Western Washington University Top Questions

What are the academics like at your school?


My major is Behavioral Neuroscience. I am really excited to pursue this program because it is sometime I am really interested and because it gives me multiple opportunities. Many students in my program either start their career right after graduation or go on to graduate school to further their education. I feel that many of the departments give students a chance to begin a career in their field right away if they can't or would rather not continue on to graduate school. Also, the majority of my professors have been very helpful and friendly, enabling to learn the most I can in my classes. I have only had a couple professors I didn't make the connection with in the classroom.


Western has a great academic program. Although I am a Manufacturing and Supply Chain Management major, the professors I have taken classes from have truly made an impact to my learning in other departments. The professors honestly want everyone to "ace" their classes and make themselves available as resources if extra help is needed. They want everyone to succeed.


Once you get into your desired major, you will continue taking classes from the same professors. So you do get to know professors and they get to know you. In my small classes for sociology (about 25-30 students), my professors make the extra effort to memorizing everyones name as soon as classes begin. There are also lots of opportunities to be research assistants and teacher assistants to professors which is amazing because you get to work with them one on one.


I think Western is great because it offers a wide range of class sizes - I've been in classes with 250+ students, and I've been in classes with 10 students. Generally speaking, many of the classes that you take for GURs (classes you're required to take to graduate) are larger lecture classes, and many classes in your major are smaller classes. As far as professors go, they're very good at learning students names! Every single one of my teachers that I've had in my major still knows my name! I've even had a professor in one of my 250+ lecture class memorize pretty much everyone's names by the end of the quarter, it was pretty insane! And they are all more than happy to give you extra help during office hours or by appointment. Class participation isn't very stressed during your freshman year/GUR classes generally. A lot of students skip class, especially in lectures. They're more strict about attendance once you get into your major. I would say that overall, Western students are pretty studious. Whenever I go to the library, it's usually pretty packed with students working on various assignments. I am majoring in elementary and special education, so I am currently enrolled in the Woodring college of education. I have been pretty impressed with the education program there. I have been teaching in classrooms almost every quarter since I started Woodring, which is very different from many other colleges that I have friends at. One of my friends still hasn't had a teaching practicum at a different college, and she's in her last year of school! I have become close with a few professors in the teaching program and I feel that they are always there trying to help me. I've come into their offices in tears, and somehow they always manage to calm me down and fix whatever is wrong :) They genuinely seem to care and want to help their students.


It all depends whether you step up to talk the professors. Professors may have classes that range from 10-500 people. As a student you have to be active and develop a relationship if you want to be able to succeed in school. My favorite class comes from being a Liberal Studies major. I read stories, learn history and write papers. I love the Hebrew Bible and New Testament courses (LBRL 334 and 336). I learned much from those courses and they have influenced me greatly. It's possible to spend time with professors outside of the classroom. My professor took a few students from my major onto a field trip to see a newly dedicated Mormon Temple up in Langley. It was an amazing learning experience and I got to bond with my professor and my fellow LBRL majors. The school provides General University Requirements (GURs) so that students are exposed to more than one discipline, as this is a liberal arts college. They are not too difficult to accomplish and definitely broaden your horizon, providing sufficient enough experience for a student to determine what major a student would like to pursue.


Well... the first thing that comes to mind is: stoners. Everyone seems to think that Western is full of hippies and pot-smoking students! While this stereotype is not completely true, Western students will tell you that they see many students running around barefoot, students who are very conscious about recycling and the environment, and lots of outdoor activities going on like hiking and kayaking. These are sometimes referred to as "hippy" activities, which is probably where the stoner stereotype came from. Of course there are people who smoke weed at Western - EVERY college has students that smoke weed!! But to say that stoners make up a majority of Western's population would be wildly incorrect from my experience at the school. Honestly though, the students at Western are generally incredible people. I have had friends visit from UW and WSU, and they are just amazed at how many people smile at you and say hi when they walk by. I thought this was normal... haha. But I never really thought about it until then, and I certainly don't take it for granted anymore! Students seem to be so friendly here, and it makes Western feel so comfortable and safe. I really don't think I have anything bad to say about the students here. We don't have many "jocks," certainly no "frat kids" since we don't have a greek system... everything is pretty relaxed. Many describe Western students simply as "chill" - very easy-going and carefree.


this is one of the main reasons why i chose to go to WWU, the class sizes are very small when compared to wsu or uw. my first quarter i had a 40-50 person math class, a 20-30 person english class, a 200 (biggest lecture hall) person psych class, then this quarter, a 100 person chem class (but only like 20 in lab), a small group I mainly meet with for comm consisting of 10 people, and my anthropology class 170 people or so. So fairly good especially for a freshman, and two of my teachers this quarter and two last quarter knew/know me and i'm not the outgoing one that is always raising my hand either. I really think the professor helps make the class more enjoyable so i use the website rate my teacher A LOT. The amount of studying students do really varies, I mean you get as much out of it as you put into each class, so I would say study hard but don't kill yourself if your getting B's and C's and not A's like in high school. Yes students do have intellectual conversations outside of class, but it really depends on who you are hanging around with if that will happen or not (remember WWU is in between WSU and UW so it has people who really care a lot and just didn't want to go to UW but are definitely just as smart or will soon be transferring there, and kids that are so stupid and do nothing that they fit WSU party/drunk 24/7 stereotype. So it all depends). I haven't taken too many cool classes yet, butI am really excited to start BIo next quarter. In my english class I went to see my proff a lot, but that is just because I know I struggle with english and would also want clarification and a lot of editing on my papers, but so far all of my proff's love it when students meet with them outside of class (it shows initiative) and it is definitely in favor of your grade. I feel like here at WWU most classes are tough (like chem 121, eng 101, psych 101, math 118 not classes like the art of listening to music, or geology, or math 108), but if you put effort into them you can get good grades, so they are manageable but not just an easy pass. Another thing that is really nice here, is that they also have opportunities for students to participate in undergraduate research, which is something that looks very good and resumes and job applications.