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STARS Students

STARS Curriculum

The STARS curriculum provides students with the necessary foundation to become master students. The first-year courses ensure students receive the skill-building and community support they need for success. STARS students learn to deeply understand fundamental concepts and apply these concepts to courses throughout their engineering coursework. The second year continues with supplemental instruction to support students in successfully completing the engineering prerequisites as well as some career and community building activities.

ENGR 197 workshops

To support students completing engineering prerequisites, STARS offers mandatory supplemental workshops with each of these classes:

  • Calculus I, II and III
  • Math 307/308
  • Chem I and II
  • Physics I and II


STARS plan of study

Autumn quarter

Course Credits
ENGR 202 – STARS Engineering Math Problem Solving 4
ENGR 102 - STARS Seminar 1
English Composition or Communications 5
GEN ST 199 - University Community 2
ENGR 101 - Engineering Exploration 1
CHEM 110 or Intro to College Chemistry Workshop 2 or 3

Winter quarter

Course Credits
MATH Course - Initial math course determined by placement test and consultation with program staff. 5
ENGR 197 - Math academic workshop (accompanies math course) 1
ENGR 202 – STARS Engineering Chemistry Course 3
ENGR 102 - STARS Seminar 1
Additional course selected in consultation with program staff 5

Spring quarter

Course Credits
MATH Course - determined by math course taken in winter quarter. 5
ENGR 197 - Math Academic workshop (accompanies math class) 1
General Chemistry course 5
ENGR 197 - Chemistry Academic Workshop (accompanies chemistry course) 1
ENGR 102 - STARS Seminar 1

In conjunction with completing STARS second year required courses, students will work with the academic adviser in their department to determine remaining prerequisites and exactly what courses they should take for their second year.

If physics is required for the major, STARS students take the STARS Engineering Physics course during the winter quarter of their second year. Students then take Physics 121 during the spring quarter of the second year. STARS students must complete the STARS Engineering Physics course before taking physics 121.

Autumn quarter

Course Credits
CSE 190 - STARS Pre-CSE 142 Problem-Solving 3
CHEM 152 - General Chemistry (or other science course as determined by STARS adviser) 5
CHEM 152 Workshop 1
MATH 126 - Calculus with Analytic Geometry III 5
ENGR 197 - MATH 126 Workshop 1

Winter quarter

Course Credits
CSE 142 - Computer Programming I 4
CSE 190 - accompanies CSE course 2
ENGR 202 - STARS Physics Problem-Solving 3
MATH 307 or additional course for general education requirements 3-5

Spring quarter

Course Credits
CSE 143 - Computer Programming II 5
CSE 190 - accompanies CSE course 3
PHYS 121 - Mechanics 5
ENGR 197 - Physics Workshop (accompanies physics course) 1


STARS Course and Workshop Descriptions

ENGR 202 - STARS Problem Solving Course

Success in the initial mathematics and chemistry courses are critical steps in pursuit of an engineering degree. Unfortunately, many high school students enter the UW lacking key skills and abilities necessary for success in these courses. For over 25 years, the Engineering Academic Center (EAC) has supported entering engineering students as they work through their initial math and science courses. The 4-credit Mathematical Problem Solving course focuses on developing the skills, abilities, and work ethic necessary for success in the initial math and science courses. The course was designed by Dave Prince, co-author of the precalculus text used the UW, and director of the EAC for 25 years.


STARS Seminars

The STARS Seminar meets weekly throughout the year and introduces STARS participants to proven learning strategies to succeed as engineering students. The seminars also include career exploration and exposure to topics which help participants explore the various engineering disciplines.


ENGR 197 - Academic Workshops

These one-credit courses directly support students' work in the in the introductory math and science courses required by the engineering program. Read more »

STARS funders


Join us in appreciation for support and current-year funding from these organizations:

Microsoft logo
National Science Foundation logo
Washington State Opportunity Scholarship logo


To become a sponsor of the STARS Program, contact David Iyall, 206-543-8192.