Engineering is the science and art of applying scientific and mathematical principles, experience, judgment, and common sense to design devices and systems that benefit society. Engineers are fascinated by questions of how and why things work. They use their training in mathematics, physics, and chemistry to understand the physical world and develop creative solutions to society's complex needs. Engineers may be designers, planners, managers, analysts, researchers, consultants, sales specialists, and more. Engineering graduates have many career possibilities open to them.
The primary goal of College of Engineering educational programs is to prepare students for a professional career in engineering by providing the technical foundation required for success in industry, government, or academia. Other goals of the College are to instill within its students the highest ethical standards, the capability for lifelong learning, and a curiosity about the world. Excellence in undergraduate and graduate academic programs remains the College's highest priority.
Most degree programs are offered by engineering departments. The College of Engineering offers interdisciplinary programs at the undergraduate and master's level for students whose desired course of study does not fall within one engineering department.
The College of Engineering and its departments provide undergraduate programs that offer a variety of educational experiences to its students. The College offers established departmental degrees as well as interdisciplinary programs that culminate in a major and meaningful design experience. The curricula also facilitate transfer from community colleges and from other four-year colleges and universities.
For information about specific undergraduate programs, refer to the UW degree program catalog.
Students follow one of three pathways to gain admission:
Freshmen admitted to the UW who indicate an engineering major as their preferred choice and who are admitted Direct-to-College enter the UW with Engineering Undeclared status and must complete requirements prior to requesting placement into a specific engineering major. This is the standard admission pathway for engineering students entering the UW as freshmen. The deadline to submit a request for placement in an engineering major occurs annually on July 1. Computer Engineering is not part of Direct-to-College. Students who select Computer Engineering as their first choice major on their UW application will instead be considered for Direct Placement into the Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science and Engineering Program.
Students submit a ranked list of majors along with supporting materials. Since some majors are not able to take all students who request admission, students must identify alternative majors to ensure placement.
Capacity-constrained departments review students' academic records and supporting materials to determine priority for admission. Department priority and student department ranking are both used to determine final placement.
Students in good standing who do not meet the placement requirements by July 1 will be placed into a major on a conditional basis pending the completion of all placement requirements. Additional advising resources will be available to these students to support completion of placement requirements and degree course planning or advising on alternate major options outside of engineering.
Engineering Undeclared students in good standing with respect to the continuation criteria described below may request placement into an engineering major after completion of minimum requirements as specified below:
While the University has general regulations governing scholastic eligibility for continuation, the College of Engineering and the engineering departments have additional requirements in order to make the best use of limited facilities and resources. Criteria and procedures applied to Engineering Undeclared students for continuation in the College include:
Student progress is reviewed each quarter. Students whose performance fails to meet the standards outlined above will be placed on Engineering Undeclared warning. Students on warning who fail to meet satisfactory progress requirements after one quarter will be placed on probation; a hold is placed on their registration, and they must meet with a College of Engineering adviser. Students on Engineering Undeclared probation who fail to meet satisfactory progress requirements after one quarter are dropped from Engineering Undeclared status. Such students may appeal for continuation of their Engineering Undeclared status by submitting a statement and an educational plan by the deadlines described on the website. Students may only appeal for continuation of their Engineering Undeclared status one time.
Students who need to take time away from the UW can request a Leave of Absence from the College of Engineering to maintain their Engineering Undeclared status for one to three quarters (not including summer). Leave of Absence requests must be submitted to Engineering Advising. If approved, students will maintain their Engineering Undeclared program status upon their return.
Students may earn only one undergraduate degree from the College of Engineering; this includes degrees in aeronautical and astronautical engineering, bioengineering, chemical engineering, civil engineering, computer engineering, electrical engineering, electrical and computer engineering, environmental engineering, human centered design and engineering, industrial engineering, materials science and engineering, and mechanical engineering. Additionally, students majoring in computer engineering may not earn a double degree with computer science. Individual units within the College may adopt more restrictive policies relating to double degrees.
The Washington State Academic RedShirt (STARS) program targets applicants who show promise of success in engineering but who will benefit from additional preparation for the demands of an engineering curriculum. Applicants considered for the STARS program will be from economically and educationally disadvantaged backgrounds as indicated by factors such as a high level of financial need, attendance at a high school with a high percentage of students receiving free or reduced-price lunch and status as a first-generation college student. The STARS program provides a specialized two-year curriculum, a supportive community, and comprehensive and individualized academic advising that lead to guaranteed placement into an engineering or computer science major. For information about the application process and program requirements please visit www.engr.washington.edu/stars.
All undergraduate degree programs in the College of Engineering require students to complete general education requirements.
Areas of Knowledge
The College of Engineering and its departments offer doctoral and master's degree programs for engineers to learn new skills, boost their careers, or delve into academic research. For more information about these programs, refer to the UW degree program catalog.