Incoming First-Year Students

Welcome to WWU and the Engineering & Design Department!  

As the pre-major advisor, I am available to help you with course registration, declaring your pre-major, and providing information and resources in our department and across campus.  Check out the links below!

Please reach out with any questions you might have and you can schedule an appointment with me over zoom.   

Lisa Ochs, Pre-major Advisor



Schedule an appointment

What is a Pre-Major?

After being admitted to Western, students start out in the Engineering & Design Department as a pre-major in one of the programs. Our programs include Electrical and Computer Engineering, Manufacturing Engineering, Polymer Materials Engineering, and Industrial Design.  Pre-majors spend anywhere between 1 and 2 years taking foundational math, science and engineering and design courses.  Performance in these courses helps to determine if students are admitted into their major of choice or not.  See Academics tab for individual programs' admissions information. 

Declare your Pre-major

Ross Engineering Building

Frequently Asked Questions

Pre-majors in our department have an advisor specifically for our majors.  Lisa Ochs is the pre-major advisor.  You can email her at

Each major has a specific application deadline and set of requirements, which can be found on their respective pages above (see "Academics" tab). If space allows, some majors will accept applications at other times throughout the year.  Contact the Pre-major Advisor for questions.

Electrical Engineering- Spring Quarter

Manufacturing Engineering- Winter Quarter

Polymer Materials Engineering - Winter Quarter

Industrial Design- Winter Quarter

The Transfer Course Equivalency Guide is a tool to assist you in understanding how college courses transfer to Western. This guide includes course equivalency information for community colleges and public baccalaureate institutions in Washington State, excluding The Evergreen State College.  

If the course you are inquiring about isn't listed on this guide, please contact the specific department at Western to have the course reviewed.  You may be asked to provide a syllabus.  To have a syllabus reviewed for an engineering course from another institution, email the Pre-major Advisor.

Each program is designed to be completed in four years. However, the average time to graduation is four and a half to five years. There are different factors leading to the extended time to graduate.  If engineering students do not complete MATH 124/125 freshman year, they may not graduate in four years.  If Industrial Design students are not accepted as a pre-major during freshman year, they will not graduate in four years.  Transfer students can expect to be at Western for at least two and a half to three years, depending on the program and courses completed prior to coming to Western.  Seek advising early to ensure you are on the right track to graduate.  

There are a variety of clubs associated with the programs in the Engineering & Design Department, including the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE), Society of Women Engineers (SWE), Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA), and the Institute of Electronics and Electrical Engineers (IEEE). For a complete list of current clubs, please visit this page.  Students are not limited to clubs in our department. Many students are involved in clubs across campus.  To find a comprehensive list of clubs and information, please visit the Associated Students website

Contact the instructor of the course OR you can email to request an override.  Provide your W# and crn for the course.  Not all requests will be granted due to pre-requisites, major restrictions, and capacity issues. 

WWU students are encouraged to use the Career Services Center for employment services.  They offer resume classes, interviewing workshops, and coordinate career fairs throughout the academic year. 

Check out Career Services Center and set up an online account. 

Get Involved!

Swe students

Learn more about students clubs and ways to build your network of peers and mentors!

research poster session

Our students have many opportunities to get involved with projects and research in our department.  Learn more!