May 29, 2024  
Undergraduate Catalog 2013-14 
Undergraduate Catalog 2013-14 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]


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Admission Policies

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Western Michigan University admits students whose educational backgrounds indicate a high probability for success in college work.

Whether students apply online, mail the application, or have a one-on-one onsite admission, the major factors considered in the admission decision are grade point average, ACT/SAT scores (optional writing test recommended), college prep courses taken, and trend of grades. Additionally, other variables, such as letters of recommendation, the optional essay, and extra-curricular activities are reviewed.

WMU strongly recommends that applicants complete a rigorous college preparatory curriculum that would include minimally: four years of English; three years of mathematics, including Algebra I and higher (fourth year preferred); three years of social sciences; three years of science (at least two from biology, chemistry or physics); and two years of foreign language. Beginning 2011, students graduating from a Michigan high school are expected to meet the requirements of the Michigan Merit Curriculum.

Offers of admission made to students still in high school are provisional pending graduation from high school and the University’s review of final senior year grades. Poor performance may result in a change of admission status or withdrawal of the admission offer.

In reviewing applications from prospective transfer students, the University makes decisions on the basis of previous work completed at all institutions, as well as the trend of the most recent grades. If fewer than 26 hours will be transferred, a high school transcript is also required for review.

Offers of admission made to students currently enrolled in another college or university are provisional, pending successful completion of work in progress. Poor performance may result in a change in admission status or withdrawal of the admission offer.

The University reserves the right to withdraw, revoke, and/or cancel an admission decision for any reason, and at any time, it deems warranted. This right shall also apply in instances when the University acquires information about an applicant or student after an admission decision is made.

Admission to Western Michigan University is non-discriminatory.



Students who make an initial enrollment at Western but do not return the following semester/term will have one year’s valid admission status in which to re-enroll, providing they left in good standing and have not attended another college since leaving WMU. After one year, students in good standing and with no college work since leaving WMU may reactivate their admission status by completing a readmission form.

Students who leave the University in good standing and subsequently take additional college work must complete a readmission application form and have official transcripts sent from each institution attended. The readmission decision will be made under existing transfer admission standards.

Dismissed students applying for readmission must complete a readmission application and obtain an authorized college advisor’s approval for readmission. University students who have been dismissed will normally not be readmitted for at least one fifteen week semester. The University will require evidence that the causes of past academic problems have been removed before approving readmission.

Forgiveness Policy


WMU undergraduate students who have not earned a degree and have not attended the University for at least four years may apply for academic forgiveness through the Office of the Registrar. Students who are granted academic forgiveness may have work still applicable to their program counted toward graduation requirements, but grades will not be calculated in their grade point average. The WMU grade point average will be calculated from a minimum of twelve graded hours of work attempted after the re-entry date. All other University regulations apply. As a matter of course, the Registrar will advise students granted forgiveness to meet with a college advisor.

Admission Procedures for Domestic Students

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Freshman Applicants

To be considered for freshman admission, with no previous college work, (excluding dual enrollment while in high school), applicants should:

  1. Complete either the online or paper application and pay the $40 non-refundable application fee. The online application is available at
  2. Have your high school counselor complete the school’s portion of the paper application, or the Online Application High School Verification Form and send it along with an official copy of your high school transcript directly to the Office of Admissions;
  3. Make arrangements to take the examinations of the American College Testing (ACT) Program, or the College Board (SAT), with results sent directly to Western Michigan University (ACT College Code 2066; SAT College Code 1902);
  4. For those who have completed a General Educational Development (GED) Test, submit official GED scores as well as a high school transcript.

When to Apply

Students should submit applications for fall semester during the fall preceding their enrollment. High school students may apply for freshman admission after completion of the junior year. Applications that are complete (application, transcript, test scores, application fee) and received by December 1 will receive priority consideration for scholarships.

Admission Interviews

In order to make the best possible decision for an individual student, an admissions officer may require a personal interview to clarify or explain parts of the application materials.

Advanced Placement

The Advanced Placement Program (AP) of the College Board provides the opportunity for students to earn college credit while still in high school. WMU awards credit for all AP areas. An AP score of three (3) or better will earn credit in all areas except physics, which requires four (4) or five (5). For those wishing to participate, have AP send a score report to WMU, College Code 1902. Detailed information can be found at

International Baccalaureate

Western Michigan University awards credit for IB higher level (HL) exam scores of 5 or better. To obtain information about the IB higher level subjects granted credit, visit

Campus Visits

Whether you will be a freshman or transfer student, visiting campus is an important step in learning more about WMU. The Office of Admissions offers a variety of visit programs throughout the year, which include general information presentation and a walking tour of the main campus. For more information, or to arrange a visit, go online to

Notification of Status

The University notifies freshman applicants of their admission status on a rolling basis. When all materials are on file and the Admissions Committee acts, students will receive written notice. The decision may be to admit; to request additional grades, test scores, or an interview; or to ask the applicant to begin at another school and transfer to the University after establishing a successful college record.

Admission of students to freshman status while they are still in high school is conditional upon their graduation from high school and the University’s review of their final grades. Poor performance in the senior year may cause a change in admission status or withdrawal of the admission offer.

Alpha Program

The Alpha Program is a one-year conditional admission academic support program for first-year students. The program provides developmental academic advising, alerts students to University resources, and requires attendance at skill-building workshops.

Consideration is given to those students who do not meet WMU’s regular admissions criteria but who have demonstrated the potential for college-level work. The Office of Admissions determines eligibility of applicants for admission as Alpha students. Selected students and their parents or guardians are required to sign a program contract accepting conditions of admissions.


The foundation for an intellectually engaged and socially involved freshman class of students is established in the first year. Events and programs are offered that will assist students, enrich academic and campus life, and encourage retention. The First Year Experience program is designed to address those topics, and new students will receive information about the program following admission to WMU.

Transfer Applicants


To be considered for admission as a transfer from another college or university, students should:

  1. Complete either the online or paper application and pay the $40 non-refundable application fee. The online application is available at
  2. Request that each college attended send an official transcript directly to the Office of Admissions at WMU (transcripts brought or sent by the student cannot be accepted as official). Failure to report all colleges attended will invalidate the application and may result in dismissal if admitted. Failure to report all colleges attended will invalidate the application and may subject an admitted applicant to dismissal, in addition to disqualifying the applicant from receiving transfer credit for work at schools not reported. Applicants currently enrolled at another institution should have a partial transcript sent to WMU. A provisional admission decision and partial credit evaluation may be made to allow for advising and registration. A final transcript showing acceptable grades must be received within the first term of enrollment at Western; and
  3. If transferring fewer than twenty-six college semester hours, submit a high school transcript and ACT/SAT scores.

When to Apply

Applicants are strongly advised to submit all materials (application, fee, transcripts) in January to be considered for the Fall semester, in September for the Spring semester, and in December for Summer I or II sessions. The priority application deadlines are August 1 for fall semester and December 1 for spring semester. After these dates, the Office of Admissions will work with students who complete their application file in time to enroll for the requested term. In some cases admission may need to be deferred to a subsequent term.

Notification of Status

The University notifies transfers of their admission status on a rolling basis. When all materials are on file and the Admissions Committee acts, students receive notification. The decision may be to admit, to hold a decision for work in progress at another institution, or to suggest a student complete more and/or better work before being accepted.

Admission of students attending another institution is provisional, dependent upon successful completion of the work in progress. Poor performance may change the admission status or cause withdrawal of the admission offer.

Credit Evaluation


Students Transferring to WMU

Students accepted for transfer to WMU will receive an evaluation of their previous college work, showing courses transferred with WMU equivalencies. Course equivalencies for Michigan’s public community colleges and other transfer information are available in the counseling offices of those community colleges or at the Office of Admissions website Credit transfer information for other institutions is also available from the Office of Admissions.

Transferable courses completed at another college will be accepted for credit only, and only courses in which a “C” or better was earned will be eligible for transfer. Grades earned in those classes will be used only to determine admissibility to the University; they will not be recorded on the WMU transcript. Credit earned by examination does not normally transfer to the University. Students who have taken AP or CLEP examinations should have official score reports sent to the Office of Admissions, according to the “Credit By Examination” information elsewhere in this catalog.

Western Michigan University normally accepts work taken at a college or university accredited by a regional accrediting agency (for example, North Central Association of Colleges and Schools). Work taken at a college or university accredited by an agency other than a regional accrediting agency may be accepted on a provisional basis, subject to validation. The validation process consists of successful, subsequent completion of 26 semester hours of course work at WMU or at another regionally accredited school with a minimum GPA of 2.0. Trend of the most recent grades also will be taken into account. The credit will be awarded after the validation has been completed.

College credit from foreign institutions will be evaluated by the Haenicke Institute’s International Admissions Services Office and transfer credit awarded on a course-by-course basis depending on the result.

WMU Students Transferring Credit Back to WMU

All regulations and procedures concerning transfer of credit for new students also apply to WMU students who take work at other institutions to transfer back to Western. Before enrolling at another institution, WMU students should discuss course selection with their WMU academic advisor and a credit evaluator in the Office of Admissions to ensure transferability.


All admitted transfer students should make arrangements for an advising session with an appropriate WMU college advisor as soon as they have their admission materials and credit evaluation. At this session students will learn how transferred courses apply to the WMU major and will select courses for registration. Registration may be completed after the advising session. Admitted transfer students should contact their college advising office to arrange an advising session. Transfer students should meet with their advisor and register during the registration periods available to current WMU students and should not wait until just before the beginning of classes.


For students starting at WMU in the Fall or Spring semester, one-day Transfer Transition Programs will cover vital information about campus facilities, academic expectations, University services, and student activities. Information will be sent to students after admission.

Admission Procedures for International Students

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The Haenicke Institute’s Office of International Admissions and Services (IAS) handles the special needs of international students by processing applications for admission, conducting orientation programs for new international students, assisting with housing arrangements, coordinating community programs involving international students, providing immigration advice, serving as liaison between students and their financial sponsors, and offering personal and social counseling.

International students interested in seeking admission to Western Michigan University may contact the IAS for application forms and instructions, download forms, or apply on-line at

To qualify for admission, international students must show that they are academically, financially, and linguistically capable of succeeding in full-time study. Before an international student can be admitted and the Certificate of Eligibility for a visa issued, the student must:

  1. Complete an application form and return it to the Office of International Admissions and Services with a $100.00 application/document fee or begin the international admissions process at in the international category.
  2. Provide complete and official transcripts of secondary and undergraduate studies as well as copies of diplomas, certificates or degrees earned. These must be translated into English and list course titles and grades (marks) received for each.
  3. Provide proof of adequate funding per academic year. This funding amount includes tuition, room and board, books, and health insurance ($29,925/$32,001 for undergraduate applicants). Personal/family savings must be verified by a bank statement. If sponsored by a government, or other agency, an official letter must be submitted showing that the scholarship is valid for use at WMU, and indicating beginning and ending dates of validity.
  4. Complete the Student and Dependent Information form and provide a copy of passport I.D. page.
  5. Provide proof of English competency. The following tests and scores are accepted at Western Michigan University as measures of English competency. This requirement is waived for students from certain countries (see

    Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) A score of 500 PBT (61 IBT) is required for restricted admission (part-time remedial English and part-time academics during the first semester) or 550 PBT (80 IBT) for unrestricted admission.
    Michigan English Language Assessment Battery (MELAB) A score of 69 is required for restricted admission or 77 for unrestricted admission.
    General Certificate of Education Advanced Level Pass in English with grade of A, B, or C from one of the five British-based examining boards only. This is equivalent to a 550 TOEFL.
    International English Language Testing System (IELTS) Academic Module. A score of 6 is required for restricted admission or 6.5 for unrestricted admission.
    International Baccalaureate (IB) A grade of 5 in English is required at the Higher Level for unrestricted admission.
    Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE) or Certificate in Advanced English (CAE) A passing grade is required for unrestricted enrollment.
    CELCIS Successful completion of the advanced level and instructor recommendations from CELCIS. Completion of ELS Language Centers Level 112 will give unrestricted admission.

A prospective student may enroll in the WMU Center for English Language and Culture International Students (CELCIS) until achieving the required TOEFL score for academic enrollment or completion of the advanced level with instructor recommendation. For more information, contact the CELCIS Office or see


Nontraditional Admission Programs


Non-degree Admission

Students who do not seek a degree and only wish to take classes should request this admission status. Students who have been enrolled in any academic institution within the preceding five years must meet the same admission requirements and follow the same admission procedures as degree-seeking students. Acceptance for non-degree status does not constitute degree admission to WMU. If a non-degree admitted student subsequently decides to apply to a specific WMU degree program, the applicant will be expected to meet all University and program-specific admission requirements. The time period for any “Non-degree Admission” status may not exceed four years from the time such admission status is granted. Applicants for non-degree admission:

  1. Should complete a regular application for admission and indicate non-degree status for program choice;
  2. may register for any course for which the prerequisites and/or course restrictions have been met; and
  3. may enroll in subsequent terms for up to four years in non-degree status, providing they meet University probation and dismissal standards (see Academic Standards in the Registration, Records, and Regulations section of this catalog).

Certain University courses and financial aid may not be available to non-degree students.

Guest Students

Students who are currently in attendance and in good academic standing (at least a 2.0 grade point average) at another college or university may apply to Western Michigan University to take classes as a guest student. Guests should work with their home institution in advance to determine the appropriate classes to be taken at WMU. Guest admission does not constitute degree admission to WMU. Students seeking Guest status should use the guest application available from the Office of Admissions website or their current institution.

High School Dual Enrollees 

Students who wish to take courses at the University while still in high school should submit a High School Dual Enrollment application (available from the Office of Admissions or from the Office of Admissions website). Seniors with at least a 3.25 high school grade point average will normally be admitted. Freshman through juniors with at least a 3.50 grade point average will be considered for enrollment on a case-by-case basis. In either instance, admission as a high school dual enrollment student does not constitute degree admission. Students who wish to apply for degree admission must be considered under regular admission standards.

Project Scope (Senior Citizens’ Opportunity Program in Education)

The following are the key features of the Senior Citizen’s Opportunity in Education Program:

  1. Senior citizens (persons 62 years of age or older) may qualify.
  2. Enrollees may register in one regularly scheduled class, tuition free, each semester or session on a seat-available basis during the drop/add period. The late registration fee is waived.
  3. Enrollees may not register for credit.
  4. Only academic facilities necessary for the performance in class are accessible to SCOPE participants. SCOPE enrollees do not have access to normal services available to regular students such as the Sindecuse Health Center, Student Recreation Center, student discounts, etc. Special identification cards are issues to SCOPE participants.
  5. Regular, degree-seeking admission is not extended to enrollees so the admission application fee is waived.
  6. Special course fees for materials, trips, etc. are assessed.
  7. Specific courses may not be available to SCOPE students due to space availability.

The Western EdgeTM


The Western Edge is a strategic plan to promote student success and to help keep the quality education offered by Western Michigan University affordable. Designed by WMU President John M. Dunn, the Western Edge reflects Western’s commitment to build a culture that puts students first.

The goal of the Western Edge is to provide incentives to behaviors that lead to student success. For instance, research has shown that students who live on campus do better both academically and socially than those who live off campus. Similarly, students who declare their major early and take a full load of courses (typically 15 hours per semester) tend to reach degree completion at a much higher rate than those who do not. The Western Edge both encourages as well as rewards these positive choices taken by our students.

The Western Edge has five independent components:

Retention Scholarship - Freshmen and transfer students who maintain a 3.0 or higher GPA while earning at least 30 credits from WMU in their first year on campus will receive a $500 scholarship when they return the following fall to WMU. That financial incentive, coupled with the University’s commitment to keep tuition affordable, can help to keep students in school and on track toward their degree.

Enhanced Academic Scholarship - College and departmental academic advisors as well as electronic resources help move students smoothly and promptly through their degree programs.

Accelerated Degree Programs - A number of degree programs at WMU are designed to help students work quickly toward bachelor completion; some enable a student to graduate with a bachelor’s degree in as few as three years (including summers) and a bachelor’s and master’s degree in five years.

Fixed Room and Board Rates - Freshmen and transfer students who opt to stay in campus residence halls will pay the same rates for room and board for up to four years from the time they begin at WMU.

Career Edge - Career Edge helps WMU students to engage their learning beyond the classroom to develop the skills they need to be competitive in their chosen profession. This is done through an emphasis on career planning, pursuit of a co-op or internship opportunity, and by documenting accomplishments with a portfolio or co-curricular transcript.

Students are encouraged to select the components of the Western Edge that work best for them - we realize that no two students are the same. Some students will want to enjoy the benefits of all these components; others may want to select only those components that fit their current educational objectives.

For more information about the different components of the Western Edge, go to To learn how the Western Edge fits with a specific major, or to learn more about three and five year accelerated degree programs, students are encouraged to visit their college advising office.