Complete your orientation to Western by following this new student checklist to help you prepare. The Orientation Checklist is organized as a general timeline and identifies required and recommended tasks to complete or review prior to your first quarter. While some specific deadlines and dates may change quarter-by-quarter, the flow of the checklist will provide a common roadmap as you plan for your first quarter no matter when you begin.
Additionally, there are informational, community-building, and social events that are hosted by a variety of campus organizations from student service offices, academic departments, student clubs and student activities. Explore upcoming events on the bottom of this page! On the Community page, we’ll help you dial into the vibrant student community at Western by linking you to activity hubs where you can explore events, student organizations, and campus activities to begin making connections to other students and communities that are important to you!
New Student Orientation Checklist
In order to register for classes, you must set your new Universal Account Password in advance. Please visit the Set Your Universal Account Password instructions for more information. Please keep track of your username and password, and have this information with you for your Advising & Registration session. If you need assistance, are unsure how to navigate the set-up process, or if you have forgotten your password, contact Academic Technology User Services Help Desk (ATUS) at (360)650-3333.
Western students are required to provide proof of measles immunity. To meet this requirement, enter the dates of the two doses of measles vaccine (typically MMR) received OR the date of a measles (rubeola IgG) titer blood test result showing measles immunity in your MyWesternHealth patient portal.
Follow these important steps:
- Log in to MyWesternHealth with your WWU email and password.
- Click “Medical Clearances” in the menu column on the left.
- Locate “Measles” and click the green “Update” button next to it.
- Enter in your two individual measles vaccine dates OR the date of your measles (rubeola IgG) titer blood test result.
- Locate “Immunization Records” in the Medical Clearances section and click the green “Update” button next to it.
- Upload your supporting documentation (immunization records, rubeola titer result, and/or health care provider verification forms).
Please refer to the Measles Requirement on the Student Health Center website for more information. Contact the Student Health Center at (360) 650-3400 or Student.Health@wwu.edu for additional assistance.
Western Washington University (WWU) policy “Requiring Proof of COVID Vaccination Status” (POL-U1300.02) requires all Western students, faculty, and staff to show proof of full immunization and an initial booster dose with an FDA- or WHO-authorized COVID-19 vaccine before having an on-campus presence in fall quarter 2022. This mandate is based on guidance and recommendations of local and state public health officials, the Governor’s Office, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). We believe a fully vaccinated campus is the best way to protect the health and safety of our individual and collective communities. For more information, please visit the COVID Vaccines page.
To submit proof of COVID vaccination, follow these simple steps. It's easy and secure!
- Login to your MyWesternHealth patient portal.
- Upload a legible picture of your fully completed COVID-19 Immunization Card.
- Enter the date(s) of your vaccination(s).
Information about COVID-19 Vaccine Exemptions can be found on the Student Health Center's COVID Vaccines page.
Recognizing the expanding reliance on electronic communication, WWU has determined that email will be one of the University’s official means of communication. Email correspondence will be sent to students’ WWU email addresses, so be sure to review your WWU email account for future important announcements.
Students can access their WWU email by navigating to myWestern, selecting Email, and logging in with their Universal login.
See University Academic Policies on E-Mail as Official Means of Communication.
Special Note: When the Student Health Center sends messages to new students, you will receive an email notification in your WWU Email account, however you will need to log in to your MyWesternHealth patient portal to read the messages received.
- Off Campus: Students who live off campus instead of a residence hall are introduced to plenty of new choices and, along with those choices, new responsibilities. For more information, visit the Off Campus Living website.
- On Campus: For more information about Western’s On-Campus Housing, visit the On-Campus Housing website.
Prior to Your Advising & Registration Session
Once you have confirmed your enrollment at WWU and Advising & Registration reservations have opened, you can sign up for your Advising & Registration session. Advising & Registration sessions are required for incoming First-Year and Running Start students and strongly recommended for incoming Transfer students. Post-baccalaureate students, please refer to the pages below for advising options.
Complete the Virtual Advisor online Canvas course: This course will introduce you to key advising and registration resources and tools. You are required to spend time reviewing the videos and modules 1-5 before attending your A&R session. Plan to spend 1-2 hours going through the modules and plan 2 possible schedules in advance of your Advising & Registration session. The Virtual Advisor course is accessible at least 3-4 weeks before the first A&R session of any quarter.
The ALEKS Math Placement Assessment (MPA) is an online, adaptive assessment and learning system to determine math placement. Most students who plan to register for a Math course at Western must first take the MPA, and the MPA also serves as a prerequisite for some courses in other departments. As such, you may need to complete the MPA as a proctored exam prior to attending an Advising & Registration session.
General information and updates about the ALEKS Math Placement Assessment can be found on the Testing Center's website, including exceptions and FAQs. You can also review the Academic Advising Center's Do I need to take the Math Placement Assessment? tool. To learn how the ALEKS MPA works, watch this 2-minute video.
- The Spanish Placement Test is required for all students who wish to study a Spanish course at Western. Exception: Students who want direct placement into 101 (beginning level of Spanish) are not required to take the test. Students may register for 101 directly. Placement into 102 and higher require completion of placement test.
- The Japanese Placement Test is available for students who wish to test into JAPN 201 or 301. Students who do not have experience with the Japanese language do not need to take the placement test and should enroll in JAPN 101, which is offered fall quarter only.
- The MIS 220 Equivalency Exam is an optional test for students who have intermediate-level Excel skills and feel they already have knowledge from the MIS 220 course. If you do not plan on majoring or minoring in Business, you do not need to take the exam. The MIS 220 course is a prerequisite for several 300 level classes at CBE and is useful in other classes.
Transfer students: Please visit the Admissions website - Transfer Credit Policies to learn more about transferable credits, Transfer Credit policies, using the Transfer Course Equivalency Guide, and information about AP, IB and Cambridge International credit.
First-Year (Freshmen), Running Start, and College in the High School students: All students who enter Western directly after graduating from high school are considered first-year students for admission purposes even if they earned college credit while in high school. First-Year/Running Start students should visit the College Credit page for more information about submitting transcripts, Transfer Credit policies, and information about AP, IB and Cambridge International credit.
A program that brings students on campus a week before fall term, with early move-in and a head start on academic success in a credit-bearing course.
In their first quarter, new students can enroll in a seminar course with a small group of students that is linked to one or two other courses in the general education curriculum.
Stand-alone courses which are limited to enrollment to 25 students that change quarterly and are designed to enhance your experience as a first-year or transfer student.
Students in the first-year strands take a sequence of three linked courses over their first three quarters at WWU with the chance to develop a cohort with a group of students with similar interests.
Western Outdoor Orientation Trips support, enhance, and ease the transition to Western for first-year students through outdoor adventure.
Jump Start WWU is a free orientation program for first-year and transfer students who live both on- and off-campus. This program is by invitation only for first-year and transfer SOS students.
Western’s Marine Science Distinguished Scholars Program is a selective, small group experience for incoming first-years. The program is planned and organized by faculty from Western’s Marine and Coastal Science Program and the Shannon Point Marine Center.
Prior to Your First Quarter
The Western Card is the I.D., access, and transaction card for Western Washington University, providing students with access to a wide variety of services, including dining, library, the Rec. Center, Student Bus Pass, and ATUS Equipment Check-out services. Watch the Obtaining Your First Western Card video to learn more, and fill out the First Time Card form to get your Western Card. You will need to login to your WWU Universal Account to complete this form.
Please email email@example.com if you have any questions regarding obtaining a Western Card.
Student Business Office
The Student Business Office is responsible for the financial administration of all student billing related to tuition and fees, room and board, and for the processing of refunds as well as providing support and advice to students to aid in understanding their student account with the university. Students can also add parents/family members as payers to their student account after giving proper access.
Review the SBO’s website to complete your “Checklist 4 Success”, access your Western Account Online, and track important dates related to tuition and fee payments. Still have questions? Access the SBO’s Virtual Schedule (toward the bottom of their home page) to schedule a virtual meeting!
Student Business Office: Old Main 110, firstname.lastname@example.org, or (360)650-2865.
The Registrar’s Office also lists Important Dates & Deadlines each quarter that note due dates for Tuition & Fees, Housing & Meal Plans, adding/dropping classes, due dates, late payment deadlines, etc.
Registrar’s Office: Old Main 230, Registrar.Office@wwu.edu, or (360)650-7327.
Transportation Services provides resources to help you get around Bellingham and beyond. Watch this informational video for an overview of transportation and parking at WWU. As a student, your Western Card also serves as a WTA bus pass and provides unlimited rides on all WTA bus routes. You can also explore Regional Transportation Options on the Transportation Services website for more information about getting to and from Bellingham.
The Financial Aid Office provides information about grants, loans, Work Study, scholarships, on and off campus employment opportunities, and personal finance.
During Your First Quarter
Western Washington University is committed to creating a campus culture of compassion, well-being, equity, and social justice, and improving the health of all our community members. One way our school commits to these values is by providing students with the Voices for Change training to build the skills and knowledge that create healthy communities, prevent violence, and help ensure a safe campus environment for everyone.
New students will receive an email to their WWU email address from StudentTrainings@getinclusive.vendor.wwu.edu with information about the Voices for Change training no later than the first week of the quarter. Visit the Voices for Change website for details about the training and how to access it.
Events & Connections
As unique events for new students and families are planned, we’ll highlight them here and help you link easily to them. You can also begin exploring on-going campus events and student activities through the highlighted departments, clubs, and organizations listed on the Community page of the Orientation website.
Congratulations on being accepted to Western! These free events are the perfect opportunity to come take a closer look at campus and get acquainted with your new community. Please note reservations are required.
Our Admitted Student Discovery Days program offers great opportunities for admitted students to hear from current students, tour campus, and meet with student services offices.
Visit our Western Welcome Week page for more information about our annual week of kick-off activities, student connections, and events to help new students continue their orientation to campus and campus life. Look forward our annual Associated Students Info Fair, New Student Convocation, Late Night social events at the Recreation Center and the Viking Union, athletics events, club kick-offs, and more!
Join us for our annual weekend of events and activities for all students and their families to explore, connect, and celebrate! Visit our Fall Family Weekend page for more information about this year's Fall Family Weekend.