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Applications for undergraduate admission should be addressed to the Office of Admissions. Inquiries about graduate admission should be directed to the Graduate School. More information on graduate admission will be found in the Graduate School section of this catalog.
Campus Visit. Prospective students and their parents are invited to visit the campus. A visit provides an opportunity to visualize more fully the meaning of attending the university, especially if classes are in session. An appointment to visit should be made by contacting a member of the admissions staff. For more information, call the Office of Admissions at 828-227-7317, or toll-free 1-877-WCU-4YOU.
Applications. Applicants for undergraduate admission must submit (1) a completed application form, (2) application processing fee (see Fees and Financial Aid section), and (3) complete academic records as described below in “Categories of Undergraduate Admission.” The application fee covers the cost of processing the application and is not refundable or applicable toward other charges and payments.
Admitted applicants must complete the immunization form supplied by the Office of Admissions. All materials submitted, including transcripts, become the property of the university and cannot be forwarded or returned.
Admission Dates. Applications may be made for admission to regular terms beginning in August and January, and to summer sessions beginning in May, June, and July. To assure timely processing and to avoid payment of a late registration fee, a completed application should be submitted at least thirty days before the beginning of the semester for which admission is desired. Application deadlines for fall admission vary with a student’s status and are listed in the following pages.
Early Registration for New Students. The Advising Center offers newly admitted students an opportunity to complete CatWalk, a web based program designed to help students prepare for their first semester at WCU. Information from CatWalk will be used to create an initial schedule for the student. Students are strongly encouraged to attend one student orientation. During orientation, new students are given a general introduction to the university and to campus life. At this time, students will meet with their academic advisor and be given an opportunity to make adjustments to their schedule. A special program of activities for parents of new students is available during summer orientations.
Advance Partial Payments. . Each undergraduate student who is admitted to Western Carolina University for the fall semester is required to submit an advance partial tuition payment of $100. This payment will be credited to the charges for the first semester of enrollment. There is also an advance partial housing payment of $100 that must be submitted by all new students who plan to live in a university residence hall. These payments for the fall semester should be submitted no later than June 1. The deadline for spring semester (January) is December 1. For additional information, see the section on “Fees, Expenses, and Financial Aid” of this catalog.
Computer Admission Requirement for Undergraduates
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Western Carolina University strives to ensure that students have access to the highest quality education taking maximum advantage of the changes in information and communications technologies. All newly admitted and readmitted degree-seeking undergraduate students are required to have an appropriate, networkable computer.
Required Software. Required Software is Office XP Professional suite for Windows or Microsoft Office X suite for Macintosh. The student is responsible for purchasing this software. [CAUTION: Microsoft Office Small Business Edition, Student/Teacher Edition, or Standard Edition, and Microsoft Works do not fulfill this software requirement.] Students are required to install and maintain current antivirus software. WCU recommends and has available licenses for Symantec Norton Antivirus.
Network and Internet Connectivity. Students living on campus access the Internet via Western’s high-speed network. Students living off campus are required to obtain appropriate connectivity through an external Internet Service Provider (ISP) to access the various university computing resources.
Purchase of Computers. Western Carolina University has designated Gateway and Apple as the primary vendors for the purchase of computers. Students may purchase computers and required software from any vendor. However, machines purchased from our selected vendors through the University-endorsed vendor web sites will be preconfigured for easy connection to the University’s network and will include all required hardware. Gateway configurations available through the University-endorsed Gateway web site also have the required Microsoft Office software preinstalled. Apple configurations available through the University-endorsed Apple web site do not include the required Microsoft Office software, and it must be purchased as a separate item. Please visit the Information Technology Services website at http://its.wcu.edu/students.html for more details on the purchase of computers from our selected vendors through the University-endorsed web sites.
Students Who are Purchasing a Computer. The hardware configurations that are the industry standard in the summer of 2007 will be the recommended configurations. Therefore, students are encouraged not to purchase a computer until summer 2007. Updates to the computer requirement can be found at http://www.poweryourmind.com/compreq.html.
Students Who Already Own a Computer. Most computers running Windows XP or Macintosh computers running system OS 9 or higher should connect to the university’s network with an appropriate network interface card or modem. Network interface cards are available for purchase on campus. A minimum of 256 MB RAM memory is essential, as is a 20 GB hard drive. All computers should have either a CD-R or CD-RW (preferred) drive. Otherwise, as an alternative the system should have a CD-ROM or DVD drive plus a zip drive. Systems having less than the minimum specifications specified for a newly purchased computer on the admissions website at http://www.poweryourmind.com/compreq.html may not perform satisfactorily.
“Jump Start” Computing Orientation for New Students. All new students (freshmen and new transfers) must attend a computer orientation class that is offered online via WebCT (WCU’s electronic course management system). Electronic student accounts such as university e-mail, MyCat, and WebCT must be activated by taking this course online. This course should take roughly one hour to complete, and is a GRADUATION REQUIREMENT.
Additional Information. If you would like additional information about Western’s computer admission requirement, call the WCU Admissions Office (toll-free) at 1-877-WCU-4YOU or send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. The computer requirement is an integral part of the educational experience at Western Carolina University. Failure to comply with this requirement will result in sanctions to the student up to and including expulsion from the university.
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The university is open to all qualified students without regard to race, sex, color, national origin, religion, age, sexual orientation, or disability.
First-Year Students. Admission to Western Carolina University and placement into courses and programs are based upon a variety of factors including courses taken in high school, rank in class, SAT or ACT scores, and high school grade point average. Applicants must be graduates of accredited high schools. Graduates of unaccredited high schools may satisfy entrance requirements by examination. The university reserves the right to require any conditions deemed necessary. Applications also are considered for admission from prospective students who have achieved high school graduation equivalency by means of tests of General Education Development (GED).
Entrance Examinations. Freshman applicants must take the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) or the American College Test (ACT). The achievement test in subject-matter fields is not required. For the SAT, application forms and information concerning the test fee, dates, and centers may be obtained from the College Board, P.O. Box 592, Princeton, New Jersey 08541. Information and application for the ACT may be obtained from The American College Test National Office, P.O. Box 168, Iowa City, Iowa 52243, and from high school guidance counselors. Students who elect to take only the ACT must take The Writing Test. Applicants must request that their scores be sent to the Office of Admissions, Western Carolina University, Cullowhee, North Carolina 28723. College code for the SAT is 5897 and ACT code is 3172.
Secondary School Preparation. The quality and content of the applicant’s high school program are important. A good background in English, mathematics, foreign language, social studies, and natural sciences is recommended. Students with inadequate preparation in English and mathematics, if admitted, will be required to complete additional work in these areas.
To be considered for any category of admission, students must have graduated from high school and successfully completed the following fifteen units of college preparatory courses in high school:
4 units of English
4 units of math including
2 units of algebra
1 unit of geometry or advanced math
1 unit of math beyond algebra II
3 units of science including
1 unit of a life or biological science
1 unit of a physical science
1 unit of an additional lab science
2 units of social studies including
1 unit in U.S. history
2 units of one language other than English
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Home-Schooled Applicants. This policy deals with those students who are applying for admission as freshmen or transfer applicants, who are required to submit secondary school records, and who are participating (or have participated) in a secondary home school program.
Home-schooled students will have their records considered ONLY under the following conditions:
- The student provides an official transcript of all work completed. This should include course names, descriptions, grades, and the amount of credit awarded.
- The student provides official score reports of the SAT or ACT tests.
All home-schooled applicants must meet standards equivalent to those used for applicants from approved secondary schools. This includes indication of the successful completion of work equivalent to high school units listed under Secondary School Preparation. Each applicant will be reviewed individually for academic strengths and weaknesses.
There are three categories of freshman admission to Western: regular, provisional, and honors admission.
Regular Admission. Each applicant is evaluated on the basis of individual strengths and weaknesses for placement into the regular course sequence. Priority is given to those applicants who have demonstrated a strong potential for success in the academic programs at Western. Factors which are used in the evaluation process include the following:
- Courses selected by the student in high school and the grades achieved in those courses. A strong college preparatory curriculum is recommended. All students who are admitted must meet the minimum unit requirements of The University of North Carolina system. Special attention may be given to work completed during the senior year.
- Scores achieved on either the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) or the American College Test (ACT).
Priority consideration for admission will be given to applications completed by May 1 for the fall term.
Provisional Admission. Students whose high school records and test scores do not qualify them for regular admission but who show some potential for successful college work may be considered for provisional admission to the university. Students admitted into the provisional category still must meet all Minimum Course Requirements (MCR) prior to enrollment into a regular (fall, spring) term. An applicant’s high school records and ACT or SAT scores will be the primary information used to determine admission. The applicant must demonstrate the aptitude and motivation necessary to be able to successfully complete between twelve and sixteen semester hours of college course work in the first semester of enrollment.
The provisional admission program features additional tutoring and small, clustered classes that are designed to ease the transition from high school to college. Some provisionally admitted freshmen may be required to begin their program during the summer term when they will be provided with special assistance.
Minimum Course Requirements (MCR) at the Sixteen Institutions of The University of North Carolina. The following courses are required for admission, in addition to an institution’s own specific requirements: in English, four course units emphasizing grammar, composition, and literature; in mathematics, four course units including algebra I, algebra II, and geometry, and a higher level mathematics course for which algebra II is a prerequisite; in science, three course units including one unit in a life or biological science (for example, biology), one unit in a physical science (for example, physical science, chemistry, or physics), and one laboratory course; in social studies, two course units including one unit in U.S. history; and in foreign language, two units of one language other than English. An applicant who does not have the unit in U.S. history may be admitted on the condition that at least three semester hours in that subject will be passed by the end of the sophomore year.
Course units, as defined in these requirements, may include those high school-level courses taken and passed by an applicant after graduating from high school, as well as those taken while enrolled as a high school student.
Pre-University Program. This program enables high school students who have completed their junior year with superior academic records to begin work toward a university degree. Students who qualify may enroll in and earn credit for selected freshman courses. Full information is available from the Office of Admissions.
Transfer Students. Applicants must have official transcripts, with statements of honorable dismissal, submitted by all institutions formerly attended. The applicant must meet freshman admission requirements and submit an official high school transcript with SAT or ACT test results. Transfer applications should be submitted by July 1 for fall admission, and at least thirty days prior to the beginning of spring or summer terms.
Transfer students must have earned a minimum grade point average (GPA) of 2.00 (C average) on all work attempted . Applicants who are ineligible to return to the last institution attended for any reason cannot qualify for admission.
Students transferring from any unaccredited institution, if admitted, may be placed on academic probation and may be permitted to validate transfer credits by attaining satisfactory grades at Western Carolina University. Normally, a minimum GPA of 2.30 on the first twelve semester hours attempted will be required.
The academic records of transfer students will be evaluated by the Office of the Registrar, the Advising Center and the department head of the student’s major. University policies on transfer of undergraduate credit are explained in the section of this catalog on academic regulations.
Cooperative Transfer Agreements with Community Colleges. Western Carolina University participates in the general transfer agreements developed by the University of North Carolina General Administration in cooperation with the North Carolina community colleges. The university is developing additional agreements and transfer guides with individual community colleges in all academic areas. For additional information, contact the transfer coordinator in the Western Carolina University admissions office (828-227-7317) or a local community college.
Former Students. Readmission of former students is not automatic. Undergraduates who were not enrolled at the university in the immediate preceding semester (excluding summer terms) must apply for readmission. Applications and all documents supporting the request for readmission must be submitted thirty days prior to the beginning of the term for which further enrollment is planned. Transcripts of work taken at any other colleges during the interim must be submitted. Former students who have attempted course work at another institution since their enrollment at Western also must meet transfer admission requirements.
Former students who are not in good standing at the university also must be approved for readmission by the Academic and Admission Appeals Board (referred to as “Board”). The Board’s decision is based upon the student’s entire university record including, but not limited to, the student’s academic record. Students should review the academic re-evaluation and two-year rule policies in this catalog before applying.
Post-Baccalaureate Students. Graduates of accredited four-year institutions may apply for admission to work toward another undergraduate degree. Western Carolina University is authorized to offer seven different bachelor’s degrees: Bachelor of Arts (BA), Bachelor of Science (BS), Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA), Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (BSBA), Bachelor of Science in Education (BSEd), Bachelor of Music (BM), and the Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN). A student may obtain from the university a second bachelor’s degree provided the degree is in a different major. Students may not earn a second degree in the same major. The general requirements for second degrees are stated in the section of this catalog on degree programs and requirements. Students seeking to pursue advanced degrees should refer to the Graduate School section.
International Students. International students are welcome at the university. International Students are granted regular, provisional, special, non-degree, or guest matriculant admission to Western Carolina University as appropriate in each case. Western Carolina University is authorized under Federal law to enroll non-immigrant students. International students should submit an application form, application processing fee (waived for exchange students), SAT and/or TOEFL test scores and transcripts evaluated by an approved evaluation company if necessary. International applicants from countries where English is not the primary language, must submit a minimum score of 550 (paper-based), 213 (computer-based), or 79 (internet-based) on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). In order to receive a visa, students need to provide a statement of financial responsibility. It is expected that international students will not begin study until the admission process is completed and the student has met all admission conditions.
Since several months may be required to receive and process applications from abroad, international students are urged to submit complete information as early as possible.
Application deadlines for international students are as follows: April 1 for Fall Term and September 1 for Spring Term. Contact International Programs and Services at www.wcu.edu/ips and click on “international students”.
Other Eligible Persons
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Special Students. Persons not seeking degrees may apply as special students by completing an application and paying the $40 application fee. Special students are not admitted to any degree program, are not eligible for financial assistance, and are not assigned to advisers. Special students applying to live in university housing should indicate their status on the housing contract. Admissions categories for special students are:
Nondegree Students. Persons not seeking degrees, but wish to take courses for personal enrichment or advancement, upon approval, may take up to eighteen semester hours as a non degree student. Academic credentials may be required to validate a student’s eligibility for admission. Nondegree students who wish to take more than eighteen semester hours will have to meet regular admission criteria.
Teacher Licensure Students. Persons who have earned a previous four-year degree and are returning to complete those requirements necessary for teacher licensure and are not pursuing a degree may apply as a teacher licensure student. Persons who plan to meet teacher licensure requirements must provide transcripts of all college work attempted to the Office of Teacher Licensure, 228 Killian Building, Western Carolina University, Cullowhee, North Carolina 28723.
Dual Enrollment Students. Dual enrollment students are those students who plan to take courses at Western while currently enrolled in a local high school. Applicants must submit a letter of parental consent, a letter of permission from their high school principal or guidance counselor, SAT or ACT scores, and an official high school transcript. Dual enrollment students may not live in campus housing.
Extension Students. Individuals may enroll in extension courses with the approval of the coordinators of the courses. An extension student who later desires to enroll in courses for degree credit must meet regular admission requirements.
Transient Students. A student interested in enrolling for a semester or a summer session before returning to another institution may be admitted as a transient. A statement of good standing at the former institution is required.
Persons over Age 65. Legal residents of North Carolina aged 65 and over who qualify for admission may enroll in courses on a tuition-free basis if space is available. Information about admission and registration policies and procedures may be obtained from the registrar.
Special Consideration. Persons of above-average ability who do not meet admission requirements in any category may request special consideration by submitting a letter of explanation and supporting information. However, regular admission guidelines are regarded as sound for the student and the university. Few exceptions are made.
Appeals of Admissions Decisions
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Admissions decisions may be appealed by presenting a written request for reconsideration to the director of admissions. Appeals of decisions which are related to academic preparation or credentials are evaluated by the Admissions, Readmissions, and Retention Committee. Appeals of decisions which are related to criminal, disciplinary, or behavioral factors are forwarded to the vice chancellor for Student Affairs. The request should indicate the reasons for reconsideration and any factors the applicant feels were not given adequate consideration in the admission process. Upon receipt of a written request, the director of admissions will forward the documentation to the appropriate appellate body. Applicants will be notified in writing of the final decision by the Office of Admissions.
Summer Session Admission
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All policies in effect during the regular academic year are applicable to summer enrollment. Further information is available upon request from the Division of Educational Outreach and Summer Sessions , Graduate School, or Office of Admissions, and in the Summer Session Schedule, issued each spring.
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Students furnishing the university with false, misleading, or incomplete information relating to their application or academic record will be subject to rejection or dismissal.