You are here

Information for Graduating Seniors in the Physics Major

When you are ready to graduate, please contact Physics Student Services so that we can go through the process outlined below.

When can you graduate?

Place your general education and major requirements into your MyPlan. If you are able to finish your courses within 3 quarters, then you can let us know you would like to graduate!

Sometimes students will find a registration hold placed on their account if they have not applied to graduate. When this happens, please contact Physics Student Services so that we can review the hold and help.

Physics Student Services will periodically run reports of their major students who have achieved a certain number of credits and reach out to students with whom we believe are close to graduation.

Important: If you are graduating in the current quarter, please reach out to Physics Student Services within the first two weeks of the quarter because there is a strict deadline.
Back to top

Complete a Graduating Senior Exit Survey

Next, submit a Graduating Senior Exit Survey. This is a survey which asks how your experience was in the Physics major. It asks questions about the courses, the textbooks, about your interactions with members of the Physics Department, and whether you would like to be contacted in the future for participation in career panels or informational interviews. The feedback we receive is considered for making improvements to benefit future Physics majors, such as the creation of this graduation website!

The Graduating Senior Exit Survey must be completed before we can submit your graduation application.
Back to top

Meet or email with a Physics advisor

After you complete your MyPlan and the exit survey, make arrangements to talk with an advisor in Physics Student Services. We can meet over zoom or in-person during a scheduled appointment or drop-in hours.  We can also complete these steps over email ( as long as you are responsive.

During this time, the Physics advisor will review your MyPlan to ensure everything is in place for a graduation within 3 quarters (or less, depending on your timeline), verify that your exit survey has been submitted, and talk about submitting the Graduation Application to the University of Washington.
Back to top

Submit a graduation application to the UW

Your Physics major advisor will be the one to submit your graduation application to the UW. We will confirm your graduation quarter, any additional programs (such as another major or degree, minors, or any honors), and your residence requirement with you before we submit the graduation application.  

The Residence Requirement states that you will be ‘in-residence’ for 45 of the last 60 credits of your program. In other words, you will be taking your final classes here at the UW Seattle campus.

After your Physics major advisor submits your application to the UW, you will receive an email from the Graduation & Records Office ( with the subject line: PLEASE CONFIRM - Your Application To Graduate. Read this email carefully for important details and confirm your Graduation Application within 7 days.  Check your spam/junk folder if you have not received this message.

Once you have confirmed your Graduation Application, you will receive the following notification: Thank you! We have received your confirmation. A new degree audit will also show that you have a graduation quarter listed at the top.
Back to top

Double degree or major students

Students who have double majors/double degrees must work with their other department advisor on their graduation process and have a separate graduation application submitted to the UW. You must graduate with both in the same quarter.
Back to top

Graduating Senior Priority (GSP) Registration

Once you apply for graduation, you are eligible for Graduating Senior Priority (GSP) registration which grants you priority Period 1 registration for your last 2 quarters. For example, a Physics student planning to graduate in spring quarter would have GSP registration for both winter and spring quarters if they complete their graduation process with Physics Student Services within the first 2-3 weeks of autumn quarter. For your specific timeline, please view Academic Calendar, select the appropriate academic year, and view when the Graduating Senior Priority application is due under ‘Application Deadlines’.

Students will receive the GSP designation within 1-2 days of successfully confirming their graduation application.

After a student has used two quarters of GSP, their registration priority will revert to regular senior priority.  GSP does not need to be used in consecutive quarters. You can save your GSP by registering during regular senior registration (after 6am PST).
Back to top

Participating in Graduation events

The UW’s campus-wide graduation ceremony is for students who have or will graduate, between summer quarters. Example: for the 2024 June graduation, eligible students would graduate between summer 2023 and summer 2024.

Students graduating summer 2024 and planning to participate in the UW Commencement Ceremony in June 2024 must have their Graduation Application submitted by the third Friday of spring quarter 2024.

The UW Commencement website has information on guest tickets to the UW ceremony, ordering announcements, graduation apparel, photos, purchasing parking permits, etc.

Eligible participants to the Physics Department Graduation Celebration will have completed their degrees between autumn and summer quarters (this is different from the campus-wide ceremony of summer to summer). The Physics Department Graduation Celebration is typically held the morning of the campus-wide event in the Physics Astronomy Auditorium (PAA).  Graduation apparel is optional. We do not require tickets to attend, but we need your RSVP and a slide for our slideshow. There will be a limit on the number of guests per graduate which depends on how many graduates are participating. We would recommend purchasing parking through the UW Commencement website as parking will be competitive on the day of the Graduation Ceremony.

Registration for both the UW Commencement and the Physics Department Graduation Celebration will begin in May.
Back to top

Graduation for International Students

International Students are highly encouraged to refer to the ISS Final Year Checklist, or check in with their International Student Services advisor, as they can provide helpful information, especially regarding any requirements and suggestions as you approach your final quarter at the UW.
Back to top

Changing Your Graduation Date

If you need to change your graduation date, contact Physics Student Services as soon as possible. This will help to ensure that your registration for the additional quarter(s) opens as quickly as possible.
Back to top

Diplomas and Degree Validation

UW diplomas only list the graduate's name, the degree earned, and any applicable honors. Majors, minors, and options are not listed on UW diplomas unless they are part of the honors designation.

It takes 2-3 months for diplomas to arrive in the mail. Please be sure to check your MyUW address settings to ensure that your diploma arrives at the correct address. You can also specify the name printed on your diploma if it does not match your student record name in the UW database:

Degrees are posted to your transcript by the UW Office of Graduation & Academic Records approximately 2-3 weeks after the end of the quarter upon verification that you have completed all degree requirements.

Unofficial UW Transcript:  > UW Resources > Academics > Grades & Transcripts

Order Official Transcripts:   

Prospective employers, graduate programs, and others who require verification that you’ve earned your degree can access this information through a UW Degree Validation website:

For more information, visit the University Registrar's website for Graduation and Diplomas:

Note: After a student has earned their UW degree, the "Graduation Date" on the Degree Audit will go back to "not found". This is considered normal, as the degree will have already been posted to the student's transcript, making the Degree Audit irrelevant.
Back to top

Baccalaureate Honors

Baccalaureate Honors are: Cum Laude, Magna Cum Laude, and Summa Cum Laude. These honors are awarded upon graduation to undergraduates earning their first bachelor’s degree with at least 90 credits taken at UW.  Of these 90 credits, 60 must be numerically graded (extension credits do not count toward these 60 credits). These honors awards are not directly related to the Departmental or College Honors Programs. They also represent the top 10% of students in each of UW's schools and colleges.

Students graduating with Baccalaureate Honors may order a gold honor cord to wear for the UW Commencement Ceremony when registering at the UW Commencement website. For students graduating in the spring, the honors listed in the Commencement Program (and honor cord distribution), are based on the student’s cumulative GPA through the preceding Winter Quarter. Spring Quarter grades are ultimately included in the credit totals and GPA calculations, determining wither the honors are posted to the student’s final record. You can find more information about baccalaureate honors, the Dean’s list, and other honors societies on the UW Baccalaureate Honors site.
Back to top

Planning for Careers, Internships & Graduate School

Use the Career & Internship Center, which offers help in job-hunting skills, career planning, and career coaching for up to 3yrs after graduation.

Handshake is UW's primary resource for job searches, recruiting, and on-campus workshops & opportunities to network with employers. Current students and alumni are welcome to utilize Handshake:

Consider seeing a Career Coach, who can be a helpful guide in career exploration, strategies on job & internship searching, and interview advising.

If you’re thinking about graduate school, the UW Graduate School offers a great course that can help students explore the graduate school application process, develop an understanding of the purpose of graduate education, and access helpful resources. Preparing for Graduate Education (GRDSCH 200) is offered nearly every quarter:   

Related, you may also want to start thinking about obtaining Letters of Recommendation and any future references that you may need down the road for internships, employment, or graduate schools. Here are some helpful websites on how to start:

Back to top

UW Alumni Association

The UW Alumni Association is a network of over 50,000 alumni Huskies, with chapters and regional groups all over the country and the world! The UWAA offers a complimentary one-year membership to its most-recent alumni, numerous opportunities to network with fellow Huskies, and alumni services such as library access and a UW alumni email account.

Join the UW Alumni Group on LinkedIn!

What happens to your UW online services after you graduate?
Back to top