COVID-19 FAQs for Engineering & Design

Western Washington University has developed a system for defining operating levels during COVID-19 pandemic based on guidance provided by the state of Washington.  This system is designed to satisfy requirements of Governor Inslee's Safe Start phases for Whatom County.  Western is operating at Level 2 during fall quarter. 

Message from President Randhawa

Health and Safety 

COVID-19 Fall Quarter Information

Safe Start Western

Office of Student Life - student assistance

What is the grading policy for fall quarter? 

The staff and faculty in the Engineering and Design Department understand you are facing extraordinary circumstances with your education. We want to support both your current well-being and your future success. Grades are one of many considerations for you, and it is important that you understand the letter grade vs the EP/NP option.


We regard the EP/NP option as an important safety net should your personal circumstances and challenges become too difficult to navigate. However, the EP/NP option is not generally recommended by the department. Firstly, it may affect future employment or educational opportunities negatively. Secondly, grade ambitions are often associated with your personal engagement, and these efforts affect the peer- and team-based learning lab and class environments that make our programs effective and vital for students.


If you do opt for the EP/NP option, it may not necessarily have a negative impact. But you should be prepared to explain this choice in major applications, for scholarship applications and for employment processes. Please seek advising to fully understand your options.

University Policy:  Grades for Fall 2020

Requesting P/NP grades:

Students may designate a course as Pass/No Pass by submitting a request with the Registrar’s Office after registering for the course; they may change this designation by submitting the change to the Registrar’s Office at any time through the seventh week of a quarter; for extension program courses, pass/no pass grading designation may be elected up to the end of the seventh week for regular quarter-long courses, or prior to the third class meeting for shorter courses. Students may be advised to stay with a letter grade if required for accreditation, veteran status and benefits, or other purposes.

When will we know if winter and spring quarters' classes will be remote or not?

The operating level for winter quarter will be set mid-fall quarter, and the operating level for spring quarter will be set mid-winter quarter, and this page will be updated accordingly. The operating level tables provide a general overview of functions, programs, and services at each operating level.

Safe Start Operating Levels

More questions

Our department has been approved to offer the following lab courses in-person;  EECE 233, EECE 344, EECE 372, ID 210, MFGE 332, PCE 371, PCE 471, PCE 472, and ITVD 491.  Students doing research with specific faculty members may have lab access as well. All other courses will be remote. 

Western is currently at Operating Level 2 with limited activities on campus.  Even so, we have been able to maintain labs for about 70% of the classes that would normally have labs this fall, but we are not able to grant open lab access.  The funding model for equipment replacement has those costs spread over all classes to reduce the per class cost, and since equipment is both being used by students and to support classes, and it is aging, we are continuing to collect the equipment fee fall quarter.  If we are still at Operating Level 2 for winter quarter, those students whose classes did not have labs in fall will be the highest priority for labs in the winter.  If we are at Operating Level 3 winter quarter, we will be able to return to normal or near-normal labs for classes and some open lab access. 

No, only students in the lab classes listed above and students doing research with a specific group of faculty members will have lab access. 

If you are in need of a laptop you can check one out through ATUS.

  1. Students can request a loaner laptop through ATUS here:
  2. MFGE, ID, PCE, and VHCL students who have a device but can’t run required software, can remotely connect to an engineering lab computer.  You can use this website: to remotely access the ET262 and ET308 lab computers. You will first need to connect to the VPN and have Microsoft Remote Desktop installed. Full instructions for remotely connecting can be found on the website.
  3. We have obtained home use licensees for the following software:

For questions or concerns, please email


Please see this page for Engineering & Design's computer support. 

All campus tours and visits are suspended until further notice.   The Office of Admissions has several virtual options for you. Please check them out here

If you have more questions regarding COVID-19 and operating remotely this quarter, please email  Thank you!

Level 2