Admission

Essay Questions For Each Major

Provided below are the personal statement prompts used for each specific engineering major. Students are encouraged to use these prompts to begin drafting their personal statements.

Aeronautics & Astronautics

The personal statement (approximately one page, single-spaced) should describe your interest in Aeronautics & Astronautics. Explain why you would like to study in the department, your goals while in the undergraduate program, and some ideas of what you would like to do after graduation. Our department strives to understand prospective students in a holistic manner. Please include any experiences (e.g., work, internship, research, leadership, or extracurricular activities) that will give us a better understanding of your academic interests, professional goals, and personal experiences. If your experiences have given you a unique perspective that you believe will add to our student body you may choose to include that in your statement. Similarly, if you have encountered any unusual or extenuating circumstances that have affected your education, you may wish to include that information as well.
The information you provide in your personal statement will help the A&A Undergraduate Admissions Committee learn about you. We look forward to receiving your application.

Bioengineering

The Department of Bioengineering uses a holistic process to review applications. The admission committee looks at quality of the overall academic record, as well as quality and content of the personal statement. Leadership and research experiences are considered, as is overcoming adversity and hardship. The personal statement should explain your interest in Bioengineering, your motivation to join our program, and your goals for the future (including but not limited to your career goals). * Briefly describe how the research in the department matches your interests. * Please describe any research, professional or engineering experiences you have had. * We are also interested in knowing about significant volunteer, service, leadership, or entrepreneurship experiences you might have. * If you have overcome serious obstacles (financial, medical, cultural, etc.) to get where you are, you may describe them in the personal statement. * You may also address any academic difficulties, such as a poor performance one quarter or a low grade in a prerequisite course, here. While we do not select based on grades alone, most competitive applicants will have a strong GPA in their prerequisite courses. The minimum cumulative GPA to be considered for admission is 2.5; a solid academic foundation helps students succeed in the program. While we do not limit you to one page, it is important that your personal statement be well written and concise. Be clear and specific in describing what you have done. Additional materials: Letter of reference. We will accept a letter of reference from your research mentor or professional (job/internship) mentor. The letter writer can send a pdf of the letter to bioeng@uw.edu. A letter of reference will strengthen your application.

Bioresource Science And Engineering

Personal Statement Write a brief, 1 page personal statement that will give the Bioresource Science and Engineering departmental admissions committee a better understanding of your background. Your statement must include your reasons for choosing Bioresource Science and Engineering, and your career objectives. You may also include other factors such as personal, family, economic and educational circumstances. Honors and Activities Please include a list of school, work or community honors and activities if applicable. Please indicate your most significant contribution, the organization name (if appropriate), and dates of service/award.

Chemical Engineering

Write a brief personal statement (approx. 1 single-spaced page). Formatting will be removed, so do not use special characters, italics, or other formatting. Proofread. Be concise.

You can choose to address any one, combination of, or all of the following topics in your personal statement - the admission committee uses this statement to better understand you as a person, your academic record, and your interest in chemical engineering:

  • Discuss your academic and personal interests and goals.
  • Discuss how your personal experiences prepare you to solve problems in diverse teams, and for a diverse world.
  • Discuss any activities/extracurriculars you are particularly committed to (ChemE-related or not), why you are involved in these activities, and the skills or insights you gained that you will bring into your future work.
  • Describe any challenges or hardships you have overcome in pursuing your education. For example: serious illness; disability; first generation in your family to attend college; significant financial hardship or responsibilities associated with balancing work, family, and school. Include how you persevered, and how the experience(s) impacted yourself or your education.

Additionally, please address the following if they are applicable to you:

  • If you have applied to ChemE before, please discuss what has changed or improved since your last application.
  • If you plan to complete more than one major, please provide an intellectual or career justification for the double-degree.
  • If you will take more than 4 years to graduate, please briefly explain why and discuss your plan for graduating efficiently.

Civil & Environmental Engineering

Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering

The purpose of the personal statement is to give the departmental admissions committee a better understanding of your interest in this program. Write a brief statement (approximately one page, single-spaced) telling us about your motivation for majoring in Civil Engineering, the experiences (e.g. work, research, leadership, or extracurricular) that are important to you, and your future goals.

If you have faced unusual or extenuating circumstances, you may wish to discuss this in your personal statement. For example, if you have had to overcome significant obstacles (medical, financial, cultural or personal) to reach where you are now, you could describe how these challenges affected your education and impacted your academic record.

If you are requesting to apply conditionally with a missing application or enrollment requirement, please review the process for a Conditional Application and complete the request form at your earliest convenience.

Applicants who are approved to apply conditionally must address it in their personal statement when and where the outstanding course(s) will be completed.
Bachelor of Science in Environmental Engineering

The purpose of the personal statement is to give the departmental admissions committee a better understanding of your interest in this program. Write a brief statement (approximately one page, single-spaced) telling us about your motivation for majoring in Environmental Engineering, the experiences (e.g. work, research, leadership, or extracurricular) that are important to you, and your future goals.

If you have faced unusual or extenuating circumstances, you may wish to discuss this in your personal statement. For example, if you have had to overcome significant obstacles (medical, financial, cultural or personal) to reach where you are now, you could describe how these challenges affected your education and impacted your academic record.

If you are requesting to apply conditionally with a missing application or enrollment requirement, please review the process for a Conditional Application and complete the request form at your earliest convenience.

Applicants who are approved to apply conditionally must address in the personal statement when and where the outstanding course(s) will be completed.

Computer Science & Engineering

Please address all the required topics below. Your responses must be formatted in sections with these exact headings. The response under each heading should be no more than 250 words.

1. Academic History & Major Choice (Required)

  • Tell us about your college career to date, describing your performance, educational path, and academic choices.
  • Share what led you to choose to study Computer Science or Computer Engineering.
  • Explain any situations that may have had a significant positive or negative impact on your academic progress or curricular choices. What happened, and what was the impact for you?

2. Future Academic & Career Goals (Required)

  • Tell us about your future academic goals in college and your career and/or post-graduation plans.
  • How will the Allen School help you achieve your goals?
  • If you plan to pursue more than one major, tell us why both majors are important to you (if applicable).
  • If you will take more than 4 years to graduate, please briefly explain why and discuss your plan for graduating efficiently (if applicable).

3. Commitment to Community (Required)

  • Our communities (clubs, employment, hobbies, extracurricular activities, etc) often prepare us to solve problems in diverse teams and for a diverse world.
  • Tell us about any significant communities that you are actively involved with or have recently been a part of within the past two years, and your role in them.
  • Why are you involved in these communities?
  • What perspectives, skills, or insights will you bring to the Allen School community or future work as a result of your participation in these communities?

4. Additional Elements (Optional)

  • Tell us about how any of your identities, perspectives, or life experiences would help you contribute to the Allen School community and the computing field. This could include but is not limited to: race, ethnicity, national origin, sex, gender identity, religion, sexual orientation, ability/disability, age, socioeconomic background, academic experience, and veteran status.
  • Describe any significant responsibilities you may have in addition to being a student (e.g. parenting responsibilities, work, familial responsibilities). What impact has this had on your college experience?
  • Provide any additional comments you would like to share with the committee.
(Same as Computer Engineering above)

Electrical & Computer Engineering

Write a brief personal statement (approx. 1 single-spaced page). Formatting will be removed, so do not use special characters, italics, or other formatting. Proofread. Be concise. You can choose to address two or more of the following topics in your personal statement - the admission committee uses this statement to better understand you as a person, your academic record, and your interest in Electrical Engineering (EE): - Discuss your academic and personal interests and goals. - Discuss how your personal experiences prepare you to solve problems in diverse teams and for a diverse world. - Discuss any activities/extracurriculars you are particularly committed to (EE-related or not), why you are involved in these activities, and the skills or insights you gained that you will bring into your future work. - Describe any challenges or hardships you have overcome in pursuing your education. For example: serious illness; disability; first generation in your family to attend college; significant financial hardship or responsibilities associated with balancing work, family, and school. Include how you persevered and how the experience(s) impacted yourself or your education. Additionally, please address the following if they are applicable to you: - If you have applied to EE before, please discuss what has changed or improved since your last application. - If you are currently in another major, and intend to switch to EE, please discuss in the essay. - If you plan to complete more than one major, please provide an intellectual or career justification for the double-degree. - If you will take more than 4 years to graduate, please briefly explain why and discuss your plan for graduating efficiently. - If you are post-baccalaureate, why a second Bachelor’s degree is necessary to reach your goal.

Human Centered Design & Engineering

Please provide a personal statement that will give the admissions committee an understanding of your interest in HCDE. Please describe any coursework, internships, projects, volunteer work, or personal experiences that have helped you identify HCDE as the best fit for your interests and goals for the future. You may also share how you have shown resilience in your academic or personal life. You may also discuss how your personal experiences prepare you to solve problems in diverse teams, and for a diverse world. Your application will be read by the HCDE application review committee, which is composed of HCDE faculty and staff members. You should not feel obligated to share information of a sensitive or private nature. We suggest using specific examples in your statement and limiting it to approximately one page, single-spaced; this comes out to be roughly 750 words. Drop-In Advising 4/5 from 2:00-3:30pm PST: https://washington.zoom.us/my/alexllap

Industrial & Systems Engineering

Write a brief personal statement (approx. 1 page) that will give the departmental admissions committee a better understanding of your interest in this program. You may wish to describe your experiences (e.g., work, research, leadership, or extracurricular) that have been important to you. Also, you may wish to discuss any unusual circumstances that may contribute to a better understanding of your record, or any personal hardship or barriers you have faced, and explain how they affected your education.

Materials Science & Engineering

Please write a brief personal statement (approximately one page, single-spaced) describing your interest in Materials Science & Engineering. Everyone should explain the following:
  • How you learned about the discipline
  • Why you would like to study in the MSE program
  • What you currently see as your future professional aspirations

In addition, briefly address any of the following ONLY if applicable to you:

  • How any work, extra-curricular activities, or research-related experience has informed your decision to apply to MSE
  • How you have worked to overcome personal hardship or barriers that impacted your educational pathway
  • If you have encountered any unusual or extenuating circumstances that have affected your academic record
  • If you are post-baccalaureate, why a second Bachelor's degree is necessary to reach your goal
  • If your intent is to pursue more than one major, please provide an intellectual or career justification for the double-degree
  • If you are currently in another major, and intend to switch to MSE if admitted, please let us know

Mechanical Engineering

Write a brief personal statement (approximately one page, single-spaced) that will give the departmental admissions committee a better understanding of your interest in this program. You may wish to describe your experiences (e.g. work, research, leadership, or extracurricular) that have been important to you. You may also use the personal statement to discuss any unusual or extenuating circumstances that may contribute to a better understanding of your record. For example, if you have overcome significant obstacles (medical, financial, cultural or personal) to reach where you are now, you may describe them in the essay.