Environmental Studies

Students, faculty, and staff in the Department of Environmental Studies approach environmental understanding and problem solving through diverse programs that examine the interaction of social and natural systems to promote positive change in the environment. Western’s interdisciplinary Environmental Studies curriculum is designed to help students make intellectual connections and gain the practical skills necessary for building socially and environmentally sustainable futures. The Department’s undergraduate programs include a variety of major specializations. A range of minors, including Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR), Geographic Information Science (GIS), and Sustainable Design, are also available.

Western’s Environmental Studies Department is part of Huxley College of the Environment.

 

Beyond the Classroom

Student work is received and recognized from national and statewide organizations for exceptional problem-solving solutions that use geographic information systems and computer-aided design. Some students are published in The Planet, a student-run publication that combines the environmental focus of Huxley College with the writing and reporting skills of journalism to produce an award winning environmental magazine.

Huxley hosts the Huxley College Speaker Series, which brings guest lecturers to Western’s campus to address topics of contemporary environmental concern in the region and beyond. The speaker series is intended to bring together environmentally-minded members of the Western and Bellingham communities. Students and Bellingham community members also volunteer for LEAD (Learning Environment Action Discovery), a program designed to help restore native environments and increase biodiversity.

Bringing together even broader communities, Huxley College students have the opportunity to take environmental studies classes in Europe and other parts of the world through a number of faculty-led study abroad summer programs.

Careers and Graduate Studies

Environmental Studies directs students to specific environmental career paths or provides an excellent background for advanced study in education, law, natural resource management, public administration, urban and environmental planning, and other fields. 

Requirements and Course Details

To learn more about this program, including grade requirements, a course listing, how to declare the major, and more, see the Program of Study Details.

 

Sample Careers

  • Urban Planner
  • Environmental Lawyer
  • County Planner
  • Environmental Public Relations
  • Director of Non-Profit Organizations

Department of Environmental Studies

Environmental Policy

Western’s interdisciplinary Environmental Policy program prepares students to enter professional fields concerned with the sustainability of the human and natural environment. Studies in Environmental Policy concentrate on public policy development, governance, law, and the methods and processes of planning and decision making. By solving problems and implementing shared visions in both natural settings and urban communities, Environmental Policy promotes positive change in the environment. 

The program consists of core studies and specialization electives. The core incorporates the interdisciplinary foundation of Huxley College’s approach to the study of the environment. The specialization elective component of the program is flexible, and allowing students to develop an area of special interest, concentrate on a minor in an academic discipline, or to select from a number of thematically oriented clusters of courses.

Western’s Environmental Studies Department is part of Huxley College of the Environment.

 

Beyond the Classroom

Some students are published in The Planet, a student-run publication that combines the environmental focus of Huxley College with the writing and reporting skills of journalism to produce an award winning environmental magazine.

Huxley hosts the Huxley College Speaker Series, which brings guest lecturers to Western’s campus to address topics of contemporary environmental concern in the region and beyond. The speaker series is intended to bring together environmentally-minded members of the Western and Bellingham communities. Students and Bellingham community members also volunteer for LEAD (Learning Environment Action Discovery), a program designed to help restore native environments and increase biodiversity.

Bringing together even broader communities, Huxley College students have the opportunity to take environmental studies classes in Europe and other parts of the world through a number of faculty-led study abroad summer programs.

 

Requirements and Course Details

To learn more about this program, including grade requirements, a course listing, how to declare the major, and more, see the Program of Study Details.

 

Sample Careers

  • Urban Planner
  • Environmental Lawyer
  • County Planner
  • Environmental Public Relations
  • Director of Non-Profit Organizations
  • Municipal Government

Department of Environmental Studies

English—Literature Emphasis

The English-Literature Emphasis major focuses on the study of literatures in historical and cultural contexts, and also includes course work in linguistics, literary theory, and writing. The program offers a diverse spectrum of classes ranging from antiquity to the twenty-first century and covering a wide variety of topics in literature, media, composition, and language studies. Courses encompass and explore multiple cultural traditions, allowing graduates to cultivate skills in critical thinking, creative expression, close reading, persuasive writing, and effective speaking. This is an ideal major for anyone seeking a well-rounded Liberal Arts education with a wide range of future employment options.

The English Department provides small, student-centered classes, innovative educational methods, and close faculty-student interaction. Majors in the Literature Emphasis may also opt to add state teaching endorsements to their program of study. Western’s English Department is part of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences.

 

 

“Western has a fabulous reputation that continues to grow every year; a strong literature department with caring faculty who helped introduce me to the field that I want to pursue professionally…I hope to go to grad school in the UK and study Library Information Science so that I may one day be a middle school librarian.” –Maddie Erickson

Beyond the Classroom

English graduates go on to work in many fields — they become teachers, lawyers, doctors, community, organizers, curators, editors, publishers, agents, art program directors, screenwriters, film directors, game designers, reviewers, essayists, novelists, scholars, poets, environmentalists, publicists, historians, musicians, and mountain climbers (among many other things). Every year many of our alumni return to campus to generously offer us their wisdom and experience.

The English department also encourages students to explore internship possibilities. Some internships are organized through and by English department classes. Students have recently completed internships at The Neighborhood Playhouse, LAW Advocates, Bellingham Alive, Sean Humphrey House, Growing Veterans, and the Lummi CEDAR Project.

Careers and Graduate Studies

Students in the English program have amassed an enviable record of placement in graduate programs, including recent admission to doctoral programs at Harvard University, University of Pennsylvania, University of California at Berkeley, University of California at Davis, University of Iowa, University of Illinois, University of Pittsburgh, University of Edinburgh, and Boston College. Students have also been admitted to masters programs in literary studies, education, business administration, and library science.

The study of literature, writing, linguistics, critical theory, and visual media also prepare English graduates to pursue a variety of careers in law, business, government, professional writing, publishing, and education.

Employers of Recent Western Graduates:

  • American Museum of Natural History, New York: Editorial Manager
  • Center for Independence: Project Manager and Fund Developer
  • Chop Suey: Marketing and Promotions
  • Cranbook Kingswood School: Instructor
  • The Crocodile: Talent Buyer
  • Everett Community College: Writing Assistant/Peer Tutor
  • Explorations Academy: Outreach and Admissions Coordinator
  • Fortive: Human Resources Generalist
  • Funko: Marketing Coordinator
  • Gearbox Software: Lead Writer
  • GEPIK: English Teacher
  • Logos Bible Software: Marketing Copywriter
  • Lummi Indian Business Council: Writer/Administrator
  • Microsoft: Content Developer
  • Oni Press: Managing Editor
  • Salesforce.com: Customer Relationship Manager
  • The Stamp and Coin Place: Social Media Coordinator
  • Starbucks: Site Content Manager
  • Surferseen.com: Videographer/Editor
  • Ticketmaster: Content Specialist Copywriter
  • Vicinity Web: Senior Writer
  • WWU Foundation: Program Assistant
  • Zharmae Publishing Press LLC: Managing Editor

 

 

Requirements and Course Details

To learn more about this program, including grade requirements, a course listing, how to declare the major, and more, see the Program of Study Details.

 

Sample Careers

  • Social Media Coordinator
  • Videogame Plotting/Design
  • Web Content Creator
  • Editor
  • Journalist
  • Screenwriter
  • Copywriter
  • Research Analyst
  • Technical Writer
  • Advertising Copy Writer Public Relations Specialist
  • User Experience Expert (UX)
  • Usability Tester
  • Book Buyer/Seller
  • Web Content Developer/Writer
  • Human Resource Manager
  • Market Research Analyst
  • Special Events Coordinator/Speech Writer
  • Lobbyist
  • Grant Writer
  • Fundraising Coordinator
  • Legislative Assistant
  • Archivist

 

English—Creative Writing Emphasis

Western’s Creative Writing program focuses on creative writing in fiction, drama, poetry, or nonfiction prose and includes coursework in literature to supplement the writing courses. Courses encompass and explore multiple cultural traditions, allowing graduates to cultivate skills in critical thinking, creative expression, close reading, persuasive writing, and effective speaking.

The department provides small, student-centered classes, innovative educational methods, and close faculty-student interaction. English faculty members have earned numerous awards for excellence in teaching, research, and writing; they are nationally and internationally recognized in creative and critical fields. 

Western’s English Department is part of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences.

 

“The professors in the English department have been the most inspiring to me during my time at Western. It’s really incredible the talent that these professors possess, in their writing and their teaching both. It’s clear to me that they teach because they love to inspire, and they truly have inspired me.” –Hannah Newman

Beyond the Classroom

Every year English graduates from many fields — teachers, lawyers, doctors, community, organizers, curators, editors, publishers, agents, art program directors, screenwriters, film directors, game designers, reviewers, essayists, novelists, scholars, poets, environmentalists, publicists, historians, musicians, mountain climbers — generously offer us their hard won knowledge. In this sense, Western alumni have become associates in learning.  

Recent Student Internships:

  • Chuckanut Writers
  • Epicenter Press Inc.: Editing and Publishing
  • Excellence Northwest
  • SPARK Museum
  • Community Empowerment Network (CEN)

 

Careers and Graduate Studies

The study of literature, writing, linguistics, critical theory, and visual media, prepare English graduates to pursue a variety of careers in law, business, government, professional writing, publishing, and education. Students in the English program have amassed an enviable record of placement in graduate programs and professional positions. Students wishing to further develop their skills in English should consider Western’s graduate programs.

Employers of Recent Western Graduates:

  • Bellingham School District: Tutor
  • Blind Eye Books: Social Media Coordinator/Freelance Editor
  • Blue Sun: Managing Editor
  • Briefed Media: Technology Columnist
  • CareerPerfect.com: Editor/Writer
  • Coffee Town Press: Assistant Editor
  • Icicle Broadcasting Inc.: News Reporter/Producer
  • Jaded Ibis Press: Marketing Associate
  • OmniGamer: Senior Editor
  • Peace Corps: Teacher
  • Serendipity Literary Agency: Assistant Literary Agent
  • Uttana: Web Content Producer
  • Zulily Inc.: Copywriter

 

Requirements and Course Details

To learn more about this program, including grade requirements, a course listing, how to declare the major, and more, see the Program of Study Details.

 

Sample Careers

  • Social Media Coordinator
  • Videogame Plotting/Design
  • Web Content Creator
  • Editor
  • Journalist
  • Screenwriter
  • Copywriter
  • Research Analyst
  • Technical Writer
  • Advertising Copy Writer Public Relations Specialist
  • User Experience Expert (UX)
  • Usability Tester
  • Book Buyer/Seller
  • Web Content Developer/Writer
  • Human Resource Manager
  • Market Research Analyst
  • Special Events Coordinator/Speech Writer
  • Lobbyist
  • Grant Writer
  • Fundraising Coordinator
  • Legislative Assistant
  • Archivist

 

Economics/Social Studies

Western’s combined Economics/Social Studies major provides students with a thorough grounding in both economic theory and a broad based study of anthropology, sociology, geography, history, and political science. The major is open to any student but is specifically designed for pursuing a career in teaching.

Elementary Education students and Secondary Education students who wish to be endorsed in Social Studies may choose this major. However, the Economics/Social Studies degree does not require that a student pursue a teaching certificate. Completion of this combined major leads to an endorsement in Social Studies.

Western’s Economics Department is part of the College of Business and Economics.

 

Beyond the Classroom

The WWU Student Economics Association (SEA) is a student-led club that promotes the development of skills to lead members’ transition into the job sector. The club coordinates events to help guide and inspire innovative thinking for economics students and business students alike.

 

Careers and Graduate Studies

The Economics/Social Studies combined major is specifically designed for students who wish to pursue a teaching career at the elementary or high school level.   

Requirements and Course Details

To learn more about this program, including grade requirements, a course listing, how to declare the major, and more, see the Program of Study Details.

 

Sample Careers

  • Elementary Teacher
  • High School Teacher
  • Government
  • Economist
  • Entrepreneur
  • Insurance Consultant

Economics/Political Science

The study of Economics provides insights into decision-making, market outcomes and the functioning of the overall economy.  Political Science is concerned with the structure and function of both domestic and international political systems, and engaging questions associated with American politics, international politics, public policy and political theory.  

The combined Economics / Political Science major provides students with rigorous preparation in both economic theory and applications, and political processes at the national and international levels.  By combining coursework in Economics and Political Science, students gain an interdisciplinary perspective important to understanding both political and economic issues.  Students are trained in research methods used in Economics and Political Science, giving them interdisciplinary tools for problem solving and policy making.  Students in this program will gain insight into a variety of areas including trade, monetary systems, development, and the interplay between politics and economics within the U.S. and the international system.

Western’s Economics Department is part of the College of Business and Economics. The Political Science Department is part of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences.

 

Beyond the Classroom

Students in the Economics/Political Science major have opportunities to get involved with both economics and politics outside of the classroom. The WWU Student Economics Association (SEA) is a student-led club that promotes the development of skills to lead members’ transition into the job sector. The club coordinates events to help guide and inspire innovative thinking for economics students and business students alike.

The Political Economy Club: The Political Economy Club is a community of students interested in the subject of political economy. The goal is to create a space for education and discussion and to enhance the interdisciplinary experience of students interested in the subject.  This student group may be of particular interest to students in the Economics/Political Science and Politics/Philosophy/Economics majors. 

Political Science has two other active student clubs, the Political Science Association (PSA) and the International Affairs Association (IAA).  Students in the IAA regularly participate in regional and national Model UN Conferences. Over the years, the Western team has garnered numerous accolades for their participation in these events.

Careers and Graduate Studies

Western’s Economics/Political Science curriculum prepares students for careers in public service-related occupations in both government and business, including international development, international trade, and international relations. Many students majoring in Economics/Political Science go on to law school, graduate school and other professions.

Western graduates who pursue graduate studies are doing so at such schools as:

  • American University's School of International Service
  • Johns Hopkins' School of Advanced International Studies
  • New York University's Stern School of Business
  • Seattle University
  • Iowa State University

 

Requirements and Course Details

To learn more about this program, including grade requirements, a course listing, how to declare the major, and more, see the Program of Study Details.

 

Sample Careers

  • Attorney
  • Financial Planner/Analyst
  • Law School
  • Politician
  • Economist
  • Banking
  • Real Estate
  • Entrepreneur
  • Campaign Worker
  • Insurance
  • Government Consultant

 

Economics/Mathematics

The study of Economics provides an understanding of economic concepts and the functioning of the economy, in conjunction with economic analysis in problem solving. Mathematics is the study of pattern, structure, and change. The integration of concepts from both Economics and Mathematics creates proficiencies in both fields and provides a foundation for graduates to be successful in advanced study in economics or business.

A degree in Economics and Mathematics from Western is excellent preparation for a career as an economist, or other various fields of study. Students gain critical theory skills through economics and mathematics courses, and have options to follow their pathway of interest with elective courses.

Western’s Economics Department is part of the College of Business and Economics. The Mathematics Department is part of the College of Sciences and Engineering.

 

Beyond the Classroom

The WWU Student Economics Association (SEA) is a student-led club that promotes the development of skills to lead members’ transition into the job sector. The club coordinates events to help guide and inspire innovative thinking for economics students and business students alike.

Students wanting to stay involved with mathematics outside of the classroom often work or socialize at the Math Center (staffed by undergraduate Math Fellows, it is a great place to get help with homework, meet other students, and form study groups), join the Putnam Exam group, or participate in the Math Modeling Competition or the Kryptos Cryptography Competition.

Careers and Graduate Studies

A degree in Economics and Math can be an excellent gateway to many careers, particularly ones that require advanced skills in quantitative analysis. The combination of economics and mathematics develops students’ skills in both fields and is particularly well suited for students preparing for graduate work in economics or business.

Professional economists are employed as researchers in both business and government and as teachers and researchers in academic institutions. A career as an economist generally requires the completion of graduate studies beyond the bachelor's degree. Given the importance of math to economic analysis the combined economics/math major has led to a high success rate for admissions to graduate programs in economics and to professional schools in law and business (MBA).

 

Requirements and Course Details

To learn more about this program, including grade requirements, a course listing, how to declare the major, and more, see the Program of Study Details.

 

Sample Careers

  • Actuary/Banking
  • Financial Planner/Analyst
  • Urban/Regional Planner
  • Economic Researcher
  • Corporate Attorney
  • Financial Economist
  • Real Estate
  • Business Management
  • Insurance Consultant

 

Economics/Environmental Studies

Economics is concerned with how people living in a world of scarcity make choices. These choices inevitably involve costs. Questions examined in environmental economics include efficient resource use, preservation of wilderness and biological diversity, local and regional air pollution, global climate change, and treatment of toxic substances. Students learn how to use economic principles to help understand the causes of environmental problems and to identify potential remedies.

Western’s combined major in Economics and Environmental Studies is available to students who have a strong interest in the economic aspects of environmental studies and natural resources. The curriculum is designed to provide a broad area of study in the economic choices involved in how humans interact with natural systems.

Western’s Economics Department is part of the College of Business and Economics.  The Environmental Studies Department is part of Huxley College of the Environment.

 

Beyond the Classroom

The WWU Student Economics Association (SEA) is a student-led club that promotes the development of skills to lead members’ transition into the job sector. The club coordinates events to help guide and inspire innovative thinking for economics students and business students alike. 

Careers and Graduate Studies

An increasingly dynamic career area for economists has been in environmental business and management, sometimes referred to as sustainability, in which economists are involved in planning and forecasting, production and market analysis, pricing, and government policy analysis. 

Employers of Recent Western Graduates:
  • Alameda County: Green Purchasing Associate
  • Google Maps: Visual Data Specialist
  • Health Management Associates: COBRA Specialist
  • Port of Seattle: Intern
  • Pro Unlimited: Environmental Health and Safety Specialist
  • Genzyme

 

 

Requirements and Course Details

To learn more about this program, including grade requirements, a course listing, how to declare the major, and more, see the Program of Study Details.

 

Sample Careers

  • Environmental Consulting
  • Economics/Environmental Researcher
  • Environmental Advocacy for Non-profits
  • Environmental Affairs-Business
  • Environmental Protection-Government

Economics/Accounting

The study of Economics provides an understanding of economic concepts and the functioning of the economy in addition to the ability to apply economic analysis in problem solving. Accounting is an important tool used by managers of organizations to plan, control and report financial activity. Studying accounting leads to greater understanding of the operation and financial condition of any business, non-profit organization, or governmental agency. The combined Economics/Accounting major at Western is designed to integrate the most important aspects of economic theory and accounting practice to provide the foundation and advanced knowledge students need to succeed in business. It's an excellent undergraduate major for students wishing to pursue graduate study in law or business.

Western’s Economics Department is part of the College of Business and Economics.

Beyond the Classroom

The WWU Student Economics Association (SEA) is a student-led club that promotes the development of skills to lead members’ transition into the job sector. The club coordinates events to help guide and inspire innovative thinking for economics students and business students alike.

Careers and Graduate Studies

The Economics/Accounting degree provides students with a strong background in both economics and accounting. It is an excellent degree for students intending to pursue a career in business or to prepare for an MBA. With this major, numerous career options are available.

Employers of Recent Western Graduates:

  • Homchick, Smith and Associates: Accountant
  • Cascade Cross-Border Law: Marketing

 

Requirements and Course Details

To learn more about this program, including grade requirements, a course listing, how to declare the major, and more, see the Program of Study Details.

 

Sample Careers

  • Actuary/Banking
  • Financial Planner/Analyst
  • Accountant
  • Corporate Attorney
  • Real Estate
  • Insurance Consultant

Economics

Economics studies the allocation of scarce resources over competing and alternative uses. Students interested in social and political issues such as income inequality, economic development, sustainable resources use, globalization or the implications of free trade, should consider a major in Economics and its related fields.

The Department of Economics gives students rigorous training in both economic theory and its applications, offering the opportunity to focus in economics or to combine it with a number of complementary subjects. Students in the Economics program have the freedom to tailor their degree by focusing on a number of important areas within economics after building a strong foundation in economics theory and quantitative skills.

Western’s Economics Department is part of the College of Business and Economics.

Beyond the Classroom

The WWU Student Economics Association (SEA) is a student-led club that promotes the development of skills to lead members’ transition into the job sector. The club coordinates events to help guide and inspire innovative thinking for economics students and business students alike.

Careers and Graduate Studies

A degree in economics can lead to a number of career paths. Western graduates in economics have found success in business, as advisors and researchers, and in the field of education. Other graduates have gone on to professional schools such as MBA programs or law school. Employment as a professional economist often requires further study and a number of Western economics graduates have gone on to pursue a Ph.D. in economics or a related field.

Employers of Recent Western Graduates:
  • Cambridge Associates: Investment Analyst
  • Cochran, Inc.: Electrical and Technologies Contractor
  • KeyBank: Credit Risk Analyst
  • New York Life Insurance Company: Licensed Agent
  • Peace Corps: Community Economic Development

Western graduates who pursue graduate studies are doing so at such schools as: 

  • University of California: Economics (PhD) 
  • University of Oregon: Economics (MA) 
  • Western Washington University: (MBA)

 

Requirements and Course Details

To learn more about this program, including grade requirements, a course listing, how to declare the major, and more, see the Program of Study Details.

 

Sample Careers

  • Actuary/Banking
  • Financial Planner/ Analyst
  • Urban/ Regional Planner
  • Economic Researcher
  • Corporate Attorney
  • Financial Economist
  • Real Estate
  • Business Management
  • Insurance Consultant

 

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