Thesis and Dissertation Information

Getting started, thesis and dissertation committees.

Thesis and dissertation committees consist of at least three Graduate Faculty members, with one member serving as primary advisor and committee chair. See the policy on Graduate Faculty for descriptions of the three faculty types and their duties. Departments may have additional criteria for determining who can serve what role on a thesis committee.

The Thesis Topic Approval  or Dissertation Topic Approval form should be completed as early in the graduate program as possible given department timelines and requirements.

Please note: if a committee includes an Affiliate Graduate Faculty member (a volunteer not employed by Western), that person will not be able to sign the topic approval esign form. They should email [email protected] with a statement agreeing to participate on the committee. The email should come from their professional email address and include a CV or enough information in the signature to determine whether the individual meets the criteria for Affiliate member.

Human or Live Vertebrate Subjects

Using humans or live vertebrates as research subjects requires prior approval separate from thesis topic approval. Please see  Research Compliance  for more information. RSP is in the process of updating its research compliance webpages including forms, templates, checklists, and general information specific to human subjects research as we migrate to the Drupal platform. Please contact  [email protected]  for more information.

Topic approval forms that indicate human subjects, live vertebrate subjects, or scientific diving activities will be forwarded to the appropriate offices for review.

Register for Thesis or Dissertation Credits

  • Have a complete topic approval form on file.
  • For thesis (690) credit, you need a registration override from the Graduate School each quarter you register.
  • For EDAD 670, Doctoral Proposal Defense (dissertation credits), contact your department.

Track Your Registration

  • Check the number of required and/or allowed thesis/dissertation credits for your program.
  • Make sure that your registration over multiple quarters adds up to the total you need to meet program requirements. If the maximum allowed is 12, you can take 4 + 4 + 4, but not 4 + 4 + 5 (for example).

Thesis grades are reported as incomplete (K) each quarter, until the final thesis is submitted and approved. Faculty should not submit thesis grades at the end of the quarter like grades for other courses.

After the final thesis or dissertation defense, the faculty advisor should report the grade on the Degree Recommendation form. 

If you take more credits than are allowed in the catalog requirements for your program, those credits will not be assigned a grade. They will remain K on your transcript.

Writing a graduate-level thesis or dissertation is one of the most challenging things you may ever have to do. Even with support from your advisor, this monumental task can feel overwhelming. Why go at it alone when you don't have to?

If you sign up for a Studio Partner, you will be matched up with a Graduate Research-Writing Assistant who will aid you along in the process, meeting with you to discuss your progress whenever you're stuck. For more information and to sign up, visit the  RWS Graduate Services  page. 

Manuscript Guidelines

The guidelines outlined here define minimum standards and point out common problems. Responsibility for final review of the thesis manuscript prior to submission rests with the committee. Manuscripts may be returned by the Graduate School for revision if they do not adhere to format requirements or contain excessive spelling, grammatical, or typographical errors.

Because the final thesis will be viewed primarily online, prepare your PDF document for optimal viewing on a screen. If your thesis includes landscape-oriented pages, save the PDF with mixed page orientation.

Signature Pages

During the disruption in operations due to the coronavirus pandemic, hardcopy signature pages are not required.  The degree recommendation esign form will serve as approval of the final thesis by all committee members.

The thesis PDF should still contain a signature page with typed names (no scanned signatures), and a library authorization with the student's typed name and the date of submission.

Library Authorization Page

Choose the library authorization appropriate for your document type (thesis or field project) and the access level you have chosen. See the sections below on "Templates" and "Embargos and Limiting Access" if needed.

Make sure that your title matches exactly on both pages where it appears, the Committee Signature Page and the Title Page. If your title is long, you may wish to check current cover printing capabilities at Haggard Hall Print and Copy Services to make sure it can be printed on your bound copies.

Format according to the style manual for your discipline.

Acknowledgements (optional)

The language used in the acknowledgement should be consistent with that used in acknowledgements in journal articles in your field. You may use this page to acknowledge those who contributed to the academic endeavors or research of your thesis. Limit the acknowledgements to a single page.

Table of Contents

The first three preliminary pages do not appear in your Table of Contents. The first item to appear should be your Abstract.

Do   not  include the Table of Contents page in the Table of Contents, but  do  include the Lists of Tables and Figures. Lists of Tables and Figures should include page numbers.

Supplementary Material

Additional material may be included in appendices or as separate files to be submitted with your PDF. CEDAR can take many file types. Maps, datasets, sound clips, short films, images, and other items can be included. See the  CEDAR FAQ  for more details.

Margins should be a minimum of one inch on all sides. Use the same margin dimensions throughout the manuscript, except for indented lengthy quotes.

Page Numbers

Page numbers may be located according to the style commonly used in your discipline, or any standard word processor location. The numbers should appear alone, without any bracketing, dashes, etc. Refer to the chart above for numbering requirements.

Choose a font that is clearly legible on screen as well as in print. Font should be 10- to 12-point type. Use the same font throughout the manuscript. You may bold, italicize or underline words where appropriate. Italicized type may not be used for the entire body of the text.

Double space the text. Block quotes may be single spaced. Thesis projects in poetry, mathematics, and music may be spaced as appropriate to the discipline.

Captions should be in the same font as that used in the text. Locate captions according to the publication style you are using.

Section headings must correspond to the Table of Contents. Heading font and location on the page should be consistent throughout the thesis. Ensure that headings appear on the same page as the corresponding text (i.e. watch for headings orphaned at the bottom of pages). Do not use a running head.

Style differs considerably among disciplines, and even among different journals in one discipline. Confer with your thesis chair to select the appropriate style for your thesis, and be consistent with this style throughout your manuscript.

References and Citations

Be consistent in citation and reference style throughout the thesis, according to the style manual you are following. There must be a reference for every citation in the text. The spelling of the author’s name and the publication year must match between the text and reference entry. Multiple citations between parentheses must be in either chronological or alphabetical order.

Western Libraries offers online  quick guides to the most common citation styles  and other helpful information.

You can use this template  as a starting point for your document, or refer to it for instructions and tips on formatting.

The thesis/dissertation template is also available on Canvas along with additional formatting help.

Defenses and Final Submission

Defense notification requirements.

  • Schedule your defense with your department
  • Submit an  Oral Defense Schedule  form at least two weeks prior to your defense
  • If requested, submit a draft of your thesis or dissertation to the Graduate School one week before your defense date

The Graduate School will announce your oral defense to Graduate Faculty Governance Council. If a Graduate Faculty Governance Council member volunteers to observe your defense, you will need to include that person in your meeting, presentation, and/or video conference. We will ask you to provide a copy of your draft for the representative to review.

Create Your CEDAR Account and Submit Research

  • Go to  and click “Submit Research” in the sidebar, under Contributors. Follow the instructions to create an account and submit to the WWU Graduate School Collection.
  • Use a permanent email address for your account, not your email address, so that you can keep track of your work after graduation.
  • Upload your complete PDF and any supplementary files you wish to include.

Thesis and Dissertation Approval and Publication

Graduate School staff will communicate with you via CEDAR (you will receive emails) about the status of your thesis or dissertation submission and any necessary revisions.

Once your submission has been approved, you will be notified through CEDAR. Your thesis or dissertation will be published and made available right away on CEDAR, as part of the Digital Commons for your discipline, and through Google and Google Scholar.

If you need to delay public posting of your document, or keep access to your content permanently limited, email the Graduate School for options.

Completion of your degree still requires one hardbound copy of your thesis or dissertation for archiving in Special Collections. We do not require original signatures for the bound copy. Once your thesis or dissertation is approved, you will need to place a binding order with Print and Copy Services using the Thesis Order Request Form  (use this for dissertations, too). This order must be placed and paid before your degree can be awarded. Individual departments may have requirements for additional copies; check with your thesis chair or program adviser if you are unsure.

Instructions for placing your order with Print and Copy Services will be included in your CEDAR approval letter. For assistance with the Thesis Order Request Form, contact Print and Copy Services directly at  [email protected]  or 360-650-3762

Occasionally a graduate student may need to delay the posting of their thesis or dissertation to CEDAR, or limit the audience to Western students and faculty. There are two options to choose from.

An embargo delays the public release of the document while the author or faculty researcher pursues publication or copyright of the work in the thesis/dissertation. At the end of the embargo period, the document is posted.

To request an embargo, email [email protected] with details. An embargo can be requested for six months or one year, and may be renewed if necessary.

If you might want to renew your embargo, set a reminder on your calendar around the time the embargo is set to expire. Let the Graduate School know if you need to renew.

Campus Only Access

Limiting access to the Western community is a good option for those wishing to preserve First North American Serial Rights (publication rights). A current WWU login is required to view the thesis, and the limited access status does not expire like an embargo does.

To choose this option, use the limited access library authorization form instead of the standard one, and make a note in CEDAR when you upload your thesis. Library authorization forms are available in the Templates section above, and on Canvas.

Forms and Links

Thesis Topic Approval

Dissertation Topic Approval

Research and Writing Studio

Western CEDAR

Print and Copy Services

Thesis Order Request Form

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Home > WWU Graduate and Undergraduate Scholarship > WWU Graduate School Collection

WWU Graduate School Collection

The mission of the Graduate School is to advance, promote, and serve graduate faculty, students, and programs through advocacy, leadership, and oversight. The Graduate School supports all graduate programs and students at Western, expanding graduate and undergraduate student access to engaging education, promoting life-long learning, enhancing scholarly activity, and developing graduates qualified to address the diverse critical needs of the state and nation.

The Perfectionist , Katherine Abdallah

An Examination of the Mental Health Symptoms of Former Adolescent Athletes Who Experienced Either Forced or Expected Athletic Retirement , Lindsay Ahmann

The Well-Coordinated Pianist , Avery Alexander

The Black Cauldron, a Curtain of Fire, and the Sword of the War God: Connections Between Nomadic Populations on the Ancient Eurasian Steppe , Shawn R. Armistead

Boundaries to Belonging: An Ethnography of Refugee Resettlement in Washington State , Elizabeth Baseman

Weaving Fragmented Lands Together: Perspectives on a National Framework for Landscape Conservation , Jaimie Baxter

Jazz Choir Arranging: Tips and Best Practices , Connor Bennion

Development of Silk Microparticles Capable of Bioluminescence , Monique Berg

Coupling Unoccupied Aerial System Surveys and Elevation Measurements to Predict Native and Nonnative Eelgrass Cover in Padilla Bay , Jacqui Bergner

The Effects of an Imagery Intervention on Self-Efficacy during Athletic Injury Rehabilitation , Peyton Ann Bilo

Trophic transfer of metals from seaweed to shellfish in an aquaculture system , Sophia Boyd

Rhetorical Vulnerability , Sophia Brauner

Educating Adolescent Ukrainian War Refugees: Current Practices and Recommendations to Address Complex Learning Needs , Eric Cahan

Interrogating centrosome protein dynamics, centriolar satellite regulation mechanisms, and autofluorescence characterization of Caenorhabditis elegans using Förster resonance energy transfer-fluorescence lifetime imaging microscopy (FRET-FLIM) and fluorescence microscopy , Elizabeth A. Cameron

New Synthetic Methods Based on Silicon-Tethered Nucleophilic Addition Reactions , Alexie W. Clover

Investigating Kīlauea’s 2018 Offshore Lava Emplacement Through Hydroacoustic Data , Olana Costa

All of This Will End , Sean Dolan

Who’s Nature? Ontological Narrative Dissonance Among Skagit River Fishery Coalitions , Jann Eberharter

I'm Sorry, I Love You , Jemma Everyhope-Roser

Glacial loss and threatened fish: The future of Mount Rainier’s cold-water Bull Trout habitats , Kathleen C. Ewen

Contaminants of Emerging Concern in Puget Sound: Screening, Prioritization, and Estrogenic Mixture Response Assessment , Maya Faber

Moral Injury in Survivors of Domestic Violence , Camille A. Fogel

Against the Grain: A Mixed-Methods Analysis of the Effects of Climatic and Cultural Changes on Grain Agriculture in Northwest Washington , Natalie Furness

Learning from Traditional Ecological Knowledge: Paralytic Shellfish Toxins in Butter Clams , Jackelyn Garcia

The Policy Governance Leadership Model: A Qualitative Historical Narrative Study about Bellingham School District’s Implementation of Policy Governance and the Impact on Student Success , Byron Gerard

Tuned gold layer growth onto plasmonic sensing silver nanocubes via synthetic control of reduction potentials. , Nicolas Hall

Can Larvae of a Deep-Sea Gastropod, Thalassonerita naticoidea, Swim to the Surface to Find Food in the Gulf of Mexico? , Mitchell Hebner

School and District Leader Perceptions of the Root Causes Behind Male Underachievement in American Secondary Schools: A Mixed-Methods Study of this Phenomenon , Patrick Hegarty

A Functional Study of Plant Protein Villin4 and The Application of Sortase Mediated Ligation in Intrinsically Disordered Protein Substrates , Jake Heins

Structural, Mutational, and Kinetic Characterization of URA4, an Isocytosine Deaminase , Ashlee Hoffman

Stereoselective Synthesis of (+)- and (-)-Cananodine , Haley Holliday

Using Camera-Monitored Sediment Traps to Evaluate Sediment Availability and the Role of Waves in Resuspending Seafloor Sediment, Bellingham Bay, WA , Liam Horner

Activity and Selectivity of Class B Sortase Enzymes , Sophie Jackson

Simple Gifts in Wind Band Repertoire: A comparative analysis of three wind band pieces featuring the Shaker melody "Simple Gifts" , Jared Johnson

Polyunsaturated Aldehyde Production in the Salish Sea: A Survey of Benthic Diatom Producers and the Influence of Coastal Upwelling , Jeremy Johnson

Using Chemical Zoning in Minerals to Understand Magmatic Processes at Augustine Volcano, Alaska , Sloane Kennedy

The impact of mentorship on attracting and sustaining female superintendents in the State of Washington , Michelle Kuss-Cybula

Impact of Riverbank Lupine (Lupinus rivularis) on Grand Fir (Abies grandis) Ectomycorrhizal Symbioses , Andrew Labay

Dendrohydrological Reconstruction of North Fork Nooksack River August Streamflow from Subannual Mountain Hemlock Ring-Widths, Cascade Mountains, Washington State , Hannah LaGassey

U-Pb Zircon Geochronology and Structure of regional blueschist units in the Easton metamorphic suite, Northwest Cascades, WA , Katherine Lang

Paleomagnetic Determination of Vertical Axis Block Rotation near the Doty Fault in southwestern Washington , Charles Linneman

"Eden is on Puget Sound": Folk Music Stories in the Northwest , Rosie Lockie Everson

The Impact of Guiding Coalitions on the Overall Success of Schools Properly Implementing and Sustaining Professional Learning Communities , John Lombardi

The Toxicity of Dopamine on Salish Sea Phytoplankton , Allyson Lombardo

Does sediment supply impact the threshold for initial sediment motion in natural, gravel bedded streams? , Emily Loucks

Investigate effects of different step lengths at a preferred walking speed on forefoot and hindfoot motion , Emily Lovekin

aahkóinnimaan kii makoyiisaaminaa: indigenous success in La Conner public schools , William Makoyiisaaminaa

Culturally Modified Trees in Western Washington: Impact and Perspective from the Stillaguamish Cultural Resources Department , Kelsey Maloy

Ibn Taymiyya on the Frontier: Renewal, Resistance and Rebellion , kenneth meyer

The Impact of Polychlorinated Biphenyls on the Development of Zebrafish (Danio rerio) , Megan Moma

A metagenomic analysis of the microbial communities associated with different hydrothermal vent chimneys , Laura Murray

To flee or not to flee: how range dynamic of alpine species are changing through time , LiAn Noonan

Distribution and Mixotrophy of Cryptophyte Phytoplankton in the Northern Gulf of Alaska , Megan O'Hara

Contours , Max Owens

How Etiology and Diagnostic Label are Stigmatized: The Impacts of Childhood Trauma and “Sluggish Cognitive Tempo” on Recovery Optimism and Blame , Aubrie Patterson

Modeling 21st Century Peak Flows in the Nooksack River Basin in Northwestern Washington State Using Dynamically-Downscaled Global Climate Model Projections , Evan A. Paul


Motivations for and Barriers to Forest Certification of Washington State Trust Lands , Tracy Petroske

Stress and Flourishing During First Year College Transition: A Comparison of Former High School Athletes, Recreational Athletes, and Non-Athletes , Becca Pierce

A Qualitative Case Study of Two School Districts’ Onboarding and Retention Mentorship Programs for New Teachers during the COVID‐19 Pandemic , Angelina Quiles

The effects of diatom-specific polyunsaturated aldehydes on larval zebrafish (Danio rerio) , Rachel Raymer

Cosmopolitan Culture Talk After 9/11 , Chris Reid

The Effect of Long-Haul COVID-19 on Balance Confidence in Older Adults , Mariel Relyea

Cannabidiol Administered via Vapor Inhalation Restores Social Interaction Deficits in a Mouse Model of Social Anxiety , Brennen Risch

Connections between eruption style and magmatic reservoir evolution: Insights from Augustine Volcano, Alaska, USA , Mahinaokalani G. Robbins

A Mixed-Methods Study of Geoscience Identity, Race/Ethnicity, and Gender in Senior Undergraduate Geoscience Majors , Willa Rowan

Evaluating Leaf Trait Variation in High Elevation Bristlecone Pine (Pinus longaeva) Under Increasing Water Stress: Insights from Needle Length, Stomatal Density, and Cambial Growth , Audrey Salerno

The Economic and Emissions Reduction Potential of Air Source Heat Pumps as a Replacement for Natural Gas and Electric Resistance Space Heating in the Contiguous United States , Joshua Schraer

Regio- and Diastereoselective Samarium-Mediated Allylic Sulfone Reductions , Cody Schwans

Impact of Carbonaceous and Inorganic Nanomaterial Chemistry on Polymer Additive Release from Weathered Epoxy Composites , Haley Sefi-Cyr

The Power of Place-Based/Outdoor Education in a Rural District: Effective Leadership to Increase Learning, Engagement, and Belonging through Place-Based Education , Mary Sewright

Social Justice Through Beach Access and Community-Based Placemaking in Puna, Hawai'i , Yumi-Shika Shridhar

Biomarker study of Bellingham Bay : identifying how urbanization has affected carbon storage and eelgrass , Jess Shulman

Generations of Stewards: Re-Indigenizing Youth Leadership, Learning, and Conservation Education , Drew Slaney

Complex Microbial Mat Communities Used to Assess Primer Selection for Targeted Amplicon Surveys , Lindsey Smith

Program Notes for Gabriel Fauré’s Violin Sonata No.1 in A Major, Op. 13, Ernest Chausson’s Poéme, Op. 25, and Sergei Prokofiev’s Violin Sonata No. 1 in F minor, Op. 80 , Madeline Smith

Strengthening Mindfulness and Social Support as Psychosocial Skills; Improving First-Year Student’s Adjustment into College , Raumilya Smith

Selectivity and structure of chimeric loop swaps in SH2 domains , Sarah N. Smith

Equitable access to the career and technical education graduation pathway for students receiving special education services , Mike Snow

Words Might've Misshapened Me , Taylor Stafford

Impact of fluctuating temperature and elevated CO2 on the growth, survival, and metabolic rate of the endangered pinto abalone (Haliotis kamtschatkana) in the Salish Sea , Jaclyn Stapleton

Exploring the Evolution of Jazz Drumming Through Recordings: A Jazz Lineage , Gary Stivers

“Make the Big Time Where You Are” Applying the Coaching Principles of Frosty Westering to Build a Culture of Success , Steven Stoker

Adoption of Agroforestry Practices in Northwest Washington State: An Ex-ante Case-Study , Ava Stone

The Race Toward Carbon Neutral Ecotourism: Leveraging Life Cycle Analysis and Natural Climate Solutions for a Community Adventure Event , Ted Tarricone

Love Pedagogy: Justice, Mattering, and Care in and Out of the Classroom , Gabby Triana

Questioned Identity: Morisca Women and the Spanish Inquisition , Nathan Van Aken

Structural and Thermodynamic Studies of Antibody Binding to Blood Coagulation Factor VIII , Jordan Vaughan

Class A Sortases: Structures and Alternative Substrate Binding and Cleavage , Brandon Vogel

Force Production Asymmetry in Males and Females During Three Variations of a Countermovement Push-up , Taylor Walston

Using QM/MM methods to explore Sortase Enzyme Intermediates, Kinetics, and Stability , Kyle Whitham

Real Men Go Green: Environmentalism, Threatened Masculinity, and Identity Recovery , Gabrielle H. Wilson

Steel Bands in US Secondary Classrooms: Process and Pedagogy , Jonathan Woods

Stranger Than , Anna K. Young

Synonyms for Bloodline , Tanya Young

Tending to , Brittany Atkinson

Microbial Community Dynamics During Key Life History Transitions in the Deep-Sea Chemosymbiotic Mussel, Gigantidas childressi , Tessa F. Beaver

Responses of the symbiotic sea anemone Anthopleura elegantissima to microplastics , Robert Beck

Characterization of phenotypic traits related to loss-of-function and ectopic expression of bHLH093 and bHLH061 in Arabidopsis thaliana , Leila Belhadjali

Activation of Meta-stereotypes and Prejudice: The Moderating Role of Self-compassion During Perspective-taking , Haley Bock

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Dissertations & Theses: About Dissertations & Theses

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Scholarly Papers

Theses and dissertations are detailed scholarly papers usually produced as part of fulfilling requirements for Masters and Doctoral degrees.

WWU students have written Masters theses and have also produced scholarly papers to satisfy honors and senior projects and internship requirements.

Doctoral dissertations are published by universities worldwide.

You may discover that these materials make useful sources for your own research assignments, and this guide will help you locate them.

Ask Us! Research Services

Ask Us! Research Service - Anything, Anytime, Anywhere!

Library help is available for all your information and research needs. Just click on the link below to contact us in any of the following ways:

  • Ask Us! Answer Service Anything, Anytime, Anywhere!
  • Visit Us in Person - Library Hours You can find us in the Hacherl Research & Writing Studio on the second level of Haggard Hall.
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General Requirements

Funding and support, program requirements, the graduate faculty governance council, the graduate faculty, introduction.

E-mail: [email protected]

David Patrick, Dean, Old Main 530, 360-650-3170

WWU is authorized by the State Legislature to award 10 graduate degrees:

  • Master of Arts (MA)
  • Master of Fine Arts (MFA)
  • Master of Science (MS)
  • Master of Education (MEd)
  • Master of Business Administration (MBA)
  • Master of Music (MMus)
  • Master of Professional Accounting (MPAcc)
  • Master in Teaching (MIT)
  • Clinical Doctorate of Audiology (AuD)
  • Doctor of Education (EdD)

The mission of the Graduate School is to advance, promote, and serve graduate students, faculty, and programs through advocacy, leadership, and oversight. The Graduate School supports all graduate programs and students at Western, by expanding graduate and undergraduate student access to engaging education in a supportive, inclusive environment, promoting life-long learning, enhancing scholarly activity, and developing graduates qualified to address the critical needs of the state and nation.

The Graduate School supports advanced learning and research that connects with and contributes to local, regional, and international communities. To this end, the Graduate School extends the Western curriculum beyond undergraduate work with rigorous, advanced courses focused on developing scholarly, creative, and professional works that emerge from in-depth disciplinary understanding. The graduate programs under the purview of this college continue to develop, evolve, and administer high-quality degrees that, based on evidence, adapt to student needs and national trends.


WWU’s graduate programs are accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities. Graduate programs which result in educator certification are also accredited by the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE). The College of Business and Economics is accredited by the AACSB International Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business at both the graduate and undergraduate levels. The Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders is accredited by the American Speech-Language Hearing Association’s Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology (ASHA) and by the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE). The mental health, rehabilitation counseling, and school counseling programs are accredited by Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP). The University is a member of the Council of Graduate Schools in the United States and adheres to the general policies and criteria established by this national association.

Persons who plan to enter graduate study at WWU should read this section of the General Catalog closely before applying for admission to graduate study or enrolling in any course intended to count toward a master’s degree or advanced certificate of study. Students working toward a residency, continuing, or professional teaching certificate should contact the Certification Office in the Woodring College of Education. Students should consult with the appropriate graduate program advisor and the Graduate School for additional admissions or program-related questions.

Admission is granted by the Graduate School of Western Washington University with the concurrence of the department or program unit in which the student will pursue graduate study. The Graduate School informs applicants of the admissions decision. Online application submission and credit card payment is available from the Graduate School website. A nonrefundable application fee of $100 (subject to change) is charged for each application submitted, whether initial application, or request to defer, change to another quarter of admission, or transfer into another WWU graduate program. Admission to the Graduate School is for a single program, specified on the application for admission. Concurrent admission to two programs may be considered on a case-by-case basis with approval from the Graduate School and the respective departments. Separate applications and fees are required for each program. A non-refundable confirmation deposit will be required to secure admission and enrollment eligibility. Graduate School admission deadline dates are as follows, although many programs have earlier specific deadline dates and do not admit for all quarters.

Initial application with all supporting materials (see below) must be received by the Graduate School by June 1 for fall, October 1 for winter, February 1 for spring and May 1 for summer unless program-specific deadlines exist (see specific program information).

NOTE: The requirements and procedures listed below demand lead time. Applicants are urged to submit all necessary materials as early as possible before the beginning of the term for which admission is requested or by the earlier, program specific deadline dates. Timeliness of complete application materials may impact graduate assistantships and other sources of funding. Faculty review of application materials is unlikely during periods that the University is not in session.

Full Admission to Graduate Level Study

  • A four-year baccalaureate degree from a U.S. college or university that was regionally accredited at the time the degree was conferred, or an equivalent baccalaureate degree from a foreign university; the degree must be appropriate to the master’s study intended. Unofficial transcripts from every higher education institution attended for academic credit are required with the application. These transcripts will be used for GPA calculation and evaluation purposes. Official transcripts will be required of candidates upon acceptance of an offer of admission.
  • A 3.0 grade point average (on a 4.0 scale) over all post-secondary coursework. Applicants with advanced degrees from accredited institutions are generally, at the discretion of the Graduate School, considered to have met GPA requirements.
  • Three current letters of recommendation from professors in the applicant’s undergraduate major field, or from professors of post-baccalaureate courses, or from others able to make an appropriate assessment of the applicant’s academic or professional competence. The MBA and MPAcc programs require a résumé in lieu of references. The Educational Administration program requires a professional recommendation.
  • Graduate Record Exam (GRE) or other test scores may be required for some programs; see the current application requirements for each program at . Applicants with advanced degrees from regionally accredited institutions applying to certain programs do not need to submit scores. If required, scores must be received in the Graduate School office by the program specific deadline date; if no program-specific deadline date, then by the Graduate School deadline date.
  • All applicants must demonstrate English language proficiency. At least minimum TOEFL or IELTS test scores (see International Applications section) must be submitted unless English is the native language or the degree is from a regionally accredited U.S. institution, or from Great Britain, Australia, New Zealand or English-speaking provinces of Canada.
  • Favorable review and recommendation of applications by the graduate faculty in the program to which application is made.
  • Special Requirements. Certain programs have additional requirements or procedures; see the program descriptions. If a program requires a statement of purpose and/or writing sample(s), these must accompany the application. See specific program information for clarification.

Materials submitted in support of an application will not be returned, forwarded, or copied at the request of the applicant; materials are used only for the WWU Graduate School admissions and Teaching Assistant selection process. Incomplete or inactive applications are kept on file in the Graduate School for three years. If during this three-year period an applicant reapplies, official documents (test scores, transcripts, current letters of recommendation) may be used for a new admission application.

The MAT is offered Monday through Friday by appointment through the Western Washington University Testing Center, 360-650-3080.

See the Educational Testing Service website at for further information about the GRE testing program. For information about the GMAT, visit .

Current GRE board policy states that scores are reportable for five years. The Graduate School accepts only official test scores from admissions tests sent directly from the testing organization. Students should refer to the specific test website for information on the availability of official test scores.

Provisional Admission

Students who do not meet all the requirements for full admission may be granted provisional admission. The faculty of the applicant’s intended graduate program must submit a statement of support for provisional admission to the graduate dean. If provisional admission is authorized by the Graduate School, the provisions are stated in the letter offering the student special admission to graduate study. No K (incomplete) grades are allowed until provisional status is removed. A provisionally admitted student is not eligible for a teaching assistantship or Graduate School-funded scholarships until the provisional status is removed.


Students in some master’s programs also apply for licensing or certification through professional organizations or state agencies. The certificate or license is separate from the master’s degree. It is the applicant’s responsibility to inquire about licensing or certification requirements prior to enrolling.

International Applicants

All applicants must demonstrate competence in written and spoken English. This can be done by submitting a satisfactory score on the international TOEFL or IELTS, taken within one year of the date of application. Minimum required TOEFL score is 86 for the Internet-based test (IBT) or 567 for the paper-based test (PBT). IELTS minimum score is 7.0. Requirements may vary for certain programs and for applications submitted via Study Group. See the admissions requirements for specific programs for details. Official test scores must be on file in the Graduate School prior to receipt of the application.

Applicants must upload an unofficial transcript from each institution attended within the Graduate School application. All applicants who have earned their undergraduate degree outside the US/Canada must submit a course-by-course credential evaluation from World Education Services (WES) or through the Certifile Credential Evaluation service integrated within the online application, demonstrating the equivalency of their undergraduate studies to a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited US institution.

Official transcripts are only required if the applicant is admitted and chooses to attend WWU.

Note: Official transcripts are not required if an applicant has provided a WES ICAP evaluation, as this report includes a verified copy of the official documents.

To be considered official, transcripts must be in sealed envelopes prepared by the university or college; attested/certified copies prepared by the institution may be accepted if originals cannot be provided by the institution.

Applicants attending institutions in China must request official transcripts from the Ministry-authorized verification offices listed below; transcripts directly from an institution cannot be considered official.

China Academic Degrees and Graduate Education Development Center (CDGDC) Website:

China Higher Education Student Information & Career Center (CHESICC) Website:

International students must file a satisfactory statement of financial responsibility with the Graduate School. See for estimated expenses for one academic year, which may vary by program. An application for an international student cannot be processed unless accompanied by appropriate financial guarantee documentation. International students are not eligible for federal or state governmental financial aid.

International students are encouraged to complete the admission process as soon as possible to obtain a visa and make travel arrangements.

Graduate Assistantships

Graduate assistantships are available in limited number in most graduate programs and are competitively awarded. Assistantships are not available in self-sustaining (non state-supported) programs. Only students with full admission, not provisional status, may be awarded the TA. To continue as a graduate assistant, the graduate student must meet or exceed all academic criteria pertaining to satisfactory progress toward the degree, and meet or exceed all departmental requirements and criteria for satisfactory service as a graduate teaching assistant. Graduate students are limited to no more than the equivalent of seven full-time quarters of service as graduate teaching assistants. Program advisors may recommend students for additional quarters of service, which requires approval of the Graduate Dean. Graduate assistants must meet the Graduate School definition of full-time enrollment.

Duties vary according to the department and program, the needs of the program faculty and the student’s graduate plan of study. A full-time assistantship does not allow for additional salary or employment from the University. Graduate teaching assistantship applicants whose native language is not English must demonstrate English language proficiency required for classroom or laboratory instruction. Applicants to graduate programs check the TA box on the online application for consideration.

Financial Aid

Graduate students also are eligible for several types of financial aid; information can be obtained from the University’s Financial Aid Office, .

Master’s programs at WWU generally require a minimum of 45 credits with thesis and 48 credits without thesis. Programs with a thesis generally require no fewer than 5 credits and no more than 36 credits of thesis coursework (690). Doctoral programs require a minimum of 90 credits beyond the bachelor’s degree. Programs that require a master’s degree prior to admission to doctoral study may require fewer than 90 credits. A maximum of 10 credits of approved 400-level coursework can be applied to graduate degree programs. All 400-level courses must meet the same standards as regular 500-level courses with regard to grading, time frame, et cetera.

For students who have taken a significant number of graduate level accounting, mathematics or computer science courses as undergraduates at WWU, and who as undergraduates were identified for admission to the Graduate School, the graduate programs in accounting, mathematics and computer science require only 36 500- and 600-level credits. Guidelines for this option are available from the departments.

It is recommended that no more than 10 credits of directed independent study be applied toward the degree, although some programs are more restrictive. A graduate student registering for a 500- or 400-level independent study course used for the degree develops a contract with the instructor, which is then reviewed and approved by the graduate program advisor, department chair and the Graduate School. Independent study credit normally will not be given when the student is paid for engaging in the work described on the contract (e.g., internship, work-study projects, graduate assistantships).

Many programs require more than the above standard minimum credits to meet degree requirements. Also, certain undergraduate deficiencies may add additional credits to an individual student’s course of study. (See Plan of Study section that follows.) These deficiencies may affect financial aid awards.

Additional Requirements

Program descriptions in this catalog provide information about special requirements: statistics competency, second language competency, sequence of particular courses, et cetera. Most graduate programs provide information about such special requirements; the student should request this information from the program advisor.

Students whose research involves human subjects or live vertebrate animals must obtain approval prior to conducting research and comply with University policies regarding these types of research. Please refer to .

Graduate students in departments with a second language requirement may satisfy the requirement by (a) successfully completing the final course in a second-year language sequence, (b) passing a reading competency exam in the language, or (c) completing another department-approved course or course sequence. Each department sets its own minimum standard to indicate the required level of competency. Graduate students are encouraged to complete the second language requirement early in their program.

Academic Load

The Graduate School defines full-time enrollment as 8 or more credits per quarter. The maximum credit load for a graduate student is determined in consultation with the student’s graduate program advisor, within the policies set by the Registrar.

Graduate assistants who have successfully completed all coursework on the approved Plan of Study, except for thesis (690) or research (691 or 692) work, maintain eligibility for funding if enrolled for a minimum of two credit hours of thesis, research, or continuous enrollment. See the Financial Aid section of this catalog for implications of being enrolled less than full time if the student requires financial aid.

Continuous Enrollment Policy

All enrolled students pursuing graduate degrees at Western Washington University must maintain continuous enrollment from matriculation until completion of all degree requirements. Continuous enrollment is defined as registering for at least one credit in all academic quarters (excluding summer) until the degree is attained or status as a degree-seeking graduate student is terminated.

Students who have not completed all of the requirements for their degree and are not currently registered for any credits will be required to register for one credit of GRAD 699 Continuous Enrollment    every quarter (excluding summers) until all degree requirements are completed. GRAD 699 meets the registration requirement for graduation, but does not meet student employment eligibility requirements. Graduate students with a TA or RA position, or other university employment, are required to register for regular academic credit.

GRAD 699 is non-graded. It may not be taken concurrently with any other course. It does not meet registration requirements for student employment or financial aid.

The Continuous Enrollment requirement will be waived for students who are granted official leave of absence. Official leaves of absence must be requested of the Graduate Dean in instances of medical emergency or other extenuating circumstances. Additional information about hardship withdrawals and non-medical emergency leaves of absence can be found in the University Academic Policies section of this catalog.

Western Washington University employees receiving state waivers in pursuit of their graduate degree are exempt from the Continuous Enrollment requirement.

Students who maintain Continuous Enrollment will be allowed to complete their degree under the policies and requirements in place at their date of matriculation. Students who fail to main Continuous Enrollment (i.e., take unofficial leave) must reapply for admission to the program and pay the current admission fees. Readmission is not guaranteed. Decisions for re-enrollment will happen at the department level and students may be subject to changes in the degree or additional requirements as deemed necessary by the program. 

Time Limits

All requirements for the degree must be completed within five years of the initial quarter of matriculation. Active graduate students within this five-year time period maintain access to library and computer resources. Students who have not completed their program after three years of study are encouraged to consult their program adviser to develop a plan for completion of the degree within the five-year limit. Student computer accounts which allow access to computer labs, e-mail, library privileges, and other student technology services are purged at the end of this five-year period. Files of students who are admitted and register for coursework but do not complete their programs are kept for five years after the five-year program requirement. Files of students who complete programs are archived for 35 years.

Plan of Study

During the first quarter of graduate study at WWU, the student and graduate program advisor together develop a plan of study in accordance with the requirements described in the catalog’s program narrative. Plans should be completed within Degree Works and may be amended as necessary.

Transfer, Correspondence and Workshop Courses

Coursework taken prior to formal admission to a WWU master’s degree program, whether at Western or another accredited institution, can be considered for transfer credit if the following criteria listed below are met:

  • A limit of 12 quarter credits
  • Graded B, 3.0 or better
  • Taken no more than three years prior to admission
  • Acceptable to the granting institution for its master’s degree
  • Not used toward the completion of any other degree

Credit taken at another accredited institution, concurrent with graduate status in a WWU master’s degree program, can also be considered for transfer credit if the same criteria are met. Such coursework should be approved in advance of registration to prevent any misunderstanding or false expectations.

Credit will not be granted for experiential learning that occurred prior to matriculation into the graduate degree program.

The request for transfer credit, including a copy of the course syllabus, is submitted by the graduate program advisor and student for approval by the Graduate School. If the coursework was taken while the student was enrolled in another degree program (undergraduate or graduate level), the student must provide documentation from the granting institution stating that the credits were not counted toward any degree.

At the recommendation of the graduate program advisor and the approval of the Graduate School, some course requirements may be waived, depending on a student’s previous academic experience. However, the total number of credits required for the degree must still be met.

No credit is given for correspondence courses. No credit is allowed by challenge examination or performance.

Courses offered as workshops or in a shortened time frame, even under regular course numbers, do not qualify for graduate credit toward a degree, unless the department obtains prior permission for each specific instance from the Graduate Faculty Governance Council. To ensure that prior approval has been granted, students should obtain written permission from the Graduate School prior to enrolling.

Thesis, Dissertation, and Comprehensive Examinations

Master’s degree programs are thesis or non-thesis (additional coursework and, in most programs, a comprehensive exam); doctoral programs may require a dissertation. See specific program descriptions for information. Minimally, the thesis or dissertation committee has three members. The chair and a second member must be graduate faculty members from the student’s program or an affiliated program or department. See the Graduate Faculty section below for more details. Guidelines for thesis and dissertation format and submission are available online at the Graduate School website. Joint manuscripts are not permitted. Only an individually authored manuscript will meet requirements. Departments that require the thesis or dissertation customarily provide additional guidance.

Prior to registration for thesis, departments and the Graduate School require that a student be advanced to candidacy and have an approved thesis topic on file in the Graduate School office. Students whose research involves human subjects or live vertebrate animals must comply with University policies regarding these types of research. Please refer to . Registering for thesis credits beyond the maximum allowed for the degree may affect a student’s eligibility for certain kinds of financial aid.

Comprehensive exams or assessments vary among programs. Students should consult their respective programs for information.

The comprehensive exam should be scheduled for the final quarter of the student’s enrollment. It may be deferred upon request by the student and agreement by the graduate advisor until all coursework has been completed. Comprehensive exams, if failed, may be repeated, but only if the graduate faculty of the particular program approves the student’s request to repeat the exam.

Scholarship Standards

To remain a candidate for the degree, students must maintain at least a 3.0 GPA in courses listed on the plan of study. Students also must be making satisfactory progress in the graduate program to which they have been admitted. If a student is withdrawn from their graduate degree program for unsatisfactory progress or any other reason, this also constitutes withdrawal from the university.

A maximum of 10 credits of C grades (C+, C, C-) is allowed towards completion of a graduate program. Courses in which a D+ or lower is earned may not be applied towards completion of a graduate program. The accumulation of more than 10 credits of C+ or lower (including U and Z) grades may result in the student being withdrawn from the Graduate School.

There are certain courses that must be passed with a grade of B or better; program descriptions note such requirements. A graduate student may be required by the department to repeat a course to document attainment of a certain level of competence or knowledge. Grades for repeated courses do not replace the original grade earned. All attempts are averaged into the cumulative GPA.

Pass/No Pass grades are not applicable toward a graduate degree. S grades are applicable, but not computed in the GPA. An incomplete (K) grade may be assigned in accordance with the regulations outlined in the Academic Policies section of this catalog. If, after a calendar year, the course requirements have not been met, the K grade lapses to a Z. These Z grades are computed as failing grades in a student’s grade point average and may affect retention in the graduate program. Exceptions to the K grade rule are K grades which are received for thesis and certain research courses. In these cases, the K grades are allowed to stand until the thesis or research is completed, whereupon the grade is changed to the earned grade.

Degree Candidacy

Advancement to degree candidacy is formal recognition that the student has completed all admission requirements and has demonstrated satisfactory performance in at least 12 credits of graduate study as listed on an approved plan of study. Advancement to candidacy is a prerequisite to earning the master’s degree and should be accomplished as early as the student is eligible. Advancement is granted by the student’s program upon completion of minimum requirements. A student must be advanced to candidacy before submitting the application for degree. Confer with your advisor if you have questions about your status or eligibility for advancement to candidacy.

Awarding of the Graduate Degree

The graduate degree is earned at the end of the quarter in which the student has satisfactorily completed all degree requirements (see Scholarship Standards above) and has filed the application for degree. Recommendation for the degree is made to the Graduate Faculty Governance Council by the student’s program advisor and thesis or dissertation committee (if applicable). Application for the degree must be made by the last day of classes of the quarter prior to the quarter the student intends to graduate. A student must be enrolled in academic credit or in GRAD 699 during the quarter in which the degree is awarded. Auditing a course for this purpose is not permitted.

Teacher Certification

The Woodring College of Education, not the Graduate School, administers the certification of P-12 teachers. Students interested in certification at the P-12 or secondary level, contact the Secondary Education Department, MH 400 360-650-3327. Students interested in Special Education P-12 certification, contact the Special Education Department, MH 201A, 360-650-3330. Other certification questions can be directed to the Office of Certification & Accreditation, MH, 150, 360-650-4930 or .

Undergraduate and Post-Baccalaureate Enrollment in 500/600 Level Courses

Undergraduates at WWU who are in their senior year and have at least a 3.0 grade point average can take a single graduate course during any quarter, but under certain provisions. There must not be an appropriate undergraduate course in their field that is equally available; permission must be obtained in advance from the department chair and graduate program advisor of the department offering the graduate course; and the Graduate School must approve the enrollment. A senior who later enters a master’s program at WWU may transfer up to twelve credits of coursework into the master’s program. The credit must not have been used for the baccalaureate degree and must meet all criteria for transfer credit. To register, contact the Graduate School for a registration system override. Post-baccalaureate students may enroll for 500- level courses. All prerequisites must be met and permission obtained from the department.

Neither undergraduate nor post-baccalaureate students may enroll independent study or 600-level courses.

The Graduate Faculty Governance Council, comprised of representatives from the Graduate Faculty, colleges with graduate programs, Western Libraries, and graduate students, supports and advances graduate education at Western Washington University through shared graduate faculty governance. The Graduate Faculty Governance Council authority and duties include:

  • Providing leadership in the areas of Graduate School strategic planning, policy and standards, and resource allocation in collaboration with the Dean of the Graduate School
  • Promoting the interests of the Graduate Faculty and graduate students  
  • Enhancing the visibility of graduate education throughout the University, including the promotion and celebration of academic accomplishments by graduate students 
  • Approving and monitoring standards for graduate admission, retention, and graduation 
  • Advising on the development and creation of new graduate programs
  • Reviewing graduate curriculum proposals from all academic departments and programs
  • Conducting graduate program reviews to ensure ongoing program effectiveness
  • Participating in the Graduate School NWCCU accreditation process
  • Selecting Western Association of Graduate Schools outstanding thesis nominees
  • Adopting and amending its rules of operation as the “Bylaws of the Graduate Faculty Governance Council”

Members of the Western Washington University Graduate Faculty are those faculty members who are engaged in graduate education, are in tenured or tenure-track positions, and are active in scholarship or professional or creative activities in the disciplines in which they teach and supervise graduate students. Graduate Faculty are responsible for the development, execution, and review of graduate programs, and through representation on the Graduate Faculty Governance Council, the recommendation of policy on all graduate matters at Western.


Graduate Faculty members must meet the following requirements:

Appointment in a tenured or tenure-track position at the rank of Assistant Professor or above

Terminal degree in faculty member’s particular field of study

Graduate Faculty members are approved to perform the following duties provided that they are consistent with terms and conditions of the faculty member’s Letter of Offer.

Teach graduate courses

Serve as a mentor for a graduate degree-seeking student (e.g., thesis/dissertation chair or member of comprehensive examination committee)

Serve as a member of a graduate thesis or dissertation committee in the home or related department

Serve as Graduate Program Advisor

Serve on Graduate Faculty of WWU standing and ad-hoc committees


Eligible faculty are automatically appointed. Appointments are continuing as long as Graduate Faculty members meet department standards for reappointment on their annual probationary review or meet departmental standards for successful post tenure review. Those who do not meet department standards for probationary or post tenure review may have their Graduate Faculty status revoked by the Graduate Dean as recommended by the department chair or Graduate Program Director during the time of remediation, and in such instances must satisfy the terms and conditions set forth by the department and the Collective Bargaining Agreement before they can be reinstated as Graduate Faculty.

Associate Graduate Faculty Membership

Individual graduate programs may identify associate faculty who bring a special expertise to the graduate program or a specific thesis or dissertation project.

Associate Graduate Faculty members must meet the following requirements:

  • Hold a faculty or professional position with the university, such as non-tenure track faculty and research associates.
  • Hold a graduate degree appropriate to the field of specialization (a terminal degree is not necessarily required)
  • Exhibit recent professional work, research, or creative activity in the area of specialization

Associate Graduate Faculty members are approved to perform the following duties provided that they are consistent with the terms and conditions of Associate’s appointment Contract:

  • Teach a specific graduate course
  • Serve as member of comprehensive examination committee
  • Serve as second or third member of a thesis, dissertation or graduate project committee
  • Serve as a chair of a thesis or dissertation committee on the condition that the Associate Gradate Faculty Member has a terminal degree and at least two committee members are Graduate Faculty Members.

Nomination and Renewal

If the candidate meets the Eligibility requirements outlined above, the Department Chair will email a request and vita to the Associate Dean of the Graduate School. Appointments are continuing as long as the duties performed comply with the terms and conditions of the faculty member’s contract.

Affiliate Graduate Faculty Membership

Affiliate Graduate Faculty membership may be granted to volunteers who are not members of the Western Washington University faculty. Affiliate Graduate Faculty may be appointed to offer expertise and may serve as third reader on a thesis, graduate project, or comprehensive examination committee. Emeritus faculty members in a department are eligible to apply for Affiliate status. 

Affiliate Graduate Faculty members must meet the following requirements:

  • Hold a graduate degree appropriate to the field of assignment (a terminal degree is not necessarily required)
  • Be recognized as having exceptional expertise relating to the specific thesis or dissertation project
  • Meet the definition of a volunteer as described by law (RCW 52.12.035) and complying with the WWU Volunteer Registration Program. 

Affiliate Graduate Faculty members are approved to perform the following duties:

  • Participate as a third committee member on a thesis, dissertation or graduate project
  • Serve as third member of comprehensive examination committee

Nomination and Appointment

If the candidate meets the Eligibility requirements outlined above, the Department Chair will forward a nomination and the candidate’s vita to the Graduate School for approval by the Dean.

  • Candidates must be appointed separately to serve on an additional thesis or comprehensive examination committee
  • Appointments expire after graduation or termination of the graduate student for committee members

Faculty/Student-Designed Programs


At times students and faculty develop programs that are more interdisciplinary than the master’s programs described in this catalog. In each instance this requires a complete Graduate School application and a proposed plan of study that has been approved by the graduate faculty and departments the student intends to work with and by the University’s Graduate Faculty Governance Council. At least two or more graduate disciplines must be involved.

Programs of this type are restricted by several factors: current offerings which can provide a basis for the individual program; availability of appropriate faculty; the applicant’s academic preparation and ability; and the internal logic, or relationship of the elements of the proposed program. Each case is considered on its merits.

For candidates who are currently enrolled as graduate students no more than 15 credits of course work (completed by the end of the quarter the petition is approved) can apply toward the designated program.

Detailed information can be obtained by contacting the Graduate School.

  • •  GRAD 699 - Continuous Enrollment

Two women reviewing the output at a large format printer

Graduate Thesis

For assistance with submission of your thesis, please see western's  graduate school website ., you’ve put a lot of hard work into your thesis and now you’ve finally finished.

Congratulations on your academic achievement!

Completion of your degree requires one hardbound copy of your thesis for archiving in Special Collections .

The Print and Copy Center, Western’s on-campus resource for all your print and copy needs, can help get your thesis printed.

Your thesis order must be placed and paid before your degree can be awarded.

Individual departments may have requirements for additional copies; check with your thesis chair or program adviser if you are unsure.  

For printing assistance or additional information:

Email: [email protected] Phone: 360-650-3762  

Graduate Thesis Resources

Copyright and Publication:

Thesis Submission:

Thesis Manuscript Guidelines:

Graduate Thesis Instructions

Master's thesis are now published through the cedar program..

Follow instructions provided by the WWU Graduate School's website .

You are still required to have at least 1 hard-bound copy of your thesis printed/bound for the Wilson Library. This is in addition to the electronic publishing via CEDAR.

Additional paper-copies of your thesis may be required if your thesis committee members require it. Please coordinate with your committee to determine. If they require paper copies, remember to get 1 original signed signature-page for each copy you will have printed.

Finance and Marketing

Two different disciplines with a common goal.

Finance and Marketing are two of several focuses in the Business Administration major. These two distinct concentrations make up the Department of Finance and Marketing in Western's College of Business and Economics. While our department is home to two academic disciplines, each with its own faculty, we share the goal of providing a rigorous educational experience for our students that we hope will serve them well as professionals in many types of organizations or while pursuing further education in the field.

exterior of parks hall, a concrete building with regular stripes of windows

Our Missions

The finance faculty provides education in finance to develop students' abilities to lead, manage, and positively contribute to firms and other organizations. We originate research and serve our college, university, and society at large with professional expertise.

Explore the Finance Concentration

Financial Economics

Accounting - finance concentration.

The marketing faculty provides education in marketing by enabling undergraduates and MBAs to become critical thinkers and gain the ability to manage firms and organizations in the public interest and in a global context. We originate research and serve our college, university, and society at large with professional expertise.

Explore the Marketing Concentration

Meet Our Faculty

Each of the professors who make up the faculty of the Department of Finance and Marketing brings unique and valuable training and expertise to the classroom. They are people who dedicate themselves to equipping students with the necessary knowledge and skills to be effective in the ever-changing worlds of marketing and finance. Meet our faculty!

Physical Location : Parks Hall 415, 4th Floor

WWU Mailstop : MS 9073  

Phone : 360-650-4202

Email : [email protected]

Dr. Ed Love Department Chair

Heather Christianson Department Manager

University Marketing

The University Marketing team at Western Washington University plays a vital role in the university's overall outreach and engagement efforts. We are responsible for developing and executing strategic marketing campaigns that promote the Western brand and enhance its reputation. Our primary goal is to build awareness for the university's colleges, departments, programs, locations, various institutions and initiatives.

To achieve this goal, we work closely with other departments across the university, including University Communications, Admissions and Advancement, to ensure that all communication and marketing efforts are consistent and aligned with the university's mission and goals. We also collaborate with external partners to develop and implement targeted campaigns that reach a wide range of audiences, including prospective and current students, faculty and staff, alumni, and the broader community.

In addition to promoting the university externally, we also work to improve internal communication and branding efforts, ensuring that all members of the university community are aware of the latest developments and initiatives.

Elizabeth Lambert appears in front of a background of trees.

Elizabeth Lambert

Director university marketing she/her/hers.

Elizabeth Lambert is the director of the University Marketing team at Western Washington University, responsible for creating brand strategy and campaigns to enhance the university's reputation. She has over 15 years of experience in marketing and communications, including working in broadcast journalism and higher education. Elizabeth has extensive experience in branding, digital communications, public radio, enrollment and admissions communications, and alumni relations.

Before joining Western, she served as Senior Director for External Relations and Strategic Communications for Graduate Studies at UC Davis. Elizabeth is an alumna of Southern Oregon University and Drexel University and is passionate about Western's commitment to inclusive achievement and preparing students for success in an ever-changing world.

Megan Havens, Project Manager smiles boldly into the camera at her home office

Megan Havens

Project manager she/her/hers.

Megan has over 10 years of experience in marketing and communications, with a background in industries ranging from software to nonprofit to construction.

Inspired by the creativity and inherent curiosity marketing requires, she enjoys researching new and effective ways to reach target markets, while leveraging proven techniques and being informed by data. She's adept at identifying the small steps it takes to achieve big goals, and assists her team in strategizing and planning accordingly. She has been honored with two silver excellence in marketing awards from UPCEA (University Professional and Continuing Education Association).

She prides herself on being empathetic and organized, with an eye for detail. A proud 2009 graduate of Western, Megan earned her Bachelor of Arts in English (literature emphasis) with double minors in sociology and political science. When she's not working, she enjoys being active, spending time outside, cooking, learning, listening to music and podcasts, and laughing.


Need help on a creative project review our brand guide and contact creative services at [email protected]..

Derek Bryson smiles in front of an exterior background.

Derek Bryson

Assistant director creative services he/him/his.

Derek Bryson graduated from Western with a Bachelor of Arts in Art-Design. After a handful of years as a graphic designer in the private sector, Derek returned to Western in the summer of 2011 as a graphic designer in the Office of University Communications. At Western, he enjoys the wide variety of projects he gets to work on with colleagues from every corner of the university. His work has been recognized through numerous Team Recognition Awards as well as the President’s Exceptional Effort Award in 2018.

When not working, Derek enjoys spending time with his family, staying active, being outdoors, playing and watching sports, playing music (a lifelong drummer), board/card games and laughing.

Chris Baker, Senior Graphic Designer, poses in front of trees.

Chris Baker

Senior graphic designer.

Chris has 20 years of experience working in graphic design, including 16 at Western. His work has highlighted just about every department on campus over the years; he helped create and continues to design the award-winning Window magazine. He also works closely with student publications, mentoring student editors and designers to get their magazines to the printer.

A graduate of Central Washington University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts, Chris started his career working for a design firm in Monterey, California, that specialized in higher education. Some of his first clients were The City College of New York, Loyola of Chicago, and Manhattan College.

In his spare time Chris enjoys visiting family, listening to music, and working on projects in his garage. When it's not raining, you might find him riding his motorcycle on curvy roads in the mountains.

Mitch O'Halloran with clouds and the bay in the background

Mitch O'Halloran

Senior graphic designer he/him/his.

Mitch graduated from Central Washington University, quite a few moons ago, with a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree. He has worked as a graphic designer and in the print industry for 20+ years. He enjoys being creative and working with clients to help them create successful projects from start to finish.

During his time away from the computer, Mitch enjoys wandering through the woods, bicycling on the roads (and off), listening to music and attending live concerts, trying to learn to play the guitar, working on household projects, playing board/card games with family and friends, reading a good book, traveling and loves to laugh. He’s also a Star Wars geek with credentials to prove it.

English Department

Pic of Bellingham Bay at sunset.

  • MFA Creative Writing

Learn More...

  • Financial Aid
  • Graduate Courses
  • Graduate Faculty
  • MA English Studies
I came to Western, a newly minted English major, and soon learned the attentive and engaging faculty at WWU would help me write the future of my own writing and teaching life. With small classes, provocative assignments, and opportunities for both cross-genre study and intensive, pedagogical training, I left Western knowledgeable, confident, and empowered to forge ahead in the literary and academic world. —Julie Marie Wade, Lambda Literary Award winner and author of Wishbone: A Memoir in Fractures

In our versatile MFA program, you will gain fluency in single genre, multigenre, cross-genre, or hybrid writing, as well as an understanding of the way diverse genres can inform one another. Our creative writing courses are coupled with in-depth literary study and analysis, making you a multifaceted scholar, writer, and teacher.

You may gain teaching experience (if awarded a teaching assistantship or internship), as well as professional editing experience with scholarly and creative writing journals, such as the award-winning Bellingham Review .

Our Distinguished Alumni…

Kate Christie is the author of Gay Pride & Prejudice, Beautiful Game , and Leaving LA , published by Bella Books. She is the author of 15 titles and now writes full-time under her own imprint, Second Growth Books.

Jai Dulani was featured in Best New Poets 2020 . His work has appeared in Alaska Quarterly Review , The Offing , and Waxwing . He has received fellowships from Kundiman, VONA/Voices, and the Asian American Writers’ Workshop. He is co-editor of The Revolution Starts at Home: Confronting Intimate Violence in Activist Communities .

Spencer Ellsworth is the author of the Starfire Trilogy , which begins with Starfire: A Red Peace , published by TOR, Macmillan’s science fiction division.

Julie Marie Wade is the author of Wishbone: A Memoir in Fractures , winner of the Colgate University Press Nonfiction Book Award and the Lambda Literary Award. Her latest book, Catechism: A Love Story , was selected by C.D. Wright as the winner of the AROHO/To the Lighthouse Prize in Poetry.

Caroline Van Hemert is the author The Sun is a Compass , published by Little Brown Spark, which won the Banff Mountain Book Award for Adventure Travel and was cited as one of the best outdoor books of 2019 by Outside, Bustle , and Forbes . Her writing has been featured in the New York Times, Audubon, Outside, Washington Post , and others.

Soham Patel is a Kundiman fellow and an assistant editor at Fence and The Georgia Review . She is the author of four chapbooks of poetry including ever really hear it , winner of the 2017 Subito Prize.

Dayna Patterson is the author of If Mother Braids a Waterfall (Signature Books, 2020), and the founding editor of Psaltery & Lyre , an online literary journal dedicated to publishing literature at the intersection of faith and doubt.

Urban Waite is the author of The Terror of Living , The Carrion Birds, and Sometimes the Wolf (Harper Collins), which have been named to various Best Book of the Year lists, such as E squire, The Boston Globe, LitReactor, and Booklist. His novels have been translated into nine languages.

Program Requirements: 55 credits

Core courses: (20 credits total, each course is 5 credits) in creative writing to be taken in at least two different genres from the following:.

  • English 502: Seminar in the Writing of Fiction (repeatable)
  • English 504: Seminar in the Writing of Poetry (repeatable)
  • English 505: Seminar in the Writing of Nonfiction (repeatable)
  • English 506: Seminar in Creative Writing: Multigenre (repeatable)
  • English 520: Studies in Poetry (repeatable)*
  • English 525: Studies in Fiction (repeatable)*
  • English 535: Studies in Nonfiction (repeatable)*

*These courses may be taken as either creative writing or literature credits, depending on the nature of your final project. To use them as part of the creative writing core requirement, you must take them as creative writing courses.

ELECTIVES: (20 credits total, each course is 5 credits) in literature, composition/rhetoric, pedagogy, or critical theory, to be taken from the following:

  • English 500: Directed Independent Study
  • English 513: Teaching Composition (required for Graduate Teaching Assistants)
  • English 509: Internship in Writing, Editing and Production (repeatable)
  • English 510: Seminar: Topics in Rhetoric (repeatable)
  • English 515: Studies in Literary and Critical Theory (repeatable)
  • English 540: Studies in Global Literatures (repeatable)
  • English 550: Studies in American Literatures (repeatable)
  • English 560: Studies in British Literature (repeatable)
  • English 570: Topics in Cultural Studies (repeatable)
  • English 575: Studies in Women’s Literature (repeatable)
  • English 580: Studies in Film (repeatable)
  • English 594: Practicum in Teaching
  • English 598: Research in the Teaching of English (repeatable)

English 520, 525, and 535 (see creative writing courses) may also be used for literature credit, depending on the nature of the final project. The same class may not be used for both literature and creative writing credit.

THESIS: (10 credits granted upon program completion)

  • English 690 Thesis Writing

Note: A student may, with permission, take up to 5 credits in approved 400-level courses. A student may have only 10 credits total/combined 400-level and/or 500 (Independent Study) credits. Students are encouraged to fill out their two years of study with electives that stress creative writing, pedagogy, editing/publishing, literature, or rhetoric, as dictated by the student’s interests and career goals. Must be enrolled each quarter for a minimum of 8 credits as a TA (Teaching Assistant) or 10 credits for Financial Aid.


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thesis marketing wwu

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Ausschnitt eines Glasdachs des LC Gebäude

We are very pleased to see that you are interested in writing your Bachelor thesis in the area of Markets and Strategy.

You can find the most important infos below. Please take the time to read through the guidelines.

Guidelines for a successful Bachelor/Masterthesis

Requirements for writing a Bachelor's or Master's thesis at the institute


WU- terms: StEOP, CBK, and completed „Fundamentals of scientific writing“ course

Institute-terms: SBWL “Strategy and Data” (in special cases bring a different kind of evidence of sufficient interest and knowledge in our subject areas), availability of supervision, positive answer by a supervisor, proposal and preliminary outline corresponding with the quality standards of the institute


Completion of the “How to write a thesis” course or a similar course 

Evidence of sufficient interest and knowledge in our subject areas, availability of supervision, positive answer by a supervisor, proposal and preliminary outline corresponding with the quality standards of the institute

Possible Supervisors

Diya Abraham  (only in English)

Behavioral and Experimental Economics, Social Preferences, Trust and Trustworthiness, Vulnerability, Cooperative Behavior

Kerstin Grosch

Behavioral, Labor, Organization and Education Economics

If you are interested in any of the following thesis topics, contact Kerstin Grosch:

The ability to distinguish between correlational and causal evidence - importance for decision-making in public policy

How come individuals persist with plans/commitments beyond their optimal duration?

The impact of expectation communication on climate action behaviors

Using behavioral science to improve digitalization in SMEs

Christoph Huber

Behavioral Economics; Experimental Economics; Behavioral and Experimental Finance; Market Efficiency and Bubbles; Decision-Making under Uncertainty; Social and Cognitive Factors in (Financial) Decision-Making; (Un)ethical Behavior

Jakob Möller

Behavioral Economics, Experimental Economics, Gender Economics, Economics of Discrimination, Microeconometrics, Machine Learning

Maria Polipciuc  (only in English)

Experimental Economics, Behavioral Economics, Civic Behavior, Moral Values and Consumption, Cultural Transmission

Anita Zednik

Applied Microeconomics, Experimental Economics, Cultural Economics, Consumer Behavior, Discrete Choice Model

Institute for Markets and Strategy

  • General Information about the specialization Decision Sciences
  • Application to the Specialization Decision Sciences

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  1. Thesis and Dissertation Information

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  3. Dissertations & Theses: Published at WWU

    Since 1948 Western Libraries has kept a large number of Masters theses, Honors and Senior Project theses, and Huxley Senior Project and Internship reports published at Western Washington University. Circulating copies of these papers are located on Wilson 4 East and West, and in the Music Library (music topics).

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    Your thesis or dissertation will be published and made available right away on CEDAR, as part of the Digital Commons for your discipline, and through Google and Google Scholar. ... " Marketing by the Minute " is a student-led podcast produced by the Western Washington University Marketing Program Media Lab. Each episode features outstanding ...

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  6. About Dissertations & Theses

    Theses and dissertations are detailed scholarly papers usually produced as part of fulfilling requirements for Masters and Doctoral degrees.. WWU students have written Masters theses and have also produced scholarly papers to satisfy honors and senior projects and internship requirements.. Doctoral dissertations are published by universities worldwide.. You may discover that these materials ...

  7. Graduate School

    If during this three-year period an applicant reapplies, official documents (test scores, transcripts, current letters of recommendation) may be used for a new admission application. The MAT is offered Monday through Friday by appointment through the Western Washington University Testing Center, 360-650-3080.

  8. Get a degree in Marketing

    Get a degree in Marketing | Western Washington University Marketing Marketing is more than just sales and advertising - it means satisfying the wants and needs of customers by building mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and customers. In Marketing, students learn how to help people solve problems.

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    Congratulations on your academic achievement! Completion of your degree requires one hardbound copy of your thesis for archiving in Special Collections. The Print and Copy Center, Western's on-campus resource for all your print and copy needs, can help get your thesis printed.

  10. Graduate Thesis Instructions

    Follow instructions provided by the WWU Graduate School's website. You are still required to have at least 1 hard-bound copy of your thesis printed/bound for the Wilson Library. This is in addition to the electronic publishing via CEDAR. Additional paper-copies of your thesis may be required if your thesis committee members require it. Please ...

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    As someone with a bachelor's degree in marketing, there are a vast amount of jobs that are at your disposal. Western Washington University's (WWU) Marketing Program offers coursework in many areas that will prepare you for your future career. The areas of study include (opens in new window): New Product Development

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    Finance and Marketing are two of several focuses in the Business Administration major. These two distinct concentrations make up the Department of Finance and Marketing in Western's College of Business and Economics. ... Western Washington University's main campus is situated on the ancestral homelands of the Coast Salish Peoples, who have ...

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    To proactively and effectively tell Western's story. To promote and improve economic vitality in local communities and beyond. University Relations & Marketing leads strategic marketing, communications and community relations activities that enhance awareness, strengthen our brand and increase engagement with our many diverse audiences.

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    English 690 Thesis Writing; Note: A student may, with permission, take up to 5 credits in approved 400-level courses. A student may have only 10 credits total/combined 400-level and/or 500 (Independent Study) credits. ... Western Washington University's main campus is situated on the ancestral homelands of the Coast Salish Peoples, who have ...

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    Step 3: Write your exposé! Ideally, you finish the exposé writing process before the kick-off of the Marketing Study Project. You will find more details about this process below. Step 4: Present your master thesis project during the kick-off of the Marketing Study Project, right after Christmas break in your 3rd semester.

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