Information regarding UW College of Engineering Direct to College (DTC) admission

DTC 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. We are in the process of updating our website to reflect the changes. For details, see:

College of Engineering Announcement
Direct to College FAQ

Students with any questions regarding admissions to the B.S. Bioengineering program are encouraged to contact an Academic Counselor.

Information Sessions

Prospective students should attend an information session before requesting an individual appointment. Info sessions are led by Bioengineering Academic Counselors and students. The first 45 minutes of the session cover the curriculum, admission, research and other opportunities. The last half-hour is reserved to answer individual schedule and application questions. If you have such questions, please bring a copy of your current transcript for an Academic Counselor to review.

Application Process

The Office of Admissions admits a small number of entering freshmen directly into the BIOE major.

The process for applying to the B.S. Bioengineering program depends on a student’s current class standing.

Normally students are admitted to the B.S. Bioengineering program at the end of freshman year, via Early Admission.

However, Bioengineering also admits a small number (12-15) entering freshmen directly into the major. Students who wish to be considered for Direct Freshman Admission (DFA) should list BIOEN as their major of first choice on the freshman application. DFA applicants should use the optional essay question (“Is there anything else you would like us to know about you?”) to explain their interest in bioengineering and in the UW’s program. Students should make sure that their overall freshman application reflects any important experiences related to math, science and engineering.

DFA offers will be emailed to applicants in the last week of March. Students offered Direct Freshman Admission will automatically be considered for a departmental scholarship. Scholarship offers will also be made by email at the same time as offers of departmental admission.

See our FAQ for Direct Freshman Admission.

Early Admission is the normal admission point to the B.S. Bioengineering program. Students who entered UW on a freshman application may apply for Early Admission at the end of their first year. Early Admission is for Autumn quarter only; the application deadline is July 1.

To be eligible, 35 credits of prerequisites must be completed. Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate and Running Start credits may be used to fulfill prerequisites, but 15 prerequisite credits must have been taken at UW. Students who enter the University with calculus and chemistry sequences completed should proceed to take some of the second year math and science courses as part of the 15 required UW credits.

Early Admission Prerequisites

CHEM 142, 152, 162 (or honors equivalent) – 15 credits
MATH 124, 125, 126 (or honors equivalent) – 15 credits
5 credits of English Composition

Early Admission Recommended Courses

Students are strongly advised to take BIOEN 215 (3 credits) during their freshman year.

Upper Admission is for students who wish to apply during their sophomore year. Upper Admission is for Spring quarter; the application deadline is February 1. To be eligible, students are required to complete 59 prerequisite credits, but may apply with some of these credits in progress (see note).

Upper Admission prerequisites
Course Credits Notes
CHEM 142, 152, 162 (or honors equivalent) 15
CHEM 223 or 237 (or honors equivalent) 5  May be in progress at time of application
MATH 124, 125, 126 (or honors equivalent) 15
English Composition 5
PHYS 121, 122 10 PHYS 122 may be in progress at time of application
BIOL 180, 200 10 BIOL 180 may be in progress at time of application
AMATH 301 4 May be in progress at time of application
BIOEN 215 3 Not a hard prerequisite but generally expected
Transfer students will apply for Upper Admission

Note that the B.S. Bioengineering course sequence begins Spring quarter, not Autumn quarter. All courses are taught once per year.

Most transfer students will matriculate at UW Autumn quarter, spend Autumn and Winter quarters completing prerequisites, and apply to the department February 1 for Upper Admission Spring quarter. Some transfer students may be prepared to transfer directly to UW for spring of the sophomore year. See the sample transfer schedules, below.

Please note that successful transfer involves two separate admissions processes. The first is admission to the University, through the UW Office of Admissions. Students are advised to observe their deadlines carefully.

Students should note that UW offers limited spring admission only for students entering programs with spring starts. Observe the winter quarter deadline for spring quarter unless instructed otherwise by Admissions. The second is admission to the department. The Upper Admission application deadline for the department is February 1 for Spring quarter admission.

Transfer Admission Prerequisites

See prerequisites in Upper Admission section, above.

Sample Transfer Admission schedules

Below are two examples of UW course schedules for transfer students.

  • Option 1: Transfer to UW Spring Quarter of Sophomore year (4 years to degree)
  • Option 2: Transfer to UW Fall Quarter of Junior year (5 years to degree)
Option 1: Transfer to UW Spring Quarter of Sophomore year (4 years to degree)
Autumn Winter Spring Summer Notes
Year 1 CHEM 142
MATH 124
CHEM 152
MATH 125
CHEM 162
MATH 126
(if not available at CC) Students should register AMATH 301 at UW via Educational Outreach, or check CC for a similar course. Students may take Biology in the freshman year if allowed by their CC.
Year 2 Apply to UW for SPR quarter admissions by 12/15
PHYS 121
Organic chemistry
Apply to BIOE by 2/1
PHYS 122
MATH 307
Matriculate UW, declare BIOE
BIOEN 315, 316, 317
MATH 308
BIOL 3 at CC or UW
BIOL 3 at CC or UW if not taken BIOEN 215 to be taken Autumn quarter of junior year. Bioengineering will accept 2 quarters of transfer Biology plus a third quarter of Biology at UW.
Option 2: Transfer to UW Fall Quarter of Junior year (5 years to degree)
Autumn Winter Spring Notes
Year 1 CHEM 142
MATH 124
CHEM 152
MATH 125
CHEM 162
MATH 126
Students whose CC requires preparatory chemistry and math should continue the calculus and chemistry sequences into the summer.
Year 2 PHYS 121
Organic chemistry
Apply to UW for Autumn quarter by 2/15
PHYS 122
MATH 307
MATH 308
Students should take AMATH 301 if offered by CC.
Year 3 Matriculate at UW
AMATH 301 if not taken previously
BIOEN 299 (elective)
Apply BIOE by 2/1
Approved ENGR electives
Gen ed as needed
BIOEN 499 (Elective research)
Declare BIOE
BIOEN 315, 316, 317
Approved ENGR elective OR Gen ed as needed
Transfer Course Equivalents

Students taking courses at Washington state community colleges should consult UW’s transfer equivalency guide, and take the courses that are exact equivalents of the requirements at UW.

Students who enter UW with any transfer credit (whether from a Washington state four-year college or university, or from any out of state university) will have their transfer credit evaluated when they accept an offer of admission to UW. International credit (including A-level credit) will also be evaluated at time of admission.

UW Bioengineering’s prerequisites are fairly standard courses. Students should look for the following:

  • AMATH 301: Beginning scientific computing using MatLab. Courses in C, C++, and Java do not substitute for this requirement but are recommended courses and may count for Approved Engineering Electives. Please note that this course is offered at UW in summer quarter (MATH 125 prerequisite).  Everett Community College offers an online equivalent at least once a year (contact the college for details).
  • BIOEN 215: Introduction to engineering design using Bioengineering problems as examples. This course may be taken after transfer.
  • BIOL 180, 200, 220: Three quarters or two semesters of college biology, from the sequence taken by biology majors and pre-medical students. Note: Students transferring for spring quarter may not have the full biology sequence completed prior to transfer, and should contact an Academic Counselor for more information.
  • CHEM 142, 152, 162; CHEM 223 or 237: A full year (3 quarters or 2 semesters) of general chemistry, the same sequence that chemistry majors and pre-medical students take, plus one quarter or one semester of organic chemistry (lab not required).
  • English Composition: A quarter or semester of college composition/expository writing. A literature course will not fill this requirement but would count instead towards required liberal arts credits.
  • MATH 124, 125, 126: A full year (3 quarters or 2 semesters) of calculus.
  • PHYS 121, 122 Two quarters or two semesters of calculus-based physics with lab, the sequence required for physics and engineering majors. Please note that an algebra-based sequence will not suffice.

Visit UW Bioengineering

Prospective students are encouraged to visit UW Bioengineering. High school students and their families may want to attend one of our scheduled information sessions. It is also possible to arrange an appointment with an Academic Counselors by emailing Visitors are encouraged to give as much advance notice as possible (two weeks is preferred).

Prospective students are encouraged to visit the department between mid-October and mid-March. We can give you the best look at our program when classes are in session. High school students and their families may want to attend one of our scheduled information sessions.

B.S. Bioengineering Information Sessions

January 11th 4:00 – 5:30 p.m.
February 8th 4:00 – 5:30 p.m.
All info sessions held in Foege N130A

Peer Advisor Hours for Winter 2017

Monday/Thursday 2:00 – 4:00 p.m.
Tuesday/Wednesday 3:00 – 5:00 p.m.
All peer advising sessions held in Foege N107

From mid-March through April, departmental visits are available for students who have received an offer of admission from UW for the following Autumn Quarter.

If you have been offered admission to UW for AUT 2016, we invite you to attend a Prospective Student Information Session during Admitted Student Preview Days. Conducted by our academic counselors and peer advisors, these sessions are designed to help you decide whether UW BIOE is the right place for you. Sessions include a admissions and program information, a short department tour and Q&A. We will finish in time for you to attend Admitted Student Preview events sponsored by the Office of Admissions. The BIOE departmental sessions are scheduled as follows:

Information sessions and drop-in hours are TBD.

We regret that we cannot schedule individual advising appointments for all prospective students. This is to ensure that our current bioengineering students continue to receive advising and support during the busy admissions season.  We can provide phone and email support for follow-up questions or for those unable to visit in person. or 206-616-2423.

Students who have received an offer of Direct Freshman Admission from Bioengineering are encouraged to visit the department and schedule an individual advising appointment. During this visit, students may meet with an academic counselor, meet a current bioengineering undergraduate student, and sit in on a bioengineering class. Students should note that the last two weeks of March is the finals and spring break period and there are no classes to visit during that time. To schedule an appointment please contact

College of Engineering Discovery Days

All prospective students are invited to attend Engineering Discovery Days on Saturday April 23rd, 2016. You can learn more about this event on the College of Engineering website here:

From mid-May through mid-September, department visits and academic counseling can be arranged as the counselors’ schedules permit, and you can email to inquire about availability. Students should note that there is no opportunity to visit a Bioengineering class during the summer. .

How to Apply

UW Bioengineering uses a web-based application for Early and Upper Admission.

All application materials must be submitted by 5 p.m. on the day of the deadline. Materials emailed, mailed, or delivered after that deadline will not be accepted.

The application consists of the following:

The statement prompts for the optional short-essay question and the personal statement are available to look at even when the application is closed.
Students are required to upload electronic copies of unofficial transcripts from each college or university attended. If a student has prerequisite courses in progress, he/she should provide quarter’s registration.
The application includes space to list jobs, volunteer work, special projects, research experience or internships
Students who have participated in research or an engineering internship as a high school student or undergraduate are encouraged to request a letter of recommendation from their research or internship supervisors.

Any other kind of recommendation letter will not be accepted.

The supervisor should email the letter of reference (PDF preferred) directly to the Academic Counselor at

UW Bioengineering requires that undergraduates have least a 2.5 cumulative GPA to apply to the department. However, a student’s individual circumstances may warrant a petition for special consideration. The Academic Counselor can help the student decide whether a petition is worthwhile and provide advice regarding how to write the petition.

Students who have not completed some prerequisite courses, or who have certain prerequisites in progress need to submit a petition for special consideration. The petition should address why the course(s) could not be completed in time for application and any additional background the student has in the particular subject area. Address the letter to the Chair of the Bioengineering Undergraduate Admissions Committee, but send it via email to the Academic Counselor.