Skip to main content


Placement into an Engineering Major: ENGRUD Students Entering Fall 2020 and Beyond

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
  • Resume
  • Short answer responses

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.

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:

  1. What engineering area or areas of impact are you most interested in pursuing? How have you explored your interests in engineering? (250 words)
  2. Since arriving at UW, what have you learned about yourself and how have you responded and adapted? (250 words)
    What, if anything, has changed (positive or negative) in your life, or what challenges have you faced or are facing, and how have you responded and adapted? (250 words)

FAQS: How placement works

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

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 students are 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.

ENGRUD students who matriculated in 2020 and beyond will participate in a single placement cycle in the summer after their first year.

Alternatively, students who already have a large number of credits that are engineering-specific/relevant (around 90+, typically not just AP or IB) can choose to go through the competitive application pathway. Admission through this route is not guaranteed. Being admitted through the competitive pathway means that students are able to start the junior-level curriculum in their second year at the UW.

Students who think this may apply to them are encouraged to meet with their adviser to discuss further. For more information on this pathway, see “What is the competitive application,” below.

The engineering advisers are your best source of help to understand the credit 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 for help scheduling.

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:

There is no one “right” major. All engineering majors at the UW lead to successful and varied career opportunities.

The placement process is specific to majors within the college of engineering. If you’d like to explore transitioning to 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.

No, you are not required to rank a minimum number of majors; however, because the areas of impact have multiple relevant majors, we strongly recommend that you request as many majors as you are interested in pursuing. If you do not participate in one or both (if necessary) rounds of the placement process, and rank enough majors to place into an engineering major, you'll need to be prepared to pursue a major outside of the College of Engineering.

To guarantee placement, you must:

  • Complete the placement requirements.
  • Have a 2.50 grade point average (GPA) or above across the placement requirements.
  • Have a 2.50 UW ENGRUD grade point average (GPA) or above.
  • Earn a minimum 2.0 grade or S in each placement requirement.
  • The more majors you rank, the better your chances are of being placed.

No, you will be placed into your highest ranked major with capacity.

The competitive application process 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 competitive application 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 competitive 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 competitive process 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 more help.

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.

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.

All students should plan to complete the placement requirements by the end of their first year. However, students who started in Math 120 or Chem 110 or who need more time to complete the requirements will complete a petition form to ask to request placement. These forms will be approved and, if the student is placed, placement will be conditional until the missing placement requirement(s) have been completed. Many students will opt to complete any missing placement requirements over summer to remain on a four year graduation timeline. Students who think this may apply to them are encouraged to meet with their adviser for more help.

Once a student has completed the placement requirements, they should focus on the enrollment requirements for their major(s) of interest. The enrollment requirements for each major are captured via the shaded squares on this chart.

Students with advanced engineering-related credit may choose to explore the competitive application 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. Students are encouraged to work with their adviser to explore ways to maximize their time at UW.

How placement is decided

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.

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. The more majors you rank in the first round the more likely it is you will be placed in the first round. If all of your ranked majors reach capacity, you will be asked to rank the majors with remaining capacity in a second round.

The College of Engineering has capacity for all ENGRUD students to be placed into an engineering major.

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. Additionally, we strongly encourage you to briefly describe experiences relevant to your exploration of engineering interests in your short essay response about your interests.

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.

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

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.

Due to capacity limitations, you cannot pursue two majors/degrees within the College of Engineering (e.g. mechanical engineering and electrical 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 a double degree, you cannot add a second program of study (the non-engineering degree) until you have successfully completed the placement process into an engineering major. You cannot maintain ENGRUD major status with any additional major.

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.

Grading/GPA Questions

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 2.50 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.

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 2.50 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 2.50 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.

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

No, the ENGRUD placement process will place you into one major within the College of Engineering.

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 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.

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 as soon as possible to learn more about how your academic path ahead can contribute to and shape your career goals.

Be aware that placement into an engineering major is final. If you would like to pursue an engineering major that you were not placed in, you can apply to it via the competitive application process.

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.

When you are admitted as an ENGRUD student, the College of Engineering guarantees that you will be able to place into one 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.

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.

Further questions

The enrollment requirements that were mentioned in the Educational Planning class session during week 5 of ENGR 101 are the courses that keep you on a four-year graduation timeline by ensuring you will be prepared for the junior level curriculum in the major. Enrollment requirements are generally courses beyond the placement requirements that are often completed in the second year. The enrollment requirements for each major are captured via the shaded (combined light and dark purple) squares on this chart.

Need more guidance?

  • 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 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.

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!

We recommend that you schedule a 30-minute advising appointment with your assigned academic adviser. Another really helpful resource would be to schedule a meeting with the Career Center @ Engineering 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.