In being admitted to the UW Academy, students begin their careers as full University of Washington students.  In their first year, the UW Academy provides a number of programs built to ease the transition to college life, and to give students the skills they will need to meet their goals at the university.

Summer Group Advising

Like all UW freshmen, Academy students participate in Summer Advising and Orientation Sessions, where they are introduced to campus resources, learn about undergraduate requirements, and register for their first classes.  During this time, the UW Academy supplements their experience with group advising sessions, and works with First Year Programs to help students plan out their first quarter.  UW Freshman Orientations usually take place during early July.

Summer Bridge

The Academy begins in earnest with the Bridge Program, which is designed to ease the transition from 10th grade to university. Bridge begins with Academy Camp, an overnight retreat to Camp Indianola in mid-September where students meet members of their cohort, older Academy students, and UW Academy staff. In the days following camp, students attend workshops on college success skills led by Academy staff and students.

Fall & Winter Bridge

Bridge continues into Fall Quarter with two required Academy courses: ACAD197 and ENGL199.  ACAD197 is a weekly seminar, designed specifically for Academy students, that introduces interdisciplinary thinking in the sciences and university-level coursework.  Linked to this course, ENGL199 introduces students to the standards of college composition, giving them an opportunity to hone the skills they will need to succeed in many of their undergraduate classes.  The goal of the Academy courses is to provide students with a common experience and an opportunity to bond as a group while also helping them to develop college-level writing, reading, and discussion skills. The professors who teach the Academy classes enjoy working with bright young students, and they work closely with Academy staff to understand students’ needs and requirements.

In the Winter, students have the option to enroll in ACAD198, a weekly seminar designed to help them “make the most” of their university experience.  In this graded course, taught by the Academy Director, students are given the opportunity to investigate potential majors in a structured environment amongst their peers.  They learn about campus resource centers and opportunities such as undergraduate research and international study. They also work with their instructors to craft personal statements and resumes which will help them to apply for these opportunities in the future.

College Schedule

In their first quarter at UW, most students will take between 12-15 credits, meaning they will be in class 12-15 hours per week.  12-15 credits is usually achieved by taking 3-4 total classes.  While new students may think they will have more free time during their day, part of the adjustment to college is understanding that most of your learning and work happen outside of class time.  Students should consult with advisers when planning their class schedules and keep in mind that a college schedule will look quite different from what a student experienced in high school.


Academy students have regular required advising appointments with the Robinson Center’s Academic Counselor throughout their first and second years at the UW. In addition, social programming is offered to encourage community both within the first year cohort and among Academy cohorts.


The UW Academy has a unique relationship with the UW Honors Program, which provides three distinct Honors degree options for UW — and Academy — students. We encourage all students to determine for themselves which, if any, Honors track is the best “fit” for them and their interests, and to make the decision to apply with a full understanding of their options. Both Robinson Center and Honors Program advisers are available to help students navigate these choices.

In their first year, Academy students are given the opportunity to sample the multi-disciplinary seminar-style courses offered through the Interdisciplinary Honors Program. At the end of their first year, Academy students may apply to the Program via the second year application process.

Many of our students also decide to pursue a second Honors track – Departmental Honors – which they apply for once they have declared their majors in their second or third year.

The third Honors option available to Academy students is College Honors, which is the completion of both Interdisciplinary Honors and Departmental Honors requirements.

Academy students may also be able to take certain Honors courses without being a member of an Honors Program, which is a great opportunity for students who are looking for advanced, rigorous coursework in one particular discipline but aren’t interested in completing an entire Honors curriculum.

For more information about the Honors Program at the University of Washington, check out their website.