Other opportunities in Graduate Studies


Advanced Data Science Option

The Advanced Data Science option aims to educate the next generation of thought leaders who will both build and apply new methods for data science. This option will help to educate and recognize PhD students whose thesis work focuses specifically on building and using advanced data science tools. The goal of this option is not to educate all students in the foundations of data science but rather to provide advanced education to the students who will push the state-of-the-art in data science method.

The Advanced Data Science option replaces the previous Big Data track introduced in 2014. This is an official UW degree option that will appear on your transcript.


The Advanced Data Science (ADS) option involves coursework which substitutes for some of the courses required within your option’s curriculum.  For the Physical Oceanography and Marine Geology & Geophysics options, the ADS courses replace the Applied Math courses.  In the Chemical and Biological Oceanography options, the ADS courses can substitute for one or two of the advanced courses plus add an additional course in each option. (Note this increases the courseload in these two options to be equal to those of Phys O and MG&G.)

Course requirements:

A student pursuing the Advanced Data Science option is required to satisfactorily complete three of the following core courses in Big Data:

Data Management: CSE 544.

Machine Learning: CSE 546 or STAT 535

Data Visualization: CSE512

Statistics: STAT 509 (or STAT 512-513)

eScience Community Seminar:

To further expand students’ education and create a campus-wide community, students will need to register for at least four quarters in the weekly eScience Community Seminar (usually scheduled for 4:30 PM on Tuesdays)


Oceanography graduate students who choose to enroll in the Advanced Data Science Option must have approval of their faculty advisor (and supervisory committee).  Email this approval to the Student Service Coordinator (mtown@uw.edu) and the Graduate Program Coordinator (warner@uw.edu).



The Dual Title Degree in Astrobiology at the University of Washington features:

  • specially designed courses, seminars and workshops
  • rotations through research laboratories
  • multidisciplinary dissertation committees

The Astrobiology Program is a degree-granting unit, buy not an academic department. Our program is offered in cooperation with the Ph.D. programs of our participating departments, and the dual title degree is earned through required coursework and activities in addition to the participating student's Ph.D. program requirements.

Admission to a participating Ph.D. program and to the Astrobiology Program is necessary to pursue the dual title degree.

Environmental Management Graduate Certificate

Environmental managers face unprecedented challenges in decision making: advances in science and technology, businesses considering sustainability a core driver of strategy, and growing public awareness of the role of the environment in healthy communities and sustainable economies.

The University of Washington’s Environmental Management Program is based on the idea that managing the most important environmental problems and opportunities requires a systems approach which integrates knowledge that crosses disciplines. This requires a team of professionals from diverse fields with multidisciplinary problem solving skills. In the Environmental Management Program, graduate students from across the University collaborate to tackle real-world problems with profound policy, scientific, and business ramifications. The program consists of

•Three core courses in the areas of Environmental Policy, Business and the Environment, and Science Application
•Two-quarter-long Keystone Project with community partners that address contemporary problems in environmental management
•One elective course to further students' knowledge relevant to their academic and career goals


Interdisciplinary and Policy Dimensions of the Earth Sciences (IPDES)

•Apply earth sciences to issues of public policy
•Design graduate research that contributes to solving pressing problems confronting society
•Develop interdisciplinary thinking and problem-solving skills
•Experience the dilemma of crafting sensible policies in the face of ambiguous and often contradictory scientific findings

Humans both affect and are affected by planetary systems. At the turn of the 21st century, for the first time in the history of the planet, through population growth, human land use patterns, energy consumption, and a wide range of environmental pollutants, human actions have impacts on a planetary scale. Some have said that humans are now one of the most if not the most powerful geomorphic force on earth. Since humans are now changing the planet on every scale, and since the human population is expected to double by 2100, we need to think systematically and creatively about human-induced planetary changes that may “… alter the capacity of the earth system to sustain life.”

The Earth Sciences play an indispensable role in a safe and prosperous society, but too often scientific wisdom does not translate to wise decision-making. This innovative new program provides graduate students in the Earth sciences a forum to explore interdisciplinary and policy dimensions of their science, and extend their graduate research to encompass those dimensions. Students earn a graduate degree in the home department, with the collaborative component recognized by the Graduate School as a Certificate in “Interdisciplinary and Policy Dimensions of the Earth Sciences”.


UW Program on Climate Change (UW PCC) and Graduate Certificate in Climate Science (GCeCS) 

The Program on Climate Change amplifies the University of Washington’s exceptional range of expertise in climate related fields.  Interaction among faculty through PCC activities promotes the integration of existing observational and modeling efforts within and between individual departments, providing a powerful synthesis approach for addressing the problems of climate change.  Through courses, events, and planning for future initiatives, the program unites faculty, graduate students, and more recently undergraduates and off-campus partners, in efforts to understand, mitigate and adapt to climate change.

The UW PCC offers a Graduate Certificate in Climate Science that was created to provide an interdisciplinary training in methods, research issues, and communication of climate science that enhances the scientific breadth and professional employability of GCeCS awardees. The certificate combines the PCC courses, specifically designed to address the cross-linkages in the earth system that disciplinary curricula are not able to do, with a capstone in Climate Science Communication.