Frequently Asked Questions


How do I apply?

You need to submit two applications: one to Western Washington University Graduate School and one to North Cascades Institute.

Can I apply to the Residency portion only?

No, the Residency is not considered a separate program. This graduate program has been designed to integrate both Western Washington University-Huxley College of the Environment for a strong academic foundation coupled with North Cascades Institute Professional Residency for hands-on field teaching practicum and professional leadership and nonprofit administration training and practicum.

Applicants must submit an application to the university’s Graduate School and an application to North Cascades Institute.

Will I receive a state teaching credential?

No, this program does not provide a state teaching credential.

What is the application fee?

There is no fee for North Cascades Institute. The current fee for applying to Western Washington University Graduate School is $100 (domestic and international).

What is your admissions deadline?

Applications are accepted by both Western Washington University and North Cascades Institute until all positions are filled. We encourage early applications, and have residency fee discounts associated with such admissions. For more information, read the Tuition and Fees page.

What tests are required to apply for admissions?

The graduate school at Western Washington University requires test scores from either the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) or the Miller Analogies Test (MAT). See Western Washington University Graduate testing information page for details.

Who do I contact if I have questions?

For North Cascades Institute, please contact

For Western Washington University Graduate School, please see their contact information.

When are acceptance notices sent out?

Formal admission is offered to an applicant by Western Washington University Graduate School via letter upon receipt of the departmental recommendation; this typically happens in March. For more information see Western Washington University’s admissions page.

What do I do next once I’m admitted?

If you are admitted into the graduate program, North Cascade Institute and Western Washington University will send you important information about the summer schedule and important tasks that you need to do. The Institute's Graduate Coordinator will stay in touch and will inform you of important dates, deadlines and program information.

When is the first day of class?

In 2014, we anticipate the first day of class being Monday, July 28.



How much does this program cost?

Please see our finances page. North Cascades Institute also offers individual scholarships of up to $2000. Please contact us for more details.

What type of financial aid is available?

Financial aid for graduate students is offered in the form of student loans, scholarships and work-study. You apply for financial aid through Western Washington University. The priority deadline for financial aid is February 15. For more information on the financial aid application process and what you need to submit, please see Western's Financial Aid Department webpage . Many students also earn education awards through AmeriCorps Students in Service.

Who do I contact if I have more questions about financial aid?

You will need to speak with a staff member at Western Washington University's financial aid office.



Where do I live?

For the first four-week summer quarter, we will assist you in finding housing in the upper Skagit Valley.

The next four quarters you will be in residency at North Cascades Environmental Learning Center. Housing for these quarters is included in the tuition and may be in a duplex house on campus or in a house in a nearby town. Both housing options have DSL internet access.

The final two quarters students will be responsible for their own housing in the Bellingham area.

Can I have pets while living at the Learning Center?

Unfortunately, pets are not allowed on the Learning Center campus. However, there are pet-friendly options available in off-campus housing in the nearby town of Diablo. There is an additional fee of a $250 pet deposit.



How do I arrange a visit to North Cascades Institute?

We strongly encourage prospective students to visit our Environmental Learning Center, meet the staff and graduate students and observe Institute programs. Please contact to arrange a visit.

How do I arrange a visit to Western Washington University?

We suggest you contact the program advisor, John Miles, Ph.D. to set up a meeting and a visit to the campus. Contact John at

What overnight lodgings are available in Bellingham?

Western has a helpful website with accommodations in the area.

Graduate Program Resources


M.Ed. Graduate Program Brochure

Institute Residency Application


NCI Residency Information
WWU Graduate School Application
WWU Tuition & Aid
WWU Student Financial Resources


The Picket Post

To request more information or schedule a site visit, please contact

Grad Program Brochure


Western Washington University is the highest-ranked public master's-granting university in the Pacific Northwest according to 2013 college rankings from U.S. News and World Report!