Admission

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.

Starting with the autumn 2021 University of Washington freshman application cycle, computer engineering will no longer be accessible through the Direct to College admission pathway. Instead, students with a specific interest in studying computer science or computer engineering should select one of those majors on their application in order to be considered for the Direct to Major pathway into the Paul G Allen School of Computer Science & Engineering. Learn more about the changes.

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

These students will 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 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.

Prospective transfer students: UW Admission

Direct to College admission changes how freshmen 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. Learn more about Transfer Admissions.

Prospective freshmen: UW and DTC Admission

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 the following autumn quarter.
  2. You must select an engineering major, other than computer engineering, or engineering undeclared as your first-choice major to be considered for Direct to College admission. If you do not select an engineering major, other than computer engineering or engineering undeclared as your first choice, you will not 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 in March.

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

Students with a specific interest in studying computer engineering or computer science should select one of those majors as their top choice on their application in order to be considered for the Direct to Major pathway into the Paul G Allen School of Computer Science & Engineering. Learn more.

Starting with the autumn 2021 University of Washington freshman application cycle, computer engineering will no longer be accessible through the Direct to College admission pathway. Therefore, students who select computer engineering on their application will not be considered for Direct to College admission.

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

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

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 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.

While you will be able to request placement in any engineering major except for computer engineering (see What if my top choice is Computer Engineering for more information), some majors will have more requests for placement than they can accommodate. If a major is over-requested, all students who requested that major will be evaluated to determine placement. Your evaluation for placement is based on a combination of: your academics (rigor of curriculum, grade trends, GPA, etc.), your personal statement, and your resume.

If your first choice program is full, we will try to place you into your second choice program, and if that’s full, we’ll look at your third choice, etc. As part of your immersive first-year engineering experience, you will have many resources and opportunities to identify your interests and understand multiple pathways for meeting your goals.

There is only one placement cycle at the end of a student’s first year at the UW, 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 via the competitive application pathway. Do note that there is no guarantee of admission to an engineering major via the competitive application pathway. Learn More.

Students admitted to UW but not Direct to College

If you are admitted to the UW but not admitted Direct to College, there is a great deal of uncertainty about your likelihood of being admitted to an engineering major later via the competitive application pathway. Engineering majors that have recently had some capacity in previous application cycles are chemical engineering, civil engineering, environmental engineering, and materials science & engineering. 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. UW offers more than 180 majors, including many science, technology, health and environment programs outside of the College of Engineering. For more information, visit Majors at UW.

Entry to computer science and computer engineering

Effective for the freshmen class of 2021, applicants who select Computer Engineering as their first choice major on their UW freshman application will be considered for Direct to Major (DTM) admission in the Paul G Allen School instead of Direct to College (DTC) 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 Direct to Major Applications.

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

If you select computer engineering as your first choice major and a different engineering major as your second choice, you will ONLY be considered for Direct to Major (DTM) admission in the Paul G Allen School. Second choice majors are not considered for direct to major programs, like business, computer science or engineering.

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 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