Computer Engineering will become part of the Allen School direct admission process in 2021

Effective for the freshmen class of 2021, applicants who request Computer Engineering on their UW freshman application will be considered for direct admission into the Allen School instead of Direct to College of Engineering (DTC). Computer Engineering is currently part of the Direct to College of Engineering process. This change provides greater transparency to applicants who intend to pursue Computer Engineering as a major and ensure better access to the degree program by aligning admissions for Computer Engineering and Computer Science which are within the Allen School.

All freshman applicants who meet UW admissions criteria and who list Computer Science or Computer Engineering as their first-choice major on their application will be considered for direct admission to the Allen School. The UW Office of Admissions will offer Direct to Major admission based on a holistic review that includes established criteria and selection guidelines developed in partnership with the Allen School.

How will this impact current DTC students? This will not affect students who are currently in DTC. The Fall 2019 and Fall 2020 DTC cohorts will still have the option of selecting Computer Engineering during placement. Students who are currently in the DTC pool can learn more about the process on the College of Engineering website.

Allen School DTM means being admitted to the Allen School at the same time you are admitted to UW. This page provides general information about Allen School DTM. The majority of our students come through our DTM pathway.

About Direct to Major Admission (DTM)

Criteria for DTM

Allen School DTM is offered to about 280 freshmen from WA state, selected from more than 1,000 candidates, and approximately 60-70 non-Washington residents. The UW admissions office prioritizes academically strong, motivated, and well-rounded students from Washington State. 

The best academic preparation for computer science and computer engineering is taking the most rigorous curriculum offered at your high school. This includes advanced classes if available (Honors, AP, IB, etc.), especially in English, math, and science. Most students selected for DTM into the Allen School have taken science and math every year of high school, and most have taken calculus. It is not necessary to take computer programming in high school, or to have computer-related work experience. However, if you have access to computing opportunities, we encourage you to take them!

Allen School DTM is designed primarily for Washington State resident students. 

Application Process

There is no separate application for Allen School DTM. To be considered, students submit the UW Application for Freshman Admissions, and list Computer Science or Computer Engineering as their first choice of major. No additional materials are required. Applicants should follow the UW freshmen application guidelines; you do not need to craft a computing-focused application. Applicants must meet all UW admissions deadlines and requirements as outlined on the UW Freshmen Admissions website.

The UW Admissions office selects students for Allen School DTM, based on criteria provided by the Allen School.

Information Sessions

The Allen School offers information sessions for prospecitve high school students on the first Firday of every month from 3:30PM - 4:30PM PST. Dates and times are posted on our Information Sessions page.

Advice & FAQs

What are the benefits of being a DTM student?

DTM offers many benefits to selected students including (but not limited to):

  • Guaranteed admission to Computer Science or Computer Engineering (no competitive application process later)
  • Participation in Allen School events and activities from your first day on campus 
  • More flexibility in planning your Allen School coursework over four years of college
  • More time to do internships and participate in research
  • Access to Allen School labs, facilities, and events
  • Connection to other Allen School students who share your academic interests 

How do I know if I am admitted to Allen School as a DTM student?

Allen School DTM decisions are sent at the same time as UW freshman admissions decisions, during the first two weeks of March. Your major will be listed on your offer letter. Students offered DTM Admission will see Computer Science or Computer Engineering listed as their major. Students who are not offered DTM will see pre-major or pre-science listed as their major. 

In March, the Allen School will also contact DTM students with information about our program. Everyone offered Allen School DTM will receive multiple emails from the Allen School. Admitted students will not miss our offer. 

Is there a minimum GPA to be competitive for DTM?

The Office of Admisisons uses a holistic review process to make DTM decisions. Most students offered DTM have a high school GPA of 3.85-4 (unweighted). Remember that these numbers are only one factor in our selection process. Also note that hundreds of students with these high grades are not offered DTM; no grade guarantees admission.

Do you expect students to have had programming experience in high school?

We do not expect high school applicants to have any programming experience. Computer Science and Computer Engineering are intellectual challenges first and foremost, so we look for those students who demonstrate academic excellence and leadership. We look for students with strong academic motivation, who have excelled in math, science, English and other writing or communications courses.

What happens if I am not offered admission through the DTM pathway?

Some applicants who select Computer Science or Computer Engineering on their UW application will be admitted to the UW but not offered DTM to the Allen School. We encourage students to be open-minded. Many students arrive at UW thinking they want to pursue one major, but develop a passion for another major during their freshmen year. UW offers more than 180 majors, including a number of technology-related majors other than Computer Science and Computer Engineering, which are popular choices for many students and can be a great fit for your future plans.

However, if you are absolutely certain that you want to major in Computer Science or Computer Engineering and do not receive a DTM offer, you should strongly consider other universities. 

Can Allen School majors pursue a double-major, double-degree, or minor?

Yes! One of the advantages of a large institution like the UW is the enormous number of academic options, and we encourage Allen School students to explore subjects outside the department. Many of our undergraduates pursue more than one major or degree, and seek minors in other disciplines. Because Allen School DTM students can start our curriculum early, they often have more flexibility to plan for a second major or minor.

What if I am offered DTM but decide I prefer a different major?

You can drop your Allen School major at any time if you decide it's not the right fit. We anticipate that DTM students, like all students at the University, will spend their first year or two exploring lots of options.