Message from the Dean

WWU Graduate School Dean David Patrick looking at the camera with a long hallway behind him

David Patrick

Vice Provost for Research

Dean of the Graduate School

Greetings, and welcome to the Graduate School at Western Washington University.  

Western’s Graduate School is a community of professionals and scholars committed to higher learning and to improving communities through research and innovation, leadership, and inclusive engagement. Western has offered graduate degrees for almost fifty years and is a regional leader in postbaccalaureate education, ranked among the top masters-granting institutions in the Pacific Northwest. At Western, you’ll learn from faculty who are both accomplished in their fields and personally invested in your success, while studying at a nonprofit university committed to the public good. You’ll join a community of over 10,000 graduate alumni from across the US and around the world.

Many Western graduate students are the first in their families to attend graduate school, just as I once was. All graduate students at Western find a warm welcome and supportive guidance in Western's Kitto Graduate Student Hub, a unique resource dedicated to supporting graduate student community and professional development. 

Why choose graduate school at Western? Here you’ll learn through personal interactions with leading faculty. Western is an institution with the resources to support ambitious scholarship, where the culture is collaborative rather than competitive. Over 90% of our graduate students find employment within six months of completing their degree, earning average wages of $67k/yr in 2021. And for students seeking a master’s degree on the way to a Ph.D., Western ranks among the top 10 masters universities in the US for the number of graduates who go on to earn research doctorates. 

Western's significant collections in the arts, literature, and humanities and our well-equipped science and engineering facilities give our graduate students direct access to unique and important ecosystems in the Salish Sea and North Cascades. Our connections with the global economic and cultural centers of Seattle, WA, and Vancouver, B.C., all make this an exceptional place to study and advance your career.  

Thank you for visiting the Graduate School. I invite you to learn more about our programs.


David L. Patrick