Institute for Energy Studies

Western's Institute for Energy Studies is a multi-college collaboration that offers interdisciplinary undergraduate degrees to address the science, technology, policy, business and economic aspects of energy systems. Graduates of the Institute are tomorrow’s environmental, engineering and technology leaders with a fundamental interest in Washington’s economic well-being on a global stage.



Western landed at number two on the EPA’s inaugural ranking of top green universities, and has remained a fixture on the list ever since. In addition, Western students:

  • Have been buying Renewable Energy Certificates since 2004
  • Banned bottled water on campus
  • Installed solar panels on academic building roofs
  • Pioneered a prototype of a transparent solar window that generates electricity
  • Equipped a dorm room with energy-efficient fixtures and appliances
  • Created high-efficiency lights for Western’s parking lots

WWU’s Institute for Energy Studies leverages and combines Western’s experiential approach to education with the strengths of its extensive individual programs: the Institute’s intensive, interdisciplinary approach encompasses three Western colleges—College of the Environment, the College of Business and Economics and the College of Science and Engineering—as well as drawing directly from Washington’s progressive energy industry. Graduates of this robust program will have engineering, technology and scientific skills as well as a comprehensive understanding of energy-related business, economics and policy. They will be fully equipped for leadership roles in an industry that is dynamic, evolving and highly-competitive.

“College of the Environment and Western have a demonstrable track record of understanding the environmental space and inspiring cool things from their colleges. If anyone was going move the needle on building a program that will produce people with a broad understanding of the energy challenges facing our country—the issues around climate change, building sustainable communities and businesses—Western is the most well-positioned and has rightfully earned the respect of the business community to support it.”  —David Allen, executive vice president at Mckinstry.