Frequently Asked Questions

General info   Undergrad program   Transfer students   Grad programs   International students



General information

Deadlines vary by program. Note that undergraduate admission to the University of Washington is a separate process from admission to the ISE department as an undergraduate.
  • Undergraduate students will be notified of acceptance by July 31.
  • MSIE and Ph.D. applicants will be notified of acceptance in mid-March.

Tuition rates change annually and vary based on Washington state residency status, the program in which you are enrolled, and the number of credits for which you are registered. View tuition details for each degree:

Undergraduate program

Take as many AP or IB courses in math, science, and other areas to give yourself a head start on your classes. This type of curriculum will also help in gaining admission to the University of Washington.

You should meet early on with the College of Engineering advising team to learn more about the options available to you in engineering. These advisers can help you determine which majors match your interests and help you develop a plan for academic success.

Contact the adviser in your desired major as soon as you can in your academic career. In ISE, this means contacting This will allow you to hear directly from the department about requirements and about any upcoming changes to the admission process.

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

There is no real disadvantage to applying for early admission. In some cases, students will apply for early admission to multiple departments and not be accepted into their first choice. In such cases, we recommended that you hold off on accepting early admission offers from departments that you are unsure about. We encourage you to complete the second year coursework and learn more about the majors and then apply to one that you would be happy studying.

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.

If you have been meeting with an adviser on a regular basis, she will be straightforward with you and tell you your general chances of admission based on previous years' applicants. It is always a good idea to have a backup plan that doesn’t include a competitive admission process. Good choices for backup plans are majors that require many of the same courses.

Undergraduate transfer students

Many students choose to complete their pre-engineering studies at another institution and then transfer to the UW. Most, but not all, transfer students accepted into UW engineering programs have transferred from Washington State community colleges. The University of Washington Transfer Equivalency Guide shows how courses transfer from Washington Technical and Community Colleges. Students should review this guide to make sure they are taking the appropriate courses.

Content and credits may be different at other institutions, so using the guide is an important part of planning to ensure you have all the prerequisites you need. Students should meet with an adviser as early as possible for assistance in planning which classes to take. The College of Engineering provides guidance for transfer students.

To become an ISE student at the UW, transfer students must apply to and be admitted by both the University of Washington and the ISE department. Admission to one does not imply admission to the other. Visit the main UW Admissions website for transfer applicant information.

Transfer students must satify all of the upper division admission requirements. However, because ISE has fewer admission requirements than some engineering departments, we also encourage students to complete other pre-engineering courses beyond the minimum upper division requirements to be a competitive applicant.

Transfer students should aim to complete at least half of the following sophomore-level courses:

Course number Credits Course title
AA 210 4 Engineering Statics
CEE 220 4 Introduction to Mechanics of Materials
CSE 142 4 Computer Programming I
EE 215 4 Fundamentals of Electrical Engineering
MATH 307 3 Introduction to Differential Equations
MATH 308 3 Matrix Algebra with Applications
ME 230 4 Kinematics & Dynamics

Transferring from other four year schools or out-of-state schools is more challenging when determining course equivalencies. Students should start the process early: collect documentation on courses and make sure that the documentation shows what material was covered and what text was used. Visit departmental web sites for comparisons or, if necessary, meet with each specific department to determine course equivalencies prior to the application process. Unfortunately, there isn’t a mechanism for evaluation of credits before a student has been offered admission to the University of Washington and accepted that offer.

You can apply to the department with Physics 123 in progress at the time of application and still be considered for admission. You must be enrolled in the course during the quarter you apply, and you must complete the course by the end of that quarter. All other courses must be completed at the time of application.

No. The prerequisites were chosen because they contain material that you will need in order to be successful in completing the departmental course work.

Graduate programs

You need to take the GRE for application to the Master of Science and Ph.D. programs. You do not need to take the GRE for application to the Master of Engineering program. Use Institution Code 4854 to submit your GRE scores to the UW.
The Master of Science is a research-oriented degree intended for full-time, on-campus students. The Master of Engineering is an evening degree designed for professionals with at least two years of work experience.
If you are a working professional looking to learn skills to apply at your job, then the Master of Engineering is the right fit for you. If you are interested in pursuing research in ISE, are able to attend classes as a full-time day student, and may want to continue on to a Ph.D. program, the Master of Science is the appropriate program for you.
Both the Master of Science and the Master of Engineering programs admit students for start in autumn quarter only.
You can apply for GNM status if you are a Global Integrated Systems Engineering (GISE) student. Learn more about GNM status within ISE.
The maximum time allowed to complete either master's degree is six years. The maximum amount of time allowed to complete the Ph.D. is ten years.

International students

You are an international applicant if you are not a U.S. citizen, immigrant, or green card holder. International students must have a U.S. visa status that allows academic study at the University of Washington. International applicants include students who hold U.S. visas, such as F-1, J-1 Exchange Visitors, H-1, dependent visas or any other non-immigrant classifications.

Learn more about Visa requirements on the Graduate School website.

Unless you have completed a 4-year bachelor's degree program in the U.S., or your higher education was conducted entirely in English, you will need to take the TOEFL exam. A master's degree from the U.S. will not exempt you from this requirement.
The minimum required scores on the TOEFL is 92.
You can; however, international students will be accepted for online study only. International students are not eligible to study in residence at the University of Washington for the MISE program, because it does not meet the requirements for an F-1 visa.