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Transcript Based Admission

If you meet the criteria for Transcript-Based Admission (see below), you need to take the following steps to declare a physics major:

  1. OPTIONAL: Meet with the undergraduate academic counselor, Margot Nims, or with the undergraduate faculty advisor, Prof. Olmstead, to help you decide whether physics is the right major for you, to choose your degree option, and to help you develop your graduation plan.
  2. Decide which degree option (Comprehensive, Applied, Teaching, Biological) you wish to pursue
  3. Fill out the Catalyst Web-Q at This asks for basic information as well as walks you through the transcript-based qualification criteria.
  4. Enter a draft graduation plan into MyPlan.
  5. Meet with Undergraduate Academic Counselor Margot Nims to discuss your graduation plan and fill out the paperwork to declare a major.
  6. Sign up for the physics major announcements email list at this site.  Information about other physics email lists may be found here.

NOTE:  Students may not declare a physics major during the first two weeks of any quarter unless they have a hold on their registration due to the lack of a declared major.

Criteria for Transcript-Based Admission

  1. Admission Criteria:  During the qualifying quarters (as defined below), a student must have received a grade of at least 2.6 in both one qualifying course from List 1 (as defined below) and at least one additional qualifying course from either List 1 or List 2 (as defined below).  A student must also be enrolled in a List 1 course at UW Seattle during the quarter in which the application is submitted.  If there is not an appropriate List 1 class for you to take in the quarter when you wish to declare, you should have completed a List 1 class at UW Seattle during the previous quarter.  If you are not currently enrolled (e.g., taking a quarter off, it is summer, or it is inter-session), then you should be enrolled in a List 1 course for the upcoming quarter.
  2. Qualifying courses:  Admission will be based on performance in core lecture courses required for one or more physics degree options.  These classes must be taken during a qualifying quarter (defined below).  Qualifying courses are separated into two categories:  Physics/Astronomy (List 1) and Math/Applied Math (List 2):
    • List 1:
      Physics 121, 122, 123
      Physics 224, 225, 226, 227, 228
      Physics 321, 322, 323, 324, 325, 328, 329
      Astronomy 321, 322, 323
    • List 2:
      Math 124, 125, 126, 134, 135, 136
      Math 307, 308, 309, 324
      Applied Math 301, 351, 352, 353, 401
  3. Qualifying quarters:  Admission will be based on the two quarters immediately preceding the student’s application to the major. If a student was not enrolled during one of those two quarters (e.g., summer, internship or study abroad), then it will be based on the three immediately preceding quarters.
  4. Graduation Plan:  Students must prepare a quarter-by-quarter, realistic course schedule that will result in a physics degree in their chosen degree option (Applied, Comprehensive, Biological or Teaching) in a reasonable period of time.  Students will discuss they graduation plan with the Undergraduate Advisor when declaring a physics major. Students should enter their plan into MyPlan.