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Where are you now?

For High School Students

The earth sciences are a fascinating and challenging area of study. Take a look at the careers and research sections of our website for an overview at what is available in our department and in the geosciences areas, which combine geology and geophysics. You might also look at our degree requirements.

Freshmen students are admitted through the UW Admissions Office. Their website has detailed information on application forms, deadlines, and campus visits. When you apply to the University of Washington, you may specify your choice of major as "Earth and Space Sciences," and you will be admitted to the major as soon as you are admitted to the university.

If you are visiting the campus, you may contact us for a possible meeting with an adviser, or for questions about the majors. Once you are admitted to the university, we invite you to contact us to schedule your first advising appointment here in the department. Contact us at [javascript protected email address].

For Community College Students in Washington State

If you are currently attending a Washington State community college, you will be applying to the University of Washington as a "Transfer Student." If you complete your AA or AS degree, you may be entitled to admission under the Direct Transfer Agreement (more information here). Consult the UW Admissions website for information on application forms and deadlines, campus visits and the "Transfer Thursday" program for visiting transfer students.

When you apply to the University of Washington, you may specify your choice of major as "Earth and Space Sciences," and you will be admitted to the major as soon as you are admitted to the university.

It is important for transfer students to review our degree requirements to determine courses for their first two years of study. We encourage transfer students to complete these courses before arriving at the University of Washington:

  • courses equivalent to our math, physics and chemistry requirements, especially MATH 124 and 125, PHYS 114/117 or 121 (and 131 for the physics option) and CHEM 142. Check this chart to find out the course equivalent at your school.

Once you are admitted to the university, the Admissions staff will evaluate all your prior coursework for transfer credit and post that to your UW student record. If there are questions once this evaluation is done, contact [javascript protected email address].

If you are visiting the campus, you may contact us for a possible meeting with an adviser, or for questions about the majors. Once you are admitted to the university, we invite you to contact us to schedule your first advising appointment here in the department. Contact us at [javascript protected email address].

For Current University of Washington Students

If you are interested in admission to the BA or the BS major in the Department of Earth and Space Sciences, please contact us by email at [javascript protected email address] to set up your first advising appointment. In your email, please list several possible appointment times. At this initial advising session, we will review your transcripts and degree requirements. A plan of study will be developed and any remaining questions answered.

Prior to your meeting, please take a few minutes to review the degree requirements for the ESS BA and BS. You should also read through the FAQ section on this page.

For Students at Another School

If you are currently attending a school other than a Washington State community college, you will be applying to the University of Washington as a "Transfer Student." Please note that due to high enrollments at the University of Washington, the number of transfer students admitted is very small. We suggest that you consult with an adviser in the Admissions department. Consult the UW Admissions website for detailed information on application forms and deadlines, and campus visits.

When you apply to the University of Washington, you may specify your choice of major as "Earth and Space Sciences," and you will be admitted to the major as soon as you are admitted to the university.

Information on our degree requirements is available. To expedite timing for completion of your degree, it is best to complete courses equivalent to our math, physics and chemistry requirements now, before your admission to the UW. These courses are listed under the "Supporting Science" areas. Once you are admitted to the university, Admissions staff will evaluate all your prior coursework for transfer credit and post that to your UW student record. If there are questions once this evaluation is done, contact [javascript protected email address] .

If you are visiting the campus, you may contact us for a possible meeting with an adviser, or for questions about the majors. Once you are admitted to the university, we invite you to contact us to schedule your first advising appointment here in the department. Contact us at [javascript protected email address] .

For students who have completed an undergraduate degree and want to complete an undergraduate major in earth sciences

Students who apply for admission to the university for additional undergraduate majors are classified as "fifth-year" students or "post-baccalaureate." Requirements are detailed on the Admissions Website and admission is limited. Once you have been admitted to the university, we invite you to contact us to schedule your first advising appointment here in the department, and to formally admit you to the major. Contact us at [javascript protected email address] .

FAQs for prospective students

How do I get in touch with Earth & Space Sciences advising?
Start with an email to [javascript protected email address] . Email is generally the most efficient way to get advising information. For urgent questions, you can call the department main office at (206) 543-1190.

Where can I get information about entering the University of Washington (UW)?
The UW Office of Admissions website provides comprehensive information about the application and enrollment process.

Where is information on teaching endorsements in earth and space sciences?
The College of Education teaching endorsement information can be found on the COE website.

What is an open major?
Both the BA and the BS degrees in our department are "open majors." This means there are no entrance requirements or prerequisite classes for admission to the major. You may declare your major at any time during the year, or on your UW Admissions Application form.

How many undergraduate students are in the department?
In Autumn Quarter 2015, there are 159 undergraduate students in the Department of Earth and Space Sciences. Of those students, 42% were female and 58% were male.