The University of Washington is a great place to study Computer Science, Computer Engineering, and many related technology fields! There is a wealth of relevant majors: Computer Science and Computer Engineering offered by the Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science & Engineering (we're glad you're here!), Informatics, Human Centered Design & Engineering, Applied & Computational Mathematical Sciences, Electrical Engineering, and more!

As you launch into your time at UW, it's important to recognize that many students discover a new academic passion during their first year - they indicate preference for one major on their UW application, but an exciting introductory course in another field causes them to reconsider. This is healthy! Students who come to UW intending to major in a field other than Computer Science or Computer Engineering sometimes take our introductory course, discover that they love the field and have a flair for it, and become our majors. Students who come to UW intending to major in Computer Science or Computer Engineering sometimes discover that another major - for example, Informatics or Human Centered Design & Engineering - is better suited to their interests. Don't feel constrained - explore the breadth and depth of the University of Washington!

As with many other programs at UW, the Paul G. Allen School is capacity-constrained: the number of interested students significantly exceeds the number of student places that are available. (We can't expand arbitrarily. Providing a world-class Computer Science or Computer Engineering education requires appropriate class sizes, laboratory facilities, faculty, etc.). Below you will learn about the different admissions pathways to get into the Allen School. 

Admission Pathways

Most students enter through our Direct to Major Admission pathway from high school, or Transfer Admission from another university or college, about 30% of our students apply after coming to UW and discovering a passion for Computer Science or Computer Engineering. This section contains detailed information for each of the following:

  • Direct to Major for Freshmen Applicants: This highly selective process grants Allen School admission to incoming freshmen applicants who list either Computer Science or Computer Engineering on their application, based on the standard UW Freshman Application.
  • Washington State Academic Redshirt (STARS) ProgramA two-year program for Washington State residents that are eligible for financial aid. STARS offers specialized curriculum designed to build learning skills and strengthen academic preparation. Those who successfully complete the program are guaranteed placement into a computer science or engineering major. Consideration for STARS is contingent upon admission to the University of Washington Seattle as an incoming freshman. 
  • Transfer Admission: Transfer applicants are selected for admission based on the standard UW Transfer Application and a supplemental department application.
  • Current UW Student Admission: This pathway is intended for students who are currently enrolled at UW, discover a passion for CS or CE and then apply.

How Many We Admit

The Allen School currently admits roughly 490 students per year. This includes all three pathways, and both Computer Science and Computer Engineering. Because the UW admits more than 1,000 students per year who want to study Computer Science or Computer Engineering, admission is competitive.