Current Students

Direct to College (DTC) - in process of updating

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 take effect for the incoming freshman class of 2018.

We are in the process of updating our website to reflect the changes. For details, see:

April 2017 announcement  Direct to College FAQ

Writing Your Personal Statement

The personal statement that you submit as part of your application is your opportunity to present a richer characterization of yourself than what your transcripts can capture.

Department-specific Questions

Each department that you apply to has provided a prompt (on the application form) that you should respond to with your personal statement. Be sure to address the topics in the prompt but also consider ways in which you can set yourself apart from other candidates.

Writing a Well Crafted Statement

As you write your personal statement, Ask yourself this important question: “What evidence can I provide to the admissions committee that I will be successful as an engineering student in their department?” To answer that question, you must also answer the more basic question, “What do the faculty believe are the qualities of a successful engineering student?” There is certainly a long list of attributes that would answer this question. Your personal statement should highlight the characteristics on that list that you most closely identify with, and that your experience can support.

We encourage you to take the time to write a well crafted personal statement. Such a statement demonstrates proper grammar, a logical organization, college-level language and vocabulary, and even a touch of creativity.

  • Start early.
  • Write an outline, then write your first draft.
  • Read your drafts out loud to yourself. Or ask your friends to read them.
  • Visit a writing center on campus.

All of these activities take time, which is a scarce resource in the middle of the quarter when you are busy with your courses. But the effort you invest could make a crucial difference in the impact of your application.

Avoid “Cute” or “Cliché” Descriptions of Your Motivation and Interests

Every year the faculty on the admissions committee read about Legos in the personal statements of several applicants. Many students who pursue engineering enjoyed playing with Lego bricks as children (and maybe even still do). Perhaps you look back at your enjoyment of Legos as an early indicator that you were “meant to be an engineer” but the faculty likely do not believe that a student's attraction to playing with plastic blocks has any correlation with their potential success as engineers.