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Old Main 200, 360-650-3440, admissions.wwu.edu
Every effort has been made to provide accurate information regarding admissions policies and procedures. However, these practices may change prior to catalog revision. Please consult the Office of Admissions prior to submitting an application.
The Undergraduate Office of Admissions welcomes applications for first-year, transfer and post-baccalaureate undergraduate admission as well as readmission applications for undergraduate students returning to Western. Western Washington University’s admissions policies reflect the University’s commitment to enroll students with diverse interests and backgrounds who demonstrate ability, creativity, and motivation.
General Admissions Information
Admission to Western is based on a number of different factors. Standards may vary from quarter to quarter dependent upon space availability. Criteria considered in the review process include academic achievement, activities, intended program of study, space availability and individual circumstances.
An Undergraduate Application for Admission is required of all first-year, transfer, and post-baccalaureate applicants as well as former Western undergraduate and post-baccalaureate students who wish to return to Western. A nonrefundable $65 application fee is required to complete each application unless an applicant requests, and receives approval, to waive the application fee due to financial need.
Application Deadlines and Procedures
Although some applicants are notified of an admission decision prior to the application deadline, the majority of decisions are made after the application deadline. All applications that are submitted with an application fee or approved for a fee waiver on or before the application deadline are given equal consideration. Applications received or completed after the deadline will be considered on a space-available basis.
- Fall Quarter
- First-year (includes all Running Start applicants) Early Action - November 1; Regular Decision - January 31
- Transfer, Post-baccalaureate — March 1
- Former Western Student — May 1
- Winter Quarter
- First-year, Transfer, Post-baccalureate — September 15
- Former Western Student — November 1
- Spring Quarter
- First-year, Transfer, Post-baccalureate — January 1
- Former Western Student — February 15
- Summer Continuing to Fall
- First-year applications are not accepted for summer quarter
- Transfer, Post-baccalaureate — March 1
- Former Western Student — May 1
- International students are advised not to begin summer quarter
Western Outreach and Continuing Education supported location programs may have additional requirements. Please contact the specific program/site for information. See the Outreach and Continuing Education section of this catalog for details.
All application materials, including official transcripts, if required, must be received by the deadline to be considered on-time. To be considered official, transcripts must be sent directly from the issuing institution or be delivered in an official, sealed envelope; electronic transcripts are considered official if sent directly by the college or a third party service (Parchment, eScripSafe or National Student Clearinghouse). Transcripts printed more than one year ago are not acceptable. Transcripts must be received from all institutions attended, regardless of whether or not credit is expected or desired.
Once admitted, all applicants other than former students who have been readmitted must confirm their intent to enroll via their WWU Admissions Portal. First-year and transfer applicants must submit a nonrefundable $300 fee to secure their enrollment space. This one-time enrollment fee funds a variety of academic support services related to new student orientation, advising, and academic success. While the fee cannot be waived, applicants with demonstrated financial need may request a deferral of the $300 fee to their first quarter tuition bill. Post-baccalaureate applicants, Outreach and Continuing education applicants or former students who have been readmitted are not required to submit an enrollment fee. All enrolling students must also provide proof of measles and Covid-19 immunization prior to course registration.
Admission to the University does not imply admission to a major or enrollment in specific courses. Many academic programs have selective admission requirements, including elevated grade point average (GPA), prerequisite course work, et cetera. The College sections of this catalog provide specific major declaration requirements.
The Office of Admissions hosts a variety of visit options for prospective students. Specific information may be obtained by contacting the Office of Admissions at 360-650-3440 or at admissions.wwu.edu/visit.
Students with Disabilities
The University’s policy regarding admission and access prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability. Western Washington University is committed to making physical facilities and instructional programs accessible to students with disabilities. After admission, students with disabilities are strongly encouraged to contact the Disability Access Center at 360-650-3083 or firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss and coordinate services and accommodations in a timely manner.
The most important criterion in the selection process is demonstrated academic achievement, including grade point average, quality and rigor of course work and grade trends. Western is test-optional; applicants are not required to submit test scores to apply for admission. If an applicant chooses to submit scores, we will consider them as part of our holistic review of all application materials. Activities, leadership, special talent, multicultural experience and individual circumstances are also considered. An essay is required, and an activities resume is strongly encouraged.
Applicants are encouraged to pursue academic course work and advanced study beyond the minimum course requirements listed below. Academic course work exceeding the minimum requirements, including dual credit options such as Advanced Placement (AP), International Baccalaureate (IB), Cambridge International, Running Start or other College-in-the-High-School, honors courses and even a full load of standard academic courses can provide an excellent foundation for college success and will strengthen the application for admission.
English: Four units, at least three selected from college preparatory composition and literature courses. One unit may be satisfied by courses in drama, public speaking, debate, journalistic writing, ESL or business English.
Mathematics: Three units of mathematics are required, at the level of algebra, geometry and advanced (second-year) algebra. High school students are strongly encouraged to continue taking math during their senior year. More advanced mathematics courses are recommended such as trigonometry, mathematical analysis, elementary functions and calculus. Arithmetic, pre-algebra and business mathematics will not meet the requirement. An algebra course taken in the eighth grade may satisfy one unit of the requirement if second-year algebra is completed in high school.
Science: Two units of college preparatory science, including one unit of an algebra-based science (chemistry or physics); one year must include a laboratory experience. Two units of agricultural science will equal one unit of science.
Social Science: Three units of college preparatory course work, including history, government, psychology, politics, economics, geography, et cetera. Credit granted for student government, community service, or other applied or activity courses may not be used to fulfill this requirement.
World Language: Two sequential units in a single world language, Native American language or American Sign Language. Students entering the United States education system from non-English speaking countries at the eighth grade or later are exempt.
The Arts: One semester or one trimester in the fine, visual or performing arts, to be chosen from study in art, band, ceramics, choir, dance, dramatic performance, music, photography, et cetera. Courses in color guard, drafting, fashion design, sewing, woodworking, et cetera, are not acceptable.
Since the number of qualified applicants exceeds the number of available enrollment spaces, meeting minimum requirements is no guarantee of admission. Applicants who do not meet minimum eligibility requirements can be exempt under certain circumstances. College course work may also be used to fulfill high school requirements. See College Credit for High School Students section below.
College Credit for High School Students
High school students earning college credit will be considered first-year applicants for admissions purposes, as long as the applicant attempts no college-level course work after high school graduation (excluding the summer immediately following graduation). The University will accept college credit in fulfillment of high school course requirements as indicated on high school transcripts. College credit will be awarded in a manner consistent with standard transfer equivalency policies. To receive credit, students are responsible for requesting official college transcripts and/or score reports.
Running Start and College in the High School
Regardless of number of college credits earned, Running Start students and other high school students with college credit must follow first-year application procedures and meet first-year admission standards and deadlines. This includes completion of the high school course requirements.
Advanced Placement (College Board), International Baccalaureate, and Cambridge International Exams
Western encourages applicants to take Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, and/or Cambridge International courses and exams where available. College credit, to a maximum of 45 credits, will generally be granted to enrolling students who have scored a 3 or above on the AP exams, a 4 or above on the standard- or higher-level IB exams, and grades A-E on Cambridge A and AS level exams. See admissions.wwu.edu for details.
Admission Requirements for Home Schooled Applicants
All first-year applicants need to supply Western with detailed documentation that outlines the curriculum they have studied in the last four years. Typically, this documentation is in the form of a transcript. Home schooled applicants must demonstrate academic preparation comparable to general first-year admission requirements. While not required, SAT, ACT or GED scores can be helpful in assessing the preparation of nontraditional applicants.
Western welcomes transfer applicants in all majors and from all types of colleges and universities. A transfer applicant is someone who has attempted college credit after high school graduation. Please see the section on first-year admission if your college credits were earned while you were also fulfilling high school requirements.
Academic achievement is the most significant factor in the application review. Clearly defined academic goals, completion of major prerequisites and related experiences, number of transfer credits, contributions to and/or experiences with multiculturalism, special talent, personal circumstances, distribution of current students and space availability are also considered. All transfer applicants are encouraged to begin taking math/quantitative skills courses as early in their college career as possible and to complete college-level math prior to submitting their application for admission.
Minimum requirements for transfer admission include a 2.0 cumulative transfer GPA and a 2.0 in the quarters prior to application review and enrollment. Applicants with fewer than 40 completed transferable quarter credits must also meet first-year admission requirements. Meeting minimum requirements is not a guarantee for admission as the number of qualified applicants exceeds the number of available enrollment spaces.
In calculating the transfer admission GPA, the Office of Admissions uses all transferable academic courses from all regionally accredited colleges the applicant has attended outside of Western.
Admission to the University does not imply admission to a major or enrollment in specific courses. Many academic programs have selective admissions requirements, including GPA, prerequisite course work, auditions, portfolio review, et cetera. The College sections of this catalog provide specific major declaration requirements.
Transfer Policies and Procedures
Western Washington University endorses the Policy on Inter-college Transfer and Articulation among Washington Public Colleges and Universities and the Transfer Student Rights and Responsibilities. Detailed transfer advising information, including course equivalency information, is available on Western’s website.
Transfer of Credit
Transfer of credit policies are developed by the University’s Recruitment, Admissions and Support Committee and the statewide Inter-College Relations Committee and approved by the University’s faculty. Authority to administer these policies is shared by the Registrar, the Director of Admissions and, where applicability of major or minor is concerned, department chairs.
Several factors govern the acceptance of transfer credit. In general, Western Washington University grants credit for baccalaureate-oriented courses completed at regionally recognized institutions of higher education. Coursework completed at nationally recognized institutions will be assessed after initial enrollment. The University reserves the right to deny credit for courses that are not compatible with those offered in its baccalaureate degree programs.
Western allows a maximum of 135 quarter (90 semester) credits to transfer from any combination of regionally accredited institutions, including no more than 105 quarter (70 semester) lower-division credits. Additional course work which exceeds this amount may be used to meet specific requirements, but additional credits will not be allowed to count toward the 180-credit requirement for graduation.
Regardless of the number of transfer credits awarded, students must earn a minimum of 45 resident credits through Western for graduation.
Lower-division transfer coursework that is deemed equivalent to an upper-division course cannot be used to satisfy Western Washington University’s 60 credit upper-division minimum requirement.
Certain credits earned at previous institutions do not transfer, regardless of that institution’s accreditation, including:
- College courses numbered below 100
- Technical and vocational courses
- Developmental education or remedial courses
- English as a Second Language
- Sectarian religion courses
- Credit for life experience/travel
- Study skills courses
- CLEP examination credit
- DANTES credit by examination
Exception to the above policies may be made in accordance with inter-agency articulation agreements.
Transfer students from Washington state community colleges may satisfy Western courses listed on the Transfer Course Equivalency Guide. This guide includes course equivalency information for community colleges and public baccalaureate institutions in Washington state, excluding The Evergreen State College.
Students may receive up to 30 credits for military service as recommended by the American Council of Education (ACE) Guide to the Evaluation of Educational Experiences in the Armed Services and in accordance with University and State policies regarding transfer credits. Applicants may request evaluation of military credit by submitting the Joint Service Transcript (JST) to the Office of the Registrar.
Transfer of Associate Degrees
Direct Transfer Agreement (DTA) Associate Degree. Applicants who complete a DTA associate degree at a Washington State community or technical college prior to initial enrollment at Western will typically satisfy all of Western’s General University Requirements (GURs), provided the degree meets Washington State’s Inter-college Relations Commission (ICRC) guidelines and include at least 90 credits. The DTA degree must include 75 credits that are directly transferable to Western. Up to 15 credits not normally transferable may transfer if used as part of this associate degree. Western will not accept any non-transferable credit earned after the DTA is awarded. The Pass/Fail grading option may only be used in the general elective area. Students should work closely with community college transfer advisors to ensure their curriculum choice follows the approved guidelines.
Associate of Science - Transfer (AS-T) Degree. Washington State community college students intent on earning a bachelor’s degree in biological sciences, chemistry, computer science, geology, or physics may be best served by completing the appropriate Associate of Science - Transfer degree prior to admission. While this degree will not completely fulfill Western’s GURs, it is the most efficient route in preparing for upper-division study in most science and engineering majors. Students who complete this degree will enter Western with 90 credits and preparation for upper-division program study; however, it does not guarantee admission to the major. Up to 5 credits not normally transferable may transfer if used as part of this associate degree. Western will not accept any non-transferable credit earned after the AS-T degree is awarded.
Reverse Transfer Option
A student transferring with an approved associate degree generally earns their degree prior to initial enrollment at Western. If any student wishes to complete such a degree to have it satisfy the GUR while enrolled at Western, it must be earned by the time the student 1) has completed 45 credits at Western, or 2) one calendar year has passed from initial enrollment, whichever comes later. A student seeking an exception to the 45-credit limit, or one calendar year timeline must petition the Registrar’s Office for approval.
General Education Transfer Agreement
Completion of General University Requirements will be granted to transfer students from another Washington state public baccalaureate institution whose General University Requirements were completed and certified by the sending institution.
Space for applicants who wish to pursue teaching certification, complete graduate school requirements or earn a second bachelor’s degree is limited, and therefore admission is competitive. Proposed program of study, space availability, preparation for major, cumulative academic record, related experience, and clarity of academic and career goals are the most important factors considered in the application review. All post-baccalaureate applicants are required to submit a statement of purpose with their application. Many post-baccalaureate applicants will find their educational needs can be met through enrollment options offered through an Outreach and Continuing Education supported location program or Western’s space available program for non-matriculated students. For more information, see the Outreach and Continuing Education and Registration sections in this catalog.
Post-baccalaureate applicants interested in pursuing a residency teaching certificate must simultaneously apply to Woodring College of Education.
International Student Admission
In addition to meeting admission standards comparable to those required of other applicants, international applicants must demonstrate English proficiency and provide proof of full financial support for all expenses for one academic year. Students with fewer than 40 transferable quarter credits (27 semester) must also submit official secondary school transcripts.
International applicants must demonstrate English language proficiency via one of the following options:
- Earn a transferable associate’s degree from a Washington State community college with “B” or better grades in English 101 and English 102;
- Achieve a minimum TOEFL score of 80 (internet-based) or 550 (paper-based);
- Achieve a minimum IELTS score of 6.5; or
- Achieve a minimum Duolingo English Test score of 105.
Western also offers a conditional admission option for international applicants who demonstrate strong academic potential and will benefit from Western’s Intensive English Program prior to gaining full admission to Western.
Conditional admission may be granted to undergraduate applicants who do not meet the university’s English language requirement or who need more university preparation and English language study before entering a degree program. Applicants do not need to submit a TOEFL, IELTS or Duolingo score to apply for conditional admission. However, before beginning to take regular university classes and moving into full admission status, students will need to demonstrate a high level of academic English ability, equivalent to Western’s English language requirement, through Intensive English Program coursework. Applicants must confirm their acceptance of conditional admission by applying for and enrolling in the Intensive English Program (IEP) at Western.
Applicants must fulfill all other requirements for undergraduate admission, including having competitive grades from previous high school or post-secondary institutions. First-year applicants need to have completed foundation coursework in English, humanities, mathematics, natural/physical sciences and social sciences. Additionally, for transfer applicants, college level English, math, and academic coursework and experiences related to one’s academic area of interest will further strengthen the application.
Conditional Admission students must attend the Intensive English Program full-time for a minimum of one quarter. Before enrolling in their first credit classes, students must successfully complete IEP Level 6 Academic English courses (Academic Preparation, Research Writing, Academic Communications, Academic Reading, and Applied Language Skills).
For more information, contact the Intensive English Program office at 360-650-3308, send e-mail to email@example.com, or visit the IEP webpage at oce.wwu.edu/intensive-english-program.
Readmission of Former Students
Undergraduates pursuing a first bachelor’s degree after an absence from campus generally are guaranteed readmission as long as they left Western in good academic standing and follow readmission application instructions. Post-baccalaureate students returning after an absence from campus must include a detailed academic plan of study, as the post-baccalaureate readmission process is selective. Former students must submit an Application for Admission that includes a list of all educational institutions attended since leaving Western and meet deadlines cited under Application Deadlines and Procedures section whenever possible. Students applying to return after dismissal from the University must follow reinstatement procedures detailed in the University Academic Policies section of this catalog.
Students who have been dropped for low scholarship, even if absent for five years or more, must pursue reinstatement. See Reinstatement section under University Academic Policies .
Former Western Outreach and Continuing Education program students returning to the same Outreach and Continuing Education program to pursue a first bachelor’s degree or post-baccalaureate study must complete an Application for Admission and submit it with a $65 nonrefundable application fee.
A former Western undergraduate student who returns to the University after an absence of five years or more may be given permission to start a new cumulative grade point average. See Fresh Start policy in University Academic Policies section.
Outreach and Continuing Education Program Admission Information
Western’s general admissions requirements apply to all Outreach and Continuing Education programs. Additional application procedures may be required by the program. The Outreach and Continuing Education program sites offer informational sessions for prospective students. For specific program information, see the Outreach and Continuing Education section in this catalog.
New and returning applicants to Western’s Outreach and Continuing Education programs must complete the Application for Admission and submit it with a $65 nonrefundable application fee. The application is available on the admissions website.
Non-Degree Seeking Students and Auditors
The Registrar’s Office grants course registration privileges on a space-available basis, for one term at a time, to auditors, Washington state employees, and residents over 60 years of age who are eligible for tuition reduction. Non-degree seeking students and auditors must submit a Special Student Enrollment Form to the Registrar’s Office each quarter. The form and additional instructions can be found at admissions.wwu.edu/apply/non-degree-seeking.
Early Admission/Concurrent Enrollment While in High School
Applicants who plan to graduate from high school early should follow standard first-year admission procedures.
Applicants interested in concurrently enrolling in courses while also attending high school may apply at the Registrar’s Office to take courses as non-degree seeking students. This program allows eligible applicants to enroll in courses on a space available basis. Applicants who are interested in being formally admitted as matriculated students while staying in high school must demonstrate superior academic achievement, fulfill all first-year admission requirements, and demonstrate that they have exhausted all academic opportunities available through their high school and local community college.
With the exception of any scholarships specifically designated for high school students, concurrently enrolled high school students are not eligible for financial aid or Western Washington University scholarships.
Right to Appeal
Applicants who are denied admission to Western have the right to request a reevaluation of their application. Appeals must be received in writing, clearly state the reasons for seeking reconsideration, be signed by the applicant, and be received by published deadlines. Applicants may submit additional documentation to support their request for reconsideration. After review, the appeals committee may admit the applicant, admit the applicant with conditions, or deny admission. Applicants who are admitted after a second review of a winter or spring quarter application will generally be offered admission to either summer or fall quarter, due to registration timelines. Additional information is available at admissions.wwu.edu/contact-us/appeals.
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