University Marketing & Communications

Guidelines for independent or commercial filming and photography at or about the University of Washington

Thank you for your interest in the University of Washington for your upcoming film, video or photography production. Our campuses in Seattle, Tacoma, Bothell and other properties present a wide variety of possibilities. To get started, please fill out the Filming Request Form (preferably a month in advance). Please allow up to three (3) days for a response.

Please Note: Many campus buildings are not available for filming unless you are sponsored by a unit or department.  Outdoor locations are available, but there are limited amenities for restrooms and private spaces. Please fill out the filming request form and we can let you know if we can accommodate you.  Thank you for your understanding!

Location Agreement

A signed location agreement is required to film or photograph non-UW use productions on any University property. This includes movies and television, commercial videos, student films, festival or independent films, advertising, and internet use. Note: because UW is a state agency, we cannot sign external agreements which indemnify your production.

The location agreement may be approved when all the following requirements have been met.

    • The Filming Request Form is submitted at least one month prior to your filming or photo date.
    • Specific dates and locations are available and approved by the University’s Director of Brand Management.

Certificate of Insurance

The Producer shall furnish the University with certificate(s) of insurance evidencing coverage (explained in the Location Agreement) at least 3 days prior to the commencement of use of the Location. The certificate(s) shall state that coverage will not be canceled or modified without 45 days prior written notice to the University. Producer shall be responsible for payment of any deductibles, co-payments, or excess losses.


We do not allow use of branded or iconic locations in any non-UW production, specifically: the Reading Room in Suzzallo Library, the Rainier Vista view which includes Drumheller Fountain and Mt. Rainier, and the Block W statues located at entrances to all of our campuses. These locations are considered unique to the UW.

Filming cannot interfere with normal University business and/or previously scheduled University events. Therefore we do not allow filming in classrooms during the Fall, Winter or Spring academic quarters. For summer, we require at least one month in advance at other times to check availability and get approvals from the appropriate personnel.

We have one Model Residence Hall Room available, scheduled 1 month in advance pending availability with Housing and Food Services. You cannot shoot in or reserve student common areas.  When doing an interview with a faculty member or student, they will arrange location access and we will do the location agreement if needed.  Normally pre-arranged interviews with faculty do not require a location agreement.

Not All Buildings are Accessible. There is a significant amount of exclusive research going on at the University and not all buildings are accessible.  Unless you have an agreement with a department, we do not provide access to labs.

Vehicles Not Allowed on Campus Grounds. UW prides itself on its park-like setting and therefore no vehicles with the exception of facilities services are allowed directly on campus. There are access roads that can be used with permission. Any other lanes must be approved by UW Transporation Services and/or Environmental Health and Safety as the majority of these roads are fire lanes. Trucks and trailers are usually parked off campus in the athletic area; our film team can work with you on a plan that works for your production.

Athletics. Requests for filming in the Athletics Village should be directed to their facility rental team.

UW Medicine. The UW’s hospitals and medical centers are active spaces all year, and are not available for filming unless you have a prior agreement with a professor or administrator. We do not have “model” surgery or patient care rooms available.

Weddings. Location agreements are not required for outdoor wedding or personal event photography, as long as it does not disrupt regular UW business or academics. Check here for more information on reserving iconic outdoor locations. Wedding photography in one of our indoor spaces requires approval prior to use. You’ll need to fill out a Use of University Facilities Form and get permission from the venue manager . Due to fire regulations, no stands, lighting or cables may be used.

Please note: Suzzallo Library Reading Room is not available for film or photography, and cannot be scheduled for wedding photographs or any kind of portraiture.

Student Filmmakers. If you’re a UW student filmmaker, we may have resources for your production. Please contact for more information.

Drones . Certified UAS pilots should adhere to all FAA regulations while on UW property. Non-commercial pilots are expected to adhere to the FAA’s Small UAS Rule (14 CFR part 107). UW controls airspace near the hospital, athletics village and residence halls and it’s good practice to notify building managers of any scheduled drone shoot. UW Medicine operates a helipad near the Athletic fields and it is prohibited to fly a drone in this area. If a drone is flown anywhere near UW hospital you should register it with Life Flight at (206) 329-2569.
For flight plans, you can use Airmap to plan your flight.


Large Commercial Productions (Film or Television)

up to 6 hours $1,500
6 to 12 hours $3,000
over 12 hrs, $250 hr

Independent Films or Videos

up to 6 hours $750
6 to 12 hours $1,500
over 12 hrs, $125 hr

Commercial Photography

1–2 hours $250
7AM-1PM or 1PM-7PM (1/2 Day) $750
6 to 12 hours $1500

Space Rentals

Rentals fees are additional and vary depending on space and room requirements. Meeting or conference spaces on campus have rental fees in addition to the location fees.


Bathrooms/Changing Rooms/Craft Services. In general bathrooms are not available for film productions. There are no outdoor public bathrooms on campus. If your shoot is indoors, there may be a restroom nearby, but there isn’t a lot of space for a production office, changing areas or craft services. We cannot reserve student areas for production use. You can have food delivered to campus, and there is an on-campus caterer but they need plenty of advance notice as they serve the entire university.
Facilities and Electricity. Many of our facilities were built pre-1900 and are managed in quadrants. So you cannot “access a fuse box” in a room as that’s a complicated operation! You will not have access to electrical panels,lights, HVAC, clocks, bells, or locks. You can use elevators with prior approval of a building operator. After-hour access (later than 5pm) requires overtime staff to keep a building open and locked when you are finished.
Parking Parking can be paid in bulk for all vehicles, and must be arranged in advance unless you are driving onto campus and self-parking. Fees are $18.75 per day per vehicle. Reserved (coned) locations are $37.50 per space. RVs and truck parking arrangements can be made thru our office. Loading dock parking is not available. For more parking information please see our visitor page.
Contact. Please contact Campus Filming and University Photography at or 206-685-2647 for further questions.  Thank you for your interest in our campus!