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Transfer Requirements

Your application to WCU begins with a strong academic record. We particularly look for:

You must document that you have fulfilled the high school Minimum Eligibility Requirements (MER) and Minimum Course Requirements (MCR) as established by the UNC Board of Governors unless you meet one of the following conditions:

  • You are at least 21 years old
  • You have 24+ hours of college credit
  • You have earned an associate of arts, associate of science, associate of fine arts or bachelor’s degree

Whether transfer applicants attended public, private or home school; North Carolina or out-of-state high school; or high school equivalency programs, they must have earned a high school diploma or its equivalent and have satisfied the Minimum Course Requirements (or qualify for an exemption) as established by the UNC Board of Governors:

  • Four units of English
  • Two units of social studies (one in U.S. history)
  • Four units of mathematics (algebra I, algebra II, geometry and an advanced unit of mathematics beyond algebra II)
  • Three units of science (life science, physical science and a laboratory course)
  • Two units of one language other than English
  • The more credits you earn and the higher your collegiate GPA, the greater likelihood you have of gaining admission to the university.
  • Completion of a college degree or other recognized body of work at a community college strengthens an applicant’s record (and may benefit the student in terms of credit policies).
  • Performance in college courses taken in early or middle college or other high school dual-enrollment courses can affect an admission decision because all undergraduate college work attempted factors into your cumulative higher education GPA.
  • Good academic and social standing, eligibility to continue at or return to your most recent institution attended, performance in most recent work, and the length of time since college work has been attempted are examples of other factors that weigh into an admission decision.
  • The cumulative GPA as listed on each college transcript will be the primary GPA used to calculate your higher education GPA. Because colleges vary in repeat policies, grading systems, whether developmental course grades are included within the GPA calculation, etc., such differences will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Background checks may be required for applicants based on information provided on the application. In these cases, you will be required to submit a background check as part of the application process.

The Office of Admission is responsible for making admission decisions pertaining to enrollment at WCU at the undergraduate level but not to a specific program of study. Some undergraduate programs have established admission requirements beyond admission to the university. For more information, go to Academic Program Requirements.

All newly admitted degree-seeking undergraduate students are required to have a computer. Read the complete requirement.

Records for Admission

All of your documentation does not have to arrive together. We recommend that you complete your application first and then request to have your official transcripts sent to WCU immediately following. Any information received in advance of an application (i.e., official transcripts) will be held for 12 months in anticipation that an application is forthcoming. Information that is received after an application has been received will be processed and added to the applicant’s record. Send all records to:

Western Carolina University 
Office of Undergraduate Admission 
1 University Drive
110 H. F. Robinson Bldg.
Cullowhee, NC 28723

or electronically to: 

What must you submit or do and what should you submit or do as part of your application for admission?

Required Actions and Records

Be sure that you complete the correct application (i.e., a separate application exists for undergraduates who wish to enroll in a distance or online program). Be sure to be truthful, accurate and thorough. Read each question carefully. Submit the application (and all required information) in advance of application deadlines.

This required, $65 nonrefundable processing fee should be submitted at the time of application. The online application provides information about electronic submission of the application fee. If the application fee is paid by a check, be sure that the applicant’s full name (as it appears on the application for admission) is noted on the check.

NOTE: Application fee waiver requests, based upon financial need, must be submitted in writing in advance of any application deadlines, and financial need must be verified by an official third party (i.e., a financial aid counselor). Approval will be based upon level of demonstrated need, timeliness and thoroughness of the request, and the number of waivers that already have been approved for the term in question.

An official high school transcript (or its equivalent) and standardized test scores are required at the time of application and prior to application deadlines for transfer students unless you meet one of the following exceptions:

  • You are at least 21 years old

  • You have earned an associate of arts, associate of science, associate of fine arts, or bachelor’s degree

  • Exemptions may apply if you are under the age of 21 depending on amount and strength of college coursework

You must submit official transcripts from all institutions attended whether you attempted the courses while in high school or after high school completion and regardless of whether the courses will transfer.

You must submit official test results for any credit earned by examination (i.e., Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, DANTES, CLEP subject examinations) in order for credit to be considered.

Western Carolina University will evaluate each undergraduate transfer application once your application and other required documents (official transcripts, scores, etc.) have been received by the Office of Admission.  

November 1: International transfer student application deadline for Spring Term.

November 1: Transfer student application deadline for Spring Term.

December 1: Transfer enrollment deposit ($300) deadline for Spring Term.

January 1: Priority filing date to submit FAFSA.

January 1: Financial aid deadline to apply for federal loans and need-based grants.

January 2: Final high school (if applicable) and college transcript deadline.

February 1: Priority consideration deadline for freshman merit-based scholarships.

April 1: The Financial Aid Office begins mailing award notifications.

April 1: International transfer student application deadline for Fall Term.

April 1: Transfer student Summer Term and Fall Term application deadline.

May 1: Transfer enrollment deposit ($300) deadline for Summer Term.

June 1: Transfer enrollment deposit ($300) deadline for Fall Term.

July 15: Final high school (if applicable) and college transcript deadline.

Recommended Actions and Records 

Part of the deliberation regarding an applicant is an assessment of the applicant’s likelihood to persist and graduate. Applicants who have made a formal visit to campus can more accurately determine whether WCU is the best fit for them; therefore, they are more likely to remain enrolled and graduate. Prospective students are strongly encouraged to take part in a campus tour and presentation or an open house.

Essays are not required; however, any essay or bio sheet that is received is included in the applicant’s record and is considered in tandem with the required documentation. In some cases, an applicant may be encouraged to provide a written explanation in regard to information received. Essays should reinforce the academic information provided and shed added perspective on an applicant’s ability and willingness to perform at a competitive level in college.

Reference letters are not required; however, submitted references become a part of the applicant’s record and are considered in the review process. In some cases, an applicant may be encouraged to submit recommendations. Reference letters should provide added insight into the ability and motivation of a student to perform at a competitive level at WCU. References do not replace the significance of academic records; rather, they supplement the required documentation.

Midterm progress reports are not required of all applicants; however, they may be required on a case-by-case basis, particularly for applicants who have not attempted many college courses or for applicants whose higher education GPA or most recent grades are marginal.

Knowing the courses a transfer student is taking or has remaining is beneficial in the application review, advising and registration processes.

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