The School of STEM offers 10 minors that undergraduate students in any major can use to enhance their education with additional knowledge and skills.
Actuarial Science uses mathematical methods to define, analyze, and solve business and social problems. Actuaries are needed in any field that must weigh the financial consequences of risk, and are often employed by insurance companies, banks, consulting firms, investment firms, hospitals, and governments. This minor is offered in collaboration with the School of Business.
The Biology Minor offers students who are not majoring in Biology an opportunity to delve more deeply into the field. Many areas of study intersect with biology, from other natural sciences (chemistry, physics, environmental science, climate science) to computer science, mathematics, and engineering, and disciplines outside the STEM fields (business, education, ethics, environmental studies). The Minor in Biology allows students majoring in these and other areas to explore biology in greater depth, to better understand these connections.
The Chemistry minor provides students with an understanding of the fundamental principles of the chemical sciences through a combination of coursework and practical laboratory experience. Students gain a working knowledge of the principles of Chemistry and the methodologies needed to solve complex problems and communicate their ideas to the scientific community in general. A minor in Chemistry is beneficial to students majoring in fields such as biology, physics, engineering, environmental science, and mathematics, and those preparing for further study in medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, biotechnology, and forensics. It is also an asset for students considering professional work in laboratory or manufacturing fields where background and experience in chemistry is valuable.
Computer Science & Software Engineering (CSSE)
The CSSE minor provides students with the necessary programming and software management skills to work within a software development environment within their major discipline. Courses for the CSSE minor are programming intensive and require a strong foundational knowledge of programming skills to be successful.
Information Technology (IT)
The IT minor focuses on bridging the technology and information management and gives students a background in software design methodologies, computer programming, database systems and strategies for automating industrial and organizational processes.
The interdisciplinary Minor in Marine Biology is open to all UW students with an interest in exploring life in the marine environment. Coursework in the minor includes exciting hands-on learning opportunities, such as field trips, internships, research, courses at UW’s marine field station, Friday Harbor Laboratories, and study abroad programs. We encourage students to declare the marine biology minor during their freshmen or sophomore years and immediately join a community of researchers and students interested in marine organisms, ecosystems, and conservation.
Mathematics is an established and growing field and a minor in math can assist students pursuing careers in engineering, actuarial science, database and computer systems administration, network and data communication analysis, statistical analysis, secondary mathematics teaching, and other fields.
The Neuroscience Minor offers students an opportunity to delve more deeply into this exciting and multifaceted discipline, whether to supplement a degree in biology, computer science, or engineering; to expand their understanding of cutting-edge research that regularly appears in the news; or to ready themselves for a neuroscience-based graduate program or career. Students who complete a neuroscience program are also equipped for educational and employment opportunities in research, teaching, medicine, and allied health.
The Physics minor gives students a strong background in the quantitative analysis of nature through a combination of coursework and practical laboratory experience. It is a natural extension to many STEM majors on campus, including Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Mathematics, and Chemistry. A Physics minor will strengthen your fundamental knowledge and demonstrate to prospective employers and graduate schools the depth and rigor of your academic preparation and laboratory experience.
As of the 2020-2021 academic year, the Consciousness minor has been discontinued indefinitely. This legacy page remains to provide information for graduates of the minor.
From 2014 through 2020, the University of Washington offered the Minor Degree in Consciousness – the first degree of its kind. The Minor in Consciousness investigated the nature, dynamics, and functions of the mind through the perspectives of depth psychology, neuroscience, physics, and contemplative practices. It utilized objective and subjective methods to explore levels of awareness, the intersection of mind and matter, and ways to enhance individual and collective well-being.