Curriculum Updates

Effective Spring 2019

  • EPS 422 Sedimentary Geology will be accepted as a one-time substitute for EPS 413 Soil Science within the EES curriculum when it is offered this Fall. Sedimentary Geology will also count as a “choose 3 of” elective within the Geology major and a “choose 1 of” elective within the Geochemistry and Geophysics majors.
  • EPS 386 Earth’s Climate System will be offered for the first time in Fall 2019. It will fulfill requirements for all four majors and both minors. Please see individual curriculum pages for more details.
  • Physics is changing its introductory courses to decouple the lecture and lab sections. The current Physics 197 (4 units) will become 191 (3 units of lecture) + 191L (1 unit of lab). The current Physics 198 (4 units) will become 192 (3 units of lecture) + 192L (1 unit of lab). All majors will be required to take only the lecture course:  Geology, Geochemistry, and Geophysics majors are required to take 191/192, and EES majors are required to take 191. This change affects all students entering Fall 2019 or later and is optional for all students entering prior to Fall 2019.
  • Interdisciplinary courses that fulfill the capstone requirement will be added to lists of elective classes. Students who complete their capstone requirement by another path, including internships and research experience, will be permitted to use these classes to fulfill an elective requirement. One course may not be used as both an elective and a capstone. The courses affected by this change are EPS 496 Undergraduate Field Geology, EnSt 539 Environmental Law Clinic, and EnSt 405 Sustainability Exchange. This change is effective immediately.
  • Chemistry 105/106 may now be used to fulfill the General Chemistry requirement for all majors.  Students may no longer place out of this requirement with a Chemistry AP score. This change affects all students entering Fall 2019 or later and is optional for all students entering prior to Fall 2019.

Minimum Grades

A grade of "C-" ("C" for summer field camp) is the minimum acceptable performance for each unit of credit for each required course, including those in mathematics, chemistry, and physics. Courses with grades of "D" may fulfill the College's 120 total hours requirement, but they do not meet the Departmental requirements. A grade of "C-" is also the minimum acceptable performance for each unit of credit for any course required as a prerequisite to enrolling in advanced or sequential courses.

Double Counting Courses

If a student has two majors, only introductory (100- and 200-level) courses may be counted, when relevant, toward the requirements of both majors. All advanced (300- and 400-level) courses must be unique to each major; in other words, no advanced course may "double-count" for the course work needed to fulfill the minimal requirements for either major. Should both major programs require the same course, a departmentally sanctioned elective must be chosen to replace the course in one of the programs.

Other Credits

Transfer credits and advanced placement courses

Will credits from another institution count toward my EPS major requirement?

Credits to be transferred from another institution must have prior approval from the Director of Undergraduate Studies in the relevant Arts & Sciences department.

Will my AP courses count for chemistry, physics, or math requirements of the EPS major?

Students entering the program in Fall 2019 or later may not place out of the chemistry, physics, or math requirements for the EPS major. These courses must be taken at Washington University or at another accredited institution.

For students who entered prior to Fall 2019, an AP Chemistry score of 4 or 5 satisfies the General Chemistry 1 and 2 requirement.  The math and physics course requirements must be satisfied by courses offered at the university level, either at WashU or another accredited institution.

University College

Courses taken at University College will not normally count towards fulfillment of any EPS major or minor.

Graduate Courses

Advanced undergraduates are welcome to enroll in graduate level (500+) courses, assuming they have the appropriate prerequisites and permission from their undergraduate advisor and the specific course instructor. Graduate-level courses will generally fulfill an elective option for a major.

Capstone Courses

Integrative courses that fulfill the capstone requirement (EPS 496 Undergraduate Field Geology, EnSt 539 Environmental Law Clinic, and EnSt 405 Sustainability Exchange) may now be substituted for certain electives if the capstone is fulfilled in another way. Please check the curriculum for relevant major to see if these courses will count.

Independent Study

In the past, there has been a college-level prohibition on a student receiving pay and academic credit for the same experience. Under the new policy faculty may choose, based on the availability of resources, to pay students who are conducting independent research for credit.