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Undergraduate Majors
Undergraduate Minors
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Academic Preparation
Declaring the Major

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The School offers two undergraduate majors leading to the Bachelor of Science degree, Environmental Science and Resource Management and Bioresource Science and Engineering. Scholarship support is widely available in both majors; nearly one-quarter of the School's students receive scholarships each year. Both majors provide opportunities for internships, international study, and undergraduate research. An honors program is available in both majors.

The Environmental Science and Resource Management (ESRM) major gives students interested in learning about natural and human-dominated landscapes a broad, flexible undergraduate science degree with an opportunity to select one of four program options or to design their own upper-division coursework..
  • ESRM is an open major (any student can declare).
  • ESRM is transfer friendly.
  • ESRM allows for over 50 free electives.
  • ESRM offers four transcripted options wildlife conservation; natural resource and environmental management; sustainable forest management; and restoration ecology and environmental horticulture; or students can design their own upper-division coursework.
  • The sustainable forest management option is SAF-accredited. Graduates from this option may choose to apply for the SAF’s Candidate Certified Forester (CCF) title since they automatically satisfy the educational requirements.
  • ESRM can easily combine with minors and double degrees.
The Bioresource Science and Engineering (BSE) major is designed for students seeking training in chemical and physical sciences and chemical engineering as applied to manufacturing fiber products, fuels, and chemicals from biomass resources. It emphasizes the application of mathematics, chemistry, and engineering to paper and related bioresources-based industries. BSE is an engineering program accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, www.abet.org.
  • BSE provides extensive faculty contact and active student groups.
  • BSE curriculum is compatible with a 5th year double degree with Chemical Engineering. Students must apply to the
    CHEM E
    department with a competitive application.


The ESRM minor requires a minimum of 25 ESRM credits. It offers students majoring in a wide range of subjects exposure to the challenges facing terrestrial ecosystems, including their conservation and restoration. Course work provides a solid foundation for links to other fields of biology, environmental education, journalism and public policy.

The minor in Ecological Restoration seeks to prepare students to address the complex relationships of human communities and ecological sustainability. The minor is a tri-campus initiative (UW Bothell, UW Seattle, and UW Tacoma) offered by the UW Restoration Ecology Network. Students may, but are not required to, take courses from more than one campus in order to earn the minor.

A minor in Quantitative Science is offered by the Center for Quantitative Science through the College of the Environment with cooperation from the School of Environmental and Forest Sciences and the School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences. It is recommended for students wanting to pursue graduate studies, especially in wildlife science.

UW Admission

All applicants to School of Environmental and Forest Sciences majors, both freshmen and transfers, must first apply to the UW, indicating their interest in the ESRM or BSE major on the application. The following resources can help you apply to UW:

Academic Preparation

High School:
Students are encouraged to have a strong math, science, and writing background in addition to the College Academic Distribution Requirements for admission to the UW.
Students should consult the major requirements to determine courses for their first two years of study. Transfer students should consult equivalency guides between UW and Washington community college courses, as well as the sample transfer program for the ESRM major.

Declaring the Major

UW applicants can write the ESRM major code on the UW application to be automatically admitted to ESRM. Students can change to the ESRM major at any time after admission by scheduling an appointment with Student and Academic Services, 206-543-3077, to complete a "Change of Major" form.

UW applicants or students interested in the BSE major can apply online through the College of Engineering or contact Student and Academic Services, sefsadv@u.washington.edu, 206-543-3077, Anderson 116.

Students can evaluate current UW and transfer credit against the requirements for each major before declaring ESRM or applying to BSE by running a Degree Progress audit through MyUW.