Located in Bellingham, the Western Washington University (commonly referred to simply as Western) is one of six public universities that exist in the state of Washington. A moderately sized institution, Western prides itself in offering the focus and faculty access of a smaller college as well as the academic choice, and resources of a large university – “large enough to define yourself and small enough that you make a difference” is how the school describes itself. A “green” campus, sustainability is an issue that lies close to the heart of Western’s people; ever since 2004 when students voted to pay the annual fee to be a part of the program, Western has been purchasing 100% renewable energy and the school is a signatory of the Presidents’ Climate Commitment.
Academic ProgramsAccredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities since 1921, Western Washington University offers a wide array of academic programs through their many colleges and schools. These include the College of Business and Economics; College of Fine and Performing Arts; College of Humanities and Social Sciences; College of Science and Engineering (formerly Sciences and Technology); the Fairhaven College of Interdisciplinary Studies; Western’s Graduate School; the Huxley College of the Environment; and the Woodring College of Education.
Global learning also plays a large role in academic life and students have a number of options and choices to become involved globally through internships, service-learning trips, and traditional study abroad programs. In addition, students may choose a globalized major or minor with options that include Arabic and Islamic Studies Minor; East Asian Studies; International Business Minor; Foreign Languages Study; as well as a Linguistics Program. Western also hosts a variety of global campus events, initiatives and opportunities such as the World Issues Forum, the Global Connections Youth Program, and Conversation Partners.
Student LifeWith an enrollment figure of just over 15,000, more than 14,000 of Western Washington University students are undergraduates. Living on campus is 100% optional – even for new freshman, – though the vast majority of freshmen do choose to live on campus during their first year. For new freshman and transfer students who meet the housing deadlines, housing is guaranteed during their first year at Western. The University offers housing in variety of unique residence halls as well as an apartment complex; no particular hall is designated for freshmen and each hall is occupied by students of all ages and class standings.
There is never a lack of things to do while on Western’s campus or in the surrounding areas. Each year Western hosts hundreds of concerts, special lectures, stage plays, and athletic events and more than 230 student-led clubs exist, catering to a wide range of interests. Intramural sports make up a large part of the student community, with more than thirty teams including, dodge ball, field hockey, ping pong and more. The Bellingham area also offers students a vibrant urban community with a delightful natural setting where plenty of opportunity for entertainment, recreation, and research exist.