Ready to Research?

Do cutting-edge research, take renewable energy to the next level, design a race car, make art, create an app, or turn recycled waste into useful objects. Create the future you want to see.

Our primary focus on undergraduates means you won't have to wait until you're a graduate student to work directly with professors on research, solve real-world problems, and present and publish your work.

Prepare for Med School

Ann wears a gray t-shirt and works in a lab

"Studying biochemistry has allowed me to pursue my dream of making positive contributions to the medical field. I attribute so many of my successes and opportunities to the professors and mentors who have helped bolster my love for science."

--Anne d’Aquino, Western Alum

More Biochemistry

Discover Your Own DNA

A student researcher looks into a microscope in a dark room lit by a green glow. There are scientific instruments all around the student.

Students in Dr. Lina Dahlberg's lab use gene editing technology to explore fundamental scientific concepts. They look at how different genes function in roundworms, which breed quickly and are easy to examine. What they discover about roundworms gives us insight into how our own genes and systems function.

Dr. Dahlberg's Research

Search for a Cure

Professor Jeff Carroll is wearing a hoodie and teaching at a whiteboard. The whiteboard has a sketched diagram with the label "DARPP-32," a type of antibody.

Neuroscience students get to work right alongside Dr. Jeff Carroll, a leading Huntington's disease researcher, at Western.

Dr. Carroll once published a paper with nine student co-authors in Scientific Reports – an online, open-access journal from the publishers of Nature. Getting your name on research as an undergraduate puts you a step ahead!

Dr. Carroll's Research

Research doesn't stay in the classroom — or on planet Earth — at Western, and you don't have to either. Explore glaciers, mountains, rivers, other countries, and even Mars as you earn your degree.

Above the Earth

Get Your Feet Wet

Below the Surface

Study Your Environment

An aerial view of Bellingham on a sunny day. Mount Baker is visible in the background, and the city of Bellingham and Western's campus are visible. Bellingham Bay fills the lower third of the photo.

Located between the mountains and the bay, Western is ideally situated for fieldwork. Explore natural marine habitats at our 78-acre off-campus coastal research facility, the Shannon Point Marine Center, or head into the mountains with the Mountain Environments Research Institute.

Explore Field Research

Design Your World

Invent Something

Sarah is holding a completely transparent solar window, which has a thick metal frame. She is outside in bright sun and three male-presenting students are kneeling around the window with measurement tools and taking notes.

Sarah O'Sell was part of a team of eight Western students who developed the first completely transparent solar window, which went on to earn many prizes and awards.

"Western is unique in providing cross-program collaboration opportunities tied to solving real-world problems. While an Industrial Design Engineering undergrad with a passion for sustainability and entrepreneurship, I was able to help lead a government-backed grad student's emerging technology through prototyping and pitching, and am happy to see it's now helping the NASA Mars Missions and the agriculture industry. This experience provided the foundation for a career in deep tech business development for the Circular Economy!" 

Read About the Nova Window

Design for Good

A computer-aided rendering of a tiny home. It is a white cube with a window on two sides. A wooden sun shade hangs over the roof and one edge of the cube. Other angles of the cube show bicycle storage and planterboxes.

When Western's Junior Industrial Design has asked to develop a new housing solution, they came up with 
Cube3: adaptable housing built with people in mind. Cube3 is modular; it can be changed, rearranged, and combined to create housing that changes with the occupant's needs. Their project won three prestigious design awards, including a Gray Award and two IDA Design Gold Awards.

Outstanding Student Work

Overcome Challenges

The Loft desk: the left side of the desk is lower for sitting at and the right side is raised to standing height. The two sides are connected by an elegant bend in the table.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Industrial Design students Keaton LoCicero  and Wylie Jacoy discovered that long periods of time sitting in one position was bad for the body and mind. They sought to give the user some control of their environment and encourage change in position. The desk has two distinct heights, one for sitting and one for standing.

Their classmates created other work-from-home-inspired furniture, such as customizable partitions and dual-purpose desks, to help people solve immediate, tangible problems.

More Furniture Designs

Make Something New

Put Your Art Out There

An illustration of a woman with pink hair, round sunglasses, and bright red lips is projected onto the side of the Flatiron building. The illustration covers several floors of closed windows.

It's one thing to create an animated masterpiece, it's quite another to display it on a building! 

Western's fine arts students project their animations onto one of the most iconic buildings in downtown Bellingham every year so the entire city can experience their work.

Get Inspired

A moody, noir black and white image of Zach, who is alone on a couch wearing Virtual Reality goggles. The room is illuminated by a solitary lamp.

As a student, Graphic Design major Zach Becker won an Adobe Design Achievement Award for ISS – Isolation, an interactive, digital publication inspired by the literal and metaphorical exploration of space. Today, Zach is working as a contract designer for Microsoft and is interested in continuing to explore motion design and virtual reality.

Experience ISS Isolation

Bring Your Ideas to Life

Brynne is dancing with her right leg lifted and bent, and her arms in front of her. She is wearing a black leotard and standing in front of a black backdrop.

Brynn Hofer danced in more than 20 productions at Western, one of which she also choreographed. She also wrote and received a grant that fully funded research in biomechanics, examining how dancers learn new movement styles. When she graduated, Brynn already had a job lined up at Polaris Dance Theatre, a professional dance company in Portland, Oregon.

"The Dance faculty give so much of themselves to the dancers. They have an innate ability to help their students that is quite inspiring – I hope to be that way with my students one day."

Experiment!

Western students rarely stay inside the lines; our artists are always experimenting and finding new connections between art and the world around them. Check out nuRust: an exploratory experiment in material, form, process and code from WWU Alum Ryan Rothaus.

 

Explore the Interactive nuRust Exhibit

Build Important Soft Skills

Students in Dr. Rich Brown's Devising Production course get to create an original work for the main stage theatre season. All students write, design, and perform the piece.

 

"Theatre in general, and acting in specific, teaches empathy and compassion. It teaches resilience, self-worth, work ethic, collaboration, and problem-solving. All those 'soft skills' that employers are always seeking, theatre teaches them in spades." --Dr. Rich Brown

Get Discovered

Oscar Winner TJ Martin Started Here

TJ is wearing a tan jacket and a thick scarf. He is smiling and holding his Oscar award. Behind him, Sky Viewing Sculpture and Miller Hall are visible.

In 2012, TJ won an Academy Award for the documentary "Undefeated," which he co-directed – he was the first director of African-American descent to win an Oscar for a full-length feature film. In 2017, he won an Emmy for his National Geographic documentary “LA 92.”  Both documentaries address issues of race and class. Martin was a student at Fairhaven College of Interdisciplinary Studies, one of Western’s seven colleges.
 

“You’ll fail a million times before you make one success. Fairhaven and WWU created a comfortable environment for that to happen. It was a good stomping ground where I could experiment a lot and felt comfortable making mistakes.”

Odesza & Death Cab for Cutie Met Here

Two musicians in the band Odesza are on stage at a concert, backlit by a giant glowing blue screen. Each man is playing half of a drum kit. Above them, a glowing hexagon is suspended in the air and spotlights are lighting up the night sky.

Even though they excelled in different academic fields—Knight in Physics and Mills in Graphic Design—the duo shared a musical connection. Shortly before graduating in 2012, they formed ODESZA. The electronic group quickly grew in popularity. They were nominated for a Grammy 2016 and again in 2018.

Both bands returned to Bellingham in 2019 to put on the Double Major concert, an event that brought the entire city together for a fun party.

Share your Work

Get Noticed

Six students are standing on top of the Stadium Piece sculpture, all facing the photographer. They are holding a plaque that says "Department of Journalism Western Washington University" and has hundreds of signatures on it.

Western is home to six student-run newspapers, literary and art journals, and magazines, including the completely student-run Western Front. Any student enrolled at Western can pitch stories, columns, and photos to the Western Front's student editors!

Read the Western Front

Get Published

A stack of Jeopardy magazines, edition 56. The cover is red, and a die-cut letter j reveals a pattern on the interior cover.

Jeopardy Magazine ia a student-run publication that showcases the unique talents of the WWU community. It features poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction and visual art. First published in 1965, it has a long legacy of presenting contemporary joys and anxieties, as well as themes that transcend decades.

Check out Jeopardy #56

Get Heard

This is the view KUGS disc jockeys see from their station. There is a soundboard and microphone in the foreground, in front of a window. Out the window, grass and trees are visible.

For the aspiring DJ or the curious radio lover, Western's student-run radio station, KUGS 89.3, provides the opportunity to run your own radio show. If you prefer television, Western Window provides first-hand experience with video production.

Listen to KUGS Online