New Degrees Introduced at UW Bothell

New Degrees Introduced at UW Bothell

Published: August 27, 2012

Two new degree programs will debut at UW Bothell this fall: A bachelor's degree in climate science and policy and a graduate degree (MFA) in creative writing and poetics.

A new degree program is only offered once it has gone through a rigorous review both at the college and the state level to be sure the degree is timely and in demand by students and industry.

Climate Science and Policy (BS)

(For information and degree requirements, visit

The program will bring together core courses in physical sciences, mathematics, thermodynamics, ecology and policy.

“Most environmental science programs focus on things like contamination, remediation of contaminated sites, water quality, air quality or ecology,” says UW Bothell environmental science professor Dan Jaffe who will be the program coordinator. “This one is really focused on a much broader issue around climate, energy and policy.”

The program is science-based, but it also contains strong policy components. “Society is asking us as scientists to get more involved in critical decisions about the future,” says Jaffe. “A student coming out of this program will have a fundamental understanding of the scientific principles behind climate change and will be able to use that background if they get into a policy arena to have a strong science basis for their opinions.”

The climate science and policy degree will be part of the Science and Technology program at UW Bothell. It represents the first physical science degree on campus. “This was the degree we could offer with our existing resources and our existing laboratory space that would serve the needs of students who are interested in physical sciences,” says Jaffe.

Creative Writing and Poetics (MFA)

(For information and degree requirements, visit

The new creative writing and poetics program in the School of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences will explore the question of why we write how we write, says Jeanne Heuving, the program’s director.

In typical creative writing programs, people come in saying ‘I want to write a novel’ or ‘I want to write a book of poems,’ and basically slot themselves into doing that,” says Jeanne Heuving, the program’s director. “Our program inquires into creative writing as ‘making’ and encourages students to write more than one genre as well as to engage in some genre and perhaps media bending.”

New media and globalization have changed our society in dramatic ways, she says. “We ask what different forms of writing might emerge in this changed society?” The program will allow students to incorporate new media forms into more traditional writing genres.

The program curriculum will differ from most regional and national MFA programs. Instead of focusing on specific genres such as poetry, fiction, or non-fiction, students will spend their first year in creative writing workshops that are paired with poetics seminars.

The second year is divided between thesis work and elective courses. In advance of their second year, students will have the opportunity to create an individualized course of study in consultation with their advisor.

Often students are not certain whether they want to do an MFA in creative writing or whether they wish to pursue Ph.D. work,” Heuving says. “Our program is actually the perfect bridge program for these students because they will be able to pursue their creative writing while inquiring into it in a way that will also prepare them for Ph.D work. The whole field of poetics is excellent preparation for advanced work in the arts and humanities.”

Coming Fall 2013

Two NEW BA programs:

Interactive Media Design

Learn the processes and methods involved in designing, creating and evaluating next-generation, technology-based media applications.

Health Studies

Explore the social and biological predictors of health. Prepare for a career in public and global health services; community organization; mental health and substance use services; health education and communication.