About HHD

Welcome to the Department of Health and Human Development

Our faculty would like to introduce you to our department and encourage you to take a closer look at the educational opportunities afforded here. We have:

  • One of the most beautiful campuses in the country nestled between the Cascade Mountains and Puget Sound yet accessible to the international cultural centers of Seattle and Vancouver, British Columbia.
  • The advantage of living next door to a foreign country with all the educational benefits that come with exposure to another culture.
  • A demanding and caring faculty committed to excellence in teaching, scholarship and service to our students as well as to the community.
  • A comprehensive curriculum where professional preparation is built on the principles of a good general education. If you want to know more, please write, call or visit the campus. We're proud of what we have to offer.

Gordon Chalmers


Panoramic view of Bellingham


Our 190-acre campus rests on the west slope of Sehome Hill, overlooking Bellingham Bay and the San Juan Islands. Bellingham is a city of about 75,000 people, offering a variety of educational and leisure opportunities. Our location is well situated for hiking, sailing, skiing (Mt. Baker is but one hour away), and other outdoor pursuits, and it is only a one and one-half hour drive from either Vancouver, British Columbia or Seattle. 


The HHD Department is one of the oldest and largest professional programs at Western. There are currently over 650 undergraduate and 25 graduate students enrolled in the three programs, making it large enough to provide a comprehensive curriculum, yet small enough that you won't get lost in the crowd. The department is housed in the recently renovated Carver Academic facility, along with its Biomechanics and Exercise Physiology Labs, Anatomy Lab, Lou Parberry Fitness Center, offices, classrooms and athletic facilities. Also available for instructional and recreational use is the University's 11-acre waterfront facility, Lakewood, on Lake Whatcom, located just minutes from campus.


One reason Western graduates excel is because of the quality of instruction they receive. The department's 18 faculty members are dedicated to teaching, involved in research, experienced in their fields, and active in professional organizations. The faculty is committed to personal instruction and to helping you shape an education suited to your personal goals. You are assigned a faculty member to interpret program requirements, help select courses, and assist in proper course sequencing. Your faculty advisor is also there to provide support and to steer you toward the resources you may need in any aspect of campus life.


Kinesiology and Physical Education, Public Health Education, and Recreation Management and Leadership majors are exposed to a full range of career options in their area of concentration. The common theme that links all three is quality of life, as experienced through the union of mind, body, and spirit.

Kinesiology and Physical Education Program

Growth of exercise and sport-related fields has led to the development of professional options that prepare Kinesiology and Physical Education majors for many kinds of employment. You can earn an undergraduate or graduate degree by combining the discipline of human performance with either a teacher education or a kinesiology concentration.

Learn more about Kinesiology and PE P-12

Public Health Education

The Public Health Education curriculum reflects the broad nature of the field, preparing students to design, implement, and evaluate health education programs in various settings. The school health option prepares you to teach in elementary or secondary schools. The Public Health option prepares you as a health educator in public and private health agencies, the work site, or medical care facilities.

Discover Public Health Education

Recreation Management and Leadership

The Recreation Management and Leadership curriculum combines a general education core with a unique sequential program which majors complete together. The curriculum prepares you for leadership and management careers in diverse recreational settings, including outdoor, community, therapeutic, and sustainable tourism.

Explore Recreation Management and Leadership