Department of Environmental Studies, College of the Environment
45-48 credits (preparatory courses and major)
This program is designed to provide necessary depth as well as breadth to teaching majors who wish to specialize in geography in the public school system.
This 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 this catalog for program admission, completion, and teacher certification requirements. This program is designed to provide necessary depth as well as breadth to teaching majors who wish to specialize in geography in the public school system.
Students wishing to complete a Geography Elementary Education major should complete the general chemistry series during their freshman year and the general biology series during their sophomore year. Prospective environmental science majors are strongly advised to take additional preparatory course work that provides a strong background in chemistry, biology and mathematics. The preparatory courses may be used to fulfill both College of the Environment and GUR requirements.
Why Consider a Geography-Elementary Major?
This major prepares students for a concentration in Geography to accompany their courses in Elementary Education.
How to Declare (Admission and Declaration Process):
Those pursuing the Geography — Elementary, BAE degree may begin as pre-majors. Preparatory and major requirements differ from those of the other Environmental Studies majors as outlined in this catalog.
How to Apply as a Pre-Major
At any time, you can declare yourself as a pre-major with interest in environmental studies by contacting a College of the Environment professional advisor. To become a pre-major, set up an appointment with a professional adviser on our Undergrad Academic Advising website cenv.wwu.edu/academic-advising, by visiting the College of the Environment Student Support office in Environmental Studies Building 539, or by calling 360-650-3520.
Students are encouraged to apply to be a pre-major as early as they can, ideally during their freshman or sophomore year. You do not need to complete any preparatory courses before applying as a pre-major.
What happens when students become pre-majors?
Pre-major status will give you access to priority registration for Environmental Studies classes. Once you are declared as a pre-major you are assigned a College of the Environment professional advisor and a faculty advisor based on your academic interests. Your professional advisor can help you understand graduation requirements and how to navigate through your degree curriculum. Your faculty advisor can help you decide which courses to take and give you advice about how to prepare for graduate school or a future career. As a pre-major, your email is added to an email distribution list for College of the Environment majors so you will begin to receive notifications and general announcements.
How to Apply to the Majors
After completing the Geography — Elementary, BAE Preparatory courses, students can apply to move from pre-major status to major status. Preparatory courses must be completed with a C- or better before applying to this major. Transfer students coming in with a Direct Transfer Agreement may apply before completing Preparatory courses.
To apply, students should submit an application that includes brief answers (three to four well-formed paragraphs) to the following questions:
- Which specific Environmental Studies degree are you selecting?
- What excites you about majoring in Environmental Studies?
- How will the specific Environmental Studies degree you have chosen help you achieve your post-graduation career goals?
- OPTIONAL: Are there perspectives or experiences you can bring to strengthen and diversify the field of environmental studies?
- OPTIONAL: Do you feel that your academic transcript accurately reflects your abilities as a student? Please explain.
The application can be found on the College of the Environment website at cenv.wwu.edu/undergraduate-applications-college-environment. Applications are accepted during fall, winter, and spring quarters and must be received by 5 p.m. on October 6 (for winter quarter admission), January 15 (for spring quarter admission), or April 18 (for summer or fall quarter admission). If the deadline falls on a weekend, applications are due the following Monday.
A grade of C (2.0) or better is required for courses in the elementary education professional program and all courses required for the endorsement.
All preparatory courses required for admission should be completed on a lettered or numeric grading scale, not P/NP, and must be completed with a grade of C (2.0) or better.