Academic Programs, Institutes, and Centers

Amplify Your Degree

Western’s university-wide Academic Programs, Institutes, and Centers (APICs) exist to leverage, support, and develop connections across traditional academic boundaries. By working together to promote inclusion across disciplines, we benefit Western students, as well as on- and off-campus communities. APICs aim to inspire, build synergies for success, and strengthen each other through a collaborative and convivial culture. We achieve our goals through co-creative and dynamic strategies, outreach, programming, and partnership.

Border Policy Research Institute identity mark

Border Policy Research Institute

Western established The Border Policy Research Institute (BPRI) in 2005 to further a mission of promoting research, academic programs, and public programming on critical policy issues affecting the Cascadia region. BPRI is a multi-disciplinary institute that undertakes research to inform policy-makers on matters related to the Canada-U.S. border, particularly in the British Columbia-Washington State region. Priority focus areas include trade, transportation, economic relationships, human mobility, and border security. BPRI works closely with cognate programs at Western and collaborates with many public and private entities within the region.

Learn more about Border Policy Research

Center for Canadian-American Studies identity mark

Center for Canadian-American Studies

The Center for Canadian-American Studies, in consortium with its counterpart at the University of Washington, is one of just two U.S. Department of Education National Resource Centers for the Study of Canada. The Center offers comprehensive interdisciplinary majors and minors for undergraduates, fosters research on Canadian topics, organizes seminars and symposia on current Canada-U.S. public policy issues, sponsors events highlighting Canadian culture, and conducts the nationally recognized STUDY CANADA program for K-12 educators.

Offers B.A. in Canadian-American Studies and Canadian-American Studies Minor

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Entrepreneurship and Innovation Programs identity mark

Entrepreneurship and Innovation Programs

Western's Entrepreneurship and Innovation Programs promote multi-purpose, interdisciplinary entrepreneurship and innovation minor options for any student from any college, combined with the focus of their studies. This set of interdisciplinary programs is designed to provide the knowledge, skills and abilities to successfully engage in entrepreneurial and innovative behaviors in new and existing organizations.

Offers Entrepreneurship Minor

Learn more about Academic Programs in Entrepreneurship and Innovation

East Asian Studies identity mark

East Asian Studies

The Center for East Asian Studies provides opportunities for an interdisciplinary study of East Asia, with a primary focus on the countries of China and Japan. Offering a BA and a Minor in in East Asian Studies, the Center’s East Asian Studies Program is designed to attain three major objectives: offering students an opportunity to acquire accurate, detailed, and comprehensive knowledge of a region that is becoming increasingly important in world affairs; preparing students who are attracted by job opportunities related to East Asia in business, government, or teaching; and providing solid undergraduate training for students who plan to enter East Asian programs in their 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.

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Institute for Energy Studies identity mark

Institute for Energy Studies

The Institute for Energy Studies is a unique, multi-college collaboration that offers interdisciplinary undergraduate degrees to address the science, technology, policy, business and economic aspects of energy systems. Our interdisciplinary programs are designed to meet the future workforce needs of Washington’s emerging energy economy, which emphasizes clean energy technology, energy efficiency, smart systems, environmental mitigation and entrepreneurial solutions.

Offers B.S. in Energy Science and Technology, B.A. in Energy Policy and Management, Energy Science Minor, Energy Policy Minor, and Energy Concentrations in Electrical Engineering and in Business & Sustainability

Learn more about Energy Studies

Institute for Global Engagement identity mark

Institute for Global Engagement

The Institute for Global Engagement provides internationally-focused educational experiences that prepare students to be global citizens and supports faculty and staff who are engaged inter-culturally. IGE works with academic programs to integrate global perspectives into the curriculum and collaborates with international partners to connect with institutions and individuals in other parts of the world. IGE also advises students who participate in education abroad through faculty-led programs, service-learning or internship opportunities, study programs, and exchanges. In addition, the Institute provides visa and immigration services, as well as orientation and co-curricular activities, to Western’s international students and visiting scholars.

Offers International Studies Minor

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Marine and Coastal Sciences Programs identity mark

Marine and Coastal Science

The B.S. in Marine and Coastal Science is an interdisciplinary program with permanent and affiliated faculty in units across the university, drawing together the wealth of marine expertise in the Biology, Chemistry, Geology, and Environmental Sciences departments and at the Shannon Point Marine Center. The mission of MACS is to promote the study of marine systems with an emphasis on place-based learning, early exposure to research, and cohort-based, immersive educational experiences. The goal of the program is to help students develop into confident, thoughtful, ethical scientists ready to address the growing challenges affecting our marine and coastal environments.

Offers a BS in Marine and Coastal Science

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Morse Leadership Institute identity mark

Morse Leadership Institute

The Morse Leadership Institute develops student leaders who can work collaboratively and inclusively with others by honoring diverse leadership values, styles, and perspectives, which can result in more equitable solutions and communities. The Institute provides a variety of leadership studies courses, applied and global leadership opportunities, community engagement, mentoring, support for participating in academic conferences or professional development opportunities, and campus or community events and programs. Our aim is to support WWU students as they engage in their desired social and professional change efforts. 

While the Institute provides a minor in Leadership Studies, many of our classes (including upper division courses) are open to non-minors. Students interested in counting LDST courses toward another major or minor (e.g., self-designed or for elective credits) may do so under advisement.

Offers Leadership Studies Minor

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Sustainability Engagement Institute identity mark

Sustainability Engagement Institute

The Sustainability Engagement Institute is Western’s hub for campus sustainability. The “SEI” is dedicated to helping WWU achieve its strategic goal of campus sustainability by integrating sustainability into operations, academics, research, and outreach. For example, the Institute works with Western’s executive management and Sustainability Committee to identify campus sustainability goals and manages projects and programs to achieve those goals. They also work to integrate sustainability into WWU’s academics by facilitating faculty, staff, and students to research aspects of campus sustainability.

Learn more about the Sustainability Engagement Institute

Raw Wolpow Institute identity mark

Ray Wolpow Institute

The Ray Wolpow Institute for the Study of the Holocaust, Genocide, and Crimes Against Humanity was created to advance knowledge about the Holocaust and genocide, including ethnic and religious conflict, as well as attendant human rights abuses. Students engaged in studying the Holocaust, genocide, and crimes against humanity will be provided with the critical tools to analyze, understand, and differentiate their underlying complexities and to work towards their prevention.

Offers a Holocaust and Genocide Studies Minor, Human Rights Minor

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Salish Sea Institute identity mark

Salish Sea Institute

The Salish Sea Institute is an interdisciplinary center for collaboration, education, research, and community involvement focused on the health of the Salish Sea, the body of water encompassing the Strait of Georgia, Puget Sound, and the Strait of Juan de Fuca. The Salish Sea basin and the people who inhabit it have much to share with each other, and the Institute, as an intentionally collaborative effort, aims to bring these diverse groups together in transboundary initiatives of all types to facilitate this sharing. The Salish Sea Institute is also the administrative home for the Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference, the Salish Sea Studies minor and several programs relating to the health of the Salish Sea.

Offers Salish Sea Studies Minor

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SEA Discovery Center identity mark

SEA Discovery Center

Western's SEA Discovery Center is dedicated to inspiring a deeper sense of understanding and stewardship of the marine environment. Physically located in Poulsbo, Washington, the SEA Discovery Center functions as a aquarium, learning center, and educational resource for the surrounding community

Learn more about the SEA Discovery Center