Polymer Materials Engineering Admissions

Admissions Information

Admission to the Polymer Materials Engineering (PME) major is a two-phase process. After acceptance to WWU, students first declare as a Polymer Materials Engineering Pre-major at the time they register for classes at WWU.

What is a pre-major? PME pre-majors take foundational courses in math, physics, chemistry and engineering principles.  Depending on when students are able to begin calculus, these foundational courses take up to 5 quarters to complete at WWU.  Foundational coursework may also be taken at community colleges or other institutions.  See Transfer Students for more information.  

What is used to determine acceptance to the major? Admission to full major status is determined by academic performance in the required courses listed below, responses to a set of short-answer questions, and other factors. Other factors could include overall GPA, grades in additional coursework completed, and the overall strength of the applicant pool. Admission to the major is competitive. Neither completion of the foundation courses nor attainment of any specific GPA guarantees admission. 

The short answer questions ask about the applicant's career goals, challenges faced or overcoming adversity, and reasons for pursuing this degree.  

When do students apply to the major?  The PME program accepts major applications during winter quarter.  See below for details. Upper division coursework is restricted to students who have been accepted into the full major.

How many majors are accepted every year? Twenty-four students are typically accepted into the program each year and they begin major courses spring quarter.  

Admissions Statistics

The Polymer Materials Engineering program admits 24 students per year. The average GPA of admitted students usually varies between 2.9 and 3.2 in the required foundational courses. This is an average GPA that we have seen historically based on the applicant pools and is not a cut-off GPA. 

The overall competitiveness of admission depends on the total number of applications we receive, as well as the general strength of the applicant pool, and it can vary widely from year to year. The committee encourages all eligible applicants to apply, and to also consider a backup plan as we can’t predict the future competitiveness of the applicant pool.  Students may contact the department Pre-major Advisor, Lisa Ochs, at lisa.ochs@wwu.edu to discuss admissions questions.

To Apply 

The 2024 application is now closed.  The Polymer Materials Engineering program will accept applications again in winter quarter 2025. 

Required courses to apply

  • MATH 124 - Calculus I
  • MATH 125 - Calculus II
  • CHEM 161 - General Chemistry I
  • CHEM 162 - General Chemistry II
  • PHYS 161 - Physics w/ Calculus I
  • ENGR 101- Engineering, Design, and Society*
  • ENGR 115 - Intro to Engineering & Design
  • ENGR 170 - Intro to Materials Science & Engineering
  • ENGR 214 - Statics

*ENGR 101 may be waived for new transfer students only.  Students must confirm this with the pre-major advisor. 

Students may be currently enrolled in no more than four of the required courses when they apply for major admission. The required courses are listed below. A final decision on your application may be delayed until receipt of final grades for in-progress courses. Students must obtain at least a C- in the above courses and an overall GPA in them of 2.0 or higher to be considered. AP scores are converted to GPA as follows: 5 = A; 4 = B; 3 = C.

Additional coursework encouraged, but not required to apply:

  • MATH 345 or 341 - Engineering Statistics
  • PHYS 162 - Physics w/ Calculus II
  • PHYS 163 - Physics w/ Calculus III
  • ENGR 225 - Mechanics of Materials
  • CSCI 140 or 141 - Programming Fundamentals

Transfer Students

A student that will be transferring to Western Washington University will be designated as a pre-major and will need to apply to the major. Transfer students who believe they are ready to apply to the PME major should contact the pre-major advisor email to confirm. Learn more about transferring into our department on our Transfer Students page.

Accepted Students

Students who are accepted must register for PME 371, MFGE 250, and MFGE 261 spring quarter before the end of Phase II registration unless they are given explicit permission from a PME advisor not to do so. Students who do not register for these classes by the end of Phase II registration may lose their major status. Students need to complete PHYS 163 by the end of fall quarter year three and PME 342 by the end of winter quarter year three or graduation will be delayed.