May 29, 2024  
2022-2023 Catalog 
2022-2023 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Environmental Policy, BA

Department of Urban and Environmental Planning and Policy, College of the Environment

62-67 credits


Graduates with an environmental policy major will have completed coursework that studies the intersection of humans and resource/environmental use. Students also learn the intricacies of policies toward environmental/resource sustainability, and how the policies impact individuals and communities.  

Why Consider an Environmental Policy major?

Do you want to use your knowledge and skills to promote positive change in the environment? Do you love solving problems and implementing shared visions in both natural settings and the policy arena? Are you interested in the laws and policies that govern environmental change? Then the Environmental Policy is for you.

This major supports students in exploring how stakeholders attempt to regulate pollution, manage natural resources, protect natural spaces, and live with environmental disturbances. 

With sustainability and climate change on the forefront of humanity’s greatest social and ethical problem, students studying environmental policy will acquire knowledge on “how” government works, and how to be most effect in solving global isses.  

 Contact Information

Department Chair
Nabil Kamel
Arntzen Hall 230

College of the Environment
Professional Advisor

Kathryn Patrick
Environmental Studies 539

 Sample Careers

Students have a commitment to stewardship of resources, and pursue careers in sustainability-related fields such as environmental attorneys, city administrators, resource managers, and often go on to work in environmental agencies at the federal, tribal, state, and local levels. Graduates also work in the non-profit sector, or go on to graduate studies in public administration, law, or related fields.

 Major/Career Resources

How to Declare (Admission and Declaration Process):

How to Apply as a Pre-Major:

At any time, you can declare yourself as a pre-major with interest in environmental policy in the College of the Environment advising office, ES 539. There are several advantages to declaring as a pre-major during your freshman or sophomore year. Once you are declared as a pre-major you are assigned a professional advisor and a faculty advisor based on your academic interests. Your professional advisor can help you understand graduation requirements and how to navigate through the curriculum. Your faculty advisor guides you in which courses to take, and when, and gives you advice about internships and how to prepare for graduate school or a future career. As a pre-major, your email is added to an email distribution list for CENV majors so you will begin to receive notifications and general announcements. The pre-major status will also give you access to priority registration for some classes.

How to Apply to the Major:

Before applying, students should complete environmental policy foundation courses. To apply, students should submit an application that includes a 1-2 page essay describing your reasons for wanting to enter into the major.

The application to the environmental policy major can be found on the CENV College website. Applications are accepted during fall, winter, and spring quarters and must be received by 5 p.m. on October 6 (for winter quarter admission), January 15 (for spring quarter admission), or April 18 (for summer or fall quarter admission). If the deadline falls on a weekend, applications are due the following Monday.

If you have any questions, please contact a professional advisor at the CENV Student Support Office in Environmental Studies Building 539, or by phone 360-650-3520.  

Grade Requirements

A grade of C- or better is required for a student’s major or minor courses, and supporting courses for majors and minors.


Environmental Policy Foundation and Core Courses (20 credits)

Environmental Policy Experiential (5 credits minimum)

❑ Choose any combination from the list below:

Environmental Policy Specializations (10-13 Credits)

Choose one emphasis from the three listed below; or with faculty advisor approval of a minimum 10 credits of any combination of courses as electives that form a cohesive specialization.

Climate/Energy Emphasis (12 credits)

❑ Complete 3 courses from the list below to fulfill the requirements for the Climate/Energy Emphasis.