Students

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

As an Engineering Undeclared (ENGRUD) student, you'll engage in a robust first-year experience with opportunities to explore the connections between engineering disciplines.

Requesting placement into a major

ENGRUD students request placement in an engineering major at the end of their first year. To request placement, you will complete a Placement Request form in MyENGRUD that asks you for:

  • Ranked list of engineering majors of interest
  • Resume
  • 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 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.

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.

  1. Why did you request placement in your first choice of major?
  2. If applicable, why did you request placement in your other choice(s) of major?
  3. How have you explored your interests in these majors? How do your interests relate to your future goals?
  4. 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.

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.

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.

No, you are not required to rank a minimum number of majors; however, in order to guarantee placement in an engineering major, you must rank at least six. If you choose to rank fewer than six majors and are not placed in 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.
  • Rank at least six engineering majors on the Placement Request Form.
  • Have a 2.50 grade point average (GPA) across the placement requirements.
  • Earn a minimum 2.0 grade in each placement requirement.

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, 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 personal statement
  • 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.

No. Your placement request will be considered holistically. The evaluation process looks at:

  • Your academics (rigor of curriculum, GPA, grade trends, etc.)
  • Your personal statement
  • 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 deliberate.

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.

Receiving and accepting placement

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 choose not to not accept your placement, your major status will be changed to pre-major in the College of Arts & Sciences.

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.

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.

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.

Further questions

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.