Environmental Sustainability

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Effective Autumn 2017

New Prefixes for SAM - Please Click HERE for Complete List of Changes
Note: Environmental Sustainability majors may not earn the Environmental Studies minor or Restoration Ecology minor. Environmental Sustainability majors may earn the Restoration Ecology certificate.

The bachelor of arts degree in Environmental Sustainability prepares students to understand, analyze, and solve environmental and sustainability challenges. Interdisciplinary foundations in environmental sciences, including natural and social sciences,  combine with training in communications, writing, law, critical perspectives, and emerging sustainability science. Students also choose one of four options for in-depth study: Environmental Policy and Law; Environmental Communication; Business/Nonprofit Environmental Sustainability; or Pre-Environmental Education. A capstone course or certificate links students to real-world projects, internships, and/or research. An organizing theme throughout the major is coupled human and natural systems.

Environmental Sustainability student learning outcomes

Students who complete this degree will:

  • Demonstrate scientific literacy tied to core content in scientific disciplines vital to understanding human-environmental interactions and sustainability.
  • Exhibit advanced capabilities for interpreting and communicating information related to environmental issues and sustainability, in written and oral forms, to both scientific and non-technical audiences.
  • Demonstrate in-depth mastery of a focal area within environmental sustainability.
  • Cultivate skills critical to interpreting scientific concepts for public understanding, including familiarity with the scientific method, information literacy, data analysis, conceptual modeling, and working collaboratively.
  • Be conversant in the theoretical and applied concepts in environmental natural sciences, social sciences, and other ways of knowing, and the interdisciplinary connections among them, relating to environmental issues.
  • Apply interdisciplinary knowledge and skills to environmental and sustainability challenges of local, regional, national or global significance.
  • Participate in engaged inquiry as a means of connecting classroom learning to real-world environmental problem solving and establishing the skills needed for life-long learning.


Environmental Sustainability career options

This major will prepare students to pursue careers in federal, state, and local governments; nonprofit organizations; and private sector organizations. Career areas related to this field are wide ranging, including environmental policy, law, communications, education and outreach, environmental consulting and corporate sustainability. In addition, graduates will be prepared to succeed in graduate programs such as environmental management, public policy, communications law, natural resources, community advocacy, and sustainability.

Environmental Sustainability degree requirements

For Environmental Sustainability, you need to complete 40 preparatory credits and 58-60 credits to meet the degree requirements. You must earn a total of 180 quarter credits, or 225 quarter credits for a double degree, in order to earn a bachelor of arts degree in your chosen major.

For more information, contact an academic advisor.

Click the toggle to see the preparatory, core and option requirements for Environmental Sustainability. You will need to choose one of the four options to complete this degree.

Environmental Sustainability preparatory courses

Preparatory courses must have been completed within the last 5 years. If they were completed before that time frame or for specific transfer courses that are accepted, please consult an academic advisor.

Additionally, students must be computer literate, which is defined as the ability to use word processing, spreadsheet, presentation and communication software.

Environmental Sustainability degree requirements

Options for in-depth Focus

Take 4 or more courses in one selected option.

Environmental Policy and Law Environmental Communication Business/Nonprofit Environmental Sustainability Environmental Education


 Additional courses may be approved and added to courses lists to provide students more flexibility and options. Please refer to this page often for the most up-to-date information.

To request changes to this page, please contact Dustin Annis at annisd@uw.edu