Apr 13, 2024  
Undergraduate Catalog 2016-2017 
Undergraduate Catalog 2016-2017 [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.

Freshman Applicants

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.

Offers of admission made to students still in high school are conditional 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.

Transfer Applicants

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. 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, are gone for more than one year 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 before submitting a readmission application. 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 follow the steps below:

  1. Complete either the online application at www.wmich.edu/apply or the paper application and pay the $40 non-refundable application fee;
  2. Request a copy of your high school transcript. If you are using Docufide (Parchment Exchange) to electronically send your transcript to the Admissions Office, your school may wish to use the eSSR (Electronic Safety Report) available through Docufide. If your school prefers, they may ask that you print our High School Verification Form to send with a printed copy of your transcript. Either form is optional;
  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); and,
  4. For those who have completed a General Educational Development (GED) Test, submit official GED scores instead of a high school transcript. ACT or SAT scores are not required.

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 ^ TOP

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. To learn what AP exam score is required for credit in a subject, visit http://wmich.edu/admissions/freshmen-ap for detailed information. For those wishing to participate, have AP send a score report to WMU, College Code 1902.

International Baccalaureate

Western Michigan University awards credit for IB higher level (HL) exam scores of 5 or better. Visit http://wmich.edu/admissions/freshmen-ib to obtain information about the IB higher level subjects granted credit.

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. Visit www.wmich.edu/admissions/freshmen/visit for more information, or to arrange a visit.

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.

Western Success Prep Program

The Western Success Prep Program (WSPP) includes an intensive five-day class designed to give some Alpha Program students a head start on a great first year at Western Michigan University. WSPP is held the week before Fall Welcome. When WSPP concludes, students will transition seamlessly into the Alpha Program Welcome and Fall Welcome with all of the first-year students. Students will receive one credit upon completion of the program.


The mission of the Western Michigan University Orientation program is to provide a comprehensive experience which will aid new students in their transition to the institution, expose new students to the educational opportunities within WMU, integrate new students into the academic and campus life of the institution, increase the retention rate of new students, assist parents of new students to understand the University environment and services, and enhance parental awareness of issues facing college students.

Transfer Applicants


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

  1. Complete either the online application at www.wmich.edu/apply or the paper application and pay the $40 non-refundable application fee;
  2. Request that each college attended send an official transcript directly to the Office of Admissions at WMU. Transcripts delivered by the student in a college-issued, sealed envelope may also be accepted as official provided they are received within 30 days of the print date. Transcripts sent by the student cannot be accepted as official. 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 less than 26 transferable semester hours (39 quarter/term hours) have been completed at the time of application, applicants must also submit an official high school transcript, and ACT or SAT scores unless at least two years have elapsed between high school graduation and the requested WMU entry date. GED diploma students are required to submit GED scores, not ACT or 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 on the web at www.wmich.edu/admissions/transfer/credit. 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 2.0) or better was earned (as determined by WMU) 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. 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 www.wmich.edu/internationaladmissions.

To qualify for admission, international students must show that they are academically, financially, and linguistically capable of succeeding at 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 www.wmich.edu/internationaladmissions/apply.
  2. Provide complete and official transcripts of secondary, undergraduate, and post-graduate studies (if completed) 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. 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. Students who have completed English-medium schooling from the countries on the list may be exempted from providing test scores. www.wmich.edu/internationaladmissions/apply/proficiency.

    Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) A score of 500 PBT (61 IBT) is required for restricted admission (part-time academic 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.

    Successful completion of ELS Level 112 from one of the ELS Language Centers.

    Pearson Test of English Academic Module. A score of 45 is required for restricted enrollment and 53 required for unrestricted enrollment.

    CELCIS Successful completion of the advanced level and instructor recommendations from CELCIS, Western Michigan University’s ESL program. A prospective student may enroll in CELCIS until achieving the required TOEFL score for academic enrollment or completion of the advanced level with instructor recommendations. For more information, see the CELCIS information at www.wmich.edu/celcis.

Applications for admission from non-U.S. citizens must be submitted no later than April 1 for the Fall Semester, August 1 for the Spring Semester, and January 15 for the Summer I Session. Many programs have earlier deadline dates, and not all programs admit students for all semesters. Applicants are advised to read the program’s admission requirements section or consult the relevant program office or advisor to learn the application deadline date and other information for a specific program.

It is advisable to apply well before the application deadline since some programs have earlier deadline dates for admission consideration and/or departmental assistantship awards. Departmental information and requirements may be found at www.wmich.edu/academics/undergraduate.


All international students are required to carry health insurance. There is no University-sponsored program. International students must show proof of coverage including effective dates and a copy of the insurance card, front and back during the first two weeks of a semester/session. Office of International Admissions & Services will approve the policy. The insurance coordinator is available to assist students via email at ias-insurance@wmich.edu.

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.

Non-degree Undergraduate Certificate Program

Admission to an undergraduate certificate program is typically for students who are not seeking and undergraduate degree. Hence, applicants will obtain “Non-degree Admission.” Students seeking non-degree status who have been enrolled in any academic institution within the preceding five years must meet the same admission criteria 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 undergraduate 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 six years from the time such admission status is granted. Applicants for non-degree admission should:

  1. Complete an Application for Undergraduate Admission along with a non-refundable application fee of $40;
  2. Request that each academic institution attended within the preceding five years send an official transcript to the Office of Admissions;
  3. Register for any course for which the prerequisites and/or course restrictions have been met; and,
  4. Enroll in subsequent terms for up to six years in non-degree status, providing they meet University probation and dismissal standards.
  5. Be a high school graduate or have earned the equivalent degree.

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 www.wmich.edu/apply 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 (in the Office of th Registrar). 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. The admission application fee is waived because regular, degree-seeking admission is not extended to enrollees.
  6. Special course fees for materials, trips, etc. are assessed.
  7. Specific courses may not be available to SCOPE students due to space availability.

In the event the account is referred to a collection agency, the student will be responsible for any collection costs, collection fees, and collection charges and/or legal fees incurred in collecting the account balance (in addition to the fees assessed per #6 above).

Questions concerning current fee schedules should be directed to the Office of the Director of Accounting Services.

The Western EdgeTM


The Western Edge is a strategic plan for promoting student success and keeping the quality of education offered by WMU affordable. It reflects Western’s commitment to building a culture that puts students first. There are four independent components to the Western Edge:

Enhanced Academic Advising
Enhanced academic advising will help move students smoothly and quickly through their degree programs.

Accelerated Graduate Degree Programs
Three year bachelors programs and five year bachelors-to-masters programs give student the opportunity to accelerate their time to degree as well as the opportunity to get ahead in their careers.

Degree Works
Degree Works is a web based tool available to help students plan their plan to graduation. Degree Works brings WMU degree requirements and a students completed coursework together to provide a complete view of progress toward degree completion.

Career Edge
The Career Edge gives students the opportunity to extend their education beyond the classroom by helping them develop the skills and competencies that will help them graduate career-ready.

Plan It 4-Ward
WMU believes that every student should have 4 plans: Academic Plan, Career Plan, Financial Plan, and an Engagement Plan. These intersecting plans are used to facilitate the pursuit of a student’s dreams. Students can jump start their Plan It 4-Ward by checking out the planning worksheet found online.

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