Bachelor of Science

Environmental Science - Earth System Science

Students studying soil samplesThe Earth Systems Science Pathway (ESS) is an interdisciplinary field of study that examines the physical and chemical nature of the environment in various media (as well as atmosphere, rivers, lakes, oceans, soils, and lithosphere), their interaction with each other and with biological systems. ESS emphasizes the examination of human impacts on these complex environmental processes and the long term sustainability of living systems.


  • One quarter of Calculus (ST MATH 124, B MATH 144 or equivalent)
  • Three quarters of the General Chemistry sequence (B CHEM 143/144, 153/154, 163/164 or equivalent)
  • One Introductory Earth System Science course (BIS 242, BST 200, B CUSP 153, B CUSP 154 or Physical Geography or Oceanography or equivalent)
  • One Introductory Environmental Studies course (BIS 240, BIS 243  or equivalent)
  • One quarter of Introductory Biology (B BIO 180 or equivalent)
  • One quarter of Introductory Physics (B PHYS 114/117 or equivalent)
  • A second quarter of Introductory Physics (B PHYS 115/118 or equivalent) OR a second quarter of Calculus (B MATH 125 or equivalent)


Environmental Science Core Requirements (27 Credits)

ESS Core Course Requirements (15 Credits)

ESS Distribution Requirements (25 Credits)

Capstone (13 Credits)

General Electives (10 Credits)

TOTAL = 90 Credits

*Should be taken in the first quarter of IAS enrollment.

School of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences (IAS) Requirements & Policies

Interdisciplinary Practice & Reflection (IPR)

Within the above-listed 90 credits, students must complete the IPR requirement.

Areas of Knowledge

25 credits must be completed in each Area of Knowledge. At least 10 credits in each Area must be completed in courses offered by UW Bothell. The Areas of Knowledge are: Visual, Literary and Performing Arts (VLPA), Individuals and Societies (I&S), and Natural World (NW).

Multiply-designated courses may not be double-counted as fulfilling two Areas of Knowledge. Courses may apply to both an Area of Knowledge requirement and an ESS major requirement.

Lower Division Credit Policy

Up to 35 credits of lower division (100-200 level) coursework taken at UW Bothell may be applied toward designated requirements within the 90 program credits. Please contact an IAS advisor for details.

Matriculated status

With the exception of the General Electives, courses taken to satisfy ESS major requirements must be completed in matriculated status.

Admitted prior to Autumn Quarter, 2012?

Students admitted to the ESS major prior to Autumn 2012 may be eligible to complete an older set of major requirements. Students with questions about their major requirements should contact an IAS advisor.

In addition to the general admission requirements, students must have completed the following prerequisites to be considered for admission to the ESS major.
Core and Affiliate
Faculty and Staff


(Faculty Coordinator)











Please contact the ESS Faculty Coordinator if you have any questions, concerns or ideas about the Earth System Science pathway. To declare the ESS major, please contact the CUSP office.


ESS Resources