or erratic grade trend. Your activities were limited because of resources, work, and family obligations or otherwise.
  • You want to elaborate upon something you briefly mentioned within the personal statement or short response.


Your personal statement should be limited to 650 words, and it can be submitted with your application in the following ways:

Online: Write your statement first in a word processing program (such as Word) or a text editor, and then copy and paste it into the text box provided in the online application.  All line breaks will remain.  However, some formatting may be lost, such as bold, italics, and underlines, but this will not affect the evaluation of your application.

Attach File: Type your statement as stated above, and save it in one of our acceptable file formats (.pdf, .doc, .rtf, .txt) to upload as an attachment to your application.  Include your name and the words “Personal Statement” as a heading for each page of your attached document.

Per Washington state law and University of Washington policy, all admissions evaluators are mandatory reporters of child abuse and neglect. Any statements in written materials that give an evaluator reasonable cause to believe abuse or neglect of someone under the age of 18 may have occurred must be reported to Child Protective Services or the police. Learn more about University reporting requirements