Graduate Programs Information Page

WWU's College of the Environment offers Master of Science degrees in Environmental Science and in Environmental Science, Marine & Estuarine Science; a Master of Arts degree in Environmental Studies; a Master of Arts degree in Urban Planning and Environmental Sustainability, and a Master's of Education in Environmental Education (NOTE: The M.Ed Environmental Education is currently being revised and not accepting new students at this time). Normally, a student chooses one of these options and, with the help of a faculty adviser, designs an individual Plan of Study. This plan is built on College of the Environment (ESCI/ENVS/UEPP) courses and, when appropriate, courses from other departments. The College of the Environment's M.S. programs require a thesis, while the M.A. and M.Ed. have a thesis or project option.

We also offer a Master's Certificate in Data Science for the Environment. This is an 18-credit program that will allow students to develop skills, tools, and techniques to address increasingly complex environmental questions using data science. Note: In Fall 2024, this will no longer be an online offering. It will be available for Campus-Based Graduate Students to add to their current program only.

We also offer a Master's Certificate in Geographic Information Science. This is an 18-credit program that provides students with in-depth training in GIS theory and techniques. Our students gain advanced skills in the creation, development, management, analysis, and visualization of spatial data. Original research projects allow graduate students to practice applying GIS techniques to their thesis topic. We teach our students how to use GIS for a wide range of environmental applications, from modeling climate change impacts to identifying inequitable patterns of exposure to pollutants to prioritizing land for renewable energy installations or conservation easements.

GIS Certificate Prerequisites - prior to applying, applicants must have:

  • Completed a BA or BS degree in any field.
  • Gained basic knowledge of statistics equivalent to an introductory undergraduate statistics course.
  • Have completed or be currently enrolled in ENVS 517 (GIS I: Introduction to Geographic Information Science) or an equivalent introductory GIS course.

Current WWU Master's Students can add a certificate to their program of study by submitting an application via ESIGN Form.   

If you have any questions regarding Master's Degree Programs or Master's Certificates and would like to chat, please schedule a meeting with Ed Weber.

General Information

view of the Environmental Studies Center from beneath the boughs of the cherry trees alongside the South Lawn of the WWU campus

Financial Assistance

Teaching Assistantship (TA) are available on a competitive basis and provide stipends up to $5,100/qtr (As of Fall 2023), a full or partial tuition waiver, and Health Coverage.

Research Assistantship (RA) are available through individual faculty members. Stipends are similar to those for TAs and may provide tuition waivers and/or Health Coverage. Students need to contact faculty directly when inquiring about RAs.

Graduate Work-Study, in addition to other forms of financial aid, are available by submitting an application to Student Financial Resources (phone: (360) 650-3470).

Funding for graduate research is often available, as is funding for travel to present papers at professional meetings.

Diversity at Western

Students from many diverse backgrounds enhance the Graduate Student experience at Western Washington University. Western's leadership is extremely committed to providing an education that meets the needs/goals of our ever-changing demographics.