Requesting placement into a major
ENGRUD students request placement in an engineering major at the end of their first year. To request placement, complete a Placement Request form in MyENGRUD that will ask for:
- Ranked list of engineering majors of interest
- Short answer responses
Read more: Resume
Once the placement request form is open, upload a pdf version of your one-page resume. Your resume should provide a concise summary of your education, skills, experiences, accomplishments, and interests. The information in your resume will be used in combination with your responses to the short answer questions to inform a holistic assessment of factors such as demonstrated contributions to community, school, or family; demonstrated creativity, talent, or skill; commitment to work or extracurricular activities; and increasing levels of responsibility and leadership.
Need help with your resume? The Career Center @ Engineering provides career coaching and guidance, including resume resources.
Read more: Short answer prompts
The College of Engineering is a community of innovators that seek to contribute to the social good and a better world. The College wants to understand your interests in engineering, how you’ve explored those interests, and what your experience has been like since you applied to UW. Please reflect on the time since you’ve applied to the UW to respond to the following short answer prompts.
- Discuss at least three (3) majors you considered requesting placement into, including specific reasons why these majors are of interest to you. How have the experiences you’ve had in this past year enhanced your understanding of these majors? How has this exploration informed your major rankings?
- Tell us more about your personal and academic journey over the past year. You are more than your transcript. We are seeking to understand how you have grown and/or demonstrated resilience. Please provide us with the missing context about how you experienced your first academic year at the UW using ONE of the two prompts below.
- What have you learned about yourself and how have you responded and adapted?
- What changes or challenges (positive or negative) have you been experiencing, and how have you responded and adapted?
Frequently asked questions
As an ENGRUD student, you have an assigned engineering adviser who is your point-person for help navigating your educational journey — including placement — at the UW. If you’re not sure who your adviser is, log in to MyENGRUD to find out.
While Direct to College admission allows the College to assure you that you will be able to pursue an engineering degree, interest in some majors will exceed capacity. Therefore, it is not possible to assure that all students will be placed into their top choice major. The following FAQs provide additional details on how the process works.
Approaches and timing for requesting placement
Do I have to request placement at the end of my first year?
Yes. If you’d like to pursue an engineering major, you’ll need to complete the placement requirements and request placement at the end of your first year. The second-year curriculum varies fairly significantly across engineering majors. Placement at the end of the first year ensures that you will be able to progress with an intentional academic plan to stay on a four-year graduation timeline and be ready for junior-level, major-specific coursework.
Can I go through the placement process before the end of my first year if I have finished the placement requirements early and/or have a lot of transfer credits?
If you are an ENGRUD student who matriculated in 2020 and beyond, you will participate in a single placement cycle in the summer after your first year.
Alternatively, if you already have a large number of credits that are engineering-specific/relevant (around 90+, typically not just AP or IB), you can choose to go through the capacity constrained pathway. Admission to a major through this route is not guaranteed. Being admitted through the capacity constrained pathway means that you are able to start the junior-level curriculum in your second year at the UW.
If you think this may apply to you, reach out to your adviser to discuss further. For more information on this pathway, see “What is the capacity constrained pathway,” below.
I arrived at the UW with college credit (e.g. Running Start, AP, IB); where can I ask someone about which classes to take?
The engineering advisers are your best resource to understand the credits you brought in and how that may affect your academic planning. Advisers are available for 10-minute quick question sessions or for 30 minute scheduled appointments. You can email firstname.lastname@example.org for help scheduling.
What if I don’t know which majors I want to request placement into? How do I decide which program is best for me?
There are many factors and experiences to consider as you make a decision about which majors to request placement into. While this is an important initial decision in your academic career, your education and career exploration process is a journey, not a one-time choice. As you learned through your experience in your E-FIG, engineering is a highly interdisciplinary field and many of the engineering majors available at the UW can lead to similar career goals.
If you need help thinking through your next steps, set up an appointment to meet with your assigned engineering adviser and reflect on which courses you’ve found most engaging so far. More opportunities to gain perspective to help you move forward in your decision-making process include:
- Schedule an appointment with a career coach in the Career Center at Engineering.
- Get involved in a club or student competition group.
- Talk to continuing engineering students.
- Stop by an engineering faculty member’s office hours.
- Review our departments’ websites and note their areas of research.
- Review the sample four year plans to learn more about the classes that are required of upper-division students in the major.
- Check out LinkedIn to see what alumni from the various engineering majors are up to.
- Check out where College of Engineering alumni go after graduation.
There is no one “right” major. All engineering majors at the UW lead to successful and varied career opportunities.
How would I list a non-engineering major as one of my potential majors?
The placement process is specific to majors within the College of Engineering. If you would like to explore transitioning to a major at the UW outside of the College of Engineering, you will need to follow that department’s process for admission to that major.
Am I required to rank a minimum number of majors when submitting a placement request?
Although you are not required to rank a minimum number of majors, we strongly recommend that you rank at least five majors in order to guarantee placement. If you rank fewer than five majors and all of your ranked majors reach capacity, you will be asked to rank the majors with remaining capacity in a second round of placement.
What do I need to do to guarantee that I will be placed into an engineering major?
To guarantee placement, you must:
- Complete the placement requirements.
- Have a 2.00 UW ENGRUD grade point average (GPA) or above.
- Earn a minimum 2.0 grade in each placement requirement.
- Rank at least five majors.
If I rank multiple majors on my Placement Request Form, will I hear back from each engineering major and then be able to choose my placement?
No, you will be placed into your highest ranked major with capacity.
What is the capacity constrained pathway?
The capacity constrained pathway is intended primarily for prospective transfer students or current UW students who are not ENGRUDs and discovered an interest in engineering after they started at the UW. The capacity constrained pathway may also be appropriate for ENGRUD students who brought in a large number of credits (around 90 credits or more; usually not just AP or IB) that are generally engineering-specific/relevant.
Applying through the capacity constrained pathway means that, if admitted, students would be able to start the junior-level curriculum in their second year at the UW. This pathway has more robust eligibility requirements, different application timelines, and a different application portal than the placement process. If an ENGRUD student applies via the capacity constrained pathway and is not offered admission they will remain an ENGRUD student and can still go through the placement process at the end of the year. Students who think this may apply to them are encouraged to meet with their adviser for further guidance.
Is there anywhere I can find a "smart form" that shows what engineering majors I’m eligible for besides running a degree audit via DARS in MyPlan for each individual major?
Yes! ENGRUD students can see how their completed and in-progress courses apply to the placement requirements for the different engineering programs by logging into their MyENGRUD account and scrolling to the bottom of the page to see the Major Eligibility table.
Does it matter if I submit the placement request right before July 1st or at an earlier date?
No. There is no preference given to students based on the time/date of submission. The July 1st 5:00 p.m. PDT deadline is firm so be sure to give yourself time to allow for any technical difficulties.
Do placement requirements completed over summer count towards my placement request?
You should always plan to complete the placement requirements by the end of your first year. However, if you started in Math 120 or Chem 110, or need more time to complete the requirements, you will be able to submit a petition to request conditional placement.
Petitions to request conditional placement will be approved on a rolling basis as they are received. If you are placed in a major, placement will be conditional until the missing placement requirement(s) have been completed. Many students will opt to complete any missing placement requirements over the summer to remain on a four-year graduation path.
In order to remain in engineering, all missing placement requirements must be completed by the end of spring quarter of your second year. If you think this may apply to you, please reach out to your adviser for further guidance.
I am on track to complete all of my placement requirements prior to the end of the academic year when I can request placement. What classes should I take next while I’m waiting to be able to be placed in an engineering major?
Once you have completed the placement requirements, you should focus on the enrollment requirements for your major(s) of interest. The enrollment requirements for each major are noted via the shaded (all of the combined light and dark purple) squares on this chart.
If you have advanced engineering-related credit, you may choose to explore the capacity constrained pathway in order to try to access the junior level curriculum sooner. Otherwise, students who are ahead in credits tend to explore completing a minor, a second degree, or other programs of interest. You are encouraged to work with your adviser to explore ways to maximize your time at UW.
How placement is decided
What does the placement process consider?
Placement is based on the comprehensive assessment of your expressed interests, your personal growth and resilience, and your academic performance. These will be assessed based on your submitted placement materials and your academic record. Students are assessed as unique individuals and are placed to prioritize their interests.
How will the College place all students given the range of capacities and interest in the engineering majors?
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 short answer responses
- 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.
Ranking five majors will guarantee that you will be placed during the first round. If you rank fewer than five majors and all of your ranked majors reach capacity, you will be asked to rank the majors with remaining capacity in a second round of placement.
The College of Engineering has capacity for all ENGRUD students to be placed into an engineering major.
What are the most important things that the placement committee will be looking for on a resume?
The resume provides additional context and information for your experiences outside of the classroom. This helps the Placement Coordinating Committee have a better understanding of your whole student experience, in addition to your personal statement. Please use the template provided by the Career Center @ Engineering as a framework.
Can my resume include achievements from high school?
Yes! In addition to providing content for your experiences outside of the classroom, the College of Engineering believes it’s incredibly important for you to learn how to create and maintain a professional resume. You’ll continue to expand your experiences and thus your resume throughout your UW experience over the coming years. We recommend that you utilize the resume template and other resources provided by the Career Center @ Engineering to create your resume.
Is my GPA the most important factor for placement?
No. Your placement request will be considered holistically. The evaluation process looks at:
- Your academics (rigor of curriculum, GPA, grade trends, etc.)
- Your short answer responses
- Your resume
Are extracurricular activities (clubs, competition groups, work, etc.) considered in the application review?
Yes; you should discuss the process by which you explored your engineering interests in your short answer response. Additionally you can capture this information in your resume.
I am interested in pursuing a double major. How will this impact placement?
Due to capacity limitations, you cannot pursue two majors/degrees within the College of Engineering (e.g. mechanical engineering and chemical engineering).
You may, however, pursue an additional degree outside of the College of Engineering. It is important to note that students earning two degrees must complete a minimum of 45 additional credits above and beyond the 180 required for the first degree. It may be difficult to earn a double degree within four years unless you brought in significant applicable transfer credit. Approval from both departments is needed if you will need longer than four years to complete the degrees.
It's important to consider why you are seeking to complete an additional degree; what skills or knowledge would you gain in the additional major that is essential to your career goals? Your academic adviser or a counselor in the Career Center at Engineering can help you create a plan to achieve your goals.
Logistically, if you decide to pursue two degrees, you must wait until you have successfully completed the placement process into an engineering major to add the additional major. You cannot maintain ENGRUD major status with any additional major.
Does the placement committee start by considering everyone's first major choice, and after going through everyone, they consider the second major choice for those who are not placed yet, and so on?
The college strives to be able to place every student in their highest ranked major with capacity. Therefore based on the holistic process described above, yes, students will be considered for their first choice first and then their second choice second, and so on and so forth. When placement requests exceed the capacity of a specific major, a student’s individual assessment will determine priority for placement into that major.
How does changing a grade in a placement requirement to S/NS during an “extraordinary circumstances” quarter affect placement?
We generally recommend maintaining numerical grades, however choosing to change your grade to the S/NS option and earning an S will not negatively impact your placement request. An S grade indicates that you have completed a course with a 2.0 grade or above, but the S will not affect any of your GPAs. One example where we would recommend considering the S/NS option is if your numerical grade in a course could negatively impact your academic standing by bringing your ENGRUD GPA below a 2.00 and thus resulting in warning or probation.
If you choose the S/NS option during an “extraordinary circumstances” quarter and earn an S, it will satisfy your placement and graduation requirements. Our priority is to help you succeed, therefore if changing a class to S/NS can help you, we want to ensure that you will not be penalized for doing so.
What are the differences between Placement, ENGRUD and UW (Cumulative) GPA?
The placement Grade Point Average (GPA) is the average of the grades across the courses used to satisfy the placement requirements. In order to be eligible to request placement, students must have a minimum of a 2.00 placement GPA.
The ENGRUD Grade Point Average (GPA) is the average of the grades across the courses you’ve completed at the UW that are on this list. In order to be eligible to request placement, students must have a minimum of a 2.00 ENGRUD GPA. A student’s ENGRUD GPA is used to determine their standing in the College of Engineering (good, warning, or probation).
The UW (cumulative) Grade Point Average (GPA) is the average of all of the grades across all of the courses you’ve completed at the UW.
One of my courses was switched to CR/NC due to COVID-19, will a grade of CR for this still fulfill the requirement in this case?
If a faculty member converts a course from numerical to CR/NC grading, and you earn a CR for the course, it can be used to satisfy a placement requirement.
Receiving and accepting placement
Can I be accepted by multiple majors in the placement process, and then choose which one fits me the best?
No, the ENGRUD placement process will place you into one major within the College of Engineering.
If I rank multiple majors on my placement request, is it possible to be offered placement in more than one major?
No, you will be placed in your highest ranked major that can accommodate your request. It is important that you rank only the majors you’re interested in and would be comfortable being placed in. If you are placed and decide that you do not want to remain in that major, you can choose to transition to pre-major status in the College of Arts & Sciences or to apply to another major at the UW.
I didn’t get the placement I wanted. Can I request placement again next year?
Although we anticipate being able to place the majority of students in one of their top choices, demand for seats in some majors will exceed capacity. If you have been placed in a program other than your top choice, we hope that you will connect with your new major adviser and the Career Center @ Engineering as soon as possible to learn more about how your academic path ahead can contribute to and shape your career goals.
Placement into an engineering major via the ENGRUD path is final. If you would like to pursue an engineering major that you were not placed in, you can apply to it next year via the capacity constrained pathway.
Can I change my major after being placed?
If you are placed into an engineering major and later decide you want to pursue a different engineering major, you will not be able to go through the placement process again. You will need to apply to the other engineering major through the capacity constrained pathway for transfer and non-ENGRUD students. If you decide to pursue another major at the UW outside of the College of Engineering, you will need to follow that department’s process for admission to that major.
What are my chances of getting placed into my first-choice major?
When you are admitted as an ENGRUD student, the College of Engineering guarantees that you will be placed into one engineering major which may not necessarily be your first choice. We anticipate that the majority of students will be placed into one of their top-choice majors.
Because student demand for majors varies each year, we expect placement to be a dynamic process. Some majors will be able to accommodate most or perhaps all ENGRUD students requesting the major. Other majors will be over-requested and your chances of placement will depend on the degree to which the major is over-requested and an evaluation of your placement materials.
Will seats be reserved in major-restricted classes for students who just got placed into their majors?
For most engineering majors you will continue working on foundational enrollment requirements through much of your second year. You will start the junior level, major-restricted courses in spring of your second year or fall of your third year. The major that you are placed into will ensure you have access to any major-restricted coursework needed to keep you on a four-year graduation timeline.
Are "enrollment requirements" the same as the major's "degree requirements"?
Degree requirements encapsulate all the courses you are required take in order to complete a degree program. Enrollment requirements are a sub-set of the major’s degree requirements. Enrollment requirements are generally second-year courses that are prerequisites for a major’s upper-division (300 and 400 level) courses. Once you complete your placement requirements, you should focus on completing these courses to ensure you remain on a four-year graduation timeline. The enrollment requirements for each major are noted via the shaded (all of the combined light and dark purple) squares on this chart.
How do I know if I need to petition to be able to request conditional placement?
If you have not completed all of the placement requirements for one or more majors of interest by the end of your first year, or if you are on ENGRUD warning or ENGRUD probation, you are encouraged to submit a petition to request placement into a major on a conditional basis. If your petition is approved, you will be able to request placement into any major that you are not eligible for (along with any that you are eligible for).
What happens if I am placed and my ENGRUD GPA is below a 2.00?
If your petition to request placement is approved and you are placed into a major, it will be important to work closely with the advisers in your major to ensure that you stay in, or return to, good academic standing within your department.
What does it mean to be conditionally placed?
If you are missing one or more placement requirements and are placed into a major, it will be on a conditional basis. You will maintain your ENGRUD major status until you complete all of the missing requirements for the major you are placed into. Your placement (change of major) will be dependent upon successful completion of all of the missing requirements.
What happens if I don’t pass the class for the major that I’m conditionally placed in?
If you do not complete the missing placement requirement(s) by the end of the spring quarter of your second year at the UW, you will be transitioned to pre-major status.
What happens if my petition to request conditional placement is not approved?
The only instance where your petition may not be approved is if you have an ENGRUD GPA below a 2.00. In the case that your petition is not approved, you will be transitioned to pre-major status.
Need more guidance?
What are the sorts of topics the advising team can help me with?
- General registration or placement questions
- Course recommendations tailored to your needs
- Which engineering majors may best address your interest in a particular area of impact
You can reach out to the Engineering Advising & Student Engagement Team by emailing email@example.com or calling 206-543-1770 to schedule an appointment. Your adviser is your partner in the placement process and is ready to help you navigate the process successfully.
When is the best time to meet with my adviser to plan my major placement?
Your assigned engineering adviser is a great person to work with throughout the academic year as you explore your interests and make decisions about your academic plan and placement. We encourage you to connect with them about once a quarter or also for "Quick Questions" as needed. We intend to offer additional support around preparing for placement in spring quarter, so be on the lookout for information about sessions then!
I have a question about which engineering majors would be best for a field I’m interested in. Who can I speak to?
We recommend that you schedule a 30-minute advising appointment with your assigned academic adviser. Another resource available is the Career Center @ Engineering. Make sure to schedule some time with them to learn more about how specific majors may connect to specific industries.
The weekly emails sent every Monday as well as your ENGRUD Advising Canvas page will be your primary source of information throughout the year for lots of events and activities to explore engineering majors and career paths.