Admissions

The Psychology Department is committed to building a learning environment that promotes well-being, solution-based thinking, diversity of thought, social responsibility, and an understanding that identity, personal values, views, and social and political context influence how one understands the world. In the review of all applications, we will be looking for students who are committed to furthering these values.

Application Decisions: The Psychology Department Admissions Committee's review of students applications is informed by the University of Washington's approach to admitting first year students through their holistic review process. Academic achievement in gateway Psychology courses (PSYCH 101, 202, and 209), is an important factor when it comes to holistic review, but we want to know more about our students than what is reflected in their grades and coursework. Your entire application is important in our holistic review. We encourage you to use the required personal essay to share who you are and what is important to you. Where are you headed? What do you care about? We are excited to learn what you will bring to the UW Psychology community and to the field of psychology in general.

General Information to Prepare Your Application

Transcripts: Before starting your application, please have ready a PDF version of your unofficial transcripts from any college or university you attended other than UW. As a part of your application, you will be asked to upload unofficial copies of your non-UW transcripts only (we have access only to your UW transcripts).

Minimum Admission Requirements: Before you are eligible to apply for admission to the major, you must complete and have a minimum grade of 2.0 for each of the prerequisite courses:

  •  PSYCH 101 Introduction to Psychology, or equivalent transfer course
  •  PSYCH 202 Biopsychology, or equivalent transfer course
  •  PSYCH 209* Fundamentals of Psychological Research, or equivalent transfer course
  •  MATH 111, 120, or 124, or equivalent transfer course 
  • An applicant must be a matriculated student at the UW Seattle campus at the time of application - if you are a newly admitted UW Seattle student you must wait until your first quarter to apply to the psychology major

*a minimum grade of 2.5 is needed in PSYCH 209 for the BS program

Application Deadline

We accept applications every autumn, winter, and spring quarters. Admission is not avaible for the summer. The application cycle for winter quarter 2022 will open during the last week of December and applications must be submitted in the system by 10:00 pm (PST) on January 14, 2022. You will have the option to save and continue your application. After your application has been submitted, you will not be able to edit or access it. 

Personal Response(s)

In responding to the question(s) below, we encourage you to answer honestly and in your own voice. Please share relevant examples and details. We will not consider grammar or language proficiency in our evaluation of your responses. Written responses must be submitted in 500 words or less, and will be evaluated along the following criteria:

  •  Relevance to the prompt
  •  Depth of thought and insight
  •  Discussion of personal and professional experiences
  •  Discussion of how studying in the Psychology Department's major is a good fit for your educational and career goals

If you require assistance with your application, please visit the Odegaard Writing and Research Center or the UW Instructional Center. In order to protect the integity of the process and to avoid potential conflict of interest, the Psychology Writing Center and the Psychology Advising Office are unable to assist with the writing of your responses

Please note that the first personal response (below) is required, and the second response is optional.

Response 1 (required):

Tell us why are you interested in studying psychology?
- Tell us about your personal, educational, work, and/or volunteer experiences, as well as your personal values, background, and experiences with diversity. How have these influenced your educational and career goals?
- As you reflect on the wide range of potential applications of psychology, tell us how being a psychology major will contribute to achieving those goals.

Response 2 (optional):

If there are one or more grades that you would like to contextualize, or any circumstances that have positively or negatively affected your education that you would like to tell us about, please do so here.

The Application 

Applications are due by 10:00 PM Friday of the second week of the quarter. The 2021 fall quarter submission deadline will be on October 8. We are not able to accept late applications under any circumstance.

Apply now

Decision Notification

Students will receive an email notifying them of their acceptance to the major by email during the fifth week of the quarter, well before registration opens for the next quarter. If you have not heard about your status, please contact a Carrie Perrin, at cyoung@uw.edu.

Questions About the Process? 

The psychology major application process is no longer administered by the Psychology Advising Office, but by a departmental Admissions Committee. If you have questions about the application process, please contact Carrie Perrin, cyoung@uw.edu, with the subject line "Psychology Application."

Departmental Policy for "S" Grades and Repeating 

"S" Grades Earned in Spring/Summer/Fall Quarters 2020 and Winter/Spring/Summer Quarters 2021

The Office of the University Registrar initially contacted students on June 3, 2020, explaining the addition of a grading option change that will allow students to request conversion of a numeric grade to a Satisfactory/Not Satisfactory grade. The change that was in effect for spring 2020, summer 2020, fall 2020, as well as winter 2021, spring 2021, and summer 2021 is that an S grade can be used to satisfy a degree and/or graduation requirement (normally, S grades can be used only for elective courses). Please note that S grades earned prior to spring 2020 and again beginning in fall 2021, can not be used to satisfy specific degree or graduation requirements.

With respect to admission to the Psychology major, grades of S earned for PSYCH 101, 202, or 209 in spring, summer, and fall quarters 2020, and in winter, spring, and summer quarters 2021 (but not in any other quarter), will be accepted toward admission to the major; however, an applicant's admission GPA (which is the cumulative GPA for PSYCH 101/202/209), will be based solely on numeric grades earned in those classes. For example, if a student has a numeric grade for PSYCH 101 and 209 and an S grade for PSYCH 202 (from spring, summer, or fall quarters 2020 or winter or spring quarters 2021 only), that student's admission GPA will be based solely on the cumulative GPA for PSYCH 101/209. Note that the math course required for admission is not part of that calculation so a grade of S for MATH 111, 120, or higher earned in spring, summer, or fall quarters 2020 or winter, spring, and summer quarters 2021 will suffice for admission to the major.

Please note that S grades earned in any quarter prior to spring 2020 and again beginning in fall 2021 are not impacted by this policy change and will not be accepted toward admission to the Psychology major. For updates and information regarding University level policies please visit the Office of the University Registrar's website.

Departmental policy regarding repeating admission courses:

  • Photo of library entranceStudents may repeat each class required for admission only once.
  • If a student repeats one (and only one) of the three Psychology courses required for admission (Psych 101 and 202 and 209), we will accept the better of the two grades for that course. If a student repeats more than one of the three courses, we will accept the better grade for ONE course and we will average the grades for the two attempts for other repeated courses.
  • For example, suppose that a student submits the following record:
    • Psych 101, taken twice, 0.0 and 3.0
    • Psych 202, taken twice, 1.5 and 2.5
    • Psych 209, taken once, 2.5
  • Dropping one grade from Psych 101 helps the student most. The average Psychology admission GPA would be based on:
    • Psych 101, 3.0
    • Psych 202, 2.0 (average of 1.5 and 2.5 is 2.0)
    • Psych 209, 2.5
  • Please note that the above are Psychology Department policies with regard to admission to the major. Grades in repeated courses that are "dropped" for the purpose of calculating our admission GPA are not dropped from the student's UW record, and will continue to be calculated in the cumulative UW GPA.