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Professional Studies


Contact Professional Studies  

Professional Studies


Lawrence Center Rm. 222
West Chester, PA 19383
Fax: 610-436-2600


Professor Bruce Norris

*To set up an appointment for in-person program information,
change of major or your semester appointment, contact Professor Norris'
administrative support at 610-436-3548,


When should I begin the graduation process?

Students are encouraged to submit their application for graduation when they have approximately one academic year of courses remaining.  Typically, this occurs when the student has earned 90 credits.  This allows the student to identify any unmet requirements with ample time to take those final courses.  Most Professional Studies majors wait to apply for graduation once their courses are scheduled for their final semester at WCU.  Students should consult their major academic advisor on when it is best to submit the application.

Graduation applications are submitted online, via the myWCU portal.  An email confirmation of the receipt of the application will be sent.  The charge for the fee will be posted to the student’s account online.  A Bursar hold will also be posted on the account, which may create scheduling problems if not remedied.

Students must bear in mind that there are deadlines by which you must access the online graduation application.  If that deadline is missed, students must then appear at the Registrar’s office to apply in person, as the portal application is unavailable after the deadline for that semester.  Specific deadline dates are available in the Graduation section of the Registrar’s website.

Throughout this time, the student should be in regular contact (at least once a semester) with their major and minor academic advisors.  Any unmet requirements should be identified and taken by the student.  The Graduation analyst from the Registrar’s office will invite the student to a meeting where a review of their general education requirements will take place.

If at any time there is a question about the process, the student should contact the Graduation Analyst in the Registrar’s office or the major academic advisor.

What happens if I am not cleared to graduate when I had planned?

You will be notified via the graduation notes section of your Degree Progress Report on my WCU.  The reasons will be identified along with contact information to address the deficiencies.  Students who receive this graduation note notification should act quickly to address the deficiency.  All identified deficiencies must be rectified in order to earn your degree, no matter how long it may take.

How are Professional Studies Students cleared for graduation?

The final graduation clearance process is initiated by the Office of the Registrar.  A list of all students who have filed their final application for graduation for the specific term will be sent to the Program Director.  The Program Director will review the record of each student on the list and indicate if the student has completed the degree requirements.  Typically, comments on the list will include the need for the student to earn their academic minors.  The completed clearances are then submitted electronically.  Once the list is submitted, all graduation notes will be added to the student’s DPR.

The minor departments also receive a list for their major graduates AND students graduating with that department’s minor.  They must indicate if the student has earned the minor (or will do so upon successful completion of that semester’s courses).

Finally, the graduation analyst in the Office of the Registrar will verify that the student has completed the appropriate general education requirement.

A “NO” from any one for these offices will prevent the student from graduating

At the Commencement ceremony, students are called to the stage by their colleges. What college is the home for the Professional Studies Program?

The Bachelor of Science in Liberal Studies: Professional Studies program is housed in the School of Interdisciplinary and Graduate Studies.  Prior to the ceremony, students should assemble at the location identified for SIGS majors.  When SIGS students are called, Professional Studies students will walk across the stage.

In the event of inclement weather (spring commencement), it is necessary to hold two indoor ceremonies.  Professional Studies students will attend and participate in the indoor ceremony specified for SIGS students.

When will I be officially considered a graduate of West Chester University?

Assuming all graduation requirements are met and all outstanding obligations are fulfilled, final and formal awarding of your bachelor’s degree typically occurs 3-4 weeks after the conclusion of your final semester.  For December graduation candidates, remember that the university is closed for approximately one week during the mid-year break, so that will delay the process somewhat.  You can determine your status by monitoring the Degree Progress Report on your my WCU homepage.  Your status will be updated there.  Once your degree has been awarded, you may begin to order official transcripts that can be used for employment seeking and graduate school application purposes.

When will I receive my diploma?

Once you receive final clearance for graduation, your degree will be officially awarded.  Your academic record will be amended to reflect the awarded status of your degree, along with the academic minors on your program of study.  At that time, you will be able to order official transcripts reflecting your degree status.  Any transcripts provided after this time will also reflect the awarded status.  The diploma will be sent to you shortly after final clearance is granted.  Please allow 3-4 weeks following your finals for your final term for your degree to be awarded.  (for August graduates, 3-4 weeks following the first week of the fall semester for the process to run its course (may be longer following December graduation, due to the closure of the university for mid-year break)).  Diplomas will take an additional 4-6 weeks from that date.  If your degree is not awarded by 6 weeks following the completion of your final semester (or after the final day of the last summer session for August graduates), and the reason for the issue is NOT listed on your degree report, please contact the graduation analyst that handles the Professional Studies program clearances.  Please make sure your current mailing address is listed on MyWCU because this is where your diploma will be mailed.  If this information is not up-to-date, then contact the Registrar’s Dept.

Where can I find general information about graduation?

The Office of the Registrar's website has a Graduation section that contains the information regarding graduation in general and about the ceremonies for the current semester. The Quad, WCU's student newspaper, also presents information in a timely manner.

What is the graduation portfolio?

The graduation portfolio is a project that is requested of each Professional Studies major student during the final semester prior to their anticipated graduation.  The portfolio as a whole is intended to provide information to the program director to be used in program assessment as required by the university.  In addition, the process of developing and creating the portfolio is quite useful to the student in that it requires self-assessment and reflection on their goals, the creation of their academic program, and their future plans.

The portfolio components are:

  • A current professional resume;
  • A writing sample, which shows your best writing production. Ideally, this should be from a minor course, although tit may come from any course you have taken at WCU.
  • A reflection paper, through which you will tell your story of your college journey. Prompts will be provided for guidance.

The portfolio is due by the end of finals week for your graduation term.  Summer graduates’ portfolios are due by the end of finals for the third summer session.  Portfolios are submitted electronically, via email attachments.

Resources for Graduation 

Degree Progress Report 

Commencement Information

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