Student Responsibility for Completion of Requirements
Every effort is made by the University to notify students of degree requirements. However, it is the student’s responsibility to become familiar with all requirements upon entry to the University.
WWU Graduation Requirements for Bachelor’s Degrees
A student should expect to graduate according to the general requirements in the catalog current at the time of initial matriculation. However, if the student interrupts enrollment for more than two consecutive quarters (summer quarter not included), he or she shall meet the demands of the catalog in force at the time of readmission. Correspondence enrollment is defined as interrupted enrollment.
While the University reserves the right to change the regulations concerning admission and requirements for graduation, it shall be the policy of the University to give adequate notice prior to effecting any significant changes and to make reasonable adjustments in individual cases where there may be a hardship.
Declaring a Major
Students should expect to meet the specific requirements for majors and minors in the catalog current at the time they declare the major and minor to the appropriate department. Early declaration of a major is essential to graduating in a timely manner. Soon after their arrival at Western, students should contact a departmental adviser to discuss the course of study leading to a major. Students are expected to meet with the adviser of the department of their choice for individualized assessment or visit the Academic Advising or Career Services centers regarding choice of a major by the time they complete 60 credits or during the first quarter of enrollment if 60 or more credits are being transferred to Western. Students are expected to apply to the department in which they wish to declare a major no later than the quarter following the quarter in which they reach their 90th credit. Students who fail to declare a major by the time they reach 120 credits will not be permitted to register.
Students must submit a new major declaration if they interrupt enrollment for more than one year or are dropped for low scholarship.
Minors are available in most major disciplines but students are not required to complete a minor, unless a minor is required by the major. Requirements for each minor are listed in each department’s section. To declare a minor, a student should contact the department. Although there is no limit on the number of minors a student may earn, it is not possible to minor in two areas that involve essentially the same constellation of courses.
The following requirements are common to all undergraduate divisions of Western Washington University. For requirements unique to a given University division, see sections concerning the College of Business and Economics, Fairhaven College of Interdisciplinary Studies, the College of Fine and Performing Arts, the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, Huxley College of the Environment, the College of Sciences and Technology, and Woodring College of Education.
- Minimum of 180 quarter hours of credit. Western Washington University’s baccalaureate degrees require a minimum of 180 credit hours. Some fields require a larger number of credit hours, and students who major in these fields should anticipate that they may require more than four years to complete their programs. Students majoring in these fields are encouraged to seek advisement early in their academic careers. Also, programs that are highly sequential necessitate careful planning, the lack of which may result in extended work beyond the minimum required. 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; no more than 15 credits taken in the Extended Programs (EXT) subject area can be applied toward a degree at Western Washington University
- Minimum of 45 credits through Western Washington University. Correspondence, including Western’s Independent Learning program, credit by examination and advanced placement credit are not included in this total
- At least 60 credits in upper-division study (courses 300 or above at the institution where the course was taken)
- Complete a minimum of three upper-division writing proficiency points in approved upper-division writing proficiency courses at WWU with a minimum grade of C-.
- General University Requirements - These general requirements must be satisfied by all students except those enrolled in Fairhaven College of Interdisciplinary Studies, where a separate core program is required
- Approved academic major.
- At least 50 percent of the credit hours required in a student’s major must be earned at Western Washington University
- Students must declare a major before reaching 120 credits
- A minor, if required by the major
- At least 50 percent of the credit hours required for a minor must be earned at Western Washington University
- Professional education sequence, if required by the major
- A grade of C- or better in a student’s major or minor, supporting courses for majors and minors, ENG 101, and courses taken to fulfill the upper-division writing proficiency requirement
- Professional education courses and the educational psychology courses required for teacher education programs and courses required for state teaching endorsements must be completed with a grade of C (2.0) or better
- Scholarship meeting minimums prescribed by the University divisions and academic departments, including a cumulative WWU GPA of at least 2.00 (or higher, as required by individual departments)
- Final quarter. Must be registered for at least one Western course in the quarter in which degree is to be awarded; correspondence courses are allowed only by exception
- Submit an application for the degree no later than the last day of classes two quarters prior to quarter of intended graduation. The degree is not granted without formal application. NOTE: Students who reach 210 credits without graduating or submitting a degree application or plan of study will not be permitted to register
On-Line Degree Evaluation - Curriculum Advising and Program Planning (CAPP)
Curriculum, Advising, and Program Planning (CAPP) Degree Evaluation is an advising tool available to both students and advisors that evaluates course work against degree requirements. CAPP produces a report reflecting academic progress toward completion of an undergraduate or graduate degree in a student’s declared or proposed major. The CAPP degree evaluation report shows how Western Washington University courses, transfer courses, and courses in progress apply toward degree requirements. You can initiate a degree evaluation, view results, and print evaluation reports via Web4U.
Visit the Online Degree Evaluation website for additional information.
Extension Program Time Limits
All graduation requirements for an extension program must be completed within five years of the initial quarter of registration. Students who have not completed their program after four years of study are required to file a plan for completion of the degree within the five-year limit. Otherwise it is understood that the student has decided to withdraw from the program.
Procedures for Applying for a Bachelor’s Degree
Degrees are not automatically awarded when requirements are completed. It is the responsibility of the student to make application in the Registrar’s Office. Students must apply for a baccalaureate degree no later than the last day of classes two quarters prior to the final quarter. Complete instructions and deadlines are available on the Registrar’s Office Website.
Procedures for Applying for a Residency Teacher Certificate
Teaching certificates are not automatically issued at program completion. It is the responsibility of the student to apply for the Residency Teacher Certificate through the Woodring College of Education Teacher Certification Office by the due date approximately two quarters before the start of full-time student teaching internship. Upon verification that certification requirements have been met, recommendation is made to the state Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction for issuance of the Residency Teacher Certificate.
Complete application instructions and deadlines are available at http://www.wce.wwu.edu/Resources/Certification/Res/ or Teacher Certification, Student Services, Miller Hall 250, and through applicable extension program offices.
Formal commencement exercises for degree candidates are held each quarter on the Saturday following finals week. Commencement information and signup forms are available by the third week of the quarter on the Registrar’s Office website. To be eligible for commencement, all candidates must apply for their degree by the appropriate deadline. University policy requires bachelor’s degree candidates to be enrolled in their final quarter’s requirements and master’s candidates to have completed all requirements in order to participate in commencement.
Baccalaureate Degrees with Two Majors
Any undergraduate student at Western Washington University may attempt to earn a bachelor’s degree with two majors. While there is no requirement that such a degree program include more than 180 credits, it may be impossible to complete within this minimum. The student’s application for such a degree must indicate both majors and be approved by both departments or academic units involved. The majors involved must be distinct and may not be based on essentially the same constellation of courses. A general studies major cannot be earned concurrently with or subsequent to another major.
After earning a bachelor’s degree, a student may complete an additional major without earning a second bachelor’s degree. The student must enroll officially in the college which offers the major and submit an application for a major evaluation to the Registrar’s Office during the quarter in which the major is completed.
Students with two majors that would result in the same type of degree (for example, a bachelor of arts in English and a bachelor of arts in business) will receive one degree and one diploma. Since the diploma indicates the college awarding the degree, students must choose the college they prefer. In this example, the student must choose between a bachelor of arts from the College of Humanities and Social Sciences or a bachelor of arts from the College of Business and Economics. Majors are not printed on the diploma but are listed on the transcript once the student graduates.
More than One Baccalaureate Degree
A student may earn from Western only one of each type of degree offered (BA, BS, BAE, BFA, BMus).
Two Baccalaureate Degrees Concurrently
Two distinct bachelor’s degrees associated with different majors may be earned simultaneously but the total number of academic credits earned must be at least 225, and the student must satisfy all requirements of each degree program. The majors involved may not be based on essentially the same constellation of courses.
Second Baccalaureate Degree
A student who has already earned a baccalaureate degree from Western Washington University may enroll to earn a different type of undergraduate degree associated with a different major. Such a student must enroll officially in the college which offers a major associated with the new degree, earn at least 45 academic credits beyond the number earned when the first degree was granted, maintain a cumulative grade point average of at least 2.00 on the last 45 credits earned and satisfy all requirements of the second degree program.**
Holders of a bachelor of arts degree from a regionally accredited institution in the United States will have fulfilled all General University Requirements (GURs). Holders of bachelor’s degrees other than the Bachelor of Arts from an accredited institution in the United States must have the degree evaluated for GUR on a course-by-course basis. Post-baccalaureate students pursuing another bachelor’s degree must complete a minimum of three writing proficiency points in approved upper-division writing proficiency courses at WWU with a minimum grade of C-.
**Exception: The BFA in art degree or the BFA in design degree may be awarded to a student who has earned fewer than 45 additional credits since completing a BA degree, provided the student has earned at least 225 total credits.
Baccalaureate Degree After Graduate Studies
A student may not earn a baccalaureate degree from Western Washington University while enrolled in its Graduate School. A student may earn a baccalaureate degree after the completion of the master’s degree program provided: 1) that 45 credits are earned at Western subsequent to the previous bachelor’s degree and exclusive of those credits that are a part of the master’s program, 2) that the major is different from that associated with any prior degree, 3) that the student has completed a minimum of three writing proficiency points in approved upper-division writing proficiency courses at WWU with a minimum grade of C-, and 4) that the final-quarter-in-residence requirement is met.
Baccalaureate Degree and Teacher Certification
The prospective teacher may earn the Bachelor of Arts in Education degree, completing one or more of the appropriate teaching majors offered within the various schools, colleges and departments of Western. A Bachelor of Arts in Education program requires completion of all teacher certification requirements as well as other University requirements prior to the granting of the degree. The student (usually with plans to teach at the secondary school level) who wishes to complete an appropriate Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degree program may also earn teaching credentials without earning the BAE degree. Some programs allow requirements for teacher certification to be completed at the same time the BA or BS degree is earned. Such students must be admitted officially to the professional education program of the Woodring College of Education and complete the required professional sequence. They must also maintain a cumulative grade average at the level required for the BAE degree.
Writing Requirements at Western Washington University
Western Washington University believes that development of writing proficiency should be pursued systematically throughout the course of study. To that end Western has established a program of writing courses and support services beginning in the freshman year and extending to upper-division writing proficiency courses offered throughout the University.
GUR Writing Requirement
- Block A of the GUR communications requirement: to be completed, with a grade of C- or better, prior to the accumulation of 45 credits; ENG 101, Writing and Critical Inquiry, (5), (waived for students demonstrating high English competency on college entrance exams); all students must satisfy Block A except Fairhaven College of Interdisciplinary Studies students
- Block B or C of the GUR communications requirement: to be completed prior to accumulation of 135 credits; see the GUR section for details
Upper-division Writing Proficiency Requirement
Upper-division writing proficiency courses emphasize research and writing. In writing proficiency courses, students learn the writing style and conventions of their disciplines, as well as the techniques for integrating evidence into scholarly papers. Writing proficiency courses are listed in the online Timetable of Classes.
Writing Proficiency Points Fulfilling the Upper-division Writing Proficiency Requirements
(Minimum 3 points required)
||Credit Hours of course
||% of Grade Based on Writing Assignments
General University Requirements (GURs) at Western Washington University
The General University Requirements (GURs) embody Western’s belief that liberal education - education in breadth - is as important for informed and effective participation in contemporary life as specialized education.
Graduates of Western must be prepared for a complex, rapidly changing world. Students must be skilled communicators, able to critically analyze and use information, able to recognize and address the complex issues of the modern world, and able to become informed and effective citizens.
GURs engage first-year students immediately in the intellectual life of the University and helps them connect their disciplinary expertise to wider academic and cultural contexts. Western graduates complete not only a formal major in an academic or professional field, they also devote a significant part of their study to courses that are part of their GURs. Through the GURs, it is believed that students will lead fuller and more interesting lives, perceive and understand more of the world around and within them, and become engaged citizens of the world.
The program is designed to develop academic competencies and perspectives that give students the ability to:
- Analyze and communicate ideas effectively in oral, written, and visual forms
- Analyze and interpret information from varied sources, including print and visual media
- Use quantitative and scientific reasoning to frame and solve problems
- Identify and analyze complex problems
- Apply tools of technology, with an understanding of their uses and limitations
- Explore, imagine and create
- Recognize the rights, responsibilities, and privileges of participating in, and contributing as a citizen in, a diverse society
- Understand and evaluate assumptions, values, and beliefs in context of diverse local, national and global communities
- Work collaboratively and manage projects to effective completion
- Reflect on one’s own work and on the ethical dimensions of academic pursuits
- Understand and assess the impacts of interactions among the individual, society, and the environment
The General University Requirements apply to all students in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, the College of Business and Economics, the College of Sciences and Technology, the College of Fine and Performing Arts, Woodring College of Education, and Huxley College of the Environment. Students enrolled in Fairhaven College of Interdisciplinary Studies, see the Fairhaven College section of the University catalog for requirements.
- Students transferring to Western with a Washington community college Direct Transfer Agreement Associate Degree.
- Students transferring to Western from another Washington state public baccalaureate institution whose General University Requirements were complete at the sending institution, provided the sending institute so certifies.
A maximum of four courses from any one department may be applied to the combination of Humanities; Social Sciences; and Comparative Gender and Multicultural Studies sections of the General University Requirements. (Art, Design, and Art History are considered to be one department, as are all foreign languages.)
Grades in GUR Courses
Courses which are to apply to General University Requirements must be taken on an “A” through “F” grading scale, except for courses designated S/U grading. They may not be taken with pass/no pass grading. Except for ENG 101, which requires a C- or better, the minimum passing grade for a GUR course is D-.
Please note the use of GUR attributes in the online Timetable of Classes. Courses which qualify as General University Requirements are designated by the appropriate attribute (ACOM, BCOM, CCOM, QSR, HUM, SSC, ACGM, BCGM, LSCI, or SCI).
List of General University Requirements
The detailed document containing the full General University Requirements for the 2010-2011 academic year is available in the PDF format.
Transfer Credit to Satisfy GUR
Transfer students from Washington state community colleges may satisfy the GUR by taking courses listed on the transfer admission section of Western’s website.
Approved associate degrees from community colleges in Washington state may fulfill all General University Requirements. Students at community colleges who wish to satisfy the General University Requirements by earning an associate degree should check carefully with advisers, as only certain approved degrees will apply.
To meet the GUR, an approved associate degree is normally earned prior to initial enrollment at Western (on or off campus) as a transfer student. If any student wishes to complete such a degree in order to have it satisfy the GUR at Western, it must be earned by the time the student has 1) completed 45 credits at WWU, or 2) one calendar year has passed from initial enrollment at WWU, whichever comes later.
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.
Completion of lower-division General University Requirements will be granted to students who have completed all of the lower-division General University Requirements at another Washington state public baccalaureate institution, providing the sending institution so certifies.
Students pursuing a second baccalaureate degree at Western after completing a Bachelor of Arts at another regionally accredited institution will have fulfilled all General University Requirements. Those who have bachelor’s degrees other than the Bachelor of Arts must have their degree evaluated on a course-by-course basis to determine completion of the GUR.
NOTE: Certain programs may have admission standards which require the completion of the GUR prior to beginning study. Consult program advisers for details.
All degree-seeking students, on or off campus, must complete all other common requirements for baccalaureate degrees.
Scheduling of GUR Courses
The first year’s schedule ordinarily should investigate potential majors, explore subjects in which a student has little or no experience, sample the main fields represented in the GUR (humanities, social sciences, natural sciences), and meet basic requirements in writing and mathematics. Students who are interested in a particular major should begin the basic work of that major. Concurrently, they should use the GUR and other courses to investigate areas of potential interest besides that major. Students who are unsure about what their major will be should explore fields in which they are, or may become, interested, by taking introductory courses in those fields. Some GUR courses will serve this purpose. It is perfectly permissible, in this exploration, to take non-GUR courses also.
This strategy may be pursued in the sophomore year. By the third quarter of the sophomore year (more or less), students who take this approach should be ready to proceed in one of several majors, and will have also laid the basis for a liberal education.
It is strongly recommended that students continue the GUR into their junior and senior years, taking courses from the GUR list in which they have become interested, and also taking non-GUR electives. By doing this, students benefit from the interplay of “liberal” and “specialized” components of their education throughout their time at Western. A few majors require completion of the GUR before entering the major.
The student should study carefully the requirements of his or her major and the course descriptions before planning courses to satisfy the General University Requirements, as some required courses in the major may also apply to General University Requirements. If questions arise, the student should confer with a credit evaluator in the Registrar’s Office, OM 230.
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