By Michelle Hall, Student Services Coordinator, College of the Environment
"The interdisciplinary nature of the Environmental Studies degree allowed me to explore many of my interests. I am doing exactly the kind of work I envisioned myself doing when I was an undergraduate, and I credit that to the well-balanced education I received."
- Allison Leighton, Environmental Studies Alumni Advisory Board Member, Energy Planning Analyst, Seattle City Light
As the UW’s only university-wide, inter-college undergraduate degree, the Environmental Studies major has been at the leading edge of interdisciplinary learning at the UW since the Program on the Environment first offered the degree in 1998. With the launch of the transformed curriculum in Autumn 2006, the degree will be at the cutting edge of integrative, experiential, interdisciplinary environmental programs across the nation.
The B.A. takes full advantage of the extraordinary environmental research at the UW and makes that social, scientific, humanistic, and professional expertise accessible to students in innovative ways. The program features a new line-up of unique interdisciplinary field courses -- from the Arctic to Australia to the Himalayas, students learn on the ground by immersing themselves in diverse perspectives and cultures.
What can you do with a degree in Environmental Studies?
Environmental Studies majors graduate with a balance of breadth and depth, ready to respond to bioregional and global environmental opportunities and challenges. Recent Environmental Studies alumni are now working for private companies as environmental planners and scientists (Parametrix, TetraTech), for government agencies as analysts and policy makers (Center for Disease Control, Washington State Department of Ecology), and in the non-profit sector as advocates and educators (The Nature Conservancy, The Mountaineers). Alumni have also pursued graduate studies in a range of fields including public affairs, law, environmental science, forest resources, and public health.
Majors enjoy small classes with plenty of interaction with faculty, active student clubs such as the UW Earth Club, and a strong alumni network. About one third of all Environmental Studies majors engage in study abroad, and all majors complete a year-long capstone project, usually involving community-based work. Environmental Studies majors regularly describe their courses, fieldwork, and study abroad as life changing.
The New Curriculum:
The curriculum is centered around four core content areas:
Transfer Students - Getting Started:
Prospective transfer students are encouraged to take as many of the Foundational Courses (see above) as possible prior to matriculating at the UW.
Refer to the Equivalency Guide for Washington Community and Technical Colleges to see how courses will transfer.
The Environmental Studies degree is an Open Major, so any UW student in good academic standing can declare the major at any time.
To learn more about this program: