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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

Winter quarter

Course Credits
ENGR 102 - STARS Seminar 1
ENGR 121 - STARS Chemistry Problem Solving 3
MATH 124 - Calculus I 5
ENGR 197 - Math 124 workshop 1
Additional course for general education requirements 3-5

Spring quarter

Course Credits
CHEM 142 - General Chemistry I 5
ENGR 197 - CHEM 142 Workshop 1
ENGR 102 - STARS Seminar 1
MATH 125 - Calculus II 5
ENGR 197 - MATH 125 Workshop 1
Seminar course in engineering department or additional course for general education requirements 1-3

In conjunction with completing STARS-required courses during the second year, students work with the academic adviser in their desired major to develop a plan for fulfilling any remaining prerequisites.

STARS students pursuing majors that require physics take the STARS Physics Problem Solving course in the winter quarter of the second year, followed by PHYS 121 in the spring. Students are required to complete the STARS Physics Problem Solving course before registering for PHYS 121.

Autumn quarter

Winter quarter

Course Credits
CSE 142 - Computer Programming I 4
CSE 190 - STARS CSE 142 Problem Solving 2
ENGR 122 - STARS Physics Problem Solving 3
MATH 307 or additional course for general education requirements 3-5

Spring quarter


STARS Course and Workshop Descriptions

ENGR 120, 121, and 122 - STARS Problem Solving Courses

Success in the initial mathematics, chemistry, and physics prerequisites 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.

STARS problem solving courses focus on developing the skills, abilities, and work ethic necessary for success in the core math and science prerequisites. ENGR 120, STARS Math Problem Solving, is the first course in the sequence and was designed by Dave Prince, former director of the EAC and co-author of the precalculus text used at the UW.

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 Sharon Dana, 206-543-6908.