Institutes, Centers, and Programs

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Border Policy Research Institute

Border Policy Research

The Border Policy Research Institute (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. The University established the BPRI in 2005 to further a mission of promoting research, academic programs, and public programming on critical policy issues affecting the Cascadia region. The BPRI works closely with cognate programs at the university and collaborates with many public and private entities within the region.


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Canadian-American Studies with flags of both Canada and the United States

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 US 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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Office of Sustainability logo

Office of Sustainability

The Office of Sustainability is Western’s hub for campus sustainability. The “OS” is dedicated to helping WWU achieve its strategic goal of campus sustainability by integrating sustainability into operations, academics, research, and outreach. For example, the OS 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.


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The Ray Wolpow Institute

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 Holocaust and Genocide Studies Minor.


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Morse Leadership Institute logo

Morse Leadership Institute

The Morse Leadership Institute provides a variety of support mechanisms and opportunities for students across Western’s campus to develop as leaders. These include a broad spectrum of leadership studies courses, applied and global leadership opportunities, community engagement, peer and professional mentoring, support for students’ participation in academic conferences and professional development opportunities, and campus events and programs.

The Institute supports campus partners who provide curricular, co-curricular, and extra-curricular opportunities aimed at student leadership learning so that all WWU students can engage in their desired social and professional change efforts. While the Institute provides a minor in Leadership Studies, students from any department of program on campus may take many courses offered by the Institute

Offers Leadership Studies Minor.


Learn more about Karen W. Morse Institute for Leadership Studies

WWU Institute for Global engagement

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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Western Institute for Energy Studies

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 the Institute for Energy Studies at Western

Salish Sea Institute

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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Blue waves in the shape a mountain, with Academic Program in Entrepreneurship and Innovation as text underneath the mountain

Academic Program in Entrepreneurship and Innovation

The Academic Program in Entrepreneurship and Innovation promotes multi-purpose, interdisciplinary entrepreneurship and innovation. Any student from any college can receive a minor in entrepreneurship and combine it with the focus of their studies. This interdisciplinary program 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 Program in Entrepreneurship and Innovation
EAS Logo

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.

WGSS program

WGSS program

The WGSS program at WWU pursues critical inquiry through queer and feminist scholarship, teaching, and activism. We draw on intersectional and interdisciplinary approaches to study how sex, gender, and sexuality are shaped by race, indigeneity, ethnicity, class, age, ability, nationality, and religion. The program prepares students to pursue grad school, as well as careers in law, social service, counseling, public policy, health care, teaching, and the arts.

Offers BA in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies along with a Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Minor.

MACS logo with islands in blue ocean and white clouds

MACS (Marine and Coastal Sciences) Program

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, 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


Learn more about The MACS Program