College of the Environment
Rapidly changing interactions between the Earth's environment and human activities drive the research and teaching at the College of the Environment. By connecting some of the world's leading educators and researchers with students, practitioners, and citizens, the College cultivates communities that work with and learn from each other as they tackle the environmental challenges of the twenty-first century.
The College is home to one of the strongest constellations of environmental and intellectual talent in the world. The College fosters collaborations between faculty, staff, and students who are engaged in the study of the solar system and the Earth's dynamic land, water, and atmosphere; the development and application of engineering and technological advances; and the impact of policy and human dimensions on the environment and the management of natural resources.
Offering more than 20 degree programs, ranging from bachelor to doctoral, and granting more than 500 degrees annually, the College is comprised of the following core units:
- School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences
- Department of Atmospheric Sciences
- Department of Earth and Space Sciences
- Program on the Environment
- School of Environmental and Forest Sciences
- Marine Biology
- School of Marine and Environmental Affairs
- School of Oceanography
- Center for Quantitative Science
- Climate Impacts Group
- Friday Harbor Laboratories
- Cooperative Institute for Climate, Ocean and Ecosystem Studies
- Quaternary Research Center
- Program on Climate Change
- UW Botanic Gardens
- Washington Sea Grant Program
The College offers eight undergraduate degree programs. For more information about these programs, refer to the UW degree program catalog.
General Education Requirements
The following general education requirements apply to all undergraduate degree programs.
Minimum 85 credits
- Written & Oral Communication: One 5-credit English composition (C) course from the approved University list with a minimum 2.0 grade; 10 additional writing credits.
- Quantitative & Symbolic Reasoning (QSR): 10 credits. See departmental lists for specific quantitative and symbolic reasoning requirements.
- Diversity (DIV): 3 credits from the approved University list; may overlap with other Areas of Knowledge requirements.
- Areas of Knowledge
- Visual, Literary, & Performing Arts: 10 credits. Includes courses such as literature, art, music, and drama which stress the essential qualities of individual forms of expression. First- and second-quarter language courses may not be counted toward the VLPA requirement. (May substitute first-year language courses for VLPA requirements by completing a third quarter of a three-course sequence. Language courses at the second-year level and beyond may be counted toward the VLPA requirement.)
- Individuals & Societies (I&S): 20 credits, with at least 10 credits out of major*. Includes courses in subjects such as history, economics, psychology, and sociology which stress the social nature of mankind, and the development and analysis of societies and social institutions.
- Natural World (NW): 20 credits, with at least 10 credits out of major*. See departmental list for specific Natural World requirements.
- Additional Areas of Knowledge: 10 credits
* Definition of "out of major": Course must have an out-of-major prefix and may not overlap with courses required for the major. This includes cross-listed courses.
The College offers eight master's degree programs, seven doctoral degree programs, and three graduate certificate programs. For more information about these programs, refer to the UW degree program catalog.