Academic Affairs

Academic Advising Graduate Studies Pre-Major Academic Advising Program
Academic Development Program Honors College Pre-Professional Study
ADA Classroom Modifications Appeals Procedure International Education Scholarly Publications
Aralia Press Internships Services for Students with Disabilities
Armed Services Programs Learning Assistance and Resource Center WCU Student E-mail Accounts
Assessment National Student Exchange Program Summer Sessions
Brandywine Ballet Nondegree Students Veterans Affairs
Environmental Programs Post-Baccalaureate Teacher Certification Visiting Student Program
    Winter Sessions

West Chester University's undergraduate programs include teaching certification programs, local certificate programs, and programs of study leading to the bachelor of arts, bachelor of fine arts, bachelor of music, bachelor of science in education, bachelor of science, bachelor of science in nursing, and bachelor of social work. A complete list of undergraduate degree programs appears on page 62. Programs of study at the graduate level are also available. These are listed on page 38 and are described in detail in the Graduate Catalog.

Honors College

Honors College Mission
Modeling a commitment to liberal arts and cross-disciplinary education, the Honors College celebrates outstanding students and encourages them to strive for a high level of academic excellence. The college prepares students to become forces for positive change in the life of the campus and the broader community through scholarship, co-curricular activities, service, teamwork, and leadership. The college motivates students to examine and refine character, become active, global citizens, and value life-long learning. With the motto, To Be Honorable Is to Serve, honors is about the business of preparing leaders for the 21st century.

The University provides to students with outstanding achievements in scholarship, community service, the arts, and/or leadership the opportunity to participate in a challenging honors curriculum and to receive appropriate recognition when they complete the requirements. The Honors College aims to provide an inviting environment for academically gifted and highly motivated students to interact and form a learning community of peers, faculty, administrators, and staff that will challenge and enrich the students' college experience.

The Honors College seeks cross-disciplinary connections, in the liberal arts tradition, which develop students' natural intellectual abilities, and to challenge them to use these skills on behalf of the larger community. Qualified students may participate in Honors through one of three tracks: entering freshmen, honors seminar program, and the undergraduate certificate program in leadership and civic engagement. Membership is highly competitive and based on attainment and maintenance of a cumulative 3.25 grade point average, regular enrollment in honors courses, and service to the campus community.

The college provides housing in Allegheny Hall for on-campus residents. Suite-style, air-conditioned rooms with bathroom facilities house two students. Allegheny also hosts a designated lounge and technology center for Honors student use. Students also have membership in the Honors Student Association.

An Honors Council, which includes both faculty and students, sets the policies of the college. A committee of that council, working with the director, determines the admission and retention of students. Students completing the full honors program receive designation on their University transcript and the right to wear a medallion of achievement at commencement. Recognition at commencement is based on the student's academic record as of the completed semester prior to commencement. Transcript recognition also is given to students who complete the seminar and certificate programs.

Further information about the Honors College - requirements, offerings, housing, and the co-curricular activities of the Honors Student Association - is available from the Honors College Office, 703 S. High St., West Chester University, West Chester, PA 19383; phone, 610-436-2996; fax, 610-436-2620; e-mail,; or web, See pages 110-111 of this catalog for specific information.

Brandywine Ballet

West Chester University and the Brandywine Ballet offer a joint program: an undergraduate degree from WCU and a certificate in ballet from the Brandywine Ballet. This program allows students the opportunity to pursue a University degree with a broad educational emphasis while concurrently receiving advanced ballet training in a professional setting.

The certificate in ballet program is a rigorous, professional program that combines ballet training with a full-scale production each semester. The Brandywine Ballet engages professional faculty and choreographers to work with the students whose schedule includes a minimum of five company classes and 10 hours of rehearsal each week. All ballet training is conducted at Brandywine Ballet Company's state-of-the-art facilities in West Chester, located in close proximity to the West Chester University campus. Each semester will culminate in a full-scale, professional production of contemporary and classical ballet on the WCU campus in the Emilie K. Asplundh Concert Hall. Students enrolled in the certificate in ballet program may choose any undergraduate major at West Chester University.

Admission to the certificate in ballet program is a two-pronged process. Students must apply and be accepted to West Chester University through the normal application process and audition with the Brandywine Ballet for admittance into the certificate in ballet program. Individual auditions will be scheduled by appointment.
Total costs for the certificate in ballet program include standard West Chester University tuition and fees plus an additional fee for participation in the ballet program. West Chester University offers both need- and merit-based scholarships. The Brandywine Ballet offers scholarships specifically applicable to the ballet program fees. Students seeking scholarships are encouraged to apply to the University early in the fall of their senior year.

For information on the Brandywine Ballet program, contact Brandywine Ballet Company, Howard Business Park, 317 Westtown Road, Suite 5, West Chester, PA 19382; Box Office, 610-696-2711; Administrative Office, 610-692-6402; or fax, 610-696-0975.
General questions can be sent to

International Education

The Center for International Programs (CIP) serves as the hub for all global activities at West Chester University. The office provides guidance and assistance to international students and exchange visitors from more than 50 countries, faculty developing their own faculty-led, education-abroad programs, and domestic/international students seeking opportunities to study or conduct an internship abroad. It maintains certification from the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) to issue immigration documents leading to F and J visas as well as coordinates the University-based English as a Second Language (ESL) program. For more information about WCU’s ESL program, contact INTERLINK at The CIP is located at 101B Old Library. More information is available by calling 610-436-3515 or e-mailing

Academic Development Program

The Academic Development Program (ADP) is designed to provide an opportunity for a college education at West Chester University to those students who do not meet current admission requirements but who show a potential for success in college. Students admitted to the program are expected to take advantage of the program components which have been developed to enhance their skills in reading, writing, speaking, mathematics, and critical thinking, as well as to help them in their transition from high school to college.

The ADP comprises a series of required courses supplemented by specialized tutoring, counseling, priority scheduling, and advising.

The program begins with an intensive, five-week session during the summer which students must complete. Any developmental course work taken during this time is credit-bearing, but these credits are not applicable toward graduation.

Students in the program also are required to complete EDR 100, SPK 208, and WRT 120, which should be taken as soon as possible. All of these courses satisfy University requirements for graduation. Students will be advised also on the completion of general education requirements and, as necessary, on the transition to a major course of study.

For further information, please contact the Academic Development Program, 231 Lawrence Center, 610-436-3274.


The University takes seriously its commitment to excellence and student success, and therefore academic programs and student services regularly engage in assessment of student learning, student preparedness for employment, and student perceptions and satisfaction. All students are expected to participate in assessment of programs when requested in order to provide valuable feedback to the University community.

The full University policy regarding the assessment of student learning outcomes within programs at West Chester University are available on the web pages of the WCU Teaching, Learning, and Assessment Center ( as well as the home page of the vice provost (

National Student Exchange Program

West Chester University is one of approximately 180 participating colleges and universities across the United States and Canada that offers students the opportunity to spend a maximum of one year of study at another college or university. The exchange program enables students to experience a quarter, semester, or year at another school. While encouraging students to appreciate various cultural perspectives, the National Student Exchange Program also allows them to take advantage of specialized courses and programs that may not be available at West Chester. Successfully completed course work will transfer back to WCU and be applied to the student’s academic record.

To qualify for the program, students must be full time, have a 2.50 cumulative GPA, and should be a sophomore or junior during the period of exchange. Applications and further information, including the two different tuition options, are available from the National Student Exchange coordinator in the Office of the Registrar. Applica­tions are due in February of each year. A nonrefundable fee is required of all students who apply for the National Student Exchange Program. For more information, contact the Office of the Registrar, 610-436-3085.

Pennsylvania State System Visiting Student Program

Undergraduate students enrolled in a degree program who have earned 12 college-level credits and are in good academic standing have the opportunity to enroll as a visitor for a fall, spring, or summer term at any of the other 13 Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education institutions. The program allows students to take advantage of specialized courses, programs, or experiences not available at the home institution without losing (home) institutional residency. Students may take a maximum of 24 credits via the Visiting Student Program. Students cannot use this program to repeat courses. Visiting Student Program information is available at the Office of the Registrar, 25 University Ave., 610-436-3085.

Environmental Programs

Students interested in pursuing environmental degree programs may choose from those identified below. Consult the departments listed for details on these programs.

Students interested in pursuing environmental degree programs may choose from those identified below. Consult the departments listed for details on these programs.

Ecology and Conservation. Offered by the Department of Biology, this program provides a strong background in theoretical and applied ecology and conservation, with an emphasis on field experience. It prepares students for careers as biologists in state and federal environmental agencies, industry, environmental consulting firms, and land conservancies, as well as graduate work in ecology and conservation. (See page 70 for more information.)

Environmental Geography. Offered by the Department of Geography and Planning, this program offers course work related to sustainability to understand the spatial patterns of human systems and landscapes, environmental processes, and the effects of people on the environment. The degree prepares graduates for a number of career choices with governmental conservation agencies at the federal, state, and local levels; private land conservation agencies, such as the Nature Conservancy; and environmental consulting companies. The geography environmental degree also prepares students for graduate study in geography, sustainability science, environmental science, landscape ecology, earth sciences, environmental planning, or related disciplines. (See page 99 for specific information.)

Environmental Geology. Environmental geologists monitor water quality, address wastewater and storm water problems, map and analyze earth materials, assess risk from natural hazards, and identify new and sustainable sources of energy and other resources. Offered by the Department of Geology and Astronomy, the B.S. in geoscience degree emphasizes areas pertinent to environmental work and meets the course requirements of the registered professional geologist license. Courses incorporate project-based learning with hands-on training in field methods and cutting-edge scientific instruments. Graduates are prepared for geoscience careers, in the thriving environmental industry of the greater Philadelphia region, where hundreds of alumni are successfully employed. (See pages 100-101 for more information.)

Environmental Health. Offered by the Department of Health, this program synthesizes a rigorous scientific preparation with specialized, applied environmental courses and a required internship. Courses include topics such as industrial hygiene and safety, risk assessment, environmental regulations, water quality, emergency preparedness, bioterrorism, toxicology, and a research-based seminar. This degree program prepares graduates for careers as environmental scientists in consulting firms, industry, and government. This program is accredited by the National Environmental Health Science and Protection Accreditation Council (EHAC). (See pages 104 and 105 for specific program information.)

Pre-Professional Study

West Chester University recognizes that some students will select career goals that will require pursuit of academic degrees after the baccalaureate, either in graduate school or at a professional school. Students with such goals are encouraged to discuss them with appropriate members of the faculty.

Pre-Medical. Students interested in graduate studies in one of the health professions (medicine, dentistry, veterinary medicine, optometry, podiatry, or physician assistant studies) are encouraged to apply for admission to the pre-medical program, which is supervised by members of the Pre-Medical Committee. More information about this program can be found under the pre-medical program listing in the section, "Programs of Study and Course Offerings."

Pre-Law. Students who are interested in exploring a career in law are encouraged to meet with the pre-law adviser early in their academic careers and to participate in the Pre-Law Society. Because no single major course of study guarantees admission to law school, students should take courses that sharpen their reading comprehension, critical thinking, analytical reasoning, research, and oral and written communication skills. These skills can be gained through courses across all disciplines. In addition to undergraduate academic performance (reflected in a student's grade point average), law school admissions officers consider a student's score in the Law School Admissions Test (LSAT) in making admissions decisions. Beyond these quantitative measures of academic potential, law school admissions officers will consider other nonquantitative factors, including a student's personal statement and letters of recommendation. The pre-law adviser is available to assist students in preparing all aspects of their application package. For more information, contact Sandra M. Tomkowicz, J.D., professor and pre-law adviser, 312D Anderson Hall, 610-436-2365, or

Engineering. West Chester University, in cooperation with The Pennsylvania State University at University Park provides a program in which, at the end of five years, a student earns a B.S. in physics from West Chester University and a B.S. in engineering from Penn State University. Students spend three years at West Chester University, where they complete all the mathematics, physics, cognate, and general education requirements of the degree. Subsequently, they spend two years at Penn State taking only engineering-related courses. Students may choose from many fields of engineering, some of which are listed in the "Physics" section of this catalog. This program is not available to transfer students.

A similar dual-degree, cooperative physics/engineering program is available through West Chester University's affiliation with the School of Design and Engineering of Philadelphia University. This program is available to all freshmen and to transfer students. Please contact the Department of Physics for further information on either of these cooperative programs.

Student WCU E-mail Accounts

All incoming students to West Chester University will be issued an official WCU e-mail address. Students are advised to check this e-mail account frequently since University administrators and faculty will be communicating information regarding classes, financial aid, billing, emergency announcements, and other important notifications. These e-mails will only be sent to a student’s “” e-mail account and not to any other personal e-mail address.

Academic Advising

West Chester University embraces the concept that effective academic advising is a collaborative teaching and learning process between the student and the faculty adviser. The University believes that effective advising should assist students in achieving their academic, professional, and personal goals. Faculty advisers will strive to provide accurate, timely, and current information, thus establishing the framework around which students will construct their academic program of study.

The University community – students, faculty, and staff – shares the responsibility for student success. Individual students need to take ownership and responsibility for their educational and career goals by assuming an active role in the classroom and being aware of policies and requirements necessary for graduation. The University is responsible for providing a supportive environment where students can receive quality academic advising and also be referred to other campus resources that will provide assistance and help students succeed.

Advising assignments are made by the academic department of the student's program of study. Students who are admitted to the University as "undeclared" are assigned an adviser through the Pre-Major Academic Advising Center (222 Lawrence Center, 610-436-3505). Students may find the name of their assigned academic adviser on their myWCU portal page. All students are strongly encouraged to meet with their academic adviser on a regular basis, at least once per semester.

Students who choose to pursue an academic minor will also be assigned an adviser in the minor. The minor adviser will assist the student in understanding the requirements of that particular program.

Pre-Major Academic Advising Program

Exploratory Studies provides support to undergraduate students before their admission to an academic major. The assignment to Exploratory Studies either reflects the student's own choice or a designation by the University because (1) the student does not meet all of the preparation and/or academic requirements for a particular major, or (2) the academic major to which the student seeks entrance has reached its maximum enrollment for the academic year and/or semester. Students are encouraged to take prerequisite courses in their intended major and/or in a particular major program because of implied interests. Academic advisers assist students in interpreting University and department policies and requirements, and with selecting appropriate courses. Advisers make referrals and discuss vocational and career interests with undeclared students. Together, the adviser and student develop an educational plan of sound strategies for success.

Students should understand that certain academic programs require prerequisites for further study. If prerequisites are not taken during the period of study as an undeclared major, then University attendance is prolonged. A student may transfer into a program only if all of the following are met:

  1. there is a vacancy in the desired program;
  2. prerequisite courses are completed and/or the required GPA is attained; and
  3. an approved "Change of Major" form has been filed in the Office of the Registrar.

The Exploratory Studies program is located in 222 Lawrence Center. For more information contact or 610-436-3505.

Learning Assistance and Resource Center

The Learning Assistance and Resource Center (LARC) provides academic support services to help students become independent, active learners who achieve academic success. The LARC offers tutoring services in most 100- and 200-level general education courses, such as mathematics, writing, natural sciences, social sciences, foreign languages, and introductory business. Tutoring sessions are 50 minutes long and are held by appointment only. Interested students register on a first-come, first-served basis and are assigned tutors depending on availability. The LARC also offers Supplemental Instruction (SI) in several general education and high-risk courses. Additionally, the LARC holds refresher workshops in preparation for the required standardized tests for prospective education majors.The Academic Success Workshop (ASW) demonstrates the application of learning strategies to the course content through seminars that influence learning, such as stress management, test anxiety reduction, assertiveness, concentration, and motivation; workshops are available to student groups upon request. The LARC website,, includes information on available services, a list of courses being tutored, and links to helpful resources. Online tutoring through Smarthinking is also available. Information regarding Smarthinking can be found on the LARC website.

The LARC provides opportunities for paid practical experience for undergraduate and graduate students and requires participation in a comprehensive training program for new tutors, including seminars, workshops, online training, individualized projects, and peer observation. Opportunities for practicum or internship are available. Tutors employed by the LARC acquire the knowledge and experience necessary to meet the requirements for certification by the College Reading and Learning Association. The LARC is open Monday - Thursday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m, Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Sunday from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. For more information call 610-436-2535, e-mail, see the website at, or visit 224 Lawrence Center.

Services for Students with Disabilities

The Office of Services for Students with Disabilities (OSSD) offers services for students with physical and learning disabilities. The OSSD is designed to assist students in making a successful transition to the University. The office takes a proactive stance that encourages students to understand their needs and strengths in order to best advocate for themselves.

West Chester University recognizes that some students with disabilities want minimal assistance while others require the full range of support and services. The staff of the OSSD supports students as they become more self-reliant by emphasizing their knowledge and communication skills and the understanding of their rights and obligations under the laws. To facilitate successful transition a comprehensive assessment of needs is recommended through this office.

The OSSD provides advocacy with faculty for classroom accommodations under the requirements of Section 504 and the Americans with Disabilities Act. Recent, appropriate, and comprehensive documentation provided by licensed professionals must accompany requests for accommodations.

The OSSD coordinates provision of direct services for students with disabilities through support staff in the research and technical areas of the University. The office also advocates in the readmission procedure, with the offices of Financial Aid and the Registrar, and supplement advising services to the extent that the information or assistance is disability related and necessary to promote student access.

The OSSD is located within the Undergraduate Studies and Student Support Services Division and coordinates services with other units within the division, such as the Learning Assistance and Resource Center and the Pre-Major Academic Advising Center, as well as other University offices including the Writing Center and the Office of Residence Life and Housing. In order to ensure continuity of services, students should pursue such actions prior to enrollment. Students needing financial support for personal services or interpreters should register with the appropriate agency at least six months in advance of matriculation. The policies and procedures used by the OSSD are contained in the West Chester University Handbook on Disabilities, which is available at the OSSD website,

Services Provided for Students with Disabilities

  • Academic coaching
  • Special summer orientation
  • Specialized tutoring in English and math
  • Central documentation file
  • Advocacy with faculty
  • Alternative test-taking arrangements
  • Priority registration
  • Note-taking support
  • Study skills tutoring
  • Alternate formatting assistance
  • Adaptive technology
  • Readers for visually impaired students
  • Interpreters for deaf students
  • Referrals for LD testing
  • Peer support
Services Provided for Students Diagnosed with Dyscalculia

On the recommendation of the Office of Services for Students with Disabilities (OSSD), a student with a documented case of dyscalculia will be referred to the Department of Mathematics. He or she will be enrolled in either an individualized instruction in mathematics or, where appropriate, a regularly scheduled class, to accommodate his or her needs.

ADA Classroom Accommodations Appeals Procedure

Notification of Classroom Accommodations

A student with a documented disability may request classroom accommodations.The Office of Services for Students with Disabilities (OSSD) will issue a copy of a letter of accommodation (to his/her WCU e-mail address) for the student to present to the faculty member of the course. This accommodation letter will inform the faculty member of the student’s specific academic needs. It is the responsibility of the student to present the letter of accommodation to the faculty member. Students with disabilities are held to the same academic standards as all other students. Faculty members are not required to provide accommodations prior to or retroactive from the date an accommodation letter is presented. Faculty members should contact the OSSD if they have questions about the accommodations outlined.

Appeals Regarding Classroom Accommodations

The University provides for an appeals process regarding classroom accommodations. Any and all efforts will be made with the understanding that a timely resolution is in the best interest of all parties involved. While an appeal is under review, the student is expected to attend classes and do assignments to the best of his/her ability and faculty members are expected to provide reasonable classroom accommodations to the best of their abilities. While an appeal is under review, the student and the faculty members of his/her courses are expected to make good faith efforts toward reasonable classroom accommodations and engage in the educational process. An appeal reviewed under this policy does not alter or interfere with the student's right to file a complaint of discrimination on the basis of a disability with the University's Office of Social Equity or to pursue a formal complaint with the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission or the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Civil Rights.

  1. If a student has concerns with the determination of accommodations by the OSSD, the student and the director of OSSD should first meet in order to resolve the matter. If they do not reach agreement, the student may initiate a formal appeal by contacting in writing the vice provost (for undergraduate students) or the graduate dean (for graduate students) (see section C).
  2. If a faculty member has concerns about the application of the accommodations to his or her course and/or a student feels the accommodations are not being adequately implemented, the student and the professor should meet in order to resolve the problem. If these efforts are unsuccessful, either the faculty member or the student may request informal resolution through OSSD.
    1. The student and/or the faculty member informs both OSSD and the chair of the department of the course within two work days following the meeting between the faculty member and the student about unresolved concerns for accommodations in the course.

    2. Within one week after being informed of the concerns, OSSD will coordinate a meeting of the student, faculty member, and/or chair in an attempt to achieve a resolution by meeting with the student and/or faculty member. During this meeting, with the consent of the student, OSSD may further advise the faculty member of the student's individual needs and the appropriateness of any recommended accommodations.
  3. If resolution is not accomplished after informal meetings between OSSD, the student, faculty member, and chair, a formal appeal may be started. Either the faculty member or the student may initiate the formal appeal by contacting OSSD in writing; as appropriate, the vice provost or the graduate dean will then be notified. The formal appeal will proceed as follows:
    1. Within the two weeks following the initiation of the formal appeal, a Classroom Accommodations Review Panel will meet. The vice provost and dean of graduate studies or his/her designee will convene the panel. The panel will consist of a dean of a school or college, a faculty member, and a student, each of whom will be from outside the department than the one in which the problem arose and selected from respective pools of individuals who have received training in ADA law and procedures; the dean shall serve as panel chair. Panel members will be informed in writing by the vice provost and dean of graduate studies at least a week in advance of the date, time, and place that the panel will be convened.
    2. At the proceedings of the panel, the representative of OSSD shall present to the panel relevant information about the nature of the student's disability and appropriate accommodations. Because this information is confidential, the student's consent to the disclosure of the information must be obtained beforehand. In order to protect matters which are confidential, the panel may, upon its own motion or upon the request of any involved party, hear statements in private without the other parties being present.
      If the situation involves a challenge to the OSSD director's denial of a requested accommodation, the OSSD shall present information and documentation showing why such an accommodation is inappropriate.
      If the dispute is related to the application of an accommodation in a particular course, the faculty member shall then present to the panel his or her concerns about the accommodation and shall have the opportunity to present any information or documentation that the faculty member believes is relevant. The panel may request that the chairperson of the academic department in which the dispute arose, or other faculty members who teach the same course, present any concerns that they may have regarding how the accommodations might create a fundamental alteration in the nature of the course.
      The student shall have the opportunity, but shall not be required, to make a statement to the panel and to present any information or documentation which the student believes is relevant.
      The Office of Social Equity will be available to the panel for consultation on an "as needed" basis.
    3. It shall be the function of the panel to make a recommendation to the provost concerning the appropriateness of the requested accommodations and/or a revision of the accommodations. The panel shall deliberate immediately following the meeting and shall render its recommendation by majority vote. The decision and any dissenting opinions of the panel shall be sent in writing to the provost within three work days by the panel chair.
    4. The provost shall review the recommendation of the panel and render a final decision on the matter in writing to the student, the faculty member, and the OSSD director within one week after receiving the panel's recommendation.


A number of departments offer the opportunity for internships, field experiences, or practica in which students may earn credit while gaining professional experience in their field of interest. Students need to consult with their department and review the various department listings in this catalog. In addition, other information on internship resources and contacts is available at

Three University-wide internship opportunities are open to students from any major: The Harrisburg Internship Semester (THIS) is a full-semester, 15-credit experience in Pennsylvania state government. It is open to any junior or senior who has a minimum GPA of 3.0. A stipend is involved. (See Department of Political Science, HBI 400, 401, 402.) The Washington Center Internships are 15-credit experiences with the U.S. Congress, Executive Branch, interest groups, and lobbies. The Pennsylvania House of Representatives Legislative Fellowship Program, open to all junior/senior students with a minimum GPA of 3.5, involves committee staff assignments in policy development and a stipend. All three programs are administered by the Department of Political Science; contact the chair at 610-436-2743.

Summer Sessions

West Chester University's summer program, among the oldest university-sponsored summer programs in the United States, has one of the largest enrollments in the State System of Higher Education. More than 600 courses, both graduate and undergraduate, are offered, including workshops, seminars, and internships, as well as the typical semester classes. Offerings are generally available in every department and in interdisciplinary areas. Students from any college or university, as well as nontraditional students, may take courses for enjoyment, personal growth, or degree credit.

Winter Sessions

West Chester University offers a variety of undergraduate and graduate courses, in a number of delivery modalities (onsite, offsite, and online), shortly after the first of the year and before the spring semester begins. Students from any college or university, as well as nontraditional students, may take courses for enjoyment, personal growth, or degree credit.

Nondegree Students

Nondegree is an academic term for “not formally accepted in a degree program.” Students may begin their college careers by taking classes nondegree, for personal and professional growth.

Nondegree students are not eligible to receive financial aid; however, they may take advantage of other services offered by the University including

  • Internet registration
  • Payment plans
  • Career and personal counseling

Nondegree students take the same courses as everyone else and earn the same college credit. Students may earn a total of 18 credits (usually about six courses) as a nondegree student and may be permitted to take a workshop or other noncredit-bearing class.

Nondegree students are permitted to enroll in any undergraduate course in which they possess the necessary prerequisite course work and/or can demonstrate, prior to enrollment, minimum performance competencies. Nondegree students also may be required to seek permission from the instructor. After attempting 18 credits, nondegree students need to apply for admission if they wish to continue. (College graduates can take as many courses as they want.)

Nondegree students can take a maximum of nine credits during fall or spring semester. In summer or winter terms, nondegree students are limited to taking seven credits per term.

Students may be considered for nondegree status if they

  • graduated from high school (or received a GED) three or more years ago;
  • have less than 30 credits from another college or university with at least a 2.0 cumulative grade point average (GPA);
  • have earned a college degree and want to take courses for professional or personal development;
  • are a high school student with a letter of recommendation from their guidance counselor or principal.

Individuals who have been out of high school for less than three years and are interested in nondegree enrollment will need to submit the following supporting documentation:

  • Unofficial high school transcript showing a minimum GPA of 2.80, and graduation in the top 40% of the class
  • Unofficial transcript from any college/university previously attended, showing a minimum GPA of 2.00
  • Unofficial copy of SAT scores showing a minimum score of 1020 in Content Reading and Math

For more information, contact Pre-Major Academic Advising at 610-436-3505 or e-mail

The University recognizes and awards credit for life-learning experience that can accelerate a student's degree. The Office for Adult Studies advises students on how to earn college credit for their learning experience through three available options:

  • Credit by Examination (contact the Registrar's Office)
  • Portfolio Development
  • College Level Examination Program (CLEP)

Students may use any combination of these options and progress at their own pace.

For additional information, contact the Office of Graduate Studies and Extended Education at 610-436-1009 or e-mail

Post-Baccalaureate Teacher Certification

Individuals who are interested in post-baccalaureate teacher certification, at either the undergraduate or graduate level, should contact the Office of Graduate Studies and Extended Education for admissions materials. Applicants will be referred to the appropriate faculty adviser(s) for completion of the Approved Program of Studies form.

Veterans Affairs

Under the provisions of Title 38, West Chester University is an accredited university for the education of veterans. The University cooperates with the Veterans Administration to see that honorably separated or discharged veterans receive every consideration consistent with either degree or nondegree admission standards.

All veterans, certain dependents of disabled or deceased veterans, and war orphans who wish to obtain educational benefits under the appropriate public laws must register with the office overseeing veterans affairs at initial registration. Veterans must renew their registration with this office at the beginning of each subsequent semester and each summer session. The Veterans Administration requires students who are veterans to schedule at least 12 semester hours per semester in order to receive full benefits under the GI Bill.

West Chester University participates in the Yellow Ribbon Program under the Post 9/11 GI Bill. The Post-9/11 GI bill pays up to the in-state tuition and fees for all students in the program, depending on their qualifying benefit level. For out-of-state students at the 100% benefit level, the University will contribute (and the VA will match) funds to make up the difference between in-state and out-of-state tuition and fees.

Certification for Veterans Administration benefits is administered by the Office of Financial Aid, 25 University Ave, 610-430-4197.

The WCU Veterans Center is located at 624 South High Street. A gathering space is available there for veterans to meet with one another, support each other in their educational pursuits, and facilitate conversations among themselves as they share their experiences. For more information contact the Veterans Center at or 610-436-2862.

Armed Services Programs

Army Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC) is available through a cross-enrollment agreement with Widener University. Students receive from 1.0 to 3.0 free elective credit hours per course (maximum 14 credit hours) towards their baccalaureate programs.

West Chester students also may enroll in the Air Force Reserve Officers' Training Program (AFROTC) through an agreement with Saint Joseph's University. All aerospace studies courses are held on the Saint Joseph's University campus, and these courses earn transfer credit at WCU.

The University, with the approval of the Council of Trustees, permits West Chester University students enrolled in the Armed Services Reserve Officer Candidate Program (ROC) to receive six semester hours of baccalaureate credit upon successful completion and certification of ROC military requirements. These credits are classified as free elective transfer credits. Depending on the status of the student's program at the time of ROC credit transfer, these credits will be counted toward, or in excess of, the 120 credits required for a baccalaureate degree.

ROC programs are contingent on successful completion of a military requirement during vacation and the awarding of a college degree before being granted the service commission.

Graduate Studies

West Chester's graduate programs offer study opportunities leading to the master of education, master of arts, master of public administration, master of science in nursing, master of business administration, master of public health, master of science, master of social work, and master of music degrees. West Chester schedules its graduate courses in the late afternoon and evening during the fall and spring semesters. It is possible to pursue full-time graduate study during the academic year and during summer sessions.

Important information about the educational debt, earnings, and completion rates of students who attended this program.

M.S. Biology (thesis and nonthesis)

Certificate in Business

Communication Sciences and Disorders
M.A. Communicative Disorders

Communication Studies
M.A. Communication Studies

Computer Science
M.S. Computer Science
Certificates in Computer Security; Information Systems; Web Technology

Counselor Education
M.Ed. Elementary School Counseling
M.Ed. Secondary School Counseling
M.S. Higher Education/Student Affairs
Certificate in Higher Education Counseling/Student Affairs
Professional Counseling Licensure Preparation Letter of Completion
Specialist I Certificate in Counseling (Elementary or Secondary)

Criminal Justice
M.S. Criminal Justice

Early and Middle Grades Education
M.Ed. Early Childhood Education
M.Ed. Applied Studies in Teaching and Learning
Post-Baccalaureate Certification in Early Grades Preparation (PreK-Grade 4)
Post-Baccalaureate Certification in Middle Grades Preparation (Grades 4-8)
Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study

M.A. English (thesis and nonthesis; concentrations: Literature; and Writing, Teaching, and Criticism; and Creative Writing)

Geography and Planning
M.A. Geography
Certificate in Geographic Technology
Certificate in Urban and Regional Planning

Geology and Astronomy
M.A. Geoscience (Concentration: Earth Sciences)
Certifications in Earth and Space Science and/or General Science

M.Ed. School Health
Certificates in Emergency Preparedness; Health Care Administration; Integrative Health

M.A. History
M.Ed. History

Holocaust and Genocide Studies
M.A. Holocaust and Genocide Studies
Certificate in Holocaust and Genocide Studies

M.S. Exercise and Sport Physiology
M.S. Physical Education
Certificate in Adapted Physical Education
Certificate in Sport Management and Athletics

Languages and Cultures
M.A. French
M.A. Spanish
M.Ed. French
M.Ed. Spanish

M.Ed. Reading
Certification as a Reading Specialist
Certificate in Literacy

M.A. Mathematics (Concentrations: Mathematics, Mathematics Education)
M.S. Applied Statistics
Certification in Mathematics
Certificate in Applied Statistics

M.M. (Concentrations: History and Literature, Theory and Composition)
M.M. Music Education
M.M. Music Performance
M.M. Piano Pedagogy
Certification in Music Education
Certificates in Kodaly Methodology, Music Technology, Orff-Schulwerk, Piano Pedagogy


M.A. Philosophy
M.A. Philosophy (Concentration: Applied Ethics)
Certificate in Business Ethics
Certificate in Healthcare Ethics

Professional and Secondary Education
M.Ed. Secondary Education
Certification in Secondary Education
Certificate in Education for Sustainability
Certificate in Educational Technology
Certificate in Entrepreneurial Education

M.A. Clinical Psychology
M.A. General Psychology
M.A. Industrial/Organizational
Clinical Mental Health Letter of Completion

Public Policy and Administration
M.P.A. (Concentration: Human Resource Management, Nonprofit Administration, Public Administration)
Certificate in Human Resource Management
Certificate in Nonprofit Administration
Certificate in Public Administration

Social Work

Special Education
M.Ed. Special Education (Options: traditional; online; Philadelphia Multi-University Center)
Certification in Special Education
Certificate in Autism
Certificate in Universal Design for Learning/Assistive Technology (Online)

Teaching English as a Second Language
M.A. Teaching English as a Second Language
Certificate in Teaching English as a Second

The following departments and interdisciplinary areas offer graduate courses, but no graduate degree: Accounting, Anthropology and Sociology, Art, Chemistry, Economics/Finance, Linguistics, Management, Marketing, Nutrition, Pharmaceutical Product Development, and Women’s and Gender Studies.

Scholarly Publications

College Literature: A Journal of Critical Literary Studies is dedicated to publishing original and innovative scholarly research across the various periods, intellectual fields, and geographical locations that comprise the changing discipline of Anglophone and comparative literary studies. Graham MacPhee of the Department of English serves as editor.

Aralia Press

This nationally renowned literary fine press, located in 509 Francis Harvey Green Library, gives students hands-on experience in the publishing field through traditional book production.

Poetry Center

The West Chester University Poetry Center hosts the annual West Chester University Poetry Conference (the largest annual all-poetry writing conference in America), sponsors the University’s Poet-in-Residence program, presents poetry readings throughout the year, and collaborates on poetry and music concerts with the College of Visual and Performing Arts. The center also oversees national poetry awards under the auspices of the Iris N. Spencer Poetry Awards. The center is located in the WCU Poetry House, and Dr. Kim Bridgford, Department of English, is the director.