The Psychology Department is currently evaluating our admission process and we expect to implement some changes to the way that we make admission decisions. Applicants to the Psychology major can rest assured that PSYCH 101, 202, and 209 (as well as MATH 111 or 120), will remain the prerequisites for applying to the major. Students can also expect that as part of the admission process they will be asked to give responses to one or two questions. These questions will be designed to learn more about our applicants and their desire to major in Psychology. (Most departments at UW have an admission process similar to the one we are considering.) This change will be formally in place no later than the winter 2021 admission cycle and possibly in time for the autumn 2020 admission cycle (the application for Autumn admission will be October 9). Please check back here for updates. 



The Office of the University Registrar contacted students on June 3, 2020, explaining the recent 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 is in effect for spring and summer quarters 2020 only 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).

With respect to admission to the Psychology major, grades of S earned for PSYCH 101, 202, or 209 in spring quarter 2020 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 or summer quarter 2020 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 or summer quarter 2020 will suffice for admission to the major.

Please note that S grades earned in any quarter prior to spring 2020 are not impacted by this policy change and will not be accepted toward admission to the Psychology major. Also, note that we have not received any direction from the Office of the University Registrar regarding an S/NS policy change for any quarter beyond summer 2020.


Please be aware that admission to the Psychology Department is competitive. Meeting the criteria listed below guarantees consideration, but not acceptance into the major. While the specific GPA cutoff may vary from quarter to quarter, a "competitive" cumulative psychology GPA is generally at or above a 3.30 (GPA is for Psych 101, 202 and 209).

You must first be enrolled at the UW and have completed all departmental admissions requirements. Applications must be submitted by 10:00 PM the second Friday of the quarter in which you apply. Students must meet the following minimum criteria.

  • Math 111, 120, or 124, or equivalent transfer course completed, (5 credits, minimum grade 2.0).
  • Psych 101, Introductory Psychology (5 credits, minimum grade 2.0).
  • Psych 202, Biopsychology (5 credits, minimum grade 2.0).
  • Psych 209, Fundamentals of Psychological Research (5 credits, minimum grade 2.0. Minimum grade of 2.5 required for Bachelor of Science students).
  • Minimum 2.5 cumulative Psychology GPA for all courses completed from those psychology courses listed above.
  • Minimum 2.0 cumulative University of Washington GPA.

Admission is competitive. Meeting the above criteria does not guarantee admission to the department. The Admissions Committee reviews all applicants based on the following criteria:

  1. Preparation for a major in Psychology as indicated by the grades earned in courses required for application (Psych 101, 202 and 209. Note: if you have credit for Psych 101 from AP, your admissions GPA will be based on your grades in Psych 202 and 209 only).
  2. Grade point average with an emphasis on psychology grades.

Application process: Note: Please let us know if you experience any problems by emailing Vicky Hansen at To complete the application, you will need to know your student number, number of credits completed, GPA, and grades in Psych 101, 202, 209, and math. If you attended any other college or university other than the UW, you will need to submit a PDF of your unofficial transcripts from the other schools. Please have this PDF ready at the time that you fill out the application. If you need technical assistance with this process, then please visit the Psychology Advising office. We do not require essays as part of the application.

Application deadline: Applications are due by 10:00 PM on the second Friday of the quarter. If you miss this deadline, please contact a Psychology Adviser. We will be accept applications every quarter. Students should be aware we accept a limited number of students into the major during the summer quarter, therefore it is a more competitive time to apply to the major.

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Students will receive an email notifying them of their acceptance to the major by email by the fourth week of the quarter, well before registration opens for the next quarter. If you have not heard about your status, please contact a Vicky Hansen at

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.