Frequently Asked Questions

Who can attend?

APS CUWiP 2017 at UCLA is designed for undergraduate physics majors, freshman students who are intending to declare as a physics major, and community college students planning to pursue physics upon transfer to a four year college or university. Students do not necessarily need prior physics training, just a personal desire to pursue physics. NOTE: We expect that several of the conferences will be oversubscribed (including UCLA). Therefore, it is very important to complete all parts of the application and to write a thoughtful Applicant Statement that conveys how this conference is meaningful for your personal and professional growth. Priority will be given to applicants who are:

  • undergraduate physics majors
  • freshman college students intending to declare a physics major
  • community college students planning to transfer to a physics program in a UC or state school
  • new to conferences, and specifically APS CUWiP
  • applying to a conference site nearby their expected location January 13-15, 2017
  • going to be in CA, AZ, AK, or HI when they travel to APS CUWiP 2017 at UCLA
Interdisciplinary students are also encouraged to apply, especially if interested in the fields of astrophysics, biophysics, earth/planetary/space sciences, geophysics, atmospheric/oceanic sciences, physical chemistry, and engineering. Apply here now!

Which CUWiP conference should I apply for?

You should apply for the CUWiP conference closest to your geographic location during the month of January. If you are uncertain which location this is, please see the map below.

How is this funded? What does it cost to attend?

All APS CUWiP Conference Sites are funded by the National Science Foundation, the Department of Energy, and the American Physical Society. CUWiP@UCLA is additionally funded by individual departments and organizations at UCLA, along with local corporate and individual contributors. See our Sponsors page to learn more.

Application Fee: There is no application fee.

Registration Fee: Students who are accepted to attend the conference pay a one-time registration fee of $45, with the purpose of minimizing the percentage of attendee no-show. Registration payment will require a credit card transaction online, and you can print confirmation of this transaction to show your department if they are reimbursing you for this.

Food & Lodging Expenses: Food and lodging will be provided and paid for by CUWiP@UCLA.

Travel Expenses: We ask that the students’ home departments cover the costs of travel, but if your institution is unable to cover all travel expenses (AK and HI students, especially) CUWiP@UCLA has travel funding available to reimburse you after the conference. If you are traveling by plane and your institution is unable to cover the cost of travel, you must have your total travel costs approved by CUWiP@UCLA prior to airfare purchase in order to guarantee reimbursement. Please see our Travel Support page to learn more.

Are "application" and "registration" the same thing?

No. Application occurs in September and Registration occurs in November. You apply to attend a CUWiP conference (the one closest to you), and you are accepted, wait-listed or declined according to the priorities described here. Applying is free and the deadline is October 14, 2016 at 8:59pm PDT. After you have been accepted, you then register with the conference to which you have been accepted (you may be assigned to a different conference depending on conference over subscription), and pay $45 to confirm that you will actually be attending. See registration fee information above.

What do I need to do to prepare my application?

The most important component of your application is your Applicant Statement. Here, you can describe a bit about yourself, your interests as a physicist, and how CUWiP will be meaningful to your personal and professional growth. Please refer to the application page for more information.

What do I need to do before registering?

  • Apply to the geographically correct CUWiP site before October 14, 2016 at 8:59pm PDT.
  • Determine your method of transportation to and from the conference, and estimate the costs.
  • Email your Department Chair or Undergraduate Advisor to ask if your school can cover these costs.
  • If your department cannot cover costs and you will be requesting travel reimbursement from CUWiP@UCLA, please contact the CUWiP@UCLA travel coordinator with an estimate of your travel costs before Nov. 20th (deadline to register). If you are traveling by plane, CUWiP@UCLA MUST approve your flights prior to purchase. (Please see our Travel Support page for more info).
  • If you would like to present a research poster at the conference, please prepare and be ready to submit a poster title and abstract (max 250 words) upon registering (deadline Nov. 20th). If you miss the deadline to submit an abstract you can still present a poster! Please see the Posters page for more information.
How do I ask my institution for funding?

We ask that your home institution pay for student travel to and from CUWiP@UCLA if possible. Below is a template that you are welcome to use when contacting your Department Chair or Undergraduate Advisor for funding. You will have most success with requesting funds if you can organize yourself with others from your department or school who are also attending CUWiP@UCLA.

There is also a $45 registration fee that the participant normally pays to minimize the percentage of student no-shows and provide a commitment to APS that you really are going to attend! Sometimes departments are able to cover these registration costs, so we have included a request for registration fee funds in this template. Please adapt as necessary.

To Whom it May Concern,

The Conference for Undergraduate Women in Physics (CUWiP) is a series of regional conferences organized by the American Physical Society that take place at sites across the United States and Canada. The goal of CUWiP is to provide information about graduate school and careers available with an undergraduate degree in physics, as well as facilitate professional skills development and networking opportunities. This year the Western regional conference will be held at UCLA in January 2017.

The cost of food, lodging, and conference proceedings is covered by CUWiP@UCLA. However, the conference requests that the home department of attendees cover travel costs. In addition, there is a $45 registration fee that either the student attendee or home institution covers. The purpose of this registration fee is to provide a commitment for attendee arrival and participation, to minimize the probability of no-shows and wasted resources.

The funds we are requesting depend on the total number of students attending the conference from our institution, which we estimate to be between [insert number of student estimate]. Assuming travel costs of $[insert dollar estimate] per student, we ask the Department to fund a travel grant of $[insert total cost estimate]. In addition, registration fees amount to $[total registration costs]. We therefore ask the department to fund a total grant of $[total travel costs + total registration costs]. The final cost will be determined when the number of students attending from our university is known.

Students will be notified of their acceptance to CUWiP@UCLA on November 9th. The deadline to register for CUWiP@UCLA is November 20th. If at all possible, please let us know your decision before this date.

Thank you for your consideration.


[insert your name here, along with any other students from your department who are applying to CUWiP@UCLA]
What will increase my chances of being accepted to the conference?

First, make sure you submit your application before the deadline October 14, 2016 at 8:59pm PDT. Second, make sure you put some thought into why you want to attend and what you want to get out of the conference. Make sure you answer all questions on the application fully and honestly. Offering to present a poster will not affect your chances of being selected to attend.

I attended last year; can I come to this year’s conference?

The content of this year’s conference will be different than previous years' material, so you are welcome to apply & we recommend it! However, in the case of oversubscription, preference will be given to students who haven’t attended before.

Will I have the opportunity to present my research?

Yes, there will be an undergraduate research poster session. Details will be available through the registration process. Please see “What do I need to do before registering?” for more details.

Do I need to have research to present in order to attend the conference?

No. While we encourage you to present a poster if you have been involved in research, you are welcome to attend the conference and participate in the activities without presenting research. Please see our posters page for more info.

Can I come late? Can I leave early? Can I skip things that I’m not interested in?

It is expected that you will attend all of the official events as scheduled. If you have special circumstances or constraints, please contact the CUWiP@UCLA Organizing Committee to discuss them.

Do I need to book my travel before registering?

Please coordinate with your school to see if your home institution can cover your travel costs.

If your school is not able to pay for your travel and you need reimbursement from CUWiP@UCLA, you must confirm this with a letter from your Department Chair, Undergraduate Advisor, etc. If your university is not able to pay for your travel expenses, then we request that you notify the CUWiP@UCLA travel coordinator between Nov. 9th and Nov. 20th (registration period) with estimated travel costs, using the most economical means of transportation.

It is OK to book your travel after registering, but please book airfare at least one month in advance. If you are traveling by air and your travel cost is not covered by your department, CUWiP@UCLA MUST approve your flights prior to purchase. AK and HI students must contact the CUWiP@UCLA travel coordinator regarding travel methods, approval, and costs.

CA and AZ students are expected to drive together in a carpool if more than one student attends from the same institution. CUWiP@UCLA will have complimentary reserved parking at the conference venue.

Please see our Travel Support page for more info.

I am a local student. Do I need to apply and register, and do I have to drive home at night?

Outside of travel logistics, it does not matter whether attendees are local or out of town. All attendees must first APPLY before October 14, 2016 at 8:59pm PDT, and then REGISTER before Nov. 20th. On site lodging for all attendees during the conference is provided by CUWiP@UCLA. If you would prefer to not stay on site and commute, please contact the CUWiP@UCLA Organizing Committee ASAP.

What if I am a student who needs childcare support or ADA accommodations?

If you are in need of ADA accommodations or childcare options please contact CUWiP@UCLA directly for additional options and information. We look forward to supporting you! The UCLA Luskin Conference Center is equipped with ADA rooms/services, and there will be a quiet room for mother-baby needs. Additionally, we have childcare options available, and would like to provide support during the conference however we can help. If you have any additional questions or concerns please contact the CUWiP@UCLA Organizing Committee.

What if I have dietary restrictions?

Not a problem! CUWiP@UCLA offers halal, kosher, gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan, and vegetarian options. Please indicate any dietary restrictions when you register at our specific site in November, and contact the CUWiP@UCLA Organizing Committee if you do not see the options or confirmation you need.

How do I travel to CUWiP@UCLA from where I live?

Please see our “Travel to UCLA” page. We strongly recommend traveling by a group van or car when possible. Air travel should be limited to attendees from HI and AK. If you must travel via air from CA or AZ, and are requesting travel funding from CUWiP@UCLA, we request you contact CUWiP@UCLA immediately.

Will I be able to choose the roommates for the hotel?

No. However, we will try to room students by institution when possible. If you have any specific needs that require particular room accommodations, please contact CUWIP@UCLA before you register.

What will hotel accommodations be like?

You will be rooming in double queen rooms at the UCLA Luskin Conference Center. Currently we anticipate to lodge 3 students per room. If you are uncomfortable sharing a bed please bring a sleeping bag with you. Please contact the CUWiP@UCLA Organizing Committee if you have any specific needs that might affect lodging preferences.

What should I wear to the conference?

The conference has no dress code and we want everyone to be comfortable. Because attendees will be interacting with physics professionals through the weekend, we recommended you wear comfortable yet professional clothing. Please refer to the posters page for a look at example poster presentation attire.

Will there be schedule accommodations for religious observance?

Yes. This will not be scheduled into the conference program but you are free to attend the events as needed to accommodate your religious practices. There will also be a quiet room for all attendees to use as desired.