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Departments & Programs


Biology encompasses areas ranging from molecular biology to ecosystem ecology. This breadth is reflected in our curriculum and in faculty and student research. Our joint mission of teaching and research strongly complement each other and provide students with an educational experience of very high quality.


The Chemistry Department at Western offers courses for students who plan to major in the physical and life sciences. The department offers majors in chemistry and biochemistry, both approved by the American Chemical Society. Courses are designed to emphasize the fundamental principles of chemistry and their application to observed phenomena, to develop scientific reasoning, to reflect chemistry's interdisciplinary nature, to develop laboratory skills, and to prepare students for success in industrial positions or graduate/professional programs.

Computer Science

The mission of the Computer Science Department is to provide the highest quality education in computer science; to perform research that advances the state-of-the-art in computer science; to produce graduates that are knowledgeable, articulate, principled, innovative, confident, and able to think critically; to be engaged in local, state, and national issues to the benefit of both the public and private sector; and to maintain a diverse college community.

Engineering and Design

Programs within the Department of Engineering and Design emphasize practical, “hands-on” laboratory experiences in addition to strong theoretical course work. This curriculum is designed with input from strong industrial advisory committees to prepare students for professional positions in industry. Graduates of the programs have consistently been placed in positions appropriate to their field of study. There are numerous opportunities to participate in projects and undergraduate research.


The Geology Department at WWU is committed to excellence in both teaching and research. Our goal is to offer the highest possible quality education in the geological sciences at the undergraduate and graduate levels. The mission of our department is to serve three main populations: graduate students, undergraduate geology majors, and undergraduates from other departments for their general education courses. We want to develop in all students an appreciation of how geological processes affect the earth and society so that they will be environmentally responsible, scientifically literate citizens.


Mathematics is the study of pattern, structure, and change. Although it is one of the most ancient disciplines, new mathematics is being created every day. It can be found in everything from internet security, to green energy technology, to Wall Street investment strategies. Classes in the Department of Mathematics emphasize the analytical thinking and problem-solving skills that will serve you well not just in mathematics, but in many other careers, including law, business, and a range of technical fields.

Physics & Astronomy

Physics majors at Western Washington University have a wealth of opportunities available to them to participate in meaningful hands-on research and teaching experiences. Such opportunities include working as laboratory teaching assistants for lower division classes. In addition, active research programs in astronomy, theoretical and experimental condensed matter physics, and physics education research actively recruit students, providing them the opportunity to participate in cutting edge research.


The Advanced Materials Science and Engineering Center (AMSEC) is a $1.2M program founded in 2007 whose mission is to educate students in materials science, support interdisciplinary research, and enhance regional industry competitiveness and innovation. AMSEC brings together faculty and students from Chemistry, Engineering Technology, Geology, Mathematics and Physics to facilitate interdisciplinary collaborations and synergistic solutions to complex, multifaceted problems.


The mission of the Science, Mathematics, and Technology Education Program at Western Washington University is to be a national model of the highest quality preparation of future elementary and secondary science teachers; to participate in research and dissemination of new knowledge in science education and education reform to the university and K-12 communities; and to serve as a valuable science and education resource to the university and broader community.


The Technology Development Center brings together research and development through WWU in partnership with the private sector, and practical work-force training for new technologies through Bellingham Technical College, the Bellingham Foundry and the IDEA Institute.