There are six main components to the General Education Requirements at the UW:

  • English Composition (C)
  • Additional Writing (W)
  • Reasoning (RSN)
  • Areas of Inquiry (AoI)
  • Diversity (DIV)

The Areas of Knowledge are made up of:

  • Art and Humanities (A&H)
  • Social Sciences (SSc)
  • Natural Sciences (NSc)

The College of the Environment has established general education requirements for all of its majors (see below). To finish their degrees, students complete their major requirements and the general education requirements, which expose them to a broad range of fields and areas of study within the humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, applied sciences and technology. These requirements are also intended to introduce students to the major social, historical, cultural and intellectual forces that shape the contemporary world.

Students are encouraged to work directly with the academic advisers in the college and are also welcome to contact the College with questions related to the degree requirements.

General Education Requirements
English composition (C) – minimum 2.0 grade required 5 credits
Reasoning (RSN) 10 credits
Additional Writing courses (W) 10 credits
Diversity (DIV)* 5 credits
Areas of Inquiry (AoI):
Natural Sciences (NSc) 20 credits (10 credits out of major**)
Social Sciences (SSc) 20 credits (10 credits out of major**)
Arts and Humanities (A&H) 10 credits
Additional Areas of Inquiry 10 credits
Total for General Education = 85 credits

Please note that the College of the Environment does not have a foreign language requirement.

*DIV may overlap with with other Area of Knowledge requirements. Matriculated students entering the UW in autumn quarter 2023 and beyond are required to take five (5) credits of DIV coursework. For students who started between autumn quarter 2014 and summer quarter 2023, three (3) credits are required. Students who started prior to autumn 2014 are exempt from the Diversity requirement.

**Definition of “out of major”: Courses must have an out-of-major prefix and may not overlap with courses required for the major. This includes cross-listed courses.