Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science

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Graduation Requirements

To be eligible for graduation with a bachelor of science in environmental science, students must meet the UW Tacoma scholastic standards (2.0 UW GPA), credits required (minimum 180), and the final-year residency requirement and complete the following program requirements:

  • Complete a minimum of 45 credits of upper-division course work and a minimum of 45 credits in Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences.
  • Complete all general education requirements not met with transfer courses. See advisor for details.
  • Complete the B.S. degree preparatory courses and requirements. Minors and certificates are optional. No more than 15 elective credits can be taken for a Satisfactory/Not Satisfactory grade; see advisor for details.
  • Complete five credits of English composition with a minimum grade of 2.0.
  • Complete at least 45 of last 60 credits in residence at the University of Washington Tacoma.
  • Meet with an academic advisor to complete a graduation application no later than the second week of the quarter in which the student plans to graduate.

Preparatory courses

These can be taken at UW Tacoma or transferred from another school. UW Tacoma courses that fulfill this preparatory course work are listed in parentheses.

Completion of General University Requirements

  • 15 credits of college biology (majors sequence with lab) (TBIOL 120, 130, 140) – 1.5 minimum grade in each
  • 15 credits of college chemistry (majors sequence with lab) (TCHEM 142, 152, 162) – 1.7 minimum grade in each
  • 5 credits of physical geology with lab (TGEOS 117) – 2.0 minimum grade
  • 5 credits of college physics (mechanics with lab) (TPHYS 121) – 2.0 minimum grade
  • 10 credits of calculus/advanced statistics (TMATH 124 and either TMATH 125 or TMATH 310) – 2.0 minimum grade
  • 5 credits of statistics (TMATH 110) – 2.0 minimum grade

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.

Preparatory courses must have been completed within the last five years. If they were completed earlier, please consult an IAS advisor.

Required Courses

6 credits: two required “bookend” courses 

3-10 credits: Capstone experience (internship, research, etc.) Planned with faculty advisor; may span more than one quarter.

12 credits: Environmental science core courses 

5 credits: Environmental Law/Policy course

5 credits: Environmental Ethics course 

5 credits:  Social Science/environmental focus

5 credits: Humanities/Environmental focus course 

Elective Courses for Environmental Science Major

  • 29 credits minimum of Environmental Science courses.
  • Five additional courses to include at least one biological science (B) course and one physical science (P) course. Of these remaining five courses, at least two must be laboratory (L) courses (6 credits) and one must be a field (F) course (7 credits). Two of these five courses must be at the 300-level or above.
  • See Environmental Science web page for approved list of Environmental Science elective courses.

Elective Courses for Conservation Biology and Ecology Option

In addition to the standard Environmental Science BS degree, students may complete a Conservation Biology and Ecology option in the degree. These options allow students to obtain an interdisciplinary Environmental Science BS degree while demonstrating extra proficiency in the discipline.

Five courses to include at least one physical science (P) course, at least two laboratory (L) courses (TBIOL 434 and one more from List D, E, or F) and one field (F) course. Some courses designated as labs on this list are not offered as labs every time; check the Registration Guide for credits.

In addition, the student's capstone experience (planned with the faculty advisor) must be focused on conservation biology and/or ecology.

  • List D: Biodiversity
  • See Environmental Science web page for approved list of Biodiversity courses.
  • List E: Ecological Interactions
  • See Environmental Science web page for approved list of Ecological Interactions courses.
  • List F: Methods and Applications
  • See Environmental Science web page for approved list of Methods and Applications courses.

Elective Courses for Geosciences Option

In addition to the standard Environmental Science BS degree, students may complete a Geoscience option in the degree. These options allow students to obtain an interdisciplinary Environmental Science BS degree while demonstrating extra proficiency in the discipline.

Five courses to include at least one biological science (B) course, at least two laboratory (L) courses (TGEOS 337 and one more from List G or H) and one field (F) course. Some courses designated as labs on this list are not offered as labs every time; check the Registration Guide for credits.

List G: Geoscience

List H: Additional Courses for Geoscience Option