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FAQ: Frequently asked questions


Yes, but you will need to complete the undergraduate required courses in math, science, and engineering fundamentals. We have seen an increasing number of potential applicants whose undergraduate degrees are not in science or engineering disciplines, such as business, music, and theater. If you are in this category, you will need to finish all the required undergraduate courses in math, natural science, and engineering fundamentals listed below before you submit your application to the program. We will not be able to consider your application until these requirements are met.

The following undergraduate courses must be completed before a student applies to our graduate program. Important information about where courses are offered, course comparisons, etc., can be found in other sections of this FAQ.


  • One year of college calculus (Math 124, 125, 126)
  • One quarter of differential equations (Math 207 or Math 307)
  • One quarter of linear algebra (Math 208 or Math 308)

Natural science

  • Two quarters of college chemistry (Chem 142, 152)
  • Three quarters of college physics (Phys 121, 122, 123)

Engineering fundamental courses

  • One quarter of introductory computer graphics (ME 123)
  • One quarter of introductory programming (CSE 142 or AMATH 301)
  • One quarter of fundamental material science (MSE 170)
  • One quarter of statics (AA 210)
  • One quarter of introductory mechanics of materials (CEE 220)
  • One quarter of dynamics (ME 230)
  • One quarter of circuit theory (EE 215)

The most competitive applicants have completed all or at least 75% of the undergraduate required courses when they submit their application. Even so, we understand that there may be two or three academic quarters between when you apply and when you start your Master’s degree (assuming that you are admitted). Therefore, you are welcome to apply with a plan in mind to finish the required undergraduate courses before you start the Master’s program. You may also want to explain the plan in your statement of purpose when you apply. This will allow the admission committee to better evaluate your readiness for the Master’s program.

We understand that course titles may be different from one University to another. That is OK! If you’ve completed a course that is similar to one of our required prerequisites, but has a different title, please let us know in your personal statement. It’s helpful to include a short description of the course to help the admissions committee evaluate your application. You can also contact the graduate advisor at with questions at any time.

We strongly recommend you complete the required courses at a Washington state community college (where these courses are offered in the evening and online, tuition costs less, and it is easier to enroll), another university, or an out-of-state community college. Trying to enroll in these courses at UW as a non-matriculated student is very difficult because post baccalaureate students do not have priority to register in UW undergraduate classes.

  • At a Washington state community college: Before registering, please make sure to check the UW Equivalency Guide, which allows you to determine if the community college courses match UW courses.
  • At another university or an out of state community college: Before registering, please check to make sure the course description for the UW course in the  course catalog matches the course description at the other College or University.

No. The decision of admission will also depend on many other factors, such as your GPA and other application materials. The readiness and completion of the required undergraduate courses is only one consideration.

Yes. The GNM Program is a very good way to try out our Master’s program and show us you are capable of successfully completing graduate level Mechanical Engineering courses. While on GNM status, students can earn up to 12 credits toward their graduate degree providing they are later admitted. Please keep in mind that in order to re-apply to the program and be competitive, you must earn a minimum of 3.2 cumulative GPA. For more information about GNM status see the Non-Degree Enrollment instructions.