Apply to the Economics Major

Application Requirements

The following materials and criteria are required for a complete application to the Department of Economics:

  1. Admission to the University of Washington
    • Eligible applicants must be accepted and be current UW students with 45 credits completed. For more information about admission to the UW as a first-year student or transfer student, see here.
    • Prospective Transfer Students: Please see an explanation regarding how your transfer application to UW is considered at MyMajor.
  2. Completion of the Prerequisite Courses
  3. A completed Undergraduate Program Application (PDF) form (download here)
    • Please download and read all form instructions carefully. Incomplete forms will not be considered.
  4. Updated UW Transcript
    • Unofficial Transcripts may be printed from the Academics tab of your MyUW. Please use the “printer-friendly” format.
    • Official Transcripts are not required.
    • If you need additional help accessing your UW Unofficial Transcript, click here for detailed instructions.
  5. Transcripts from Transfer Institutions/Colleges/Universities (for Transfer & Running Start Students)
    • Please include a transcript from your other institution(s). Unofficial Transcripts are acceptable. Official transcripts are not required.
  6. Personal Statement
    • See the personal statement prompt below.  
  7. Completion of the ECON Reading Comprehension, Critical Thinking, & Writing Skills Exam (RTW Exam).
    • Please see RTW Exam website for details.
    • We advise students to take the RTW in the same admission cycle that they are applying.
    • Students applying from the Bachelor of Arts to the Bachelor of Science do not need to retake the RTW, and may have their previous RTW score considered, if preferred.
    • RTW scores will be reported directly to the Department of Economics. Students do not need to supply their RTW score on their applications.
  8. Academic Course Planning Worksheet or Printer-Friendly Version of MyPlan
    • For those planning to pursue a double major or double degree, please submit a printout of your MyPlan, showing your quarterly plans as accurately as possible. We understand that plans are not permanent and can change, but we want all applicants to be well-aware of your academic plans, especially in regard to the UW's Satisfactory Progress Policies.

Please print and submit the complete application packet (Application Form, Transcript(s), Personal Statement, MyPlan Printout) in person to the Department of Economics (305 Savery Hall).

Interested students are also highly-encouraged to attend a Prospective Student Information Session for an in-depth look at the application & admissions process.

Please review our FAQ page before reaching out to the department with questions.

When to Apply?

Admission Cycle Deadline For admission to ECON starting...
Autumn 2nd Friday, Autumn Quarter Subsequent Winter Quarter
Winter 2nd Friday, Winter Quarter Subsequent Spring Quarter
Spring 2nd Friday, Spring Quarter Subsequent Summer or Autumn Quarter
There is NO Summer Admission Cycle during the Summer Quarter available.

Applications are due no later than 5pm on the second Friday of the quarter.

Applicants will be notified of their results by the end of the 5th week of the quarter, in time to register for the subsequent quarter.

You may refer to the UW Academic Calendar to identify when each quarter begins and when each "Second Friday" application deadline will be.

Admissions: By the Numbers

The Department of Economics is a capacity-constrained major. Meeting the basic criteria does not guarantee admission to the major.

Admission Cycle Number of Applications Received

Number of Admitted Applicants

Percentage of Applicants
Average Prerequisite*
GPA for Admits
Average Overall
GPA for Admits
Average RTW Score for Admits (1-6 scale)
Autumn 2016 179 113 63% 3.52 3.50 3.77
Winter 2017 215 133 62% 3.48 3.50 3.57
Spring 2017 224 121 54% 3.50 3.51 3.65
Autumn 2017 205 128 62% 3.55 3.50 3.44
Winter 2018 259 125 48% 3.54 3.52 3.45
Spring 2018 246 124 50% 3.58 3.55 3.54
Autumn 2018 222 115 52% 3.54 3.54 3.27
Winter 2019 246 118 48% 3.51 3.55 3.34
Spring 2019 228 110 48% 3.55 3.57 3.46

(These GPAs are averages, not cutoffs; roughly half of the students accepted to the major in Winter 2019, for example, had prerequisite and overall GPAs lower than 3.51 and 3.55, respectively. The admissions considerations are holistic. Please be aware that the admissions committee considers many factors when making its decisions, including cumulative GPA, prerequisite GPA, RTW score, the overall strength of the applicant’s academic background/transcript, and the quality of the applicant’s personal statement.)

*Prerequisite coursework included in this average are ECON 200, ECON 201, Statistics, and Math coursework. English Composition is omitted from this average.

The Personal Statement

Please submit a personal statement with your completed application. The Admissions Committee suggests you spend your time discussing some or all of the following that pertains to you:

  • Why are you interested in the Department of Economics?  What are your personal, educational, and/or career goals and how do you expect to further those by studying economics? What led you to apply to this major? If you are pursuing a double major or double degree, why are both majors important to your goals?
  • Please let the committee know if there are any circumstances that you feel the committee should know that has affected your grades/transcript.
  • Describe an experience with diversity or adversity that has had a profound effect on you.
  • If you have previously applied to the Economics major, what has improved since your previous application?

Maximum parameters: 1 single-sided page, typed & double-spaced, 12pt. Times New Roman font, with 0.5” margins.

The Personal Statement is an important piece of your application. Please be sure to address the prompt(s), and adhere to the parameters. UW has plenty of resources that can help you write a great personal statement:

The Holistic Review (i.e. How will my application be considered?)

In reviewing each application, a broad range of factors is considered. All aspects of the application are highly-considered -- Prerequisite course grades, overall academic performance, RTW exam results, and the personal statement. Each component of the application should complement each other, and showcase a student's interests and abilities toward studying economics. For example, if a student mentions high enthusiasm in learning economics, then that enthusiasm should also be reflected in the student's grades in economics coursework, as well as their result on their RTW exam, etc.

For students with credits and transcripts from other institutions, it's important for us to see a student's progress through each academic term. This is why we request for each applicant to submit a transcript for each college-level institution attended. We are aware that a "transfer credits summary" typically appears on your UW transcript. However, this does not provide us with complete information about the transfer courses taken.

This holistic approach in reviewing applications to the Department of Economics allows our program to focus beyond a few factors, and consider the applicant as a whole.

Tutoring Resources

There are a number a tutoring resources available at the UW for courses such as ECON 200, ECON 201, introductory statistics and calculus.

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