Viking Launch

What is Viking Launch?

Viking Launch students line up on a mossy fallen tree in the woods.

Viking Launch is a week-long program designed to help incoming first-year students at Western Washington University transition to college by providing academic and social integration before the fall quarter begins.

During Viking Launch, you'll participate in engaging college success workshops and community-building and recreational activities that will make your transition to college a fun-filled experience. Plus, you'll take a 2-credit seminar course to kickstart your academic journey.

You can choose one of seven thematic seminar courses taught by Western faculty in a small cohort class setting:

  • Foundations of Behavioral Neuroscience
  • Introduction to Creative and Technical Writing
  • Digging into Bellingham
  • Mount Baker Geology and Volcanic Hazards
  • Introduction to Design and Photography
  • Fundamentals of Business
  • Introduction to Language and Cultures in the Spanish-Speaking World

Learn More about each seminar course >

Program Details

When is Viking Launch?

The program runs September 15 to September 22, 2024.

Students living on campus will be able to move in early. So be sure to complete all steps in your MyHousing portal before your arrival.

Why participate in Viking Launch?

  • Gain early access to campus and resources.
  • Build academic skills in a focused seminar.
  • Form connections with peers and faculty.
  • Participate in group activities to ease the transition to college life.

How to reserve your spot?

Viking Launch is open to all incoming first-year students and does require a $1,200 program fee.

The reservation system for Viking Launch is a separate process from the regular course registration for the fall quarter, which you will complete during Advising and Registration.

Some Viking Launch seminar courses have an additional fee to cover special labs or field trips. These fees will be added to your fall quarter bill. You can view fees for each seminar course on the Viking Launch Courses page.

Reservations open in June and close on August 1, 2024


Several scholarships are available to cover the Viking Launch program fee for students who demonstrate financial need.

To be considered for a scholarship, you must submit an essay to by August 1, 2024.

The essay should be one page, and provide the following information:

  • Your name
  • WWU ID number (aka W number)
  • Description of your interest in participating in Viking Launch. How will the program support your transition to WWU? How will it support your academic goals as a new WWU student?
  • Description of your financial need.

What Past Students Have Said:

"Viking Launch was such a great experience and I would highly recommend it to incoming students because it's so nice getting to meet people early rather than struggle to meet people your first week of school."

"I met so many great people during that week that I had no fears as I started the academic year. We all felt so much better prepared than those who did not participate."

"This program was super useful getting settled into school and to learn the campus. Also getting two credits out of a week was amazing."

"I found Viking Launch to be extremely beneficial, especially because I am an out-of-state student. By choosing to attend this early-start program, I was able to familiarize myself with the foreign campus and city. I made friends with people who have similar interests and I learned a lot in my class. Being so far away from home is scary and I didn't know anyone before coming here, so the program really helped me to push forward and meet people; whereas, if I had waited until regular start, I may have been too scared or overwhelmed to take that leap."

"Viking Launch really helped me settle into Western because we got to move in early and see the campus before everyone else did. It felt really personal, and now going into my first quarter, I have amazing friends and a familiarity with Western overall."

Cancelling Your Reservation

Cancellation requests must be received in writing via email to to avoid receiving a failing grade.

Cancellation requests received by June 30, will be issued a refund, minus a $250 cancellation fee. Refunds will not be given for cancellation requests received after June 30, 2024.

A full refund is only granted if the program is cancelled.

Have questions about Viking Launch?

Please email us at and someone will get back to you.