STARS Students

STARS Curriculum

The STARS curriculum provides scholars with the foundational skills to become master students.

  • First-year courses ensure scholars receive the support they need to develop and hone effective study strategies and strengthen their preparation for core engineering prerequisites. Problem solving courses and supplemental workshops emphasize fundamental problem solving concepts applicable to prerequisites and courses in engineering or computer science majors.
  • The second year includes supplemental instruction—with a focus on problem solving in physics and/or computer science, depending on major choice—and career and community-building activities.
  • STARS does not have curriculum requirements in the third year. However, STARS students who are placed in Computer Science and Computer Engineering are required by the department to take and pass a supplemental workshop along with CS 311. This course and workshop are taken in the first quarter of the 3rd year.  

STARS problem solving courses

Success in the initial mathematics, chemistry, physics, and computer science prerequisites is a critical step in pursuing an engineering or computer science degree. Unfortunately, many incoming first-year students enter UW lacking the preparation necessary for success in these courses. STARS problem solving courses focus on developing the strategies, habits of mind, and tenacity necessary to succeed in prerequisite courses.

ENGR 197 workshops

To support student success in engineering and computer science fundamental courses, STARS requires supplemental workshops for the following prerequisites.

  • Calculus I, II, and III
  • Computer Science I and II
  • General Chemistry I and II
  • Physics I and II
  • MATH 307, 308, and two additional math courses

Sample STARS curriculum

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
Additional course for general education requirements 1-3

In conjunction with completing required courses during the second year, scholars work with an academic advisor in their intended major to develop a plan for completing remaining prerequisites.

Autumn quarter

Winter quarter

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

Spring quarter


Join us in appreciation for support and current or past funding from these organizations:

Micron logo
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.