Direct to College admission (DTC)

Direct to College 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:

April 2017 announcement  Direct to College FAQ

Undergraduate Program

For the Autumn 2017 admission (all students) and for Autumn 2018 admission (early admission and upper admission/transfer students only), prospective engineering students must be admitted to the University of Washington first, and then to the Materials Science & Engineering department. Visit the UW Seattle Undergraduate Admissions page to learn about applying to the UW.

We welcome applications from all students who meet minimum requirements. Meeting minimum requirements, however, does not guarantee an offer of admission.

Types of admission Transfer students Nano. & Molecular option Selection Appeals

Types of admission to the department

There are three ways to be admitted to MSE:

  • Upper/Transfer: Typically at the end of the sophomore year after completion of all the prerequisite courses. This process will continue for the Autumn 2017 and Autumn 2018 admission cycles, after which it will be revised.
  • Early: For current UW students applying at the end of freshman year, after completion of specific prerequisites courses. The current early admission process will continue for the Autumn 2017 and  Autumn 2018 admission cycles, after which it will be revised.
  • Direct freshman: Designed specifically for students applying to the UW as freshman. Freshman admission information. The final year for this admissions option is for students entering into the UW in Autumn 2017.

Upper Admission: UW pre-engineering and transfer students

Current UW students and students transferring from other schools can apply after two years in college through upper admission.

Application deadlines


To be eligible for upper admission, you should have:

  • Cumulative UW GPA of 2.5 or higher
  • Grade of 2.0 or higher in each prerequisite course
  • Completed the following prerequisite courses or equivalent:
    Subject Credits Course Equivalencies
    Calculus (15 credits)
    Differential equations (3 credits)
    18 MATH 124, 125, 126, 307 (AMATH 351 is an acceptable substitute for 307)
    General Chemistry for Science and Engineering 10 CHEM 142, 152
    Calculus-based Physics 10 PHYS 121, 122
    Fundamentals of Materials Science 4 MSE 170
    Computer Programming for Science and Engineering 4 AMATH 301 OR CSE 142
    English Composition 5 Any UW composition (C) course

Transfer Students

In addition to the requirements above, transfer students must first apply to the UW via Undergraduate Admissions, then apply to the MSE department via the College of Engineering Department Application. Please note that the deadline for the UW is significantly earlier than for MSE, so plan accordingly.

Transfer students are strongly encouraged to contact the MSE academic adviser as soon as possible to make sure credits transfer and that you have completed the prerequisite courses before applying.

Direct freshman admission

For very motivated high school seniors applying to the UW.

Application deadlines

See the UW Key Dates & Deadlines - Freshmen page for details.

When applying to the UW, students who wish to be considered for direct admission should select Materials Science & Engineering as their first choice major on the UW application. No other application is needed.


To be eligible for direct admission, applicants must have the following:

  • High school GPA of at least a 3.7 or higher
  • SAT scores (or equivalent) of at least 1300 or higher
  • Indicated Materials Science and Engineering as their first choice major

Early admission

For current UW students who have just completed their first year of college.

Application deadline

July 1.


Applicants for early admission must have completed the following prerequisite courses:

  • 15 credits of Mathematics – MATH 124, 125, 126
  • 10 credits of Physical Science with labs – CHEM 142, 152, PHYS 121, 122 or 123
  • 5 credits of English Composition

GPA requirements for early admission:

  • Cumulative UW GPA of 2.5 or higher
  • A grade of 2.0 or higher in each prerequisite course
  • At least 15 credits of the prerequisite courses completed at the UW

Nanoscience and Molecular Engineering (NME) Option

Students are admitted to the MSE NME option by completing NME 220 in the Spring quarter of Sophomore year — as long as they have met MSE admission prerequisites and are admitted to the major. Indicate your interest in the option in your MSE departmental application and discuss your interests and background in your essay.

Learn more about the Nanoscience & Molecular Engineering Option for MSE undergrads.

The Selection Process

The MSE Undergraduate Program Committee will meet to review applications for admission. The committee reviews applications for Autumn Quarter only. Transfer student applicants will be reviewed by the same standards as students who have taken all their preparatory work at the University of Washington.

Selection is based on the following criteria:

  • Overall academic record of the student
  • Overall GPA and prerequisite GPA
  • Individual grades received in each required prerequisite course
  • Number of missing prerequisites
  • Number of repeated and withdrawn courses
  • Previous placement on warning or probation
  • Motivational factors as evidenced by previous internship or work experiences, science and engineering activities, the personal statement or other documented evidence

Appeals Procedure

If you are denied admission to the MSE Department and want more information about the decision, you should first consult with the MSE academic counselor. Then you may request a review of the decision by writing a letter to the department chairperson citing your reasons for appeal. You must submit this letter within two weeks after notification of denial. The only basis for appeal is an error in the data considered by the MSE Undergraduate Program Committee. If you were denied admission because you submitted incomplete or inaccurate records, your appeal will not be considered. A department appeals committee will consider appeals and respond promptly.

ABET logo MSE's Bachelor of Science degree program is accredited by the ABET Engineering Accreditation Commission. Also see MSE's Program Educational Objectives and Student Learning Outcomes.