Environmental Science & Terrestrial Resource Management

College of the Environment

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.


Major category: Open

Minor available

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

Topic: Natural sciences

Applicant type


Freshmen can apply to the UW to begin autumn quarter or winter quarter (U.S. applicants only)

Environmental Science and Terrestrial Resource Management is an open major. You may declare this major at any time after enrolling at the UW as long as you are in good academic standing. Visit the department website for more information.

Read more about applying to the UW as a freshman, including details for programs that provide high school students with college credit (like Running Start).


Preparation for the major is a factor in transfer admission. Use the information below to help you prepare for this degree

Department admission information

  • Departmental application deadline: Students in good academic standing may declare the major at any time, including on their application for admission to the UW.
  • Please contact the department for details about the application process.

The major provides foundational knowledge in environmental and forest sciences, including natural resource management, wildlife conservation, restoration, sustainability, horticulture, forest management, soils, policy, economics and related topics.

Although admission is open, students are strongly encouraged to prepare for the major before transfer by taking as many of the recommended courses below as possible. For the intro biology series, it is best to complete the entire sequence at one school if possible; otherwise, it may not transfer directly.

Courses recommended for the major:

  • One COM course: COM 220 SSc A&H – Intro Public Speaking OR COM 202 SSc A&H – Intro to Communication Theory
  • English Composition C
  • MATH 120 NSc- Precalculus
  • Biology sequence: BIO 180 NSc – Intro Biology I
  • BIO 200 NSc – Intro Biology II
  • BIO 220 NSc – Intro Biology III
  • One Chemistry sequence:
    • CHEM 120 NSc RSN – Principles of Chemistry I, CHEM 220 NSc RSN – Principles of Chemistry II
    • CHEM 142 NSc RSN – General Chemistry, CHEM 152 NSc RSN – General Chemistry

Entering transfer information:

Total undergraduates: 524
Total from Washington community colleges: 43

Entering transfer GPA (from WA community colleges):

3.75 – 4.00: 11
3.50 – 3.74: 14
3.25 – 3.49: 8
3.00 – 3.24: 7
2.75 – 2.99: <5
2.50 – 2.74: <5
2.49 and below: <5

Career outcomes