Do More With Your Major

With hands-on, highly relevant learning opportunities, the Program on the Environment and UW extend educational experiences from the classroom to work that addresses urgent environmental and social challenges. 

Students are encouraged to meet with the adviser on a regular basis to build a strong foundation to prepare for their project-based capstone internship, and to discover other opportunities to make the most of the Environmental Studies major.

Courses with Hands-On Learning Opportunities

With an emphasis on field-based learning that carries all the way into the Capstone series, our program encourages you to pursue opportunities for hands-on learning. A few examples are ENVIR 100, which includes a service-learning component; Sustainability Studio (ENVIR 480), in which students work in teams as environmental consultants to create solutions for clients; and The Urban Farm (ENVIR 240), where students gain skills for food production in urban areas with activities at the student-powered UW Farm.

Internships and Research

We encourage Environmental Studies students to seek out internship and research opportunities. Internships are an excellent way to connect with local and global communities and the current environmental issues they deal with. Peruse the following resources and contact the Environmental Studies adviser for more information.

Study Abroad

From the Himalayan peaks to the shores of Costa Rica, UW Environmental Studies students cross borders and immerse themselves in different cultures to enrich their education.

Contact the program adviser to discuss how study abroad can fit within your major. Coursework for many study abroad programs through the UW and other organizations might count toward degree requirements with prior approval.


  • UW Study Abroad Programs Office: Explore programs and learn about study abroad opportunities at UW.
  • UW Global Opportunities Office: Find available scholarships and other options to help fund your study abroad experience.
  • Exploration Seminars: Consider an intensive study abroad experience between the end of summer quarter and beginning of autumn quarter. In recent seminars, students have traveled to Micronesia to study oceanography, Peru to study biodiversity, and Japan to study urban life and landscapes.

Experiential Learning

UW Friday Harbor Laboratories

FHL offers an extraordinary opportunity for undergraduate students, who can study and conduct research at this marine biology station in the San Juan Islands. Coursework and research at FHL require a full-time commitment; most faculty and almost all currently enrolled students live and work together on the FHL campus, creating an immersive and highly personal educational environment for a quarter or summer term.

Past programs have included the Marine Biology Quarter (covering marine biology and the social sciences) and the Zoo-Bot Quarter (marine zoology and botany). Research apprenticeships are available. For more information, including application details and financial aid opportunities, visit the FHL website.

Center for Experiential Learning and Diversity

The University of Washington’s Center for Experiential Learning and Diversity (EXPD) is home to nine programs, each of which connects UW undergraduates to opportunities to expand and enrich their learning. Through EXPD, students can find ways to participate in undergraduate research; engage in community through service learning, volunteering or leadership; and identify scholarship opportunities that support undergraduate work, planning and applications for post-baccalaureate study and fellowships.

Service Learning

UW’s Carlson Leadership & Public Service Center offers service-learning, which combines service within the community with a built-in structure for reflection and application of your academic coursework. This is a wonderful opportunity to contribute to the community, learn about your strengths and develop leadership skills. View the opportunities below and visit the Service Learning page to view classes and register.

Student Organizations

Interested in promoting green practices on campus? Bird conservation? Sustainable food? There are many environmentally focused student organizations on campus, and getting involved can connect you to like-minded students and spark a deeper interest in the issues you care about. See the list of UW Registered Student Organizations (RSOs).