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Policies: Travel

The Physics Department adheres to UW Travel Office policies and procedures.  Complete information can be found on the Travel Office website

Purchasing Airline Tickets

UW Employees, Students,  and Visitors: 

  • Airfare can be purchased using a UW VISA Travel Card, Central Travel Account with the assistance of the department travel coordinator, or using personal funds
  • Airfare can be purchased from a state contract travel agency, directly with the airline, or  from internet providers such as Orbitz, Expedia, Travelocity, Priceline, etc.

Visitors must:

  • Be aware of any airfare restrictions that may apply based on the source of funding before purchasing airfare and contact the Physics department or Principal Investigator of the grant or contact if there are any questions.
  • Complete the Visitors reimbursement form for reimbursement
  • Provide all receipts for reimbursement

When purchasing airfare on any federal funding source, U.S. air carriers must be used at all times unless the department approves of the use of international air carriers in advance of booking the airfare.  Please be aware that reimbursement for airfare may not be possible if prior approval from the department  was  not obtained.  The department is not responsible for any unallowable airfare charges for travel on federal funding.  This applies to any travelers on federal funding, including visitors. 
State Contract Airfares and Travel Agency Information

  • Employee/UW Students Reimbursement: 
    • The following expenditures may be reimbursed:
      • Contract or cheaper coach airfare to/from Seattle to your travel destination. [If you are traveling to multiple destinations for personal leave, you will be reimbursed up to the cost of round-trip airfare to your business destination.*]
      • Lodging
      • Per diem
      • Transportation to/from the airport (i.e. taxi, shuttle)
      • If you are traveling to a conference, please provide a copy of the conference schedule to your travel administrator.
  • Visitors Reimbursement:
    • The following expenditures may be reimbursed:
      • Coach airfare to/from your place of business to the University of Washington Physics Department. If you are traveling to multiple destinations, you will be reimbursed up to the cost of round-trip airfare to the University of Washington.*
      • Lodging
      • Per diem
      • Transportation to/from the airport (i.e. taxi, shuttle)
    • Foreign Visitors Reimbursement:
      • Visitors traveling from foreign countries must provide proof of entering the country legally (copy of stamped passport or I-96 Form)
      • If you are not a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, we must also make a copy of your passport and the I-94 form attached to your passport! Without this we cannot reimburse you. Additionally, if you have a J-1 Visa we will need a copy of the DS2019 and a permission letter from your sponsoring institution authorizing money to be released to you.  If you have a F-1 Visa you need to turn in an I-20 form.

If you have expenses not listed above please contact the University of Washington Physics Department BEFORE you are in travel status to have them authorized.

*  Please provide travel agent or airline documentation showing the cost of round-trip airfare to the University of Washington BEFORE you travel.


Location of the Physics/Astronomy Building
The Physics/Astronomy building is located on the North-East corner of the intersection of 15th Ave NE and NE Pacific Street. The physical address of the building is 3910 15th Ave NE  Seattle, WA 98195-1560. The Physics main office is located in C-121.
The Physics/Astronomy Building is marked on this campus map.

Visitors from Outside the U.S.
Information about US Visas and Visa-related issues is available here:  UW Visa Info

Airline Reservations
The University has access to special contract rates with multiple air carriers covering most common routes to and from Seattle. These contract fares are sometimes preferable to fares found through airlines or through travel websites.


The University Inn - Many visitors to the Physics Department stay at the University Inn located at 4140 Roosevelt Way NE, Seattle, WA 98105. The Inn is within easy walking distance of the Physics/Astronomy Building and includes a complimentary breakfast and wireless internet. The phone number of the inn is (206) 632-5055 or 1-800-733-3855. Check in is at 3 PM and check out is at noon.
UW Dormitories - UW dormitories are available to visitors during the summer quarter only. Additional information on campus dormitories is available on request.

Transporation from Sea-Tac Airport to the UW
Sea-Tac International Airport is located about 20 miles from the University. Driving from the airport to the University or vice-versa usually takes less than a half hour.
A taxi ride from the airport to the University usually costs approximately $50.
You can take the Metro Transit buses 174 or 194 to downtown Seattle, then transfer to a bus to the University district. The fare is $2 to $2.50 during rush hours. Please refer to the bus section under Transportation Options for more information on riding the Metro Transit in Seattle.
Shuttle Express provides 24-hour door-to-door van service to and from the airport. Courtesy phones are available at Sea-Tac airport for Shuttle Express. For reservations call (206) 622-1424 or 1-800-487 RIDE. The cost is $37 per person plus $8 for every additional passenger. Cash, Travel's checks, and major credit cards are accepted. To ensure shuttle availability, it is strongly advised that you make your reservation from the airport to the University and from the University to the airport before your trip.
Other Transportation
Rental cars and limousines are also available at Sea-Tac airport (Limousines charge about as much as a taxi to the University District). For further information on airport services and airport operating conditions, please call the Airport information line at (206) 431-4444 and/or visit the Sea-Tac website.

Driving Directions from Sea-Tac Airport to the UW

  • Exit the airport and follow the signs to the I-5 freeway
  • Head North on I-5
  • After passing through downtown Seattle and crossing the Ship Canal on a high bridge, take the exit marked NE 45th Street/NE 50th Street (Exit 169)
  • Turn right (East) on NE 45th Street
  • After 8 blocks, you will be at 15th Avenue NE and at the boundary of the UW campus
  • Turn right (South) onto 15th Ave
  • At the intersection with 40th St NE turn left into the west gate (Gate 5)
  • Daily permits for parking on campus will be issued at the gate. They will tell you the best place to park for the Physics Astronomy Building.

Parking Services at the UW (including parking rates) 


During Your Stay

On Arrival
Please see your host. If you do not know where your host is located, please come to the Physics front office in room C-121 and the staff will direct you.
Computer Access
Your host can provide you with a guest id and password to use the desktop computer in your assigned office or provide you with a guest wireless network account. If you have a laptop which requires a wired connection, please do not unplug the network connection of the desktop computer (or shut it down). Ask to use one of the department's network hubs instead.
For UW numbers, just dial the last 5 digits of the phone number. For local calls, dial 9 + area code + number. For long distance use, please see your host for an authorization code. For faxes, please check with your host regarding the number to use. When having a fax sent to you, please ask the sender to specify who the fax is for (i.e. by writing "ATTN: Your Name" at the top of the first page)
Phone numbers of major campus services.

Video Projectors
Please let your host know in advance if you need a video projector for your presentation
Expense Reimbursement
See Visitors Reimbursement 
The University of Washington Library system ranks among the top research libraries in North America. For information about the other libraries on campus, please see the UW Libraries Home Page.
Dining Options
The University and the University district have many inexpensive and moderately priced restaurants. The UW Math department also has a good list of places to eat around the University, including many restaurants on University Way (also know as "the Ave")

Transportation Options
The King County Metro Transit operates more than 200 bus routes in Seattle and provides an excellent way to get around without a car. Buses on routes 74 and 355 stop right in front of the University Inn and run to/from downtown Seattle.  Fares are $2 to $2.50 during rush hours. Some bus routes will also take you through the UW campus. Please be aware that the driver does not carry any change onboard, therefore you must pay with exact change. If you need to transfer buses, ask for a free transfer ticket. This transfer ticket, good for 90 minutes, will allow you to ride another bus in the same zone for free.
If you rent a car (or bring your own) please refer to UW Parking Services for parking permits and information.
For Puget Sound (Seattle and the surrounding area) traffic conditions, please refer to the Washington Department of Transportation website for traffic conditions.  For Driving Maps of Seattle, please see the Visit Seattle webpage.
Local Culture and Entertainment

On Campus
The University of Washington has an abundance of arts and entertainment- from museums and exhibits to sports and recreation. The Institute for Nuclear Theory has an extensive list of things to do on campus.
Off Campus
Seattle has a rich culture and you will find no shortage of entertainment and activities to explore during your stay. The UW Computer Science and Engineering Department has a thorough and extensive list of activities to do in Seattle.
Lists of entertainment and activities can also be found on the UW Particle Theory Research Group's website.



If you have borrowed keys from the department, please do not forget to leave them with the department! Either lock them in the office provided to you or give them to your host.
Getting to Sea-Tac Airport

You may call the Shuttle Express at 206-622-1424. It is strongly advised that you make a reservation with the shuttle beforeyour trip.

Taxi/Private Car
You many call Yellow Cab of Seattle at 206-622-6500, Farwest Taxi at (206) 622-1717, or Orange Cab at 206-522-8800 for a taxi. You may call Seattle Town Car Service at 206-444-5400 for a private car.

Driving Directions via Google Maps

Upon Return Home
If the University of Washington is reimbursing you for your expenses, please see Visitors Reimbursement form.  

Other Useful Links and Information