Tuition & Fees

Are you passionate about education, conservation and adventure? North Cascades Institute invites you to apply for our unique Graduate M.Ed. program that is fully integrated into a degree program at Huxley College of the Environment at Western Washington University. A Master of Education in Environmental Education is earned upon completion of the the seven-quarter program, along with Certificates in Leadership and Nonprofit Administration and Northwest Naturalist History awarded by North Cascades Institute. Please read on for the latest information on tuition and fees for the program.


Western Washington University

Western Washington University tuition for the six-quarter degree program is estimated to be $12,800 for residents of Washington State and $23,500 for non-residents. For the State of Washington resident requirements, please see WWU's registrar's office information.


North Cascades Institute

North Cascades Institute's Residency fee is $16,800* for 2014-2015. 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. Discounts are applied to the final residency quarter fees. North Cascades Institute also offers individual scholarships of up to $2000; please visit our Financial Aid & Scholarships page or contact for more details.

Wilderness First Responder certification is required for this graduate program. You will need your WFR certificate prior to the start of the residency. The estimated cost for certification is $600-$800.



For the first quarter of this program, students will spend a majority of their time outdoors exploring the natural and cultural history of the North Cascades ecosystem. A $500 summer course fee will cover housing and food while at the Environmental Learning Center, as well as course travel. Students will cover food costs for the field portion of the summer course (approximately $250).

During the next four quarters, students are provided housing and partial board at or near the Environmental Learning Center. For the final two quarters, students will live near WWU in Bellingham and provide their own housing. Students are responsible for their own health insurance, books and supplies, transportation, computer and personal outdoor equipment.


Financial Aid and scholarships

Please visit our page on Financial Aid and Scholarships for the latest information.


Please note that the Residency fee of $16,800 is for the 2014 - 2015 academic year, and is subject to change in future years. Also note that students living in North Cascades Institute housing during their residency will be charged an additional $100 damage deposit, that will be returned upon completion of the residency if there is no damage to their housing.

Graduate M.Ed. Program Brochure
Online Resources






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

  • 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, and was named a Top 50 university offering “outstanding value with a first-class education” by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance. Ranked in the top 50 of Sierra Magazine’s Coolest Schools.

  • Bellingham was named one of the best outdoor adventure towns by Outside Magazine and National Geographic Adventure and one of the “24 Best Places to Live and Work” by Sunset Magazine.

  • North Cascades Institute is the Recipient of the Environmental Education Association of Washington’s Organizational Excellence award, Charity Navigator’s Best Environmental Protections and Conservation Group, Bellingham Alive! Readers Poll "Best Place to Work" and Sunset Magazine’s Environmental Heroes award.