May 25, 2022  
2011-2012 Catalog 
2011-2012 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Undergraduate Admission

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Old Main 200, 360-650-3440,

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 freshman, 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, motivation and creativity.

General Admissions Information

Admission to Western is selective as the number of qualified applicants exceeds the number of available enrollment spaces. Standards may vary from quarter to quarter dependent upon space availability. Criteria considered in the review process include academic achievement, activities, program of study and individual circumstances.

An Undergraduate Application for Admission is required of all freshman, transfer and post-baccalaureate applicants. International students must complete the International Student Undergraduate Application. Former Western undergraduate or post-baccalaureate students who wish to reapply must submit the Returning Student Application. All applications must be accompanied by a nonrefundable $55 application fee.

Application Deadlines and Procedures

Although some students are notified of an admission decision prior to the application deadline, the majority of decisions are not made until after the application deadline. All on-time applications are given equal consideration.

  • Fall Quarter
    • Freshman (includes all Running Start applicants) - January 31st 
    • Transfer, Post-bac, Former Western Student — April 1  
  • Winter Quarter — October 1
  • Spring Quarter — January 15
  • Summer Continuing to Fall
    • Freshman applications are not accepted for Summer Quarter
    • Transfer, Post-bac, Former Western Student — April 1   

International Student Application Deadlines

  • Fall Quarter - January 31st (for freshman and all students applying from out of country); April 1 (for transfer/post-bacs applying from another U.S. or Canadian institution)
  • Winter Quarter - October 1 (for all students applying from another U.S. or Canadian institution; applications not accepted from international students applying from out of country)
  • Spring Quarter - January 15 (for all students applying from another U.S. or Canadian institution; applications not accepted from international students applying from out of country)
  • Summer Quarter - January 31st (if applying from out of country); April 1 (if transfer/post-bac applying from another U.S. or Canadian institution), however international students are strongly discouraged from beginning Summer Quarter

Western extension program deadlines and fees may vary. Please contact the specific program for information. See the Extended Education and Summer Programs  and Woodring College of Education  sections in this catalog or for details.

All application materials, including official transcripts and test scores, if required, must be postmarked by the deadline. To be considered official, transcripts must be sent directly from the issuing institution or be delivered in an official, sealed envelope. Transcripts must be received from all institutions attended, regardless of whether or not credit is desired.

All admitted students, other than post baccalaureates, must confirm intent to enroll by submitting a nonrefundable $250 fee. This one-time enrollment fee funds a variety of academic support services related to new student orientation, advising, and academic success. Enrolling students must also provide proof of measles 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 grade point average (GPA), prerequisite course work, et cetera. Students should refer to the College sections of this catalog for specific major declaration requirements.

The Office of Admissions sponsors a variety of campus visit options for prospective students. Specific information may be obtained by contacting the Office of Admissions at 360-650-3440 or by visiting

Students of Color

In keeping with our belief that a quality education requires the exchange of ideas across cultural, social, political and religious differences, Western has a proactive commitment to diversify its student body. Students of color comprised 19.3 percent of Western’s fall, 2010, enrollment, compared with 13.2 percent of Western’s fall, 2000, student body.

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 encouraged to contact disAbility Resources for Students at 360-650-3083 or so services can be discussed and coordinated in a timely manner.

Freshman Admission

The most important criterion in the selection process is demonstrated academic achievement, including grade point average, quality and nature of course work, grade trends, and SAT or ACT scores. Activities, leadership, special talent, multicultural experience and individual circumstances are also considered. An essay and activities list are also required.

Students 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 Advanced Placement, honors, Running Start and International Baccalaureate, 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. Students are strongly encouraged to complete 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 chemistry or physics course with 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 foreign 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 appreciation, band, ceramics, choir, dance, dramatic performance, music, photography, et cetera. Courses in color guard, drafting, fashion design, sewing, woodworking, et cetera, are not acceptable.

Electives: One semester in any of the above areas is required.

Since the number of qualified applicants exceeds the number of available enrollment spaces, meeting minimum requirements is no guarantee of admission. Students who do not meet minimum eligibility requirements are 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 freshmen for admissions purposes, as long as the student attempts no college-level course work after high school graduation (excluding summer). The University will accept college credit in fulfillment of high school course requirements as indicated on the high school transcripts. College-level credit will be awarded in a manner consistent with standard transfer equivalency policies. To receive credit, students are responsible for submitting 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 freshman application procedures and meet freshman admission standards. This includes completion of the high school course requirements and submission of ACT or SAT exam scores.

Advanced Placement (College Board), International Baccalaureate, and Cambridge International Exams

Western encourages students to take Advanced Placement/ International Baccalaureate, and/or Cambridge International courses and exams where available. College-level credit will be granted to enrolling students who have scored a 3 or above on the AP exams and a 4 or above on the higher-level IB exams. See the University Academic Policies  section in this catalog for further details.

Admission Requirements for Home Schooled Students

All freshman applicants need to supply Western with SAT or ACT test scores along 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. The home-schooled student must demonstrate academic preparation comparable to general freshman admission requirements. While not required, GED scores can be helpful in assessing the preparation of nontraditional applicants.

Transfer Admission

Western welcomes transfer students in all majors and from all types of colleges and universities. A transfer applicant is a student who has attempted college credit after high school graduation. Please see the section on Freshman 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, and space availability are also considered. All transfer students 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 transferable GPA and a 2.0 in the quarters prior to application review and enrollment. Students applying with fewer than 45 completed transferable quarter credits also must meet freshman admission standards. Meeting minimums is no 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, including repeats, from all regionally accredited colleges the student has attended.

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. Students should refer to the College sections of this catalog for specific major declaration requirements.

Transfer Policies and Procedures

Western Washington University endorses the Higher Education Coordinating Board’s Policy on Inter-college Transfer and Articulation among Washington Public Colleges and Universities. Detailed transfer advising information, including course equivalency information, as well as a list of transfer student rights and responsibilities, is listed on the transfer admission section of Western’s website.

Transfer of Credit

In general, Western Washington University grants credit for baccalaureate-oriented courses completed at accredited institutions of higher education. Transfer of credit policies are developed by the University’s Admissions 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. Chief among them is accreditation. For transfer credit purposes, Western recognizes those institutions which have received accreditation by the Regional Associations of Schools and Colleges.

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, the student must earn a minimum of 45 resident credit hours through Western for graduation.

Lower-division transfer coursework that is deemed equivalent to an upper-division course cannot be used to satisfy WWU’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

Military credit

Students may receive up to 30 credits for educational training based on American Council of Education guidelines. To receive these credits students must submit either an official military transcript or DD-214 for review. These credits do not transfer from one institution to another and so may apply to the Direct Transfer Agreement (DTA) associate degree only as part of the 15 credits of nontransferable course work allowed under Inter-College Relations Commission (ICRC) guidelines.

Transfer of Associate Degrees

Direct Transfer Agreement (DTA) Associate Degree. Students who complete a DTA associate degree at a Washington State community college prior to initial enrollment at Western ordinarily will satisfy all of Western’s General University Requirements (GURs). To be accepted in lieu of Western’s GURs, the associate degree must meet 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.

An approved associate degree is generally 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 while enrolled at Western, it must be earned by the time the student has 1) completed 45 credits at Western, or 2) one calendar year has passed from initial enrollment, whichever comes later.

Associate of Science-Transfer Degree. Washington State community college students intent on earning a bachelor’s degree in biological sciences, chemistry, computer science, engineering technology, geology, or physics may be best served by completing the appropriate Associate of Science-Transfer degree prior to admission. While this degree will not 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-Transfer Degree is awarded.

General Education Transfer Agreement

Completion of lower-division General University Requirements (GURs) will be granted to students who have completed all of the lower-division General University Requirements at another Washington state public baccalaureate institution, provided the sending institution so certifies.

Post-Baccalaureate Admission

Space for students wishing to pursue teaching certification or a second bachelor’s degree is limited, and therefore admission is competitive. Cumulative GPA, nature of previous course work, proposed program of study, related experience, residency and individual circumstances are considered. Many post-baccalaureate students will find their educational needs can be met through enrollment options offered through Extended Education and Summer Programs or Western’s program for non-matriculated students. For more information, see the Extended Education and Summer Programs  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

Western’s student body includes representation from more than 35 countries. In addition to meeting admissions standards comparable to those required of other applicants, international students must demonstrate English proficiency and provide proof of full financial support for all expenses for one academic year.  Taking the ACT or SAT exam is required for freshman applicants and transfer applicants with fewer than 45 credits at time of application.

English proficiency is generally demonstrated by a minimum TOEFL score of 550 (paper-based), 213 (computer-based), or 80 (internet-based).  Applicants who include TOEFL results will be given the strongest consideration.  However, applicants with lower TOEFL scores, and/or applicants who are unable to take the TOEFL, may be admitted with an Academic English Program (AEP) provision if they have previously studied in the United States, completed college-level English 101 and English 102 prior to enrollment earning grades of B (3.0) or better, and demonstrate strong academic achievement.  Students who are admitted with an AEP provision enroll in regular university courses in their majors during the first quarter at Western, in addition to advanced Academic English courses offered through the Intensive English Program (IEP) at Western.

Western also offers a conditional admission option for international students who demonstrate strong academic potential but will benefit from Western’s Intensive English Program prior to gaining full admission to Western.

Due to application processing time constraints, out-of-country international student applications are not accepted for winter and spring quarters.

Conditional Admission

International undergraduate applicants who do not yet meet the minimum TOEFL requirement or who wish to have more language preparation before entering a degree program may apply for conditional admission, which requires English language course work to be completed prior to admission to Western. Students accepted for conditional admission must have a minimum TOEFL score of 500 (paper-based)/173 (computer-based)/68 (Internet-based) and must fulfill all other requirements for undergraduate admission. Before enrolling in their first credit class, conditional admission students attend Western’s Intensive English Program (IEP) full time for at least one quarter, take the IEP Academic English classes (academic preparation, writing, reading, and oral communications) and score at least 520/190 on the TOEFL. Students may apply for conditional admission while enrolled in the IEP, or they may apply directly to the Office of Admissions. For more information, contact the Intensive English Program office at 360-650-3755, send e-mail to, or visit the IEP webpage at

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 a Returning Student Application 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.

A former Western student who returns to the University after an absence of five years or more may be given permission to start a new cumulative grade average. The Fresh Start application deadline is the end of the first week of the quarter in which the student returns. The application should be submitted to the Registrar’s Office. 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 extension program students returning to the same Western Washington University extension program to pursue a first bachelor’s degree or post-baccalaureate study must complete the appropriate Extension Program Returning Student Application and submit it with a $55 nonrefundable application fee.

Extension Program Admission Information

Western’s general admissions requirements apply to all extension programs. Additional application procedures may be required. Extension program deadlines and fees may vary. The extension program sites offer informational sessions for prospective students. For specific program information, see the Extended Education and Summer Programs  and Woodring College of Education  sections in this catalog.

Applicants to Western’s Extended Programs must complete the appropriate Extension Undergraduate Application and submit it with a $55 nonrefundable application fee. International applicants to Western’s extension programs must also complete the Extension International Supplement. Applications are available at all extension sites or online on the admissions website.

Former Western extension program students returning to a Western extension program must complete the Extension Program Returning Student Application and submit with a $55 nonrefundable application fee.

Special 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. Special students and auditors must submit a Special Student Enrollment Form to the Registrar’s Office each quarter. The form can be found online at:

Early Admission/Concurrent Enrollment While in High School

Students who plan to graduate from high school early should follow standard freshman admission procedures.

Students interested in concurrently enrolling in courses while also attending high school may apply at the Registrar’s Office to take courses as non-matriculated students. This program allows eligible students to enroll in courses on a space available basis. Students who are interested in being formally admitted as matriculated students while staying in high school must demonstrate superior academic achievement, fulfill all freshman admission requirements, and demonstrate that they have exhausted all academic opportunities available through their high school and local community college. Concurrently enrolled high school students are not eligible for financial aid or WWU scholarships.

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