Undergraduate Major Admission

Astronomy is a “capacity constrained” major. Entrance into the Astronomy major is by application, and admission is twice each year. More details about astronomy major requirements is available on the Undergraduate Program page. 

  • Current Students: major application deadlines are the third Friday of Autumn quarter and the third Friday of Spring quarter. Students that transferred to the UW but missed the Direct Transfer Admission cycles can apply during Winter quarter.
  • Direct Transfer Admissions: applications are due April 5th for Autumn quarter admission cycle and October 5th for Winter quarter admission cycle.


Undergraduate Advising Team 

Elisa Quintana and Paula Newcomer ( are available to help with academic course planning of Astronomy degree requirements, answer questions and concerns of undergraduates and graduates, incoming freshmen, and transfer students. They can also assist with registration holds, course add codes, application to major questions, submitting your graduation application, and with general resources. In-person advising is currently not available.

Professor Scott Anderson ( is the Undergraduate Faculty Advisor and can help you with issues that require faculty input or perspective. Please contact Prof. Anderson with requests for course substitution of an Astronomy degree requirement, reviewing transfer credits or Study Abroad equivalency to UW Astronomy courses, how to get involved in Astronomy research (ASTR 499), and advice on graduate school applications. 

Undergraduate Research 

Many professors, postdocs, and graduate students have projects that can support undergraduate research assistants. Reaching out to a potential advisor via email or stopping by their office is encouraged! In addition, the Astronomy Advising team has an informal list of projects that have available positions, so you may also like to schedule an appointment to discuss opportunities.

You can find the Astronomy advising drop-in hours here or schedule an appointment with the link below.


Graduate Advising

The Astronomy department has designed a Graduate Mentoring Program to help students progress towards their PhD degree. Please consult the department’s online graduate program handbook for the most detailed and up-to-date information on the Ph.D. program structure and requirements. 

Both the Graduate Program Advisors (Elisa Quintana and Paula Newcomer) are available to help with academic planning, adding Supervisory Committee for General Exam and Final Exam, and supporting graduate students with academic difficulties. Eric Agol is the Graduate Program Coordinator and is available to discuss degree requirements and milestone tracking, recommend Mentoring Committee members, and graduate funding. Graduate students are also highly encouraged to regularly meet with their mentoring team.

In brief, the Graduate Mentoring Program has five (5) main components: 

  • A flexible "mentoring team" of 3 people to serve as resources and advocates, consisting of at least 2 Astronomy faculty members.
  • A regularly updated Major Milestones tracking form.
  • An annual student-led Individual Development Plan, to help students and mentors come to a shared understanding of the student's goals and plans for the year.
  • An annual structured discussion of student progress, incorporating feedback from both the student and the advisor.
  • A 1-2 page research plan, to allow the student, research advisor, and mentoring team to assess the feasibility and scope of the student's current research project.