French

The study of French includes instruction in language, literature, linguistics, and culture. Students of French studies acquire the skills required to not only speak the language, but also to learn about and appreciate French societies, cultures, and artistic expressions. The guiding principle of the curriculum is that one of the best ways to understand a culture is directly through its language.

The French studies program is designed to help students develop a solid grammar and vocabulary base that allows students to become effective communicators with an equal emphasis on cultural awareness. The department emphasizes the diversity and multicultural aspects of the Francophone (French speaking) world through civilization, culture, literature and sociolinguistic courses. Training includes both language structure and literary analysis. Language structure is taught both holistically and analytically — with multimedia technology, study abroad, language skills courses, and linguistics courses. Literary analysis is an essential component to the curriculum, and the department provides instruction in history and culture, as well as literary theory. 

The Modern and Classical Language Department is part of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences.

 

Beyond the Classroom

Students can participate as facilitators in the WELP (Western Employees Language Program) program, which gives students first-hand experience teaching French to speakers of other languages, or get involved with the “On Parle” program, which helps high school students develop their French conversational skills. 

Many students apply to the TAPIF (Teaching Assistant Program in France), which offers students the opportunity to work in France for seven months teaching English to French students of all ages. Each year three to eight students succeed in obtaining the assistantship and are sent to schools in various French cities.

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

  • Interpreter 
  • Foreign Correspondent 
  • Foreign Service Officer 
  • FBI Agent 
  • Educator 
  • Linguist 
  • Travel Writer 
  • Communication Consultant

Department of Modern and Classical Languages

French with a Teaching Endorsement

The study of French includes instruction in language, literature, linguistics, and culture. Students acquire the skills required to not only speak the language, but also to learn about and appreciate French societies, cultures, and artistic expressions. The French studies program is designed to help students develop a solid grammar and vocabulary base that allows students to become effective communicators with an equal emphasis on cultural awareness. The department emphasizes the diversity and multicultural aspects of the Francophone (French speaking) world through civilization, culture, literature and sociolinguistic courses. 

The BA in French leads to a BA degree without teacher certification. In order to receive a recommendation for state of Washington certification, students must complete the professional teacher certification program. Please see the Department of Secondary Education for program admission, completion, and teacher certification requirements.

The Modern and Classical Languages Department is part of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences.

Beyond the Classroom

Students can participate as facilitators in the WELP (Western Employees Language Program) program, which gives students first-hand experience teaching French to speakers of other languages, or get involved with the “On Parle” program, which helps high school students develop their French conversational skills. 

Many students apply to the TAPIF (Teaching Assistant Program in France), which offers students the opportunity to work in France for seven months teaching English to French students of all ages. Each year three to eight students succeed in obtaining the assistantship and are sent to schools in various French cities. 

The French Club puts on the Table Française, a weekly table at the local pizzeria for students to converse in French. The students meet once a week for discussions, social gatherings, and cultural activities.

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

  • Interpreter 
  • Foreign Correspondent 
  • Foreign Service Officer 
  • FBI Agent

College of Humanities and Social Sciences

Financial Economics

The study of Financial Economics is a combination of economic analysis and tools from accounting and finance that can be used to guide financial decisions. Financial Economics provides an understanding of core economic concepts and how the economy and financial markets function. 

The Economics Department and the Department of Finance and Marketing jointly offer this major to provide a program which gives students rigorous training in theory and applications of accounting, economics, and finance.  An emphasis is placed on developing critical thinking skills to apply economic and financial analysis in problem solving. This major is designed for students interested in both economics and finance, and is aimed particularly at those who wish to pursue careers in corporate finance, financial analysis, insurance and real estate, and government agencies where special emphasis is placed on financial economic knowledge.

Western’s Economics Department and the Department of Finance and Marketing are 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

Western graduates have gained employment as: 

  • Payroll Compliance Auditor: Lindquist LLP
  • Outbound Group Leader: Target
  • Fiscal Coordinator: First Choice in Home Care 
  • Dealer Services Management Associate: KeyBank
  • Broker: The Rants Group 
  • Replenishment Analyst: Smith Gardens 
  • Revenue Auditor: WA State Department of Revenue 

 

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 
  • Financial Planner/Analyst 
  • Government 
  • Investment Banker 
  • Budget Analyst 
  • Banking/Securities 
  • Financial Economist 
  • Business Forecaster

College of Business and Economics

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.

 

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

 

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