ARCHIVED 2005-2006 Undergraduate Catalog 
    Oct 26, 2021  
ARCHIVED 2005-2006 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

General University Degree Requirements

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To be awarded a bachelor’s degree, the student must meet the following general requirements:

  1. Completion of a minimum of 120 semester hours to a maximum of 128 semester hours under requirements outlined for one of the degree programs.
  2. A minimum GPA of 2.0 on all work attempted at Western Carolina University and on all courses in the major.
  3. A minimum of 25 percent of semester hours applied toward a bachelor’s degree must be earned through regular enrollment in Western Carolina University junior-senior level courses, including a minimum of twelve hours in junior-senior courses in the major field.
  4. Fifty percent or more of the credits in the major presented for graduation on the junior-senior level unless the degree program being completed by the student is specifically exempted from the requirement.
  5. Be enrolled at Western the intended graduation semester. (Students who wish to pursue an exception to this rule must contact the registrar’s office.)

Note: See graduate catalog for graduate degree requirements.

Liberal Studies Program



At Western Carolina University, all bachelor’s degree programs include courses in Liberal Studies designed to provide each student with the knowledge, skills, and attitudes of an educated person. These include the ability to think critically, to communicate effectively, to identify and solve problems reflectively, to use information and technology responsibly, to appreciate the creative and performing arts, and to seek personal development and lifelong learning.

Through a First-Year Seminar in Liberal Studies, first-year students begin to experience intellectual life at the university level. Through participation in an Academic Learning Community, students begin to experience the integration of knowledge. The core provides students with the academic skills and intellectual habits needed throughout the undergraduate experience; therefore, it should be completed as soon as possible. The Perspectives component of the Liberal Studies program exposes students to important modes of inquiry, discovery, and interpretation through study of the concepts, principles, and theories of the Liberal Arts. Because all disciplines at the university can offer courses in the Liberal Studies program, the Perspectives provide a broadened worldview and knowledge base, with opportunities to take courses outside areas of familiarity or major interest. Students also take at least one three-hour course at the upper level (300 or 400 level) in a Perspectives area outside their major. It is a primary goal of the Liberal Studies program to promote a lifelong love of learning.


Click below to view the requirements for the Liberal Studies Program.

Liberal Studies Program Requirements

Perspectives Courses and the Major


If a particular Liberal Studies Perspectives course is required by a degree program or major, the Perspectives category requirement met by that course will be satisfied for students in that program; however, credit for that course will not count toward the 18 hours of Liberal Studies Perspectives required of every student. In this situation, the student will take an additional elective Liberal Studies course in any Perspectives category outside of the major. In other words, credit hours will not count for both Liberal Studies Perspectives and for degree program requirements. [Students who elect to complete a minor/second major, which is not required by their degree program, may count credit hours for both Liberal Studies Perspectives and the optional minor/second major, concentration, emphasis.

Liberal Studies and Transfer Students


Courses transferred from other institutions to fulfill Liberal Studies requirements will be evaluated by the registrar in consultation with the appropriate department head or the associate vice chancellor for academic affairs for liberal studies and the Liberal Studies Committee, based on university guidelines. Credit earned by examination and advanced placement may be applied toward fulfillment of Liberal Studies requirements.

Students who have completed the general education core (44 hours) or the Associate of Arts degree or the Associate of Science Degree in the North Carolina Community College System will have the Liberal Studies requirements waived. However, if a student has completed the Associate of Applied Science Degree in the North Carolina Community College System will have each course evaluated for transfer credit. When a transfer student has completed the General Education or Liberal Studies requirements of a public or private institution outside of the University of North Carolina system, the Associate Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs, in consultation with the Liberal Studies Committee, will determine whether that institution’s general education program is sufficiently similar to Western Carolina University’s Liberal Studies program to warrant a blanket waiver of the Liberal Studies requirements.

Academic Advising Center


The Advising Center works with all newly admitted students in academic advisement, course scheduling, and selection of a major. Upon the declaration of a major, students are advised in their academic department; however, their academic adviser in the Advising Center will continue to work with them in areas of university policy and personal advisement. Additionally, the Advising Center offers career planning as well as programs for students in academic difficulty.

Academic Success Centers


The academic success centers at the university consist of the University Writing Center, the Mathematics Tutoring Center, the Student Technology Assistance Center, and the Catamount Academic Tutoring (CAT) Center. Services are available during fall, spring, and summer semesters and are offered to students without charge.

University Writing Center. A staff of graduate assistants and undergraduate peer tutors is available to assist students in developing skills for preparing essays, term papers, creative writing assignments, articles for publication, and other writing projects. Faculty members are encouraged to refer students to the center for general development of writing skills. Beginning with the writer’s initial ideas, tutors can help with brainstorming, prewriting, drafting, and revising. By offering the writer workable strategies, the tutor moves the student toward self-sufficiency. In addition to one-on-one tutorial help, the center regularly offers handouts, called mini-courses, tailored to specific writing needs. The center is located in Hunter Library. Visit the center’s Web site at for hours, online resources, staff information and helpful links. For more information, or to make an appointment, call 828-227-7197.

Mathematics Tutoring Center. A student peer-tutoring program is staffed by undergraduate and graduate mathematics students. Tutoring is available on a drop-in and individual appointment basis. Tutoring is offered in all lower-division undergraduate mathematics courses and beginning computer science courses. Tutoring experience is provided as a practicum for students majoring in mathematics education. The tutoring center has a small library of supplementary materials, including textbooks, computer-assisted instruction materials, and a few current periodicals in mathematics and computer science. The center is located in 294 Belk. Visit the Center’s web site at

Student Technology Assistance Center. The Student Technology Assistance Center offers assistance to students based on their individual needs. Students needing help with word processing, spread sheets, databases, electronic presentations, campus network tools (such as WIN, MyCat, VAX/VMS, etc.), or the Internet (such as web browsers, web page design assistance, newsgroups, e-mail, chat, etc.), can stop by or call for an appointment. Although appointments are not required, they can be beneficial for the student by ensuring one-on-one appointment time. Check the Web site at for more information and for dates and times of workshops.

Catamount Academic Tutoring Center. The Catamount Academic Tutoring (CAT) Center, located in 135 Killian Annex, is designed to ensure the academic success of all WCU students by offering free learning resources, skills workshops, and small-group study sessions for most 100 and 200-level courses. Study sessions are facilitated by trained peer leaders who have exhibited a mastery of the subject. Students experiencing difficulty in a course for which a study group is not offered should stop by the CAT Center and complete a “Request for Services” form. Visit the CAT Center website at or call 828-227-2274 for more information about all services, including a schedule of workshop offerings.

Testing Services


The Office of Professional Examinations oversees administrations of: The Graduate Record Examination (Subject Tests only), the Praxis Series, Medical College Admission Test, Scholastic Aptitude Test, Law School Admission Test, the National Counselor Exam, the Miller Analogies Test, and the College Level Examination Program (CLEP). For more information about any of these tests, contact the Catamount Academic Tutoring Center (135 Killian Annex) at 828-227-2273.

Programs of Study


The university offers programs leading to bachelor’s, master’s, education-specialist, and doctoral degrees as well as preprofessional, interinstitutional, and certification curricula. All of the bachelor’s-level programs, including the course requirements for the various majors, minors, and concentrations offered by the colleges and departments, are described in the sections that follow. Programs of interest to graduate students are presented in the graduate catalog of The Record.

Degree Programs

The following table lists alphabetically the university’s principal academic programs and indicates the college offering the programs. The colleges are: Applied Sciences (AS); Arts and Sciences (A&S); Business (BUS); and Education and Allied Professions (E&AP).

Undergraduate Major   College   Degree
Accounting   BUS   B.S.B.A.
Anthropology   A&S   B.A.
    A&S   B.S.
Art   A&S   B.A.
    A&S   B.F.A.
    E&AP   B.S.Ed.
Athletic Training   AS   B.S.
Biology   A&S   B.S.
Birth-Kindergarten   E&AP   BS
Business Administration and Law   BUS   B.S.B.A.
Chemistry   A&S   B.S.
    A&S   B.A.
Clinical Laboratory Sciences   AS   B.S.
Communication   A&S   B.S.
Communication Sciences and Disorders   E&AP   B.S.
Computer Information Systems   BUS   B.S.B.A.
Computer Science   A&S   B.S.
Construction Management   AS   B.S.
Criminal Justice   AS   B.S.
Electrical and Computer Engineering Technology   AS   B.S.
Electrical Engineering   AS   B.S.
Elementary Education   E&AP   B.S.Ed.
Emergency Management   AS   B.S.
Emergency Medical Care   AS   B.S.
Engineering Technology   AS   B.S.
English   A&S   B.A.
    E&AP   B.S.Ed.
Entrepreneurship   BUS   B.S.B.A.
Environmental Health   AS   B.S.
Environmental Sciences   A&S   B.S.
Finance   BUS   B.S.B.A.
French (inactive status)   A&S   B.A.
    E&AP   B.S.Ed.
General Special Education   E&AP   B.S.Ed.
Geography (inactive status)   A&S   B.S.
Geology   A&S   B.S.
German   A&S   B.A.
    E&AP   B.S.Ed.
Health Information Administration   AS   B.S.
History   A&S   B.A.
    A&S   B.S.
Hospitality and Tourism   BUS   B.S.
Interior Design   AS   B.S.
International Business   BUS   B.S.
Management   BUS   B.S.B.A.
Marketing   BUS   B.S.B.A.
Mathematics   A&S   B.S.
    E&AP   B.S.Ed.
Middle Grades Education   E&AP   B.S.Ed.
Music   A&S   B.A.
    A&S   B.M.
    E&AP   B.S.Ed.
Natural Resources Management   A&S   B.S.
Nursing   AS   B.S.N.
Nutrition and Dietetics   AS   B.S.
Parks and Recreation Management   E&AP   B.S.
Philosophy   A&S   B.A.
Physical Education   E&AP   B.S.Ed.
Political Science   A&S   B.A.
    A&S   B.S.
Psychology   E&AP   B.S.
Recreational Therapy   E&AP   B.S.
Science Education   E&AP   B.S.Ed.
Social Sciences   A&S   B.A.
    A&S   B.S.
    E&AP   B.S.Ed.
Social Work   A&S   B.S.
Sociology   A&S   B.A.
    A&S   B.S.
Spanish   A&S   B.A.
    E&AP   B.S.Ed.
Special Education (General)   E&AP   B.S.Ed.
Special Studies       B.A.
Speech and Theatre Arts   A&S   B.A.
Sport Management   E&AP   B.S.
Telecommunications Engineering Technology   AS   B.S.
Theatre   A&S   B.F.A.

In addition to the curricula offered by a department or jointly by two departments, the university provides a number of special-purpose programs in which students may participate either as a part of the regular degree programs of their choice or as alternatives to them. These opportunities include the following programs:

An Approved Program

An approved program is a selection of courses designed to take the place of a minor or second major in cases where a student has a secondary interest in an area not covered by a recognized second major or minor. The program must consist of 16-24 credit hours of courses, developed in consultation with the major adviser and appropriate faculty adviser(s) in the relevant department(s). The approved program must be approved by the department head of the major department, the head of the approved program department, and the dean(s) of all involved college(s), upon consultation with the head of the department(s) which offer(s) the courses in the approved program.

Special Studies Programs

A Special Studies Program is an interdisciplinary program to take the place of a recognized major program in cases in which a student wishes to earn a degree in a specialized area not covered by recognized majors, or an area that intersects two or more recognized majors and cannot be accommodated by a combination of a recognized major and minor, second major, or approved program.

A Special Studies Program is developed by the student in consultation with an academic adviser in one of the primary departments and in consultation with advisers/faculty from all involved departments.

The program should include completion of the liberal studies program, and any other applicable college and university requirements. It should include a distribution of courses to complete the Special Studies program, in place of a recognized major, plus a minor, second major, or approved program (as needed). It should include a plan for some kind of senior project, capstone course, or final assessment component.

The Special Studies Program will be approved by all involved department heads, the curriculum committees of all involved colleges, and the University-Wide Curriculum Committee. The University Curriculum Committee should pay particular attention to the assessment component(s) of the proposed program and will approve or disapprove the special studies program.

Study Abroad

The Office of International Programs and Services administrates the University of North Carolina Exchange Program (UNCEP), the International Student Exchange Program (ISEP) and several Western Carolina University exchanges with over 35 countries worldwide. Students with a 2.75 GPA and higher can study for a semester or a year by paying Western Carolina University tuition and fees and comparable room and board charges. Financial aid assists eligible students with study abroad costs, and scholarships are available through external grant agencies. Some summer programs are available through our overseas partners. Other summer abroad programs sponsored by Western Carolina University professors are handled by the Division of Continuing Education and Summer School.

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 or a local community college.

Cooperative Program in Agriculture and Life Sciences

Students who complete a two-year prescribed course of study at Western Carolina University have the opportunity to transfer to North Carolina State University in one of the following bachelor’s degree programs in the School of Agriculture and Life Sciences:

Agricultural economics, agricultural business management, agronomy, animal science, biological and agricultural engineering, biochemistry, biological sciences, botany, conservation, fisheries and wildlife sciences, food science, horticultural science, medical technology, pest management, poultry science, applied sociology, zoology, and selected preprofessional programs. For further information, contact the department head in the geosciences and natural resources management department.

Cooperative Program in Forestry

By agreement between Western Carolina University and the School of Forest Resources at North Carolina State University, a student interested in the field of forest resources may take the first two years of the program at Western Carolina University and the remainder at North Carolina State University. For further information, contact the department head in the geosciences and natural resources management department.

During the freshman year, students should select one of four specialty areas of the program: (1) forestry; (2) wood science and technology; (3) pulp and paper science and technology; (4) recreation resources administration. The courses to be pursued for each area are available from the department head in the geosciences and natural resources management department.

Students with acceptable scholastic records in the first two years of the program may earn the professional degree in two additional years. Before transferring, students should check their credits with the requirements of North Carolina State University to determine the advisability of completing additional courses in summer school at one of the two institutions. A GPA of 2.5 is required for transfer.

Experiential Programs

Western Carolina University endorses the concept of education as a multidimensional process of learning that incorporates study and practice. To that end, its curricula are designed to provide for acquisition of knowledge and understanding of theory combined with opportunities for experience in practical applications in real settings. Many of the degree programs include required work in professional situations specific to the positions and career areas for which the students are preparing. At the student’s option, a variety of other work opportunities deriving from and related to academic study are available. To further its commitment to the preparation of well-qualified graduates, the university provides various types of support to departmentally developed experiential activities. It also operates university-wide programs that make work opportunities directly related to their fields of study available to all students.

Western Carolina University has the following guidelines for enrolling students in external instruction courses/programs. External instruction programs are defined as instruction received at a site(s) to which the student is sent by the enrolling institution to participate in instructional activities. Encompassed in the scope of external instruction are programs referred to as cooperative education, practical training, independent study, and open-circuit televised instruction.

  1. All courses are bona fide: approved by all required college, university, state, regional, and national regulatory agencies. Courses are also approved to meet all certification and licensing requirements.
  2. All courses are an integral part of the student’s program; credit will apply toward graduation and/or will be required for a particular degree program.
  3. All courses are appropriately rigorous with credit assigned proportionate to the amount of instructor involvement and control (course credit is determined by university and state requirements).
  4. The university/college has an agreement on file with specific work sites assuring that the experiences will provide opportunities for application of the knowledge, skills, and competencies gained from on-campus academic programs.
  5. All courses have regularly-employed faculty members responsible for all students participating in external instruction courses.

Cooperative Education Program.
Cooperative education is a program in which students combine academic study with career-related work experience while pursuing a degree. Designed to be an integral part of the educational experience, the program offers experiential learning in both full-time and part-time positions in virtually all majors. Participants are primarily undergraduates, but some graduate programs offer co-op to their students. Information about eligibility for the program, work opportunities, and requirements for credit is available from the Career Services/Cooperative Education Office, Room 237, Killian Annex.

Internships and Practicums. A broad range of full-time and part-time learning opportunities are provided through internships, practica, field courses, and clinical affiliations for periods of one or more terms. The courses allow students to gain experience in the actual practice of a profession and to develop mastery of the tasks, skills, and theory applications in career fields pertinent to their majors. The experiences gained are well integrated into the curricula and are frequently included in the requirements for a degree.

Independent Study. Independent study courses are offered by several departments at Western Carolina University. The content and criteria for each course is determined by each academic department. Credit for these courses range from one to six semester hours credit as determined by the department. Students must be juniors or seniors in order to take an independent study course.