High School Students

What can I do in high school to better prepare myself for Industrial & Systems Engineering?

The best thing you can do is to take as many AP or IB courses in math and science areas as well as the other offerings to give yourself a head start on your classes.  Since you aren’t starting your ISE coursework until after you have completed two years of prerequisites this type of curriculum will also help in gaining admission to the University of Washington.  See Undergraduate Admissions Prerequisites.
What is Freshman Admission?
We enroll a small percentage of our incoming class directly out of high school, prior to the completion of university-level prerequisites.  Freshmen applicants to the University of Washington who list Industrial & Systems Engineering as their intended major will be considered for direct admission into the department.  Competitive applicants will have taken or be enrolled in calculus and at least one year of laboratory science (preferably physics).
This is only available for Autumn quarter admissions.  Freshman admission is highly competitive and very few who apply are admitted.  But students who are not admitted as freshman shouldn't get discouraged and are encouraged to apply for early or upper division admission. 
What are the advantages of Freshman Admission?
Students will not need to go through any application process for Industrial & Systems Engineering later in college.

What is Early Admission?
After your first year at the University of Washington with at least 15 credits taken in residence (that means on campus classes) and only six specific courses, students who are extremely motivated and have made their decision on which area of engineering to study can apply for Early Admission to the department.

What are the advantages of applying for Early Admission?
Students have the opportunity to complete the admission process a year earlier than the majority of other students.  Admissions is based on mathematics, science and English composition courses taken during the first year.  During the second year, many new topics are introduced and students feel some of the pressure is taken off by applying for Early Admission before they start taking courses in new areas.  See Early Admission Eligibility and Prerequisites.

What is the disadvantage of applying for Early Admission?
There is not any real disadvantage to applying for Early Admission.  In some cases students will apply for Early Admission to multiple departments and not be offered their first choice.  In such cases, we recommend that students hold off on accepting Early Admission offers from departments they are unsure about and instead, complete the second year of coursework, learn more about the majors, and then apply to the department in which they would be most happy studying.

What happens if I apply for Early Admission after my first year and don’t get in, will it have any impact on my Upper Division Admission application the following year?
Early Admission is highly competitive because we use only six courses to determine if you will be successful in completing the program.  If you apply for Early Admission and are not offered admission you can reapply the following year without any negative impact.

Do you have a formal co-op program or requirement for the major?
There is not a formal co-op requirement for Industrial & Systems Engineering.  Most students will participate in internships over co-ops because of the time commitments required of the co-op program and the additional time required to complete their degree requirement for graduation.  See the College of Engineering's Co-Op Program.

What is the difference between a co-op program and an internship?
A co-op is usually at least 6 months long and requires you to be registered for 2 credits per quarter (excluding summer) through the Engineering Co-Op office to hold your place at the UW.  You are generally required to give a presentation upon your return. Sometimes you will do six months on co-op and then come back to school for a quarter or more and then go back and participate in the co-op program again.  An internship can be full-time or part-time, and of varying durations.