The Communication major is highly capacity-constrained. Students must complete all minimum requirements to apply and must then compete with the entire applicant pool for a limited number of spaces. This includes completing the application form by the noted deadline. Highly capacity-constrained majors have an acceptance rate of about 30% or less. We recommend that all applicants meet with their general adviser before applying to figure out other major options as well.
The Department of Communication offers the following programs of study for undergraduates:
- The Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in Communication
- The Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in Communication: Journalism
The Department of Communication accepts applications during Autumn, Winter, and Spring quarters. Applications are always due by 5pm exactly one week (7 calendar days) after the first day of the quarter. The application is in a Catalyst survey – you must be logged into your UW account to access the application. Admission decisions are sent out the fifth week of the application quarter.
- Basic Information. This includes name, address, email, student number, COM courses taken, and grades. Please note: all applications must be submitted using UW emails. Applications will not be considered if the email used in the application is a personal email address.
- Transcripts. Unofficial transcripts from all institutions attended, including the UW are required to be uploaded via DropBox as part of the application.
- Program Interests. If you are interested in the Departmental Honors Program, student organizations, minors, and/or additional majors, please indicate so when applying so that we can help you plan out your time at the UW.
- Personal Statement. All personal statements must be 2,500 characters long and written about why students want to study Communication and what they would like to learn that would affect their personal, professional, or community life.
- Additional Comments. If you would like to further explain any parts of your application, please use this section.
Applications to the Communication major are online and available the first week of autumn, winter, and spring quarters (Winter 2020 application is due Monday, January 13th at 5:00 pm).
Please Note: the link above is to the Communication major application only. Click here for admission requirements and application to the Communication: Journalism major.
Prerequisites for the Communication Major
To be eligible to apply to the Communication major (COM), students must meet the following prerequisite criteria, including minimum grades and the successful completion of prerequisite coursework. All criteria met guarantees eligibility, NOT admission.
- Minimum COM and major GPA of 2.5.
- Minimum grade of 2.5 in each of prerequisite course.
- All applicants must be current students at the University of Washington. For more information about admission to the UW as a first-year student or transfer student, click here.
- COM 200* and another COM 200-level course** must be completed prior to applying. Courses cannot be in-progress during the quarter of application.
*COM 201, COM 202 are allowed substitutes for COM 200 if taken prior to SPR 2018 at UW, and/or taken at UW during SUM quarters (through 2018). If you have taken BOTH COM 201 and COM 202, both courses can count to complete the prerequisite requirements.
** Starting winter 2019, we will not be accepting COM 300- or 400-level courses as the second prerequisite. Starting Autumn 2019, we will not be accepting courses outside of the COM-prefix to count as the second prerequisite. Courses taken outside of the COM-prefix and are approved COM electives will count towards the COM Elective requirement.
The Communication Admissions Committee considers the following criteria when making admissions decisions:
The UW Department of Communication Admissions Committee assesses applications to its major holistically. We’re looking for students who contribute to the department in important ways and for students who would benefit from the opportunities we have available. We encourage you to use the application to share how communication is important to you. The department bases its considerations on the full application, but the following two categories are the primary means through which we evaluate your potential:
- Cumulative GPA as well as prerequisite and course-specific grades, with emphasis on grades received in COM 200 and any 200-level COM courses.
- A personal essay response to the following prompt: “What would you like to learn as a major that would affect your personal, professional, or community life? Please cite specific examples from the communication courses you’ve already taken. Let the committee know if there are any circumstances that have affected your application or grades, and if you have previously applied to the Communication major, what has improved since your last application.” This essay has a 2,500-character limit and is assessed on three criteria on a scale of 1-5, with one being the lowest and 5 being the highest: 1) Relevance: Does the student answer the prompt by citing ways in which the major would affect their life and vice versa? 2) Originality: Is the response thoughtful? 3) Depth: Does the student support the position with information, details, reasons, or examples?