How to Prepare for transferring to the UW Department of Psychology

Thank you for your interest in the UW Psychology Department. The information on this website will give you better understanding of what it takes to become a psychology major after you transfer to the UW. We could not cover everything a transfer student should know, so please feel free to contact us at any time with your questions.

We are not hosting in-person Transfer Thursday events and have created a video, this webpage, and handouts that answer many commonly asked questions. If you have any questions, please get in touch with us at


FAQ Handout

Psychology Major Information Handout


Psychology Major Information Video


Commonly Asked Questions


How do I fill out the question regarding major application on the Transfer Student Application for the UW Office of Admissions?

When you transfer to the UW, you will first apply for undergraduate admissions. Then, once you are accepted to the UW and enroll in classes, you can then apply to the major during your first quarter, provided you have all of the pre-requsites completed, described below. When you complete the Application for UW Admissions, you will be asked this question:

First-Choice Major Departmental Application: In additon to this University application, I am/will be submitting a separate departmental application

Please select: I will be submitting a separate departmental application for a future quarter, after enrolling at the University.

What will I learn as a Psychology Major?

You will learn a lot of different ideas, theories and skills as a psychology major at UW. Our department has a strong foundation in scientific and research methodologies with an emphasis on computer and communication skills. In addition, here are some of the learning goals for our majors:

  • Understand major concepts in human behavior
  • Apply perspectives to various situations
  • Explain behavior on several levels of analysis
  • Utilize the scientific research methods
  • Design and conduct studies
  • Draw on and evaluate research evidence
  • Utilize technology for data collection/analysis
  • Evaluate information as a critical thinker
  • Reflect on information and apply it to your life
  • Be aware of multiculturalism and diversity
  • Use scientific writing to convey a concept
  • Communicate in a variety of settings including writing and oral presentation

What can I do with my Psychology Major?

Because the psychology major offers a broad, social sciences and liberal arts education, there are many different types of careers available for a psychology graduate. Generally speaking, our students do well in business, human resources, marketing, management, research, teaching, social services, sales, and public service, just to name a few. We encourage our students to seek out networking and internship opportunities as undergraduates to gain a greater understanding of their chosen field. We have some opportunities for internships listed on our Psych 497 website, but would be happy to meet with you to discuss a plan for your specific interests.

Many of our students also apply to graduate or professional programs in counseling/therapy, research psychology, teaching, social work, health fields (medicine, nursing, dentistry, veterinary science, physical therapy, occupational therapy, physicians assistant, etc.), business and the law. If you are interested in continuing your education beyond your bachelors degree, we would enjoy helping you figure out your plans. We have a lot of resources available to help students plan for a graduate or professional program.

For more information on careers, please go to:

Psychology BA vs. BS. Which one should I choose?

Most of our students (about 65%) will select the BA program. The BA program offers a strong foundation in general psychology and is appropriate for many of our students. The BS program was developed to serve our students who have strong math and quantitative skills and are interested in preparing for a research-orientated graduate program. We are happy to work with you on an individual basis to make this decision.

For more information about the differences in the programs, please go to:

What are the Psychology Admission Requirements?

  • The admission requirements for both the Bachelors of Arts and the Bachelors of Science are the same.
  • Psych 101 Introduction to Psychology
  • Psych 202 Biopsychology (sometimes titled Physiological Psychology)
  • Psych 209 Fundamentals of Psychology Research
  • Math 111, 112, 120, 124 or higher. Students interested in the BS program only need Math 120 to apply, but will need Math 124 to register for Psych 317.

* Each course from above must be completed with a 2.0 grade. Students interested in the BS program must have a 2.5 in Psych 209.

** Minimum 2.5 cumulative GPA for Psych 101, 202 and 209.

*** Minimum 2.0 cumulative University of Washington GPA.

For more information about the admissions requirements, please go to:

When can I apply to the psychology major?

You must first be enrolled at the University of Washington (Seattle Campus) and have completed all of the departmental admission requirements before you can apply to the major. If you have Psych 101, 202, 209 and math courses complete at the start of your first quarter at UW, you can apply during that quarter. Applications are due the second Friday of autumn, winter, and spring quarters. Admissions is not available for summer. If you need to take Psych 202 or 209 or your math class during your first quarter at UW, then you can apply to the major during your second quarter.

What if my community college doesn't offer Psych 202/Psych 209?

Psych 202 and 209 are not offered frequently at community colleges. If you are at a school that doesn't offer these classes, then you will take them when you get to UW. We save some spaces in these classes for new transfer students to help them prepare for the major. If you are unable to get into one of these spaces, we will help you plan your schedule so you can still graduate on time.

How competitive is the psychology major?

The psychology major is considered a capacity-constrained major because we have more students interested in the psychology major than we have spaces for students in our majors classes. Our admission decision is base on a holistic review of each applicant that takes into consideration both academic achievents in Psych 101, 202, and 209 and the response to a required prompt. If you have concerns about your grades, please contact us and we will be able to describe the recent trends for acceptance rates.

Aside from the psychology admission courses, what other classes do you recommend for me at my community college?

Psychology students are required to take some classes in other fields as a part of the major. We encourage our students to take these related field classes if they have time in their schedules at their community college. As discussed above, Psych BA students will need Math 111, 112, 120, 124 or higher and Psych BS students will need Math 120 and 124. Also, students in either major will need to take one anthropology or sociology course (any level) and one Biology course (with a anatomy or physiology base; Biology 118, 161, 162, 180, 200, 201, 202, 203, or 220). Psych BS students will also need Philosophy 120 or 160.

In addition to specific psychology requirements, our students must complete the general education requirements in the College of Arts and Sciences to graduate from UW.

The General Education Requirements are:

  • English Composition (minimum grade C or 2.0)
  • Foreign Language through 3 rd quarter, three years of high school, placement by exam out of the first year level, or native speaker status. (minimum grade C or 2.0 for 3 rd quarter class)
  • Quantitative/Symbolic Reasoning *your math course will meet this requirement.
  • Additional Writing (10 credits) *your psychology lab class in the psych major will meet 5 credits of this requirement.
  • Areas of Knowledge (20 credits in each of the following three areas plus 15 credits in any area for a total of 75 credits)
  • Visual, Literary and Performing Arts (VLPA)
  • Individuals and Society (I&S)
  • Natural World (NW)

*15 credits of your psychology courses will also count toward these Areas of Knowledge, as will your anthropology/sociology, math and biology courses.

Since most transfer students are attempting to complete their associate's degrees before transferring to UW, many of these requirements will be fulfilled with their usual coursework. Some of our students will need to pay particular attention to their foreign language and their VLPA classes. If you are at a Washington State Community College, then you can check to see how each of your classes will transfer to UW by looking at the Equivalency Guide located at:

My community college offers different math courses. Which pre-calculus class should I take?

If you are attending a Washington state community college, you should check the UW Equivalency Guide to make sure that your class is equivalent to Math 111, 112, 120 or 124 or beyond. If you are attending a different school, then you should check to see if your class is the prerequisite to calculus 1.

Some community colleges divide pre-calculus into a two course sequence. If you are at such a school, you will need to complete through the second pre-calculus course. Students must complete math with a minimum grade of a 2.0 or higher to apply to the psychology major. If you have any questions, please contact us.

My community college offers psychology classes (abnormal, social, developmental psych, etc.). Should I take these classes?

Many of our transfer students are excited to take every psychology class offered. These classes will transfer to UW as 200-level psychology elective courses and will count as credit for graduation. For the psychology major, you only need two 200-level courses (specifically Psych 202 Biopsychology and 209 Research Methods). Therefore, while other 200-level courses from your community college will count as general electives, they will not fulfill specific degree requirements.

How can I evaluate my progress towards a UW degree?

MyPlan, the academic planning tool of the UW, is available to you. MyPlan allows Washington State community college students to import unofficial transcripts from any Washington State Community or Technical College and view how the courses you have already taken translate to coursework at the UW. You can also easily enter any courses you are planning to take, allowing you to view how both completed and projected coursework may transfer. Using MyPlan also provides a better plan for what courses you need to take to meet your academic goals should you be accepted to the UW. 

Access MyPlan by logging in with your Google or Facebook account at

Sorry, MyPlan planning can not be used for students who are transfering from an in-state or out-of-state University or out-of-state community college. 

How long will it take to get my BA or BS from UW?

If you transfer to UW with 90 credits from your community college, you can usually graduate from UW in six quarters (90 credits). Some students are at UW for one or two extra quarters if they decide to take a reduced course load or to complete a double major or a minor or if they have not taken many of their College of Arts and Sciences General Education Requirements. We enjoy meeting with students to create graduation plans and to discuss difficulties if they arise.

I have more than 90 credits from my community college. How many of these credits will count toward my degree?

After your credits have been evaluated by our Office of Admissions, you will know how your classes transferred to UW. If you have more than 90 credits, we can add some of the additional credits toward the 180 credits needed for graduation if this is useful in completing your academic goals. You can have up to 135 total credits from another school count for your degree. It would be difficult to complete the psychology major in just 45 credits, or three quarters, but we might be able to work out a plan.

In addition to taking classes for the psychology major, what other opportunities are available for psychology students?

Many students are interested in another academic field and find that our major works really well for those who want to complete a minor or a second major. A complete list of majors at UW may be found at:

A complete list of UW minors may be found at:

We require that all of our students, either in the BA or BS program, complete an independent learning experience. Although this experience can vary for students, usually they choose to work in one of our research labs or to complete a psychology related internship. Each quarter, we offer over 120 different research opportunities for students. More information may be found on our Psych 499 and Psych 497 websites.

In addition, many of our students will choose to get actively involved on campus in a student organization or will do independent community service. Some students will elect to study aboard either for a month in the summer or for a quarter or longer. For more information about studying abroad, please see the Study Abroad website

What is the process for applying as a transfer student?

Transfer students should first apply to the UW through the Office of Admissions. The application deadline for Summer and Autumn quarter admissions is Feb 15. The deadline for Winter quarter admissions is on Sept 1. The UW does not admit students to start in Spring quarter. International students may only apply to the UW in Feb for the Summer and Autumn quarters. Please see the UW Office of Admissions website for more information about the transfer process. When you apply to the UW, you will be asked a question regarding your First Choice Major Application. Please select the answer: "I will be submitting a separate departmental application for a future quarter, after enrolling at the University." We do not accept applications to the major until you have matriculated at the UW.

I have a Bachelors degree and I want to apply to the UW as a post-baccalaureate student. Any advice? 

Due to the demand for our major and competition for seats in classes from students seeking first undergraduate degrees, The Department of Psychology is currently not accepting post-baccalaureate applications.

Post-bac study can be complicated and time-intensive. In many cases, our advisers can help you find an easier way of preparing for graduate study, or they can help you put together your best application. Please contact our advising office if this is the case.

I would like to take classes as a non-matriculated (non-degree seeking) student. Who should I contact?

Classes at the UW may be taken on a course-by-course basis without being in a degree program or admitted to the UW by enrolling as a non-degree seeking student. Information about registration and enrollment can be found on the non-degree seeking website.

Interested students will need instructor permission and some signatures before officially registering for classes. Due to demand and space capacity in Psychology classes, non-degree seeking students may not receive instructor approval. Please reach out to the advising office if you have any questions or need assistance. 

Are there scholarships for psychology students?

There are two departmental specific scholarships for psychology students:

Ari Chandler Memorial Scholarship provides support for transfer psychology students who plan to work with children and adolescents.

James Steel Scholarship provides support to psychology students interested in the field of clinical psychology.  

Other scholarships for transfer students are:

Martin Family Foundation Scholarship 
Offers financial awards to Washigton Community College students and graduates interested in obtaining a bachelors' degree from the University of Washington in Seattle. If you are considering an application to UW, you may quailfy for one of the two scholarships. 

and can be found on the Financial Aid Scholarship website.  

When can I meet with a psychology adviser?

We are happy to meet with prospective UW students at any point in their planning process. We can look over your transcripts and give you advice about which classes to select at your community college or we can talk to you about the process of applying to UW as a transfer student. We can sort out a graduation plan once you get to UW or help you register for classes. We can identify different university resources and help you if any difficulties arise. We spend a lot of time helping students with understanding how to apply to graduate programs or how to get an internship or job.

Making an appointment with a psychology adviser is easy. Just give us a call at 206-543-2698 or send us an email, at We look forward to hearing from you!

Transfer Thursdays

The University of Washington offers Transfer Thursdays for prospective transfer students interested in applying for admission to the University of Washington. Every Thursday afternoon at 2:30 PM, in the Undergraduate Gateway Center (Mary Gates Hall) and the Office of Admissions (Schmitz Hall) there is an information session about transfer application procedures. Academic advisers are available from 1-5 PM to assist prospective transfer students in planning their transition to the UW. Contact the Undergraduate Gateway Center at 206-543-2551 for details, or visit

***Departmental Info Sessions are not currently offered*** The Psychology Advising Office offers weekly transfer student information sessions that discuss admission and graduation requirements, the orientation of the department, resources on campus, and preparation for transferring. These sessions are offered every Thursday, 3:30-4:30 PM in our office in room 119A in Guthrie Hall. *** Please watch the video at the top of this page