Western Washington University Personal Statement

While your academic performance is very important in the admissions decision, we believe that ability, potential and success are not measured exclusively by grades. Your essay response helps round out the picture of who you are and helps the Admissions Committee learn what is important to you and what qualities you would bring to Western's community. Western values the diverse experiences and perspectives that make you unique; the essay is your chance to tell your story.  

Help the Admissions Committee better understand your potential for academic success and what you hope to gain from your experience at Western. A response to Question #1 is required, but you may respond to more than one if applicable. We want to reassure you that there are no "right" or "wrong" responses and the number of questions to which you respond is up to you. We recommend 300-500 words per question (this is not a firm limit but a recommended range).


  • Tell us about your educational and/or professional goals. What are you interested in studying and why? Describe any steps you've taken to prepare for your intended major, related life skills, enrichment activities, future plans, etc. In addition, feel free to address what makes Western Washington University a good match for your interests.


  • Western benefits from a student body whose energy and interests extend beyond the classroom. What interests or significant activities enrich your life?
  • Describe any special circumstances or hurdles that have challenged you personally or academically, and steps you have taken to move beyond those challenges.


Bellingham is an outdoor-lover's paradise. For the outdoor enthusiast, the San Juan Islands, Skagit River delta, and Mt. Baker National Forest and Ski and Snowboard Area are all at our doorstep. Nearby, Mt. Baker Ski Area has one of the longest seasons in the country (November - late-April), enjoyed world record snowfall during the 1998-1999 season, and is well regarded as the place where snowboarding began!

One great way to get into the outdoors is to visit the Outdoor Center, part of the Associated Students of Western. The student-run bike shop is the perfect place for a tune-up. The Outdoor Center also rents outdoor equipment ranging from backpacks and sleeping bags to snowshoes and snow skis. They also plan kayaking, hiking, mountain climbing, skiing, snow-shoeing, snowboarding, biking, and sailing trips with trained student leaders to destinations all over the greater Whatcom County area.

Another location for great outdoor activity is the Lakewood recreational facility located on the shores of Lake Whatcom. The Lakewood facility is surrounded by 30 acres of wooded land and beach property owned by WWU. At Lakewood's Boathouse you can rent over 60 watercraft for as little as $3 a day, including kayaks, canoes, rowboats, sailboats, sailboards, Lasers, and Alphas. Or, just come to relax and swim off the docks!

Western's location is idea for fieldwork and outdoor research, with mountains, glaciers, rivers, saltwater, and a wide variety of other natural habitats in our backyard.

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