Computer Science & Engineering (CSE) educates students to become leaders in the design and implementation of the computing systems that touch every aspect of modern society. Our courses cover everything from the mathematical foundations of what computers can and cannot do; to hands-on experiences building software and hardware artifacts with a range of programming languages and tools; to advanced courses in software engineering, human-computer interaction, computer graphics and animation, artificial intelligence, machine learning, large-scale data management, natural language processing, computer networking, computational biology, robotics, computer security and privacy, and much more. Computer scientists and computer engineers combine creative problem-solving, rigorous design, and the creation of algorithms, software, and hardware systems to build solutions that change the world.
CSE offers two undergraduate degrees: Computer Science (through the College of Arts and Sciences) and Computer Engineering (through the College of Engineering). Students working toward either degree have the same broad opportunities to take the wide array of courses that CSE offers. The Computer Engineering major may be more appropriate for students who are interested in building systems that include both hardware and software components and that must be engineered to meet a variety of cost and performance constraints.
This program of study leads to the following credential:
Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering degree
Suggested First- and Second-Year College Courses: MATH 124, MATH 125, MATH 126 (or MATH 134, MATH 135, MATH 136); PHYS 121, PHYS 122 (or PHYS 141, PHYS 142); CSE 121, CSE 122, CSE 123; English composition.
Applicants are considered in three groups - Entering Freshmen, Currently Enrolled UW Students, and Entering Transfers. Admission is capacity constrained. Completion of minimum requirements does not guarantee admission.
Entering Freshmen: The largest pathway for admission to Computer Engineering is directly out of high school, prior to completion of university-level prerequisites. Freshman applicants listing Computer Engineering as their intended major are automatically considered. Competitive applicants have usually taken the equivalent of four years of high school mathematics and at least one year of high school laboratory science upon entering the University. Admission is for autumn quarter only.
Currently Enrolled UW Students: A portion of each year's class is admitted after matriculating to UW. Admission is for autumn or spring quarter. Application deadlines: July 1 for autumn quarter and January 15 for spring quarter. To be considered, applicants must complete the following course requirements before the Allen School application deadline:
Minimum 30 graded college credits completed.
MATH 124, MATH 125, MATH 126 (or MATH 134, MATH 135, MATH 136); CSE 123 or CSE 143; PHYS 121 (or PHYS 141); and at least five credits of English composition.
Entering Transfers: A portion of each year's class is admitted from students transferring from another college or university. Admission is for autumn or spring quarter. Transfer applicants are considered based on their University transfer application and supplemental material provided to the Allen School. Application deadlines: April 5 for autumn quarter and January 15 for spring quarter. Applicants interested in transferring from an institution that does not offer equivalent coursework should reach out to the Allen School advising team before applying. Applicants must identify Computer Engineering as their intended major, and indicate they will begin the major immediately upon transferring. Entering transfer applicants must meet the following requirements:
Minimum 30 graded college credits completed by the University transfer application deadline.
Minimum course requirements needed for supplemental application: MATH 124, MATH 125, MATH 126; CSE 123 or CSE 143; PHYS 121 (or PHYS 141); and at least five credits of English composition. These courses must be completed by the supplemental Allen School application deadline.
Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering degree
General Education Requirements
Basic Skills (20 credits)
Written and Oral Communication (12 credits):
English Composition: 5 credits from the University list
Reasoning (RSN) (5 credits): met by program requirements
Diversity (DIV) (3 credits): courses may also apply to an Areas of Inquiry requirement
Areas of Inquiry (71 credits)
Arts and Humanities (A&H) and Social Sciences (SSc) (30 credits)
A&H (10 credits)
SSc (10 credits)
Additional credits in A&H or SSc to bring total to 30 credits
Natural Sciences (NSc) (41 credits):
Mathematics (15-18 credits) complete one of the following:
MATH 124, MATH 125, MATH 126, MATH 208
MATH 134, MATH 135, MATH 136
Science (20 credits): PHYS 121, PHYS 122 (or PHYS 141, PHYS 142), and 10 credits from the list of approved natural science courses for Computer Engineering on the Allen School website.
Additional Math or Science credits: chosen from approved natural science courses for Computer Engineering on the Allen School website as well as STAT 391, MATH 394/STAT 394, MATH 207, MATH 209, MATH 318, MATH 334, MATH 335, AMATH 351, and AMATH 353 to bring the total to 41 credits
Of Special Note: The University of Washington formerly referred to Areas of Inquiry as Areas of Knowledge; Arts and Humanities (A&H) as Visual, Literary, and Performing Arts (VLPA); Natural Sciences (NSc) as Natural World (NW); Social Sciences (SSc) as Individuals and Societies (I&S); and Reasoning (RSN) as Quantitative and Symbolic Reasoning (QSR).
Major Requirements (72-73 credits)
Fundamental Courses (32-33 credits): CSE 123 (or CSE 143), CSE 311, CSE 312, CSE 332, CSE 351, CSE 369, E E 371/CSE 371, E E 215 (or E E 205)
Core and Elective Courses (40 credits):
One course chosen from: CSE 403, CSE 474/E E 474, CSE 480 (2 credits), or CSE 484.
Three additional courses chosen from the Computer Engineering Systems Electives list on the Allen School website.
Two additional courses chosen from the CSE Core Courses list on the Allen School website.
One course from the CSE Capstone list on the Allen School website
Additional courses chosen from the CSE Electives list (which can include additional courses from the CSE Core Courses list), CSE 121, or CSE 122, to bring total CSE electives to 40 credits (including CSE 121 or CSE 122 if taken).
Additional Engineering or CSE credits, if needed, to bring the total Engineering and CSE credits to 40, not including any of the Fundamental courses.
Minimum 2.0 grade for any course applied to the major, Natural World, or Written and Oral Communications requirements. Transfer students must earn a minimum of 24 graded credits toward the major through the UW.
Free Electives to bring total for the degree to 180 credits
Engineering Quality: Graduates engage in the productive practice of computer engineering to identify and solve significant problems across a broad range of application areas.
Leadership: Graduates engage in successful careers in industry, academia, and public service, providing technical leadership for their business, profession, and community.
Economic Impact: Graduates enhance the economic well-being of Washington State through a combination of technical expertise, leadership, and entrepreneurship.
Lifelong Learning: Graduates adapt to new technologies, tools, and methodologies to remain at the leading edge of computer engineering practice with the ability to respond to the challenges of a changing environment.
The computer engineering undergraduate degree is housed in the College of Engineering and is thereby accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, 111 Market Place, Suite 1050, Baltimore, MD 21202-4012, phone: (410) 347-7700. The Allen School has adopted the following student outcomes. Upon graduation from the computer engineering program, students will have:
An ability to identify, formulate, and solve complex engineering problems by applying principles of engineering, science, and mathematics
An ability to apply engineering design to produce solutions that meet specified needs with consideration of public health, safety, and welfare, as well as global, cultural, social, environmental, and economic factors
An ability to communicate effectively with a range of audiences
An ability to recognize ethical and professional responsibilities in engineering situations and make informed judgments, which must consider the impact of engineering solutions in global, economic, environmental, and societal contexts
An ability to function effectively on a team whose members together provide leadership, create a collaborative and inclusive environment, establish goals, plan tasks, and meet objectives
An ability to develop and conduct appropriate experimentation, analyze and interpret data, and use engineering judgement to draw conclusions
An ability to acquire and apply new knowledge as needed, using appropriate learning strategies
Instructional and Research Facilities: The Allen School is housed in the state-of-the-art Paul G. Allen Center for Computer Science and Engineering. The Allen Center includes more than 20,000 square feet of laboratories, nearly 1,000 computer systems, and more than 50 terabytes of storage. Gigabit connectivity is provided to every desktop by more than 60 miles of data cabling, and wireless access is available throughout the building.
The Allen School general-purpose laboratories support the diverse set of hardware and software platforms required for a cutting-edge education in the field. The special-purpose laboratories provide tailored support for activities such as mobile robotics, computer graphics, digital design, motion capture, embedded systems, laser scanning, educational technology, networking, and artificial intelligence.
The Allen Center and Gates Center are two of the finest computer science and computer engineering facilities in the nation. All Allen School students have access to these resources.
Honors Options Available: With College Honors (Completion of Honors Core and Departmental Honors requirements). With Honors (Completion of Departmental Honors requirements in the major). See adviser for requirements.
Research, Internships, and Service Learning: Internships and co-op opportunities are available for computer science undergraduates. Refer to department website for more information.
Departmental Scholarships: The Allen School has a limited number of scholarships available to current Allen School majors. Refer to department website for more information.
Student Organizations/Associations: A student chapter of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) operates within the Allen School. The ACM helps to coordinate new student orientations, research nights, technical talks, and various tutorials.