Direct to College Admission FAQs
Direct to College is a new admission process that assures incoming freshman students who are admitted into the College of Engineering that they can pursue an engineering degree at the UW. The changes took effect for the incoming freshman class of 2018.
April 2017 announcement
Understanding the change
What is Direct to College admission?
Direct to College admission is a restructuring of the UW processes for admitting students to engineering majors. Prospective UW freshman students who indicate an engineering major as their first choice on the admission application, will be considered for direct admission to the College of Engineering — not directly to a major. Students admitted to the college who meet minimum progress requirements will be assured of the ability to place into one of the College’s engineering majors.
Why are you changing the admission process?
We want to assure students admitted to the College of Engineering that they will be able to pursue an engineering degree at the UW. Direct to College admission will allow the college to more fully engage admitted engineering students in an immersive engineering experience from their first day on campus, while still maintaining opportunities for transfer and other UW students to pursue engineering degrees. Our students and community voiced concerns about the uncertainty of our current process for aspiring engineers, where many students are unable to declare into an engineering major after two years of study. Direct to College is a significant step to improve our students' educational experience and aligns the UW with the engineering admission process practiced by the majority of our peer institutions.
Will Direct to College improve my chance of being admitted to an engineering major?
Direct to College admission does not address our overall capacity issues — that will require additional state investment to grow our programs. It will allow us to offer more transparency and certainty to incoming UW freshmen about whether this is a place where they can pursue their passion for engineering. Applicants admitted directly to the college are assured that as long as they meet minimum progress requirements, they will be able to place into an engineering major. Applicants with a strong interest in engineering and who are not admitted directly to the college may want to consider other institutions to pursue their goals.
Who is affected by the new process?
Direct to College admission will impact students interested in engineering, beginning with the entering freshman class of 2018. The new admission process does not affect students who entered the UW before autumn 2018. For prospective transfer students, the only change in the admission process will be an earlier application deadline starting 2019.
Admitted and current UW students
Will this change impact current UW students or the incoming class of 2017?
Direct to College admission does not affect current UW students or the incoming class of 2017. Pre-engineering students entering in autumn 2017 follow the current admissions model: they complete prerequisites and have the opportunity to apply for competitive admission to engineering departments at the end of the first year and during the middle or end of the second year.
How does Direct to College admission affect transfer students?
The Direct to College process primarily impacts freshmen entering UW in autumn 2018 and beyond, and is designed to maintain the current pathway for transfer students. There is, however, one significant positive change for transfer students: starting in 2019, engineering transfer application deadlines will be earlier to allow for earlier selection and notification of applicants. Prospective transfer students will still need to submit one application to UW by the university’s deadline and, before receiving an admission decision, apply directly to the engineering department(s) of their choice.
Prospective freshmen applying to enter in 2018 and later
How do I apply for Direct to College admission?
See UW Admissions for detailed application instructions.
Generally, the process will be:
- The UW part of the Coalition application opens each year on September 1 with a deadline of November 15 for autumn quarter.
- 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.
- Decisions regarding Direct to College admission will be made via UW Admissions' holistic review process. Applicants will be notified of admission decisions in March.
If I am admitted Direct to College, can I change the major I selected on the UW freshman application?
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. All students who select an engineering major as their first choice will be considered for Direct to College admission. Students admitted Direct to College will be able to explore engineering disciplines in their first year to be able to make an informed decision about what they want to study by the time they place into a major.
If admitted Direct to College, will I be able to choose any engineering major?
Students who have completed all the course requirements for placement with at least a 2.5 GPA in those courses will be able to request placement into a major. Some majors will have more requests for placement than they can accommodate. The placement process will be facilitated to best match students with their interests. As part of an immersive first-year engineering experience, there will be many resources and opportunities for students to identify their interests and to understand multiple pathways for meeting their goals.
If I do not receive Direct to College admission, what chances do I have of being admitted later?
Some applicants who select an engineering major on their UW application will be admitted to the UW but not admitted Direct to College. Students who are not admitted Direct to College, but are admitted to the UW, will be admitted as pre-science or pre-major in the College of Arts & Sciences. If your objective is to study engineering and you did not receive Direct to College admission, it would be wise to consider other engineering schools. Admission to engineering departments is highly competitive for students not admitted directly to the College of Engineering.
If you choose to attend the UW
While you will have an opportunity to apply for admission to an engineering department at the end of your sophomore year, demand for engineering degrees far exceeds available space in classes and admission is not guaranteed. Therefore, your primary goal should be a major outside of the College of Engineering. Other majors that students interested in engineering commonly pursue at the UW include math, physics, informatics, and majors in the College of the Environment. The UW offers more than 180 majors in 68 different departments.
How will the College address diversity in this admission process?
Decisions regarding Direct to College Admissions will be made through the holistic review process completed by UW Admissions. We anticipate that the cohort of students admitted through the Direct to College pathway will mirror the diversity of the overall UW incoming freshman class. The college runs a variety of programs focused on diversity and access and will continue to support and expand these crucial programs to encourage underrepresented populations to explore engineering careers.
Why is computer science not part of this process?
At the Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science & Engineering, the Direct to College admission option will be available to students pursuing bachelor's degrees in computer engineering, which are awarded through the College of Engineering. The Allen School's computer science degree, which is awarded through the College of Arts & Sciences, will not be a part of the new Direct to College program. Instead, the Allen School is expanding its Direct to Major admissions to admit the majority of its non-transfer students directly to the Computer Science program.
We'd like to know what they are. Use this link to send us your Direct to College admission question.
Contact Engineering Student Academic Services at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 206 543-1770.