Apply to the Communication or JPIC major

The Department of Communication offers the following programs of study for undergraduates:
The Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in Communication (COM)
The Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in Communication: Journalism and Public Interest Communication (JPIC)

Application Information for COM and JPIC

The Department of Communication accepts applications during autumn, winter, and spring quarters. Applications are always due by 5pm exactly two weeks (14 calendar days) after the first day of the quarter. The application is in a Catalyst survey – you must be logged into your UW account to access the application. Admission decisions are sent out the fifth week of the application quarter.

  1. Basic Information. This includes name, address, email, student number, COM courses taken, and grades. Please note: all applications must be submitted using UW emails. Applications will not be considered if the email used in the application is a personal email address.
  2. Transcripts. Unofficial transcripts from all institutions attended, including the UW are required to be uploaded via DropBox as part of the application.
  3. Program Interests. If you are interested in the Departmental Honors Program, student organizations, minors, and/or additional majors, please indicate so when applying so that we can help you plan out your time at the UW.
  4. Personal Statement. All personal statements must be 2,500 characters long and written about why students want to study Communication and what they would like to learn that would affect their personal, professional, or community life.
  5. Writing Sample. Communication: Journalism and Public Interest Communication applicants only. Applicants are to provide any previously published work, creative writing, or previous essays exemplify their writing capabilities.
  6. Additional Comments. If you would like to further explain any parts of your application, please use this section.

The Communication major is highly capacity-constrained. Students must complete all minimum requirements to apply and must then compete with the entire applicant pool for a limited number of spaces. This includes completing the application form by the noted deadline. Highly capacity-constrained majors have an acceptance rate of about 30% or less. We recommend that all applicants meet with their general adviser before applying to figure out other major options as well.

To be eligible to apply to the Communication (COM) major, students must meet the following prerequisite criteria, including minimum grades and the successful completion of prerequisite coursework. All criteria met guarantees eligibility, NOT admission.

To be eligible to apply to the Communication: Journalism and Public Interest Communication (JPIC) major, students must meet the following prerequisite criteria, including minimum grades and the successful completion of prerequisite coursework. All criteria met guarantees eligibility, NOT admission.

  • Minimum prerequisite grade and JPIC GPA of 2.5.
  • All applicants must be current students at the University of Washington. For more information about admission to the UW as a first-year student or transfer student, click HERE.
  • Credits completed prior to application: at least 10 UW graded, in-residence credits; no ESL credits count.
  • COM 200 must be completed prior to applying. Course cannot be in-progress during the quarter of application.

The UW Department of Communication Admissions Committee assesses applications to its major holistically. We’re looking for students who contribute to the Department in important ways, and who would benefit from the opportunities we have available. We encourage you to use the application to share how the major is important to you. The Department bases its considerations on the full application, but the following categories are the primary means through which we evaluate your potential:

  • Cumulative GPA as well as prerequisite and course-specific grades, with emphasis on grades received in COM 200 and any 200-level COM courses.
  • A personal essay response to the following prompt: “What would you like to learn as a major that would affect your personal, professional, or community life? Please cite specific examples from the Communication courses you’ve already taken. Let the committee know if there are any circumstances that have affected your application or grades, and if you have previously applied to the Communication or JPIC major, what has improved since your last application.” This essay has a 2,500-character limit and is assessed on three criteria on a scale of 1-5, with 1 being the lowest and 5 being the highest:
    • 1) Relevance: Does the student answer the prompt by citing ways in which the major would affect their life and vice versa?
    • 2) Originality: Is the response thoughtful?
    • 3) Depth: Does the student support the position with information, details, reasons, or examples?
  • A strong writing sample that shows the student’s writing capabilities. (Communication: Journalism and Public Interest applications only)

APPLICATIONS (click on links below)

Applications for the Communication and Journalism and Public Interest Communication majors are online and available the first two weeks of autumn, winter, and spring quarters (Autumn 2020 applications are due Wednesday, October 14 at 5:00 p.m.).

Appeals procedure

To appeal an admissions decision from the Department of Communication, email a statement of no more than 300 words that outlines why you are appealing. Appeals should be received no more than one week after the initial decisions are delivered and you will receive a response within 10 days. These statements are reviewed by the undergraduate program coordinator and the Department chair (or her appointee), who make a final decision about admission. In the appeal review, the Department considers only a) additional information that was not available at the time of the initial application, or b) correction of material error in the original application. Please be as specific as possible about why we should reverse our admissions decision. Appeals can be emailed to Undergraduate Program Coordinator Caley Cook at