Location: Bellingham, Washington.
Size: 15,060 students with 96 percent being undergraduates.
Percent Women: 56 percent.
Tuition (one year) in state for undergraduate students: $7, 503.
Tuition (one year) out of state for undergraduate students: $18, 945.
Most popular majors: Business Administration, Computer Science, Biology, English, Communication Studies, Creative Writing, History, Human Services, Marketing, Political Science, Psychology, Sociology and Environmental Studies.
Greek life: No.
Acceptance rate: 78 percent.
For more information about financial aid, scholarships, majors, study abroad, and average test scores, visit http://www.wwu.edu/
Why Choose Western?
“I decided to transfer to Western from community college after taking a trip to Bellingham and visiting the campus. The campus is beautiful and I've only ever heard good things about Western. Also, I wanted to stay in-state and be somewhat close to home (Everett).”
“I liked Western for a variety of reasons: it's relative location to Seattle and Vancouver, how awesome Bellingham and the community is, the large selection of majors to choose from and the beautiful campus and its size.”
“My brother went to Western and I came to visit him a few times and fell in love with the campus, school and city right away. Bellingham is a beautiful area and has a lot to offer that most people don't realize until they live here. The school offers a great business program and psychology program (my major and minor) as well as very eclectic elective choices for GURs.”
“My parents both attended Western and they loved it. I grew up hearing how beautiful the area was and how great the school was. I was also really interested in psychology in high school so learning how strong their psychology program is was a huge draw for me.”
“I chose Western because I felt good vibes the first time I went to campus. I really didn't want to go to college at all, but after walking through Western's campus on a family vacation, I got an urge that it was the right school for me.”
“It's the perfect size! Small enough that you can always run into someone you know on campus but big enough that you're always seeing new faces. The campus is absolutely beautiful and Bellingham is the perfect college town. Also, the professors here are hired based on whether or not they can actually teach first, and then based on other credentials.”
“The student recreation center is my favorite place on campus. The fitness center has so much to offer from a lap pool, a track, weight rooms, cardio centers, fitness classes and even a rock climbing wall. No matter how you like to exercise, you'll be able to find something that works for you.”
“Some school traditions are LawnStock held in the spring quarter, and outdoor movie nights on the communications lawn in the beginning of fall quarter and end of spring quarter.”
“The best part about Western is its location. Bellingham has amazing views of the water and the mountains. It has a small town feel, but there is plenty to do and explore. I also love the size of the school. I always see a familiar face when I walk across campus and I don't feel lost in the crowd.”
“Inclusivity! In general, the people are friendly and inclusive creating a welcoming environment. -The scenery. The campus itself is beautiful, and it's also located near scenic areas like the Bay.”
“I love the Red Square Info Fair at the beginning of the year! It's so exciting and there is a ton of free stuff. The VU Late Night at the beginning is usually pretty fun too.”
“The campus is beautiful and my major classes are all small making it easy to have a personal relationship with professors and get to know each other, as well as ask for additional help with assignments.”
“I love being a student here because its location is ideal. It’s in a city and has shopping close by, it's not stranded like Washington State University and it's also only an hour away from my home town making it easy to take a weekend trip back.”
“Sometimes the school can be a bit weird. Lot's of barefooted students on nice days and apparently is a nude friendly campus.”
“Buildings need some serious R&D. The advising system is mediocre and the number of credits given per class is usually 4 instead of 5.”
“I personally feel the hippie and stoner connotation associated with Western is mostly seen in a negative way by people who aren't part of the western campus. I'm far from "hippie" and not a "stoner" but whenever I mention that I go to Western to other college students in Washington, they automatically assume I fit those 2 stereotypes.”
“I don't like the rain and how we don't have a football team.”
“The worst part of school is the fact that you can't get into a lot of classes. I don't think Western intended to get as big as it did. A lot of kids can't get into the classes they want because their majors are too full.”
“The parking lots need improvement. They are full of pot holes and you often have to park really far away to find a spot. Some buildings are getting really old. The dorms on the Ridge need renovating.”
New Collegiette on Campus
“I transferred in as a junior so I don't know what it's like to be a freshman at Western. However, I did transfer into the dorms and lived there for six months. I didn't like living in the dorms. I felt trapped on campus and didn't really click with any of the people on my floor.”
“I lived in the dorms my first year. I honestly didn't like it at all. It's hard to meet people without a Greek system and I thought it was pretty boring. I started to enjoy it more spring quarter when my roommate and I joined soccer intramurals. Prior to that we both wanted to leave the school and our third good friend who also roomed with us freshmen year left after fall quarter.”
“There is a freshmen only weekend during the summer called Summerstart. That's when you get to know the campus, some other freshmen and register for classes. Dorms are not first-year exclusive and each dorm area has a very different culture. Freshmen tend to stick together, but after your first year of classes students tend to get pretty mixed and it starts to become irrelevant what year you are.”
“It really depends what part of campus you are living on as a freshmen in my opinion. On the ridge, where I lived, it is kind of make it or break it. You either make your best friends up there, or you don't really find your niche, which is disappointing. Even though there is no Greek life, people can get really cliquey. Orientation was interesting. You get your real first taste of sleeping in a dorm with random people if you chose to, and you get your first real taste of the dining hall. I used to think the dining hall was awful when I was a freshman, but now I kind of miss it. I think it’s easy to get to know upperclassmen the further you get into your school year. You can meet a lot in GUR classes because some of them are still need them to graduate!”
“I was a transfer! I transferred my junior year and found the transition easy. Make sure to find an excellent advisor and look for housing far in advance.”
All About Academics
“As far as my friends go, the most popular majors are those within the business department. Whether its marketing, management, or operations, almost every one of my friends is a business major and I became friends with them outside of business classes. As far as final projects go, each major is required to complete 3 writing proficiency points (usually found in an upper level elective offered specifically for your major) and a capstone course specific to your major.”
“The most popular college at Western is the College of Humanities and Social Sciences. The workload is similar to other colleges I'm assuming. It's not too difficult as long as you can manage your time to some extent. Depending on the program you are in and the competitiveness it can be difficult to get into the classes you want to take.”
“The library is a really great place to go to study whether you prefer to study alone or meet up with groups. There's a lot of awesome resources within the library too like free computer program tutorials.”
“Filling GURs is pretty easy, you can get it done in under two years and there's a fairly wide range offered. Workload tends to increase naturally as you progress and it really depends on the major and number of credits you choose to take. Some majors have final projects and they vary from portfolios, thesis', presentation, projects, etc. There are a few general undergraduate advisors, undergraduate advisors for each major and then once you declare there are major specific advisors too.”
“People will study in the library, the VU, the Underground Coffeehouse, and anywhere outside if it's not raining or windy. Registration is always hectic, but as you earn more credits and get into your major, depending on the major, it tends to get easier. The waitlist system is effective too, I've gotten into every waitlist I've registered for.”
“Registration is online and time slots are based on how many credits you have. When you are accepted into a major program you are assigned an advisor. A lot of people enjoy studying with a view of outside because it is beautiful!”
Learn from the Best
“I have enjoyed almost every professor I've had at Western. There are a couple who need to improve the organization of their courses. In the communication studies major the class sizes are small, which is nice because the professors can actually get to know you.”
“I don't really have any favorite professors, there are some that I like more than others but that is a secret I will never tell. I don't like judging a book by their cover, and even if a professor is tough in class, I'm sure they are incredibly interesting outside of campus!”
“Classes really depend upon your major, but there are some interesting ones that are offered as GUR's like hip hop and modern dance! They're so weird, but I enjoyed both of them.”
“My favorite professor is Heather Davidson from the Communication department! This is her first year teaching, I've taken three classes from her and have loved all of them. She really has a refreshing and hands-on approach to learning and engages really well with students.”
“My favorite classes have been my mass media ethics class and also my advanced public relations class. My classes are all small and most my professors are super nice!”
“My favorite professors so far have all been in the psychology department mainly. The psychology department here at Western is absolutely amazing and all of the teachers are very relatable and interesting, no matter how old they are. Specifically, Lena Erickson is a personal favorite. As far as the business school goes, Dan Purdy is my favorite. I feel like people don't utilize office hours as much as they should unless they truly are struggling in the course and might not pass, or if there is a question/conflict that needs to be asked/resolved that would be hard to have answered/fixed over an email.”
“Most students seem to go to office hours for various things. The professors are usually really welcoming and open to help. Generally professors here are incredibly enthusiastic about their subject and seem to really want students to learn and care about the class.”
Interests & Involvement
“I have not joined any clubs while at WWU, but they are advertised all around campus with flyers. This quarter I joined an intramural kickball team. It's a fun way to meet people and have fun with your friends.”
“Western offers a large variety of clubs and events on campus. The clubs advertise heavily on campus and plan plenty of events, so it's easy to get involved.”
“We have a ton of really active and varied clubs! The big info fair at the beginning of the year is a great time to join clubs. Our improv club and The Dead Parrots Society are practically campus celebrities. There's also a ton of different religious clubs, some political ones and major specific clubs. We have sport clubs, pop culture ones about Beyonce, Harry Potter and a board games club.”
“Of course! I participate in Her Campus for example! There are trillions of clubs. Communication club, Associated Marketing Students club, Harry Potter Club, Humans vs. Zombies.... the list is never ending.”
“I love the outside learning you get to experience in a club, there are so many different perspectives and so many cool people I would have never met in just the classroom.”
“Most of Western's sports are intramural, but basketball and soccer are popular. I wouldn't consider us to be a sports oriented school.”
“The western basketball team is supported heavily here! By the students, faculty and surrounding community. There are lots of intramural sports options as well. I believe there is a separate athlete culture.”
“While Western doesn't have a greek life, from my own observations all the different male sports teams are sort of like the "frats" and different "houses" and they usually hang with each other.”
“We have an amazing basketball team that won nationals a few years ago. Those games are pretty popular especially when they play our rivals, Central Washington University.”
“Our volleyball and soccer teams are also really fun. We have a ton of intramurals and those are incredibly fun and change each season!”
“There is a lot of female empowerment on this campus it's awesome. There's the Professional Women's Association (PWA), which is a club that aims to help women develop professionally in their field. Middle Women is also an organization that has taken off in the last couple years. It's a social project focusing on female body empowerment and connects women to health and wellness resources.”
“Being a woman on campus is great! Western is so empowering for women! We really can do anything we want to if we put our minds to it!”
“We wear whatever we want. Western has a very eclectic style. Want to be sporty? go for it. What to wear a bra and no shoes? You're on. There are more women on campus than men, possibly because we have great teaching program and also because women are making a stand in the world finally.”
“As a woman, I enjoy going to Western. There are tons of resources available and feminism seems to be alive and well at Western. Girls wear a variety of clothing styles, but the typical "Western style" is a flannel, leggings and converse.”
Food & Drink
“There are three dining halls and a few other markets sprinkled throughout campus. Generally the food is pretty good."
"We have an area called Vendor's Row where local food business will set up, there's Indian, Chinese, Mexican and a little coffee stand. People get really excited for Warm Cookie Night at the late nights at the dining hall."
"Local fast food isn't too common, we have a Wendy's, Taco Time and McDonalds just off south campus but Bellingham is known for local places that are just as good!”
“My favorite place to eat on campus is in the Atrium because they have a subway and Starbucks."
"I know some people who get a dining plan all 4 years at western but a majority of people I know only have a dining plan for their freshman year. There are plenty of other restaurants on campus as well as near by!”
“If you're me, you don't do anything on the weekends besides homework and work. Some people go out to house parties, and older years go out to the bars or clubs. It is really hard to find a good party at Western because the police and party busses are always out to get you! I never feel pressured to drink necessarily. There is more of pressure to smoke with the reputation that Western has.”
“The weekends are mostly filled with house parties and people going to the bars in downtown Bellingham. I attend house parties because I'm not 21 yet. But I really spend a lot of time with my family on the weekends and often go home and work at my job in my hometown.”
“We don't have a Greek system - there's usually parties on weekends on both north and south campus. The 21+ crowd usually drinks downtown both on weeknights (usually Wednesdays) and weekends. There's plenty of shuttle busses to get around and people tend to be good about not drinking and driving. We live in Bellingham and people obviously smoke a lot of weed, but drug use is usually limited to that or shrooms.”
“The social scene is fun on the weekends. There is usually a house party going on somewhere and the bars are always a popular place to be on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday nights. People often like to get outdoors on the weekends and go on hikes and explore since there are so many places to go. People are very friendly at Western and I feel like everyone is open to meeting new people. The bus system and taxis make it easy to get around at night if you are drinking.”
“Well, mostly everyone smokes weed. There are a lot of weekend house parties on a few north campus streets. Freshmen usually aren't allowed into those, but you'll see them wandering around searching for a party. Bellingham also has a lot of cool places open super late to get food. Most people seem really open to meeting new people and having multiple friend groups.”
“You choose to pick a roommate or be randomly assigned. There are a ton of events within the dorms for freshmen. All dorms are either on campus or right next to it, they are definitely pretty safe too. You aren't required to live in the dorm and there are no freshman exclusive dorms, in general most tend to be freshman though. Most upperclassman live off campus.”
“The dorms are a great thing for meeting people, which is why I'd advise freshman to live on campus. That gives you a solid start and is a great way to meet people. After freshman year, significantly less people return to the dorms, they can get old quickly.”
“The dorms are all pretty different here at Western. North campus dorms are considered more religious and low-key, while the ridge is considered to be where the "partiers" live and fairhaven is sort of the "hippie zone." All of these are extreme stereotypes. I lived in a north campus dorm but don't consider myself religious in the slightest. And I had plenty of friends live on the ridge but not enjoy going to parties.”
“Dorms host a bunch of bonding activities for the students and hold floor meetings, have nights like "Cookies & Condoms night" for sexual health education and other activities like Floor Wars.”
“Bellingham is a very pretty city with a lively wild night for college kids. It's located by many restaurants, close to the mall and close to the water. It's is home to some of the best hiking and biking trails in the Pacific Northwest. It's has a lot of retail and grocery stores. Also many organic shopping markets filled with locally grown foods.”
“Bellingham is a great location for a University. Many things are walking distance or a quick bus ride from campus. There are tons of restaurants and cute little shops downtown. There are quite a few nightlife options. It's hard to get bored in Bellingham! Western has a pretty good relationship with the community. Many classes do service learning projects where students go out into the community and collaborate with organizations on projects. I think it strengthens the relationship between the community and the university. There are tons of organizations that allow students to get volunteer experience and/or offer internship opportunities to students.”
“Bellingham is awesome and a large part of the reason I chose Western. Everything is basically within walking distance of campus. Downtown Bellingham has a lot of fun restaurants (The Copper Hog, De'Anna's Italian, Jalepeno's, Russian Dumplings, etc.) and cute businesses. There are local chains like Avenue Bread and Rocket Donuts that are spread around town. We have an AMAZING farmers market and since we're located in the PNW there's plenty of things to do outside. We're right on the water and have tons of cool beaches like Boulevard Park and Teddy Bear Cove. People do plenty of activities off campus.”
Bellingham is amazing and beautiful! The restaurants are all amazing (La Fiamma Pizza, Bob's Burgers, Boomers, Jalapeños etc), the bars/clubs are very fun and some have themed nights (BBG, The Underground, Wild Buffalo, Green Frog), and there are several areas on Bellingham Bay that are breathtaking (Teddy Bear Cove, Boulevard Park etc).
“Bellingham is a great community especially for college students because nothing is really on the expensive side. Living is affordable! I believe a majority of people’s activities (unless they are freshman) are done off campus.”
“Bellingham is a great town to go to school in. It's not just a "college-town." There are families, and businesses - it's a great way to network especially if you are in classes where you do service learning. Also if you get tired of the college-feel it's easy to escape for a while and go to the lake or go on a hike.”
“Western is the pride of Bellingham from what I experienced, Western is involved in so many community activities and events! I love all the little shops and restaurants in Bellingham. That is what makes it the most enjoyable for me! I know there are a lot internships too, I have a few friends that have gotten internships with the community. I'm hoping I one day can find one as well!”
“Bellingham is the perfect college town. Almost everything is ten minutes away and the bus system is really extensive. There's a mall not too far by, a movie theater, a farmers market, and a downtown packed with the coolest places to get food. There is also a beautiful bay and a few lakes. Awesome nearby hiking spots and waterfalls!”
HC's Complete College Guide: Western Washington University
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