Future Students

Direct to College is a new admission process that assures incoming freshman students who are admitted into the College of Engineering that they can pursue an engineering degree at the UW. The changes take effect for the incoming freshman class of 2018.

This page has been updated to reflect the changes. For details, see:

April 2017 announcement  Direct to College FAQ

Freshman Admission

Engineers work on problems from the microscopic (genetic engineering) to the global (systems for maintaining a sustainable planet). UW engineering’s interdisciplinary approach prepares students to take on large-scale problems that have cross-cultural implications.

Note: If you were admitted to the UW in 2017 or earlier, refer to Department Admission for information on completing engineering prerequisites and applying for admission to an engineering department.

How to apply to UW Engineering

If you are interested in studying engineering at the UW, make sure you select an engineering major (or engineering-undecided) as your first-choice major on your UW application and you will be considered for Direct to College admission. If admitted Direct to College, you will enter the UW as an "Engineering Undeclared" major and have opportunities to explore many engineering disciplines before requesting placement in an engineering major.

  1. Start your UW application as soon as September 1. See UW Admissions’ How to Apply page for step-by-step instructions, including fees, how to submit test scores, and required documentation.
  2. Where the application asks for your first-choice major, select an engineering major (or "engineering-undecided") to be considered for Direct to College admission.

    If you do not choose an engineering major as your first choice, you will not be considered for Direct to College admission. You can still choose to pursue engineering, but the application process to departments will be very competitive.
  3. Submit your application by November 15.
    This is the correct, updated UW application deadline, as of summer 2017; if you've seen or heard other deadlines, you have encountered out-of-date information.

Go To UW Application

You’re in! What’s next?

In March, watch your mailbox for your UW admission decision letter, which will include whether you have been admitted Direct to College.

Working toward placement in a major

As an Engineering Undeclared student, your first several quarters will include engineering foundational coursework such as math and science, as well as UW general education courses. When you have met minimum progress requirements, usually after freshman year or mid-way through sophomore year, you can request placement into an engineering department. Note:

  • Once you have satisfactorily completed the foundational coursework, you can request placement into any engineering department. You are not required to pursue the department you selected on your freshman UW application. In fact, the first-year curriculum offers courses to explore engineering disciplines and help you clarify which majors best suit your educational and professional goals.
  • If you are admitted as an Engineering Undeclared major and you meet department requirements, you are guaranteed to be placed into one of the engineering majors. You may or may not be placed in your first choice major. Some departments in the College of Engineering receive more placement requests than they can accommodate.

Not admitted Direct to College?

If your objective is to study engineering and you did not receive Direct to College admission, you may want to consider other engineering schools. Admission to engineering departments is highly competitive for students not admitted directly to the college. If you choose to attend the UW, you will be able to apply for admission to an engineering department at the end of your sophomore year. Demand for engineering degrees far exceeds available space in classes; admission is not guaranteed.

If you decide to attend UW without admission to the College of Engineering, you should. be prepared to pursue a different major. The UW offers more than 180 majors in 68 different departments outside of the College of Engineering.