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Admission

Direct to College Admission FAQs

The Direct to College (DTC) admission process guarantees incoming students access to an engineering major and provides a robust first-year experience that facilitates exploration of our engineering disciplines.

With Direct to College admission, freshmen applicants have the possibility of being admitted directly to the College of Engineering as “Engineering Undeclared” (ENGRUD).

ENGRUD students engage in a robust first-year experience to explore all the 11 engineering major options prior to requesting placement in Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering, Bioengineering, Bioresource Science and Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Civil Engineering, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Environmental Engineering, Human Centered Design and Engineering, Industrial Engineering, Materials Science and Engineering, or Mechanical Engineering. Applicants admitted to UW as ENGRUD are assured that they will have the ability to be placed into one of the engineering majors listed above.

Admission to DTC is only available in autumn quarter.

Prospective transfer students: UW Admission

Direct to College admission does not affect the application process for transfer students. Learn more about Transfer Admissions at the College of Engineering.

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 make up a significant portion of the junior cohort across the College. We strongly encourage you to plan to apply to the UW and your major(s) of interest for the quarter in which you intend to start at UW.

Prospective freshmen: UW and DTC Admission

Generally, the process will be:

  1. The UW part of the Common App opens each year on September 1 with a deadline of November 15 for admission for the following autumn quarter.
  2. Select engineering undeclared or an engineering major (other than the Allen School’s computer engineering) as your first-choice major to be considered for Direct to College admission.
  3. Decisions regarding Direct to College admission will be made by the UW Office of Admissions via UW Admissions' holistic review process. Applicants will be notified of admission decisions to the UW and to the College of Engineering in early March.

For more detailed application instructions, see the UW Admissions page.

The College of Engineering and the Paul G Allen School of Computer Science & Engineering offer many opportunities for students interested in computer engineering. As an applicant, it is important to understand which majors to select on your application, as the majors offered by the Allen School cannot be accessed through the Direct to College admission pathway. Learn more about how you can apply by navigating to our section on “Entry to computer science and computer engineering”

The Office of Admissions uses a holistic review process that focuses on academic preparation and personal qualities and characteristics to make admissions decisions. For Direct to College admission consideration, the greatest emphasis will be placed on academic preparation. Direct to College decisions are sent with the UW admission decision by the Office of Admissions.

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 consider attending another institution as later admission into an engineering major is not guaranteed.

Congratulations! The UW is a good fit for you if you are open to exploring and learning about all of the engineering major options available. 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 pathways 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.

Admitted Direct to College: Being placed in a major

Yes! All students admitted directly to the College of Engineering will be given the status of Engineering Undeclared (ENGRUD) regardless of the engineering major selected on their application. You will not be required or expected to pursue the specific engineering major you indicated on the UW application, nor will your major of interest be used to evaluate you for Direct to College admission. If you select an engineering major (other than the Allen school’s computer engineering) as your first-choice on your application, you will be considered for Direct to College admission.

As a student admitted via the Direct to College pathway, you will explore all of the engineering disciplines in your first year to be able to make an informed decision about what you want to study by the time you request placement into a major at the end of your first year.

There is only one placement cycle at the end of a student’s first year in the UW College of Engineering, however Running Start students who have completed the application requirements and are on track to complete the enrollment requirements for their majors of interest can apply to engineering majors during their first year via the capacity constrained application process. This process is different from the placement process and thus there is no guarantee of admission to an engineering major via the capacity constrained application pathway. We have more detailed information about Running Start pathways here.

Students admitted to UW but not Direct to College

If you are admitted to the UW but not admitted Direct to College (DTC), you still have the option to apply directly to your engineering major(s) of interest via the capacity constrained application process at the end of your sophomore year. While space is anticipated to be limited in many of the engineering majors, there are certain engineering majors that have most recently been able to accommodate more non-DTC students who apply through the capacity constrained process than others. These majors include: chemical engineering, civil engineering, environmental engineering, industrial engineering, and materials science & engineering.

If you are focused on pursuing a specific field of engineering and have not been admitted to DTC, we encourage you to consider other engineering schools where you have been directly admitted to the major or college of your choice.

If you decide to attend UW without direct admission to the College of Engineering, please keep in mind that you may need to pursue a major other than engineering. The UW offers more than 180 majors in 68 different departments to consider.

 

Entry to computer science and computer engineering

Applicants who select computer science or computer engineering as their first-choice major on their UW freshman application will be considered for Direct to Major admission to the Paul G Allen School rather than Direct to College admission to the College of Engineering.

Although computer engineering is an engineering degree, it is housed in the Paul G Allen School of Computer Science & Engineering. Aligning admissions for the computer engineering and computer science majors provides greater transparency to applicants who intend to pursue either of these majors. Learn more about the Direct to Major admission process at the Allen School.

Starting autumn quarter 2022, the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering will begin a transition to offering a Bachelor of Science in Electrical and Computer Engineering degree (BSECE) rather than a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering degree (BSEE). This new degree became available for ENGRUD students to request on their Placement Request form during the placement process in spring 2022 and beyond.

This evolution of the undergraduate curriculum and the degree offerings better reflect the studies and research of ECE faculty and the direction of the field as a whole. This is particularly evident in areas such as neural engineering, sustainable energy, quantum computing, data science, photonics and nanotechnology.

Major Degree How to apply
Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) Bachelor of Science Electrical and Computer Engineering (BSECE) Direct to College
Incoming freshmen applicants select electrical & computer engineering or any engineering major (other than computer engineering) to be considered for admission.
Computer Engineering (CE) Bachelor of Science Computer Engineering (BSCompE) Direct to Major - Allen School
Incoming freshmen applicants select computer engineering to be considered for admission.
Computer Science (CS) Bachelor of Science in Computer Science (BS in CS) Direct to Major - Allen School
Incoming freshmen applicants select computer science to be considered for admission.

All of these majors offer capacity constrained admission processes that are open to all transfer students as well as current UW students who have satisfied application requirements.

Students pursuing a BSECE degree through the ECE major will focus more heavily on the physical side of computing, including hardware, circuits, signal processing and the physics underlying computation, while students enrolled in computer engineering (CompE) and computer science (CS) degrees engage more deeply with the software, algorithms and data that drive various computing applications, as well as topics such as artificial intelligence and human-computer interaction.

There is much overlap and interdisciplinary collaboration between those in ECE, CE and CS, and there are many areas of specialization a student can pursue. However, ECE is focused chiefly on the physical side of computing, while CS is focused more on software, algorithms and data. CE tends to straddle the middle, between ECE and CS disciplines.

If you are highly focused on pursuing a degree in the Allen School (computer science or computer engineering), you should select computer science or computer engineering as your first-choice to be considered for Direct to Major. This is the primary pathway for admission into the Allen School.

The University of Washington does not consider an applicant's second-choice major for admission into direct-entry majors or colleges. Applicants will only be considered for Direct to Major or Direct to College if a DTM or DTC major is their first-choice major.

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 (other than the Allen School's computer engineering), first-year experience Engineering advising, engradv@uw.edu
The Allen School Computer science and computer engineering majors Allen School undergraduate advising, ugrad-advisor@cs.washington.edu