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Western Washington University in Bellingham

Learn about Western Washington University in Bellingham. Read about its admission info, financial aid, and degree programs to make an informed education decision.

About Western Washington University in Bellingham

Western Washington University (WWU) was established in 1893 as a state normal school for teachers before being renamed Western Washington University in 1977. The university is located 90 miles north of Seattle in Bellingham, Washington, and sits on a 215-acre campus. In 2012, U.S. News & World Report included WWU within its 'Best Colleges' publication, ranking it as #22 among the division of regional, public universities in the West.

WWU is committed to sustainability and offers students the opportunity to explore the field through the Institute for Energy Studies. In 2005, the university was awarded the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Green Power Leadership award, and it was 17th on the EPA's list of top 20 green energy purchasers in higher education in 2011.


WWU has eight colleges and offers 160 academic programs. It provides students with the opportunity to pursue study toward a bachelor's degree, post-baccalaureate certificate, master's degree, and post-master's certificate. Students may appreciate the small class size with a 21:1 student-to-faculty ratio.

Some of the more widely studied fields at the undergraduate level at WWU include psychology, liberal arts general studies, and English language and literature. The most popular fields of study at the graduate level include business administration and management, secondary education and teaching, as well as science teacher education.


Students filing applications for entry into the fall quarter must submit them by January 31. For those students who wish to enroll during the winter quarter, the deadline for applications is October 1. Spring quarter enrollments require students to complete their applications by January 15. Students who will be applying for financial aid must submit their applications by February 15. WWU does offer an application fee waiver for eligible students based upon need and demonstrated financial difficulty.

Required materials that must be forwarded to WWU's admission office include an official high school transcript and official test scores from either the ACT or the SAT. Supplemental materials that students need to send as part of their application package include a response to a minimum of one of three provided essay questions. Students must also include a list of their extracurricular activities, employment, community volunteer work, and awards.

Tuition and Financial Aid

Tuition (including fees) for an in-state, full-time undergraduate student is $8,793 for the 2012-2013 academic year. Non-resident students pay $19,140 as full-time undergraduate students for the same term. Full-time, Washington graduate students are charged $7,545 for tuition and fees, and out-of-state graduate students pay $15,297.

The costs for room and board, books and supplies, transportation, and personal expenses are the same for all students regardless of residency status or level. For the 2012-2013 academic year, estimated costs include room and board of $9,372, books and supplies of $1,050, transportation costs of $1,233, and personal expenses of $1,758. Students can obtain financial aid through a variety of sources including loans, grants, scholarships, and work-study programs.

School Type 4-year, public**
Degrees Offered Bachelor's, post-baccalaureate certificate, master's, post-master's certificate**
Religious Affiliation None**
Academic Calendar Quarters*
School Setting Small city**
Student Body 13,783 undergraduate students and 1,059 graduate students in Fall 2011**
Student Housing 16 residence halls and 1 apartment complex*
Schools and Programs 8 colleges; 160 academic programs at both the undergraduate and graduate levels*
Student-Faculty Ratio 21 to 1*
Most Popular Fields of Study by Degree Level (Number of Recipients) In 2011:
Bachelor's: Psychology (178)
Master's: Business Administration and Management (56)**
Undergraduate Graduation Rates 35% in four years
69% in six years
71% in eight years
Admission Rate 78% admitted
38% enrolled
Fall 2011**
First-Year Retention Rates 84% (full-time students)
86% (part-time students)
Entering Class Size Approximately 2,748 freshmen in 2011**
Average ACT Scores of Admitted Students In 2010, the middle 50% had an ACT Composite score between 22 and 27**
Undergraduate Application Due Date January 31 for fall enrollment; October 1 for winter enrollment, and January 15 for spring enrollment*
Decision Notification Date Decision notification for fall admission is November 1; winter and spring enrollment is within 4-6 weeks after deadline date*
Tuition $22,206 for in-state, undergraduate students; $32,553 for out-of-state, undergraduate students; (cost for the 2012-2013 academic year; includes tuition, fees, room and board, books, and supplies)*
Financial Aid Sources Available (Percent of Students Receiving it) 2010-2011 for full-time, beginning undergraduates: Federal grants (23%), state and local government grants/scholarships (15%), institutional grants/scholarships (42%), federal student loans (48%), other student loans (2%)**
Percent of Students Receiving Some Form of Aid 73% of full-time, beginning undergraduates in 2010-2011**

Sources: *Western Washington University in Bellingham, **IES Data Center, National Center for Education Statistics, College Navigator.

School Contact Information

  • Address: Western Washington University, Office of Admissions, 516 High Street, MS-9009, Bellingham, WA 98255
  • Phone: (360) 650-3440
  • Website:

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