Jul 15, 2024  
2024-25 Western Washington University Catalog 
2024-25 Western Washington University Catalog

Environmental Studies (Extension), BA

Location(s): WWU - Everett, WWU - Port Angeles, WWU - Poulsbo

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Department of Environmental Studies, College of the Environment - Salish Sea Region

84 credits


WWU College of the Environment - Salish Sea Region (CENV-SSR) is a distance-based network of instructional hubs that allows students to learn alongside world-famous researchers located in Poulsbo, Port Angeles, and Everett, Washington. First and second year students in regional community colleges can use the “Direct Transfer Agreement” pathway to transition their associate degree into a CENV-SSR bachelor’s degree. At CENV-SSR, they take upper-level courses to complete their bachelor’s degree. To optimize convenience for working students, CENV-SSR classes are scheduled from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Class delivery uses hybrid modality - combining in-person teaching, hands-on field labs, and interactive video conferencing.

This major uses a holistic, interdisciplinary approach to understanding human-environment systems and environmental challenges, modeled on the College of the Environment’s curricula. Academic programming includes classes in the natural sciences, social sciences, and humanities. It also integrates educational coursework, faculty-student collaboration, applied research, professional internships, and community service. This is designed to prepare tomorrow’s interdisciplinary problem solvers.

Within the major students elect either an Emphasis in Geographic Information Science (GIS), or a Minor in Environmental Science. The Policy Emphasis is the process of being discontinued, and courses necessary to fulfil its requirements are not currently being taught through SSR.

Why Consider an Environmental Studies (Extension) Major with an Environmental Science Minor?

Do you want to use your knowledge and skills to promote positive change in the environment? Do you want to understand the interactions and interdependencies between human and natural systems? Do you want an interdisciplinary education that reflects the complexity of society’s environmental challenges? Do you want to learn to communicate and integrate knowledge across areas of environmental expertise? Then the College of the Environment - Salish Sea Region Environmental Studies degree is the major for you.

 Contact Information

Department Chair
Rebekah Paci-Green
Western Washington University
516 High St. 
Bellingham, WA 98225
Arntzen Hall 206

Academic Program Director for
College of the Environment
- Salish Sea Region

Jenise M. Bauman
Western Washington University
1000 Olympic College Way
Poulsbo, WA 98370

Academic Program Manager
for College of the Environment
- Salish Sea Region

Ansu John
Western Washington University
1000 Olympic College Way
Poulsbo, WA 98370

 Sample Careers

Environmental Communications | Environmental Analyst | Environmental Advocate | Government Agency Employee | Sustainability Officer | Water Resource Manager | Park Ranger | Forest Service Employee | Educator

 Major/Career Resources


How to Declare (Admission and Declaration Process):

Applicants are instructed to complete a Direct Transfer Associates (DTA) Degree from the community college that the student is currently attending. College of the Environment - Salish Sea Region advisors and program coordinators work with advisors and faculty at partnered community colleges to advise students to take preparatory classes during their freshman and sophomore year. Once students have completed, or are completing, the Associate Transfer Degree and required courses, students may apply to the College of the Environment - Salish Sea Region and Western Washington University. Community College equivalent courses of ENVS 201, ENVS 203, MATH 114, BIOL 101, and CHEM 161 must be completed with a C- or better for application to this major. ENVS 204 will be offered within the program.

Questions, contact 360-394-2756 or cenvssr@wwu.edu.

A pre-advising session should be scheduled with cenvssr@wwu.edu to determine readiness for application.

Formal application is made to Western Washington University through the Admissions Office online application process. Once admitted, students will work with a College of the Environment - Salish Sea Region program advisor to select a depth and specialization area by the end of the first fall quarter. 

Outline for Application Process:

  • Make a note of the application deadline(s) for Fall Quarter admission.
    • Financial Aid Priority Deadline: January 31
    • Priority Application Deadline: March 1
    • Final Application Deadline: June 1
  • Apply for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at fafsa.ed.gov; WWU School Code 003802
  • Schedule a pre-advising appointment with cenvssr@wwu.edu to determine readiness for the application
  • Complete both the Transfer & Post-baccalaureate for Location Program Admission application and the College of the Environment – Salish Sea Region application and submit the $60 application fee by visiting admissions.wwu.edu/apply/location-programs.
  • Request an official transcript from institutions where you have earned prior college credit. If you previously attended WWU, it is not necessary to provide WWU transcripts or other transcripts previously submitted to WWU. Have the official transcript sent electronically or in a sealed envelope to:

Western Washington University Office of Admissions
Old Main 200, MS 9009 516 High Street
Bellingham, WA 98225

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.

Environmental Studies (Extension) foundation and core requirements

Foundations Core (26 credits)

MATH 112 or suitable math placement score is necessary for some foundations courses, but higher-level math courses are recommended. Students are strongly encouraged to take chemistry, biology, and MATH 114 as part of their GUR courses to access upper division Environmental Science courses.

Environmental Studies Core Knowledge Areas (28 credits)

Environmental Data Analysis and Communication (8 credits)

The Biophysical Environment (8 credits)

Socio-ecological Systems (4 credits)

Social Justice and the Environment (4 credits)

Institutions and Environmental Governance (4 credits)

Culminating Experience (9 credits)

If students take courses in this Culminating Courses category, the same courses may not be counted in other categories in this major.

Depth and Specialization

Students completing Environmental Studies degrees must choose a pre-defined emphasis, a pre-approved minor, or collaborate with a faculty adviser to develop a student-faculty designed plan of study. All depth and specialization pathways must include at least 20 credits of additional coursework beyond the courses used to fulfill requirements in other areas of the Environmental Studies major.

Environmental Science Minor (21 credits)

Environmental Science Minor  (main campus requirements)

The following courses are offered through the extension program and will fulfill the Environmental Science Minor requirements.

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