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.
Keith Russell


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, Health, and Recreation 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.

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.

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 commercial.

Field Experience

Field experience is an integral part of the curriculum in each of the department's three divisions. With the guidance of faculty, you will have the opportunity to work with professionals in your field of interest while you earn college credit. Your internship experience allows you to work at one of hundreds of locations throughout the region, the nation, or even in a foreign country. Some of the agencies and organizations where our majors have completed internships include:

  • Department of Social and Health Services
  • American Heart Association
  • Redmond Parks and Recreation
  • Harborview Medical Center
  • Cascade Oaks Substance Abuse Center
  • Outward Bound
  • Bradford Woods Outdoor Center
  • Seattle Athletic Club
  • Eugene Specialized Recreation
  • Anchorage Parks and Recreation
  • New York University Medical Center
  • Weyerhauser Corporation
  • Whidbey Island Naval Air Station
  • St. Joseph's Hospital

Department Admission

Admission to the University does not imply admission to any particular division within the HHD Department. Each division has its own admission requirements and procedures. For more information contact the department. Our office is located in Carver 102 and our advisor's telephone number is (360) 650-4377. Persons with disabilities who need accommodations or assistance please call the above telephone number. (Persons with hearing impairments may call the Washington State TDD Relay System at 1-800-833-6388.) The contact person is Jen Leita. We will connect you with the appropriate person who can provide the admissions information you need. For University admissions, contact either the undergraduate Admissions Office, Old Main 200, (360) 650-3440, or the Graduate Office, Old Main 530, (360) 650-3170. Transfer students make up an important part of the University and department. Each program has special faculty advisors for transfer students. If you are transferring from another university or a community college, contact the department for that individual's name and number.

Financial Aid

Western's financial aid programs are designed to help students who find it difficult or impossible to attend college without financial assistance. Generally, more than 60 percent of Western's students receive some form of financial aid. For more information on the grant, scholarship, loan, and employment programs available, contact Financial Aid, Old Main 265, (360) 650-3470. Western Washington University is committed to assuring that all programs and activities are readily accessible to all eligible persons without regard to their race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, Vietnam era or disabled veteran status. Persons with questions regarding University non-discrimination policies should contact the Equal Opportunity Office, Old Main 345, (360) 650-3307. This brochure is available in alternate formats upon request.