Computer Engineering Admissions

The admissions committee uses a holistic approach when reviewing applications and takes into account academic performance (grades in prerequisite courses, repeated courses, overall GPA, grade trend), completion of core requirements and prerequisites, along with a personal statement providing the application committee with a compelling understanding of the student’s interest in Computer Engineering at the University of Washington Bothell.

  • Decisions are not made until the committee receives the final grades for all required prerequisite courses.
  • Students who take a 3-credit Intro to Technical Writing (at a local community college) or HCDE 231 (at UWS) may be required to take an additional 2 credits of Composition/Writing to satisfy graduation requirements.
  • The Computer Programming I and II prerequisites may use any programming language as long as it is the same language for both courses.

Application dates

The Computer Engineering major admits students for entry in autumn quarter. Visit the UW Bothell Application Dates & Deadlines page for information on application deadlines.

Program prerequisites

A minimum grade of 2.0 or higher is required for all prerequisite courses. The Computer Engineering major is competitive, and completion of the prerequisites does not guarantee admission.

Students must complete all of the following coursework, or their equivalents elsewhere, prior to admission to the program. Up to two (2) of the courses marked with an asterisk (*) may be in-progress at the time you apply.

  • B WRIT 134: English Composition
  • STMATH 124: Calculus I
  • STMATH 125: Calculus II
  • * STMATH 126: Calculus III
  • CSS 142: Computer Programming I
  • * CSS 143: Computer Programming II
  • BPHYS 121: Mechanics
  • * BPHYS 122: Electromagnetism and Oscillatory Motion

Optional prerequisites

The following courses can be completed before or after admission to the program.

  • BWRIT 135: Research Writing
    • or Intro to Technical Writing (ENGL& 235) from WA state colleges
  • BCHEM 143+144: General Chemistry I + Lab
  • STMATH 207: Differential Equations
  • STMATH 208: Matrix Algebra with Applications
  • STMATH 224: Multivariable Calculus
PrerequisiteUW BothellUW SeattleUW TacomaWA State Colleges
(CCN = common course numbers)
English Composition I and IIBWRIT 134, 135ENGL 111/121/131, ENGL 141 or ENGR 231TWRT 101/121, 211CCN: ENGL& 101 and one of 102 or 235

Bellevue: ENGL 101 and one of 201/235/271/272

Edmonds: ENGR  231 also accepted in addition to CCN

Highline: ENGL 205 also accepted in addition to CCN

Green River: ENGL 126 and 128 also accepted in addition to CCN for Composition II.
Calculus I, II, and IIISTMATH 124, 125, 126MATH 124, 125, 126TMATH 124, 125, 126CCN: MATH& 151,152, 153/163 (see note below)
Computer Programming I and II

*Read below about Required UW Bothell skills labs.
**CSS 142 and 143
CSE 122 and 123

TCSS 142 and 143
CCN: CS& 141 and CS 142 or 143. Check UW Equivalency Guide to confirm correct sequence.

Bellevue: CS 210 and 211

Cascadia: BIT 142 and 143

Edmonds: CS& 131, CS 132, CS 133 (C++); or CS& 141, CS 142, CS 143 (Java)

Everett: CS& 131, CS 132 (C++); or CS& 141, CS 142 (Java)

Green River: CS 131/141 and 132/145

Highline: CSCI 142 and 143

Seattle Colleges (North, Central, and South): CSC 142 and 143
Engineering Physics I and II + Labs

(Mechanics and Electromagnetism & Oscillatory Motion)
BPHYS 121, 122PHYS 121, 122TPHYS 121, 122CCN: PHYS& 221, 222 or PHYS& 241+231, 242+232
General Chemistry I + LabBCHEM 143+144CHEM 142TCHEM 142CCN: CHEM& 141+151 or CHEM& 161
Differential EquationsSTMATH 207MATH 207TMATH 207Bellevue, Cascadia, Green River, Seattle Colleges (North, Central, and South): MATH 238

Edmonds: MATH 271

Everett: MATH 261

Highline: MATH 230

Shoreline: MATH 207
Matrix Algebra

(or Linear Algebra)
STMATH 208MATH 208TMATH 208Bellevue, Cascadia, Shoreline: MATH 208

Edmonds: MATH 272

Everett: MATH 260

Green River: MATH 240

Highline, Seattle Colleges (North, Central, and South): MATH 220
Multivariable CalculusSTMATH 224MATH 224TMATH 324CCN: MATH& 254/264

Bellevue: MATH 255

Seattle Colleges (North, Central, and South): MATH 224
A plus sign (+) indicates a paired lecture and separate lab.

*Required UW Bothell skills labs

If taking the Computer Programming I and II (CSS 142 and 143) lectures at UW Bothell, then you must take the corequisite skills labs (CSSSKL 142 and 143) at the same time as the lectures.

CSSSKL 142 and 143 are not themselves prerequisites for entry into the major, but they are important for your learning and will be considered by the admissions committee along with the rest of the coursework on your academic record.

Important notes on prerequisites

  • Many Washington state colleges use the Common Course Numbering (CCN) system for their courses, noted with an ampersand (&), but some may vary.
  • Calculus III transfers: Because of variance in Calculus III offerings at Washington state colleges, you may also need to take Calculus IV (MATH& 254/264) to gain equivalency for Calculus III.
  • Quarters versus semesters. The University of Washington operates on a quarter system. If you are transferring from an institution that operates on a semester system, then please note that a three-quarter series and a two-semester series are usually considered equivalent.

Accepted courses

English Composition

The English Composition requirement is flexible, and other advanced composition or writing such as Research Writing, Scientific Writing, or Intro to Technical Writing can also be accepted.

Please note that if you use ENGL& 230 (at a Washington state college) or HCDE 231 (at UW Seattle) you may need to take 2 more credits of writing later on to satisfy our Additional Writing general education requirement.

Computer Programming

Any programming language is acceptable for the Computer Programming I and II prerequisites, but both courses must be taught in the same language. Commonly taught languages include object-oriented, class-based languages such as Java, C++, other C family languages, and Python.

Washington colleges vary widely in their course numbering for introductory Computer Programming courses. Many use the Common Course Numbering (CCN) system for the first course, noted with an ampersand (&), and then use their own numbering system for the second course. Other colleges use their own numbering system for both courses.

Covid-19 and pass/fail grading

The University of Washington recognizes the difficulties of the Covid-19 pandemic. For courses taken during Extraordinary Circumstances Quarters (ECQ), we will consider pass/fail grading options for the purposes of admissions and graduation requirements.

  • If taken at a UW campus during an ECQ, a grade of ‘S’ (Satisfactory) will be considered. A grade of ‘NS’ (Not Satisfactory) will not be accepted.
  • If taken elsewhere during an ECQ, a “Satisfactory”, “Credit”, “Pass”, or similar grade will be considered if the definition of these grades indicate they would have been at least a 2.0 if the class had been numerically graded.

Community college equivalencies

Approved UW Bothell equivalencies for Computer Engineering prerequisites are located on the Equivalency Guide for Washington state community and technical colleges.

How to apply

Submit an internal application if you are:

  • A pre-major student at UW Bothell campus
  • Already in a major at UW Bothell and you want to switch majors
  • Already in a major at UW Bothell and you want to double major

Submit a transfer application if you are:

  • A current student at UW Seattle or UW Tacoma campus
  • Transferring from another college or university outside of the UW system