Advice for Freshmen

If needed, take your Communication-A course

Some students test out of this requirement on the English Placement Test or are exempted through a score of 4 or 5 on either of the English AP exams. Completion of a Communication-A course is a prerequisite for J201, which is a prerequisite for admission to the J-School.

Complete your math requirements

If you have an outstanding Quantitative Reasoning-A or math requirement, take the appropriate course/s (often Math 112, but there are many options) within your first two years.

Complete your foreign language requirements

If you choose to pursue a Bachelor of Science (BS) degree, you will need to complete up to the third-year level of one foreign language. If you took three years of one foreign language in high school, you have completed this requirement (one high-school year is equivalent to one university semester). If you choose to pursue a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree, you must complete up to either the fourth-year level of one foreign language, or the third-year level of one language and the second-year level of another. The latter option may be preferable if you took two or three years of a foreign language in high school but do not feel confident taking the same language at the next level of difficulty at the UW.

Don’t put off your science requirement

BA students must complete 12 credits in the sciences; BS students must take 16. You do not want to be a junior or a senior who needs to take additional science credits to finish up your degree. Take the classes early.

Take Journalism 201: Introduction to Mass Communication

J201 is a prerequisite for applying for admission to the School of Journalism and Mass Communication. This course often fills before incoming freshmen have the opportunity to register, but it isn’t essential that you get J201 during your first semester on campus. It may even be in your best interest to wait a semester as you make the transition from high school to the university. The admissions committee does look at the grade earned in J201 as part of the application review process.

Complete required introductory social science courses

The J-School requires students to take three introductory-level social science courses from an approved list. Each of the three courses must be from a different department, and one must be either a political science or economics course. These courses also count toward the Letters & Science social science requirement.

Meet with an adviser regularly

Make regular appointments with a cross-college adviser to discuss your course choices and your progress toward completing your general education requirements. Students who spend time in an advisor’s office tend to graduate on time.