Declare your Major

Environmental Studies is an open major; there is a process required before you can switch or declare your major.

To declare Environmental Studies as your major, follow these steps:

  • Schedule an appointment with the adviser by sending your request to  Include:
    • Your name
    • Your UW student number
    • Your availability to meet for the upcoming 5 days 
  • You will receive a reply with an appointment time to meet with the adviser.
  • Please bring your list of questions about the major and how it might fit within your academic and career goals.
  • At the meeting we’ll complete the Change of Major form. 
  • All new majors should register in ENVIR 295: Orientation to Environmental Studies.

We encourage you to apply early if you are interested in this major.

Advantages for early declaration include:

  • Ample time to develop a tailored study plan that provides a clear path to graduation. The earlier you plan, the more flexibility you will have to take classes that interest you and explore study abroad and other opportunities.
  • Eligibility for scholarships within our program and within the College of the Environment.
  • Access to Environmental Studies communications that are relevant to students in the major, including course announcements, notification of scholarships, internships, jobs and other opportunities.
  • The ability to enroll in courses that are restricted to majors during priority registration.

It is possible to add a minor or double major, depending on your interests, credits, and graduation timeline, and you will need to submit a Change of Major/Minor form. Let the Environmental Studies adviser know about your plans and reach out if you have questions.

Freshmen Applicants

  • When completing your application to the University of Washington, select ‘Environmental Studies’ as your intended major under ‘Educational Objectives.’ Your major will be automatically declared upon admission to the UW.

Transfer Applicants

  • Attend a Transfer Thursday Information Session and schedule an appointment with the Environmental Studies adviser prior to applying.
  • We encourage you to take as many foundational courses for the Environmental Studies major as you can prior to enrolling at the UW. Washington State community college students should refer to the UW equivalency guide for UW course equivalents. The adviser is always available to answer questions about equivalences.
  • When completing your transfer application to the University of Washington, select ‘Environmental Studies’ as your intended major under ‘Educational Objectives.’ Your major will be automatically declared upon admission to the UW.


There are three types of honors at the UW: Interdisciplinary Honors, Departmental Honors and College Honors. For more information about how various honors designations appear on your transcript, visit the University Honors Program page.

Departmental Honors

Students qualify for Departmental Honors if they meet specific GPA requirements and complete honors coursework and honors capstone requirements as listed below.

GPA Requirements

  • Minimum cumulative 3.40 UW GPA
  • Minimum cumulative 3.60 GPA in all courses used to fulfill major requirements

Honors Coursework (4 credits from any combination of the following courses)

  • ENVIR 489: Peer Teaching in Environmental Studies
  • ENVIR 497: Honors Seminar
  • ENVIR 498: Independent Study
  • ENVIR 499: Independent Research

Honors Capstone Experience (3 additional credits)

  • As part of fulfilling the Capstone sequence (ENVIR 490, 491, 492), Honors students must complete 8 credits of ENVIR 491 (to be pre-arranged with Capstone instructor).

  • Presentation of Capstone Project at an approved research symposium or conference.

Environmental Studies students who complete Departmental Honors will receive a degree “with Honors in Environmental Studies.”