About this program

The Advancing Excellence and Equity in Science (AEES) Program helps students, especially first generation students, underrepresented minorities, and women, succeed in the natural sciences. Up to 72 incoming first-year and 24 incoming transfers are selected each year to participate in the Advancing Excellence and Equity in Science (AEES) Program.  The AEES program at WWU is funded by a prestigious $1 million grant from the Howard Hughes Medical Institutes Inclusive Excellence program (HHMI IE).

AEES participants will learn about undergraduate research projects from faculty in Biology, Chemistry, Geology, and Physics and Astronomy. They work closely with a selected group of peers, take advantage of ongoing faculty mentoring, and take AEES seminars and Math for the Natural Sciences in their first year at WWU.

AEES Distinguished Scholars Program

Criteria

Academic interest in:

  • Chemistry
  • Biology
  • Marine Biology
  • Marine & Coastal Science
  • Geology
  • Earth Science
  • Physics and Astronomy
  • Pre-Medicine
  • Pre-Pharmacy
  • Pre-Dentistry
  • Pre-Optometry
  • Pre-Veterinary Medicine

First-Year Students Apply by March 10

This program is exclusively for admitted Western students; you will need to log in to your Admitted Student Portal to register.

Transfer Students Apply by May 15

This program is exclusively for admitted Western students; you will need to log in to your Admitted Student Portal to register.

The AEES program made me feel welcomed to campus during my first year and surrounded me with excellent teachers and mentors, as well as other scientifically focused freshmen. It helped me understand more of what science is and can be at Western. I was able to create research posters and learn about faculty research, which made me feel like I was a part of the scientific community. The program gave me a place to not only discuss science, but also a place where I could learn and grow during my first year at WWU.

Shae Fairchild
First Year, 2019-2020
Dr. Marco Hatch, a Samish Indian Nation member, and Assistant Professor at Western Washington University working with an undergraduate research student in local tidal pools.
Dr. Melissa Rice and students in a geology classroom.
A student in a tie-dyed lab coat uses laboratory glasswear.

Benefits

Guaranteed access to a set of courses aimed at building community and success in science majors during your first year at Western.

Fall Quarter

  • Seminar 1 – Becoming a Student of Science (2 credits)
  • Math for the Natural Sciences (3 credits) or English 101 (5 credits)
  • General University Requirements (5 credits)
  • Course in major requirements (5 credits). May include Biology, Chemistry, Geology, Math or Physics and Astronomy.

Winter Quarter

  • Seminar 2 – Understanding Scientific Research (2 credits)
  • English 101 (5 credits) or Math for the Natural Sciences (3 credits)
  • Math (5 credits): Depends on math placement and coursework already completed.
  • Course in major requirements (5 credits). May include Biology, Chemistry, Geology, Math or Physics and Astronomy.

Support & Community

  • Support from our faculty mentoring program throughout your time at Western.
  • Connection with a small cohort of peers which allows students to get to know other students and form study groups more easily than students in larger classes.