You are here


Admissions to the Physics Major is capacity constrained and requires application. Completion of the application does not guarantee admission. Members of the Undergraduate Admissions Committee review each application.

Standard Admission Requirements – Successful applicants typically have grades ≥ 2.6 in recent physics and math courses as well as a cumulative GPA ≥ 2.6.

  • Completion of Phys 121, 122 & 123 (or Phys 141, 142 & 143)
  • Completion of Math 124, 125 & 126 (or Math 134, 135 & 136)
  • Currently enrolled in physics lecture course higher than 220
  • Personal Statement. Describe reasons for choosing major, include strategies for success.
  • Graduation Plan (Completed in MyPlan, recommended preapproval by an advisor).

Early Admissions Requirements – Successful applicants typically have grades ≥ 3.2 in recent physics and math courses as well as a cumulative GPA ≥ 3.2.
Appropriate for Transfer Applicants who wish to apply for direct admission to the Physics major while applying to the UW.

  • Completion of Phys 121 & 122 (or Phys 141 & 142)
  • Completion of Math 124 & 125 (or Math 134 & 135)
  • Currently enrolled in Phys 123 (or Phys 143) & Math 126 (or Math 136 or 200-level math)
  • Personal Statement. Describe reasons for choosing major, include strategies for success.
  • Graduation Plan (Completed in MyPlan), recommend preapproval by an advisor. [Transfer applicants create upon admission]

Admission Cycles (Standard and Early)

Application Quarter Application Opens Application Closes Enrollment into Major
Autumn September 15 October 5 Winter
Spring March 15 April 5 Summer or Autumn 

Winter Quarter Admission

ONLY for recently admitted UW transfer students or current UW students who have completed ≥ 105 credits and ≥ 5 post high-school college quarters. Either Standard or Early Pathway, as appropriate.

Application Quarter Application Opens Application Closes Enrollment into Major
Winter January 1 January 15 Spring

ALL applicants must submit a pdf of academic transcripts and graduation plan. You can activate UW Google here. Contact Physics Student Services if you have difficulty accessing the form.

If admitted to the Physics major, current UW and entering transfer students must register at UW Seattle during the first quarter of admittance to the major. Students not enrolled for the quarter following the application decision will forfeit their admissions offer and will need to reapply for a future application cycle.

Personal Statement

This statement (500 words or less) should discuss reasons for choosing a physics major and strategies for success in the major, including a discussion of lessons learned from previous successes and difficulties as well as plans for accessing support. The statement should also address how the chosen degree option is suited to life and career goals.

Graduation Plan (entered in MyPlan)

Pre-approval of your graduation plan is strongly recommended; admission may be provisional based on completion of a graduation plan approved by Physics Student Services by end of the quarter (New majors who do not yet have an approved graduation plan on file by the end of the quarter in which they are accepted will have a hold placed on their registration until their graduation plan is approved by Physics Student Services.) Plans are fluid and can change over time, however applicants should develop a well-considered plan for degree completion. Some entries may be "elective", but all required courses for the selected degree option should be present in an appropriate quarter. A list of physics courses, the quarters in which they are offered, and their prerequisites may be found at the bottom of this page for the upcoming year.  You should assume a similar schedule in future years.  Transfer applicants should submit a rough outline of their plans, and develop a full plan after admission.

Admission Decisions

Applicants receive admission decisions to their UW email within one month of the application deadline, in time for registration the following quarter. If admitted, please follow the directions in the email acceptance message; if you do not accept the offer by the deadline stated in the message you will need to reapply.  Transfer applicants will be informed of their status by UW Admissions.

Admitted applicants must register in the academic quarter following the application decision (not including summer quarter); students who do not register will forfeit their admission offer to the major and will need to reapply in a future application cycle.

Applicants receiving a negative admission decision who believe that important facts were overlooked by the admissions committee, may appeal the decision by submitting a petition for reconsideration to Physics Student Services within two weeks of the notification email date. Submit only pertinent information not included with your original application. Applicants receive appeal decision emails one week after the deadline.

In accordance with University policy and applicable federal and state statutes and regulations, the Department of Physics reaffirms its policy of equal opportunity regardless of race, color, creed, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, age, marital status, disability, or status as a protected veteran. The University of Washington is committed to providing access and reasonable accommodation in its services, programs, activities, education and employment for individuals. To request accommodation in the application process, contact the Physics Department at 206-685-1832 or, or the Disability Services Office at 206-543-6450 (206-543-6452 TTY, 206-685-7264 FAX, 253-642-0142 VP) or e-mail to, at least ten days in advance of the application deadline