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Western Washington University

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Degree Programs at Western Washington University

Western Washington University appears in our ranking of 50 Great Affordable Colleges in the West.

There is research that indicates those who hold a college degree earn a higher salary than those who just have a high school diploma, something that most people may already know. What they may not know, however, is that people with college degrees are also less likely to be unemployed and a higher percentage of degree holders claim that they are satisfied in their career. Western Washington University makes it easy for working adults to earn their degree by offering on-campus, online and hybrid versions of programs that provide for advancement in many different fields.

Western Washington University offers a Bachelor of Arts in Human Services that broadly defines the objective of meeting human needs. The program focuses on prevention as well as remediation along with the commitment to improve quality of life. The program is designed for those with a strong commitment to social and economic justice as well as human dignity, self-determination and a desire to effect change. The program was mentioned in the selection of Western Washington University’s 2014 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll with Distinction award. It is available on the Bellingham and Everett campuses as well as online. Courses required may include Human Development and Human Services, Applied Research Methods, Diversity & Social Justice Dynamics as well as Program Planning and Evaluation.

The Bachelor of Science in Cybersecurity is provided in partnership with Washington state community colleges, creating a community-college-to-university collaboration. This allows students who are enrolled in community college to begin their pathway to a four-year degree. The first two years of the program are completed at a partner community college and the final two are completed at Western Washington University. The program provides an understanding of network vulnerability and increases in cyber-attacks. Courses that may be required include Data Networking, Policy, Compliance & Risk, Secure Software Development and Operating System Concepts.

Western Washington University offers a Master of Science in Environmental Science for those who wish to gain an understanding of the development and integration of scientific information used to describe, predict or manage natural systems. The program also focuses on human impacts on those systems as well as the transport, fate and toxic impact chemicals may have on the environment. Laboratory testing, chemical analytical measurement of pollutants and nutritional factors in toxicity are also explained. Courses that may be required include Contaminant Fate and Transport, Experimental Design, Advanced State of the Salish Sea Ecosystem and Aquatic Toxicology.

About Western Washington University

Western Washington University was initially known as the Northwest Normal School, established in 1886, which was designed to educate teachers. Although designed for women, men were permitted to enroll. The opened in Lynden but eventually moved to Bellingham, Washington. At the time, the town was called New Whatcom, leading to a name change for the school in 1893 to New Whatcom Normal School.

In 1901, the school became State Normal School at Whatcom when the town dropped “New” from its name. In 1904, the school became Washington State Normal School in Bellingham when Whatcom and Fairhaven joined to become Bellingham. It became a four-year college in 1937, prompting another name change to Western Washington College of Education and the school gained university status in 1977.

Today, there are 16,121 students enrolled at Western Washington University with 95 percent of them enrolled in undergraduate programs.

Western Washington University Accreditation Details

Western Washington University is regionally accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities. Accreditation lets parents, students, and employers know the value of the degrees offered at Western Washington University and allows students to receive federal student aid. In addition, accreditation makes credits earned at Western Washington University transferrable to other accredited colleges and universities. Programs throughout the University are accredited by the following organizations:

  • ABET
  • American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
  • Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business
  • Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
  • Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs
  • Council on Rehabilitation Education
  • National Association of Schools of Art and Design
  • National Association of Music
  • National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education
  • National Recreation and Park Association

Western Washington University Application Requirements

Applicants to the Bachelor of Arts in Human Services must have a cumulative GPA of 2.75 or higher. They must provide essays and undergo a criminal background check which may also include fingerprinting. They must submit a signed contract indicating an intention to comply with the program’s expectations. Applicants must be within 10 credits of completing Western’s general education requirements or within five credits of completing an associate’s degree from a partner community college before declaring the Human Services major.

In order to apply to the Bachelor of Science in Cybersecurity, applicants must complete an Associate in Applied Science from a partnered community college. They must also complete the equivalent of Computer Programming I as well as Computer Programming and Linear Data Structures. They also must have a GPA of 2.5. Official transcripts from all colleges and universities must be provided.

Applicants to the Master of Science in Environmental Science program must hold a bachelor’s degree or higher from an accredited college or university. They must provide official transcripts from all institutes of higher learning attended as well as official GRE or GMAT scores. Three letters of reference and a statement of purpose must also be provided.

Western Washington University Tuition and Financial Aid

Undergraduate tuition is $218 per credit hour for residents and $763 for non-residents. Graduate tuition is $338 per credit hour for residents and $725 per credit hour for non-residents.

Financial aid is available and all students should complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) as some aid is based on merit while others are based on need. Undergraduate students may be offered grants, scholarships and/or loans to cover tuition costs. Work-study may be offered to on-campus undergraduate students as well.

Graduate students may be offered loans as financial aid but may apply for grants and scholarships on their own. They may also be offered assistantships or fellowships if they are attending on campus.

Western Washington University offers students opportunities for research and room to grow, allowing students to open their minds, learn by doing and enrich their community.