Marine Science Distinguished Scholars

Western’s Marine Science Distinguished Scholars Program is a selective, small group experience for incoming freshmen. The program is planned and organized by faculty from Western’s Marine and Coastal Science Program and the Shannon Point Marine Center, who will work closely with students throughout the duration of the program.

Benefits of the Marine Science Distinguished Scholars Program include:

  • Live and learn at the Shannon Point Marine Center, for a one-week hands-on course prior to the start of your first Fall Quarter at Western (MACS 110) and the course continues through Fall Quarter
  • Exclusive registration for a special series of 1-credit seminars addressing contemporary issues, such as pollution, global climate change, and sustainable fisheries
  • Close involvement with Marine and Coastal Science faculty at the Shannon Point Marine Center who instruct courses for the Marine Science Distinguished Scholars Program
  • Interact with invited professionals from a variety of marine science career tracks
  • Stay informed on how to get involved with marine science and conservation through internships, research and outreach opportunities, and lectures.

High achieving students are invited to apply if they have demonstrated academic excellence. Interested students should indicate Marine and Coastal Science, Biology or Environmental Science as an academic interest on their application for admission and will be sent an invitation to apply for the Marine Science Scholars Program this Winter.

Participants are never locked into declaring a certain major. The committee selects students based on the information they provided in their application for admission — including grades, test scores, essay, unique extracurricular involvement, and specific interest in the marine sciences. For more information or questions, please email Grace Jones or call (360) 650-3443 or view our FAQs.

How To Apply

The Marine Science Scholars Program is a separate, competitive, invitation-only opportunity for select incoming freshmen. There is no initial, separate application. All eligible, high-achieving high school seniors are automatically considered without any separate application needed, and may receive a special invitation to apply based on excellent high school grades and marine biology experience/interest as indicated in their application for general admission to Western Washington University.

Note: For MACS 110, the pre-Fall, one-week experience at Shannon Point Marine Center (SPMC) in Anacortes, a housing and dining fee of $325 is required to participate in this course. The course tuition will be covered as part of the regular Fall Quarter tuition charges, although students who register for more than 14 credits during the regular Fall Quarter session will be charged for any extra credits.

Marine Science Distinguished Scholars 2021 Cohort Updates Here!!

Will you be doing the residential stay at Shannon Point Marine Center this September 2021? Check here for frequent updates.
Pre-Fall Letter- June 2021
Packing List - June 2021
August Letter - August 2021
Student Survey
Vaccination Reporting Site

COVID Testing for Move-In

Arrival and Departure:

Students should plan to arrive between 12 PM and 4 PM on Sunday September 12th.  Let us know in the student survey if you need us to pick you up from the Belair Airporter shuttle stop (Old Salt Deli is close to the marine lab).  Upon arrival you can check into your dorm room, get settled and join the rest of the group for a course intro at 4 PM followed by a welcome dinner.  Class activities will start bright and early on Monday, September 13th.  You should plan to check out of the dorms on Saturday morning at 9 AM.  Transportation to campus will be provided, departing at 10 AM, arriving on campus around 11 AM.  We are in the process of reserving your on-campus check in times (11am, 12pm and 1pm times) right now and will advise your time once the schedules are made.  If you are providing your own transportation to campus, please plan to leave SPMC by 10AM. 

You will NOT be able to drop any of our belonging before the residential stay at the university. The only options are:

1/ Ship items directly to WWU (contact them for specific instructions at and they will hold it for you.

2/ Bring items with you to Shannon Point and we store it for you and we can help you bring it to campus on September 18th.

3/ Parents can return with the students’ belonging on September 18th and help them move in.

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