Three crew members wearing safety vests on a boat with a crane device over a body of water

Bachelor of Science for Transfer Students

A person in their 20s wearing a hat and peacoat holds a sea urchin while standing in seaweed

About the Program

The B.S. in Marine and Coastal Science (MACS) is a new cohort-based, interdisciplinary, and experiential program designed to provide students with the opportunity to engage in coastal and marine-focused research.

Active learning experiences help students develop into confident, thoughtful, ethical scientists who are ready to address the growing challenges affecting marine and coastal environments.

Each year, a new cohort of students begins the program, engaging in hands-on research and learning experiences in and around the Salish Sea, with opportunities for focused, residential study at Western’s Shannon Point Marine Center (SPMC) in Anacortes, about an hour from the main campus.

Program Features

Study Marine Science Across Disciplines

The new MACS major is a partnership between three existing academic departments (Biology, Geology, Chemistry, and Environmental Sciences) and Shannon Point Marine Center. You will have a unique opportunity to study marine science in an environment of interdisciplinary collaboration.

three people in their 20s wearing baseball caps lie down on a dock, focusing on a marine apparatus in the water

Learn, Work, And Thrive Together

Study marine science as a cohort, beginning with an early research experience upon program admissions, and continuing through the 3rd year with the core course series, and culminating with a capstone project in your final year.

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Gain Research Experience

You will have opportunities to engage in mentored, hands-on research opportunities in your sophomore year through immersive study at the marine center in Anacortes, Washington.

Work At A Marine Lab And On Research Vessels

Spend time in the field, on oceanographic vessels, and in learning laboratories. Engage deeply in marine research and focused study of the Salish Sea.

Admissions Information

Transfer students who plan to start at Western fall quarter, 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 (March 1st). Applications to the MACS program can be found on our Transfer Admissions page.

Transfer students who are accepted into the major start the program two weeks prior to the start of fall quarter with MACS 110: Marine Habitat and Diversity, a 2-week residential course at Shannon Point Marine Center in Anacortes, Washington.

Eligibility Requirements To Apply

Students are eligible to apply for admissions to the major when they have completed or on track to complete by the end of spring quarter all of the following major preparatory courses listed. Please see website for transfer equivalency information.

  • BIOL 204 Introduction to Evolution, Ecology, & Biodiverity
  • CHEM 161 General Chemistry I
  • CHEM 162 General Chemistry II
  • CHEM 163 General Chemistry III
  • GEOL 211 Physical Geology\
  • MATH 124 Calculus and Analytic Geometry I
  • MATH 125 Calculus and Analytic Geometry II
  • PHYS 161 Physics with Calculus I

How to Prepare

Step 1. Chat With Macs Advisor

Schedule a meeting with the MACS academic advisor to learn more about the major and preparatory courses, as well as the transfer and admissions process, timeline, and application requirements.

Step 2. Meet With College Advisor

If you decide to pursue MACS as your transfer major, meet with your current college academic advisor to discuss your transfer goals and develop a timeline and personalized education plan.

Step 3. Apply To Western And Macs Major

If you plan to transfer to Western in the fall, apply to Western and the MACS program by the transfer admissions deadline (March 1st) the year you plan to complete your preparatory courses. Applications will be accepted on the MACS website.

Step 4. Complete Preparatory Courses

Complete preparatory courses for the major, in Math, Biology, Chemistry, Geology, and Physics. See MACS website for additional information on transferring courses to Western.

Step 5. Start The Major

Upon admissions to Western and program, start major courses, starting with MACS 110 1 week prior to the start of fall quarter, followed by core series MACS 301 fall quarter, 302 winter quarter, and 303 spring quarter. Flesh out your degree program through MACS 304 and a variety of elective courses focused on your goals and interests.