Environmental Studies Major

What is Environmental Studies?

In Environmental Studies, students imagine, analyze and invent innovative solutions to help bring about a more equitably sustainable world. They join a vibrant community drawn from the natural sciences, social sciences and humanities, united by a shared interest: addressing urgent environmental issues.

As students pursue learning opportunities from the Puget Sound bioregion to locations around the globe, they bridge knowledge across intersecting fields with hands-on experience. Through their work, they help build our understanding of who we are as humans and how we inhabit the world…and how to change that world for the better. Alumni leverage professional experience gained through the major to build careers as environmental leaders in diverse fields in both the public and private sectors.

Why Environmental Studies?

  • Find personalized attention: Our core faculty foster a supportive, rigorous academic community. They work steadily with students across their entire careers; forty percent have won major UW teaching awards.
  • Customize your major: Our major offers several concentration areas, and our teaching team’s expertise includes the natural world, food systems, sustainability, communication, environmental management and ethics. Beyond that, you can select courses from more than 30 departments across UW to fulfill major requirements.
  • Bridge knowledge and action: Learn to understand the root causes and systems that affect the environment, and then how to take the next steps to drive change. Find on- and off-campus opportunities for research, student leadership and hands-on learning.
  • Prepare for your career: Through the 3-quarter Capstone series, career skills workshops and the support of committed advisers, you’ll prepare for a career addressing the pressing environmental issues that impact our society through real-world experience.

What programs do we offer for undergraduates?

How do you major in Environmental Studies?

Environmental Studies is an open major for which 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.

How do you meet with an Environmental Studies adviser?

The adviser, Ana Wieman, is available to answer questions from students interested in Environmental Studies. Email wieman@uw.edu or see the Advising page for more information.