Space is extremely limited in our majors-only classes and we often do not have space for students outside of the Allen School. Highly qualified non-majors can request space in these classes on a quarterly basis through our non-major enrollment request form (formerly referred to as a "petition"). Unfortunately, most requests cannot be accommodated due to capacity constraints. The Allen School has an extensive set of upper-division non-major course offerings for Non-Major students in Computer Science or Computer Engineering degree programs. These courses are open to all matriculated students at UW who meet the course prerequisites.

Undergraduate Courses (up to CSE 400 level)

A student may be eligible for a majors-only course if:

    1. There is sufficient course staff available
    2. The student is qualified for the course and has taken the prerequisites or appropriate alternatives
    3. The student clearly articulates why learning the course material will directly benefit them
    4. The student is able to attend the first day of school and all subsequent classes
    The following restrictions apply for undergraduate CSE courses:
  • 2 CSE courses maximum allowed per quarter
  • 5 total CSE courses allowed ever.

The enrollment request form for the upcoming quarters will be available on this page as follows:

*The priority deadline is when we'll begin issuing add codes. You may not hear about your petition until the end of the first week of the quarter.
Quarter Petition Opens Priority Deadline Petition Closes
Autumn 2022 May 7 September 7 September 29
Winter 2023 November 4 December 16 January 9
Spring 2023 February 10 March 17 April 2

PHD Graduate Courses (CSE 500+)

The Allen School allows for people outside the Ph.D. program (otherwise known as a 'non-major') to take 500-level courses. Matriculated student should complete the enrollment petition. The petition is updated every quarter, so be sure the title reflects the correct term. Non-matriculated tuition exempt students with active status can use the enrollment petition above.

The priority deadline is when we'll begin issuing add codes. You may not hear about your petition until the end of the first week of the quarter.
Quarter Petition Opens Priority Deadline Petition Closes
Autumn 2022 May 7 September 7 October 5
Winter 2023 November 4 December 16 January 9
Spring 2023 February 10 March 17 April 2

This petition is only for 500-level classes, and you are not guaranteed a space because you petitioned. You may not receive an add code for several reasons, including but not limited to, lack of seating in the class, instructor preference to keep their course to Allen School Ph.D. students, or not having background skill suitable for the course. Our goal is to send out add codes the first week of the term. Current CSE Ph.D. students are given priority in our course offerings.

BSMS Graduate Courses (CSE M courses)

CSE M classes are typically jointly offered with CSE undergraduate courses. During the first week of class, a student enrolled in the undergraduate version of the class may switch to the CSE M version if they have instructor permission and space is available. If a CSE M course is not jointly offered with an undergraduate course, students can email vgrad-advisor@cs.washington.edu. There is often limited or no space for non-majors in CSE M courses. CSE undergraduates not (yet) admitted to BS/MS can similarly switch into CSE M courses the first week of class if space is available and they have instructor permission (or the instructor is ok with any student switching). CSE undergraduates that have been admitted to BS/MS may register at any time for CSE M classes while still an undergraduate, but need to email vgrad-advisor@cs.washington.edu to get registered.

Course Repeats

You may register to take any CSE course for a second time during all registration periods.

If you want to take a course for a third time, you will need to fill out this petition. Before petitioning, first meet with your UAA, OMA&D, ENGRUD, or major academic advisor to discuss:

  • Why you want to repeat the course
  • Reasons you did not do well in the course before
  • What has changed since the last time you took the course
  • What your course load and other responsibilities are like for the quarter
  • The resources and skills you will utilize in your repeat of the course
You should also research and explore these campus resources before you take a course for a third time:

Your goal should be to maximize your ability to pass the course. The Allen School does not allow students to take courses for a fourth time.

General Registration Advice

  1. Plan a balanced schedule. Prepare yourself for a good academic experience and strong grades by planning a manageable schedule with a good mix of courses. We recommend two math/science/CSE courses per quarter, plus one non-math/science/CSE course, such as a VLPA or I&S requirement. If you hope to take on heavier schedules, such as three CSE courses or four total courses, build up to this heavy workload after a strong quarter in lighter schedule. Remember that it's easier to ramp up your workload over time than to recover from a quarter in which you've taken on too much.  
  2. Plan for the amount of work in a course, not the number of credits. Most CSE majors take 12-15 credits per quarter, occasionally more. The number of credits does not always reflect the workload: A 4-credit CSE course or a 3-credit Math course will often require more work than many 5-credit courses. 
  3. Plan ahead. Use MyPlan (available on MyUW) to draft a 2-, 3-, or 4-year plan, then send it to a CSE advisor for feedback. We can note any missing requirements, mixed-up prereqs, or other scheduling issues, and we can discuss how to fit in extra-curricular activities -- TAing, research, study abroad, etc. Planning ahead will help you form a better picture of your goals an opportunities, and avoid issues. 
  4. Study resourcefully. UW and the Allen School provide many different academic resources. Get help before you need it. Visit your professors and TAs during Office Hours. Collaborate with classmates in the undergrad labs. For introductory courses, the Intro Programming Labs (IPL), the Math Study Center, and CLUE are all great resources.