Programs and Courses

Many students ask “Do I really take only one class at Evergreen?” The answer is yes. That’s why we call them programs.

What's the Difference

At Evergreen you will usually take a full course load in a single 12–16-credit academic program that integrates different subjects. In this way, you’ll explore a central idea or theme that’s interesting to you. We also offer a selection of 2–6-credit, single-subject courses to complement what you’re studying.

Here’s an example of how that looks – compared to a typical college:

Typical education

Diagram illustrating disconnected classes at a typical college

Evergreen education

Venn diagram illustrating Evergreen’s interlocking programs

Example: The Earth Dynamics program at Evergreen asks how humans have changed local environments and large-scale global processes. It covers all the same subjects as a traditional education, but also explores in depth how they interconnect.

How it works

  • Every year we create a fresh, topical, and engaging curriculum. See what programs we offer.

  • Faculty members from different subject areas teach programs in teams of two, three, or four. They draw on their separate disciplines to help you develop tools to navigate real-world issues.

  • Many programs last two or even three quarters, building on themes developed in previous quarters. You’ll work in an atmosphere of shared learning with groups of about 25 students.

Individual study and internships

As an upper-level student, you can create your own program with an individual learning contract. You may also have the opportunity to do research or internships.

Learn more about individual learning contracts.

Professors often teach in teams of two to four

Professors often teach in teams of two to four.

A week in the life

Unlike traditional schedules, Evergreen programs create a balance between modes of learning. Programs can include lectures, labs, readings, seminars, field study and research projects.

You’ll stay engaged as you build familiarity within the disciplines you study. You’ll have time to work on collaborative projects with your fellow students. Your program may also feature special activities like weeklong field trips.

Sample schedules

Here are examples of what your week in one full-time program might look like:

Sample Schedule for a Freshman Environmental Studies Program
Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
Day for study 9:30 am – 12:30 pm
Lecture and workshop
10 am – 1 pm
9 am – noon
10 am – noon
Quantitative methods
  1:30 pm – 3 pm
Book seminar
Study time 1 pm – 3 pm
Writing tutor
1 pm – 3 pm
Writing workshop
Sample Schedule for a Language Program in the Humanities
Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
9 am – noon
9 am – noon
Book seminar
9 am – noon
Lecture and workshop
9 am – 2 pm
Conversation groups
Day for study
1 pm – 3 pm
Language instruction
1 pm – 3 pm
Language instruction
1 pm – 5 pm
Language instruction

More about Evergreen

Area of emphasis

As you take classes, you connect what you learn into an area of emphasis. This is sort of like declaring a major, but you get to decide how you get there.

Learn more about your area of emphasis.


A generic letter grade just can’t capture who you really are. Your individual growth and achievements will stand out in every evaluation you get at Evergreen.

Learn more about how you get evaluated.

Schedule a visit

If you’d like to know more about Evergreen, come see us in person. Schedule a visit to learn what we’re all about.

Focused courses

Evergreen also offers a number of single-subject courses that are available to all students. These are similar to the classes that you'd find at a traditional college or university.

  • Usually four credits
  • Single subject, like Spanish, Drawing, or Statistics
  • Taught by a single faculty member
  • Lasts only one quarter
  • Offered evenings or weekends

Students in an eight or twelve credit program can add a four-credit course to get experience in a particular area or to bring their registration up to full time. (Full time for financial aid is 12 credits.)

What can I study at Evergreen?

Build your own academic pathway out of more than 60 Fields of Study rather than choosing a pre-planned major.

Register for a program

If you’re currently enrolled at Evergreen, find out how to register.