Advising FAQ

Below are some common questions asked by students. If your question isn’t answered here, contact Ana Wieman at or 206-616-2461 or visit 012 Wallace Hall.

Q: How do I declare the Environmental Studies major?

A: Environmental Studies is an open major and students must make an appointment with the adviser. Students new to the major should register in ENVIR 101, the orientation class for Environmental Studies, the next quarter.

Q: I have a class that doesn’t show up on my DARS, but I think it should count toward one of the major requirements. What do I do now?

A: Just ask the adviser! Send an email with the course name and number and explain your reasoning. Students are encouraged to identify upper division courses (300 and 400 level) not currently on the list of Perspectives & Experiences for consideration and submit a petition form. To petition, simply complete the Course Exception Request Form and send it to the adviser, Ana Wieman, at along with your request. The Foundations courses, however, are restricted electives, and students should choose from among the listed courses.

Q: I can’t find a class to meet one of the Environmental Studies requirements. Help!

A: Your adviser is here to help you. Come by Wallace 012E during drop in hours or schedule an appointment by sending your availability to

Q: What is a learning contract and when do I need one?

A: The learning contract is required for internship (ENVIR 350), peer teaching assistants (ENVIR 489), capstone (ENVIR 490), independent study (ENVIR 498) and undergraduate research (ENVIR 499). You can fill out the contract and submit it to the adviser, or ask the adviser for questions about the contract.

Q: I received a “satisfactory progress” hold on my registration. What does this mean?

A: This means you need to schedule a meeting with the adviser. It’s important that you read messages you receive regarding holds and blocks and that you share those messages with the adviser when you schedule a meeting. You can learn more about Academic Satisfactory Progress policies.

Q: When I received my grade report, I received something other than a numerical grade. I’m confused!

A: You can learn more about “X” grades, “I” grades and “N” grades on the UW Grade, Degrees & Policies page. Sometimes the situation requires assistance from the department to resolve, and if that’s the case, students should contact the adviser at

Q: I’m not doing well in my classes right now. Where can I get some help?

A: You’re not on your own. There is support available! The University works hard to provide students with resources, so check out the UW Finding Help page, and if you don’t find what you need, talk to your adviser. There are many reasons students have academic challenges, and we are committed to finding you an approach that works for your situation.

Q: I’m feeling overwhelmed. What resources are available to me?

A: Whatever challenges you are experiencing, the UW has resources to help you. Visit the UW Academic Advising Finding Help page and see the list of centers you can reach out to, or contact your adviser for assistance in making the connections with the appropriate resource.