UW Bioengineering Undergraduate Admissions
Students with any questions regarding admissions to the B.S. Bioengineering program are encouraged to contact an Academic Counselor.
Prospective students should attend an information session before requesting an individual appointment. Info sessions are led by Bioengineering Academic Counselors and students. The first 45 minutes of the session cover the curriculum, admission, research and other opportunities. The last half-hour is reserved to answer individual schedule and application questions. If you have such questions, please bring a copy of your current transcript for an Academic Counselor to review.
The process for applying to the B.S. Bioengineering program depends on a student’s current class standing.
Normally students are admitted to the B.S. Bioengineering program at the end of freshman year, via Early Admission.
However, Bioengineering also admits a small number (12-15) entering freshmen directly into the major. Students who wish to be considered for Direct Freshman Admission (DFA) should list BIOEN as their major of first choice on the freshman application. DFA applicants should use the optional essay question (“Is there anything else you would like us to know about you?”) to explain their interest in bioengineering and in the UW’s program. Students should make sure that their overall freshman application reflects any important experiences related to math, science and engineering.
Applicants will be notified by email of the DFA decision in the last week of March. Students offered Direct Freshman Admission will automatically be considered for a departmental scholarship. Scholarship offers will also be made by email at the same time as offers of departmental admission.
Early Admission is the normal admission point to the B.S. Bioengineering program. Students who entered UW on a freshman application may apply for Early Admission at the end of their first year. Early Admission is for Autumn quarter only; the application deadline is July 1.
To be eligible, 35 credits of prerequisites must be completed. Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate and Running Start credits may be used to fulfill prerequisites, but 15 prerequisite credits must have been taken at UW. Students who enter the University with calculus and chemistry sequences completed should proceed to take some of the second year math and science courses as part of the 15 required UW credits.
Early Admission Prerequisites
CHEM 142, 152, 162 (or honors equivalent) – 15 credits
MATH 124, 125, 126 (or honors equivalent) – 15 credits
5 credits of English Composition
Early Admission Recommended courses
Students are strongly advised to take BIOEN 215 (3 credits) during their freshman year.
Upper Admission is for students who wish to apply during their sophomore year. Upper admission is for Spring quarter; the application deadline is February 1. To be eligible, students are required to complete 59 prerequisite credits, but may apply with some of these credits in progress (see note).
Upper Admission prerequisites
|CHEM 142, 152, 162 (or honors equivalent)||15|
|CHEM 223 or 237 (or honors equivalent)||5||May be in progress at time of application|
|MATH 124, 125, 126 (or honors equivalent)||15|
|PHYS 121, 122||10||PHYS 122 may be in progress at time of application|
|BIOL 180, 200||10||BIOL 180 may be in progress at time of application|
|AMATH 301||4||May be in progress at time of application|
|BIOEN 215||3||Not a hard prerequisite but generally expected|
Transfer students will apply for Upper Admission. Note that the B.S. Bioengineering course sequence begins Spring quarter, not Autumn quarter. All courses are taught once per year.
Most transfer students will matriculate at UW Autumn quarter, spend Autumn and Winter quarters completing prerequisites, and apply to the department February 1 for Upper Admission Spring quarter. Some transfer students may be prepared to transfer directly to UW for spring of the sophomore year. See the sample transfer schedules, below.
Please note that successful transfer involves two separate admissions processes. The first is admission to the University, through the UW Office of Admissions. Students are advised to observe their deadlines carefully.
Students should note that UW offers limited spring admission only for students entering programs with spring starts. Observe the winter quarter deadline for spring quarter unless instructed otherwise by Admissions. The second is admission to the department. The Upper Admission application deadline for the department is February 1 for Spring quarter admission.
Transfer Admission Prerequisites
See prerequisites in Upper Admission section, above.
Sample Transfer Admission schedules
Below are two examples of UW course schedules for transfer students.
- Option 1: Transfer to UW Spring Quarter of Sophomore year (4 years to degree)
- Option 2: Transfer to UW Fall Quarter of Junior year (5 years to degree)
|Option 1: Transfer to UW Spring Quarter of Sophomore year (4 years to degree)|
|Year 1||CHEM 142
|AMATH 301 (if not available at CC)||Students should register AMATH 301 at UW via Educational Outreach, or check CC for a similar course. Students may take Biology in the freshman year if allowed by their CC.
|Year 2||Apply to UW for SPR quarter admissions by 12/15
|Apply to BIOE by 2/1
|Matriculate UW, declare BIOE
BIOEN 315, 316, 317
BIOL 3 at CC or UW
|BIOL 3 at CC or UW if not taken||BIOEN 215 to be taken Autumn quarter of junior year. Bioengineering will accept 2 quarters of transfer Biology plus a third quarter of Biology at UW.|
|Option 2: Transfer to UW Fall Quarter of Junior year (5 years to degree)|
|Year 1||CHEM 142
|Students whose CC requires preparatory chemistry and math should continue the calculus and chemistry sequences into the summer.
|Year 2||PHYS 121
|Apply to UW for Autumn quarter by 2/15
|Students should take AMATH 301 if offered by CC.|
|Year 3||Matriculate at UW
AMATH 301 if not taken previously
BIOEN 299 (elective)
|Apply BIOE by 2/1
Approved ENGR electives
Gen ed as needed
BIOEN 499 (Elective research)
BIOEN 315, 316, 317
Approved ENGR elective OR Gen ed as needed
Transfer Course Equivalents
Students taking courses at Washington state community colleges should consult UW’s transfer equivalency guide, and take the courses that are exact equivalents of the requirements at UW.
Students who enter UW with any transfer credit (whether from a Washington state four-year college or university, or from any out of state university) will have their transfer credit evaluated when they accept an offer of admission to UW. International credit (including A-level credit) will also be evaluated at time of admission.
UW Bioengineering’s prerequisites are fairly standard courses. Students should look for the following:
- AMATH 301: Beginning scientific computing using MatLab. Courses in C, C++, and Java do not substitute for this requirement but are recommended courses and may count for Approved Engineering Electives.
- BIOEN 215: Introduction to engineering design using Bioengineering problems as examples. This course may be taken after transfer.
- BIOL 180, 200, 220: Three quarters or two semesters of college biology, from the sequence taken by biology majors and pre-medical students. Note: Students transferring for spring quarter may not have the full biology sequence completed prior to transfer, and should contact an Academic Counselor for more information.
- CHEM 142, 152, 162; CHEM 223 or 237: A full year (3 quarters or 2 semesters) of general chemistry, the same sequence that chemistry majors and pre-medical students take, plus one quarter or one semester of organic chemistry (lab not required).
- English Composition: A quarter or semester of college composition/expository writing. A literature course will not fill this requirement but would count instead towards required liberal arts credits.
- MATH 124, 125, 126: A full year (3 quarters or 2 semesters) of calculus.
- PHYS 121, 122 Two quarters or two semesters of calculus-based physics with lab, the sequence required for physics and engineering majors. Please note that an algebra-based sequence will not suffice.
Visit UW Bioengineering
Prospective students are encouraged to visit UW Bioengineering. High school students and their families may want to attend one of our scheduled information sessions. It is also possible to arrange an appointment with an Academic Counselors by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Visitors are encouraged to give as much advance notice as possible (two weeks is preferred).
Prospective students are encouraged to visit the department between mid-October and mid-March. We can give you the best look at our program when classes are in session. High school students and their families may want to attend one of our scheduled information sessions.
From mid-March through April, departmental visits are available for students who have received an offer of admission from UW for the following Autumn.
Prospective students should consider attending one of Bioengineering’s Prospective Student Sessions, which coincide with the Preview Days program sponsored by the Office of Admissions. Preview Days allow admitted students to get a better look at UW. These sessions are offered to answer students’ questions, profile the program, and give a short departmental tour.
Students who have received an offer of Direct Freshman Admission from Bioengineering are encouraged to visit the department. During this visit, students may meet with an Academic Counselor, meet a current Bioengineering undergraduate student, and sit in on a Bioengineering class. Students should note that the last two weeks of March is the finals and spring break period and there are no classes to visit during that time.
Academic Counselors can also provide phone and email support for follow-up questions or for those unable to visit in person.
How to Apply
All application materials must be submitted by 5 p.m. on the day of the deadline. Materials emailed, mailed, or delivered after that deadline will not be accepted.
The application consists of the following:
Any other kind of recommendation letter will not be accepted.
The supervisor should email the letter of reference (PDF preferred) directly to the Academic Counselor.
Students who have not completed some prerequisite courses, or who have certain prerequisites in progress need to submit a petition for special consideration. The petition should address why the course(s) could not be completed in time for application and any additional background the student has in the particular subject area. Address the letter to the Chair of the Bioengineering Undergraduate Admissions Committee, but send it via email to the Academic Counselor.