Prospective Students

Prospective Students

Environmental Studies is an inclusive and welcoming community. We bring together knowledge, tools and perspectives from the natural sciences, social sciences and humanities to formulate innovative solutions to environmental issues here in Washington and around the world. As you tackle some of the Earth’s biggest challenges, you’ll have the advantage of a flexible structure, supportive atmosphere, and numerous opportunities to gain hands-on experience, including a year-long capstone course series.

Whether you are applying to UW or are a current undergraduate student, we encourage you to contact the Environmental Studies adviser.

Incoming First-Year Students

Environmental Studies is an open major, so if you marked an interest in this major when you applied to UW, you were probably placed right into the major. If you’re still exploring, we recommend you take ENVIR 100 – Introduction to Environmental Studies to get to know the major better.

A good first quarter schedule for first-year students already in Environmental Studies might be:

  • ENVIR 100 paired with a FIG (First Year Interest Group)
  • English Composition (this could be in your FIG or as a stand-alone class)
  • ENVIR 101– Orientation to Environmental Studies for students new to the major. Contact for more info.

If you have AP, IB or Running Start credits, check with the adviser to find out if they can be used to fulfill requirements for the major.

To learn more about the courses required for the major, check out the Course Planning page.

UW Undergraduates

Environmental Studies is an open major, so if you are a student in good standing (not on academic probation). you can schedule an appointment with the adviser to declare the major at any time.

Overview and guidelines for considering this major:

  • The major is 82 to 88 credits (students can choose between 3-credit or 5-credit classes for some requirements).
  • The first three Core courses (ENVIR 100, 200, 250) must be completed prior to starting the 3-quarter Environmental Capstone.
  • Most students take full advantage of all the program has to offer by starting early, but the program can be completed in as little as 5 quarters.
  • See the Course Planning page for a list of classes required to complete the major.
  • Plan to register for ENVIR 101: Orientation to Environmental Studies, your first quarter in the program.
  • Career opportunities range widely: many of our alumni find careers in education, advocacy, consulting or policy, but they succeed in a diverse range of career paths.

Transfer Students

Here are some steps to prepare for this transition!

  • Plan early by contacting the program adviser. You can schedule an appointment for tips on applying to UW for the Environmental Studies major.
  • Ask the adviser for the transfer planning guide for your local two-year college.
  • Often transfer students find it advantageous to complete some requirements before transferring. For example, chemistry, biology, or statistics.
  • Contact the adviser when you get accepted to UW to make sure you get into your desired classes that first quarter.
  • Plan to register for ENVIR 101: Orientation to Environmental Studies, your first quarter.