University of Wisconsin Madison College of Engineering


Future undergraduate students


Off-Campus Transfers 


Students who apply for transfer admission to UW-Madison College of Engineering (COE) are considered for admission only to the COE, not to UW-Madison at large. Transfer students must specify an intended engineering program. They cannot be admitted to the COE with a pre-departmental or undecided classification. To be considered for admission, engineering applicants must meet two sets of expectations: UW-Madison transfer admission requirements (#1 below) and additional requirements set by the COE (#2 below).



1.  UW-Madison — Minimum Transfer Requirements


Applicants must meet the general transfer admission expectations as established by UW-Madison. For more details and discussion, see


  • Single foreign language (two high school years or two college semesters)
  • 24 transferable semester credits (excluding AP and other test credits)
  • Algebra (one year high school or equivalent)
  • Plane geometry (one year high school or equivalent; must be regular college track)
  • College preparatory math (one year high school or a college-level course)


2.  College of Engineering — Minimum Transfer Requirements


The COE seeks a strong match between the individual and the intended program. Multiple factors are considered in the application review, including grade trends and patterns, activities/work/research/ military or other experience, letter(s) of recommendation, and the personal statement. Academic preparation must have priority to help ensure a successful transition to engineering studies. Admission to engineering programs is competitive. To be considered, applicants must meet all requirements by the time of transfer. Most admitted transfer students have completed all or almost all of the specified calculus, chemistry, and physics courses by the time of application.


a. Communication "A" General Education Requirement (English 100 composition or equivalent).


b. Introduction to Engineering course: strongly recommended but not required for transfer students.


c. Calculus: Math 221 and 222 (first and second semester calculus) or equivalent.


d. Calculus-based Physics: either EMA 201 (statics) or Physics 201 (mechanics and heat with lab) or equivalent.


e. Chemistry: either Chemistry 103-104 (two semesters of general chemistry with lab) or Chemistry 109 (accelerated chemistry with lab, usually the combination of Chemistry 103-104) or equivalent.


f. Math/Science Grade Point Average (GPA)*: minimum 2.5 GPA (most successful applicants have at least a 3.0 on a 4.0 scale) in at least 17 credits that include the courses in (c), (d), and (e) above. Any additional courses taken in high-level mathematics, chemistry, physics, statics, computer science, and statistics (excluding seminars and independent study) will be included in the calculation. Grades for engineering courses if taken will be considered in the overall review.


g. Cumulative GPA*: Most successful applicants have at least a 3.0 cumulative GPA on a 4.0 scale.


h.  Admission also depends upon program capacity. When capacity is limited, there can be additional requirements. Biomedical Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, and Engineering Physics regularly have limited capacity. Requirements for other programs may change without notice if demand trends change.


*GPA Calculation: COE computes the GPA for course work in accordance with UW-Madison’s grading practices and will include grades for all transferable courses, including the first grade for repeated courses.


Additional COE Application Requirements


  • A statement of interest. In the application statement section or in a separate attachment, students should explain their interests and goals, relevant experiences if any, and reasons for transferring to pursue their intended program. They may also explain circumstances that may have affected their academic record.
  • A letter of recommendation attesting to the student’s academic ability. A letter from a recent math, science, or engineering instructor is preferred. The letter may be submitted separately to the Office of Admissions and Recruitment or submitted online:
  • Optional: Additional materials as desired may be submitted to the Office of Admissions and Recruitment.


Engineering Application Process


  • Before applying: Explore your interests and the various engineering degree programs. When you apply, you must specify your program of choice. Your application will be reviewed with this program in mind. For the list of programs, see:

  • Apply: Submit an online transfer application at Specify the College of Engineering as your intended college. Specify your intended engineering major (do not choose “undecided”).

  • Submit a statement of interest and recommendation letter. See “Additional COE Application Requirements” above.

  • Submit transcripts and exam scores to the Office of Admissions and Recruitment. Submit official transcripts from all high schools and colleges attended; and Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, or other exam scores, if any.

  • When complete, your application will be directed to the COE for review.


Alternate Admission Option


Students who are in their first year of college, or who have not completed the engineering requirements, or who want to explore majors further, should remain longer at their current campus to strengthen their academic preparation. An alternative is to apply instead for admission to the College of Letters and Science with major “undecided.” If admitted to Letters and Science, students may explore programs, complete the required course work, take engineering courses as available, and then apply to transfer to the COE when ready. Engineering admission will remain competitive and will require achieving high grades at UW-Madison. Admission to Letters and Science does not guarantee future admission to COE.


Important Notes


Transfer courses must have received at least a C final grade (2.0/4.0 scale) to count for engineering degree credit.


Students must follow the curriculum requirements in operation at the time of their admission to a COE degree program.


After admission to a COE degree program, students must complete at least 30 credits in residence in the COE, including 15 credits of work in the degree-granting department.


For transfer credit equivalencies, please consult these resources:


--UW-Transfer Information System (TIS) for UW System campuses, WI technical colleges, UW-Colleges Online, and UW-Extension:

--Transfer Equivalency Database (TED) for selected IL, MN, WI campuses:

--UW-Madison transfer credit policy:


COE Degree Programs: 

COE Main Site:

COE Student Services:

Nontraditional Student Resources:

Transfer Transition Program:

Visit Campus and COE:



Questions? Please consult the COE Transfer Admissions Coordinator, Engineering General Resources (EGR) Office, 1150 Engineering Hall, 608-262-2473,