The North Cascades Institute's Graduate M.Ed. Program offers you the opportunity of a lifetime: to live, learn and teach in North Cascades National Park in northwestern Washington State.

We’re looking for people with a passion for field-based environmental education who want to influence change by building healthy, creative organizations. That means an equal interest in field teaching techniques and the behind-the-scenes work that makes programs happen and organizations thrive.

Working in partnership with Huxley College of the Environment at Western Washington University, North Cascades Institute offers a M.Ed. program that blends leadership and nonprofit administration, curriculum development and instructional strategies, natural and cultural history and residential program operations. The professional residency at the Institute is the only one of its kind that is fully integrated into a degree program. Students are accepted into Western Washington University and the North Cascades Institute residency simultaneously, and hands-on teaching experience combined with academic courses taught by Huxley College faculty complement each other throughout the program.

After completion of the seven-quarter program, students receive a Master of Education degree from Western Washington University and Certificates in Leadership and Nonprofit Administration and Northwest Natural History from the North Cascades Institute.

The Institute's Environmental Learning Center, an award-winning, green-built residential education facility opened in 2005, is surrounded by over 700,000 acres of wilderness and features graduate student housing, classrooms and laboratories, a library, computer lounge and dining hall nestled on the forested shores of Diablo Lake. While Seattle, Bellingham and Vancouver B.C. are but a few hours away, you'll enjoy the focus and inspiration that your mountain getaway inspires.

When you complete the Institute's integrated M.Ed. program, you are ready for doors to open on your new career!


NOW Accepting Applications

If you are interested in joining the next graduate cohort in July 2014, you must submit two separate applications: one to North Cascades Institute and one to Western Washington University. This takes a little extra work but don't worry — once you are accepted, your graduate school experience with the Institute and WWU will be seamless.

If North Cascades Institute and Western Washington University Graduate School application materials are received by January 15, student will receive a $500 residency fee discount.



Send the Institute Residency Application directly to North Cascades Institute.

North Cascades Institute Residency Application

Apply for admission to Western Washington University's Graduate School

The Western Washington University Graduate School application is available on the web at or by contacting the University. Specify that you are applying for admission to the M.Ed. in Environmental Education, Residency Option (program code: G-NSNCI). The application requires that you submit results from Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or the Miller Analogies Test (MAT); schedule a test date as soon as possible.

Western Washington University Graduate School Information


What happens next

The admissions committee will examine both parts of the application together. We will process your application and notify you of our decision as rapidly as possible so that you can make your plans. You will receive a letter from the Dean of the Graduate School informing you of our admissions decision.