It’s never too early to start thinking about your future! Wherever you are in your academic career, you can start preparing now for your environmental major or career.
K to 5th grade
6th to 8th grade
Many middle schools and junior highs allow you to choose some of your classes. If your school allows you to select classes, we recommend taking Pre-Algebra and Algebra in middle school as well as at least one science class each year.
9th to 12th grade
As you plan your high school coursework, we encourage you to complete the UW College Academic Distribution Requirements in combination with the following:
- Pre-calculus (preferred)
- Calculus (preferred)
- Statistics (optional)
Science courses (at least one unit each)
You may be surprised how important writing is to both college success and careers in environmental fields. Seek out opportunities to write whenever you can. Writing classes are one way to develop this skill, but writing for your school’s newspaper or blog or keeping a journal can also help to improve your writing.
Some high schools offer specialized courses in environmental science and other environmental topics. These courses are a great way to explore different fields of interest. Some that we recommend:
- AP Environmental Science
- AP Marine Biology
- AP Biology
- AP Chemistry
- AP Physics
UW in the High School (earn UW credits at certain Washington high schools)
- ATM S 111 Global Warming Understanding the Issues
- ESRM 101 Forests and Society
- ESRM 150 Wildlife in the Modern World
- ESS 101 Introduction to Geological Sciences
- ESS 102 Space and Space Travel
- OCEAN 101 Oceanography of the Pacific Northwest
In addition to coursework, an important part of preparing for a degree in an environmental field is getting hands-on experience early through volunteer work, internships or academic field programs.
Juniors or Seniors starting the application process are encouraged to schedule a visit to campus.
To facilitate a smooth entry into the UW, transfer students should complete the suggested courses outlined on the transfer planning worksheets and meet directly with the departmental adviser for the major you wish to enroll in:
- Aquatic and Fishery Sciences
- Atmospheric Sciences
- Bioresource Science and Engineering
- Earth & Space Sciences
- Environmental Science and Terrestrial Resource Management
- Environmental Studies
We strongly encourage students to meet with an adviser as early as possible to plan courses and prepare for a smooth transfer.
Students can match course numbers on the planning worksheets to those from Washington State community or technical colleges with the UW Transfer Equivalency Guide. Students from outside of Washington state can contact an adviser with questions about course equivalency for major or minor requirements.
Schedule a visit to campus around one of the weekly “Transfer Thursday” events to get general information about the transfer admission process.
If you are very early in the transfer process and would like help exploring our majors to find the best fit, please contact the College of the Environment Pre-Major Adviser, Christen Foehring at email@example.com, to schedule an appointment.
Current UW pre-major students
Schedule an advising appointment with our Pre-Major Adviser, Christen Foehring, to explore College of the Environment majors. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to set up your appointment.
Take a course
Many of our units also offer introduction 100- or 200-level courses intended to give you a taste of what it’s like to study in their field.