Undergraduate Catalog

2012 – 2013


2011-2012 Undergraduate Catalog Archive

Office of Admissions
Emil H. Messikomer Hall
100 W. Rosedale Avenue
West Chester, PA 19383
Phone: 610-436-3411
Fax: 610-436-2907
ugadmiss@wcupa.edu


Revised May 2012

Academic Programs

Admission to West Chester University

Academic Passport Early Admission Second Baccalaureate Degree
Admission Requirements, Freshmen International Students Students with Disabilities
Admissions Staff International Students, Insurance Tests
Applying, Freshmen Physical Examination Requirements Transfer Students
College Graduates Seeking Certification Readmission Transferring, How and When Should Students Apply

West Chester University welcomes applications from qualified residents of Pennsylvania, other U.S. states, and international students. The University evaluates its applicants on the basis of scholarship, character, and potential for achievement in the programs to which they apply. The Office of Admissions completes a preliminary evaluation of applications once all information has been received and processed. The admissions committee reviews every application individually and each aspect of a student’s file is considered: academic record, standardized test scores, personal statement, and selected program of study. The committee prioritizes applicants with the strongest academic credentials during the review process and notifies them of its decision as quickly as possible upon completion of their file. Other candidates may be required to submit additional information or be referred to the committee for a section review. Final admissions decisions may be rendered as late as mid March, depending on circumstances. All decisions are communicated to applicants in writing. Qualified students of any age from all racial, religious, ethnic, and socio-economic backgrounds are welcome at West Chester University. Studies may be pursued on a full- or part-time basis.

General Requirements for Admission of Freshmen

1. Graduation, with satisfactory scholarship, from an approved secondary school or approval by the Credentials Evaluation Division of the Pennsylvania Department of Education, or Pennsylvania Homeschoolers Accreditation Agency.

2. Either a satisfactory score on the SAT of the College Entrance Examination Board (CEEB) or satisfactory scores on the tests given in the American College Testing Program (ACT). Applicants who graduated from high school more than five years ago do not need to submit test scores.

How and When Freshmen Should Apply

Applicants are encouraged to apply electronically by accessing the University’s Web site at www.wcupa.edu/admissions. For printed application materials please call the Office of Admissions, West Chester University at 610-436-3411 (or toll-free at 877-315-2165), e-mail ugadmiss@wcupa.edu, or visit the undergraduate admissions Web site.

Freshmen for the fall semester are urged to begin the application process early in their senior year of high school. Candidates will receive written notification from the director of admissions after decisions are reached.

Freshmen who are denied admission on the basis of academics will not be permitted to enroll as a nondegree student at the University but will be encouraged to consider a junior or community college as an alternative.

Policy on Early Admission

In exceptional circumstances, students with superior academic qualifications and unusually mature personal development are admitted as freshmen upon completing their junior year of secondary school. Students who, in the opinion of their guidance counselors or high school principal, warrant consideration for early admission may obtain more information from the Office of Admissions. Early admission applications should be submitted in accordance with deadlines recommended for freshmen.

Arranging for Tests

Information about the SAT and ACT may be obtained from high school guidance counselors. It is the student’s responsibility to ensure that all required test scores are forwarded to the Office of Admissions.

WCU recognizes excellence demonstrated by students on the Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB) examinations. With respect to AP tests, only scores of 3 – 5 will be considered for transfer credit. With respect to the IB diploma tests, only scores of 5 – 7 will be considered for transfer credit. Consult individual departments for equivalencies to specific West Chester University courses. Students are encouraged to submit their scores to the Office of the Registrar as early as possible to be scheduled appropriately for their first semester.

Transfer Students

Individuals who have been enrolled in any postsecondary institution after graduation from high school and/or have attended West Chester University on a nondegree basis must apply as transfer students. Applicants whose secondary school credentials would not warrant admissions consideration as freshmen must complete 30 semester hours of credit prior to attempting a transfer. A minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 2.00 is required for transfer consideration. However, the University gives priority to applicants with the strongest academic credentials. In addition, some academic departments have established prerequisite course work and specific grade point average requirements for admission. Special consideration is awarded to graduates of Pennsylvania community colleges and to students transferring from other universities in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education. Specific information may be obtained from the Office of Admissions.

How and When Transfers Should Apply

It is recommended that transfer applicants for the fall semester should complete the application process early in the preceding spring semester, preferably no later than April 1, and that spring semester applications should be completed no later than October 15; however, certain academic programs can close earlier. If enrollment limits are met before this time, admissions will be closed.

Applicants are encouraged to apply electronically by accessing www.wcupa.edu/admissions. Please follow all instructions and submit required materials.

The Office of Admissions should receive an official transcript from all institutions attended. If preliminary transcripts are submitted, the student must see that final transcripts are filed at the end of the semester.

If a student has completed less than 30 semester hours of credit at the time of application, he or she must supply SAT or ACT scores and an official, final high school transcript.

Any offer of admission is contingent upon successful completion of current course work with at least a C average as documented by transcripts of all work attempted or completed.

Transcripts are evaluated and course/credit equivalencies are determined by the Office of the Registrar in accordance with the policies of the department to which the student seeks admission.

Transfer applicants who are denied admission on the basis of academics are not permitted to enroll as a nondegree student without the approval of the Office of Admissions. Such approval may be rendered in the event of extenuating circumstances and only under certain agreed-upon conditions in accordance with University policy.

Academic Passport

The Board of Governors of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) adopted an Academic Passport Policy effective January 1999. The goal of this policy is to facilitate transfer to PASSHE universities from Pennsylvania community colleges and other PASSHE universities.

Pennsylvania community college students who have earned the associate of arts degree (A.A.) or the associate of science (A.S.) degree in a transfer program containing a minimum of 30 credits of liberal arts courses for the A.S. and 45 credits of liberal arts courses for the A.A. degree with a 2.00 GPA or above are considered to have an Academic Passport. Students completing 12 credits or more from another PASSHE university with a minimum 2.00 GPA are said to have an Academic Passport as well. The transfer-credit provisions described in the Academic Passport are extended to community college students without an associate degree who transfer 12 or more credits to a PASSHE institution. In addition, West Chester University extended the transfer-credit provisions to all transfer students from accredited institutions, effective January 1999.

The Academic Passport policy states
Up to a maximum of 45 general education credits and liberal arts course credits shall be used to meet lower-division university general education requirements, even if the receiving university does not offer the specific course being transferred or has not designated that course as general education. A course-by-course match shall not be required.

Transfer credit not applied to general education will be applied to major requirements and other degree requirements.

Transfer Credit Appeals Process

All questions and appeals regarding the transfer of credits to West Chester University should be directed to the transfer credit area in the Office of the Registrar. All questions will be reviewed by the University’s official credit evaluators and, if need be, will also be reviewed in consult with the chairperson of the appropriate department. If a course syllabus and/or description is needed to further investigate the student’s appeal, it will be the student’s responsibility to provide this information. The Office of the Registrar will strive to respond to the student with a final determination within a two-week (or less) period of time.

Please note: Students must meet the admissions standards for their selected program of study, and enrollment limitations may restrict the number of students who can be accommodated.

Specifics of this policy can be obtained from the Office of Admissions or the Office of the Registrar.

Students are urged to apply early and submit transcripts from transfer institutions as soon as possible so that students have maximum information on course equivalencies and which requirements have been met.

University Policies for Students Transferring from a Nonaccredited Institution

Applicants from collegiate institutions (including community colleges and junior colleges) that are not accredited by one of the six regional associations in the United States will be considered for admission if the applicant's cumulative index is 2.00 (C) or better. High school credentials may be requested.

The evaluation of courses listed on transcripts from an institution not accredited by one of the six regional associations will be made by the student's major department in consultation with the faculty dean and transfer credit analyst. All evaluations are subject to review by the provost and academic vice president.

International Students

Students from foreign countries may be considered for degree admission if, in addition to satisfying the general requirements, they also demonstrate proficiency in English. Evidence of completed academic credentials must be submitted to an approved evaluation service. Submission requirements vary, and applicants should refer to guidelines set by the individual credential evaluation service. Acceptable evaluation services include AACRAO; Educational Credential Evaluators, Inc. (ECE); Josef Silny and Associates, Inc.; or World Educational Services (WES). Evaluations conducted by other National Association of Credential Evaluation Services approved members will be considered. International students are encouraged to apply electronically as well as supply all supporting documents to the Office of Admissions six months prior to the anticipated semester of enrollment.

Standardized test scores from one of the following must be submitted with the application: Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), International English Language Testing Service (IELTS), SAT, or American College Test (ACT). Non-native English speakers are encouraged to submit the TOEFL or IELTS. A minimum score of 550 is required for the written exam, 80 for the Internet-based score, and at least 213 for the computer-based test on the TOEFL.

An overall IELTS score at band 6.0 or above it required, and minimum scores of 6.0 for speaking, listening, reading, and writing are preferred to demonstrate proficiency in English. Students who do not meet the minimum English proficiency requirements are encouraged to contact WCU’s Center for International Programs, 610-436-3515.

International students are admitted for both the fall and spring semesters. Applications for the fall must be submitted to the Office of Admissions by May 1, while applications for the spring semester should be submitted by August 1. All students are required to submit an application fee. Accepted students must be able to verify their ability to fully meet all educational and living expenses before any immigration documents can be issued. Because of the amount of time it takes for a student visa to be secured, international applicants are encouraged to complete the admissions process well in advance of the May 1 and August 1 deadlines.

Insurance Requirements for International Students

International students at West Chester University are required to carry adequate health and accident insurance. Insurance must be effective for all periods of time the student has been authorized to be in the United States by an immigration document issued by West Chester University.

Health and accident insurance policies must be purchased through a company that sells insurance in the United States. West Chester University has set minimum coverage standards which must be met by all insurance policies. Information about the minimum standards are available at the Center for International Programs, 610-436-3515.

To assure compliance with the insurance requirement, all international students must come to the Center for International Programs by September 1 of each academic year. There students may obtain information as to the amount of insurance required and the means of obtaining coverage to meet the insurance requirement.

Physical Examination Requirements

Students must submit a report of medical history once they have committed to enroll. The form for the necessary health examination, which will be mailed to students, must be completed by a physician and returned to the University Health Center prior to the start of classes.

Students with Disabilities

West Chester University will make every effort to assure that students with disabilities will have access to all classes required for their program of study and will endeavor to remove all obstacles to a fulfilling, comprehensive university experience.

Students should contact the Office of Services for Students with Disabilities in Room 223 Lawrence Center to arrange suitable accommodations. Additional information can be obtained by calling 610-436-2564.

Second Baccalaureate Degree

An individual may pursue a second baccalaureate degree at West Chester University after earning the first baccalaureate degree either at West Chester University or another institution. Such an individual must apply for admission through the Office of Admissions as a transfer student.

Admission of College Graduates Seeking Certification

College graduates who wish to obtain teaching certification should consult with the Office of Field Placements and Student Teaching, 610-436-3090.

Readmission of Former Students

Degree students who have withdrawn from, or who for other reasons have not enrolled at, West Chester for two or more consecutive semesters are classified as "inactive" and must request an application for readmission from the Office of Admissions. After an absence of only one semester, students wishing to return need to contact the Office of the Registrar and their department advisers. Students applying for readmission who have attended any institutions of higher learning since leaving West Chester must request those institutions to forward transcripts of their records to the Office of Admissions, West Chester University, West Chester, PA 19383.

Readmitted students who have a disability that they previously did not disclose but wish to do so should contact the Office of Services for Students with Disabilities (OSSD) at 610-436-2564. These students will be informed of the appropriate documentation to submit as well as the assistance and support services available to them. Students who believe that their disability had an effect on their previous course work at the University and wish to have this fact considered should include that information in their personal statement. They also may wish to seek the support of the OSSD in the readmission process.

Readmitted students are bound by the requirements in general education, major, minor, and cognate areas at the time of readmission, except where permission is granted by the respective department concerning departmental requirements.

Students intending to enroll in student teaching in the first semester of readmission must file an application for student teaching with the individual departments at least four months before their expected readmission. See also "Student Teaching" in the section entitled "Academic Affairs."

All readmission applications, including all supporting documents, should be filed by August 1 for the fall semester and December 1 for the spring semester.