5 quarters

Credits earned




Time commitment


Upcoming deadline

January 3, 2025

Education for environment and community

The IslandWood Graduate Program in Education for Environment and Community is a one-of-a-kind immersive residency. The program includes graduate-level coursework in environmental education through a justice-oriented lens, biweekly outdoor teaching experiences, and 1:1 mentoring.

A partnership between UW and IslandWood, this 10-month graduate residency program is based on a 250-acre campus on Bainbridge Island, WA. Our talented faculty, forested campus, and proximity to a dynamic urban center distinguish IslandWood as a one-of-a-kind opportunity to begin or enrich a lifelong commitment to equity, education, and the environment.

Features of this program include:

  • Up to 31 transferable credits toward another M.Ed. program
  • A year-long teaching practicum with extensive mentoring by education staff and faculty
  • Applied learning workshops include topics such as cultural competency, local flora and fauna, art and garden education and social-emotional learning.
  • Low faculty/student ratio with extensive advising and mentoring

Visit IslandWood website

What you'll learn

  • Justice-oriented education involves examining our personal relationships to systems of oppression, developing asset-based understandings of the youth we work with, and leveraging youths’ cultural and linguistic resources to design inclusive teaching and learning environments.
  • Knowledge of ecology and natural habitats is essential to creating healthier relationships between human communities and the natural world.
  • Education is most successful when teachers honor the cultural, ethnic, socioeconomic, and religious diversity in their classroom.
  • Meaningful education grows out of thoughtfully guided experiences and reflection.
  • In learning communities, everyone can contribute as both teacher and student.
  • An integrated, experiential curriculum combining science, technology and the arts allows individuals with different learning styles and aptitudes to succeed.
  • Education should help students balance their individuality with their responsibilities as members of human and natural communities.
  • Environmental and experiential education is most effective when it relates to real-life experiences in the student’s home community.
  • A sustainable future depends upon strengthening our respect for one another and the natural world.

After graduation

Students who complete this program earn a Graduate Certificate in Education for Environment and Community and are well prepared to join M.I.T. or M.Ed. programs.

Earn your Master in Teaching (M.I.T.)

Once at IslandWood, students can apply to the Elementary Teacher Education Program (ELTEP). While our program fulfills prerequisites and can provide experiences that enhance your application to this highly competitive program, completing the IslandWood graduate program does not guarantee acceptance.

The ELTEP has a strong social justice component and provides students with significant practical teaching experience in the Washington state public school system. The Elementary Education program begins the summer after the IslandWood year and IslandWood coursework meets all prerequisites for the program.

You may find ways to complete your M.I.T. or earn teacher certification in less time, but IslandWood’s program provides experience and skills that will help make you a competitive candidate in the M.I.T. admissions process.

Earn your M.Ed. with specialization in science education

With only two additional quarters (six months) after islandWood, you can put your IslandWood education toward earning your master’s degree with a specialization in science education.

Let's connect

Connect with us and get one-on-one support and answers to your questions, plus learn how to submit the strongest application, arrange a campus visit, receive deadline reminders, announcements and more.


    IslandWood’s 10-month graduate certificate program runs from mid-August to mid-June on our Bainbridge Island campus. This intensive and rigorous program includes a teaching practicum paired with academic coursework, as well as regular evening programs, trainings, and professional development.

    IslandWood’s academic calendar closely parallels the UW’s. This allows us to develop a schedule and course selection specific to IslandWood that is as current as possible, responsive to the needs and feedback of the outgoing and incoming classes, community and world events, and reflective of our commitments to justice, equity, diversity and inclusion as best practice in education.

    Our graduate-level coursework includes topics related to:

    • Educational philosophy, theory, and practice 
    • Culturally responsive and sustaining pedagogies 
    • Curriculum Development 
    • Child Growth & Development 
    • Science Teaching Methodologies 
    • Inquiry-based approaches 
    • Qualitative Research Methods 
    • Natural History and Ecology 
    • Curriculum and Instruction Methods
    • Advanced Instructional Strategies 
    • Garden and Arts Integration

    Admission requirements and process

      All students seeking admission to IslandWood must apply and be accepted to both IslandWood AND to the UW Graduate School. Applications to IslandWood and UW can be submitted concurrently. Letters of reference and transcripts must be submitted for both applications, which are processed through separate systems. Therefore, requesting these items at the same time may be more convenient for your recommenders.

      IMPORTANT: The materials and steps listed on this page are specific to the UW Graduate School. Visit the IslandWood website for their application process.

      Bachelor's degree from an accredited institution

      Your bachelor’s degree can be in-progress when applying but must be completed before the program starts.

      Unofficial transcript(s) with minimum 3.0 GPA
      • Include one from each institution from which you've earned a degree and one from every institution you have attended in the previous 5 years.
      • Your transcripts must include your name, coursework and degree (if completed)
      • If you are offered admission, the UW Graduate School will request an official transcript from your most recent degree earned

      The UW Graduate School requires a cumulative GPA of 3.0, or 3.0 for your most recent 90 graded quarter credits (60 semester credits). However, we review your application holistically. If your GPA is below 3.0, contact us at edinfo@uw.edu for advice on how to strengthen your overall application by connecting with a Graduate Admissions advisor.

      Two letters of recommendation

      During the online application process, you will be given instructions for adding your recommenders and getting their letters submitted electronically. All recommenders must submit their letters online.


      A current academic and professional resume or vita is required. In addition to educational degrees and professional experience, you should include a listing of all relevant awards, publications, presentations or other achievements that will help us evaluate your application.

      Statement of Purpose

      The admissions committee uses your statement of purpose, along with other evidence, to determine whether your goals are well-matched with our programs. Your statement should address goals, relevant experience, future plans and how the desired specific program meets your needs. Be sure to include personal experiences that have prepared you for the challenge of graduate school, topics like:

      • Scholarly interests
      • Career goals
      • Your match for the program
      • Faculty interests

      Your statement should be 1-2 pages, double-spaced.

      Personal history statement (optional)

      While optional, you can add to your application by submitting a personal history statement with each application. This statement should address your intellectual growth and development, inclusive of and beyond your academic goals. Speak to topics like:

      • Educational, cultural and economic opportunities and disadvantages you've experienced
      • Ways these experiences affected the development of your special interests, career plans and future goals.
      • Any additional topics requested on a specific program's page

      Statements should be no longer than two pages long. And while there are no standard formatting requirements, we encourage double-spaced text with a legible font.

      1. Gather all required documents
      2. Visit the Graduate School website
      3. Log into your account or create a new profile if you are a first-time applicant
      4. Complete all steps in application process and upload your documents
      5. Pay the nonrefundable $90 application fee
        • You may request a fee waiver during the application process
      6. Submit your application

      When completing the UW online application:

      • Select either the “M.Ed.-Curriculum and Instruction-Science Education (IslandWood)”- OR -“M.Ed.-Curriculum and Instruction-Teaching & Curriculum (IslandWood).” Applicants interested in the UW Master’s in Teaching (MiT) degree must start out as an M.Ed. student.
      • Apply as a matriculated graduate student. Matriculation status means you intend to eventually earn a Master’s degree, can have up to 31 credits transferred towards the UW M.Ed. degree, and are eligible for federal student loans.

      IMPORTANT: Applying to the UW Graduate School is only half of the IslandWood admissions process. You must also apply directly to IslandWood.

      Here is our general timeline for decisions. Have questions about the process? Visit our graduate admissions page.

      Step 1: Application processing

      • Within 7 business days after the deadline, we will check if your application if fully complete
      • We will email you whether your application is complete or incomplete
      • If your application is missing anything, you will have a short amount of time submit these items
      • You can also log into the online application and check your status and see any missing items

      Step 2: Application review

      • Committees begin reviewing applications about three weeks after the deadline
      • You will receiving an email when your application has entered the review phase

      Step 3: Decision notification

      • The final decision will be emailed to you
      • Your status will also be updated in the online application

      Costs and funding

        IslandWood Graduate Program is a self-sustaining fee-based program. Course fees the same for Washington residents and non-residents. The current estimated cost is:

        • Tuition: $27,010
        • Housing: $7,500 (optional)
        • UW fees: $2,195

        IslandWood offers discounts up to $750 for meeting priority deadlines.


        We offer multiple ways to fund your IslandWood Graduate Program experience. In addition to IslandWood-supported aid, EEC students are also eligible to apply for UW scholarships and federal aid through UW's Office of Student Financial Aid.

        $500/month stipend

        IslandWood offers a graduate program stipend of $500 a month during the 10-month program ($5,000 per calendar year) to all enrolled students to help cover basic living expenses. The stipend can be spent by graduate students in any way they choose and is intended to help our students focus as much as possible on their learning and less on how to cover basic living expenses.

        IslandWood scholarships

        IslandWood offers the following scholarship opportunities to help put graduate-level studies within reach of all students and to increase the diversity of the education field:

        The Robert P. Karr Scholarship
        Applications open January 1. This scholarship awards $20,000 to five students in the IslandWood Graduate Program each year. The award is open to BIPOC students, first-generation college graduates, and those who demonstrate financial need, prioritized in that order. The application deadline is May 1 to align with our final priority deadline and UW’s May deadline. Apply for the Robert P. Karr Scholarship

        Scholarships for candidates from underrepresented communities in the education field. We encourage qualified candidates to complete and submit the relevant sections of the IslandWood Aid application.

        Scholarships for candidates demonstrating financial need. We encourage qualified candidates to complete and submit the relevant sections of the IslandWood Aid application.

        IslandWood campus employment

        Paid on-campus work opportunities are available at IslandWood in various departments for all graduate students, regardless of financial need. Examples of on-campus employment opportunities have included: blogging and photography assistant, research assistant, lab assistant, art studio assistant, gear room assistant, garden assistants, facilities assistants, and event assistants.



        Frequently asked questions

        The IslandWood website has an extensive list of frequently asked questions.

        Program Director

        Teaching Associate

        Program Faculty

        Program Affiliated Faculty

        Assistant Teaching Professor
        Associate Professor