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 designed to support 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 first year students, Academy students participate in Summer Advising and Orientation Sessions (A&Os), where they are introduced to campus resources, learn about undergraduate requirements, and register for their first classes.  Prior to these sessions, 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 A&O for RC students usually takes place during mid 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 an off campus social event in mid-September where students meet members of their cohort, Academy student mentors, and UW Academy staff. In the days following this event, students attend workshops on college success skills led by Academy staff and students.

Fall Bridge

Bridge continues into Fall Quarter with 1-2 required courses: the RC 1st year seminar and First-Year Interest Group (FIG) options.  The RC 1st year course is a weekly seminar, designed specifically for first-year RC students, that introduces them to academic disciplines, university resources, and gives them a chance to build community.  Alongside this course, our students may decide to take part in a FIG course.  Students may either take one of the general FIGs or will enroll in an Engineering FIG (E FIG) if they plan to pursue majors in the College of Engineering.  The goal of these 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 academic skills.

University 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 can take 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 can also take Honors courses without being a member of an Honors Program, as spaces are available.

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

"I joined the UW Academy for the greater lifestyle independence as well as the academic rigor and depth that the university offers."
- Alice Xing, UW Academy Student