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.

Admissions Overview

This video reviews the application process and personal responce.

Admission Video

Application Decision

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.

Preparing Your Application

Transcripts: Before starting your application, please have PDF versions of your unofficial transcripts from any college or university you attended other than UW. As a part of the application, you will upload unofficial copies of your non-UW transcripts only (we have access 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 and a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.50 in the three courses (PSYCH 101, 202, and 209):

  •  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, or 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 during the autumn, winter, and spring quarters --admission is not available for the summer. The application cycle for Autumn quarter will open on September 16, and applications must be submitted in the system by 10:00 pm (PDT) on October 4, 2024. You will have the option to save and continue your application. However, after after applying, you will no longer be able to edit or access the application. Late applications will not be accepted under any circumstances.

Personal Response

In responding to the question 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 the writing response portion of your application, please visit the Odegaard Writing and Research Center or the UW Instructional Center. In order to protect the integrity 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. 

Important note: All employees of the University of Washington are required by Washington State law to report child abuse and neglect in all circumstances by either calling Child Protective Services or the police. In situations involving a UW program, employee, student, volunteer, or facility, UW employees must also contact SafeCampus, the University's violence prevention and response program. Employees may also consult with SafeCampus around concerns for the safety and well-being of students for the purpose of receiving advice about how to best provide resources and support.

Personal Response Question:

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, experiences with diversity, and any challenges that have shaped your academic journey. 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.

The Application

Applications are due by 10:00 pm PDT on Friday of the second week of the quarter. The 2024 Autumn quarter submission deadline will be on October 4, 2024. We are not able to accept late applications under any circumstance.

Apply Now

Decision Notification

Students will receive a decision email during the fifth week of the application quarter. Registration starts during the seventh week of the quarter, providing enough time to consider class planning. If you have not heard about your status, please contact Carrie Perrin, at

Questions About the Process? 

A departmental Admissions Committee reviews the psychology major application. If you have questions about the application process, please contact Carrie Perrin,, with the subject line "Psychology Application."

Frequently Asked Questions

Departmental Policy for "S" Grades and Repeating 

This impacts "S" Grades Earned in Spring/Summer/Fall Quarters 2020, in Winter/Spring/Summer Quarters 2021, and in Winter Quarter 2022 only.

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, for winter 2021, spring 2021, and summer 2021, and for winter 2022 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, as well as 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, in winter, spring, and summer quarters 2021, and in winter quarter 2022 (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, from winter, spring, or summer quarters 2021, and for winter quarter 2022 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, for winter, spring, and summer quarters 2021, and for winter quarter 2022 will suffice for admission to the major.

Please note that S grades earned in any quarter prior to spring 2020 and 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:

  • Students 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.

Current UW psychology students admissions data

The data below represents current University of Washington students enrolled at the Seattle Campus.  

Psychology Admissions Snapshot Autumn 2023