Sep 26, 2022  
Graduate Catalog 2018-19 
Graduate Catalog 2018-19 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Registration and Records

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Registration at Western Michigan University is conducted via the schedule and procedures as found on the Registrar’s website, This website should be consulted for information on registration dates, the priority registration schedule, drop/add dates, refund dates, final exam schedules, deadlines and methods of payment, and all policies related to registration. Registration by students signifies an agreement to comply with all regulations of the University whenever approved by Western Michigan University.

Students should be aware that course information, including building, room. instructor, and time may change. The information in the online registration system is the most current.

To begin registration, the student will log in to GoWMU at and follow the script displayed.

Registering for Classes

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Western Michigan University offers advance registration for each enrollment period as described on the Registrar’s website. Students are encouraged to take advantage of advance registration but are cautioned that any subsequent change in their schedules should be made before the final day of the drop/add period. See the sections below for more information about changing registration schedules.

Adding or Withdrawing from Classes Before the Final Date to Drop

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Students may enroll in (add) any course through the first five days of classes of a semester or session. The final date for adding courses is published on the Registrar’s website

Only students who have a class that is not officially scheduled to meet during the five-day Drop/Add period will be given an additional opportunity to drop/add.

Students may withdraw (drop) classes through the fifth (5th) day of the semester or session and the course will not be reflected on the student’s official transcript. All withdrawals received after the Drop/Add period will be reflected on the student’s academic record as a non-punitive “W” (Official Withdrawal), as long as the withdrawal complies with the policy explained directly below.

Dropping Classes and Withdrawing from all Classes

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Students may withdraw from one course, several courses, or all courses, without academic penalty from the day after the last day of the drop/add period for the semester or session, through the Monday of the tenth week (Fall/Spring semesters) and through the Monday of the fifth week (Summer I/II sessions). These withdrawals can be processed by the student online, through GoWMU. A non-punitive “W” will be recorded on the student’s transcript for any classes the student withdraws from after the drop/add period.

Students are encouraged to discuss a withdrawal with their instructor before withdrawing as the student may not re-enroll.

Student should also be aware that there may be financial aid implications following a withdrawal. A withdrawal from any course or courses which changes a student’s status from full time to part time may have insurance or other implications.

Withdrawal from a course at any time after the end of the student-initiated withdrawal period is effectively a grade change. As such it will be permitted only through the Grade Appeals Process, as described in the section Students Rights and Responsibilities, “Course Grade and Program Dismissal Appeals.” To change an assigned grade to “W,” documented hardship must be determined to have existed by a GAPDAC Hardship Assessment Panel, as described in the section Students Rights and Responsibilities, “Hardship Status”.

Except for documented and exceptional circumstances, hardship petitions will not be accepted more than one year after the end of the term or session for which the hardship was documented. All petitions filed after the one year timeline must be granted an exception by the Office of the Provost prior to consideration by the Hardship Assessment Panel.

The student is strongly encouraged to consult with the University Ombudsman before initiating a hardship-based withdrawal appeal.

After a semester or session has ended, a student wishing to withdraw from a course may file an appeal for a late withdrawal, as described in the Course Grade and Program Dismissal Appeals section, in the Student Rights and Responsibilities section of this catalog.

The Registrar’s Office will record the drop or withdrawal if approvals are given as listed above.

Graduate Credit and Course Numbers

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To receive graduate credit, graduate students will register for courses offered at the 5000-, 6000-, or 7000-level. Courses numbered 6000 and above are open only to graduate students; courses numbered 5000 through 5990 are open to both graduate students and advanced upperclass students who meet the course prerequisites. Graduate students enrolling in courses at the 5000-level or higher will receive graduate credit.

A 5000-level course is open to graduate and advanced undergraduate students. A graduate student must register for graduate credit in a 5000-level course.

All 7000-level courses are graded on a “Credit/No Credit” basis, without exception. 

No graduate credit is given for registration in undergraduate courses, nor for any type of correspondence work, regardless of course number.

Leave of Absence, Graduate Student

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Western Michigan University supports a graduate leave of absence policy to assist graduate students who are temporarily unable to continue their programs. The leave of absence may extend consecutively for up to two semesters and two sessions (i.e., up to one year). Extensions of a leave of absence may be possible with a new application. Reasons for requiring a leave usually include bereavement, illness, care giving, maternity, paternity, and call to active military duty. Students requesting a leave of absence must submit an application to their department/school/unit chairperson or director, which then must be forwarded to the Graduate College for approval by the graduate dean. The policy and form can be found on the Graduate College website.

Preparing the Application for Leave of Absence

In consultation with the supervising faculty member, an Application for Leave of Absence form is to be completed by the student, and signed by both the student and the advisor or supervising faculty member. The application is to be submitted to the chairperson/director for review and signature before being forwarded to the dean of the Graduate College. Whenever possible, application should be made in advance of the anticipated leave or as soon as possible after commencement of the leave. Whenever possible, it is helpful if the commencement and termination of the leave coincide with the beginning of a semester or session.

It is the student’s responsibility to ensure that the proposed leave is compatible with the regulations of any granting agency from which funding would normally be received during the leave period and that such agencies are informed of the proposed leave. Students on student loan programs should clarify the consequences that such a leave may have on their repayment status. International students are advised to consult with the Office of International Admissions and Services regarding their immigration status during a proposed leave.

A student granted a leave of absence will have his or her time-to-completion of degree extended by the amount of time granted in the leave of absence. The continuous enrollment policy will also be held in abeyance during this time.

Graduate Appointees Requesting a Leave of Absence

A graduate student holding an assistantship, associateship, or fellowship who is granted a leave of absence will have his or her salary and stipend (where applicable) suspended during the period of the leave. During the absence, a student replacement will serve usually on a temporary basis. Whenever possible, the remainder of the appointment will be held for the student upon his or her return to the next term. However, in situations where research activity has progressed substantially during the absence, the original appointee may no longer be able to resume the appointment. In situations where the student is returning in the next academic year, efforts will be made for that student to resume his or her appointment if possible.

In the event that a student appointee and chairperson/director disagree on the leave or its arrangements, students may follow the dispute resolution process available under the policy on Adjudication of Situations Involving Graduate Students Rights and Responsibilities.

Annual Review of Graduate Students

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A graduate student’s academic performance, professional development, research progress, and, where applicable, professional/ethical behavior will be reviewed annually to determine the student’s eligibility to continue in the program.Annual review forms for doctoral and master’s students may be found at Upon the student’s initial enrollment in a graduate certificate, master’s, specialist, or doctoral program, the department shall provide a document to the graduate student outlining the annual review criteria and procedures. The review will assist the student in measuring timely progress toward completion of the program of study and in providing documentation for awards or assistantships or, if deficiencies are apparent, note them and indicate corrections necessary. Uncorrected deficiencies and/or unsatisfactory progress, performance, or behavior may result in a student’s dismissal from the program.


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Academic Forgiveness

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Students who are readmitted into graduate study may apply for academic forgiveness through the Graduate College. Students who are granted academic forgiveness will not have grades and credit hours count in the computation of their grade point average that were earned more than seven years prior to their new entrance date. In such cases, the transcript will read, “Grades and credit hours earned more than seven years prior to current entrance date were not included in the computation of the grade point average.” The request for academic forgiveness must occur at the time of readmission.

Graduate Student Permanent Program of Study

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A Graduate Student Permanent Program of Study is a document composed by a graduate student’s program advisor that lists all course and other requirements necessary for completion of the degree program to which the student was admitted. The Graduate Student Permanent Program of Study is approved by the student’s program advisor and by the graduate dean, filed in the Registrar’s Office, and used to audit the student’s eligibility for the degree. For more information, see the section in this catalog entitled Graduation Procedures and Requirements.

Identification Card

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The Bronco Card is the student’s photo identification card at WMU. In addition, the Bronco Card is the student’s access card for the library, dining areas, Student Recreation Center, and computer centers and is a security access card for buildings on campus.

The Bronco Card also enables the student to ride for free on the Metro Bus Service on any route around the Kalamazoo area.

The Bronco Card has the size, look, and feel of a credit card. Included on the card are the student’s picture and signature. On the back of the card is a magnetic strip, used for authentication. 

The Bronco Card will serve the student as a University ID for as long as the student remains at WMU.

Name Change

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Students may maintain academic records under the name used at the time of admission. However, any active student desiring to make an official name change must report to the Registrar’s Office, third floor Seibert Administration Building to record the change. Legal proof is required. 

Preferred Name

Western Michigan University recognizes that some students use first names other than their legal names to identify themselves. As an inclusive and diverse community, WMU allows students to use a preferred first name different than their legal name for certain purposes and records in the course of university business, communication, and education.

The legal name must still be submitted at the time of application and will continue to be used where required by law or university requirements. Appropriate WMU senior administration is authorized to make revisions, develop, manage and enforce guidelines to implement this policy to comply with the law, other university requirements, and collective bargaining agreements. 

Students are expected to be respectful and appropriate in the use of preferred name.  The use of the preferred name is not permitted to avoid legal obligations or for misrepresentation purposes. Any misuse can result in discipline as permitted under the Student Code.  The University reserves the right to deny the use of or remove the preferred name if it deems the use is inappropriate.


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A student’s transcript from Western Michigan University is a document listing, at minimum, all courses taken and credit hours from Western Michigan University and grades earned in the courses. 


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