East Asian Studies

The East Asian Studies program offers an interdisciplinary study of the area, with a primary focus on the countries of China and Japan. Under special advisement, Korea and Mongolia are also subjects for study.

Western’s East Asian Studies program has faculty from a broad spectrum of academic departments who work together to provide a nexus for teaching and research. The program is designed to attain three major objectives. First, it offers students an opportunity to acquire accurate, detailed, and comprehensive knowledge of a region that is becoming increasingly important in world affairs. Second, it prepares students who are attracted by job opportunities related to East Asia in business, government, or teaching. Third, it provides solid undergraduate training for students who plan to enter East Asian programs in their graduate studies.

Western’s East Asian Studies Department is part of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences.

"East Asian Studies provides an institutional focus on the histories, cultures, languages, and politics of China, Japan, Korea and Mongolia, serving students in their diverse educational goals as well as the broader campus and regional communities in their interactions with the growing economies of East Asia."

-Edward Vajda, Faculty 

Beyond the Classroom

The East Asia Studies Department hosts the Annual Student Colloquium Program, along with national and international conferences on Japanese literature and East Asian studies. The Center for East Asian Studies sponsors lectures, presentations, and other activities related to East Asia for both students and the community.

Western Libraries features the Mongolia Collection, an extensive collection of holdings on Mongolia and Inner Asia. 

Students in the East Asian Studies program are eligible for a number of scholarships that promote the study of Inner Asia and East Asia, including the Henry G. Schwarz Scholarship in Mongolian Studies ($1,000), the Sarah Anne Wirth Scholarship in East Asian Studies and History ($1,000)), and the Diana Wright Research Paper in East Asian Studies Award.

Careers and Graduate Studies

The major offers students an opportunity to prepare for positions in cultural organizations, diplomatic offices, companies engaged in international business, and in educational institutions.

Employers of Recent Western Graduates:

  • Borderlink, Inc.: Japan
  • Business Council for International Understanding: Washington D.C.

 

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

  • International Consultant
  • International Business Manager
  • International Sales
  • Foreign News Correspondent
  • Tour Guide/Agent
  • Museum Administrator

Department of East Asian Studies, Center for

Earth Science—Secondary

Earth Science, or geoscience, is a diverse discipline, incorporating aspects of physics, chemistry, biology and natural history in the attempt to solve earth-related problems. Geoscientists provide basic information to society for solving problems and establishing policy for resource management, environmental protection, public health, safety, and welfare.

Geoscientists are curious about Earth: How was it formed? How is it changing?

Geoscientists are concerned about the Earth: Is there a global warming trend? How and where should we dispose industrial waste?

By applying knowledge of forces that shape the Earth, geoscientists seek to reconstruct the past and anticipate the future.

The Earth Science — Secondary major must be accompanied by the professional preparation program in secondary education offered through Woodring College of Education. Western’s Geology Department is part of the College of Science and Engineering.

The Geology Department has:

  • Engaging award winning teachers who inspire students and instill modern active-learning pedagogies in their courses. 
  • Active scholars in diverse specialties that involve students in their research projects.
  • Helpful staff that support the educational mission of the department and create a positive atmosphere for students.
  • Excellent role models for women in science — 30% of faculty and 50% of undergraduate and MS graduate students are women that are actively engaged in teaching, research, and service.
  • A reputable high-quality program that integrates unique field experiences and modern technology throughout the curriculum.

"Our students graduate with many valuable skills and experiences, and leave Western for graduate school or for jobs in a variety of geoscience fields as professional geologist. There are many exciting opportunities for new students in our program, and the future demand for geoscientist will be significant." –Bernie Housen, Professor and Chair, Geology Department

Beyond the Classroom

The Geology Department is home to active professional-society student chapters that offer professional development and networking opportunities outside the classroom. These include the Association of Engineering and Environmental Geologists and the Society of Economic Geologists — Student Chapter.

"The geology program provided me with a really well-rounded education with great one-on-one teacher-student collaborations, a nice variety of subjects to study, and a strong friendship with fellow students." –Margaret Pueringer, Student

Careers and Graduate Studies

Geology graduates are in high demand for jobs and graduate programs in Washington and across North America. Western’s Geology Department has a higher percentage of licensed geologists in Washington State than any other college or university in the state, and our student’s success rate on the national geology fundamentals exam (required for geologists licensing) is 20% higher than the national average. 

 

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

  • Secondary Education Teacher (Grades 5-12)

Earth Science—Elementary

Earth Science, or geoscience, is a diverse discipline, incorporating aspects of physics, chemistry, biology and natural history in the attempt to solve earth-related problems. Geoscientists provide basic information to help our society solve problems and establish sound policy for resource management, environmental protection, public health, safety, and welfare.

Western’s Geology — Elementary BAE satisfies the academic major requirement for teacher certification with an endorsement in elementary education and must be accompanied by the professional preparation program in Elementary Education offered through Woodring College of Education. Western’s Geology Department is part of the College of Science and Engineering.

The Geology Department has:

  • Engaging, award winning teachers who inspire students and instill modern active-learning pedagogies in their courses. 
  • Active scholars in diverse specialties that involve students in their research projects.
  • Helpful staff that support the educational mission of the department and create a positive atmosphere for students.
  • Excellent role models for women in science — 30% of faculty and 50% of undergraduate and MS graduate students are women that are actively engaged in teaching, research, and service.
  • A reputable high-quality program that integrates unique field experiences and modern technology throughout the curriculum.

 

"Our students graduate with many valuable skills and experiences, and leave Western for graduate school or for jobs in a variety of geoscience fields as professional geologist. There are many exciting opportunities for new students in our program, and the future demand for geoscientist will be significant." –Bernie Housen, Chair and Professor, Geology Department

Beyond the Classroom

The Geology Department is home to active professional-society student chapters that offer professional development and networking opportunities outside the classroom. These include the Association of Engineering and Environmental Geologists and the Society of Economic Geologists — Student Chapter.

"The geology program provided me with a really well-rounded education with great one-on-one teacher-student collaborations, a nice variety of subjects to study, and a strong friendship with fellow students." –Margaret Pueringer, Student

Careers and Graduate Studies

Geology graduates are in high demand for jobs and graduate programs in Washington and across North America. Western’s Geology Department has a higher percentage of licensed geologists than any other college or university in Washington State, and our students' success rate on the national geology fundamentals exam (required for geologists licensing) is 20% higher than the national average.  

 

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

Earth Science/General Science—Secondary

Earth Science, or geoscience, is a diverse discipline, incorporating aspects of physics, chemistry, biology and natural history in the attempt to solve earth-related problems.

Geoscientists are curious and concerned about the earth. By applying knowledge of forces that shape the Earth, geoscientists seek to reconstruct the past and anticipate the future. They provide basic information to help society solve problems and establish policy for resource management, environmental protection, public health, safety, and welfare.

Western’s Geology Department is part of the College of Science and Engineering. The Earth Science/General Science — Secondary Education major must be accompanied by the professional preparation program in secondary education offered through Woodring College of Education.

The Geology Department has:

  • Engaging, award winning teachers who inspire students and instill modern active-learning pedagogies in their courses. 
  • Active scholars in diverse specialties who involve students in their research projects.
  • Helpful staff who support the educational mission of the department and create a positive atmosphere for students.
  • Excellent role models for women in science — 30% of faculty and 50% of undergraduate and MS graduate students are women who are actively engaged in teaching, research, and service.
  • A reputable high-quality program that integrates unique field experiences and modern technology throughout the curriculum.

 

"Our students graduate with many valuable skills and experiences, and leave Western for graduate school or for jobs in a variety of geoscience fields as professional geologists. There are many exciting opportunities for new students in our program, and the future demand for geoscientists will be significant."

–Bernie Housen, Professor and Chair, Geology Department

Beyond the Classroom

The Geology Department is home to active professional-society student chapters that offer professional development and networking opportunities outside the classroom. These include the Association of Engineering and Environmental Geologists and the Society of Economic Geologists — Student Chapter.

"The geology program provided me with a really well-rounded education with great one-on-one teacher-student collaborations, a nice variety of subjects to study, and a strong friendship with fellow students." 

–Margaret Pueringer, Student

Careers and Graduate Studies

Geology graduates are in high demand for jobs and graduate programs in Washington and across North America. Western’s Geology Department has a higher percentage of licensed geologists than any other college or university in Washington State, and our students' success rate on the national geology fundamentals exam (required for geologists licensing) is 20% higher than the national average.  

 

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

  • Secondary Education Teacher (Grades 5-12)

Early Childhood Special Education P-3

The Early Childhood Special Education program prepares students to work with children from birth through eight years who have been identified as at-risk for developmental delay and disability. The major combines studies in Early Childhood and Special Education. The mission of the Special Education Program is to prepare exceptional teachers, and while students who have disabilities often require the services of such teachers, the Department believes that there are many other students who can benefit from high quality instruction.

Completion of this program results in a BA in Education only. This major does not qualify students for a teaching certificate. Graduates typically seek employment in private child development centers, government agencies, or in school district positions that do not require certification.

Western’s Special Education Department is part of the Woodring College of Education.

 

Beyond the Classroom

The College of Education values field experiences beyond the Western classroom.

Internships

The Office of Field Experiences coordinates school-based student teaching internships for all teacher education candidates.

Compass 2 Campus

The State of Washington mentoring initiative at Western is designed to increase opportunities in higher education by providing mentoring for 5th – 12th grade students from traditionally underrepresented and diverse backgrounds in Whatcom and Skagit counties. For more information on the program, visit this website.

Reading Tutor

Woodring employs Western student to work as reading tutors in local elementary schools. Tutors read aloud to students, help students with their reading, and engage them in other activities that increase reading proficiencies. Reading tutors act as role models for the students they work with. For more information on the program, visit this website.

Careers and Graduate Studies

Our graduates are actively recruited by school districts to work in a variety of rewarding special education settings.

Talk to (or become) a Peer Mentor at Woodring. Peer Mentors answer questions about Woodring and the application process with prospective students, help mentees explore the teaching and human services professions, connect mentees with professors, volunteer opportunities, and resources on campus, and invite mentees to fun and informational Woodring events. Students interested in talking to or becoming a Peer Mentor should Contact a Mentor.

 

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

  • Private Child Development Centers
  • Governmental Agencies
  • Working with Children in Non-School Settings

Department of Elementary Education

Early Childhood Special Education P-3 and Early Childhood Education P-3 (Dual Endorsement)

This dual endorsement program offered through the Department of Special Education and Education Leadership prepares aspiring teachers to work with families and children age Birth through Eight years. Particular attention is paid to working with children who have developmental disabilities or behavioral challenges. Early Childhood Special Educators have extensive knowledge in many areas including the following: 1) process of learning and development, 2) development of effective instructional programming, 3) effective use of assessment data to guide curricular planning, and 4) the social, legal, and political context in which they work. This rigorous program includes training in the use of evidence based practices as well as extensive supervised practicum experiences in the public schools as well as community agencies.

The major combines studies in Special Education with Early Childhood Education and leads to a recommendation for a Washington State teaching certificate with endorsements in both Early Childhood Special Education and Early Childhood Education from Preschool through Third Grade. Students may choose to complete additional coursework required to add the P-12 Special Education endorsement.

Interested in working with individuals with disabilities, but not quite sure? Please feel free to contact someone in the Department of Special Education and Education Leadership. You might even be interested in our GUR course, EDUC 205 Disability, Diversity and Media.

 

“I fell in love with the Dual Endorsement program my first year at Western, and I’m so glad I decided to pursue it! Each quarter in the program I am amazed by how much I learn and grow. I have built relationships with other Woodring students and love having so many people to look to for help.” –Talicia Miller-Poole

Beyond the Classroom

The College of Education values field experiences beyond the Western classroom. 

Practicum Placements and Internships

The college faculty coordinate a wide range of school and community based practicum placements strategically placed throughout the program. This provides frequent opportunities to interact with young children while developing your teaching skills. The final quarter internship (student teaching) experience is coordinated by the department and in conjunction with the Office of Field Experiences.

Professional Development

Teacher education candidates are expected to participate in professional development activities outside of the classroom setting. These activities are varied and may include events such as professional development alongside practicing teachers in the local schools, attendance at selected informational talks or workshops.

Compass 2 Campus

The State of Washington mentoring initiative at Western is designed to increase opportunities in higher education by providing mentoring for 5th – 12th grade students from traditionally underrepresented and diverse backgrounds in Whatcom and Skagit counties. For more information on the program, visit this website.

Reading Tutor

Woodring employs Western student to work as reading tutors in local elementary schools. Tutors read aloud to students, help students with their reading, and engage them in other activities that increase reading proficiencies. Reading tutors act as role models for the students they work with. For more information on the program, visit this website.

 

Careers and Graduate Studies

Our graduates are actively recruited from districts and agencies across the state. There has been a national shortage of Special Education teachers since 1975 and districts in Washington State continually strive to find qualified teachers, often forced to look out of state. We, in the department, are particularly proud of our graduates and the work they do in school and communities supporting students who experience the most difficulty learning.

Our graduates are also actively sought by numerous graduate programs and have been allowed to transfer some of their coursework into the graduate school. So, whether you plan to continue in the classroom move to the university setting, you will be well prepared and maintain a competitive edge.

 

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

  • Special Education Pre-School Teacher
  • Early Interventionist
  • Inclusive Classroom Teacher
  • Family Resource Coordinator
  • Behavior Interventions Specialist
  • Special Education Teacher, Preschool through Grade 3
  • Regular Education Teacher, Preschool through Grade 3

Department of Special Education and Education Leadership

Early Childhood Education

This non-teaching endorsement program offered through the Department of Special Education and Education Leadership was designed to prepare graduates to work with families and children with disabilities or at-risk in a variety of non-school based settings/programs. This rigorous major combines content in Special Education with that in Early Childhood. Throughout the program, students develop skills that enable them to synthesize knowledge of development, assessment, evidence based intervention, family systems, and the legal/social/political context in which they work with the goal of supporting children and families.

Interested in working with individuals with disabilities, but not quite sure? Please feel free to contact someone in the Department of Special Education and Education Leadership. You might even be interested in our GUR course, EDUC 205 Disability, Diversity and Media.

Western’s Early Childhood Education program is part of the Woodring College of Education.

 

“I chose to be a part of the Early Childhood Education program because I want to make a difference in children’s lives. Being able to understand and support the young minds that will later become strong contributors to society, definitely makes me feel like a superhero.”

–Tina Nguyen, Student

Beyond the Classroom

Practicum Placements

The college faculty coordinate a wide range of school and community based practicum placements strategically placed throughout the program. This provides frequent opportunities to interact with young children while developing your teaching skills.

Professional Development

Candidates may opt to participate in professional development activities outside of the classroom setting. These activities are varied and may include events such as professional development alongside practicing teachers/professionals in the local schools/community or attendance as selected informational talks or workshops.

Compass 2 Campus

The State of Washington mentoring initiative at Western is designed to increase opportunities in higher education by providing mentoring for 5th – 12th grade students from traditionally underrepresented and diverse backgrounds in Whatcom and Skagit counties. For more information on the program, visit this website.

Careers and Graduate Studies

There continues to be a shortage of professionals trained to work with young children with disabilities and their families. Our graduates work in a wide range of community based programs including Early Intervention Programs for young children age birth through three.

Our graduates have training in both Early Childhood Special Education and Early Childhood Education which provides them an excellent foundation for graduate programs. Many of our graduates have sought graduate training to become a Board Certified Behavior Analyst and specifically work with young children with autism.

 

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 Education Teacher (P-3)
  • Head Start
  • Childcare

Department of Elementary Education

Design

Design is the visual communication of ideas. Western's Design program emphasizes the process of problem solving and encourages students to make connections between culture and design, and their role as visual communicators. Students learn to combine personal expression and critical thinking as they create solutions that connect industry to an audience and themselves to the world. 

Western's program is unique in its size and depth of curriculum. Students have significant opportunities to work with their faculty outside of class. Western’s Design faculty members are active in the profession, but place teaching first and foremost in their activities. Because industry expects designers to be fluid in both traditional print based graphic design and interaction design (web/app), the Design program does not offer areas of specialization within its curriculum. 

Western's design production lab provides students access to equipment found in the industry and establishes a learning environment that allows for hands-on education. Through the lab, students have access to: hand and power guillotine paper cutters, foil-stamping, various mechanical and perfect binding units, offset and photopolymer plate making units, medium and large format inkjet printers, two Vandercook proofing letterpresses as well as a Heidelberg GTO offset press.  

Western offers both Bachelor of Arts (BA) and a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) degrees in Design. The BFA is the professional degree option for students admitted to the Design Program. The BFA degree option is a highly competitive degree limited to a maximum of 18 students per year. Courses in the senior year focus on the integration of graphic, production and digital media design in the solution of visual communication problems. 

Anelese Webster
Design Major

“I have had the best professors who have taught me, guided me and prepared me to enter the professional world of design. The confidence and skills I learned at Western have allowed me to feel that I can make a significant impact in the world of design.”

Anelese participated in the 100 Portfolio Night of the Art Director’s Club that takes place in 26 cities around the world. She signed up for the New York event because she wanted to work in New York City upon graduation. She was selected as the top portfolio and was also hired by the design firm Huge that sponsored the event.

 

Beyond the Classroom

The Design BFA seniors travel to San Francisco for the annual Design field trip. Recently, the students visited the following firms: Chronicle Books, Elixir, Hatch, Highlight, Hybrid, Manual, McSweenys, Neo, Public, Salesforce, and Volume.

Completing an internship is a requirement for Design BFA students. Faculty members are responsible for finding firms that meet department expectations for this experience, then contracts are negotiated so all parties are aware of what is expected of each other. This is a paid internship that happens during the summer. Since the internship is required during summer quarter, students earn enough money to pay for their summer tuition (10 credits) and have something left over. The department strives to find local quality design sponsors for student convenience. 

Recent BFA Student Internship Firms: 

  • Curator 
  • Ratio 
  • LiveAreaLabs
  • Ten Gun Design 
  • Push Design 
  • Disney 
  • Smashing Ideas  
  • Superfeet
  • Toolhouse  
  • Highlight (San Francisco) 

Through coursework and a variety of on-and-off-campus opportunities, Western Design students build on their skills while adding to their portfolios (check on this gallery of student work). Campus-wide opportunities are available through the VU Publicity Center, Klipsun Magazine, The Planet Magazine, Jeopardy Magazine, Labyrinth Literary and Fine Arts Magazine, and more. Students also have the opportunity to earn credit while studying abroad over a summer.

Careers and Graduate Studies

Career opportunities are found in all segments of industry, both in the private and public sector. Western Design graduates go on to work in advertising agencies, design firms, in-house departments, paper companies, printing firms, and serve as private consultants in corporate identity, environmental graphic design, packaging, publication, and web design. Many graduates work as Designers, Art Educators, Production Managers, Web Designers, and Digital Image Makers.

Some employers of recent Western graduates include:

  • Amazon (Seattle, WA): Interactive Designer 
  • Creativebug (San Fancisco, CA): Digital Designer 
  • Facebook (San Fancisco, CA): Product Designer
  • Nordstrom (Seattle, WA): Web Designer 
  • TranTech Engineering (Bellingham, WA): Designer, Marketer, AudoCAD

 

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

  • Graphic Designer
  • Web Designer
  • Project Manager
  • Art Director
  • Digital Image Maker 
  • Creative Director
  • Interactive Designer
  • UX/UI

 

Design

Design is the visual communication of ideas. Western's Design program emphasizes the process of problem solving and encourages students to make connections between culture and design, and their role as visual communicators. Students learn to combine personal expression and critical thinking as they create solutions that connect industry to an audience and themselves to the world. 

Western's program is unique in its size and depth of curriculum. Students have significant opportunities to work with their faculty outside of class. Western’s Design faculty members are active in the profession, but place teaching first and foremost in their activities. Because industry expects designers to be fluid in both traditional print based graphic design and interaction design (web/app), the Design program does not offer areas of specialization within its curriculum. 

Western's design production lab provides students access to equipment found in the industry and establishes a learning environment that allows for hands-on education. Through the lab, students have access to: hand and power guillotine paper cutters, foil-stamping, various mechanical and perfect binding units, offset and photopolymer plate making units, medium and large format inkjet printers, two Vandercook proofing letterpresses as well as a Heidelberg GTO offset press.  

Western offers both Bachelor of Arts (BA) and a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) degrees in Design. The BFA is the professional degree option for students admitted to the Design Program. The BFA degree option is a highly competitive degree limited to a maximum of 18 students per year. Courses in the senior year focus on the integration of graphic production and digital media design in the solution of visual communication problems. 

 

Anelese Webster
Design Major

“I have had the best professors who have taught me, guided me and prepared me to enter the professional world of design. The confidence and skills I have learned at Western have allowed me to feel that I can make a significant impact in the world of design.”

Anelese participated in the 100 Portfolio Night of the Art Director’s Club that takes place in 26 cities around the world. She signed up for the New York event because she wanted to work in New York City upon graduation. She was selected as the top portfolio and was also hired by the design firm Huge that sponsored the event.

Beyond the Classroom

Design students earn internship credit working with design firms, and receive support and professional connections as they pursue internships that match their interests. Students also have the opportunity to earn credit while studying abroad over a summer.

Through coursework and a variety of on- and off-campus opportunities, Western Design students build on their skills while adding to their portfolios (check on this gallery of student work). Campus-wide opportunities are available through the VU Publicity Center, Klipsun Magazine, The Planet Magazine, Jeopardy Magazine, Labyrinth Literary and Fine Arts Magazine, and more. The department also receives a large number of requests from off-campus partners for design work.

Careers and Graduate Studies

Career opportunities are found in all segments of industry, both in the private and public sector. Western Design graduates go on to work in advertising agencies, design firms, in-house departments, paper companies, printing firms, and serve as private consultants in corporate identity, environmental graphic design, packaging, publication, and web design. Many graduates work as designers, art educators, production managers, web designers, and digital image makers. 

Some employers of recent Western graduates include: 

  • Amazon (Seattle, WA): Interactive Designer 
  • Creativebug (San Fancisco, CA): Digital Designer
  • Cinco (Portland, OR): Brand Designer 
  • Facebook (San Fancisco, CA): Product Designer
  • Nordstrom (Seattle, WA): Web Designer 
  • Starbucks Technology (Seattle, WA): Designer
  • Artefact (Seattle, WA): Designer
  • Teague (Seattle, WA): Visual Designer
  • Fantagraphics Books (Seattle, WA): Junior Designer 
  • Lineage Media and Solutions (Seattle, WA): Graphic Designer
  • Ticketfly (San Francico, CA): Visual Design Associate

 

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

  • Graphic Designer
  • Web Designer
  • Project Manager
  • Art Director
  • Digital Image Maker 
  • Creative Director
  • Interactive Designer
  • UX/UI

Dance

Western's BFA Program in Dance is a professionally oriented degree, which presumes that students are seriously interested in the process of performing or choreographing and wish to make it their career. The BFA degree is a highly selective program which trains exceptionally committed, disciplined, and talented students.

Western’s varied curriculum provides learning opportunities in technique, choreography, partnering, contact improvisation, pedagogy courses, dance history, cultural dance forms, dance technology, functional alignment, and anatomy for dancers. Class sizes are designed for high quality instruction and interaction with faculty. Dance faculty come from diverse professional backgrounds to teach a variety of technique styles and are devoted to giving students the best possible dance education.

In the course of their Dance studies, students will learn to understand and evaluate contemporary thinking about dance and related arts, while nurturing a physical and intellectual understanding of the language of movement as an art form. Western Dance majors develop multiple skills that are essential in all fields, including self-discipline, collaboration, patience and problem-solving. 

“At Western, we are encouraged to become the best dancers we can be, and through a focus on efficiency and injury prevention, the program ensures that we'll be able to do anything thrown at us and continue dancing for the rest of our lives.” –Kyle Williams, Student

Beyond the Classroom

Students accepted into the Dance BFA program complete a capstone event, and a possible apprenticeship with companies such as the Montreal Danse the Mark Morris Dance Group. Other performance opportunities include the New Music/New Dance, Winter Dances, Cabaret, and Dance In Concert.

Each year the department supports student travel to professional Performing Arts conferences such as the American College Dance Festival. These conferences allow students to attend workshops, audition for professional work, conduct portfolio reviews, interview for internships, and enjoy watching various forms of theatre and dance.  Dance majors have the opportunity to travel to New York City or to dance companies such as Montreal Danse where they attend classes and have the chance to fine tune their choreography with feedback from prestigious dance instructors. Co-curricular student travel serves as an important educational experience as students learn first-hand what it takes to succeed as a professional dancer.  Support from the Departmentally Related Activities Committee helps offset the cost for student travelers.

Careers and Graduate Studies

The Dance BFA program prepares students for leading graduate, conservatory, or MFA programs, or to directly enter one of the areas of the dancing profession.

 

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

  • Professional Dancer 
  • Choreographer  
  • Dance Therapist 
  • Arts Management 
  • Dance Educator 
  • Dance Notation 
  • Professor

Department of Theatre & Dance

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