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2021 RC Group Advising Notes

Based on a presentation presented by Kathryn Grubbs and Kim Anh Tran. View here (requires login).

Personal Information and Communication


Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act: A federal law that protects the privacy of student education records.

The University can disclose education records or Personally Identifiable Information when:

  • written consent from the student is obtained,
  • if the disclosure meets one of the statutory exemptions,
  • or if the disclosure is directory information and the student has not placed a hold on the release of directory information.

Directory Information

  • Name, address, email, etc.
  • You can refuse to release directory information.
  • Go to the Office of the Registrar via MyUW and choose ‘restrict access’ to directory information.

UW Email

  • Check spam folders frequently.
  • Don’t miss important emails from administration, professors, TAs, or RC Staff.

Preparing for Registration

Placement Exams

  • Check the appropriate website for updates.
  • Placement Exams help determine which class level is appropriate.
  • Proficiency Tests allow language requirements to be waived.
Course SubjectPlacement
MathTake the guided self-placement assessment to determine if you should take MATH 111 (Algebra with Applications), MATH 120 (Precalculus), or MATH 124 (Calculus with Analytic Geometry).
World LanguageIf starting a new language, no exam is needed. If you are continuing to learn a language, take a placement test. If you are fluent in a non-English language, take a proficiency test. See Humanities Academic Services for more information on language placement/proficiency exams.
ChemistryCan take general chemistry (introductory) and honors chemistry (assumes mastery of elementary chemistry, uses calculus). Chemistry placement exam is required, free, and online for CHEM 110 (Preparation for General Chemistry), CHEM 120 (Principles of Chemistry), CHEM 142 (General Chemistry), and CHEM 143 (Accelerated General Chemistry). You can take the placement test two times. See website for details.


  • You can earn credit by completing courses.
  • Generally, 1 credit means 1 hour in class per week.
  • Many UW courses are 5 credits (meet 5 hours per week).
  • If you take 15 credits per quarter and attend three quarters per year, you will have completed 180 credits in four years.
  • Most UW Bachelor’s degrees require 180 credits.
  • Between 12 to 18 credits costs the same for tuition.
  • College assumes you spend at least double the class time outside of class.
    • e.g. a 5 credit course would need 10 hours of work out of class per week.
  • Aim for 12-15 credits for the first quarter; you can take more later.
    • Aim for 45 credits by the end of Spring for the first year.

Degree Pyramid

 Major Coursework 
CADRsProficiency Requirements & Areas of KnowledgeMajor Exploration and Prerequisites
FreshmanWork on CADRs, general requirements, and major exploration.
SophomoreFinish CADRs and explore/prepare for major.
JuniorMostly major coursework, some general requirements.
SeniorMost work specific to major(s).

UW General Education Requirements

Areas of Knowledge (“Big Buckets”)

  • Visual, Literary, Performing Arts (VLPAs)
  • Individuals & Societies (I&S)
  • Natural World (NW)

Proficiency Requirements (more specific)

English CompositionAll students must take at least one composition class, and most majors require an application.
Quantitive/Symbolic Reasoning (QSR)Relating to math, economics, statistics.
DiversityClasses that focus on cross-cultural analysis.
Additional WritingClasses with major writing components.
World LanguageRequires students to go to the third year of the same language if it has not already been done in high school.

Honors Options

No need to worry about this in the first quarter.

  • Interdisciplinary Honors (yr 1-2)
  • Departmental Honors (yr 3-4), exists within major departments.
  • Interdisciplinary + Department Honors = College Honors; recognition that you have completed requirements for both.
  • Learn more here.

College Academic Distribution Requirements (CADR)

CADR Rules:

  • UW Academy and EEP students must finish CADR before obtaining a new major status.
  • One-year high-school course is equivalent to one 5-credit course.
  • Transition School students - TS classes count for one CADR.
  • Complete means a grade has been posted for the course. Enrollment does not mean completion.
  • All UW students must declare a major by 105 credits.

General CADR Sheet

English4 years20 creditsAny English (ENGL) Literature or Composition Course.
Math3 years15 creditsAt least the level of algebra, geometry, and 2nd-year algebra.
World Language2 years10 credits2 HS years or 2 UW quarters of the same language. (3 are needed for UW graduation.)
Social Science3 years15 creditsAny course in anthropology, economics, ethnic studies, history, international studies, philosophy, political science, psychology, or sociology.
Science (2 with lab, 1 algebra-based)2 years10 creditsCourses in chemistry, biology, physics.
Fine Arts1/2 year2 creditsCourses in art, art history, dance, drama, music, music history, architecture, literature studies, film studies.
Elective1 year5 creditsAdditional class.

CADR Deadline is the end of the summer quarter, 2023.


  • All students under 22 must submit evidence of measles, mumps immunity, and a conjugate meningitis ACWY vaccination given as age 16 or older.
  • Students will also need to verify they have been vaccinated against COVID-19 or file for an exemption.

Selecting Courses

Using MyPlan

  • MyPlan is an online tool to search for courses.
  • Search for courses
  • Plan your academic path
  • Find general educations
  • Audit your degree
  • Register for your courses

Fall Quarter Courses

All RC first-year students must:

  • enroll in FIG - first-year interest groups, small clumps of classes to support the transition into UW. You can add a class or classes.
  • enroll in GEN ST 297 A3 (Undergraduate Seminar). Small-group discussion with faculty representing a wide spectrum of academic disciplines. RC first-year seminar (1 credit, C/NC). Focus on support, connection, and faculty guest lectures. FIGs open June 28th.

Other Classes to Consider

EDUC 215: College Resilience (FIG)5Section B: Th 2:30-5:20 PM. Learning skills and resilience in college and personal life.
A World of Ideas: Collegium Seminars Faculty-led discussion-based courses for freshmen. Small class sizes, 1-2 credits, C/NC. UW faculty share their passion for subjects.
GEN ST 297 DA/DB1Exploring Majors in the Natural Sciences.
GEN ST 297 M1Intro to Careers in the Health Professions.
GEN ST 297 CA/CC1Exploring Majors in the Social Sciences.
GEN ST 297 B2Career Exploration and Planning.
GEN ST 391 I1Research Exposed!

Math Pathways

A self-assessment is recommended for entry into any math introduction series/class.

Math Introductory Pathways:

MATH 111Algebra with applications (business/econ/psych)
MATH 120Precalculus
MATH 124Calculus with Analytic Geometry
MATH 134Accelerated [Honors] Calculus
Q SCI 190Quantitative Analysis for Environmental Science
Q SCI 291Analysis for Biologists

Advice from ACADs/EEPers

  • Math in college is harder than in high school.
  • Be wise - don’t assume classes are easy. Talk to ACADs/EEPers.
  • Try the honors math sequence.
  • It’s better to review some things than take a class you’re unprepared for.
  • Take MATH 124 unless you have a very solid background in mathematics.
  • Be prepared to study no matter what, and attend lectures.

Science Pathway

Chemistry Introductory Pathways:

CHEM 110Prep for General ChemistryFor those without any chemistry background; an introduction.
CHEM 120Intro to General ChemistryMore specific focus, like MATH 111. What are majors you are considering and is CHEM 120 an option?
CHEM 142General ChemistryCan be taken after CHEM 110. Beginning of general series.
CHEM 143Accelerated General ChemistryHave a bit of general knowledge in general chemistry, want to go through the introduction series a little bit faster.
CHEM 145Honors General ChemistryComparable to MATH 134 in rigor.

Advice from ACAD/EEPERs

  • If you don’t have any HS CHemistry background, taking 142 would be a bit of a challenge.
  • If premed, take 142 unless you’ve taken AP/IB.
  • MATH 125 and CHEM 142 together are tough, though manageable. Be warned that these are known as “weedout” classes.

What about biology and physics?

  • Most students begin with math and chemistry.
  • BIO 200 requires CHEM 152.
  • PHYS 121 requires MATH 124.

Planning for Technology Majors

Check prerequisites for CS, INFO, ACMS, ENGR, PRE-HEALTH.

  • Computer Science: students interested in software systems and application design. Suitable for double majoring.
  • Computing Engineering: students interested in building systems, including hardware and software components.
  • Students working towards either degree have the same broad opportunities that the Allen School offers.

ENGR Requirement for the Fall

  • ENGR 101: Engineering Exploration. Required for all ENGR students.

Allen School Admissions

  • Students take prerequisites in their first year and apply to these majors in the summer after their first year.

Info from RC Letter

  • Most UW majors are capacity constrained; admission to UW does not guarantee admission.
  • Enrollment at UW means preparation for the possibility of pursuing a non-CS or engineering major.
  • RC staff will work to support students.
  • See RC Information on CSE Entry.

Majors and Minors

  • Double majors
  • Double degrees
  • Minors

Take a balanced schedule.

RC First Quarter Average Grades

2021-213.64 (2.23-4.00)3.79 (2.83-4.00)
2019-203.76 (3.02-4.00)3.57 (2.80-3.97)
2018-193.66 (2.93-4.00)3.76 (3.33-4.00)

First Year A&O

July 14th and 15th, 2021

Small groups will be within RC.

19AM-5PMLive and video activities
211AM-12:15PMRegistering for classes

Pause Action Steps

  1. Go to your My UW page and make your selection on Directory Release.
  2. Take a few moments to check out the placement test websites to plan for what you need to take.
  3. Think about what courses you have taken so far in HS/TS and note what CADRs you are likely to have left.
  4. Take a few moments to go over the immunization information and talk with your family to make a plan.
  5. Log into your MyPlan page and explore some of its features.
  6. Add the RC courses to your MyPlan, a CADR fulfilling course, or any other suggested courses that interest you.
  7. Add a math or science course to your MyPlan if you plan to take one in the Fall.
  8. Add ENGR 101, a computing course, or a pre-health pre-req to your MyPlan if you are intending to pursue any of those areas.