Freshman Requirements

Are you a freshman?

You’re considered a freshman for admission purposes if you’re applying to WSU for the academic year immediately after graduating from high school. This includes Running Start students.

You’re also considered a freshman if you haven’t attended college since high school graduation. Your age also affects how you apply, so if you’re 25 or older, check out the adult application process below.


The state of Washington maintains the College Academic Distribution Requirements (CADRs) that all first-year students have to meet to qualify for college admission. More information on CADRs is available from the Washington Student Achievement Council.

How to Apply

1. Complete the application.The priority application date for fall semester is January 31 and November 15 for spring semester, but we accept applications throughout the year. We prefer the online application, but you can also print a copy of the admission application and return it to our office.

2. Provide your transcripts. Your high school will need to send us your official transcripts. If you have college credit through Running Start or a similar program, ask the college to send us an official transcript. Note that these are not required for an admissions decision, but will be needed if you’d like those credits counted toward your degree.

3. Submit your test scores. The testing agency will need to send your test scores: SAT (school code 4705) or ACT (school code 4482).

All credentials for admissions must be sent directly from the college, high school or testing agency to WSU Tri-Cities.

If you’re in the top 10 percent of your class or have a 3.5+ unweighted GPA, check out WSU’s assured admission program. We have a spot waiting for you.

If you were homeschooled or over the age of 25, you have other options. Please refer to the corresponding section below.

Home School Students

WSU Tri-Cities welcomes students who have received some or all of their high school education through home-based instruction. To apply you will:

  1. Complete the freshman application.
  2. Submit official test scores.
  3. Submit official transcript and an academic résumé that provides documentation of all subjects studied, including the signature of the official who’s responsible for your curriculum OR an official transcript from the GED exam.
Adult Students

You’re considered an adult student for admission purposes if you’ll be 25 years or older on your first day of classes at WSU, and have less than a year’s worth of college work to transfer.If you’ve completed a full year of transferable college work, you should follow the transfer admission requirements. Because the usual application may not tell your story — it’s been a while since high school, maybe also a while since your last college class — we ask you to provide other information and tell us a bit about your experiences since then. In addition to your application and transcripts, please also send:

  1. A resume covering the last five years; and
  2. A brief essay (no more than one page) addressing why you want to attend WSU Tri-Cities.

Get Credit for AP, IB & Running Start

WSU awards credit for Advanced Placement (AP) and  International Baccalaureate (IB) exams, as well as for Running Start and similar college-in-the-high-school programs.

AP Credit

WSU awards credit for scores of 3 or higher on College Board Advanced Placement (AP) exams. See a list of AP exam credits awarded by WSU.

IB Credits

WSU awards credit for each International Baccalaureate (IB) higher-level pass with a grade of 4 or better. See a list of IB credits awarded by WSU.

Running Start

To get credit for Washington’s Running Start or a similar program that lets you take courses for both college and high school credit, simply have an official transcript of your college-level work sent to WSU Tri-Cities. Aside from that, you’ll follow the usual steps for applying as an incoming freshman.

If you are a high school student interested in learning more about Running Start at WSU Tri-Cities, then visit the WSU Tri-Cities Running Start page.

Please note: When ordering an electronic transcript from a school that partners with e-Script Safe, National Student Clearinghouse or Parchment, DO NOT enter an email address. The partner agency will send us your transcript directly.

If your school does not partner with one of the listed agencies, request that your school mail a sealed official transcript to the address above.

Note: This is a guide to the admission process, not a statement of policy. See the WSU General Catalog for official requirements and regulations.