Requirements and Application Tips

Admission Requirements

Minimum requirements for transfer admission include a 2.00 cumulative transferable GPA and a 2.00 in the quarters prior to application review and enrollment. Because the number of qualified applicants exceeds the number of available enrollment spaces, meeting minimum requirements does not guarantee admission.

Get Ready to Transfer

  1. Review our Programs of Study for major-specific prerequisites and entrance requirements.
  2. Visit our Transfer Course Equivalency Guide to determine what you may be able to complete at your current college or university.
  3. Review the application checklist.

Major-Specific Requirements

Admission to the University does not imply admission to a specific major. Most Western majors have separate application processes, and many have selective admissions requirements such as prerequisite course work, minimum GPA, audition, or portfolio. You should familiarize yourself with admission requirements and deadlines as soon as possible. 

All students should review the catalog details available in Western's Majors Page to become familiar with major-specific admission requirements, major declaration procedures and department advising contacts. We encourage you to complete as many of the courses for your intended major as possible prior to transferring.

The below-listed programs are just some of those that require a separate application, audition, or portfolio.

Application Tips

We’re looking for applicants who are academically prepared and will actively contribute to our campus community. That’s why we use a holistic approach when we review your application. 

While academic achievement is the most significant factor in the review process, the Admissions Committee considers many factors when making an admission decision. Our comprehensive review process also considers clarity of academic goals, completion of major prerequisites and related experiences, number of transfer credits and distribution of current students, contributions to and/or experiences with multiculturalism, special talent, personal circumstances, and space availability.

How to Strengthen Your Application for Admission

  1. Complete college-level math and English before submitting your application for admission.
  2. Familiarize yourself with the requirements for your intended major and complete as many prerequisites as possible prior to transfer.
  3. Complete courses that fulfill Western's General University Requirements (GUR) whenever possible. (Note: Students who plan to transfer with a Direct Transfer Agreement (DTA) Associate's Degree from a Washington State community college generally have all their GUR fulfilled.)
  4. Help the Admissions Committee understand you better by submitting an essay that addresses your academic goals, related experiences, and any academic or personal challenges you have overcome.
  5. Students applying with fewer than 40 completed transferable quarter (27 semester) credits must meet first-year admission requirements and should demonstrate strong academic achievement in high school.

Writing Your Essay

While your academic performance is very important in the admission decision, we believe that ability, potential and success are not measured exclusively by grades. Your essay response helps round out the picture of who you are and helps the Admissions Committee better understand your potential for academic success and what you hope to gain from your Western experience. 

Transfer Essay Prompts

A response to the first essay prompt is required for most students, and you may respond to more than one if applicable. (Note: students with a college-level GPA of 3.0 or higher are encouraged, though not required, to submit an essay.) The number of questions to which you respond is up to you. 


Tell us about your educational and/or professional goals. What are you interested in studying and why? Describe any steps you've taken to prepare for your intended major, related life skills, enrichment activities, future plans, etc. In addition, feel free to address what makes Western Washington University a good match for your interests.


The optional essays provide an opportunity for you to share your interests as well as describe any special circumstances that created challenges and what you learned from those experiences.

  • Western benefits from a student body whose interests and passions extend beyond the classroom. What interests or significant activities enrich your life?
  • Describe any special circumstances or hurdles that have challenged you personally or academically, and steps you have taken to move beyond those challenges.

Essay Tips

  • Spend time reflecting before you start your application so you can compose a well-written essay that reflects you and your goals before you apply. The best college essays are those that make the reader feel like they know you, so write with authenticity.
  • Don't be shy. Applying to college is great practice for eventually applying for jobs in the "real world," where you are expected to "sell" yourself. Have you made a positive difference in the lives of others, whether in your family, community, or school? Tell us about it.
  • Express your pride and appreciation for cultural diversity and inclusion of all identities. Enthusiasm for and experience within diverse environments will be key to your success here at Western and beyond.
  • Proofread! The content of your essay is important, but so is the quality. Ask a professor, parent or friend to read through your essay, or visit the writing center at your current college. They can catch errors and provide feedback that helps you present yourself well.