Computing and Software Systems

Undergraduate Admission

CSS undergraduate admissions navigation

This page contains information for applying to the Applied Computing and CSSE (Computer Science & Software Engineering) undergraduate majors in the CSS (Computing & Software Systems) division of the UW Bothell School of STEM.

Use the links below to navigate:

  1. Application timeline
  2. How to apply
  3. Prerequisite courses
  4. Personal statement
  5. Review process
  6. Related majors and minors
  7. Questions?

Application timeline

Quarter of entry Application available Submission deadline Decisions released
Autumn
(September start)
February 1st April 1st (first review)
July 1st (second review)
First week of May (first review)
First week of August (second review)
Winter
(January start)
August 1st October 22nd First week of December
Spring
(March start)
December 1st TBD TBD
Summer
(June start)
The Applied Computing and CSSE majors do not admit for summer quarter entry.

How to apply

Materials needed

When you apply, you will need to submit the following:

  1. Application form. There are different applications for internal and transfer applicants. Read below.
  2. Unofficial transcripts from UW and/or from any other colleges or universities you have attended.
  3. Personal statement. Read below for more information.
  4. (optional) Resume or CV

Internal applicants

If you are a premajor student or already in a major at UW Bothell, please submit an internal application online.

Transfer applicants

If you are a student from an institution other than UW Bothell, please submit a transfer application online. Students from UW Seattle and UW Tacoma, please use this application.

Post-baccalaureate applicants

We prioritize first-time degree seekers for our undergraduate degrees. Because of the high demand for these majors, students who have already earned an undergraduate degree generally cannot be considered for admission.

Instead, we encourage post-baccalaureate students to join our Graduate Certificate in Software Design & Development, which covers the same core concepts as our undergraduate majors.


Prerequisite courses

All prerequisite courses must be complete before you apply. Applicants with incomplete or in-progress prerequisites will not be considered for admission and are encouraged to apply for a later quarter of entry instead.

You must earn a minimum grade of 2.0 or higher in all prerequisite courses.

Prerequisites UW Bothell UW Seattle UW Tacoma WA State Colleges
(CCN = common course numbers)

English Composition I and II

BWRIT 134 and 135  ENGL 111/121/131 and 141 TWRT 101/121 and 211

CCN: ENGL& 101 and one of 102/128/230/235/271

Bellevue: ENGL 101 and one of 201/235/271/272

Edmonds: ENGR  231 also accepted in addition to CCN.

Highline: ENGL 205 also accepted in addition to CCN.

Calculus I and II

*Calculus II is not a prerequisite for Applied Computing.

STMATH 124 and *125 MATH 124 and *125 TMATH 124 and *125

CCN: MATH& 151 and *152

Bellevue: MATH 141 and *152

Computer Programming I and II

**Read below about Required UW Bothell skills labs.

**CSS 142 and 143

Prior to Autumn 2022: CSE 142 and 143

Autumn 2022 onwards: CSE 122 and 123

TCSS 142 and 143

CCN: CS& 131/141 and the second programming course offered by your college

Bellevue: CS 210 and 211

Cascadia: BIT 142 and 143

Green River: CS 131/141 and 132/145

Highline: CSCI 142 and 143

Seattle Colleges (North, Central, and South): CSC 142 and 143

**Required UW Bothell skills labs

If taking the Computer Programming I and II (CSS 142 and 143) lectures at UW Bothell, then you must take the corequisite skills labs (CSSSKL 142 and 143) at the same time as the lectures.

CSSSKL 142 and 143 are not themselves prerequisites for entry into the CSS majors, but they are still very important for your learning and will be considered by the admissions committee along with the rest of the coursework on your academic record.

Accepted courses

English Composition

The English Composition requirement is flexible, and other advanced composition or writing such as Research WritingScientific Writing, or Intro to Technical Writing may also be accepted.

Please note that if you use ENGL& 230 (at a Washington state college) or HCDE 231 (at UW Seattle) you may need to take 2 more credits of writing later on to satisfy our Additional Writing general education requirement.

Computer Programming

Any programming language is acceptable for the Computer Programming I and II prerequisites, but both courses must be taught in the same language. Commonly taught languages include object-oriented, class-based languages such as Java, C++, other C family languages, and Python.

Washington colleges vary widely in their course numbering for introductory Computer Programming courses. Many use the Common Course Numbering (CCN) system for the first course, noted with an ampersand (&), and then use their own numbering system for the second course. Other colleges use their own numbering system for both courses.

Covid-19 and pass/fail grading

The University of Washington recognizes the difficulties of the Covid-19 pandemic. For courses taken during Extraordinary Circumstances Quarters (ECQ), we will consider pass/fail grading options for the purposes of admissions and graduation requirements.

  • If taken at a UW campus during an ECQ, a grade of 'S' (Satisfactory) will be considered. A grade of 'NS' (Not Satisfactory) will not be accepted.
  • If taken elsewhere during an ECQ, a "Satisfactory", "Credit", "Pass", or similar grade will be considered if the definition of these grades indicate they would have been at least a 2.0 if the class had been numerically graded.

Personal statement

Your personal statement is your opportunity to tell your story to the admissions committee. This is where you can go beyond grades and explain how this major is the right fit for your goals. It is also an opportunity to put academic challenges you have faced in perspective and demonstrate how much you have grown.

Most colleges and universities have writing centers or similar resources that can help you. The UW Bothell Writing & Communication Center (WACC) works with UW Bothell students to help with their personal statements.

Writing guidelines

We recommend the following for your statement:

  1. Do not underestimate the need for a well-crafted personal statement. It is a sample of your written communication skills, which are critically important for all computing professionals.
  2. Strive for focus, clarity, and detail in your writing.
    • Be specific about which degree program(s) you are applying for and tailor your statement accordingly.
    • Make sure that your writing flows logically, and that every sentence serves a purpose.
    • Avoid unnecessary wordiness and overuse of adjectives. Write simply.
    • Be as detailed as possible about the activities you have engaged in, the skills they helped you develop, and how those skills prepare you for your major and long-term goals.
  3. Keep readability in mind.
    • Check the formatting for font, font size, line spacing, and paragraph breaks. We recommend you use 12-point Times New Roman font and double-spaced lines.
    • The statement should not be too short (less than one page) or too long (more than two pages).
    • Have another person check your writing for correct grammar, punctuation, and readability.
  4. Writing a good statement takes time.
    • Read the prompt several times.
    • Take notes as you come up with ideas and use them to decide how to build the best narrative.
    • Take breaks as you work and return later for a fresh read.
    • Double check your work. After writing your statement, re-read the prompt and compare. Did you answer the full prompt? Does your story describe your experiences in the best positive light?

Writing prompt

Write a one-to-two page personal statement. Please write the statement as a cohesive essay, and not as a series of short answers. At minimum, your essay should answer the following questions:

  1. What specifically interests you about UW Bothell's Applied Computing or CSSE major (or both), and what long-term goals will your chosen major(s) help you achieve?
  2. Applied Computing applicants: If you are applying to the Applied Computing major (or both CSSE and Applied Computing), please describe in detail what Second Discipline of Study you plan to complete along with your major and how you will combine it with computing skills.
  3. Do you have any experience in software or hardware development outside of the classroom? If yes, please describe.
  4. The computing field relies on communication and collaboration, and we believe diverse collaborations create better solutions. How do you plan to work with a diverse group of students, and what diverse perspectives will you bring?
  5. If you have applied before, what has changed since your previous application? If you have repeated courses or overcome significant obstacles, please explain.

Review process

Applications are reviewed by a committee of CSS division faculty. The review is holistic, so although your prerequisite grades are important, we also consider other factors such as:

  • Grades in other courses (especially mathematics, programming, and other quantitative work)
  • Improvement in grades over time
  • Courses you have retaken and number of retakes
  • Your personal statement, including:
    • How well thought-out your long-term plans are, and what steps you have already taken to achieve them
    • How well you can detail your learning experiences (both in school and outside of school) and skills acquired, and connect them to your long-term goals
    • Any challenges or hardships you have faced, and hopefully have also overcome and learned from

Related majors and minors

If you want to explore other ways of gaining computing-related knowledge and skills at UW Bothell, consider these programs as well!

Major programs

Minor programs

Graduate programs


Questions?

Premajor applicants

Start by visiting the premajor advising website or contacting the First Year & Premajor Programs (FYPP) team at uwbadvis@uw.edu.

Transfer applicants

Start by visiting the transfer admissions website or contacting the admissions advising team at uwbinfo@uw.edu.

Other applicants / further questions

You can contact us directly at cssadv@uw.edu.