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University Catalog
    Western Washington University
  Dec 10, 2017
2014-2015 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

College of Humanities and Social Sciences


Dr. LeaAnn Martin, Dean

The College of Humanities and Social Sciences, Western’s largest academic unit, is composed of two divisions: the humanities (communication studies, English, history, journalism, liberal studies, modern and classical languages, philosophy) and the social and behavioral sciences (anthropology, communication sciences and disorders, physical education, health and recreation, political science, psychology, sociology). These 13 departments offer more than 40 bachelor’s degrees and 12 master’s degrees, along with four interdisciplinary degrees in East Asian studies, linguistics, women, gender, and sexuality studies, and student-faculty designed majors.

The college houses several research and service centers, including the Center for Cross-cultural Research, the Center for Performance Excellence, and two community-based professional training centers: the Speech and Hearing Clinic and the Psychology Counseling Clinic. In addition, the college has six nationally accredited professional programs: school counseling, mental health counseling, speech pathology, audiology, community health and recreation.

Mission Statement

The College serves the University by engaging students in distinctive, diverse programs in social and behavioral sciences and the humanities. Emerging from a vibrant liberal arts core, our collaborative learning environment inspires individual, social, cultural, creative, and scientific exploration. Students devise and apply innovative solutions, embrace divergent worldviews, consider the ethical implications of their actions, and communicate effectively in their professional, public, and personal lives. Together, students, faculty and staff generate knowledge, pursue research and foster life-long learning to contribute to the well-being of communities from local to global.

Objectives of College:

The College of Humanities and Social Sciences partners with the College of Sciences and Technology to provide students with a three-component liberal education: first, a program of education-in-breadth through the General University Requirements (GURs) intended to prepare students for postgraduate life as educated persons and citizens; second, a program of education-in-depth in a disciplinary or interdisciplinary major designed to prepare students for careers or graduate study; and third, a choice of elective courses which can help satisfy the student’s curiosity about any of the multitude of subjects that the University curriculum embraces. With each of these components, the college intends to produce graduates who are capable of informed and critical thinking; who have learned to tolerate ambiguity; who can appreciate cultural differences; who have developed moral and aesthetic sensibilities; who have mastered the basic tools of literacy and technology and who have acquired levels of information about the natural and social worlds, past and present, sufficient for responsible citizenship and the enjoyment of a civilized society. The college places strong emphasis on student-faculty collaboration in developing these skills through active learning, including laboratory experiences, community-based faculty-directed service learning, and student involvement in faculty research programs.

Academic Programs Leading to Undergraduate and Graduate Degrees

Anthropology BA, BAE, MA
Anthropology/Archaeology Concentration BA
Anthropology/Biocultural Concentration BA
Anthropology/Biology BA
Anthropology/Social Studies BA
Archives and Records Management MA
Behavioral Neuroscience BA
Biology/Anthropology BS
Canadian/American Studies BA
Communication Sciences & Disorders BA, MA
Community Health BS
Communication Studies BA, BAE
Double Language Major (French, German, Spanish) BA
East Asian Studies BA
Economics/Political Science BA
English/Creative Writing MFA
English/Creative Writing Emphasis BA
English/English Studies MA
English/Literature Emphasis BA
Environmental Studies/Journalism (program in moratorium) BA
Experimental Psychology MS
History BA, BAE, MA
History/Social Studies BA
Humanities/History of Culture BA
Humanities/Religion & Culture BA
Journalism BA
Kinesiology BS, MS
Linguistics BA
Mental Health Counseling MS
Modern and Classical Languages (Chinese, French, German, Japanese, Spanish) BA, BAE
Multidisciplinary Studies BA
Philosophy BA
Physical Education and Health ~ P-12 BAE
Political Science BA, MA
Political Science/Economics BA
Political Science/Environmental Studies MA
Political Science/Social Studies BA
Politics/Philosophy/Economics BA
Psychology BA, BAE, BS
Recreation BA
School Counseling M/Ed
Sociology BA, BAE, BS
Sociology/Social Studies BA
Student-Faculty Designed Major BA, BS

Majors and Minors

In addition to the GURs and other common degree requirements of the University, the candidate for a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degree must complete a major area emphasis which is usually accompanied by supporting courses. A minor is optional. A few concentrations are offered which encompass both a major and a minor. Students will confer with appropriate departmental advisors to plan study programs. Transfer students are expected to complete at least a portion of their work in the major and minor fields in this institution.

Student-Faculty Designed, BA or BS (College of Humanities and Social Sciences)

Students desiring concentrated study in areas not listed as majors by departments of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences may design a major in conference with faculty members. Procedures for the Student Faculty Designed majors (BA or BS) are available from the Department of Liberal Studies or at

College Admission and Advisement

Academic Advisement

As the student completes the freshman year, which consists largely of courses that meet the GURs, he or she is referred to the academic departments for continued personalized advisement in planning and selecting courses of study. Faculty within each department share responsibility for counseling students electing concentrations in their area. In some cases, faculty from several departments may cooperate with a student in constructing his or her own interdisciplinary major; in others, faculty members may recommend to the department chair the waiving of certain course prerequisites (when it has been demonstrated that the student already has these competencies). Students who are undecided about a major may seek advisement through the Academic Advising Center in Old Main.

Department Chairs

Dr. Todd Koetje Anthropology
Dr. Michael Karlberg Communication Studies
Dr. Barbara Mathers-Schmidt Communication Sciences and Disorders
Dr. Bruce Goebel English
Dr. Kevin Leonard History
Jennifer Keller (Interim Chair) Journalism
Dr. Scott Pearce Liberal Studies
Dr. María Paredes Méndez Modern & Classical Languages
Dr. Ryan Wasserman Philosophy
Dr. Charles Sylvester Physical Education, Health & Recreation
Dr. Amir Abedi Political Science
Dr. Larry Symons Psychology
Dr. Mick Cunningham Sociology

Other College Information

Departments, Courses and Programs

Courses listed in this catalog constitute a record of the total academic program of the University. For an exact scheduling of courses at Western, students should consult the annual online Timetable of Classes, and Extended Education bulletins.


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Canadian-American Studies

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Communication Sciences and Disorders

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Communication Studies

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East Asian Studies

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Liberal Studies

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Modern and Classical Languages

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Multidisciplinary Studies

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Physical Education, Health and Recreation

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Political Science

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Student/Faculty Designed Majors

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Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

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