Future Students

Frequently Asked Questions

Has the department split the existing BSCE program into two separate degrees?
No. The existing BSCE program will remain unchanged and is still appropriate for students interested in civil or environmental engineering from a big-picture perspective. For students who desire a specialized focus in environmental engineering, the new BSENVE program offers a specific focus on the environment.
Will the current BSCE program still offer environmental engineering courses?
Yes, the BSCE courses will not change. BSCE majors will have the option of taking BSENVE courses, e.g., 300-level (if qualified) and apply them toward Upper Division Electives.
What does the new program offer that the BSCE program doesn’t?
It will produce graduates who are much more deeply trained in the sciences as it pertains to engineering for the environment. The curriculum, which requires much more science (chem, bio, thermo) prior to admission, hints at the technical and science-based nature of the training. Faculty member Heidi Gough likens the training in the BSENVE to CHEM E; the knowledge base and processes are similar, but where CHEM E might apply its knowledge and skills to manufacturing and other industrial uses, the BSENVE will focus on environmental applications.
Is this the only program of its kind in the northwest or in Seattle?
There are currently no ABET certified BSENVE degrees in the states of Washington, Idaho, Alaska or Hawaii. There are two ABET certified BSENVE degrees in Oregon (Oregon State University, 1996; and Portland State University, 2010). Seattle University offers a degree in Civil Engineering with an Environmental Emphasis.

Direct to College admission assures incoming freshman students who are admitted into the College of Engineering that they can pursue an engineering degree at the UW. The changes took effect starting with the 2018 incoming freshman class.

Direct to College FAQ