Jul 22, 2024  
2024-25 Western Washington University Catalog 
2024-25 Western Washington University Catalog

Business and Sustainability — Energy Studies Concentration, BA

Location(s): WWU - Bellingham

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Combined major offered by the Department of Management, College of Business and Economics, and the Institute for Energy Studies, University Interdisciplinary Programs

112 credits


The State of Washington is a leader in responding to the societal imperative regarding environmental issues. This Bachelor of Arts degree in Business and Sustainability is an action component of the state’s initiatives. This degree combines three areas of study that give graduates the necessary knowledge, skills, and abilities to operate in a changing economic and social environment.

Graduates from this program will possess:

  • A fundamental knowledge of economics, giving them the skills to apply economic analysis to problems in sustainable business faced by modern organizations.
  • A fundamental knowledge of environmental science and policy, giving them the ability to understand the social and political climate as well as the scientific issues involved in sustainable business.
  • An extensive knowledge of business and management in the context of business sustainability giving them the basic skills needed to succeed in organizations.

Why Consider a Business and Sustainability Major?

A Business and Sustainability Major prepares a student to analyze environmental and social issues from multiple perspectives, decide on action steps to deal with those issues, and then implement those action steps successfully. Need for these actions will only grow as environmental issues, including climate change, waste, and pollution become more central in the operations of organizations. This degree compliments the state’s initiative involving private enterprise, not-for-profit organizations, and government.

Energy Studies Concentration:

The transition to a more sustainable energy system is a key to reconciling our economic and environmental aspirations. WWU graduates are finding growing opportunities in the emerging energy economy in Washington and beyond. Today’s diverse energy business demands knowledge of core business skills, understanding of energy policy and management, and broad exposure to the science, environmental, business and policy aspects of the energy system that drive energy-related businesses and their governing policies. The energy concentration in the Business and Sustainability major gives graduates a strong blend of analytic and communication skills, along with energy-related expertise that industry and government experts have identified as essential to workforce needs in the emerging energy economy.

 Contact Information

CBE Admissions & Scholarships
Dean’s Office
Parks Hall 419

Department Chair
Mary Sass
Parks Hall 351A

 Sample Careers

Environmental Sustainability Manager | Sustainability Design Professional | Energy Efficiency Analyst | Director of Energy Policy and Programs | Supply Chain Analyst

 Major/Career Resources


How to Declare (Admission and Declaration Process):

Students planning to major in Business and Sustainability should declare their major as early as possible, preferably their first year at Western through the College of Business and Economics.

Admission Process

Students must confirm admission to Western Washington University before applying to the College of Business and Economics (CBE). Students are encouraged to submit applications as soon as they meet the requirements to apply, which vary by major/concentration. Applications are submitted using an online form, located on the CBE website (cbe.wwu.edu/apply-cbe). Some major/concentration applications have quarterly deadlines, while others are processed on a continual basis. Information regarding application deadline dates is listed on the CBE application webpage.

All students with a Western GPA must be in good standing with the University (cumulative Western GPA must be 2.00 or higher). Transfer students with no Western GPA at the time of CBE application must maintain good standing with the University moving forward. See information CBE major/concentration-specific regarding GPA requirements below.

Invited Distinguished Scholars may apply to all CBE programs following the requirements they receive from CBE.

Retention Standards

In order to remain in good standing in CBE for all programs excluding Economics, pre-majors and full majors must remain in good standing with the University (cumulative Western GPA must be 2.00 or higher) and must maintain a minimum Western cumulative GPA of 2.50.

For Economics degrees, excluding combined degrees, students must maintain a minimum cumulative Western GPA of 2.00.

Should students fall below retention standards, they will receive a warning and have one quarter in which to repair their GPAs. If GPAs remain below CBE standards, students will be dropped from the college.

Please note: No individual course grade lower than a C- will be accepted and credited toward degree requirements.

Academic Status

When students in CBE programs with pre-major status available are enrolled in their last foundation course(s), they will be considered provisional majors and allowed to register for major-restricted courses the following quarter. Students who do not successfully complete their last foundation course(s) and meet all requirements for full major status (cumulative 2.50 or higher all-college GPA, 2.00 or higher Western GPA) will be reverted to pre-majors and cannot enroll in major-restricted courses until they have successfully completed their foundation courses. Students are eligible for provisional major status in CBE only once. Provisional major status is not applicable for Economics. (Students are full majors immediately in this department.)

Requirements to apply for:

  • Business and Sustainability  BA
  • Business and Sustainability: Energy Studies Concentration  BA

Application deadlines apply. Students with an all-college GPA of 2.50 or higher, and a cumulative Western GPA (if any business courses have been completed at Western) of 2.50 or higher may apply regardless of how many business courses have been completed. Students who have not completed the business foundation courses will be admitted as pre-majors. Students who have completed all foundation courses will be admitted as full majors.

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. Students enrolled in this degree program are not eligible for Energy Policy Minor.


Energy Studies Concentration (64 credits)

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