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Special Non-Degree

Special Non-Degree Applicants

Qualified individuals who wish to enroll in college courses for personal, educational or professional enrichment (i.e., fulfill prerequisites for graduate or professional school, maintain professional licensure or credentials, enhance professional knowledge or skills, take a course as a senior citizen, etc.) are invited to submit an application as a special, non-degree seeking student. Special, non-degree applicants must have earned a high school degree or its equivalent, be in good standing and eligible to return to their most recent college or university, and possess sufficient prerequisite course credit or background to warrant enrolling to take courses at WCU.

Because special non-degree seeking students are not being admitted for the purpose of completing a degree at WCU, some policies and procedures differ from those for first-year or transfer students. (All non-degree students who wish to be considered for degree-seeking status must submit the appropriate new application for admission as well as all required supporting documentation.) Some of the differences include:

  • Classification as a non-degree seeking student (as opposed to a first-year or transfer student)
  • Exemption from orientation
  • Ineligibility for merit awards or financial aid through WCU
  • Ineligibility to reside on campus unless participating in a special camp or program that includes a residential living component
  • Limitation to no more than 18 semester hours of credit under this status without special approval
  • Ineligibility for an evaluation of credits earned elsewhere or a degree audit
  • Ineligibility for assignment of an academic adviser
  • Different priority access to registration, course selection and on-campus living accommodations from that of degree-seeking students.

Because special non-degree seeking students are not actively pursuing a degree at WCU, these applicants are not required to submit all of the documentation that a degree-seeking student would have to submit; however, the applicant must provide information that demonstrates sufficient background and preparation to warrant admission. The minimum amount of information that a special non-degree student must submit, by application deadlines, includes the following: 

Accurately and completely fill out the appropriate application for admission:

  • If a special non-degree seeking student plans only to attempt distance or online courses, then the applicant should complete the undergraduate distance application
  • If a special non-degree seeking student plans to enroll in any resident-credit (campus-based) courses, then the applicant should complete the undergraduate non-degree seeking student application (type of student is “non-degree”).
  • Students desiring to take graduate-level courses must contact the Graduate School.

This $65 nonrefundable processing fee is required for consideration as a special non-degree seeking student.

The special non-degree seeking student classification is not to be used as a means of circumventing the academic requirements of degree-seeking applicants or as an attempt to qualify for undergraduate admission at WCU. Additional information (i.e., transcripts or standardized test scores) may be required on a case-by-case basis to verify information or eligibility, substantiate academic background or validate completion of stated prerequisites.

Special Non-Degree Admitted Students

Special non-degree seeking students who are offered admission will receive an acceptance letter, an information sheet and a checklist to aid in the enrollment process. The applicability of some of the information will depend on the student’s specific plans or needs (i.e., number of courses, location or instructional mode of courses, timing of courses, special needs, etc.). Some of the next steps after gaining admission may include:

North Carolina state law requires anyone entering college to present a certificate of immunization documenting compliance with all required immunizations. The statute applies to all students except:

  • Students taking all evening classes
  • Students taking classes that meet off campus
  • Students taking no more than four day-credit hours in on-campus courses
  • Students taking weekend classes only

WCU is committed to equality of educational opportunities for qualified students with documented disabilities.

All new and returning degree-seeking undergraduate students are required to have a computer. The computer requirement includes a software and hardware component. Given this requirement, the faculty incorporates the use of technology within the curriculum. As a non-degree seeking student, you will be immersed in classes that necessitate access to the same hardware and software as degree-seeking students.

Depending on your specific situation, you may participate in the book rental program at WCU, and/or you may have to purchase your textbooks (i.e., supplemental and laboratory books as well as books for online, distance learning and some specific undergraduate majors must be purchased). Once you have been admitted and are registered for classes, contact the University Bookstore for more information.

Non-degree seeking students, particularly those taking courses on campus, may find the acquisition of a CatCard to be a necessity or a convenience. The CatCard may be used as an identification card, access card (i.e., to specific facilities and events), debit card for on-campus purchases, library card, meal card, discount card and more.

Non-degree seeking students may register via the Web. Registration dates will be posted on the Registrar’s Office website. The academic calendar, catalog, course descriptions, schedules of classes and much more are available through that site as well.

Non-degree seeking students who will attend class on campus or visit campus routinely, particularly on weekdays between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., should obtain a parking permit.

Students may pay by check, money order, cashier’s check or credit card. Student Accounts can assist with information regarding payment deadlines, procedures and questions.

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