At the UW, we see things differently. We look at what might be, not just what is. That goes for majors, too. What ignites your love for learning? So many different paths can emerge from a single interest. With 180+ majors, you can find the focus that’s right for you.

Your admission to a major at the UW depends on the major you are interested in and your application type. Explore individual majors below. Learn more about admission to majors

Allen School of Computer Science & Engineering

Computer Science

This major is capacity-constrained.

Freshman pathway: Direct to Major

Description: The Computer Science major is appropriate for students who are primarily interested in the design of software systems and applications, or who want to earn a double major with another College of Arts and Sciences program.

Learn more on the Computer Science website.

Computer Engineering

This major is capacity-constrained.

Freshman pathway: Direct to College

Description: The Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering combines education in hardware and software development, with students gaining the background necessary to become broadly-educated professionals who are knowledgeable in both domains, understanding how the domains interact, restrict, or enable interdependent capabilities. Core coursework encompasses the physical and mathematical sciences, object-oriented programming, algorithms, data structures, software engineering, technical communications, circuits and systems, microprocessors, embedded systems, and operating systems. The major also offers the opportunity to build a strong foundation in network design and development, signal processing, mobile computing, sensor systems, semiconductor devices, testing and quality assurance, and project management, among others.

Learn more on the Computer Engineering website.

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College of Arts & Sciences: Arts Division

Art

This major is open.

Freshman pathway: Pre-Major

Curricular options: Interdisciplinary Visual Arts; Painting & Drawing; Photomedia; Three-Dimensional Forum

Description: Students within the Division of Art in the School of Art + Art History + Design develop technical proficiencies, engage in creative collaboration and advance their knowledge of visual literacy. Four curricular concentrations allow focus within a broad-based arts education and include: Interdisciplinary Visual Arts (art history, ceramics, glass, painting, drawing, printmaking, sculpture, installation and photography); Painting & Drawing; Photomedia (photography, video and related media); and Three-Dimensional Forum (ceramics, glass and sculpture). Students are encouraged to work with faculty and art advisers to develop individual educational and career goals that take full advantage of options and opportunities afforded by this degree. 

Learn more on the School of Art, Art History + Design website.

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Art History

This major has minimum requirements.

Freshman pathway: Pre-Major

Minor available

Description: Art History is the study of art and visual culture as instruments of knowledge and methods of human expression that operate in many arenas of history, tradition and the contemporary environment. Art history students have the opportunity to study a broad geographical, temporal and ethnic range of cultures to explore the variety of ways in which visual artifacts are used to express and convey the diverse values of society. Graduates with this degree pursue careers in fields such as business, media and communication, nonprofit, education, museum curation and technology.

Learn more on the Art History website.

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Dance

This major has minimum requirements.

Freshman pathway: Pre-Major

Curricular options: Creative Studies; Dance Studies

Description: The Department of Dance is a learning community that promotes access, inclusion and excellence. We offer a diverse and stimulating educational experience dedicated to connecting theoretical inquiry to experiential learning. Students explore dance from several analytical and methodological frameworks: technical, creative, historical, cultural, aesthetic, pedagogical and scientific, resulting in a rigorous balance between creative work and academic study. Undergraduates considering careers in performance and choreography, dance education, dance-related fields such as arts administration and physical therapy, or those interested in pursuing graduate studies in dance may choose from a variety of options culminating in a BA degree in dance.

Learn more on the Dance website.

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Design

This major is capacity-constrained.

Freshman pathway: Pre-Major

Curricular options: Industrial Design; Interaction Design; Visual Communication Design

Description: The Division of Design in the School of Art + Art History + Design educates and trains designers to create and develop concepts that optimize the function, value and appearance of communications, products and systems for the benefit of both industry and society. The Design Division offers three Bachelor of Design degrees. Industrial Design is a professional program aimed primarily at industrial design practice in the corporate and institutional innovation sector, where new technologies lead to the development of new forms of products, processes and service from a human-centered design perspective. Interaction Designers define the structure and behavior of interactive products and services, creating compelling relationships between people and the interactive systems they use. In the Visual Communication Design program, emphasis is placed on the conception, creation, planning and realization of visual solutions to complex problems in contemporary culture through the development of strategies and responses that give form to print, screen and the built environment.

Learn more on the Design website.

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Drama

This major has minimum requirements.

Freshman pathway: Pre-Major

Curricular options: History, Theory, & Criticism; Design; Performance

Description: The BA in Drama focuses on the study of the history, methods and applications in the dramatic arts. Students who graduate from the School of Drama have evolved creative skills, are poised to become citizen leaders and possess a wide range of skills applicable to any career that requires collaboration, creative innovation, project realization, personnel organization and critical thinking. We have designed the major so that students can access the hundreds of diverse course offerings at the UW and, if desired, double major with another UW program. Graduates with this degree pursue careers in fields such as media and communication, education, the arts, business, nonprofit, technology, health care and research.

Learn more on the Drama website.

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Music, B.A.

This major is capacity-constrained.

Freshman pathway: Direct to Major

Curricular options: American Music Studies; Early Music; Instrumental; Music History; Music Theory; Voice

Minor available

Description: The School of Music offers both performance and research-oriented degree programs. Along with the core curriculum common to all degree programs at the School of Music, students at the undergraduate levels may investigate degree programs geared toward general competence in music within their areas of focus while obtaining a liberal arts education.

Learn more on the Music website.

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Ethnomusicology, B.A.

This major is capacity-constrained.

Freshman pathway: Direct to Major

Description: Ethnomusicology encompasses studies of music and culture and integrates aspects of musicology and anthropology as well as music performance, history and theory. Interdisciplinary work, field study and explorations of music and culture have been key components of the UW Ethnomusicology program since its beginnings in 1963. Students in the program study music and musicians in various contexts and through various disciplinary lenses. Graduates with this degree pursue careers in fields such as education, the arts, media and communication, business, nonprofit, research and health care.

Learn more on the Ethnomusicology website.

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Guitar, B.M.

This major is capacity-constrained.

Freshman pathway: Direct to Major

Description: The School of Music offers both performance and research-oriented degree programs. The guitar program offers a pathway for mastery of technique at the professional level and prepares students for careers in guitar performance and teaching. Guitar students working toward the instrumental performance degree music receive focused training in technique in addition to completing a core curriculum providing a solid foundation in ear-training, history, theory, piano proficiency and repertoire. Admission to the Bachelor of Music degree in Guitar is intended for students who wish to emphasize professional training in performance or composition within a four-year program. An audition is required for entry into this degree program.

Learn more on the Guitar website.

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Jazz Studies, B.M.

This major is capacity-constrained.

Freshman pathway: Direct to Major

Description: The School of Music offers both performance and research-oriented degree programs. Long a catalyst for innovative directions in new music and for preparing students to perform at the highest levels of musicianship in the professional realm, Jazz Studies provides a foundation in the significant historical figures, works, styles and movements of jazz, coupled with an encouragement toward pushing boundaries and extending the art form. Among the most vibrant and energetic musical communities at UW, the program benefits tremendously from its proximity to the excellent jazz programs of Seattle’s middle and high schools and the atmosphere of experimentation in the clubs and coffeehouses of the Seattle’s music scene. Admission to the Bachelor of Music degree in Jazz Studies is intended for students who wish to emphasize professional training in performance or composition within a four-year program. An audition is required for entry into this degree program.

Learn more on the Jazz Studies website.

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Music Composition, B.M.

This major is capacity-constrained.

Freshman pathway: Direct to Major

Description: The School of Music offers both performance and research-oriented degree programs. The School’s highly selective composition program emphasizes mastery of technique and encourages students to develop their own artistic voices. Submission of a portfolio and a personal statement are required for entry in this degree program.

Learn more on the Music Composition website.

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Music Education B.A.

This major is capacity-constrained.

Freshman pathway: Direct to Major

Curricular options: Instrument; Vocal

Description: The School of Music offers both performance and research-oriented degree programs. Music education students at the UW enjoy in-depth musical study with world-class artist-teachers with a range of strengths and areas of interest. The undergraduate degree in Music Education prepares students to teach at the primary and secondary levels. An audition–either voice or an instrument–is required for entry into this degree program.

Learn more on the Music Education website.

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Orchestral Instruments, B.M.

This major is capacity-constrained.

Freshman pathway: Direct to Major

Description: The School of Music offers both performance and research-oriented degree programs. Along with the core curriculum common to all degree programs at the School of Music, students at both the undergraduate and graduate levels may investigate degree programs geared towards mastery of performance techniques of their instruments of focus. The School’s woodwinds and brass program includes a variety of degree pathways and opportunities for performance and preparation for professional careers in music. Admission to the Bachelor of Music degree in Orchestral Instruments is intended for students who wish to emphasize professional training in performance or composition within a four-year program.  An audition is required for entry into this degree program.

Learn more on the Orchestral Instruments website.

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Organ, B.M.

This major is capacity-constrained.

Freshman pathway: Direct to Major

Description: The School of Music offers both performance and research-oriented degree programs. The keyboard program at the UW is the school’s oldest area of instruction, with a history extending all the way back to the 1800s. Today, it includes degree programs at the bachelor, master and doctoral levels in both piano and organ performance, as well as advanced degrees (MM and DMA) in harpsichord performance. The program emphasizes mastery of performance techniques and prepares students for professional careers as performers and as educators. Admission to the Bachelor of Music degree in Keyboard is intended for students who wish to emphasize professional training in performance or composition within a four-year program. An audition is required for entry into this degree program.

Learn more on the Organ music website.

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Percussion Performance, B.M.

This major is capacity-constrained.

Freshman pathway: Direct to Major

Curricular options: Orchestral Percussion; Contemporary Percussion; Mallet Keyboard

Description: The School of Music offers both performance and research-oriented degree programs. The Percussion program offers a pathway for mastery of technique at the professional level and prepares students for careers in percussion performance and teaching. Percussion students working toward the instrumental performance degree in music receive focused training in technique in addition to completing a core curriculum providing a solid foundation in ear-training, history, theory, piano proficiency and repertoire. Options available include orchestral percussion and contemporary percussion with mallet keyboard. Admission to the Bachelor of Music degree in Percussion is intended for students who wish to emphasize professional training in performance or composition within a four-year program. An audition is required for entry into this degree program

Learn more on the Percussion Performance website.

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Piano, B.M.

This major is capacity-constrained.

Freshman pathway: Direct to Major

Description: The School of Music offers both performance and research-oriented degree programs. The keyboard program at the UW is the school’s oldest area of instruction, with a history extending all the way back to the 1800s. Today, it includes degree programs at the bachelor, master and doctoral levels in both piano and organ performance, as well as advanced degrees (MM and DMA) in harpsichord performance. The program emphasizes mastery of performance techniques and prepares students for professional careers as performers and as educators. Admission to the Bachelor of Music degree in Keyboard is intended for students who wish to emphasize professional training in performance or composition within a four-year program. An audition is required for entry into this degree program.

Learn more on the Piano website.

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Strings, B.M.

This major is capacity-constrained.

Freshman pathway: Direct to Major

Description: The School of Music offers both performance and research-oriented degree programs. The Bachelor of Music degree in Strings prepares students for professional careers as solo, chamber or large ensemble performers and as educators. The program emphasizes mastery of performance techniques in specific instruments of focus. Admission to the Bachelor of Music is intended for students who wish to emphasize professional training in performance or composition within a four-year program. An audition is required for entry into this degree program.

Learn more on the Strings website.

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Voice, B.M.

This major is capacity-constrained.

Freshman pathway: Direct to Major

Description: The School of Music offers both performance and research-oriented degree programs. The Bachelor of Music degree in Voice is a comprehensive performance-oriented degree program, which includes course requirements in vocal pedagogy, foreign language diction, art song repertoire and hands-on individual vocal coaching. An audition is required for entry into this degree program.

Learn more on the Voice website.

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College of Arts & Sciences: Humanities Division

Asian Languages & Cultures

This major is open.

Freshman pathway: Pre-Major

Minor available

Description: Students will develop their ability to read, write, and speak one or more Asian languages and will combine those language skills with Asia-related studies in various humanities disciplines. Students are encouraged to explore wider interests by taking courses in other units and to take advantage of numerous study abroad opportunities. A popular option for many is to combine a minor in Asian Languages and Cultures with a major from another department, such as Computer Science, Business Administration, or International Studies. Graduates go on to a wide variety of careers, reflecting the indispensability of knowledge of Asian languages and cultures in our increasingly interconnected world.

Learn more on the Asian Languages & Cultures website.

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Classical Studies

This major is open.

Freshman pathway: Pre-Major

Minor available

Description: An undergraduate major in Classical Studies concerns itself with the languages and cultures of the ancient Greeks and Romans, whose civilizations had a central role in shaping the basic conceptual categories of our present cultural, intellectual, professional and civic lives. Study of Ancient Greek and Latin and the cultures of ancient Greece and Rome fosters broad and deeply informed critical perspectives on the human experience and develops excellent analytical, problem-solving and communication skills. This BA degree is especially suited to students wishing to explore the literature, history, art, archaeology and philosophy of ancient Greece and Rome, primarily through English translations. Students with no previous exposure to ancient Greek or Latin can complete the Classical Studies major in two years.

Learn more on the Classical Studies website.

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Classics

This major is open.

Freshman pathway: Pre-Major

Description: An undergraduate major in Classics concerns itself with the languages and cultures of the ancient Greeks and Romans, whose civilizations had a central role in shaping the basic conceptual categories of our present cultural, intellectual, professional and civic lives. Study of Ancient Greek and Latin and the cultures of ancient Greece and Rome fosters broad and deeply informed critical perspectives on the human experience and develops excellent analytical, problem-solving and communication skills. Students who complete a B.A. in Classics develop advanced proficiency in Latin and ancient Greek and the literatures and cultures of ancient Greece and Rome. This degree provides excellent preparation for the study of the ancient world at the graduate level.

Learn more on the Classics website.

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Chinese

This major has minimum requirements.

Freshman pathway: Pre-Major

Minor available

Description: The Department of Asian Languages and Literature offers an undergraduate major and minor in Chinese, through which students develop their ability to read, write and speak Chinese and gain an understanding and appreciation of the literature, linguistics and culture associated with the language. A popular option is to combine a major in Chinese with a second major from another department, such as Computer Science, Business Administration or International Studies. Graduates of this degree program go on to a wide variety of careers in fields such as health care, government, entertainment, education and business, reflecting the indispensability of knowledge of Asian languages and cultures in our increasingly interconnected world.

Learn more on the Chinese website.

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Cinema & Media Studies

This major has minimum requirements.

Freshman pathway: Pre-Major

Description: An undergraduate major in Cinema and Media Studies allows students to develop their understanding of how films function as a distinctive mode of transmitting and critiquing cultural values and practices. International in scope and interdisciplinary in orientation, it emphasizes intellectual breadth and maximizes students’ opportunities to design their own courses of study. This degree program is in the Department of Comparative Literature, Cinema & Media. Graduates of this degree pursue careers in a variety of fields such as film, marketing, media and communication, nonprofit, technology, public relations and the arts.

Learn more on the Cinema & Media Studies website.

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Comparative History of Ideas

This major is open.

Freshman pathway: Pre-Major

Minor available

Description: Comparative History of Ideas (CHID) is a unique interdisciplinary undergraduate major emphasizing the examination of ideas and their cultural, historical and political contexts through experiential learning and self-reflection. CHID offers students the creative freedom to follow their curiosity by tailoring their education to their own interests and professional goals. The program provides extensive opportunities to study abroad and to interact with local and international organizations. CHID majors engage thoughtfully in intellectual inquiry and reflection, developing critical thinking skills and competencies in their chosen area of study. Graduates of this degree have gone on to careers in a wide variety of fields such as law, international relations, social work, administration and public policy, business, health care, education and the arts.

Learn more on the Comparative History of Ideas website.

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Comparative Literature

This major has minimum requirements.

Freshman pathway: Pre-Major

Curricular options: Cinema Studies; Literary Studies

Minor available

Description: An undergraduate major in Comparative Literature trains students in the critical analysis of texts. It explores how the rhetorical and aesthetic features of those texts — whether literary, visual, or theoretical — respond to and shape social values, attitudes and beliefs. International in scope and interdisciplinary in orientation, the major emphasizes intellectual breadth and maximizes students’ opportunities to design their own courses of study. It explores the relationships among different cultures and between literature and other fields of knowledge, both visual and verbal, such as art history, philosophy, religion and political thought. Graduates of this degree pursue careers in a variety of fields such as marketing, publishing, law, technology, public relations and the arts.

Learn more on the Comparative Literature website.

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Danish

This major is open.

Freshman pathway: Pre-Major

Minor available

Description: A major in Danish fosters excellent linguistic, analytical and communication skills. Danish studies can serve as a platform from which to explore art, literature and philosophy, history and politics, the environment, social democracy and women’s and gender studies. Students gain advanced linguistic proficiency in Danish and acquire cultural and historical knowledge of Denmark, Scandinavia and the Baltic. Denmark is the birthplace of world famous philosophers and writers and a leader in international business and culture. Graduates of this degree pursue careers in a variety of fields such as business, government, technology, international relations, education and marketing.

Learn more on the Danish website.

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English

This major is capacity-constrained.

Freshman pathway: Pre-Major

Curricular options: Creative Writing; Language & Literature

Description: The undergraduate English major offers students a broadly based, historically grounded introduction to the literatures of Britain, the United States and, increasingly, Anglophone literature from around the world. Courses in literature emphasize techniques of literary analysis, theoretical problems posed by the interpretation of texts, the social, historical and political context of literary production and reception and the pleasures of reading. Most courses require significant written work and stress the development of critical thinking skills. Courses in language study examine the structural, historical, social and aesthetic dimensions of English. Our Creative Writing Program offers a range of workshops in verse, short story, novel and creative nonfiction or expository writing. Graduates of this degree pursue careers in a variety of fields such as media and communication, business, government, nonprofit, marketing, and education.

Learn more on the English website.

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Finnish

This major is open.

Freshman pathway: Pre-Major

Minor available

Description: A B.A. in Finnish Studies opens doors in architecture, technology, arts and culture, linguistics, education and business by fostering strong linguistic, analytical, and communication skills. Students gain advanced linguistic proficiency in Finnish, and acquire cultural and historical knowledge of Finland, Scandinavia and the Baltic. Finland is a center of business, education and culture in Europe, and a gateway to Russia. Graduates of this degree pursue careers in a variety of fields such as business, government, technology, international relations, education and marketing.

Learn more on the Finnish website.

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French

This major is open.

Freshman pathway: Pre-Major

Minor available

Description: An undergraduate major in French Studies allows students to develop advanced French language skills and cultural fluency. French is a key language of government and non-governmental organizations, business and the arts, and an official language of countries in Africa, Europe, the Americas and Southeast Asia. Students refine their skills in French while pursuing topics ranging from the literature of the European Middle Ages to contemporary popular culture. As they engage with cultural forms (art, literature, cinema, environment, sport) through a variety of lenses (language, gender, race, religion), they develop robust analytical and rhetorical skills. Graduates of this degree pursue careers in a variety of fields such as marketing, technology, health care, law, education, media and communication and the arts.

Learn more on the French website.

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Germanics

This major has minimum requirements.

Freshman pathway: Pre-Major

Minor available

Description: The Department of Germanics offers an undergraduate degree program leading to a BA in German. The major in German offers training in verbal interpretation and analysis. It fosters critical thinking as well as the imagination, and provides transferable skills for any career that involves formulating and solving problems, especially for those with a particular interest in Europe and German-speaking countries. Students gain fluency in German and the ability to analyze major aspects of culture and society, such as literature, film, architecture and political and social institutions. They may participate in the department’s study abroad program in Vienna or direct exchanges with German universities. Graduates of this degree pursue careers in a variety of fields such as business, law, international relations, marketing, finance, technology and education.

Learn more on the Germanics website.

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Greek

This major is open.

Freshman pathway: Pre-Major

Minor available

Description: Classics concerns itself with the languages and cultures of the ancient Greeks and Romans, whose civilizations had a central role in shaping the basic conceptual categories of our present cultural, intellectual, professional and civic lives. Study of Ancient Greek and Latin and the cultures of ancient Greece and Rome fosters broad and deeply informed critical perspectives on the human experience and develops excellent analytical, problem-solving and communication skills. The BA in Greek allows students to develop advanced expertise in the language, literature and culture of ancient Greece. Graduates of this degree pursue careers in a variety of fields such as law, education, nonprofit, health care and business.

Learn more on the Greek website.

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Italian

This major is open.

Freshman pathway: Pre-Major

Minor available

Description: An undergraduate major in Italian Studies allows students to develop advanced Italian language skills and cultural fluency. Italy, the birthplace of the Renaissance, remains central in the realms of art, design, food and manufacturing. In the major, students refine their skills in Italian while pursuing topics ranging from Dante to contemporary popular culture. As students engage with cultural forms (art, literature, cinema, language and identity, fashion, immigration, religion), they develop robust analytical, rhetorical and methodological skills. Graduates of this degree pursue careers in a variety of fields such as marketing, technology, health care, law, education, media and communication and the arts.

Learn more on the Italian website.

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Japanese

This major has minimum requirements.

Freshman pathway: Pre-Major

Curricular options: Linguistics; Literature

Minor available

Description: The Department of Asian Languages and Literature offers an undergraduate major and minor in Japanese, through which students develop their ability to read, write and speak Japanese and gain an understanding and appreciation of the literature, linguistics and culture associated with the language. A popular option for many undergraduates at the UW is to combine a major in Japanese with a second major from another department, such as Computer Science, Business Administration or International Studies. Graduates of the Department go on to a wide variety of career fields such as health care, technology, government, entertainment, education, marketing and business, reflecting the indispensability of knowledge of Asian languages and cultures in our increasingly interconnected world.

Learn more on the Japanese website.

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Korean

This major has minimum requirements.

Freshman pathway: Pre-Major

Minor available

Description: The Department of Asian Languages and Literature offers an undergraduate major and minor in Korean, through which students develop their ability to read, write and speak Korean and gain an understanding and appreciation of the literature, linguistics and culture associated with the language. A popular option for many undergraduates at the UW is to combine a major in Korean with a second major from another department, such as Computer Science, Business Administration or International Studies. Graduates of the department go on to a wide variety of career fields such as health care, technology, government, entertainment, education, marketing and business, reflecting the indispensability of knowledge of Asian languages and cultures in our increasingly interconnected world.

Learn more on the Korean website.

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Latin

This major is open.

Freshman pathway: Pre-Major

Minor available

Description: Classics concerns itself with the languages and cultures of the ancient Greeks and Romans, whose civilizations had a central role in shaping the basic conceptual categories of our present cultural, intellectual, professional and civic lives. Study of Ancient Greek and Latin and the cultures of ancient Greece and Rome fosters broad and deeply informed critical perspectives on the human experience and develops excellent analytical, problem-solving and communication skills. The BA in Latin allows students to develop advanced expertise in the Latin language and the literature and culture of ancient Rome. Graduates of this degree pursue careers in a variety of fields such as law, education, nonprofit, health care and business.

Learn more on the Latin website.

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Linguistics

This major has minimum requirements.

Freshman pathway: Pre-Major

Curricular options: Romance Linguistics

Minor available

Description: Linguistics is the study of language as a natural phenomenon. It focuses on grammar, the social context of language variation, the physics of speech sounds and the properties of language evolution. As language is an exclusively and intrinsically human characteristic, research on the structure, acquisition and use of language cuts to the heart of human cognition and the social world, linking linguistics to psychology, anthropology, information science and many other disciplines. The degree program in General Linguistics leads to a BA. Students study issues relating to any and all languages. General Linguistics students have a basic mastery of at least two languages from different language families. Graduates of this degree pursue careers in a variety of fields such as technology, policy, nonprofit, government, publishing and education.

Learn more on the Linguistics website.

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Near Eastern Studies

This major is open.

Freshman pathway: Pre-Major

Curricular options: Comparative Civilizations; Hebrew Bible & Ancient Near East; Languages & Cultures

Minor available

Description: The Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilization provides a liberal arts education in new global realities and their connections specifically to history of culture in the Near East and Central Asia. A detailed and critical knowledge of ancient and modern languages of these regions is of utmost importance for a better understanding of their rich cultural heritages, and development of language skills requires cultural-historical knowledge.

Learn more on the Near Eastern Studies website.

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Norwegian

This major is open.

Freshman pathway: Pre-Major

Minor available

Description: A Bachelor of Arts in Norwegian Studies fosters strong linguistic, analytical and communication skills. Norwegian studies can serve as a platform from which to explore art, literature and philosophy, history and politics, the environment, social democracy and women’s and gender studies. Students gain advanced linguistic proficiency in Norwegian and acquire cultural and historical knowledge of Norway, Scandinavia and the Baltic. Norway is the birthplace of world famous modern artists and a leader in peace and conflict resolution and environmental philosophy. Graduates of this degree pursue careers in a variety of fields such as business, government, technology, international relations, media and communication, education and marketing.

Learn more on the Norwegian website.

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Scandinavian Area Studies

This major is open.

Freshman pathway: Pre-Major

Minor available

Description: A Bachelor of Arts in Scandinavian Area Studies fosters advanced knowledge of the culture, politics and history of Scandinavia. It also helps students develop strong analytical and communication skills. Scandinavian Area Studies can serve as a platform from which to explore politics, history, the environment, social democracy and women’s and gender studies. Students gain intermediate linguistic proficiency in a Finnish, Baltic or Scandinavian language, as well as strong knowledge of an important economic and political region of northern Europe. Scandinavia is the birthplace of world famous modern artists, social democracy and innovative economic and cultural practices and institutions, and is a global leader in peacemaking, environmentalism and gender equality. Graduates of this degree pursue careers in a variety of fields such as business, government, technology, international relations, education and marketing.

Learn more on the Scandinavian Area Studies website.

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Slavic Languages & Literatures

This major is open.

Freshman pathway: Pre-Major

Curricular options: Russian Languages, Literature, & Culture; East European Languages, Literature & Culture

Minor available

Description: A BA in Slavic Languages and Literatures provides a well-rounded understanding of Russia, Eastern and Central Europe and the former Soviet Union through a study of their languages and an exploration of their literatures and cultures. The Department offers four years of Russian language instruction; its enrollment for first-year Russian is the highest in the nation. Maintaining close ties with the Russian, East European and Central Asian Studies program in the Jackson School of International Studies, several faculty have joint and adjunct appointments in these and other departments and programs.

Learn more on the Slavic Languages & Literatures website.

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South Asian Languages & Literature (Hindi, Sanskrit, Urdu)

This major has minimum requirements.

Freshman pathway: Pre-Major

Minor available

Description: The Department of Asian Languages and Literature offers both majors and minors in South Asian Languages and Literature. These majors and minors combine language study in one or more South Asian languages offered at the University (Bengali, Hindi, Sanskrit and Urdu) with coursework on the literatures and cultures of South Asia. In addition, students are encouraged to draw from an extensive array of courses in South Asian studies offered in departments and units across the humanities and social sciences. Many students pair a major in a South Asian Language and Literature with a major in a professional field (e.g. engineering, business, informatics, computer science). Graduates of this degree program go onto a wide variety of career fields such as health care, government, technology, education and business.

Learn more on the South Asian Languages & Literature website.

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Spanish

This major has minimum requirements.

Freshman pathway: Pre-Major

Minor available

Description: An undergraduate major in Spanish allows students to expand and refine their language skills while engaging in the study of literature written in Spanish, as well as Hispanic cultural studies and linguistics. The BA prepares graduates for advanced degrees in education and doctoral programs, as well as careers in business, law and medicine. In recognition of the growing importance of Spanish, many of our students are double majors. Graduates of this degree program pursue careers in a variety of fields such as government, business, travel, health care, entertainment, commerce, education and the arts.

Learn more on the Spanish website.

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Swedish

This major is open.

Freshman pathway: Pre-Major

Minor available

Description: A BA in Swedish fosters strong linguistic, analytical and communication skills. Swedish studies can serve as a platform from which to explore art, literature and philosophy, history and politics, the environment, social democracy, and women’s and gender studies. Students gain advanced linguistic proficiency in Swedish and acquire cultural and historical knowledge of Sweden, Scandinavia and the Baltic. Sweden is the birthplace of world famous modern artists, Social democracy and innovative economic and cultural practices and institutions. Graduates of this degree pursue careers in a variety of fields such as business, government, technology, international relations, education and marketing.

Learn more on the Swedish website.

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College of Arts & Sciences: Natural Sciences Division

Applied & Computational Mathematical Sciences (ACMS)

This major is capacity-constrained.

Freshman pathway: Pre-Major

Curricular options: Biological & Life Sciences; Data Science; Discrete Mathematics & Algorithms; Engineering & Physical Sciences; Mathematical Economics; Scientific Computing & Numerical Algorithms; Social & Behavioral Sciences

Description: Applied and Computational Mathematical Sciences (ACMS) is a multidisciplinary BS degree program designed for students interested in the application of mathematical and computational concepts and tools to solve problems in government, industry and research. Depending on the curricular option, students can specialize in applications in biology, computer science, data science, economics, engineering, physical science and social science. The program is offered jointly by the Departments of Applied Mathematics, Computer Science & Engineering, Mathematics, and Statistics.

Learn more on the ACMS website.

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Astronomy

This major has minimum requirements.

Freshman pathway: Pre-Major

Description:The Astronomy Department offers a full curriculum that covers planetary astronomy, stellar structure and evolution, interstellar matter, Milky Way structure, galaxies and cosmology, all of which build on associated coursework in physics and mathematics. The BS in Astronomy also emphasizes skill building in computational techniques (including data science), writing, public speaking for both science and public outreach and astronomical observations with our 30-inch telescope in central Washington. The department encourages close working relationships between faculty and students and fosters undergraduate engagement in scientific research for motivated students. Students may tailor their upper-level coursework and research to suit a range of career goals, both in industry and academia. Recent graduates work in fields such as data science, telescope operational support and science education; some  are pursuing graduate degrees.

Learn more on the Astronomy website.

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Biochemistry

This major is capacity-constrained.

Freshman pathway: Direct to Major

Description: Biochemistry is the study of the living organism at the molecular level. It draws on the techniques of analytical, organic, inorganic and physical chemistry in determining the molecular basis of life processes. The department offers BA and BS degree programs. Graduates pursue careers in biomedical research, the health care professions or biotechnology. The degree is also good preparation for graduate school in any aspect of biochemical or biomedical research.

Learn more on the Biochemistry website.

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Biology, B.A.

This major is capacity-constrained.

Freshman pathway: Pre-Major

Description: Through coursework in the classroom, lab and field, as well as research opportunities, internships and study abroad, Biology undergraduates gain the knowledge and skills for careers in basic and applied research, education, health sciences, environmental sciences, science policy, government, business and the nonprofit sector. Biology offers one BA and five BS degree options. The General Biology option, offered as both BA and BS degrees, is the most flexible option, enabling students choose from a wide range of electives through several departments. The Ecology, Evolution and Conservation option provides a strong quantitative background and serves to develop skills in data collection, analysis and communication that are useful for careers in natural resources and conservation. Students choosing this option may explore courses through the College of Environment as well as Arts and Sciences. The Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology option explores the complex biological processes that underlie cellular function, disease processes and embryonic development. The Physiology option emphasizes physiological processes of both animals and plants, from cellular to organismal levels. The Plant Biology option provides a strong and broad training in plant biology, ranging from the cellular, physiological and systematic levels to an ecological, horticultural and restoration perspective on a macro level.

Learn more on the Biology website.

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Biology, B.S.

This major is capacity-constrained.

Freshman pathway: Pre-Major

Curricular options: Ecology, Evolution & Conservation; General Biology; Molecular, Cellular & Developmental; Physiology; Plant

Description: Through coursework in the classroom, lab and field, as well as research opportunities, internships and study abroad, Biology undergraduates gain the knowledge and skills for careers in basic and applied research, education, health sciences, environmental sciences, science policy, government, business and the nonprofit sector. Biology offers one BA and five BS degree options. The General Biology option, offered as both BA and BS degrees, is the most flexible option, enabling students choose from a wide range of electives through several departments. The Ecology, Evolution and Conservation option provides a strong quantitative background and serves to develop skills in data collection, analysis and communication that are useful for careers in natural resources and conservation. Students choosing this option may explore courses through the College of Environment as well as Arts and Sciences. The Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology option explores the complex biological processes that underlie cellular function, disease processes and embryonic development. The Physiology option emphasizes physiological processes of both animals and plants, from cellular to organismal levels. The Plant Biology option provides a strong and broad training in plant biology, ranging from the cellular, physiological and systematic levels to an ecological, horticultural and restoration perspective on a macro level.

Learn more on the Biology website.

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Chemistry, B.A., B.S.

This major is capacity-constrained.

Freshman pathway: Direct to Major

Minor available

Description: Chemistry deals principally with the properties of molecules, the chemical reactions that occur between them and the natural laws that describe molecular interactions. Chemistry is a central science, having strong interactions with biology, medicine, earth and environmental sciences, physics and mathematics. BA and BS degree programs in chemistry prepare students for graduate school, health professions, careers in the chemical industry, teaching at a high school level and a host of other career options.

Learn more on the Chemistry website.

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Mathematics, B.A.

This major is capacity-constrained.

Freshman pathway: Pre-Major

Curricular options: Philosophy; Teacher Preparation

Minor available

Description: The Department of Mathematics offers four degree programs. The BS and standard BA options provide students with the opportunity to study subjects ranging from algebra, analysis and geometry to probability, combinatorics and optimization. There are two additional BA options  for students interested in mathematics and philosophy or interested in preparing to be secondary mathematics teachers. All four options promote abstract thinking, logical rigor, analysis and critical writing, opening the door to careers in the mathematical sciences, industry, business, finance, academia, education and more.

Learn more on the Mathematics website.

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Mathematics, B.S.

This major is capacity-constrained.

Freshman pathway: Pre-Major

Minor available

Description: The Department of Mathematics offers four degree programs. The BS and standard BA options provide students with the opportunity to study subjects ranging from algebra, analysis and geometry to probability, combinatorics and optimization. There are two additional BA options  for students interested in mathematics and philosophy or interested in preparing to be secondary mathematics teachers. All four options promote abstract thinking, logical rigor, analysis and critical writing, opening the door to careers in the mathematical sciences, industry, business, finance, academia, education and more.

Learn more on the Mathematics website.

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Neurobiology

This major is capacity-constrained.

Freshman pathway: Direct toMajor

Description: Neuroscience is the interdisciplinary study of the nervous system, with the ultimate goal to understand higher brain function and neurological disease at the cellular and molecular level. Neuroscientists use molecular, physiological, computational and behavioral approaches to achieve this goal. For most of us, the excitement of this field comes from the attempt to understand the organ that defines us as individual, conscious human beings. The Neuroscience major is a small, intense, multidisciplinary program that leads to a BS. It is designed to take advantage of the depth and breadth of expertise in neuroscience among faculty in many departments at UW, which has been for many years a leading institution in the world in this field.

Learn more on the Neurobiology website.

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Physics

This major has minimum requirements.

Freshman pathway: Pre-Major

Curricular options: Applied Physics; Biological Physics; Comprehensive Physics; Teacher Preparation

Minor available

Description: Physics is the study of the behavior of matter, space, time and fields. Using highly sophisticated experimental and mathematical techniques, physicists gather detailed measurements of phenomena from the largest scales involving the entire universe to the smallest scales involving the most fundamental particles to construct theories that explain how the universe and the things in it behave. The Department of Physics offers four BS degree options: Applied, Biological, Comprehensive and Teacher Preparation. The department encourages the involvement of undergraduates in research and educates students at all levels, from general education through preparation for teaching. Graduates may pursue careers in scientific, technical, engineering and education fields.

Learn more on the Physics website.

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Psychology, B.A., B.S.

This major is capacity-constrained.

Freshman pathway: Pre-Major

Description: Psychology is the scientific study of the mind, brain and behavior, with the ultimate goal of promoting healthy minds and society. The Psychology major provides a broad curriculum coupled with opportunities to participate in undergraduate research and applied fieldwork. The BA focuses on developing scientific reasoning skills to address issues at the forefront of the field of psychology, including optimizing human potential, promoting social equity and providing insight into the brain and behavior. The BS involves deeper specialization in data analysis and scientific research. Psychology is a versatile major, with career pathways in science and research, education, law, medicine, health and human services, politics and public policy.

Learn more on the Psychology website.

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Speech & Hearing Sciences

This major is capacity-constrained.

Freshman pathway: Pre-Major

Description: The BS in Speech and Hearing Sciences is for students interested in the scientific and theoretical frameworks for understanding human communication and its disorders, including the roles of biology, cognition, environment and culture. The major provides an overview of the discipline, including the neurological, behavioral, physical and anatomic-physiological bases of speech, language, hearing and swallowing. It also provides an introduction to evaluation and treatment considerations for individuals with communication disorders. The program prepares students for paraprofessional employment (e.g., SLP assistant, audiology technician, ABA therapist, special education aide) as well as graduate study for a either a research or clinical career. This program is appropriate for students with interests in related fields such as education, early childhood development, linguistics, psychology, public health, biology, neuroscience and other health professions.

Learn more on the Speech & Hearing Sciences website.

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Statistics

This major is capacity-constrained.

Freshman pathway: Pre-Major

Curricular options: Data Science

Minor available

Description: Statistics is the science of learning from data. Statisticians design methods for gathering data; develop mathematical models to analyze, interpret and discover relationships in the data; and use technology for visualizing and exploring data. The BS in Statistics provides training in the theoretical foundations of statistics, statistical modeling and methodology and applied data analysis. Students may also choose to take the Data Science curricular option within the major, which also emphasizes computing and data management. The Statistics degree serves the needs of future statisticians in science, industry, business and government, and provides the necessary training for graduate study.

Learn more on the Statistics website.

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College of Arts & Sciences: Social Sciences Division

American Ethnic Studies

This major is open.

Freshman pathway: Pre-Major

Description: American Ethnic Studies is the interdisciplinary and comparative exploration of historical and contemporary relations of power and issues of social justice in American societies. Our main fields of research and pedagogy focus on the United States but also extend into questions about global and transnational dimensions, concepts and histories concerning race and ethnicity in America. Students earn a BA degree in American Ethnic Studies by taking core courses on ethnic-specific and comparative, multi-ethnic subjects. At the same time, they develop an emphasis in one of our concentrations — African American Studies, Asian American/Pacific Islander Studies, Chicano/a Studies or Comparative AES — that make up the major. Graduates of this degree pursue careers in a variety of fields such as education, business, law, public policy, media and communication, nonprofit and health care.

Learn more on the American Ethnic Studies website.

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American Indian Studies

This major is open.

Freshman pathway: Pre-Major

Minor available

Description: American Indian Studies approaches its teaching and research from a decolonized, community-based and global perspective. American Indian Studies faculty and students strive to develop innovative theories and methodologies that increase knowledge about Indigenous Peoples and support the needs of Indigenous communities. The department promotes faculty and student exchange programs with institutions that are committed to a deeper understanding of Indigenous communities and Peoples throughout the world. Graduates of this degree pursue a variety of careers such as cultural resource management, tribal administration, business, education, nonprofit, writing, museum curation and research.

Learn more on the American Indian Studies website.

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Anthropology

This major is open.

Freshman pathway: Pre-Major

Curricular options: Anthropology of Globalization; Archaeological Sciences; Human Evolutionary Biology; Medical Anthropology & Global Health

Minor available

Description: The anthropology major includes the study of human evolution, the archaeological record, language and culture, the relationship between humans and their environment, and cultural modes of being as these differ in time and space. While pursuing a wide range of theoretical and methodological approaches, anthropologists work toward a common goal: to document and understand our many interconnected ways of being human in a world now inhabited by six billion people speaking five thousand languages. In addition to the major, students may complete an undergraduate option in Medical Anthropology and Global Health, Archaeological Sciences, Anthropology of Globalization or Human Evolutionary Biology. Graduates of this degree pursue careers in fields such as public policy, social work, business, health care, nonprofit, research and education.

Learn more on the Anthropology website.

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Asian Studies

This major is open.

Freshman pathway: Pre-Major

Description: Students will develop their ability to read, write, and speak one or more Asian languages and will combine those language skills with Asia-related studies in various humanities disciplines. Students are encouraged to explore wider interests by taking courses in other units and to take advantage of numerous study abroad opportunities. A popular option for many is to combine a minor in Asian Languages and Cultures with a major from another department, such as Computer Science, Business Administration, or International Studies. Graduates go on to a wide variety of careers, reflecting the indispensability of knowledge of Asian languages and cultures in our increasingly interconnected world.

Learn more on the Asian Studies website.

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Canadian Studies

This major is open.

Freshman pathway: Pre-Major

Minor available

Description: The Canadian Studies Program is an interdisciplinary program designed to promote the understanding of Canada, of Canada’s relationships with the United States, and of Canada’s major role in the Commonwealth and in the United Nations. Core courses introduce the student to the origins and evolution of the Canadian people, their society and culture; interdisciplinary courses broaden the student’s scope of understanding. Canada-related courses are offered as well in many of the university’s professional schools. Language competency in French through the second year is required for completion of the B.A. degree.

Learn more on the Canadian Studies website.

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Communication

This major is capacity-constrained.

Freshman pathway: Pre-Major

Curricular options: Journalism

Description: Undergraduate study in communication at the UW has four foundations: communication literacy, communication inquiry, theory and concepts and community engagement. We teach our students to think critically, respect diversity, communicate effectively and develop the skills needed for the lifelong learning that is central to successful careers and rewarding lives. We nurture socially responsible, literate citizens who can interpret and evaluate the images and messages they create and receive. Graduates of the department pursue careers in a variety of fields such as business, journalism, media and communication, marketing, technology, education, nonprofit, research and the arts.

Learn more on the Communication website.

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Comparative Religion

This major is open.

Freshman pathway: Pre-Major

Minor available

Description: The program in Comparative Religion is known for its unusually large range of course offerings in the religious traditions of both the East and West. The faculty has particular strength in history, anthropology, and sociology. Participants in the program have an opportunity to enroll in small classes and interact with a faculty that puts emphasis on maintaining close contact with students. Comparative Religion has four tracks: History of Religions-Western Emphasis; History of Religions-Eastern Emphasis; Religion and Society; and Religion and Symbolic Expression. The program offers a Bachelor of Arts degree in Comparative Religion.

Learn more on the Comparative Religion website.

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Disability Studies

This major has minimum requirements.

Freshman pathway: Pre-Major

Minor available

Description: Disability Studies examines how society understands and represents disability, and investigates issues of discrimination and social justice. Disability Studies enhances the understanding of disability by incorporating social, cultural, historical, legal and political perspectives, including the connections between disability and other identities such as race, ethnicity, gender and sexuality. Graduates of this degree pursue careers in a variety of fields, including public policy, nonprofit, health care, business, social work, psychology, education and law, among others.

Learn more on the Disability Studies website.

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Economics, B.A., B.S.

This major is capacity-constrained.

Freshman pathway: Pre-Major

Description: Economics studies the institutions and arrangements that are used to create, protect and allocate scarce resources, and advances our understanding of the behavior of individuals, firms, governments and other organizations. The BA is for students who are intrigued by economic problems and are attracted to an analytical approach to explaining social phenomena. The BA provides an excellent preparation for employment in the private and public sectors and for graduate study in a variety of fields, such as public policy, law and business. The BS requires a more intensive background in math and statistics, reflecting the quantitative character of modern economics. It is especially suitable for students interested in graduate study in economics and in such fields as computational finance and data science.

Learn more on the Economics website.

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European Studies

This major is open.

Freshman pathway: Pre-Major

Minor available

Description: The purpose of the curriculum in European Studies is to help prepare students to pursue careers requiring an understanding of all the forces, both material and cultural, contemporary and historical, that are shaping Europe today, in the transitions involved in the post-Soviet era and the movement toward greater political, economic, and cultural integration among the various nations of Europe West, East, North and South. Students may pursue European Studies either as an area concentration for its own sake or as a supplement to the development of particular expertise in a related discipline. Students may also focus, within the major, on Hellenic Studies or Russian, east European and Central Asian Studies.

Learn more on the European Studies website.

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Gender, Women & Sexuality Studies

This major is open.

Freshman pathway: Pre-Major

Minor available

Description: Gender, Women & Sexuality Studies (GWSS) examines social and political realities shaped by gender, sexuality and power. GWSS approaches topics from transnational and intersectional perspectives, enabling students to analyze and address issues of gender, sexuality and social difference at personal, historical, institutional and structural levels. GWSS is devoted to generating and bringing visibility to many kinds of feminist knowledge production such as women of color feminism, transfeminism, queer feminism, feminist science and technology studies and more. Graduates of this degree pursue careers in a variety of fields such as health care, journalism, nonprofit, public policy, business, media and communication, education, law and psychology.

Learn more on the Gender, Women & Sexuality Studies website.

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Geography

This major is open.

Freshman pathway: Pre-Major

Curricular options: Cities, Citizenship & Migration; Environment, Economy & Sustainability; Globalization, Health & Development; GIS, Mapping & Society

Minor available

Description: Geographers research and engage the world by asserting the importance of space, environment, context, location, place and scale in relation to society’s most pressing environmental and social concerns. We draw from interdisciplinary theories across the humanities, social sciences and natural sciences to address how these concerns are mapped, represented and understood in a changing world. Linking theory to practice, our students develop a unique skillset that brings together quantitative and qualitative data analysis, tech knowledge, research, writing, and oral communication. Ample experiential learning opportunities such as internships, service learning and research projects enable students to pursue a wide variety of careers in the public, private and nonprofit sectors.

Learn more on the Geography website.

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History

This major has minimum requirements.

Freshman pathway: Pre-Major

Curricular options: History of Empire & Colonialism; History of Race, Gender & Power; History of Religion & Society; History of War & Society

Minor available

Description: The Department of History cultivates in undergraduates a lasting curiosity about the world and imparts useful tools for understanding and participating in it responsibly. With an emphasis on critical reading and writing, discriminating research skills and persuasive communication, the history major prepares students for a variety of occupations in the fields of business, government, nonprofit, education and many more. Our courses frequently focus on themes such as the history of Gender, Race and Power; War and Society; Empire and Colonialism; and Religion and Society, and students may choose history majors or minors focusing on any of these themes or choose general history. Students are guided in their path by a diverse faculty that includes fourteen recipients of the UW Distinguished Teaching Award — more than any other unit on campus. Our faculty’s expertise covers nearly every continent on earth, throughout the chronological span of written history.

Learn more on the History website.

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History & Philosophy of Science

This major is capacity-constrained.

Freshman pathway: Pre-Major

Description: History and Philosophy of Science (HPS) studies the theories, methods, practices, and institutions of science from historical and philosophical perspectives. It strives to provide a genuinely interdisciplinary structure for critical reflection on science in all its aspects.

Learn more on the History & Philosophy of Science website.

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International Studies

This major is capacity-constrained.

Freshman pathway: Pre-Major

Minor available

Description: The Jackson School combines the social sciences, humanities and professional fields to enhance understanding of our increasingly interconnected world. The International Studies (General) program equips students with the skills (including writing and foreign languages) and the disciplinary tools needed to analyze global issues and challenges. Students can choose from a variety of thematic and regional concentrations in shaping their course of study. The program’s capstone class, Task Force, provides a bridge between academic and professional pursuits through the team-based creation of policy reports and recommendations that are evaluated by external policy experts.

Learn more on the International Studies website.

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Jewish Studies

This major is open.

Freshman pathway: Pre-Major

Minor available

Description: The Jewish Studies major offers students from varied backgrounds and disciplines a comprehensive and interdisciplinary perspective on the study of Jews and Judaism. Students learn about the geographic, historical, philosophical, and cultural diversity of the Jewish experience, including contemporary. They also gain critical and analytical skills that can be applied widely, including to the understanding and study of current challenges facing Jews and Judaism in the world.

Learn more on the Jewish Studies website.

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Latin American & Caribbean Studies

This major is open.

Freshman pathway: Pre-Major

Minor available

Description: The Latin American and Caribbean Studies major combines language study in Spanish and Portuguese with work in history, the humanities, and the social sciences. It provides a comprehensive, interdisciplinary understanding of this major world region, emphasizing themes such as economic development, popular movements, critical analysis, and hemispheric relations. At the same time, it gives students the option to develop their own particular disciplinary and thematic interests.

Learn more on the Latin American & Caribbean Studies website.

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Law, Societies & Justice

This major is capacity-constrained.

Freshman pathway: Pre-Major

Minor available

Description: Law, Societies and Justice (LSJ) offers opportunities for students to understand the complex roles of law in society. Law takes multiple forms and performs a wide array of important functions. At the same time, the work of law is shaped by numerous political, economic, social, cultural and geographic factors. As a result, law on the books is not the same as law in action. Students in the LSJ major develop a deep appreciation for the variety of dynamics that shape the translation of law into outcomes. Coursework emphasizes close reading of key texts, active classroom engagement with complex ideas and the development of the capacity to articulate arguments in oral and written communication. Beyond its interdisciplinary orientation, LSJ emphasizes the importance of analyzing socio-legal dynamics in comparative perspective. Courses explore legal traditions and transformations in Europe, Latin America, Asia and the Middle East, as well as North America. Attention also falls on the increasing development of global regimes of law and regulation. Graduates of this degree pursue careers in fields such as business, government, nonprofit, law, media and communication, policy and education.

Learn more on the Law, Societies & Justice website.

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Philosophy

This major has minimum requirements.

Freshman pathway: Pre-Major

Minor available

Description: Philosophy is the study of fundamental issues concerning reality, knowledge, values and ethics. It is dedicated to probing the foundations of things, to asking questions and to thinking about what sorts of answers to our questions should be satisfying. Through the study of philosophy, students build skills of critical reflection, careful reading and writing and creative thinking. Generally speaking, training in philosophy will be valuable in any occupation that requires examination and analysis of problems, critical evaluation of alternative perspectives and solutions and rational advocacy of one’s conclusions. The undergraduate program in the Department of Philosophy offers a program of study leading to a BA degree, as well as a minor. The department also offers, jointly with the Department of History, a BA degree in History and Philosophy of Science. Graduates of these degree programs pursue careers in fields such as business, psychology, nonprofit, law, global health and the arts.

Learn more on the Philosophy website.

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Political Science

This major has minimum requirements.

Freshman pathway: Pre-Major

Curricular options: International Security; Political Economy

Minor available

Description: Political science is the study of power and how political institutions and individuals engage in the public realm. In the major, students explore concepts like freedom and justice; governmental structures; how law and courts function; how economics affects political behavior; international conflict and cooperation; media; and how traits like race, gender and class are political and shape identity, institutions and policy. Undergraduates acquire knowledge of political institutions in the United States and around the world. Students learn to think critically as they evaluate conflicting claims about what government can and should do. They explore how mass political behavior influences law and policy and study how government capacities and popular commitments to democracy vary across time and location. As they read, write research and debate, they learn to evaluate complicated issues and communicate effectively on controversial topics. Graduates with this degree pursue careers in fields such as business, technology, law, nonprofit, government, media and communication and research.

Learn more on the Political Science website.

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Sociology

This major has minimum requirements.

Freshman pathway: Pre-Major

Description: Sociology is the scientific study of people in groups — from friendship networks to communities to entire nations. Sociologists describe the characteristics of social groups and consider explanations for social stability and social change. They promote critical thinking on issues such as social inequality, racial and ethnic conflict, the data revolution, deviance and crime, social and political movements, immigration, education, health, the family and the role of gender and sexuality. The undergraduate major in sociology provides students with knowledge of and a perspective on social life that transcends their personal experience and helps them develop a deep understanding of important trends in modern society. The Department of Sociology has a strong commitment to undergraduate research, methodological training and experiential learning and is dedicated to providing a rich program of study. Graduates of this degree pursue careers in fields such as data science, law, public policy, media and communication, nonprofit, business and education.

Learn more on the Sociology website.

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College of Built Environments

Architectural Design

This major is capacity-constrained.

Freshman pathway: Pre-Major

Minor available

Description: The Department of Architecture offers two different options for undergraduate students interested in the field of architecture. The Architecture major is a seminar and research based (non-studio) degree that provides a liberal arts foundation. This program prepares students for further study and careers in architectural design and related disciplines. The Architectural Design major is a pre-professional studio based degree that prepares most students for graduate study in architecture and a professional career in the field. Both programs share a commitment to architecture and design as a field of knowledge that can have a profound impact on contemporary society. Non-majors interested in architecture are able to pursue a Minor in Architectural Design.

Learn more on the Architectural Design website.

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Architecture

This major is capacity-constrained.

Freshman pathway: Direct to Major

Minor available

Description: The Department of Architecture offers two different options for undergraduate students interested in the field of architecture. The Architecture major is a seminar and research based (non-studio) degree that provides a liberal arts foundation. This program prepares students for further study and careers in architectural design and related disciplines. The Architectural Design major is a pre-professional studio based degree that prepares most students for graduate study in architecture and a professional career in the field. Both programs share a commitment to architecture and design as a field of knowledge that can have a profound impact on contemporary society. Non-majors interested in architecture are able to pursue a Minor in Architectural Design.

Learn more on the Architecture website.

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Community, Environment & Planning

This major is capacity-constrained.

Freshman pathway: Pre-Major

Minor available

Description: Community, Environment and Planning (CEP) is an award-winning, interdisciplinary Bachelor of Arts degree housed in the Department of Urban Design and Planning. Unlike most majors, CEP does not provide a pre-defined educational path. Instead, CEP empowers students to draw on the tools of planning – collaboration, leadership, intentionality, stewardship, and vision – to pursue their own educational goals in the company of other self-directed students in cohorts limited to 38 students. The CEP core curriculum focuses on theory and practice applied to real-world settings; electives are satisfied by taking courses anywhere on campus. Students also participate in a governance process that supports the major and teaches students how to be effective leaders and doers in the world. Our students graduate to become urban planners, educators, non-profit managers, entrepreneurs, communication experts, and professionals of all sorts, including doctors, lawyers, and engineers.

Learn more on the Community, Environment & Planning website.

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Construction Management

This major is capacity-constrained.

Freshman pathway: Direct to Major

Description: Construction management is a diverse discipline focused on the coordination, planning, and delivery of projects that compose the world’s built environment. The major classifications of construction differ markedly from one another: residential, commercial, industrial, and infrastructure, as well as specialties such as electrical, mechanical, framing, excavation, and roofing. Construction managements? technical and business aspects make it an interesting and gratifying field of study.

Learn more on the Construction Management website.

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Landscape Architecture

This major is capacity-constrained.

Freshman pathway: Pre-Major

Minor available

Description: Landscape Architecture is a professional degree that studies urban ecological design, design activism, ecological infrastructure, ecological learning and literacy, design for human and environmental health and social and environmental justice.

Learn more on the Landscape Architecture website.

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College of Education

Early Childhood & Family Studies

This major is capacity-constrained.

Freshman pathway: Pre-Major

Curricular options: Teaching & Learning

Description: The Early Childhood and Family Studies (ECFS) major provides the opportunity to study early childhood development, early learning, and family studies from a variety of perspectives across a range of disciplines. The degree will prepare you for careers in early learning, childcare, policy, parent and family support and education, and social/mental health services. It is also a pathway to graduate studies in education, child and family studies, and other areas.

The ECFS major has developed two pathways for students to pursue in their degree program. The first pathway, ECFS Core, allows for the flexibility of integrating other areas of interest with the coursework in child development and family studies. The second pathway, the Teaching and Learning Option, is intended for students who wish to pursue a teaching position in preschools and other childhood settings or for those who plan to apply to a master’s in teaching or other teacher certification programs.

Learn more on the Early Childhood & Family Studies website.

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Education, Communities & Organizations

This major has minimum requirements.

Freshman pathway: Pre-Major

Description: The Bachelor of Arts in Education, Communities and Organizations major provides students with a solid foundation in learning theory, human development, equity studies, organizational theory and community-based research and practice. Through elective courses, students will build on this knowledge to explore diverse areas of study. All students complete a community-based capstone internship.

Learn more on the Education, Communities & Organizations website.

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College of Engineering

Aeronautics & Astronautics

This major is capacity-constrained

Freshman pathway: Direct to College

Description: The Bachelor of Science in Aeronautical & Astronautical Engineering (BSAAE) provides students with a thorough understanding of how to design, develop, test, and build aircraft, rockets, spacecraft, and satellites. Aerospace technology also has “earthbound” applications like making race cars more aerodynamic or designing autonomous underwater vehicles. The BSAAE degree provides a solid foundation in engineering fundamentals, lab work, and project experience with a real-world focus on teamwork, problem solving, leadership, and creativity.

Learn more on the Aeronautics & Astronautics website.

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Bioengineering

This major is capacity-constrained

Freshman pathway: Direct to College

Curricular options: Nanoscience & Molecular Engineering

Description: Bioengineering is the application of engineering principles to the fields of biology, medicine and health care. Students will utilize knowledge from the biological sciences as well as mechanical, chemical, electrical, and computer engineering in order to invent the future of medicine through novel, innovative, and cost-effective solutions.

Learn more on the Bioengineering website.

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Chemical Engineering

This major is capacity-constrained

Freshman pathway: Direct to College

Curricular options: Nanoscience & Molecular Engineering

Description: Chemical engineering is the study of transforming matter under constraint. Chemical engineers find industrial employment in areas of energy, the environment, biomedicine, electronics, food production, and materials. Chemical engineers also find careers in academia and government and military service. Students study chemical processes at the molecular level and the chemical plant level and gain an engineering education deeply grounded in mathematics, chemistry, physics, biology, and materials science.

Learn more on the Chemical Engineering website.

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Civil Engineering

This major is capacity-constrained

Freshman pathway: Direct to College

Description: The Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering degree provides students a broad-based educational experience, enabling them to address complex and multi-faceted civil engineering problems in construction, transportation, structural, transportation, water, and environmental engineering. After completing the required 300-level core curriculum, students may explore the areas of their interest with greater focus in their senior year or explore a variety of topics at the 400-level.

Learn more on the Civil Engineering website.

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Computer Engineering

This major is capacity-constrained

Freshman pathway: Direct to College

Description: The Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering combines education in hardware and software development, with students gaining the background necessary to become broadly-educated professionals who are knowledgeable in both domains, understanding how the domains interact, restrict, or enable interdependent capabilities. Core coursework encompasses the physical and mathematical sciences, object-oriented programming, algorithms, data structures, software engineering, technical communications, circuits and systems, microprocessors, embedded systems, and operating systems. The major also offers the opportunity to build a strong foundation in network design and development, signal processing, mobile computing, sensor systems, semiconductor devices, testing and quality assurance, and project management, among others.

Learn more on the Computer Engineering website.

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Electrical Engineering

This major is capacity-constrained

Freshman pathway: Direct to College

Curricular options: Nanoscience & Molecular Engineering

Description: Electrical Engineering students study the design, production, and operating devices of systems that use electric and electromagnetic energy for sensing, processing, visualizing and use of information. Subjects of study include circuits, systems and controls (robotics); signal and image processing; electronics, electronic devices, and photonics; computers; energy systems; electromagnetics and optics.

Learn more on the Electrical Engineering website.

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Environmental Engineering

This major is capacity-constrained

Freshman pathway: Direct to College

Description: The Environmental Engineering curriculum, which is designed to comply with ABET accreditation criteria, emphasizes the use of core knowledge in math, physics, biology, chemistry, and its application to environmental engineering and develops student understanding of natural processes in air, water, and soil during environmental engineering decision-making. The curriculum additionally provides opportunities for student to place their skill set within a greater social, cultural, and political context. The degree complements the Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering degree by providing opportunities for inter-disciplinary interactions in upper-division course work, including in the capstone design course. Prerequisites may be met through coursework at the UW, another four-year institution, or a community college. Graduates will be prepared for a variety of careers or for continuation of study at the graduate level.

Learn more on the Environmental Engineering website.

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Human Centered Design & Engineering

This major is capacity-constrained

Freshman pathway: Direct to College

Curricular options: Data Science

Description: Human Centered Design and Engineering (HCDE) undergraduate students learn design and engineering processes to solve problems through a deep understanding of people and their contexts. Students in the HCDE Bachelor of Science program graduate with an engineering degree and a strong foundation in designing user experiences and interfaces, creating information visualizations, conducting user research, designing for the web, and building web technologies. Upon graduation, students find jobs as user experience (UX) researchers and designers, multimedia and web developers, usability engineers, interface designers, and information architects at technology companies.

Learn more on the Human Centered Design & Engineering website.

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Industrial Engineering

This major is capacity-constrained

Freshman pathway: Direct to College

Description: The Industrial & Systems Engineering curriculum focuses on system integration and methods to analyze, design, and improve manufacturing and service systems. The first two years include pre-engineering courses, basic mathematics, natural science, engineering fundamentals, humanities and social science. The last two years are devoted to studies in operations research, including optimization and stochastic models, manufacturing engineering, production planning and plant layout, human factors and human interface technology, statistics and design of experiments, quality and reliability engineering, and a comprehensive senior design experience.

Industrial & Systems Engineering students are encouraged to take a systems view when solving problems, recognize the organizational and societal impact of technical decisions, develop good oral and written communication skills, participate in teams, and take initiative.

Learn more on the Industrial Engineering website.

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Materials Science & Engineering

This major is capacity-constrained

Freshman pathway: Direct to College

Curricular options: Nanoscience & Molecular Engineering

Description: Materials science and engineering (MSE) is an interdisciplinary field where the scientific fundamentals of materials, their structure and properties, and their design and processing for real world applications are explored. Developing new equipment for materials development, and exploring new uses for existing and new materials are also essential tasks of MSE, particularly to meet the needs of modern technology. MSE offers two bachelor’s degrees, one in MSE and another in MSE with a degree option in Nanoscience and Molecular Engineering. A BS-to-MS program is also available to highly qualified undergraduates.

Preparing our students for the wide variety of jobs that await them is our highest priority. Our graduates find employment in the aerospace, automotive, biomedical, chemical, construction, electronics, energy and telecommunication industries. We are proud to lay the foundations for successful careers in many sectors of the economy, from academia to industry.

Learn more on the Materials Science & Engineering website.

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Mechanical Engineering

This major is capacity-constrained

Freshman pathway: Direct to College

Curricular options: Biomechanics; Mechatronics; Nanoscience & Molecular Engineering

Description: Undergraduate programs in Mechanical Engineering explore fundamental principles of mechanical engineering and their application to modern technological problems. Students collaborate on interdisciplinary work where they research and design creative, leading-edge solutions to these problems.

Our curriculum focuses on the study of dynamics, controls, and robotics; manufacturing processes and advanced materials; energy and environmentally-friendly “”green”” engineering; engineering for health with biotechnologies and biomechanics.

Learn more on the Mechanical Engineering website.

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College of the Environment

Aquatic & Fishery Sciences

This major is open.

Freshman pathway: Pre-Major

Minor available

Description: The School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences studies aquatic organisms, the rivers, lakes and oceans in which they live, and how we conserve them. The degree draws on the disciplines of natural history, physiology, ecology, evolution and quantitative sciences, and applies these principles to conservation and management of natural resources. Graduates of the School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences are uniquely qualified for careers in universities and other educational settings, management agencies at the local to international levels, environmental consulting, and nonprofit organizations.

Learn more on the Aquatic & Fishery Sciences website.

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Atmospheric Sciences

This major is open.

Freshman pathway: Pre-Major

Minor available

Description: Atmospheric sciences is a wide-ranging discipline that includes topics as diverse as weather forecasting, global warming, air quality, Pacific Northwest weather and climate, mountain weather, marine weather, El Nino, the ozone hole, ice ages, and the weather of Mars. It considers problems that are both scientifically challenging and critical for the welfare of modern society. These problems are addressed with theory, measurements, and computer simulations.

Learn more on the Atmospheric Sciences website.

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Bioresource Science & Engineering

This major is capacity-constrained.

Freshman pathway: Pre-Major

Description: 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. BSE provides extensive faculty contact, active student groups, and research opportunities.

Learn more on the Bioresource Science & Engineering website.

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Earth & Space Sciences, B.A., B.S.

This major is open.

Freshman pathway: Pre-Major

Curricular options: Biology; Environmental Earth Sciences; Geology; Physics

Minor available

Description: The Bachelor of Science in Earth and Space Sciences is designed for students interested in geology and geophysics, and a career path in graduate studies or in the private sector where field and technology experiences and problem-solving skills are an important asset. Students pursuing the B.S. in Earth and Space Sciences choose from one of four options: Geology, Biology, Physics, or Environmental Earth Sciences. The Bachelor of Arts in Earth and Space Sciences enables students to obtain a broad understanding of earth sciences as a background for professional careers such as science journalism, environmental law, science education, and environmental policy.

Learn more on the Earth & Space Sciences website.

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Environmental Science & Terrestrial Resource Management

This major is open.

Freshman pathway: Pre-Major

Curricular options: Landscape Ecology & Conservation; Restoration Ecology & Environmental Horticulture; Sustainable Forest Management; Wildlife Conservation

Minor available

Description: Students in Environmental Science and Resource Management (ESRM) learn about natural and human-dominated landscapes and how to apply this knowledge to real-world problems. With a focus on sustainability, students work with professors and regional experts on environmental issues. Field work gives students enhanced opportunities for experiential learning and service in a rich contextual landscape.

Learn more on the Environmental Science & Terrestrial Resource Management website.

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Environmental Studies

This major is open.

Freshman pathway: Pre-Major

Minor available

Description: The Environmental Studies (ENST) major is designed for students who want to act critically and creatively in response to the environmental challenges facing the world today. The major’s two pathways – Sustainability & Society (S&S) and Conservation Science & Management (CSM) – share a commitment to educating future practitioners who can address those challenges in their professional careers and personal lives. ENST teaches students to integrate environmental knowledge across the natural and social sciences, as well as the arts and humanities. Hands-on learning, field experiences, and problem-based instruction focus on finding answers to complex problems that include scientific, social, political, cultural, and ethical dimensions. ENST graduates develop careers in management, planning, advocacy, communications, and policy-making across a wide array of for-profit and not-for-profit organizations.

Learn more on the Environmental Studies website.

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Marine Biology

This major is open.

Freshman pathway: Pre-Major

Minor available

Description: Marine Biology involves the study of life processes of organisms inhabiting saltwater environments – from genetics and evolution to physiological traits and ecosystem functioning. The major examines the marine aspects of biodiversity, ecology and ecosystems and organismal processes, along with impacts from ocean change.

Learn more on the Marine Biology website.

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Oceanography, B.A., B.S.

This major is open.

Freshman pathway: Pre-Major

Curricular options: Biological;Chemical; Marine Geology & Geophysics; Physical; Ocean Technology

Minor available

Description: The undergraduate program in Oceanography provides students with an interdisciplinary science background that prepares them for a broad range of careers. Students can pursue a Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Arts or a Minor in Oceanography. Oceanography partners with other departments to support interdisciplinary minors in Marine Biology, Climate and Arctic Studies.

Learn more on the Oceanography website.

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Foster School of Business

Business Administration

This major is capacity-constrained.

Freshman pathway: Direct to Major

Curricular options: Accounting; Entrepreneurship; Finance; Human Resource Management; Information Systems; Marketing; Operations & Supply Chain Management

Description: A Business Administration degree provides a liberal arts curriculum along with a full spectrum of the many areas of business. Students can take a variety of upper division electives or choose to specialize in one area of business by declaring a formal option.

Learn more on the Foster website.

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Information School

Informatics

This major is capacity-constrained.

Freshman pathway: Direct to Major

Curricular options: Data Science; Human-Computer Interaction; Information Architecture; Information Assurance & Cybersecurity

Description: Informatics is the study of people, information, and technology. Students are prepared to design, build, manage, and secure information systems that make a difference in society, organizations, and individual lives. The curriculum uses an experiential learning approach that emphasizes problem solving, group work, research, writing, oral presentations, and technology. Degree options in Human-Computer Interaction, Information Assurance and Cybersecurity, Data Science, and Information Architecture are available.

Learn more on the Informatics website.

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School of Medicine

Medical Laboratory Science

This major is capacity-constrained.

Freshman pathway: Pre-Major

Description: Medical Laboratory Science, offered by the Department of Laboratory Medicine, is a profession of highly knowledgeable and skilled individuals who perform clinical laboratory tests on patient samples. This is a critical part of healthcare, as the results obtained by these laboratory tests are a vital tool for physicians in their diagnosis, treatment and prevention of disease. The disciplines within Laboratory Medicine that students learn about and train in are: Clinical Chemistry, Hematology/Coagulation, Microbiology, Transfusion Medicine, Urinalysis and Clinical Research.

Learn more on the Medical Laboratory Science website.

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Microbiology

This major has minimum requirements.

Freshman pathway: Pre-Major

Minor available

Description: Microbiology is the study of the smallest living organisms (bacteria, algae, fungi, and protozoa) and viruses. Because of their simplicity and rapid growth rates, microorganisms are readily amenable to study in the laboratory. Because their cellular processes closely resemble those of higher organisms, they are ideally suited for fundamental studies of biological structure, physiology, metabolism, genetics and development. The Microbiology department at the University of Washington works mainly in cutting edge research in Bacteria and Viruses.

The B.S. in Microbiology is complemented by the College of Arts and Sciences general educational requirements such as English Composition, Writing, Foreign Language, Quantitative & Symbolic Reasoning, Visual Literary & Performing Arts and Individuals and Societies courses which provide a comprehensive liberal arts degree.

Learn more on the Microbiology website.

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School of Nursing

Nursing

This major is capacity-constrained.

Freshman pathway: Pre-Major

Description: The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program is a two-year professional program that prepares you for a career as a registered nurse. As a BSN student, you will learn from our nationally acclaimed faculty in class and using interactive scenarios in our Learning Lab, allowing you to practice nursing skills in a safe environment before performing them in a supervised clinical setting. A solid foundation of science and humanities prerequisite coursework sets you up for success in our program.

The BSN is a full-time program, including:

  • academic coursework focused on critical thinking, care and therapeutics, and health care resources
  • in-class lecture with experienced nurse practitioners and researchers
  • clinical simulation exercises in our Learning Lab
  • supervised direct patient care in the field.

Learn more on the Nursing website.

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School of Public Health

Environmental Health

This major has minimum requirements.

Freshman pathway: Pre-Major

Minor available

Description: The Bachelor of Science in Environmental Health is a great fit for students who love science, and who are passionate about using their scientific skills to address human health issues related to the built and natural environments. From water quality to workplace safety, environmental health majors are engaged in problem solving to keep communities safe and healthy. In the Bachelor of Science in Environmental Health, students learn to identify, prevent, and control environmental factors that can threaten human health. The coursework introduces students to basic principles of environmental health regulation, environmental sampling, microbiology, epidemiology, toxicology and risk assessment.

Learn more on the Environmental Health website.

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Food Systems, Nutrition & Health

This major has minimum requirements.

Freshman pathway: Pre-Major

Description: Food Systems, Nutrition and Health provides students with a foundation of knowledge in nutritional sciences, food systems, food studies, and population health. Through an examination of food and nutrition policies and practices that affect sustainable diets and long-term health, students will gain a multidisciplinary perspective of the food environment, including the interplay of food and nutrition, human behavior, business, culture, and the environment.

Learn more on the Food Systems, Nutrition & Health website.

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Public Health

This major is capacity-constrained.

Freshman pathway: Pre-Major

Curricular options: Global Health

Description: Public Health is a school-wide liberal arts major, leading to a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science, which uses public health questions, concepts, and tools to help students develop competencies in assessment and measurement, communication, environment, ethics and social justice, natural science, population health, policy and politics, and social science with particular emphasis on collaboration and critical thinking across these domains. Graduates move on to a range of career and educational options in business, economics, education, health sciences, law, public health, and social and behavioral sciences.

Learn more on the Public Health website.

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School of Social Work

Social Welfare

This major is capacity-constrained.

Freshman pathway: Pre-Major

Description: The School of Social Work (nationally ranked #3) is seeking individuals who are interested in becoming social change agents in order to tackle complex social problems facing our society. We offer a professional degree with “hands on” training in the field designed to fully prepare you for a job and/or graduate school. Our Honors Program provides students with research opportunities guided by faculty mentors. Join a major with a focus on social justice that has one of the most diverse student cohorts on campus. Demand is increasing for social workers, especially those with expertise in healthcare, children and family services, addiction counseling, eldercare, and community advocacy.

Learn more on the Social Welfare website.

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