*Please return to this page in late December to access the application.

The winter quarter psychology major application process will open in late December with an application submission deadline of 10:00 pm (PST) on January 15, 2021. To help our prospective applicants prepare for the opening of the application cycle, we are providing the information below, including the required and optional essay prompts.

Please note that 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,, with the subject line "Psychology Application."

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 positionality affects perception. 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 will be 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. Each student's entire application is important in our holistic review. We encourage applicants to use the essay to share who they are and what is important to them. Where are they headed? What do they care about? We are excited to learn what our students 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 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 

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

Application Deadline: We accept applications every fall, winter, and spring quarters. The application cycle for winter will open on in late December and applications must be submitted in the system by 10:00 pm (PST) on January 15, 2021. 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 to the extent that they highlight your own identity, cultural background, experiences, perspectives, values, and goals. We will not consider grammar or language proficiency in our reading 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 psychology is a 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.

Required Response:

Why are you interested in studying psychology? Tell us about your personal, educational, work, and/or volunteer experiences, as well as your personal values and cultural background, and how these have influenced your educational and career goals. Tell us how being a psychology major will contribute to achieving those goals.

Optional Response:

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 Office of the University Registrar 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 and summer quarters and remains in effect for fall quarter 2020 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 and summer 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. For updates and information regarding University level policies please visit the Office of the University Registrar's website.

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 fifth 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.