Jul 13, 2024  
2024-25 Western Washington University Catalog 
2024-25 Western Washington University Catalog

Student/Faculty Designed, BS (College of the Environment)

Location(s): WWU - Bellingham

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Department of Environmental Sciences, College of the Environment


Students who wish to design their own major within the College of the Environment should obtain complete guidelines from the Undergraduate Advisors located in ES 539, the College of the Environment office. The major must be developed with faculty advisement and must be approved by two faculty members and the College of the Environment Curriculum Committee at least four quarters before the student’s anticipated graduation.

Why Consider a College of the Environment Student/Faculty Designed Major?

If you have an interest in using many different disciplines ranging from the natural, chemical, physical, data, and social sciences, and engineering as they relate to environmental issues then the Student/Faculty designed may be for you. You can use this degree to describe and predict problems caused by anthropogenic activities. You can also consider how to improve the natural environment or how the built environment relates to human health and the natural environment, and ways to mitigate harm.

 Contact Information

Department Chair
Ruth Sofield
Environmental Studies 344

College of the Environment 
Professional Advisor

Kathryn Patrick
Environmental Studies 539

 Sample Careers

Career choices are determined by the student’s interests.

 Major/Career Resources


How to Declare (Admission and Declaration Process):

Students who wish to pursue a BS with a Student/Faculty Designed major must complete the preparatory courses and apply to the Environmental Science major first. The declaration of a Student/Faculty Designed major degree occurs after approval of the title and coursework by the College of the Environment Curriculum Committee and the University’s Academic Coordinating Commission.

It is strongly advised that students meet with the College of the Environment Admissions Advisor as they begin their preparatory classes. Students can also declare as an Environmental Science pre-major during their first advising meeting. 

The Student/Faculty major should be developed in collaboration with at least one ESCI faculty member. Once the student has completed the preparatory courses for the Environmental Science major they can submit their plan for their student/faculty major to the College of the Environment Curriculum Committee with a brief written explanation of their major and the signatures of two faculty advisors. The explanation should include how the proposed Student/Faculty design major is different from other majors or emphases offered at Western Washington University. The proposal can not duplicate an existing degree. This must be done at least four quarters before graduation.

The Academic Coordinating Commission, a standing committee of Western’s Faculty Senate, must provide final approval of a Student/Faculty Designed major title.

Grade Requirements

A grade of C- or better is required for a student’s major or minor courses, and supporting courses for majors and minors.

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