Admission to Western Washington University is selective. To qualify for admission consideration, freshman applicants must meet the State of Washington’s minimum college admission standards which include a cumulative GPA of 2.00 and completion of courses that meet the College Academic Distribution Requirements (CADRs). Meeting minimum requirements does not guarantee admission, as the number of qualified applicants exceeds the number of available enrollment spaces.
Cumulative academic achievement – including level and difficulty of courses and grade trends – is the most significant factor in our admission decisions. Our holistic review process also considers school and community involvement, special talent, multicultural experiences, strength of character and personal circumstances.
Applicants are encouraged to pursue academic coursework and advanced study beyond the minimum course requirements. Advanced Placement (AP), International Baccalaureate (IB), Cambridge International, Running Start or other College-in-the-High-School, Honors courses, and even a full load of standard academic courses can provide an excellent foundation for a successful college experience.
Minimum high school course recommendations
Four units of English, including 3 units of college prep composition and/or literature
Three units of mathematics beyond pre-algebra, including completion of algebra II
Two units of science, with one year of algebra-based science (such as chemistry or physics); one year must include a lab
Three units of social science, such as history, civics, psychology, economics, etc.
Two sequential units in a single world language, Native American language or American Sign Language. This requirement may be satisfied for students from non-English speaking countries who entered the U.S. education system in eighth grade or later.
Fine and Performing Arts
One semester or trimester of fine and performing arts
* During the senior year of high school, students must earn a credit in a math-based quantitative course. Completion of higher-level math (e.g., pre-calculus, math analysis or calculus) prior to the senior year exempts students from the senior year quantitative course requirement.
At the time of application, freshman applicants are required to submit an unofficial high school transcript, or certificate or diploma of high school equivalency (such as the GED) and SAT or ACT scores. Review the complete application instructions regarding submission of transcripts, test scores, and other requirements.
Your essay & activities list
At Western Washington University we use a holistic approach to college admissions. While academic performance is highly important in the process, we realize there are countless additional factors that indicate your true potential. We want to make sure applicants are academically prepared to be successful at Western, and we also want to admit students who will actively contribute to our campus community. To help us consider factors beyond your GPA and test scores in our admission process, seize the opportunity to share your story via your essay and activities list.
We know that academics tell only part of your story, so use the essay and activities lists in your application to help the Admissions Committee learn what is important to you. The essay is a chance to give us a snapshot of who you are – your character, your experiences, your goals. The activities list helps us understand how you spend your time, including, but not limited to, your most meaningful school and community activities, recognition and awards, employment, volunteer work, family activities and enrichment activities.
Not sure where to start? Check out our tips for writing the essay and activities list.
While your SAT or ACT scores are not the most important part of your application, they are taken into consideration along with other elements of your application such as your high school work – including the grades you earned and the courses you chose to take – and your essay and activities list. All freshman and Running Start applicants are required to submit either ACT or SAT test scores as part of their application for admission. We do not prefer one test over the other. ACT or SAT scores can be sent directly from the testing agency or you can have your high school send them with your transcript. To be received on time, you should take the test at least six weeks before the application deadline.
Should you choose to take the SAT more than once, Western will superscore by taking your highest score on each section of the test on any date you took the test to form your highest average score. We are unable to superscore between old (pre-March 2016) and new (March 2016 and later) versions of the test and we do not superscore the ACT. Western does not require the writing portion on the ACT nor do we require the optional SAT Essay section of the redesigned SAT. Visit our Application Instructions page for more details about submitting test scores.
Freshman and Running Start