Department of Environmental Studies, Huxley College of the Environment
80-90 credits (Phase I and major)
Introduction/What is the Study of Geography/Social Studies?
Geography/Social Studies at Huxley College provides a breadth of knowledge in Geography, Environmental Studies, History, Economics, Anthropology, and Political Science. As a Geography/Social Studies major you will be prepared to explore a wide variety of career paths. These include planning, education, environmental agencies and NGOs, business, tourism, GIS, government service, transportation, and many more. Majors in this degree program are highly encouraged to include a minor in their plan of study such as: Environmental Studies, GIS, Energy Policy, East Asian or Canadian-American Studies, or areas like a foreign language. In addition, it meets Washington State requirements for a teaching endorsement, Geography/Social Studies can also prepare you for teaching in non-traditional settings with or without the additional certification from Woodring College. Students with a degree in Geography/Social Studies can also go on to graduate work in Geography, Education, or Environmental Education.
Why Consider a Geography/Social Studies Major?
If you are interested in any of the above career paths or you want to teach Geography and Social Studies to children in grades 5-12 in a public or private school setting, this major will provide the subject area requirements. Secondary Education students who wish to be endorsed in Social Studies may choose this major. However, the Geography/Social Studies degree does not require that a student pursue a teaching certificate. Geography/Social Studies majors interested in Secondary certification must apply separately to the certification programs, such as those in Woodring College of Education. Students usually apply to Woodring in their senior year or after they graduate.
To receive a recommendation for state of Washington certification, students must complete the teacher certification program, including the content methods course, SEC 426, which is offered by the Department of Secondary Education as 1) a part of the undergraduate BA degree, or 2) as a post-baccalaureate program, or 3) as part of the Master’s in Education degree. See the Secondary Education section of this catalog for program admission, completion, and teaching certification requirements. Completion of this combined major leads to an endorsement in social studies.
Middle or High School Teacher | Planner | Land-Use Analyst | Eco Tourism Consultant | GIS Technician |Community Organizer | Private School Teacher | NGO leader
How to Declare (Admission and Declaration Process):
You can declare yourself as an Environmental Studies (ENVS) Geography/Social Studies major at any time, and there are several advantages to declaring during your freshman or sophomore year. Once you are declared as a phase I major you are assigned a Huxley faculty advisor based on your interests at the time of declaration. You can then meet with your faculty advisor to discuss which courses to take and when, how to prepare for graduate school or a future career, or simply to get assistance navigating through the Huxley curriculum. Your email is added to an email distribution list for Huxley majors so you will begin to receive notifications and general announcements, as well as information about jobs, internships, or research opportunities.
Those pursuing the Geography/Social Studies BA degree may begin as Phase I majors. Preparatory and major requirements differ from those of the other ENVS majors as outlined below. You can declare Geography/Social Studies Phase I major at any time by going to the central Huxley College office in Environmental Studies Building 539 and filling out a major declaration card. Those interested in information about secondary education programs may request an appointment through Woodring College of Education in Miller Hall 400, phone 360-650-3327, e-mail address Janna.Cecka@wwu.edu.
A grade of C- or better is required for a student’s major or minor courses, and supporting courses for majors and minors. Courses required for a state teaching endorsement must be completed with a grade of C (2.0) or better.