Spring 2020

Welcome to what is, so far, a very difficult and unusual Spring! I hope this newsletter finds everyone well. I am inspired and grateful to see all of us working together to support our students and each other as we are. Thanks to all for the innovation and can-do spirit!

This newsletter features several outstanding transfer student profiles, articles and updates and changes within various UW campuses, Colleges, Schools and Departments. I hope you enjoy and find all of the submissions informative.

The Office of Admissions tells us that they are still planning to admit about the same number of transfer students for Summer and Autumn as we have in the past. We are looking forward to Transfer Advising and Orientation (the virtual version) starting up in the near future. Current transfer students are settling in to life at UW and their majors, while others are preparing to graduate. 

Thanks to all who supported our efforts and participated in our very first online UWCC Advising Conference on April 17th. We had over 180 participants in a three hour Zoom format. We hope it was a good experience for all! If you missed it this year, or want to check out information from past conferences, follow the link to the website, above.  

Here's to a safe, healthy and productive finish to Spring quarter!

—Tim McCoy

Update: Department of Mathematics: College of Arts and Sciences

Replacement/Alternative to Math Placement Test

The UW-Seattle Department of Mathematics has been working for some time now on a replacement/alternative to the Math Placement Test.  We are very happy to announce that we are moving to a Guided Self-Placement (GSP).  The Math Placement Test is no longer used as a prerequisite for Math 111, Math 120 or Math 124.

Guided Self-Placement, is online, free for students and only for MATH 111, MATH 120 and MATH 124.  All other courses will require the current listed prerequisites.  The GSP asks questions about math course history, asks the student to self-administer an assessment depending on the class they wish to take and then tells them which course we recommend based on how many questions they could answer.  The assessment for each course is a true baseline of knowledge for that specific course.  Students who cannot answer most or all of the questions on the assessment should strongly consider a different math course or contact advising@math.washington.edu if they are unsure what to do next.  Our goal is to help our students be in charge of making their own educational decisions, while providing an accessible assessment to all.

The Math Department has removed all prerequisites for MATH 111, MATH 120 and MATH 124 effective Summer 2020.  Students are not mandated to take the GSP before they register for a course, but it is highly encouraged.  Registered students will receive reminders throughout registration periods, including by their instructors the first day of the quarter.  Students preparing to take these classes, should still take standard math course offerings such as Algebra, Pre-Calculus or Calculus at their high school or community college.  The GSP assessments will expect a strong foundation in these areas depending on the course the student is wanting to take. 

We have a draft version available for students needing to register for Summer or continuing students for Autumn.  We are asking any incoming students to wait until June to access the GSP.  Questions can always be directed to advising@math.washington.edu.

Student Profile: James Alexander, Department of Geography: College of Arts and Sciences

Now nearing graduation, James Alexander spent time at four-year universities and Tacoma Community College before finding the rigorous academic environment he was seeking at UW Seattle. Here, James details his pathway to UW to study geography, and shares advice for prospective transfer students to make the most of a UW education.

On deciding to attend UW: “Before going to college, I enlisted and served for 8 years in the Army. My time in service brought me many wonderful experiences, things that I thought I would never do or see, became my reality. After a few promotions and some luck, I was tested with a job, the position of Brigade Master Gunner. This was the first time that in my career I was given an office and was not in a direct leadership position. My job was to oversee training and approve range requests. Part of the range approval process is getting my analog schema digitally safety approved. Approval is conducted using proprietary geographic mapping software. The use of the terminal based software is highly classified and restricted to only a few highly trained technical experts, I came to UW Geography to use that software. Once I saw how powerful the tool was, I knew I had to find a program that could credential my use. I came to this program on purpose because I compared this program against national competition and in every metric, UW came in the top 3. Once I got to UW the exposure to opportunities, based on my undergraduate education alone, solidified that the choice I made was worth it.” To read about James’s genealogical geography research project at UW, making connections between the classroom and real-world impacts, please visit the Department of Geography website.

Advice for transfer students: “The faster you can take upper division courses the better your access to career opportunities. Take multiple career workshops and use the resources on campus to your advantage… From my experience, the advantage that taking 300 and 400 level classes gives you is a more rigorous and rewarding academic experience. These classes are more difficult but the student size plus the TA make learning in the class enjoyable. Smaller class sizes and dedicated office hours also give you a touch point with an expert in geography. Professional development courses are vital for building a resume but also in learning from alumni and hearing what other students in our cohort are experiencing.

“I did not feel prepared for academic life at UW as a transfer student. My first two semesters I isolated my geography prerequisites with other institutional credits that I needed (English and VLPA), this allowed me to focus on doing the best I could in the required courses for my major. Without doing this I would have been unsuccessful due to the adjustment. To help adjust I sought out my resources, a librarian to help with research and CSSCR helped with all my tech needs.”

Updates: Health Informatics and Health Information Management: School of Public Health 

Health Informatics and Health Information Management (HIHIM) Updates

In this time of COVID 19 we have become more aware than ever before about the need for accurate medical records, data and disease tracking.  Health Informatics and Health Information Management https://www.healthinformationmanagement.uw.edu
 maybe a major to consider if students are looking for a healthcare career with the potential to use leadership, medical knowledge, data and research skills.  This degree completion program requires 90 transferable credits with pre-requisites of statistics and anatomy and physiology.  Medical terminology, previously required as a pre-requisite will now be incorporated into the major.

Capstone projects have included:  

1. Evaluating modern medical research trends to integrate into a health benefit plan which included identifying  trends, specify data points, and gathering  data to support recommendations; drafting test cases. 

2. Identifying a population segmentation process and creating a uniform classification scheme working alongside the nursing staff to devise a population segmentation plan.

3. Assisting  with expanding a healthcare quality program into the Alaska market which included researching  potential    customers, facilities and healthcare networks across Alaska.

4.Data access metrics and  dashboard development which involved researching and implementing data management policy and processes related to centralized data access control; developing a dashboard that illustrates ongoing process quality and performance metrics.

Interested students can attend one of the monthly information meetings or schedule an individual advising appointment.

Food Systems, Nutrition, and Health: School of Public Health-Capstone

The first graduates of the Food Systems, Nutrition, and Health Major are now completing their capstone, the culminating academic endeavor for the major. The capstone emphasizes systems thinking, community-engaged scholarship, and opportunities for the class to grapple with real-world, complex issues across the food system.

Each student team is working on a project that relates back to the overarching theme of food system resiliency. This inaugural theme highlights the need and opportunity to better understand and plan for disruptions, shocks, and uncertainty in the food system.

Like what we are experiencing now in our community as a result of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, the food supply chain in cities and regions is impacted and that has implications for community nutrition and health. By focusing on resiliency, students learn about how the system and its component parts can adapt to anticipate, absorb, accommodate, or recover from such impactful events. 

Students are collaborating with Black Farmers Collective, Business Impact NW, City of Seattle Farm to Table Program, Farmstand Local Foods, King County Department of Natural Resources and Parks, Nourish for Life, PCC Farmland Trust, Tilth Alliance, University District Food Bank, Viva Farms, and Washington Young Farmers Coalition. 

Get More Information About the Food Systems Major

Updates: Milgard School of Business: UW-Tacoma

The Milgard School of Business at UW Tacoma offers a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration degree with options in Accounting, Finance, Management, Marketing, and General Business as well as specialized minors in Business Data Analytics and Corporate Responsibility.


In Winter 2020 our new minor in Business Data Analytics became official! This minor helps students in any major understand how to interpret and analyze data as well as utilize it for strategic business decision making and problem solving. Student take classes in data management, predictive analytics, and business intelligence plus interdisciplinary electives in areas including computer science, engineering, IT, math, healthcare leadership, GIS, urban studies, as well as business. Our social media analytics class has been very popular!



Our Autumn 2020 application remains open through July 1. Students completing business prerequisites by the end of spring or even summer quarter are encouraged to apply.


Due to the complex situation we are facing from COVID-19, until further notice, the UW Tacoma Milgard School of Business will offer three options for the WSA admissions requirement:

  1. Writing Skills Assessment (taken within the last two years)
  2. TOEFL/IELTS score (F-1 visa holders and select domestic students only; taken within the last two years)
  3. Combination of English composition course prerequisite and the Personal Statement


Milgard’s Winter 2021 application will open September 1 and the deadline is October 15.

Students first apply to transfer to UW Tacoma and then second apply to the Milgard School of Business.


On January 31, Milgard hosted the 14th annual Social Responsibility Case Competition for UW Tacoma students. Teams of 3-4 students presented their corporate responsibility recommendations relating to expansion, automation, and employee retention to &pizza, a fast casual pizza restaurant chain. The top three teams earned cash prizes and the winning team represented UW Tacoma at the international Milgard Invitational Case Competition on Social Responsibility, sponsored by Microsoft, February 28. The winning team included a Running Start student from Pierce College and a transfer student from Tacoma Community College!


Heidi Norbjerg

Undergraduate Recruiter & Advisor

Milgard School of Business

University of Washington Tacoma



New Humanities Advising Center in the College of Arts and Sciences

If you’re coming to UW to study with one of our 12 humanities departments, or if you’re thinking about adding a humanities subject to your current UW program, then we have some exciting news: starting this July, we’re going to be opening a brand-new Humanities Academic Services (HAS) center in Padelford Hall. HAS will serve as a dedicated space for helping humanities undergrads make the most of their experience at UW, and we’ll be ready to help students with everything from degree planning and pre-career advising to scholarships, study abroad, networking, and more. More details about HAS will be coming soon, but for now, you can reach out to has-center@uw.edu if you have questions.

Live Your Passion: UW Bachelor of Arts in Social Welfare: School of Social Work


"Transferring to UW has given me the opportunity to grow as a person, as a student, and as a professional...being a Husky has opened so many doors in my career and I couldn't be more proud of how much I achieved!"

- Nadia, UW BASW Senior

Bellevue College Transfer Student

Live Your Passion: UW Bachelor of Arts in Social Welfare

The University of Washington School of Social Work (Seattle) offers exciting Bachelor of Arts in Social Welfare (BASW) and Master of Social Work (MSW) degrees, as well as a PhD in Social Welfare. Our diverse alumni ignite social change as mental health counselors, human rights activists, community organizers, nonprofit leaders, school social workers, policy advocates, immigrant & refugee allies, child welfare specialists, and more.  Social workers help people and enhance the quality of life for all – especially those who are most vulnerable.  Passionate about social justice and effecting change, they fight oppression and inequity.  Social workers employ a uniquely holistic, strengths-based, person-in-environment approach.

The Bachelor of Arts in Social Welfare (BASW) serves as an excellent foundation for aspiring leaders, helpers, innovators, community organizers, and social service professionals, giving students skills to work with clients individually, with groups and families, or on a macro policy level. As a professional degree, we support students to develop skills and values that prepare them for successful careers as social workers. Our program emphasizes social justice and supports students to develop a critical lens on human behavior and social systems. UW BASW students develop skills as change agents, while gaining real world experience through service learning and practicum placements in addition to rigorous classroom education on social work practice and theory.

Connect With Us!

• Join our advisor and prospective student mailing list

• E-mail sswinfo@uw.edu with questions, or to schedule an advising appointment

• Explore socialwork.uw.edu

 Bachelor of Arts in Social Welfare (BASW)

  • BASW applicants are admitted only once per year, to begin in September only; two-years, 67 credits, cohort model
  • Fall 2021 BASW departmental application will be available in February 2021 (April 15th deadline)
  • Prospective UW transfer applicants must also submit a UW transfer application (earlier deadline)
  • Minimum of 65 college credits must be completed by start of BASW program, as well as prerequisites
  • Earning a BA in Social Welfare provides future MSW applicants with hands-on, relevant human service experience (practicum)


BASW Eligibility

BASW graduates are eligible (if additional requirements are met) to apply to a competitive 10-month, accelerated Master of Social Work (MSW) Advanced Standing program. While many pursue the Advanced Standing MSW, others apply to graduate programs in law, public health, public policy, etc. and to Master of Social Work programs nationwide. BASW graduates also pursue immediate employment at social service agencies, nonprofits, community based organizations, etc. before returning to earn an MSW that advances skills and careers.

BASW Application

The departmental application for Autumn 2021 admission to the Bachelor of Arts in Social Welfare (BASW) major at UW Seattle opens in February 2021, with an April 15 deadline to apply. Explore the Apply to BASW page for prerequisite information and details, including important information for prospective UW transfer applicants; two applications are required from transfer applicants, including a UW transfer application.

Master of Social Work (MSW)

Already have a Bachelor’s degree? Apply to our Master of Social Work (MSW) program!  Autumn 2021 MSW applications will be available in September, our for our 11-month full time and new 17-month part-time MSW Advanced Standing programs (BASW required), as well as our 2 year full-time MSW Day and 3 year part-time MSW Extended Degree programs (all majors are eligible and welcome; an undergraduate degree in social work/social welfare is not required for the MSW Day or MSW Extended Degree programs). The GRE is not required. Full-time MSW concentration areas include Clinical Social Work, Community Centered Integrative Practice, and Administration & Policy Practice.

Enhance Your Worldview with a New Language This Fall!: Scandinavian Studies Department: College of Arts and Sciences

Dear New Huskies 2020:

We would like to welcome you to UW, and encourage you to travel virtually in the language classroom this fall!  The Scandinavian Studies Department offers several beginning language courses, including Danish, Estonian, Finnish, Latvian, Lithuanian, Norwegian, and Swedish! 

These Nordic and Baltic cultures are at the forefront of design, technology, responsible environmental practices, gender equality, and social welfare.  Earn VLPA credit or fulfill your language requirement. Our first-year language courses are offered in a sequence, so register for the first course in the fall quarter.  Check out the course syllabi on MyPlan! Contact scandadv@uw.edu if you have any questions.

Student Profile: Caroline Witek: Bachelor of Science in Environmental Engineering (BSENVE): Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Area of interest: Sustainability

Year: Junior

Hometown: Bainbridge Island

Transferred from: California Polytechnic State University


Why did you choose engineering?

Growing up, I was involved in Girl Scouts of Western Washington, which fostered a huge love of the environment and helping people. As someone who was also always more interested in STEM classes (and wanting to represent more women in STEM), environmental/civil engineering always seemed like a good fit.

How would you describe the transition to UW?

I transferred to UW from Cal Poly this last autumn quarter (Fall 2019) at the beginning of my junior year. The biggest change for me was the urban environment and huge campus population. What really helped me feel more at home was the small class sizes and involving myself in University Chorale, UW’s auditioned undergraduate choir comprised of about 60 singers.

What do you enjoy most about the CEE program?

What I really enjoy is the small class size and the junior year structure where most of the classes I’m taking are with my cohort of other BSENVEs. It’s really nice to have a set group of students interested in the same things who are in pretty much all the same classes. We have a Facebook group chat and it’s always easy to reach each other for group projects or other collaboration. The small class size also helps me feel like I actually get to know all my professors.

Have you participated in any internships?

I’m very fortunate to have the opportunity to intern with Seabold Engineering this summer, a very small engineering consultant on Bainbridge Island that works on designing sustainable engineering solutions for everything ranging from small single family projects to apartment and subdivision projects. I’m still working out the details of exactly what I’ll be doing with them, due to COVID-19. Currently we’re discussing a part time schedule and probably a lot of AutoCAD design work.

What is your dream job?

I’m not 100% sure what area of environmental engineering I want to pursue yet, but for now I’m thinking I would love to work in a public sector job where I can apply engineering principles to ensure human quality of life and the lowest possible environmental impacts.

Any advice for prospective transfer students?

My advice would definitely be to get as involved as you can, and try to interact with as many people as possible. A lot of the orientation content is more focused on incoming freshmen, so don’t let the few transfer specific events pass you by. Also, be ready to talk to your advisor a LOT. Transfer credit can be difficult to get evaluated and don’t be afraid to ask a lot of questions and bug your advisor to make sure you know what you need credit for and what’s transferring over (thanks Brian and Charlotte in CEE advising!).