Want to be on the front line of design innovations that provide access to clean water? Interested in making a difference in global climate change? Would you like to reduce the world’s consumption of oil, natural gas, and coal? Passionate about creating affordable and accessible options to increase sustainable uses of alternative energy?
Explore your passions and the academic and career pathways available to you.
Choose meaningful general education courses
You can fulfill your general education requirements while building the context and creativity you'll need to engineer solutions to meaningful problems. Keep in mind that in your first year, you may want to start out in 100 or 200 level classes and build towards upper-division coursework throughout your time at the UW.
- CEP 200: Introduction to Community and Environment (I&S)
- ENV H 220: Global Environmental Change and Public Health (I&S)
- GEOG 272: Geographies of Environmental Justice (I&S and DIV)
- ENGL 265: Introduction to Environmental Humanities (I&S/VLPA, and DIV)
- ENVIR 239: Sustainability: Personal Choices, Broad Impacts (I&S)
- ENVIR 211: Environmental Justice (I&S, DIV)
- GEOG 123: Introduction to Globalization (I&S, DIV)
- ENVIR 243: Environmental Ethics (VLPA/I&S)
- JSIS B 391: Climate Change - An International Perspective: Science, Art, and Activism (VLPA or I&S)
- ATM S 358: Fundamentals of Atmospheric Chemistry (NW)
- PHYS 217: Energy Future: The Technical and Social Barriers to Large-Scale Sustainable Energy (I&S) (No Credit if Chem E 341 is taken)
- JSIS B 357: The Geopolitics of Energy (I&S)
- GEOG 472: Race, Nature, And Power (I&S)
- ATM S 458: Air Pollution Chemistry (NW)
- ATM S 480: Air-Quality Modeling (NW)
- BSE 101: Biomass, Biofuels and Bioproducts (I&S)
- GEOG 370: Environmental Conservation: Geographic Perspectives (I&S)
- ATM S 212: Air Pollution: From Urban Smog to the Ozone Hole
General education requirements
As a UW student, you are required to take general education courses. As an engineering student, this typically consists of:
- 10 credits of Visual, Literary, & Performing Arts (VLPA)
- 10 credits of Individuals & Societies (I&S)
- 4 credits of VLPA or I&S
- 3 credits of Diversity (DIV)
Related majors and academic degrees
applied learning profile research
Aeronautics and Astronautics
Bioresource Science Engineering
Join student organizations working in your area of interest. You’ll make friends who have similar interests while building skills working on your passions!
- American Water Resources Association
- Students in Clean Energy (SCE)
- Global Renewables for Infrastructure Development (GRID)
- EWB - Engineers Without Borders
- Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
Study abroad opportunities
Here are some examples of study abroad programs that could deepen your understanding of the way engineering can impact the lives of people around the world.
- Engineering Jordan: Water in an Arid Land
- Engineering Switzerland: Fundamentals of Electrical Engineering Abroad
- Grand Challenges Impact Lab (GCIL)
- Honors Italy: Water and Its Uses for Environment and Society, Past and Present
- Program on the Environment Taiwan: Exploring Environmental and Social Resilience
- CIEE Summer Engineering, Technology + Society in Dublin, Ireland
- CIEE Summer Sustainability and the Environment Program in Monteverde, Costa Rica
- SIT Iceland: Renewable Energy, Technology, and Resource Economics
Many study abroad programs include engineering classes, participation in research or internships. See UW Engineering's Study Abroad page to learn more and start the planning process.
Capstone design projects in environment, sustainability and energy
In your final year, you will participate in a capstone design experience that serves as a culmination of your engineering study. Past capstone projects in environment, sustainability and energy have included:
- Industrial and systems engineering and mechanical engineering students worked with construction company, McKinstry, to analyze facility data drawn from the built environment with the goal of being able to make recommendations to building occupants and operators to positively impact resource consumption.
- Aeronautics and astronautics students worked with the magniX company to deliver a plan to convert their agricultural plane to all-electric, including installation plans for propulsion system and batteries, designs, mounts, brackets, parts lists, and full sets of CADs, drawings, virtual models and simulations.
- Industrial and systems engineering and mechanical engineering students worked with Seattle City Light to layout and design an all-electric renewable energy powered food truck for use on Seattle streets.
Join a research team
Every UW Engineering department offers undergraduate research opportunities. To get started: