News & Events

Direct to College Admission FAQs

The Direct to College (DTC) admission process reduces incoming students’ uncertainty about whether they can pursue an engineering major at the UW and assists them in thoughtfully considering all of the UW’s engineering options. The changes took effect for the freshman class of 2018.

April 2017 announcement

With Direct to College admission, freshmen applicants have the possibility of being admitted directly to the College of Engineering as “Engineering Undeclared” (ENGRUD). They engage in a robust first-year experience to explore all the engineering major options prior to requesting placement. Applicants admitted to UW as ENGRUD are assured that they will have the ability to be placed into an engineering major. Read more about placement.

Prospective transfer students: UW Admission

Direct to College admission changes how UW students are admitted to the College of Engineering but does not change the process for transfer students. The College of Engineering highly values transfer students and recognizes the unique experiences, perspectives, and backgrounds these students bring to our institution. Washington state community college transfer students will make up a significant portion of the junior cohort.

Prospective freshmen: UW and DTC admission

See UW Admissions for detailed application instructions.

Generally, the process will be:

  1. The UW part of the Coalition application opens each year on September 1 with a deadline of November 15 for autumn quarter.
  2. You must select an engineering major as a first-choice major to be considered for Direct to College admission. You will not be considered for Direct to College admission without selecting an engineering major as your first-choice major. If you do not select an engineering option and are admitted to the UW, you will not have the opportunity to apply for engineering admission until the end of your sophomore year, and admission is not guaranteed.
  3. Decisions regarding Direct to College admission will be made via UW Admissions' holistic review process. Applicants will be notified of admission decisions in March.
The Office of Admissions uses a holistic review process, focusing on academic preparation and personal qualities and characteristics. For Direct to College admission consideration, the greatest emphasis will be placed on academic preparation. Direct to College decisions are sent along with the UW admission decision. If you are not admitted Direct to College, you may still receive an offer of admission to the UW as a Pre-Major in the College of Arts & Sciences. If you are admitted as a Pre-Major to the UW and have a highly focused interest in engineering, you should strongly consider attending another institution.
The UW is a good fit for you if you are open to exploration and want to learn about all of the engineering major options. It is important that you are genuinely interested in exploring multiple engineering majors, because we cannot guarantee placement into a specific major. An immersive first-year experience offers you many resources and opportunities to explore your interests and identify avenues for meeting your goals. The UW is NOT a good fit for you if you are highly focused on only one major and not open to additional major pathways, especially if your only interest is Computer Engineering.

Admitted Direct to College: Being placed in a major

You will not be required to pursue the specific engineering major you indicated on the UW application, nor will your major choice be used to evaluate you for Direct to College admission. If you select an engineering major as your first choice you will be considered for Direct to College admission. As a student admitted Direct to College, you will be able to explore engineering disciplines in your first year to be able to make an informed decision about what you want to study by the time you place into a major.

Some majors will have more requests for placement than they can accommodate. You will be able to request placement into a major if you have completed all the course requirements for placement with at least a 2.5 GPA in those courses. The placement process will be facilitated to best match students with their interests. As part of an immersive first-year engineering experience, you will have many resources and opportunities to identify your interests and understand multiple pathways for meeting your goals.  

Students admitted to UW but not Direct to College

If you are admitted to the UW but not admitted Direct to College, it is unlikely you will be able to pursue an engineering degree. While the option exists to apply to engineering majors via the competitive pathway at the end of sophomore year, space is anticipated to be VERY limited as demand for engineering degrees far exceeds available space. If your primary objective is to study engineering, consideration of other engineering schools where you have been directly admitted to the college or major is strongly encouraged.

If you decide to attend the UW and are not admitted Direct to College, you should be prepared to pursue a major outside of the College of Engineering.

Entry to computer science versus computer engineering

The computer engineering degree is granted by the College of Engineering and is part of Direct to College admission. The computer science degree is granted by the College of Arts & Sciences and therefore is NOT part of Direct to College admission. Instead, the Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science & Engineering will continue to offer its existing Direct to Major admission pathway for computer science.

If you are highly focused on pursuing a degree in the Allen School (computer science or computer engineering), you should list computer science as your first choice to be considered for Direct to Major which is the primary pathway for majors in the Allen School. Alternatively, if you are interested in exploring engineering majors and your current first choice is computer engineering and second choice is another engineering major, you should list computer engineering as your first choice to be considered for the Direct to College admission pathway.

Additional questions?

Topic For example Contact
Direct to College admission Admission criteria, filling out your application, personal statements, timing of UW applications Office of Admissions, askuwadm@uw.edu
Engineering Engineering majors, career paths, first- and second-year experiences Engineering advising, engradv@uw.edu
The Allen School Computer science vs. computer engineering, application process Allen School undergraduate advising, ugrad-advisor@cs.washington.edu