As the westernmost institution in the UNC system, Western Carolina University provides
educational opportunities to residents of the state’s western region and attracts
students from around the globe to explore the area’s vast resources.
At Western Carolina University, we view our admissions process as our opportunity
to build the community that defines our institution. We look for people eager to explore
and ready to redefine success.
Programs and courses at Western Carolina are designed to provide hands-on, applied
experience. Students engage with communities across the region as they practice their
profession in real-world environments.
Western Carolina’s unique mountain location helps fuel a vibrant campus community
with more than 170 student clubs and organizations as well as a busy performing arts
calendar and the campus’s own adventure guide service.
Western Carolina is home to 16 Southern Conference athletic teams with more than 375
student athlete competitors. WCU strives to inspire student-athletes to compete like
champions on the field and in the classroom.
Western Carolina was founded to serve the region it calls home, and that has not changed.
WCU continues to focus on regional development initiatives, engaged service and community
programs. It also partners with alumni and donors to ensure access to higher education
for deserving students in the region and beyond.
Each year, particularly in the summer sessions, WCU welcomes numerous students who
attend other colleges and universities who desire to take courses at WCU with the
intent of transferring those courses back to their home institutions.
Because transient students are only visiting WCU for a brief period and are not seeking
to complete a degree at WCU, some policies and procedures differ for transient students
as compared with 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 transfer student)
Exemption from orientation
Ineligibility for merit awards or financial aid through WCU (transient students can
only be considered for aid through their home institutions)
Mandatory semester-by-semester approval to continue at WCU as a transient student
Ineligibility for an evaluation of credits earned elsewhere or a degree audit
Ineligibility for assignment of an academic adviser
Restriction of 18 hours of attempted work, without special approval, in any one term
Lower priority for access to registration, course selection and on-campus living accommodations
(subject to availability after those opportunities have been opened to degree-seeking
Keep in mind that many institutions do not award transfer credit for grades below
a C nor do they incorporate grades earned at another institution within their own
Transient students are responsible for ensuring that courses attempted at WCU will
transfer back to their home institutions. Most colleges have a form and/or protocol
so that their students can gain approval to take courses elsewhere as a transient
(or visiting) student. Often, the Office of the Registrar and the academic department
are involved in the approval process.
Since transient students are not seeking a degree at WCU, WCU can forego requiring
all of the documentation that a degree-seeking student would have to submit. The minimum
amount of information that a transient student must submit, by application deadlines,
includes the following:
Accurately and completely fill out the appropriate application for admission:
If a transient student plans to enroll in any resident-credit (campus-based) courses,
then the applicant should apply as a transient student using our returning and non-degree application (undergraduate non-degree)
Students desiring to take graduate-level courses must contact the Graduate School.
This nonrefundable processing fee is required for consideration as a transient student.
Official documentation from an applicant’s home institution verifying that the applicant
is in good standing and currently is eligible to continue or return. NOTE: An official
transcript can be used in lieu of the approval form to verify a student’s status at
his or her home institution; however, the student is encouraged to make use of the
home institution’s approval form and process rather than submitting transcripts. This
form is optional and is not required for admission.
For your sake, it is recommended that the form from your home institution detail approval
of the specific WCU course(s) you wish to take and how your home institution will
treat the proposed course(s) in transfer. This information also can be helpful if
the desired WCU course(s) has prerequisites because WCU will not have access to your
transcript to see whether you meet the prerequisites. Course descriptions from the
WCU catalog may assist your institution in determining the course equivalency at your
Transient Admitted Students
Transient students who are approved for enrollment will receive an acceptance letter
and access to the MyWCU student portal which includes a checklist to aid in the enrollment
process. The applicability of some of the information will depend upon each transient
student’s specific plans or needs (i.e., number of courses, location or instructional
mode of courses, living arrangements, timing of courses, special needs, etc.). Some
of the next steps after gaining admission 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
If you qualify for one of the above listed exemptions, you may contact Health Services
at 828.227.7640 and request that this requirement be removed from your record after
submission of application.
Because on-campus housing is required for many degree-seeking students but not required
for transient students, campus housing is subject to availability (space in campus-based
housing typically is available in summer sessions). Housing deposits may be remitted
online, and the agreement form can be submitted once an applicant has been admitted.
WCU is committed to equality of educational opportunities for qualified students with
All newly admitted degree-seeking undergraduate students along with all readmitted
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. Distance and online courses and programs have technology
requirements as well. 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 upon 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.