A faculty or professional staff member trained to help students select courses and plan programs.
Dismissal from a college or program for not maintaining the required grade point average (GPA). Dismissal indicates that a student is no longer a member of the University community.
WMU undergraduate students who have not earned a degree and have not attended the University for at least four years, and have reapplied to the University, 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 12 graded hours of work attempted after the reentry date. All other University regulations apply.
The academic standing of a student is determined by the student’s grade point average (GPA). All undergraduate students must have a 2.0 or better grade point average to maintain “good standing”. A “warning” will be issued to a student whose GPA falls below a 2.0 in any semester or session even though the overall GPA is 2.0 or better. A student will be placed on “probation” if the overall GPA falls below 2.0. The student will be placed on “extended probation” following a semester on probation if the student’s GPA for the enrollment period is 2.0 or above but the overall GPA is still below 2.0. The student will be placed on “final probation” following a semester on extended probation if the student’s GPA for the enrollment period is 2.0 or above but the overall GPA is still below 2.0. Students will receive a “dismissal” notice if they are on probation or extended probation and fail to achieve at least a 2.0 GPA for the enrollment period.
Credit granted for examination programs or for transfer work.
Registering for and attending class(es) regularly without being held responsible for the work required for credit. Not eligible to sit for examinations. No credit hours are earned and full tuition must be paid. The grade “AU” appears on the record.
Baccalaureate-level writing requirement
An upper-division requirement for all students. Each academic department designates courses to fulfill this requirement.
A degree granted after completing a specified amount of academic study beyond the completion of high school and fulfilling all graduation requirements.
A term used for the meal plan (as in, room and board) at the University.
Capstone course or experience
A culminating holistic experience designed to review and more broadly understand the major issues, themes, theories, and research findings of the student’s discipline, often to enable the student to examine the relationship of the discipline to other areas.
An organizational unit formed for purposes of linkage and visibility, focused on a theme, issue, or set of skills. A center will frequently be interdisciplinary in nature. A center does not offer degree programs but may, on rare occasions, offer a course or courses.
Class or credit hour load
The number of credit hours carried by a student each semester or session. A first semester freshman may not enroll for more than eighteen hours of work except by special permission, which is seldom granted unless the curriculum demands it. This regulation applies to total credit for work taken by extension or in some other institution, in addition to credit earned in residence at Western. The normal maximum load for the Summer I or Summer II session is nine hours.
A classification based on the number of credit hours earned which indicates the level of a student:
- Freshman: A student credited with 0—25 hours inclusive.
- Sophomore: A student credited with 26—55 hours inclusive.
- Junior: A student credited with 56—87 hours inclusive.
- Senior: A student credited with 88 or more hours.
Co-curricular learning takes place outside formal academic studies. It is similar to volunteerism, but includes structured reflection. (See Experiential Learning)
A course, or courses, related in some way to courses in a major. Cognates may be, and often are, courses outside the department of the degree program.
An administrative division of the University housing one or more academic departments or schools.
College-level writing requirement
A lower-division writing requirement for all students. On the basis of test scores a basic writing course may be required as a prerequisite.
A concentration (or option or emphasis) is a thematically coherent block of courses that are more similar to one another than to others in the degree program. A concentration has a title and constitutes a significant percentage (e.g., 10%) of courses in the degree program. Concentrations (or options or emphases) may be recorded on the student transcript.
Continuing education unit (CEU)
Recognition for participation in a non-credit program or workshop.
A major—often interdisciplinary—that must be taken in conjunction with another major.
A course that must be taken at the same time as another course. See also Prerequisite below.
Course numbering system
The course numbering system is limited to four digits. Undergraduate courses are numbered from 1000 through 4999. Graduate courses are numbered 6000 through 7999. Courses numbered 5000 through 5999 are for graduate and advanced undergraduate students.
|Terminal course credit that may not be applied toward degree programs
|Courses primarily for first-year students
|Courses primarily for Sophomores
|Courses primarily for Juniors and Seniors
|Courses primarily for Seniors
|Courses for graduate students and advanced undergraduate students
|Courses for graduate students only
|Graduate seminars, theses, independent research, etc.
A method used to evaluate performance in courses which is separate from the grade point system. Course grade does not affect GPA. “Credit” is earned for grades of “C” or better; grades of “DC” or below earn “No Credit.”
Students may elect for Credit/No Credit any course approved for General Education or General Physical Education credit, as well as other courses not counting toward their major or specified in their curriculum as defined in this undergraduate catalog.
One hour of classroom (50 minutes) or direct faculty instruction and a minimum of two hours of out of class student work each week for approximately fifteen weeks for one semester hour of credit; or at least an equivalent amount of work for other academic activities as established by the institution including laboratory work, internships, practica, studio work, and other academic work leading to the award of credit hours. See also “semester hour.”
The total number of credits for which a student registers during a semester or session.
A complete program of studies, as defined by a college, leading to a baccalaureate (undergraduate) degree.
The date by which certain information must be received by any given office or unit.
A public announcement at the end of fall and spring semesters, and the summer sessions, listing students who have achieved a grade point average of 3.50 in at least twelve semester hours of course work during fall and spring semesters, and at least six semester hours of work during Summer I or Summer II.
A student who has been admitted to a degree category and is seeking a bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degree in a planned course of study.
A General Education requirement. Each undergraduate candidate must complete at least one course in each of eight (8) distribution areas:
- Fine Arts
- United States: Cultures and Issues
- Other Cultures and Civilizations
- Social and Behavioral Sciences
- Natural Science with Lab
- Natural Science and Technology
- Health and Well-Being
An official procedure for withdrawing from individual classes without removing registration from all classes. The deadline for the last day to drop a course without academic penalty (grade of “W” is on the transcript) is noted each semester or session on the Registrar’s website. Students who do not follow the official procedure when dropping a class will earn the grade of “X” for that course; the “X” grade carries no honor points and affects the GPA in the same manner as an “E” or failing grade. See also “late drop.”
A course which will count as credit toward a degree but is not a specific program requirement.
A designated group of courses within a major program.
Western Michigan University defines “experiential learning” as that which “informs many methodologies, in which educators purposefully engage with students in direct experience and focused reflection in order to increase knowledge, develop skills, clarify values, and develop people’s capacity to contribute to their communities” [Association for Experiential Education and United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)]. Experiential leaning includes, but is not limited to:
Service Learning: Service learning is a mutually beneficial endeavor in which course learning objectives are met by addressing community-identified needs–putting academics into practice.
Co-Curricular Learning: Co-curricular learning takes place outside formal academic studies. It is similar to volunteerism, but includes structured reflection.
Volunteerism: Refers to work done without financial remuneration in order to give back to the community and may be completed by individual students or organized group activities. It may be done on a voluntary basis or as required for an academic course, program or other campus organization.
Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)
This act limits information which can be disclosed about individual students’ records without their written permission to general Directory information (name, address, telephone number, curriculum, and major field of study). All requests for information beyond Directory information should be referred to the Registrar’s Office.
Field experience, practicum, work experience, co-op
Field experience: Actual practice, often away from the college campus, in a practical or service situation. In a teacher education program, it is usually conducted in schools.
Practicum: 1) A course of instruction aimed at closely relating the study of theory and practical experience, both usually carried on simultaneously; 2) an academic exercise consisting of study and practical work; and 3) supervised experience in counseling or a similar activity through such procedures as role-playing, recorded interviews, abstraction, analysis, and supervisory evaluation with interviewing techniques.
Work experience, co-op, or internship: A sponsored learning experience in an occupational area for persons preparing for full-time employment, conducted in connection with a course of study, where the students spend a part of their time on an actual job in a school, business, or industry.
Cooperative education: A program for persons enrolled in a school that provides for parallel or alternating study in school with a job in industry or business, the two experiences being so planned and supervised cooperatively by the school and the employer that each contributes definitely to the students’ development in their chosen occupation.
Cooperative program: An organizational pattern of instruction which involves regularly scheduled employment and which gives students an opportunity to apply classroom learning.
An undergraduate student who enrolls for twelve credit hours during Fall or Spring or for six credit hours during Summer I or Summer II. The University does allow full-time status to some co-op and intern classes, when it is the only class allowed a student during a semester or session. University Housing has its own regulations on the definition of hours needed to be eligible for housing contracts. Students should contact the University Housing Office for this information. The above definitions are Western Michigan University regulations and may or may not be accepted by other agencies.
A course in fundamentals in which a student must achieve a grade of “C” or “Credit” in order to qualify for enrollment in upper division courses of a curriculum.
A designation that signifies that a student is eligible to continue, to return, or to transfer elsewhere. It implies good academic standing; that is, an overall GPA of 2.00 or better.
The numerical value given to letter grades. For example an “A” is equivalent to 4 points per semester hour, a “BA” to 3.5 points, a “B” to 3 points and so on. No points are earned for an “E” grade. Also referred to as “honor points.”
Grade point average (GPA)
A student’s scholastic average computed by dividing total grade or honor points by total credit hours attempted.
A formal, required evaluation of the student’s academic record and program of study to determine the student’s eligibility for graduation. The audit, initiated by a student’s application for graduation, determines whether all University, degree, and program requirements have been met satisfactorily.
Deadlines for all degree recipients to apply for graduation are August 1 for December graduation, December 1 for April graduation, February 1 for June graduation, and February 1 for August graduation.
Students who change a graduation date need to complete a new application for graduation. No fee for the change is required. The Registrar’s Office will not change a student’s graduation date unless the student submits this new application for graduation.
Financial assistance awarded to a student which does not have to be repaid; usually based on need.
A degree student from another college who is taking courses at Western Michigan University for one semester. The credits earned are usually transferred back to the student’s home institution. A guest student may also wish to enroll in WMU courses for reasons other than seeking a degree. Guest student status does not constitute admission to a degree or certificate program.
A barrier placed on a student’s ability to register for classes as a result of an unfulfilled monetary obligation or other action by the University.
Designation indicated on the college degree and transcript to reflect outstanding scholarship. Honors are conferred upon graduating students who have displayed a high level of performance during their university career. Recipients of honors receive their degrees:
Cum laudewhen their grade point average is 3.50 to 3.69, inclusive
Magna cum laudewhen their grade point average is 3.70 to 3.89, inclusive
Summa cum laudewhen their grade point average is 3.90 to 4.00, inclusive
To be eligible for honors, students must have earned at least fifty semester hours of course work at Western Michigan University which was graded by a letter grade and computed into the final cumulative grade point average.
Honors College (Lee Honors College)
An academic administrative unit of the University whose mission is to design and foster curricular and co-curricular programs for the academically-talented student.
Special courses offered by Western’s Lee Honors College designed to pose intellectual challenge and give personal attention to particularly able students.
A temporary course grade (“I”) granted only if a student is temporarily unable to complete course requirements because of unusual circumstances beyond the control of the student.
Independent studies or readings courses
Independent studies or readings courses are courses in which a contract is developed between a faculty member and a student to complete research in, or readings on, a specific topic. The student is responsible for proposing the topic and contacting the appropriate faculty member.
A course of study undertaken outside the classroom by a student under the supervision of one or more faculty members.
An organizational unit similar in nature to a center, as defined above, but which is degree-granting. Typically an institute will be interdisciplinary. Course work for a degree offered through an institute may include some offered by the institute itself but will be primarily comprised of courses in various disciplines/departments already in existence.
Intellectual skills requirements
The requirement that all students demonstrate entry-level competency in reading, writing, and mathematics by test or course.
Designating a combination of subject matter from two or more disciplines within a course or program.
Work in a firm or agency related to a student’s major program and/or career plans. Usually involves earning college credit and may involve receiving payment.
An official procedure for withdrawing from individual classes without removing registration from all classes that takes place after the last day to drop a course without academic penalty.
Financial assistance to students which must be repaid. Low interest loans are available and financial need may or may not be a factor.
Courses at the 10002000 level; freshman or sophomore standing.
A concentration of related courses generally consisting of thirty to fifty semester hours of credit.
Michigan residence requirements
The requirements for identifying or establishing permanent residence in Michigan for tuition assessment purposes.
A concentration of courses generally consisting of a minimum of twenty semester hours of credit.
Multi-topic or “umbrella” course
A variable topic course that focuses on a current or a special interest in a specific field or academic area. The course may be repeated for credit with different topics.
A student who has been admitted as a guest student or is not currently seeking a bachelor’s degree.
An undergraduate student who takes fewer than twelve hours during a semester or fewer than six hours during a session.
A collection of work (e.g., paintings, writings, etc.) which may be used to demonstrate competency in an academic area.
A requirement, usually the completion of another course, which must be met before a student may register for a course.
Prerequisite with concurrency
A requirement, usually the completion of another course, which may be taken at the same time as the course it is a prerequisite for.
A General Education requirement. Each undergraduate candidate must show proficiency in four (4) areas:
- college-level writing
- baccalaureate-level writing
- college level mathematics or quantitative reasoning
- enhanced proficiency (one of six options).
An enrollment procedure administered by the Office of Admissions that is followed by a student who was previously enrolled in good standing at Western Michigan University but who has not been enrolled for one year or more.
An enrollment procedure followed by a student who was previously enrolled in good standing at Western Michigan University but whose attendance was interrupted for two consecutive semesters, including the summer session.
The process of enrolling in and paying tuition and fees for courses each semester or session. For a full explanation of the registration procedures and regulations, consult the Registrar’s website.
An appeal procedure for a student who has been dismissed. Consult your college advising office to begin the procedure. Readmission must be sought in the area of intended study.
The requirement that a minimum of 30 semester hour of course work for the bachelor’s degree be completed at Western Michigan University. In addition, 10 of the last 30 credits must be completed at WMU.
Financial assistance to students awarded on the basis of academic achievement. Financial need may or may not be a factor.
A single-discipline unit which has an identification in the public mind beyond that of a department. Schools may have significant subdivisions such that students will apply for admission and take degrees through the subdivision rather than through the central unit as a whole.
A unit of time, 15 weeks long, in the academic calendar.
One hour of classroom (50 minutes) or direct faculty instruction and a minimum of two hours of out of class student work each week for approximately fifteen weeks for one semester hour of credit; or at least an equivalent amount of work for other academic activities as established by the institution including laboratory work, internships, practica, studio work, and other academic work leading to the award of credit hours. See also “credit hour.”
An institution of higher learning offering baccalaureate programs. Western Michigan University is a public senior institution; a minimum of sixty hours toward the bachelor’s degree must be completed at a senior institution.
Service learning is a mutually beneficial endeavor in which course learning objectives are met by addressing community-identified needs–putting academics into practice. (See Experiential Learning)
A unit of time, 7-1/2: weeks long, in the academic calendar.
Part-time jobs made available to students with financial need through federally-funded programs (Work-Study) and to students without need through the Student Employment Office.
A state-approved major/minor program for teacher certification at the secondary and/or elementary level.
Three-quarter time student
Three-quarter time undergraduate students are defined as taking nine to eleven hours during a semester and five hours during a session.
A copy of a student’s permanent academic record at a particular institution.
Credit earned at another accredited institution and accepted towards a Western Michigan University degree. Grades earned at another institution do not transfer and hence do not affect the WMU GPA.
Transfer credit evaluation
An official statement which indicates the number and type of transfer credits awarded.
The amount of money which must be paid for courses based on the number of credits for which the student registers.
Center: An organizational unit formed for purposes of linkage and visibility, focused on a theme, issue, or set of skills. A center will frequently be interdisciplinary in nature. A center does not offer degree programs but may, on rare occasions, offer a course or courses.
Institute: An organizational unit similar in nature to a center, as defined above, but which is degree-granting. Typically an institute will be interdisciplinary. Course work for a degree offered through an institute may include some offered by the institute itself but will be primarily comprised of courses in various disciplines/departments already in existence.
School: A single-discipline organizational unit which has an identification in the public mind beyond that of a department. Schools may have significant subdivisions such that students will apply for admission and take degrees through the subdivision rather than through the central unit as a whole.
Unit of credit
The unit of credit is the semester hour; the number of semester hours credit given for a course generally indicates the number of periods a class meets each week.
Classification of students with 56 or more semester hours of credit earned towards a bachelor’s degree; courses at the 3000, 4000, and 5000 levels.
Refers to work done without financial remuneration in order to give back to the community and may be completed by individual students or organized group activities. It may be done on a voluntary basis or as required for an academic course, program or other campus organization. (See Experiential Learning)
An official procedure for withdrawing from the University for at least the remainder of the current semester or longer. The deadline for the last day to withdraw from all courses without academic penalty (grade of “W” is on the transcript) is noted each semester or session on the Registrar’s website. Students who do not follow the official procedure when withdrawing from the University will earn the grade of “X” for all courses; the “X” grade carries no honor points and affects the GPA in the same manner as an “E” or failing grade.