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Running Start students

Running Start is a Washington state program that allows 11th and 12th grade students to take college courses at Washington's 34 community and technical colleges. Students earn both high school and college credits for these courses.

UW Campus Aerial Photo

The information on this page is intended to support Running Start students in planning to attend and/or in making an informed decision about attending the UW College of Engineering. In some cases, engineering students with Running Start credits are able to shorten their time at UW, but timelines and pathways vary by engineering major. Please note that we anticipate that the majority of students with Running Start credits will be on a four-year timeline to graduation.

For more information about this program, visit the University of Washington's Running Start page.

Before choosing your application pathway

To learn more about your timeline and to assess your potential readiness for your engineering major(s) of interest, review the engineering major application and enrollment requirements and compare them to your completed Running Start coursework using the UW Equivalency Guide. These requirements are for the competitive application pathway and there is no guarantee of admission.


Application pathways

A) If you want to apply to be admitted to major of interest prior to starting at UW

You should follow this path if: You have completed the application requirements for your major(s) of interest by the deadlines below and you are on track to complete the enrollment requirements before your first quarter of enrollment at the UW.

While it’s rare for students to have completed all coursework to be major-ready by their first quarter at the UW, this is the only pathway where it may be possible to be on a two-year graduation plan.

If admitted to a major via the competitive application process:

If you are admitted to the UW and to DTC, and do not apply or are not admitted to an engineering major via the competitive application process, you will go through the placement request process and will likely be on a four-year graduation plan.

Note: If you are not admitted to an engineering major prior to starting at the UW, you can apply again through the competitive process during your first-year at the UW and, if admitted, it may be possible to complete your degree in three years.

B) If you want to apply to the UW but will not meet requirements to apply to major

You should follow this path if: You are looking to complete enrollment requirements for the competitive application pathway and apply to your major(s) of interest during your first-year at the UW.

Nov. 15

UW application deadline
You must 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.


Admissions decisions

You'll learn about your admissions status to the UW and Direct to College

May 1

Commitment deadline
Commit to attend the UW

If you are admitted to the College of Engineering as an Engineering Undeclared Student, you can expect to follow a similar path to the below:

Because the bioengineering and chemical engineering majors each start their seven-quarter curriculum in the spring quarter, applications are due January 15th as opposed to April 5th.

Engineering major application deadlines

Start quarter Application deadlines Majors admitting for the start quarter
Autumn April 5

Aeronautical & Astronautical Engineering
Bioresource Science & Engineering
Civil Engineering
Computer Engineering
Electrical and Computer Engineering
Environmental Engineering
Human Centered Design & Engineering
Industrial Engineering
Materials Science & Engineering
Mechanical Engineering

Spring January 15 Bioengineering
Bioresource Science & Engineering
Chemical Engineering
Computer Engineering

Beyond your application: maximizing your UW experience

Many Running Start students choose to complete four years at the UW and find they have flexibility in their academic plan due to the number of credits they brought in. We encourage you to think about your post-graduation goals to help identify how to maximize your time.


  • Interested in working for an international company after graduation? Consider studying a language.
  • Interested in attending graduate school? Explore an extended research opportunity.
  • Other opportunities could include completing a degree outside of the College of Engineering, completing a minor, participating in an extended study abroad, or completing an internship.

Your engineering adviser will help you explore these options.