Transfer Admissions

People mostly wearing yellow rain gear, standing on a jetty

Admissions Information for Transfer Students

We are excited to hear you are considering transferring to Western Washington University and pursuing our new Marine and Coastal Science (MACS) major. Annually, the program admits a cohort of approximately 30 students, a cohort made up of both, transfer and Western students.

Students who plan to transfer to Western in the fall, and have completed or are on track to complete all preparatory courses by the end of the academic year they are applying in, apply to the major in winter at the same time they apply for admissions to Western Washington University (before March 1st).

Students who are accepted into the major start the major in the fall with MACS 110: Marine Habitat and Diversity which involves a two week stay at the Shannon Point Marine lab before the start of fall quarter to kick off the Western experience with some hands on marine science.  Students then move into MACS 301: Marine and Geological Processes in the fall, which is the first in our series of core courses.

General Student Transfer Timeline

The timeline below is for a student who decides early to pursue the marine and coastal science major and prepares to transfer and start at Western Washington University in the fall.  The timeline for students will vary, and it is advised students meet with their college advisor to discuss an appropriate timeline.

A Flowchart describing the courses to be taken per semester to advance through the major after transferring to WWU.


Admissions Requirements

To be eligible for the MACS major, prospective students must have completed or be on track to complete by end of spring quarter/the academic year, all the major preparatory courses (listed below) with a grade of C- or better in each course. This must be done prior to starting major core classes in the fall.

BIO 204 – Introduction to Evolution, Ecology, and Biodiversity

CHEM 161 – General Chemistry I                     MATH 124 – Calculus and Analytic Geometry I

CHEM 162 – General Chemistry II                    MATH 125 – Calculus and Analytic Geometry II

CHEM 163 – General Chemistry III                   PHYS 161 – Physics with Calculus I

GEOL 211 – Physical Geology

*While not required to start the MACS major, students are encouraged to complete either BIOL 205 & 206 or PHYS 162 & 163 prior to starting the core courses.

To be eligible to apply for the MACS major, students must have completed or be on track to complete by end of spring quarter/academic year and prior to starting the major in the fall all the major preparatory courses (WWU courses listed below) with a grade of C- or better in each course.

WWU Transfer Course Equivalency Guide

To determine how courses will transfer to Western Washington University, Western has created a website to help students determine how each of the courses transfer to Western.  This guide includes course equivalency information for community colleges and public baccalaureate institutions in Washington State, excluding The Evergreen State College.

Students interested in the MACS major can use the Transfer Equivalency Guide to determine what courses will meet the required preparatory course requirements to apply to the major described above. The guide is also helpful for planning purposes and can help students develop an educational plan and timeline specific to their current progress.

Below you will find the transfer equivalencies for the MACS major preparatory courses for Western’s top 3 transfer colleges; Whatcom Community College, Everett Community College, and Skagit Valley College.

Transfer Equivalencies for Whatcom, Everett, and Skagit 

*Official transfer credit is evaluated and awarded by Western upon admissions, this guidance is for informational purposes to help students plan accordingly.


Transfer Application Deadline

Students who plan to transfer to Western and start the Marine and Coastal Science major in the fall of 2021 must be on track to have all the preparatory courses completed prior starting at Western.

Note:  If students plan to transfer to Western in winter or spring quarter, they will apply to the major in the fall as Western students.

Essay Questions

Western’s Marine and Coastal Science program uses a holistic admissions process to review student applications. The admissions committee is looking for students with strong motivation to pursue marine science, real-world problem-solving skills, and the ability to work effectively in diverse teams in addition to academic ability.  Students can demonstrate these qualities through describing their activities inside and outside of school, which could include participation in clubs, community and volunteer activities, or other personal experiences.

The online application will ask students to respond to the following questions (100200 words per question):

  1. List three goals you want to accomplish within the marine science field and your motivation for setting these goals.
  2. Describe experiences that have led to your interests in Marine and Coastal Science.
  3. Discuss personal experiences that have prepared you to solve complex problems in diverse teams.
  4. Optional: Is there anything else that you would like our selection committee to know about you that may not be reflected elsewhere in your application or academic history?

Note: We recommend students draft their responses in a word processing program and then paste the responses into the online application. The online application does not provide students with an option to save their progress and complete the application at a later time.


To complete your application, you will need a copy of your academic history/undergraduate transcript(s). An unofficial copy is acceptable. When the application period is open there will a link to apply here.

**Applications will open November 2021 for the 2022 cohort.

Important notes: Application deadlines are final. All required materials, including transcripts, must be uploaded by the deadline. Applications will not be accepted after the deadline and incomplete applications will not be considered. The application form cannot be started and saved; you must complete the application once started. We suggest typing out answers to essay questions before starting the application. You do not need to have all the preparatory classes completed before you apply but must indicate on the application when you intend to complete them.


If you have any questions about transfer requirements, admissions process, or need application assistance, please email


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