Engineering dual-degree program

A liberal arts approach to engineering education

Northwestern partners with Washington University in St. Louis in one of the country’s premier 3-2 (and 3-3) engineering programs. The dual-degree program gives students access to a distinctive education that creates breadth of skill, depth of knowledge and wealth of opportunity. Educated at both a liberal arts college and a research university, dual-degree students are trained as agile learners. They graduate prepared to be adept problem-solvers in a complex world where engineers are in desperately short supply.

Your liberal arts experience will broaden your intellectual perspectives and skills

  • Apply to WashU your junior year. There's no application fee and no additional testing.

Clear eligibility criteria result in a dual-degree admission rate of nearly 90%

  • Take specific courses that contribute to both liberal arts and engineering degrees.
  • Achieve a minimum cumulative 3.25 GPA in all coursework and in STEM coursework.
  • Have the endorsement of your pre-engineering adviser.

Every student admitted to dual-degree can enroll in one of two tracks:

  • 3-2 option: Liberal arts bachelor’s degree + engineering bachelor’s degree
  • 3-3 option: All of the above + engineering master’s degree

Other benefits:

  • Financial assistance is available to every student admitted to the dual-degree program.
  • You gain the latest technical knowledge in your engineering degree program.
  • You benefit from the career centers and alumni networks of two institutions.

Q: I am interested in the engineering dual-degree program. Do I need to apply to WashU now?
A: No. Attending Northwestern College qualifies students to apply to the program in their third or fourth year. (However, getting connected early in the first year with Dr. Young-Ji Byon, Northwestern's pre-engineering adviser, is strongly recommended.)

Q: If I meet all the application criteria, is admission to WashU guaranteed?
A: WashU wants to be able to fully consider any information that causes concern about inviting a student to their community—e.g., a violation of academic integrity. Barring any such serious problem, students who satisfy application requirements are offered admission.

Q: Instead of a 3-2 or 3-3, can I do a 4-2 or 4-3?
A: Yes. To take full advantage of varsity athletics or any other aspect of Northwestern College, students are welcome to apply in their fourth year.

Q: Is financial aid available at WashU?
A: Yes. U.S. citizens are eligible to apply for need-based financial aid by submitting a FAFSA and CSS Profile. Financial need does not adversely impact admission outcomes, and the amount of aid ranges up to the full cost of attendance.

Q: I am an international student. Do I have any way of receiving financial assistance?
A: Yes. Although international students are not eligible for need-based financial aid, they are eligible for dual degree scholarships in the graduate 3-year option—i.e., 3-3 or 4-3.

Q: Does WashU help with housing?
A: Yes. dual-degree students are not required to live in university housing. For those who wish to live in university housing, some apartments (and some entire buildings) are reserved for dual degree students. The university’s off-campus housing office can assist with other options, as well.

Q: How is dual-degree different from transferring?
A: As part of the dual-degree program, you will spend some time at Northwestern, and some time at WashU, but complete degrees at both schools. Earning those two degrees (BA+BS) in only five years, or three degrees (BA+BS+MS) in only six years, is attainable because each school has agreed to count some of the other school’s credits. 1) Each year, there are many more dual-degree students than transfer students entering WashU’s engineering school. Dual-degree staff and student leaders make a point of fostering a special cohort within the engineering community. Once connected with one another through unique enrollment and orientation programming, Dual-degree students maintain a supportive network. 2) In a transfer, students stop pursuit of the undergraduate degree at one school, transfer all possible credits to another school, and continue pursuit of the undergraduate degree at the new school. In dual-degree, students spend some time at their home institution, and some time at WashU, but they complete degrees at both schools. Earning those two degrees (BA+BS) in only five years, or three degrees (BA+BS+MS) in only six years, is attainable because each school has agreed to count some of the other school’s credits.

Q: Can I graduate with the classmates who started college with me?
A: Yes. Typically, dual-degree students receive their liberal arts degree and celebrate commencement with their cohort. And they celebrate again with their WashU peers, one or two times, when they earn their engineering degree(s)!

Samantha Olson

Engineering solutions

When looking at career options, Samantha discovered her love for math and science aligned with the skills needed for biomedical engineering.

Samantha's story