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Frequently Asked Questions

Below is a list of Frequently Asked Questions about the Conference for Undergraduate Women in Physics. If you have any questions, please refer to this page first. Otherwise, feel free to contact the conference organizers at


About CUWiP

The APS Conferences for Undergraduate Women in Physics (CUWiP) are three-day regional conferences for undergraduate physics majors. The 2020 conferences will be held January 17-19.  


The primary goal of the CUWiP conference is to help undergraduate women continue in physics by providing them with the opportunity to experience a professional conference, information about graduate school and professions in physics, and access to other women in physics of all ages with whom they can share experiences, advice, and ideas.


The 2020 program at the University of Oklahoma will include research talks, panel discussions about graduate school and careers in physics, workshops and discussions about women in physics, student research talks and poster session, and laboratory tours.

Any undergraduate student with an interest in physics may apply to attend a CUWiP.  For the last decade, Conferences for Undergraduate Women in Physics (CUWiP) has helped undergraduate women thrive in physics by providing them a with a unique opportunity to engage with and learn from other women in physics at all stages of their physics careers. At CUWiP, budding physicists will experience a professional conference, learn about graduate school and professions in physics, and share invaluable experiences, advice, and ideas with other women. Undergraduate students are eligible to apply and register for the conference. We encourage non-undergraduate students or interested faculty/mentors to chaperone registered student participants, and will have a different Internal Application form.

Most people say "Cue-Wip".

Application and Registration

Any undergraduate student attending a US college/university may apply.


It is very important to complete all parts of the application and to write a thoughtful Applicant Statement. If conferences are oversubscribed, priority will be given to applicants who:

  1. Are undergraduate physics or engineering physics majors

  2. Have never attended an APS CUWiP

If you are a non-undergraduate student and wish to chaperone a registered student attendee, we urge you to complete the Internal Application form.

No. You apply to attend a CUWiP conference and you are accepted, wait-listed or declined according to the priorities listed above. Application is free, and the deadline is Friday, October 12, 2019 at midnight ET. After you have been accepted, you then register to attend the conference to which you have been accepted (you may be assigned to a different conference depending on the number of applications) to confirm that you will actually be attending. There is a one-time registration fee of $45, which helps offset some of the cost of the conference.

This year, all applicants will apply to attend the conference as a whole, then APS will assign students to sites based on their home institution.

No, but you should have an estimate of the cost. If you are traveling by air, or long distance train or bus, and your travel cost is not covered by your department, your travel agenda and cost must be approved by the conference site organizers before you book your travel. For more information on conference travel grants, please see Travel Funds. Due to the limited nature of our travel funds, we ask that you find the most economical means of transportation to and from the conference. For example, reach out to others in your department and see if carpooling is an option.

First, make sure you submit your application by the deadline. Second, make sure you put some thought into why you want to attend and what you want to get out of the conference. Please answer all questions on the application fully and honestly. Offering to present a talk or a poster will not affect your chances of being selected to attend.

No. The Internal Application is only for those who are ineligible to apply for the conference through APS. 

Cost and Funding

Students who are accepted to attend the conference must pay a one-time registration fee of $45, which helps offset some of the cost of the conference, including all lodging and meals.  If you cannot afford the registration fee and your department/college is unable to help, you may request a fee waiver by submitting a statement attesting to your financial need and verifying that department or university funds are not available.  Further details will be provided when you are invited to register for the conference. You must request a fee waiver at least two days in advance of registering.


Lodging (for non-local students) and food will be covered by the conference; you do not need to pay for your hotel room or food at the conference.  We expect that your travel expenses will be covered by your home department or college. However, if they are not able to cover these expenses, travel funding is available. Please contact the conference organizers at

Please talk to your department chair, manager, or director of undergraduate studies before registering for CUWiP. You might ask an academic advisor, faculty member you know, or other mentor for guidance about who to ask if you are unsure.  You can also contact us if you would like guidance in asking your department for travel funds.


No. While we encourage you to present a poster if you have been involved in research, you are welcome just to attend the conference and participate in the activities.

The content of this year’s conference will not be exactly the same as last year’s, and you are welcome to apply to attend again. However, if more students apply than we can accommodate, preference will be given to students who have never attended a CUWiP.

Yes, all attendees must register by the deadline.

All undergraduate students must apply to attend CUWiP through the APS, and will be assigned to a site based on the location of their home institution. This conference is not intended to be a graduate school visit.

APS is only able to fund students attending universities in the U.S. We welcome students attending non-U.S. institutions to email our site at or another CUWiP site to ask if you can apply to attend. CUWiP sites will not be able to reimburse students attending non-U.S. institutions for accomodations or travel.

Yes, undergraduate students at any U.S. college or university may apply.

Only undergraduate students who will be over 18 at the time of the conference may apply to CUWiP through APS. If you are a grad student/postdoc/faculty member and you would like to chaperone registered undergraduates from your institution, we will have a separate Internal Application form. Note: we will reserve a room for you, but CUWiP will not be able to cover your housing costs. Local high school students and underage undergraduate students are welcome to apply through the Internal Application as well. 

Yes, students of all genders are welcome to attend this conference. If you have questions or concerns about the housing for this conference, please let us know on the registration form.

Travel and Hotel

Students are responsible for arranging their own travel to the conference.  We encourage students to coordinate with other attendees from their institution.  Please be in communication with your local chair or faculty member if your department is reimbursing you for travel costs.  If your department cannot fund your travel, you will need to apply for a travel grant through the conference. Keep in mind: in order to apply for travel funds through the conference, we need a letter from your department chair saying they will not be able to provide funds. The letter must be submitted to us before any travel arrangements are made. See Travel Funds for more information.

Because your travel costs are reimbursable, it is expected that you will attend all of the conference events as scheduled. If you have special circumstances, please contact us to discuss them.

Students will be accommodated at the Holiday Inn Express. Please visit our Travel and Accommodations page for hotel and parking information. Do not make your own hotel reservation. All registered students will be in a double queen room and will have a roommate. Once you have been accepted to the conference, you will need to register for attendance. On the registration form, there will be a section to denote your roommate preferences.

There are a couple options for travel to and from the airport. First, there is a taxi service dedicated to the airport: Airport Express. There are also rideshare apps (Lyft, Uber) that runs from OKC to Norman. NB: travel to and from the airport should be included in your overall travel costs when approaching your department.

If you are being reimbursed by the conference (rather than by your department): after the conference, you can submit the reimbursement form that will be provided to you. Reimbursement will be mailed to you within the month. For more details please contact us.


We will request dietary restriction information on the registration form. There will be a subsequent text box on the registration form where you can describe any additional needs to ensure you have a fulfilling conference experience.

The conference has no dress code, and we encourage students to be comfortable. There will be a plated banquet on Saturday evening, and many students enjoy dressing up for this event.  You may wish to look at photos of previous conferences to see what students typically wear.

All venues are ADA compliant. We will request information on disability status on the registration form.  Please contact us at in advance if you have unusual requirements, and we will work to accommodate you.

If you are feeling worried about attending, we encourage you to reach out to the counseling services available in your area prior to arrival. We will encourage you to try your best during the networking opportunities, but if you need to be paired up with someone you know (either in rooming or meals), please let us know so we can try to accommodate you. We hope that you will be able to comfortably attend the conference and get something from it, but we understand that everyone needs to go at their own pace. There are a number of resources available to you at the conference, including the Goddard Counseling Center on OU campus and the Women's Resource Center of Norman

Please contact us to discuss your needs at

The pronoun that a person chooses to use for themself. For example: If Xena's preferred pronouns are she, her, and hers, you could say "Xena ate her food because she was hungry." She, her, hers and he, him, his are common examples of pronouns. Some people call these "female/feminine" and "male/masculine" pronouns, but many avoid these labels because, for example, not everyone who uses he feels like a "male" or "masculine."
There are also lots of gender-neutral pronouns in use. Here are a few you might hear:
- They, them, theirs (Xena ate their food because they were hungry.) This is is a pretty common gender-neutral pronoun.... And yes, it can in fact be used in the singular.
- Ze, hir (Xena ate hir food because ze was hungry.)
Ze is pronounced like "zee" can also be spelled zie or xe, and replaces she/he/they. Hir is pronounced like "here" and replaces her/hers/him/his/they/theirs.
-   Just my name please! (Xena ate Xena's food because Xena was hungry) Some people prefer not to use pronouns at all, using their name as a pronoun instead.
- Never, ever refer to a person as “it” or “he-she” (unless they specifically ask you to.) These are often used as offensive slurs.
Based on the information here and resources linked therein.

CUWiP seeks to be a safe space for all participants.  By asking for preferred pronouns, we are ensuring that we don’t accidentally misgender any of our participants or make harmful assumptions based off of appearance. Even if you have never considered this in relation to yourself, by including your preferred pronouns on your name badge you can help to make other CUWiP participants comfortable. We hope you will consider this.