College of Arts and Sciences

Physics is the study of the behavior of matter, space, time and fields. Using highly sophisticated experimental and mathematical techniques, physicists gather detailed measurements of phenomena from the largest scales involving the entire universe to the smallest scales involving the most fundamental particles to construct theories that explain how the universe and the things in it behave. The Department of Physics offers four BS degree options: Applied, Biological, Comprehensive and Teacher Preparation. The department encourages the involvement of undergraduates in research and educates students at all levels, from general education through preparation for teaching. Graduates may pursue careers in scientific, technical, engineering and education fields.

Minor available

Major category: Capacity-constrained

Curricular options: Applied Physics, Biophysics, Comprehensive Physics, Teacher Preparation

Topic: Computing, Natural sciences, Engineering-option

Applicant type


Freshmen can apply to the UW to begin autumn quarter or winter quarter (U.S. applicants only)

Read more about applying to the UW as a freshman, including details for programs that provide high school students with college credit (like Running Start).


Quarters of general admisson to UW: autumn / winter (U.S. applicants only) / spring / summer

Preparation for the major is a factor in transfer admission.

  • Use the information below to help you prepare for this degree
  • Visit MyPlan to run a degree audit.
  • Use the UW Equivalency Guide to find out how courses taken at a Washington state community or technical college will transfer to the UW.
  • UW college and school graduation requirements

Department admission information

  • Departmental application deadline:
  • You must enroll at the UW before applying to this major. Please contact the department for additional details.

Read more about applying to the UW as a transfer student.

Career outcomes