Prospective Students

Two students look through binoculars aboard a research vessel


Shannon Point Marine Center welcomes prospective Western Washington University students for tours. An appointment is required, and students should reach out to to check availability at least one week before their desired date. 

Please note that Shannon Point is an active research and teaching laboratory without public displays, and we are unable to provide tours for drop-in visitors.

Prospective Student FAQs

Undergraduate students will take most of their courses at Western's main campus in Bellingham and therefore typically live in Bellingham.  Students conducting research or taking a course at Shannon Point often carpool to make the hour drive to Anacortes for the day.  Some programs, such as Marine Science Distinguished Scholars and the Marine and Coastal Science major, have opportunities for students to spend a week living in the dormitories and studying at Shannon Point.

Graduate students whose research is based at Shannon Point may live here long term. Graduate students should consult with their advisor to determine if this is the best option for their program of study.  

Undergraduate and graduate students may request short term housing while conducting experiments and research at Shannon Point. 

Shannon Point hosts courses from a variety of Western Washington University departments including Biology, Environmental Science, Geology, and Marine and Coastal Science.  Past course topics have included Oceanography, Marine Invertebrates and their Environment, Marine Algae, and Marine Mammals. Course offerings vary by quarter, and students should consult course listings and departments for more information. 

Marine and Coastal Science majors will have opportunities to conduct capstone research projects at Shannon Point during their senior year and should consult with the MACS advising team about opportunities.  In addition, Western undergraduates from all departments are encouraged to reach out directly to SPMC faculty whose research interests them.