Exploring Major Alternatives

When transferring to the University of Washington, we hope you will be ready to enter your major...but it can be challenging.

It is difficult to know about all of the different major options at a place as complex as the UW. Also, a number of majors are capacity-constrained, meaning not all students interested in that major can end up studying it. Many must find an alternative.

This tool is designed to help transfer students explore alternative major options that have related coursework, career opportunities, or topics of interest.

Below are the majors most requested by transfer students applying to UW. Please note that there are many majors at the UW not listed on this page.

• Visit the Full List of Majors to learn more or explore the UW's online degree options.
• Try the There's a Job for That! Quiz from the College of Arts & Sciences.

What is enrollment type?

Some majors can admit students in good academic standing at any time, while others have requirements before admission or limited capacity for applicants. The four main types of major admission are listed below. Hover over each one to learn more.





Biology

Through coursework in the classroom, lab, and field as well as experience through research, internships, and study abroad our undergraduates gain the requisite knowledge and skills for careers in basic and applied research, education, health sciences, environmental sciences, science policy, government, business and the non-profit sector. Students may earn a Biology BA with a General Biology Option. The Biology BS degree can be earned with one of 5 options: Ecology Evolution and Conservation Biology (EEC), General Biology, Molecular Cellular and Developmental Biology (MCD), Physiology, and Plant Biology. Minors in Paleo Biology and Marine Biology are also part of the curriculum offered to Undergraduates.

Enrollment type: less capacity-constrained

Topics and majors related to Biology

Living systems on Earth
Earth and Space Sciences
Enrollment type: open
Environmental Science and Terrestrial Resource Management (ESRM)
Enrollment type: open
Environmental Studies
Enrollment type: open
Biochemistry
Enrollment type: less capacity-constrained
Marine organisms and ecosystems
Aquatic and Fishery Sciences
Enrollment type: open
Marine Biology
Enrollment type: open
Oceanography
Enrollment type: open
Human health and evolution
Anthropology
Enrollment type: open
Medical Anthropology and Global Health
Enrollment type: open
Psychology
Enrollment type: highly capacity-constrained

Business Administration

A Business Administration degree provides a liberal arts curriculum along with a full spectrum of the many areas of business. Students can take a variety of upper division electives or choose to specialize in one area of business by declaring a formal option.

Enrollment type: highly capacity-constrained

Topics and majors related to Business Administration

Economic and political context for business
Geography
Enrollment type: open
Political Science
Enrollment type: minimum
Economics
Enrollment type: highly capacity-constrained
Management and working with people
American Ethnic Studies
Enrollment type: open
Anthropology
Enrollment type: open
Communication
Enrollment type: highly capacity-constrained
Psychology
Enrollment type: highly capacity-constrained
Sociology
Enrollment type: minimum
Specific applications of business concepts
Applied and Computational Mathematical Sciences (ACMS)
Enrollment type: highly capacity-constrained
Bioresource Science and Engineering
Enrollment type: less capacity-constrained
Construction Management
Enrollment type: highly capacity-constrained

Communication

Undergraduate study in communication at the University of Washington has four foundations: communication literacy, communication inquiry, theory and concepts, and community engagement. We teach our students to think critically, respect diversity, communicate effectively, and develop the skills needed for the life-long learning that is central to successful careers and rewarding lives. We work actively to enroll a diverse set of students in our courses and in the major: almost half of Communication majors are students of color, and students come from all over Washington and even the world to study in this program.

Enrollment type: highly capacity-constrained

Topics and majors related to Communication

Communication across social, cultural and political contexts
American Ethnic Studies
Enrollment type: open
Comparative History of Ideas (CHID)
Enrollment type: open
Environmental Studies
Enrollment type: open
Political Science
Enrollment type: minimum
Law, Societies, and Justice (LSJ)
Enrollment type: highly capacity-constrained
Ethnomusicology
Enrollment type: less capacity-constrained
Critical reading, writing and presentation skills
Cinema and Media Studies
Enrollment type: minimum
English
Enrollment type: minimum
History
Enrollment type: minimum
Human interaction and behavior
Anthropology
Enrollment type: open
Psychology
Enrollment type: highly capacity-constrained
Sociology
Enrollment type: minimum

Computer Science

CSE offers two undergraduate degrees: Computer Science (through the College of Arts and Sciences) and Computer Engineering (through the College of Engineering). Students working toward either degree have the same broad opportunities to take the wide array of courses that CSE offers. The Computer Science major may be more appropriate for students who are primarily interested in the design of software systems and applications, or who want to earn a double major with another College of Arts and Sciences program.

Enrollment type: highly capacity-constrained

Topics and majors related to Computer Science

Solving problems with technology and math
Applied and Computational Mathematical Sciences (ACMS)
Enrollment type: highly capacity-constrained
Mathematics
Enrollment type: highly capacity-constrained
Statistics
Enrollment type: highly capacity-constrained
Information systems for managing data
Atmospheric Sciences
Enrollment type: open
Geography
Enrollment type: open
Oceanography
Enrollment type: open
People, information, and technology
Human Centered Design and Engineering (HCDE)
Enrollment type: highly capacity-constrained
Informatics
Enrollment type: highly capacity-constrained
Linguistics
Enrollment type: minimum
Sociology
Enrollment type: minimum
Anthropology
Enrollment type: open

Economics

Economics studies the institutions and arrangements that are used to create, protect, and allocate scarce resources that have alternative uses. It advances our understanding of the behavior of individuals, firms, governments and other organizations. Economics’ deep intellectual roots, rigorous analytic methods, and powerful ability to explain and evaluate social phenomena make it an exceptionally rewarding field of study.

Enrollment type: highly capacity-constrained

Topics and majors related to Economics

Finance and trade
Business Administration
Enrollment type: highly capacity-constrained
International Studies
Enrollment type: less capacity-constrained
Political Science
Enrollment type: minimum
Analyzing economic and societal data
Applied and Computational Mathematical Sciences (ACMS)
Enrollment type: highly capacity-constrained
Geography
Enrollment type: open
Law, Societies, and Justice (LSJ)
Enrollment type: highly capacity-constrained
Economics of environmental resources
Bioresource Science and Engineering
Enrollment type: less capacity-constrained
Environmental Science and Terrestrial Resource Management (ESRM)
Enrollment type: open
Environmental Studies
Enrollment type: open

Electrical Engineering

Electrical Engineering students study the design, production, and operating devices of systems that use electric and electromagnetic energy for sensing, processing, visualizing and use of information. Subjects of study include circuits, systems and controls (robotics); signal and image processing; electronics, electronic devices, and photonics; computers; energy systems; electromagnetics and optics.

Enrollment type: highly capacity-constrained

Topics and majors related to Electrical Engineering

Computing, Networking, and Big Data
Computer Science and Computer Engineering (CSE)
Enrollment type: highly capacity-constrained
Applied and Computational Mathematical Sciences (ACMS)
Enrollment type: highly capacity-constrained
Mathematics
Enrollment type: highly capacity-constrained
Industrial & Systems Engineering
Enrollment type: highly capacity-constrained
Power, Energy, and Systems
Material Science and Engineering
Enrollment type: less capacity-constrained
Chemistry
Enrollment type: less capacity-constrained
Physics
Enrollment type: minimum
Mechanical Engineering
Enrollment type: highly capacity-constrained
Chemical Engineering
Enrollment type: highly capacity-constrained
Robotics,Controls, and Space
Aeronautics & Astronautics
Enrollment type: highly capacity-constrained
Computer Science and Computer Engineering (CSE)
Enrollment type: highly capacity-constrained
Physics
Enrollment type: minimum
Mechanical Engineering
Enrollment type: highly capacity-constrained
Earth and Space Sciences
Enrollment type: open

Mechanical Engineering

Undergraduate programs in Mechanical Engineering explore fundamental principles of mechanical engineering and their application to modern technological problems. Students collaborate on interdisciplinary work where they research and design creative, leading-edge solutions to these problems. Our curriculum focuses on the study of dynamics, controls, and robotics; manufacturing processes and advanced materials; energy and environmentally-friendly "green" engineering; engineering for health with biotechnologies and biomechanics.

Enrollment type: highly capacity-constrained

Topics and majors related to Mechanical Engineering

Energy and the Environment
Material Science and Engineering
Enrollment type: less capacity-constrained
Physics
Enrollment type: minimum
Chemistry
Enrollment type: less capacity-constrained
Oceanography
Enrollment type: open
Chemical Engineering
Enrollment type: highly capacity-constrained
Civil and Environmental Engineering
Enrollment type: highly capacity-constrained
Environmental Engineering
Enrollment type: highly capacity-constrained
Mechatronics and Robotics
Aeronautics & Astronautics
Enrollment type: highly capacity-constrained
Computer Science and Computer Engineering (CSE)
Enrollment type: highly capacity-constrained
Physics
Enrollment type: minimum
Electrical Engineering
Enrollment type: highly capacity-constrained
Fluid Dynamics
Applied and Computational Mathematical Sciences (ACMS)
Enrollment type: highly capacity-constrained
Mathematics
Enrollment type: highly capacity-constrained
Oceanography
Enrollment type: open
Atmospheric Sciences
Enrollment type: open
Physics
Enrollment type: minimum
Civil and Environmental Engineering
Enrollment type: highly capacity-constrained
Environmental Engineering
Enrollment type: highly capacity-constrained

Nursing

The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program at the UW Seattle campus is a two-year professional program that prepares you for a career as a registered nurse. As a BSN student, you will learn from our nationally acclaimed faculty in class and using interactive scenarios in our Learning Lab, allowing you to practice nursing skills in a safe environment before performing them in a supervised clinical setting. A solid foundation of science and humanities prerequisite coursework sets you up for success in our program. The BSN is a full-time program, including: • academic coursework focused on critical thinking, care and therapeutics, and health care resources • in-class lecture with experienced nurse practitioners and researchers • clinical simulation exercises in our Learning Lab • supervised direct patient care in the field.

Enrollment type: highly capacity-constrained

Topics and majors related to Nursing

Population health
Environmental Health
Enrollment type: minimum
Food Systems, Nutrition, and Health
Enrollment type: minimum
Medical Anthropology and Global Health
Enrollment type: open
Public Health-Global Health
Enrollment type: highly capacity-constrained
Medical diagnosis and laboratory testing
Medical Laboratory Sciences
Enrollment type: highly capacity-constrained
Psychology
Enrollment type: highly capacity-constrained
Helping individuals and families
Early Childhood and Family Studies (ECFS)
Enrollment type: less capacity-constrained
Psychology
Enrollment type: highly capacity-constrained
Social Welfare
Enrollment type: less capacity-constrained
Sociology
Enrollment type: minimum

Psychology

The undergraduate Psychology major at the University of Washington offers students a broadly based introduction to human and animal behavior based on a curriculum that emphasizes current research and theory. The UW Psychology program for undergraduate majors stresses scientific and statistical reasoning skills that help students evaluate data, claims, and theories in both the academic and popular literatures. We provide undergraduates research participation, applied fieldwork and supervised teaching opportunities. Students make use of what they learn in various career paths including areas such as counseling, education, and basic research. We also provide opportunities for a wide range of UW majors to include psychology as part of their general education.

Enrollment type: highly capacity-constrained

Topics and majors related to Psychology

Social psychology and human behavior
American Ethnic Studies
Enrollment type: open
Anthropology
Enrollment type: open
Social Welfare
Enrollment type: less capacity-constrained
Sociology
Enrollment type: minimum
Ethnomusicology
Enrollment type: less capacity-constrained
How people interact with technology
Human Centered Design and Engineering (HCDE)
Enrollment type: highly capacity-constrained
Informatics
Enrollment type: highly capacity-constrained
How brains work
Biology
Enrollment type: less capacity-constrained
Neuroscience
Enrollment type: highly capacity-constrained

Expand the options above to see some suggested alternative majors. Select the name of a related major to learn more about the program and get links to useful information.