Environmental Studies

Note: Students may only declare to this major through summer 2017.
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Note: Environmental Studies majors may not earn the Environmental Studies minor or Restoration Ecology minor. Environmental Studies majors may earn the Restoration Ecology certificate.

The bachelor of arts degree in Environmental Studies offers students a strong background in environmental science, complemented by a range of non-science courses. Starting with a core of courses in the earth and life sciences, it branches out to examine legal, economic, literary, historical and philosophical perspectives on the environment. The focus is inherently interdisciplinary and addresses both global and local issues. Collectively, environmental studies courses explore how scientific information gets translated by political and cultural arenas into social, ethical, legal and technological responses to environmental problems.

Environmental Studies student learning outcomes

Students who complete this degree will:

  • Demonstrate a basic scientific literacy tied to core content in scientific disciplines vital to understanding environmental issues.
  • Exhibit advanced capabilities for interpreting and communicating information related to environmental issues in written and oral forms appropriate to both scientific and non-technical audiences.
  • Cultivate skills critical to interpreting scientific concepts for public understanding, including familiarity with the scientific method, information literacy, statistical data analysis, hypothesis formulation and conceptual modeling, research project design and working collaboratively.
  • Be conversant in the theoretical and applied concepts in the humanities and social sciences, and the interdisciplinary connections between these subjects and the natural sciences, in order to understand and solve environmental issues.
  • Recognize the interconnectedness and interdependence of political, economic and social complexities inherent in environmental problem solving, and demonstrate the ability to apply this interdisciplinary training to environmental problems of local, regional, national or global significance.
  • Understand the role of individuals and participate in the creation of solutions for environmental problems.
  • 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.

Our student learning objectives follow the model set forth by Liberal Education and America’s Promise (LEAP). LEAP is an initiative that champions the value of a liberal education—for individual students and for a nation dependent on economic creativity and democratic vitality. The initiative focuses campus practice on fostering essential learning outcomes for all students, whatever their chosen field of study.

Environmental Studies career options

Students with this degree often pursue careers in education, policy and other fields that mesh natural and social sciences and humanities.

Environmental Studies degree requirements

For Environmental Studies, you need to complete 28 preparatory credits and 70 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 advisor Erica Tucker.

Environmental Studies preparatory courses if declared in major prior to autumn 2017

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.

Workshops are available for students with deficiencies in any of these areas. (Note - Course prefixes including "&" denotes new community college common course numbering. Check with your advisor for details.)

UW Tacoma

PREPARATORY COURSE CREDITS MINIMUM GRADE UW TACOMA COURSES
Ecology-focused biology w/lab 6 1.5 TBIOL 110 or TBIOL 120
Chemistry w/lab 6 1.7 TCHEM 131 or TCHEM 142
Geosciences w/lab 6 2.0 TGEOS 117 or TGEOS 241
Pre-calculus 5 2.0 TMATH 120 or TMATH 121
Statistics 5 2.0 TMATH 110

Please contact your advisor with questions.

Clover Park

PREPARATORY COURSE CREDITS MINIMUM GRADE CLOVER PARK TRANSFER EQUIVALENCIES
Chemistry w/lab 5 1.7 ENV 160 AND ENV 158
Geosciences w/lab 5 2.0 GEOL& 110
Pre-calculus 5 2.0 MATH& 142
Statistics 5 2.0 MATH& 146

Please contact your advisor with questions.

Green River CC

PREPARATORY COURSE CREDITS MINIMUM GRADE GREEN RIVER CC TRANSFER EQUIVALENCES
Ecology-focused biology w/lab 5 1.5 BIOL 110, BIOL& 100 or BIOL& 211
Chemistry w/lab 5 1.7 CHEM& 121, 140 or 161
Geosciences w/lab 5 2.0 GEOL& 101 or OCEA& 101
Pre-calculus 5 2.0 MATH 106 or MATH& 142
Statistics 5 2.0 MATH 256

Please contact your advisor with questions.

Highline CC

PREPARATORY COURSE CREDITS MINIMUM GRADE HIGHLINE CC TRANSFER EQUIVALENCIES
Ecology-focused biology w/lab 5 1.5 BIOL& 100 or BIOL&160 or BIOL& 211
Chemistry w/lab 5 1.7 CHEM& 110, 121 or 161
Geosciences w/lab 5 2.0 GEOL& 101 or OCEA& 101
Pre-calculus 5 2.0 MATH& 142
Statistics 5 2.0 MATH& 146

Please contact your advisor with questions.

Olympic CC

PREPARATORY COURSE CREDITS MINIMUM GRADE OLYMPIC TRANSFER EQUIVALENCIES
Ecology-focused biology w/lab 5 1.5 BIOL& 160 or BIOL 201
Chemistry w/lab 5 1.7 CHEM& 110, 121 or 141/151
Geosciences w/lab 5 2.0 GEOL& 101 or OCEA& 101
Pre-calculus 5 2.0 MATH 106 or MATH& 142
Statistics 5 2.0 MATH& 146

Please contact your advisor with questions.

Pierce College

PREPARATORY COURSE CREDITS MINIMUM GRADE PIERCE C TRANSFER EQUIVALENCIES
Ecology-focused biology w/lab 5 1.5 BIOL& 100, BIOL 160 or BIOL&211
Chemistry w/lab 5 1.7 CHEM& 110, 121 or 161
Geosciences w/lab 5 2.0 GEOL& 101 or OCEA& 101
Pre-calculus 5 2.0 MATH& 142
Statistics 5 2.0 MATH& 146

Please contact your advisor with questions.

South PS CC

PREPARATORY COURSE CREDITS MINIMUM GRADE SOUTH PS CC TRANSFER EQUIVALENCIES
Ecology-focused biology w/lab 5 1.5 BIOL& 160 or 223
Chemistry w/lab 5 1.7 CHEM& 110, 121 or 161
Geosciences w/lab 5 2.0 GEOL& 101 or OCEA& 101
Pre-calculus 5 2.0 MATH& 142
Statistics 5 2.0 MATH& 146

Please contact your advisor with questions.

Tacoma CC

PREPARATORY COURSE CREDITS MINIMUM GRADE TACOMA CC TRANSFER EQUIVALENCIES
Ecology-focused biology w/lab 5 1.5 BIOL& 100, 160 or 221
Chemistry w/lab 5 1.7 CHEM& 110, 121 or 161
Geosciences w/lab 5 2.0 GEOL& 101 or OCEA& 101
Pre-calculus 5 2.0 MATH& 142
Statistics 5 2.0 MATH& 146

Please contact your advisor with questions.

Environmental Studies degree requirements if declared in major prior to autumn 2017

List of degree requirements for Environmental Studies major.
  • Environmental Science Core: 16 credits minimum
  • Environmental Writing Core: 5 credits (200 level or above)
  • Capstone Experience: 3 credits minimum
  • Environmental Science Electives: 16 credits minimum
  • Environmental Foundations: 5 credits
  • Communication of Science and Environmental Issues: 5 credits
  • Environmental Policy, Politics and Law: 5 credits
  • Economics and Economic Policy: 5 credits
  • Urbanization and Social Issues: 10 credits
Environmental science core

All four courses required.

Environmental writing core

Choose one 200- level or above writing course from the following list.

Capstone experience

Must select at least a 3-credit option from the following list.

Environmental science electives

16 credits minimum required of courses (200-level and above), at least one of which must be a laboratory course (6 credits) or a field course (7 or more credits). Some courses are not offered as labs every time (5/6 credit courses); check the Registration Guide for credits. Other 200-level or above TESC/TBIOL/TCHEM/TGEOS courses that are not being used for any major course requirements may be applicable here, but are not included in this list because they require additional lower-division prerequisite courses. Please consult with an advisor for further information.

Choose at least 16 credits from the following list.

Environmental foundations

Choose one course from the following list.

Communication of science and environmental issues

Choose one course from the following list, in addition to the environmental writing core course.

Environmental policy, politics and law

Choose one course from the following list.

Economics and economic policy

Choose one course from the following list.

Urbanization and social issues

Choose at least 10 credits from the following list.

 

 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 Kelly Kledzik at kellyk6@uw.edu.