Japanese with a Teaching Endorsement

Studying Japanese opens the door to learning firsthand about Japanese society through language, literature, culture, and civilization. Studying Japanese with a Teaching Endorsement imparts skills to future foreign language teachers so that they may similarly enable high school students to begin the acquisition of foreign languages.

Western’s Modern and Classical Languages Department trains in two areas: language structure and literary analysis. Language structure is taught both holistically and analytically. Holistic language learning is facilitated by modern methods and multimedia technology, as well as study abroad opportunities. Analytical instruction of language is taught through a full range of language skills courses, as well as a significant number of 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 BA in Japanese 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.

Western’s Modern and Classical Languages Department is part of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences. In order to receive a recommendation for state of Washington certification, students must complete the teacher certification program offered by the Department of Secondary Education.

 

Beyond the Classroom

Students in the Modern and Classical Languages Department are encouraged to study abroad in direct or exchange programs. 

Careers and Graduate Studies

Employers of Recent Western Graduates:

  • AtoZ Corporation: Nagano, Japan
  • Avalon English Academy: Seoul, Korea
  • KCP International Japanese Language School: Tokyo, Japan

 

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
  • Foreign Diplomat
  • Travel Writer
  • Communication Specialist

College of Humanities and Social Sciences

Industrial Design

Industrial Design is a process of design applied to products that are to be manufactured through techniques of mass production.  It is a mixture of applied art and applied engineering.

Western Industrial Design students learn problem-solving methodologies, product research, drawing skills (both by hand and by computer), three dimensional model-making techniques, materials, manufacturing processes, ergonomics, design theory, and marketing principles. These skills are applied in the design of many new and innovative products which eventually comprise the student’s portfolio.

Western’s Engineering and Design Department is part of the College of Science and Engineering.

Emily Bartlett
Industrial Design Student

“I love this ability to make things—all things! Industrial Design teaches a combination of engineering and art—something that functions deserves to be beautiful.”

Western’s program has a strong reputation in the profession and is NASAD accredited, the only national accrediting association for Industrial Design. The program values hands-on learning about manufacturing processes and materials, not just theory, and offers access to state-of-the-art machines. Students are provided work spaces in a studio environment where they can accomplish their assignments and complete projects.

The facility also has a well-equipped shop for teaching with both wood and metal machinery, and a walk-in paint booth. Additional facilities within the Engineering and Design Department are available to students as they enroll in the respective support courses. These labs include CNC machining, rapid prototyping, FDM 3D printing, injection molding, composite materials, electronics, and soft-tooling labs. 

Beyond the Classroom

Industrial Design students often join the Western chapter of the Industrial Design Society of America (IDSA). IDSA provides opportunities by putting on design events, inviting guest speakers, and arranging job shadows with different design firms around the country. 

Internships are strongly recommended as part of a student’s plan of study. Students generally participate in a summer internship. Industrial Design majors have recently interned at:

  • PreCor
  • IDEO
  • Specialized 
  • Fujifilm
  • Bose 
  • Intel 
  • Sonosite
  • Tabar
  • Tether, Inc.
  • General Electric

Careers and Graduate Studies

The Bachelor of Science degree program in Industrial Design prepares graduates to begin work as practicing designers in corporate, consulting, or entrepreneurial positions. Industrial Design is a highly competitive and professional service of creating and developing concepts that optimize function, value, and appearance of products and systems for the mutual benefit of both the user and the manufacturer.

Employers of Recent Western Graduates: 

  • Astro Studios (San Francisco, CA): Designer 
  • Blendtec (Provo, UT): Designer 
  • Boeing
  • Bose
  • Burn Design Lab 
  • Burton
  • Code and Theory (Manhattan, NY): Junior Industrial Designer 
  • Dakine
  • Fluke
  • Freerange PDX (Portland, OR): Designer 
  • Intel
  • Michael Courtney Design (Seattle, WA): Junior Designer 
  • Microsoft
  • Nike
  • Oculus
  • Pensar
  • Specialized
  • Tabar
  • Tactile
  • TEAGUE 
  • Tether 

 

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

  • Industrial Designer
  • User Experience Designer
  • Director of Product Development
  • Staff Designer
  • Design Consultant
  • Research and Strategy
  • Entrepreneur

Department of Engineering and Design

Humanities—Religion and Culture

The study of humanities focuses on how cultures change. The humanities include the disciplines which study philosophy, religion, history, literature, and the arts. Western's Humanities — Religion and Culture major provides scholarly, non-sectarian study of religions. Students study religious beliefs, practices, arts, identities, and institutions; they study how religions have influenced and been influenced by historical changes in other aspects of society and culture. Learning how to understand people of different religions helps students exercise leadership in settings of religious diversity and conflict. 

The concentration includes the study of religious tradition in both a broad survey of Western culture and a focus on one non-Western culture. Students study the origin, history, and methods of the academic study of religion as it has developed in modern Europe and North America.

The Liberal Studies Department is part of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences.

“We encourage the objective study of religion and culture. But because religions pose moral questions, the study of religion allows for a second type of inquiry as well, one rooted in a subjective, evaluative response. Religious studies is the ultimate interdisciplinary adventure.” 

-Holly Folk, Faculty

Beyond the Classroom

The small size of classes and seminars in the Humanities program encourages close relationships between students and faculty. Students conduct independent research on topics of their own choosing. Working closely with faculty, students learn to formulate problems clearly; to consider and evaluate different methods and concepts; to do efficient and thorough research; and to write clearly, concisely and effectively.

"The texts and critiques of others have shaped my views. I am able to engage in a form of mental dialogue that challenges my own opinions, as well as others’. I am able to contextualize information and history, as I have been given a rough understanding of various chains of events that have led up to the development of various topics, like the foundation of Islamic civilization, the academic study of religion and the beginnings of Christianity." 

-Vivian Kwan, Student

Careers and Graduate Studies

The Humanities — Religion and Culture major is particularly helpful for students who plan careers in education, and the ministry or graduate study in religion and has proved to be excellent preparation for professional careers in teaching, law, library science, archive administration, and for research and administrative positions with businesses and non-profit organizations. 

Graduates have gone on to a variety of professional graduate schools, including law, library and information science, and conflict resolution. Students who have done excellent work in the department have succeeded in graduate academic programs in literature, history, and the study of religion.

 

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 
  • Teacher 
  • Professor 
  • Librarian 
  • Writer 
  • Business Administrator 
  • Historian 
  • Non-Profit Organization Administrator 
  • Congressional Aid 
  • Research Assistant 
  • Editor 
  • Lobbyist

Department of Liberal Studies

Humanities—History of Culture

The Humanities include the study of philosophy, religion, history, literature, and the arts. The Humanities — History of Culture program supports study of religions and of cultural history in Europe and the Americas, China, Japan, South Asia, sub-Saharan Africa, and in predominantly Islamic areas with attention to historical development and cross-cultural interaction, both in the past and modern period. Western’s Humanities program attracts students who want to major in more than one humanities discipline, using interdisciplinary methods of investigation.

Students acquire a substantial knowledge of religious, philosophical, literary and aesthetic movements in the history of Western culture. Students also study works of the humanities in at least one other culture, and that culture’s history. Using methods from different humanities disciplines, students learn to analyze individual works of the humanities and to relate them to social and cultural developments. Learning how to understand cultural differences and cultural change helps students exercise leadership in a more closely knit, global world. 

The Liberal Studies Department is part of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences.

“What grabbed my attention in the Liberal Studies Department were the passions that I had with world cultures and its religions. Humanities gave me the binoculars of history, literature, philosophy, and religion. These lenses enabled me to view other cultures and to empathize and understand others.” 

-Vivian Kwan, Student

Beyond the Classroom

The small size of classes and seminars in the Humanities program encourages close relationships between students and faculty. Students conduct independent research on topics of their own choosing. Working closely with faculty, students learn to formulate problems clearly; to consider and evaluate different methods and concepts; to do efficient and thorough research; and to write clearly, concisely and effectively.

Careers and Graduate Studies

The Humanities — History of Culture major has proved to be excellent preparation for professional careers in teaching, law, libraries, museums, or archive administration, and for research and administrative positions with a wide variety of businesses and non-profit organizations.

Graduates have gone on to a variety of professional graduate schools, including law, library and information science, and conflict resolution. Students who have done excellent work in the department have succeeded in graduate academic programs in literature, history and the study of religion.

 

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 
  • Teacher
  • Professor 
  • Librarian 
  • Writer 
  • Business Administrator 
  • Historian 
  • Non-Profit Organization Administrator 
  • Congressional Aid 
  • Research Assistant 
  • Editor 
  • Lobbyist

Department of Liberal Studies

Human Services

The field of Human Services is broadly defined by the objective of meeting human needs through an interdisciplinary knowledge base, focusing on prevention as well as remediation of problems, and maintaining a commitment to improving overall quality of life. The Human Services major attracts students with a strong commitment to social and economic justice, human dignity, self-determination, and the desire to support change through direct and indirect service delivery. Human Services students have a variety of interests, including social service, education, advocacy, criminal justice, international studies, and a shared desire to bring about positive change.

 

“My major requires its students to complete three quarters, a total of 360 hours, of internships in the community. It's been great to develop important job skills and build on my resume, as well as staying active in the community.” 

-Nicole Proctor, Student

Human Services is a unique major that combines academic study with professional internships. The three quarters of required internship are key parts of the curriculum, allowing students to engage with the community, while adding to their academic experience through applied practice. The program is offered in Bellingham, Everett, and through Distance Learning (online classes), and is designed to meet National Standards in human services education as outlined by the Council for Standards in Human Service Education. 

The Department of Health and Community Studies is part of Woodring College of Education.

Beyond the Classroom

Human Services internship activities include community outreach, grant writing, event planning, program coordination, advocacy, field organizing, client interaction, and mentoring. Interns often provide direct services with a variety of populations, including veterans, children, youth and families, people with disabilities, the elderly, and students and staff in educational institutions pre-K through college. Students have the opportunity to work with organizations that focus on a wide range of issues, community health, homelessness, domestic violence, chemical dependency, youth and family work, foster care, and more.  

Recent Internships:

  • Big Brothers Big Sisters
  • Bellingham Food Bank
  • Bellingham Fire Department
  • Skagit Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Services

 

"I wanted to interact with others directly and have work I could easily see the meaning in. Human Services has guided me towards experiences that have been more and more fulfilling."  

-Melanie Patterson, Student

Careers and Graduate Studies

Thousands of Human Services program graduates are currently working in meaningful positions in nonprofit, government, and community-based services.

Roles of Recent Western Graduates:

  • Executive Assistant to Leadership Team: Alzheimer’s Association
  • Impact Coordinator: AmeriCorps VISTA
  • Youth Chemical Dependency Counselor: Catholic Community Services
  • Housing Coordinator: Compass Health
  • Clinical Support Specialist: Downtown Emergency Service Center
  • Adoption Advisor: Seattle Humane Society
  • LGBTQ Youth Advocate/Homeless Prevention Specialist: Skagit YMCA
  • Women’s Support Advocate: Womencare Shelter

Human Services graduates pursue graduate studies all over the country, most frequently in programs such as: 

  • Social Work
  • Law
  • Adult and Higher Education 
  • Rehabilitation Counseling
  • Psychology
  • School Counseling

 

“The Human Services program has a more than 45-year history of close engagement and collaboration with community partners. It is a mutually beneficial relationship, with our students providing much needed services for our partners while adding to their academic experience through applied practice.”  

-John Korsmo, Professor

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

  • Children, Youth, and Family Services
  • Veterans Services
  • Mental Health
  • International Relief
  • Rehabilitation Counseling & Disability Services
  • Corrections & Law Enforcement
  • Community Development & Organizing
  • Faith-Based Services
  • Human Resources
  • Nonprofit Management
  • Non-Profit Organization Administrator

 

Department of Health and Community Studies

History—Elementary

The History — Elementary major at Western is designed for students who plan to become elementary school teachers. In their history courses, History — Elementary majors learn how to locate and access a wide range of sources, to analyze historical evidence, including textual and visual sources, to evaluate historical interpretations, and to develop and support their own interpretations. The quantity of writing and discussion required in history courses also helps students to develop effective communication skills. 

The History—Elementary major 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. See the Elementary Education section of the University catalog for program admission, completion, and teacher certification requirements.

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

Beyond the Classroom

History students often get involved with the National Honor Society, Phi Alpha Theta. Phi Alpha Theta offers many fun and scholarly activities to participate in through the chapter. Involvement with the chapter is a good way to expand your knowledge of history and the association with the honor society is a great way to make connections for future opportunities in history.

Careers and Graduate Studies

The History — Elementary major at Western is designed for students who plan to become elementary school teachers. The major satisfies the academic major requirement for teacher certification with an endorsement in elementary education 

Employers of Recent Western Graduates: 

  • Federal Way School District 
  • Seattle School District

 

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

College of Humanities and Social Sciences

History/Social Studies

History/Social Studies focuses on locating and accessing a wide range of sources to analyze historical evidence, including textual and visual sources to evaluate historical interpretations, and to develop and support one’s own interpretations. The quantity of writing and discussion required in history courses also helps students to develop effective communication skills. The required courses in economics, geography, and political science are intended to prepare students to teach these subjects in middle and high schools.

The History/Social Studies major at Western is designed to prepare students to teach history and social studies in secondary schools. However, this major also prepares students for a wider range of careers. The History/Social Studies degree does not require that a student pursue a teaching certificate. History/Social Studies majors interested in a Secondary Education certification must apply separately to the certification program in Woodring College of Education.

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

Beyond the Classroom

Students often get involved with the National Honor Society, Phi Alpha Theta. Phi Alpha Theta offers many fun and scholarly activities to participate in through the chapter. Involvement with the chapter is a good way to expand your knowledge of history and the association with the honor society is a great way to make connections for future opportunities in history.

Careers and Graduate Studies

The knowledge students acquire and the skills they develop in their history and social science courses prepare them for law school; graduate programs in teaching, public policy, or international affairs; and careers as journalists, government officials, and attorneys.

 

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 Studies Teacher 
  • Politician/Attorney 
  • Teacher 
  • Archivist 
  • Museum Curator

History

In high school, students often are given the impression that the study of history simply requires memorization of names, dates, and other facts about events in the past. At the college level, however, the study of history facilitates the development of research, analytical, evaluative, and interpretive skills. The study of history involves a careful search through existing evidence to determine what happened in the past, but understanding how and why that evidence was created and then saved stands at the center of the discipline. It’s all about asking tough questions.

That’s why the History major at Western prepares students for many different careers. Due to the quantity of reading, writing, and discussion, History majors have strong communication and analytical skills, which are valued by all employers, including businesses and government agencies. History majors learn how to locate and access a wide range of sources, to analyze evidence, including textual and visual sources, to evaluate competing interpretations, and to develop and support their own interpretations. They can help make sense of the kinds of challenges faced by almost any organization or business.

Beyond the Classroom

Students often get involved with the National Honor Society, Phi Alpha Theta. Phi Alpha Theta offers many fun and scholarly activities to participate in through the chapter. Involvement with the chapter is a good way to expand your knowledge of history and the association with the honor society is a great way to make connections for future opportunities in history. 

The History department encourages students to find internships and explore their passions. Recent student internships include: 

  • Friedman Rubin Trial Lawyers: Investigation Intern 
  • Skagit County Public Works: Records Intern 
  • WA State Archive: Northwest Regional Intern

Careers and Graduate Studies

Liberal Arts and Sciences majors show some of the highest gains in critical thinking and analytical skills, the skills employers consistently say that they want most. History majors, in addition, learn to think about other cultures past and present, an important career skill in an increasingly diverse world. In short, History majors’ skills prepare them to be effective citizens, lifelong learners, and to have successful careers. Some choose to work in history-related fields such as teaching, library science, museum studies, or public history. The vast majority of History majors, however, go on to successful careers in business, government, and the nonprofit sectors. Studies show that History majors have some of the largest gains in earning over time because of their impressive skills.

Employers of Recent Western Graduates: 

  • Google
  • Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust: Processing Archivist 
  • Skagit County Public Works: Records Assistant 
  • United States Postal Service 
  • King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office: Legal Administrative Specialist 
  • Friedman Rubin Trial Lawyers: Investigator 
  • CEP Felipe II (Madrid, Spain): Language/Culture Assistant 

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

  • University of Maryland: Library and Information Science (MLS) 
  • Western Washington University: Archival Studies and Records Management (MA)

 

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

  • Foreign Service Officer 
  • Attorney 
  • Museum Curator 
  • Government Official 
  • Journalist 
  • Business Manager 
  • Social Studies Teacher 
  • FBI/CIA Agent 
  • Librarian 
  • Archivist 
  • Historical Preservation Specialist

German—Elementary

German studies aims to learn about a culture in depth through both language structure and literary analysis. The department provides instruction in history, culture, and literary theory to impart skills to future foreign language teachers so that they may similarly enable elementary school students to begin the acquisition of foreign languages.

Western’s German studies program is one of only two programs nationwide to be recognized in 2013 as a “National Center of Excellence” by the American Association of Teachers of German — the governing body for German instructors at all levels. German studies at Western is the only undergraduate program at a public university in the United States with this designation. 

The German — Elementary major 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. See Elementary Education for program admission, completion, and teacher certification requirements. 

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

“The student centered support of the German faculty at Western does not end in the classroom! The professors support and advise students on opportunities to study abroad, scholarships, and work opportunities.” 

-Andrew Erickson-Lapidus, Student

Beyond the Classroom

Gain a global perspective through study abroad programs to numerous Austrian, German, and Swiss universities as well as direct exchanges with the Georg-August-Universität Göttingen, Rheinisch-Westfälische Technische Hochschule Aachen, Universität Duisburg-Essen, and Karl-Franzens-Universität Graz. Students may enroll at the host university for a semester or whole academic year and will receive credit toward the German major or minor. 

Students have the opportunity to participate in a variety of extracurricular activities, such as the German Table (Stammtisch) at Rudy’s Pizzeria in downtown Bellingham, the intramural German soccer team, and the German Club. The faculty also regularly organizes special events. Recent highlights include outings to the Frye Art Museum in Seattle and a Rammstein concert in Tacoma, WA Western’s version of German Day, “German Rocks”, with an evening dance party, and presentations by Microsoft on the advantages of having a foreign language degree in the business world.

“Whether raising money and walking together for Relay4Life, teaching underprivileged youths German at Compass 2 Campus events, weekly Stammtisch dinners, creating a soccer team, attending a Rammstein concert, theater-nights, or even dancing together at the “German Rocks!” event through Radio Goethe, one thing is certain: our department never has a dull moment.” 

-Valeria Fisher, Student

Careers and Graduate Studies

Knowledge of the German language and culture opens up doors for students to apply for competitive grants for research and study in Germany, such as those from the Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst (German Academic Exchange Service). Since 2009, our German students have won 17 nationally and internationally competitive scholarships for studying, teaching, and working in German-speaking countries, including the following: 

  • Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange for Young Professionals (CBYX) 
  • Fulbright English Teaching Assistantships 
  • German Academic Exchange Service Graduate Scholarships 
  • German Academic Exchange Service RISE (Research Internship in Science and Engineering) 
  • German Academic Exchange Service University Summer Grant 
  • German Academic Exchange Service Bundestag Internship

 

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

Department of Elementary Education

Geophysics

Geophysics involves studies in the application of physics as a means of understanding a range of geological processes.

Western’s Geophysics major is distinct from geology in that a more intensive set of math and physics courses, and applications of these skills, are required. Students are strongly encouraged to complete a senior thesis project as part of this degree, providing them with an excellent capstone experience.

Western’s Geology Department is part of the College of Science and Engineering.

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 geoscientist will be significant.

–Bernie Housen, Faculty

Beyond the Classroom

The Geology department is home to two active professional-society student chapters — the Society of Economic Geologists (SEG) and the Association of Environmental & Engineering Geologists (AEG) that offer professional development and networking opportunities outside the classroom.

Careers and Graduate Studies

Students who complete the Geophysics degree at Western will be prepared to continue to graduate studies in geology, geophysics, planetary geology/geophysics, physics, or other related fields, or to enter into industry.

 

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

  • U.S. Geological Survey 
  • Department of Natural Resources 
  • Oil and Mining companies 
  • NASA 
  • U.S. Forest Service 
  • U.S Army Corps of Engineers 
  • Explorations Geologist 
  • Museum Curator 
  • Climate Change Scientist 
  • Earthquake or Volcano Monitor 
  • Engineering Geologist

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