Placement into an Engineering Major
As an Engineering Undeclared (ENGRUD) student, you'll engage in a robust first-year experience with opportunities to explore the connections between engineering disciplines.
This year prepares you for requesting placement into a major. During this time, you will:
- Partner with your assigned adviser from the Engineering Academic Advising team to make sure you understand the transition from undeclared status to placement in a major.
- Complete an E-FIG (Engineering First-year Interest Group) to make friends in the engineering community and learn about engineering disciplines and pathways to your education and career goals.
- Create your educational plan and complete the foundational coursework to be eligible to request placement in one or more engineering majors.
- Use MyENGRUD to update your majors of interest and access the Placement Request form for engineering majors.
Placement timing and request deadlines
Almost all ENGRUD students should be placed into an engineering major by the winter of their second year. Opportunities to request placement are as follows:
|Placement 1 (P1)||Summer following your first year||July 1 deadline for placement request|
|Placement 2 (P2)||Winter of your second year||January 15 deadline for placement request|
If you are concerned that you will not be able to complete the placement requirements for your majors of interest by winter of your second year (P2), you should meet with your assigned College of Engineering adviser to discuss options for requesting placement at the end of your second year (P3).
Requesting placement into a major
To request placement, you will complete a Placement Request form in MyENGRUD that asks you for:
- Ranked list of engineering majors of interest
- Personal statement
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 personal statement to form 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.
Want help with your resume? The Career Center @ Engineering provides career coaching and guidance, including resume resources.
Personal statement prompt
Your personal statement should address all of the questions in the prompt and add to, not repeat, what's in your transcript and resume. Here's the personal statement prompt:
Please write a statement (up to 750 words) addressing the prompts below. Your statement should add to the information provided in your transcript and resume.
- Why did you request placement in your first choice of major?
- If applicable, why did you request placement in your other choice(s) of major?
- How have you explored your interests in these majors? How do your interests relate to your future goals?
- Tell us more about your personal and academic journey so far. Provide examples of how you have managed school along with other responsibilities, like work, health, family, community, extracurriculars, or other experiences in which you take personal pride.
How placement works FAQs
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 DTC 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 get placement into a 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 P1?
You are not required to submit a request at P1. If you are ready to be placed and have completed the respective placement requirements for your top choice major(s), you are strongly encouraged to submit a request during P1. It is expected that almost all ENGRUD students will be placed into a major by winter of their second year (P2). Therefore, you should plan on submitting a request no later than P2.
- 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, ultimately 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 so many of the engineering majors available at the UW can lead to similar career goals.
If you need help thinking through your next steps, consider setting up an appointment to meet with your assigned engineering adviser and consider which courses you’ve found most engaging so far. More tips for gaining perspective to move forward in your decision-making process:
- Reach out to a career coach in the Career Center at Engineering.
- Get involved in a club or student competition group.
- Talk to engineering upperclassmen.
- Stop by an engineering faculty member’s office hours.
- Review departments’ websites and note their areas of research
- Look ahead to the type of classes that will be offered for upper-division students in the major
- Check out LinkedIn to see what alumni from the various engineering majors are up to.
There is no one “right” major. All engineering majors at the UW lead to successful and varied career opportunities. Take your time considering your options so that you make an intentional decision when requesting placement.
- Am I required to rank a minimum number of majors when submitting a placement request?
No, you are not required to rank a minimum number of majors. You may rank only one major or you can rank all majors for which you have completed the placement requirements. An approach we expect many students to take is to request placement into 1 to 3 top preferences during P1 and, if necessary, consider expanding to a broader list of majors of interest for P2.
To assure placement in an engineering major, you may need to satisfy placement requirements for at least six majors.
- What do I need to do to guarantee that I will be placed into an engineering major?
We anticipate that the majority of students will be placed in one of their top choice majors. To guarantee placement by P2/3, however, you must:
- Complete placement requirements for at least six majors.
- Have a 2.50 grade point average (GPA) in the placement requirements for each of the majors.
- Satisfy minimum grade requirements as specified by the majors. Most majors require a minimum 2.0 grade for each required course. Check departmental websites for details.
- Rank all majors for which you are eligible.
It is not expected that you will satisfy placement requirements for and rank six majors by P1. It is recommended that you meet these criteria when requesting placement during P2. If you are concerned you may not be able to meet these requirements by P2, talk with an adviser.
- How many majors should I list in my ranking? What’s the best strategy?
The number of majors you rank will depend on your flexibility regarding majors and the placement cycle (P1 vs P2). If you have a strong preference for one or several majors, rank only those majors when submitting a request during P1. If you are not placed during P1, you should plan to expand your selected majors during P2. Keep in mind that to assure a placement, you will need to satisfy placement requirements for at least six majors and rank all majors for which you are eligible.
- Will majors fill during P1?
No, all majors will retain capacity for the P2 (winter of your second year) placement cycle.
- If I request placement and rank multiple majors, will I hear back from each engineering major and then be able to choose my placement?
No, the Placement Coordinating Committee will evaluate your entire Placement Request form and you will be placed in the engineering major that you ranked the highest that can accommodate your request.
How placement is decided
- If a major is over-requested, how will placement into the major be determined?
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, GPA, grade trends, etc.)
- Your placement prompt response
- 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. The College of Engineering has capacity for all ENGRUD students to be placed into an engineering major.
- Is my GPA the most important factor for placement?
Your academic record will be considered holistically. The evaluation process looks at:
- Your academics (rigor of curriculum, GPA, grade trends, etc.)
- Your placement prompt response
- Your resume
- I am interested in pursuing a double-major — how will this impact placement?
Due to capacity limitations, you cannot pursue two majors within the College of Engineering (i.e., mechanical engineering and electrical engineering).
If you're considering a second major outside of the College of Engineering, note that engineering majors tend to require around 135-150 credits of the total 180 credits needed to earn a degree from the UW. As a result, it may be difficult to double-major unless you brought in significant applicable transfer credit.
It's important to consider why you are seeking a double-major; 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 deliberate.
Logistically, if you decide to pursue a double-major, you cannot transition into your second, non-engineering major until you have successfully completed the placement process into an engineering major. You cannot maintain ENGRUD major status with any additional major.
- Will out-of-state or international residency affect my placement?
No. Once you are admitted Direct to College, you are a UW Engineering Undeclared student just like all the others.
Receiving and accepting placement
- 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 list only the majors you’re interested in and would be comfortable being placed in. If you choose not to not accept your placement, your major status will be changed to pre-major in the College of Arts & Sciences.
- I didn’t get placed during P1! What can I do? What can I do?
All majors retain space for additional students to be placed during P2, so you should continue taking classes, exploring, and plan to request placement again. Your explorations should include identifying alternative major pathways and working with your advisor to ensure you will meet the placement requirements for at least six majors. To ensure placement during P2, you should rank at least six majors on your Placement Request Form. You can still rank your top choice first!
- I didn’t get the placement I wanted. What can I do?
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 use this opportunity to explore the interdisciplinary nature of engineering and seek ways in which your academic path ahead can contribute to and shape your career goals.
- Can I change my major after being placed in a major?
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 competitive application process for transfer and non-ENGRUD students. If you decide you’d like 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 able to place into AN engineering major, not necessarily your first choice. We anticipate that the majority of students will get one of their top choice majors.
We expect placement to be a dynamic process as student demand for majors varies each year. 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 academic record and other placement materials.
- I don’t see my question/concern/situation about placement mentioned here. What can I do to get more help?
Please feel free to reach out to the Engineering Advising office to schedule an appointment to meet with your assigned engineering adviser or stop by drop-ins for a quicker question. You can also email your placement question to the advising office. Your adviser is your partner in the placement process and is ready to help you navigate the process successfully.