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Bachelor of Science in Electrical and Computer Engineering (BSECE)

BSECE Honors Options

There are three unique honors options that BSECE degree students can pursue:

  1. Interdisciplinary Honors – Students graduate with “Interdisciplinary Honors”
  2. Departmental Honors – Students graduate with “Honors in Electrical and Computer Engineering”
  3. College Honors – Students graduate with “College Honors in Electrical and Computer Engineering”

Read more about these options below.

Interdisciplinary Honors

Interdisciplinary Honors is only available to entering freshmen who applied to Honors at the same time they applied to the University of Washington or to freshmen who maintain a 3.30 GPA during autumn and winter quarters and who apply to Honors during spring break of their first year.

Transfer students may apply for Interdisciplinary Honors if they have either participated in honors programs at their previous institution or if they have strong college academic records. Transfer students must apply to Honors prior to their first quarter of enrollment at the UW.

To apply and for more information please go to

Departmental Honors

Departmental Honors offers high-achieving students the ability to pursue a challenging course of study, as well as an educational experience that facilitates long-term goals.

In order to apply for Departmental Honors, a student must meet the following criteria:

  • Complete at least 2 full-time quarters of coursework at the UW as an ECE student (minimum of 12 credits per quarter)
  • Complete 3 out of 4 of the following courses: EE 215, EE 242, EE 271, EE 280
  • Meet with an ECE advisor to declare Departmental Honors

In order to graduate with Departmental Honors, a student must meet and complete the following requirements:

  • Minimum 3.30 cumulative GPA
  • Minimum 3.50 departmental GPA (departmental GPA is a cumulative GPA of all EE courses taken)
  • 9 credits of Ad Hoc Honors EE coursework at the 300 or 400 level, including at least 3 credits of EE 499 research (EE 499H).

Ad Hoc Credit

Ad Hoc Honors coursework provides students the opportunity to work with an instructor to create a plan of additional study in order to pursue a course with more depth. A student can contract with the instructor in a given course to obtain honors credit for that course by completing additional work. Once you have an agreement with an instructor, fill out the online ad hoc form. To find the form application, deadlines and Ad Hoc Honors overview go to After you fill out the application, it will be sent to your instructor and academic adviser for approval. Upon completion of the project, the instructor will evaluate your work and provide final approval or denial for the Ad Hoc Honors notation.

Examples of ad hoc projects include:

  • Presenting your work at the Undergraduate Research Symposium
  • Doing extensive research on a particular topic covered in class and presenting your work or writing a research paper explaining your research process, conclusions and overall experience
  • Participating in graduate level research and/or collaborating with graduate students in labs, class, etc. and writing a report detailing your contribution
  • Making a podcast or video of interviews and analysis related to a course theme

Remember that we are more interested in your overall experience than in the amount of additional work you do – Departmental Honors is intended to be about the *quality* vs. the *quantity.* If you need additional suggestions on how to receive ad hoc credit, please see an ECE advisor.

You may NOT try to use prior coursework to retroactively receive Ad Hoc Honors credit. All Ad Hoc Honors credit must follow the Ad Hoc application process.

Honors Research Credit (EE 499H)

Through Honors research credit (EE 499H), students undertake a self-directed project under the supervision of an ECE faculty member. This work should reflect qualities of scholarly effort beyond the ordinary. It is assumed that instructors will not accept this contract if they are unable to give the time and effort necessary to supervise, examine, and support the student’s work during the quarter. In short, both student and instructor are committing themselves to extra efforts and to a more demanding pursuit of the subject. Unless both are prepared to make this commitment, EE 499H should not be undertaken.

In order to register in and complete EE 499H, follow the process outlined below:

  • Before the start of the quarter in which you will do the research credits, obtain an ECE faculty sponsor who will oversee your research and provide a grade. You should agree on the specific activities to be carried out, the expected outcomes and discuss how the work will be done at the honors level.
    • Examples of honors level research include: presenting your research at a research symposium or conference, contributing to the writing of a published research paper, etc.
  • Fill in the Undergraduate Research Approval Form, get your faculty sponsor’s signature on the form and email the completed form to to get an entry code to register for credit.
  • Prepare a written proposal that includes the project description, problem statement, suggested approach, resources required, anticipated results and describes how the work will be done at the honors level.
  • Have the written proposal approved by your faculty sponsor no later than the end of the first week of the quarter.
  • Before the end of the quarter, check in with your faculty sponsor to make sure they have any deliverables they may need to assess the work done and provide a grade.

You may NOT try to use prior EE 499 credit to retroactively receive EE 499H credit. All EE 499H credits must follow the EE 499H registration process.

College Honors

College Honors is when a student completes both Interdisciplinary Honors and Departmental Honors.