By the Numbers: CEE Admission and Enrollment

The latest admissions and enrollment data for the Civil and Environmental Engineering department is now available. These statistics give applicants an idea of the various entry points into the major and the undergraduate composition of the department.

For Autumn 2014, approximately 65% of majors entered the program under Upper-Division (UD) admission, 14% under Early Admission (EA), and 20% under Direct Freshman Admission (DFA).

The DFA pro­gram is rel­a­tively new at the UW, where stu­dents have his­tor­i­cally been admit­ted to majors in the junior year. Students  who enroll as DFA CEE majors spend more time iden­ti­fy­ing their spe­cific areas of inter­ests within the department, study­ing with fac­ulty, engag­ing in research, and assum­ing lead­er­ship posi­tions within the depart­ment.

Alternately, Early Admission offers a great opportunity to begin in the major as a sophomore.

Read more on CEE Admissions and Enrollment Statistics.

Undergraduate Research Symposium

Hundreds of opportunities exist for undergraduate students at the UW to engage in research. Undergraduate research allows students to take part in knowledge creation guided by faculty that is often not seen inside a classroom.

The Annual Undergraduate Research Symposium brings over a thousand participants to present what they have learned through their research to a larger audience. The Symposium includes research projects from all disciplines, and those not yet involved in research will discover the wide range of opportunities at the UW.

The 18th Annual Undergraduate Research Symposium will be held on Friday, May 15, 2015.

For more information, see  Undergraduate Research Symposium.

UW concrete canoe team

A concrete canoe competition would appear to many as a rather unconventional – and short-lived – contest. However, civil engineering students have been creating and racing their designs for years in regional and national competitions held by the American Society of Civil Engineers. Through the project, students gain hands-on experience by working with concrete mix designs and develop leadership and project management skills.

UW CEE students in the canoe team, after assembling the canoe in winter quarter, are preparing for the regional competition this spring. At 170 pounds, this canoe comes in at almost half the weight of last year’s canoe.

Take a look at the team in action as they constructed the canoe.

To learn more, visit the Concrete Canoe page.

Update: The UW Concrete Canoe Team has won the Pacific Northwest Regional Competition! Read about their recent victory here.

WaterWorks offers students and teachers unique opportunity in water sciences

This summer, high school students and teachers will experience cutting-edge research and hands-on learning in water sciences.  WaterWorks, led by Civil and Environmental Engineering assistant professor Michael Dodd, is an innovative series of two free workshops – one for teachers, and one for students – that introduces participants to environmental engineering, water quality and water science. Combining interactive labs, classroom instruction, and field trips linking instruction to engineering practice, WaterWorks provides a fun and learning-filled environment that sparks interest in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).

Students enjoy a packed week of activities with two days of hands-on labs, presentations from department faculty, and three field trips, including tours of Seattle’s water supply and several drinking water and wastewater treatment plants.

“We are aiming to provide students with a hands-on introduction to fundamental principles in environmental engineering and science,” said Dodd. “We’ve set up the workshops to show them in a fun way how we apply these principles every day to provide clean, safe water, so hopefully we can get them excited about being engineers or scientists in their own right.”

In the teacher workshop, the main objective is to equip teachers with knowledge in water quality, science, and engineering, allowing them to teach STEM principles in an applied context.

“The teacher workshop is designed to provide teachers with a primer on various aspects of watershed protection and water treatment, and to help equip them to teach their students about environmental engineering and science by using practical examples in water supply and treatment,” explained Dodd.

Teachers receive lab demonstrations, a field trip to a regional drinking water plant, instructional lectures, a workshop on development of guided inquiry learning activities and labs, and assistance in developing instructional units on environmental engineering and science topics for use in their classes.

WaterWorks represents a unique opportunity for high school students and teachers to learn about environmental engineering through extensive interactions with faculty, students, and practicing engineers at the UW and regional utilities. WaterWorks “gives participants direct and hands-on exposure to important examples of what we do as environmental engineers,” said Dodd. “This is such an exciting field, and presents so many possibilities for rewarding careers. We’re hoping to convey that excitement to our participants, and to get students thinking about the possibility of becoming environmental engineers themselves.”

For more information and to apply for the student or teacher workshop, visit the WaterWorks site.

CEE Direct Freshman Admissions

Did you know that the UW CEE Department offers a Direct Freshman Admission (DFA) program for students who are entering the University? The direct admission program is relatively new at the UW, where students have historically been admitted to majors in the junior year. When the CEE direct admission program was first launched in 2009, we started small – only 20 offers were made to top freshmen applicants who had indicated civil or environmental engineering as their major choice. That year, only two students enrolled in the then relatively unknown program. (The low yield rate of this population is expected as these are students often have many other college options.) Those two students successfully graduated in 2013, accomplishing more in their four years at the University and in our program than we could have hoped!  They were able to spend more time identifying their specific areas of interests within the civil and environmental engineering, studying with faculty, engaging in research, and assuming leadership positions within the department.  So it has been with each entering class of direct admission CEE majors.

Today, direct admission is offered to approximately 10 percent of the freshmen applicants to the UW interested in CEE, and the offer acceptance rates have increased to approximately 39 percent. Students who enroll as direct admission CEE majors continue to impress us with their academic achievement and their active involvement in research, leadership, and internships.

Students who applied for autumn 2015 admission to the UW will automatically be considered for the CEE direct admission if they indicated CEE as their preferred major. Students will be notified of their CEE DFA offer with the UW Admissions decision in mid March. We look forward to the 2015 direct admits!

9th Annual CEE Career Fair (Jan. 21, 2015)


The  9th Annual Civil & Envi­ron­men­tal Engi­neer­ing Career Fair takes place Wednesday, Jan­u­ary 21, 2015, from 1-4pm in the South Ballroom of the Husky Stu­dent Union Build­ing (UW Seattle Campus).

It brings together over 40 companies and organizations that are interested in civil and environmental engineering students.  Typ­i­cally, hun­dreds of under­grad­u­ate and grad­u­ate stu­dents attend to learn about com­pa­nies and to seek intern­ship and career positions. The CEE Career Fair is open to students free of charge.  For more information, see

(Interested employers can still attend by reg­is­tering online.)

Three ways to enter the CEE Major 

Did you know there are three points of entry into the CEE major? 

Students can enter the Civil & Environmental Engineering major as freshmen, sophomores, or Juniors through our Direct Freshman Admission (DFA), Early Admission (EA), and Upper-Division (UD) admission programs, respectively.  High School seniors who indicated an interest in civil and/or environmental engineering may be considered for direct admission to the CEE Department as they enter the University.  UW freshman can apply for early admission to enter the major as a sophomore, and all others, including transfer and postbac students, can apply for upper-division admission.  To learn more about admissions and prerequisites, please visit

Students interested in Early and Upper-Division admission for autumn 2015 will submit the online engineering application after spring quarter, by the July 1 (5pm) deadline.  Transfer students must be sure to also submit their UW application for admission by February 1. The UW CEE Department admits majors only once a year for autumn quarter.

Transfer students are encouraged to attend a Transfer Thursday session prior to applying to the UW.  If you’d like to meet with a CEE advisor while you are on campus for Transfer Thursday, let us know in advance to schedule an appointment.

Did you know? Early Admission available for 2013!

The CEE Department is offering Early Admission for the first time for Autumn 2013!  That means that UW students can apply to be admitted to the CEE major as early as your sophomore year!  To be considered for early admission, applicants must be currently enrolled at the UW and must have a minimum of 15 credits taken in residence at the UW.  Prerequisites for early admission are:

  • Fifteen credits of mathematics at the level of MATH 124, 125, & 126 (Calculus I, II, III) or equivalent ;
  • At least 10 credits of physical science courses plus accompanying lab selected from PHYS 121, 122, 123 (calculus-based physics) or CHEM 142, 152 (General Chemistry I, III)
  • Five credits of English composition

For more information, visit the website.


What to register for autumn quarter…? (before admission decision)

A frequent question about this time of the year is what to register for autumn quarter when registration takes place in May, but students don’t know if they will be admitted to their major of choice.

For those applying to CEE for upper-division admission, please select autumn quarter courses according to your “Plan B” — that is, what you would take if you were not offered CEE admission.  These courses will be placeholder classes for now.  If you are offered admission to the major, you will be provided with add codes and instructions for the required set of 300-level CEE courses to take autumn quarter.  You will then be able to drop your placeholder classes and add the CEE courses over the summer.  The 300-level CEE courses are reserved for new CEE majors, so don’t worry about trying to secure them at this time (before admissions notification).

Happy registering~!

It’s spring quarter — getting ready for application time!

It’s spring quarter and nearing the application period for engineering majors at the UW, including Civil & Environmental Engineering.  Online applications for Autumn Quarter admission will be accepted beginning June 20 and close on July 1, 2013, at 5pm.  You can learn more about the engineering application online.

After the July 1 deadline, the CEE Undergraduate Admission Committee will review applications and aim to get admissions decisions out to students by the last week of July.  This will be sent to you via email, so please look for the CEE decision notice (and check your junk mail.)   Students offered admission will be asked to reply to accept or decline our offer of admissions using an online form.

Students offered upper-division admissions will be provided with instructions on how to register for the required set of 300-level CEE courses to be taken in autumn quarter.   Students offered admission through direct and early admission will be assisted in their course planning.

All newly-admitted CEE majors, including those admitted via Early Admission and Direct Freshman Admission options, should plan to attend the CEE Orientation for New Majors scheduled for Monday, September 23, 2013.    Newly admitted transfer students must attend the University’s Advising and Orientation Session during the summer as well as the CEE departmental orientation.

Stay tuned for more information!  This blog is active from spring to autumn quarter to help students and applicants stay informed and updated about the CEE application and admissions processes.