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Catamount Gap

Get a Head Start on Your College Career!

REGISTER NOW for Catamount Gap 2023



"I was able to make friends and have fun while still doing something productive with my summer."
-- Samantha D, 2018 Catamount Gap Student

So now that you've been accepted to WCU, why wait for fall? Get a head start on your college career by participating in Catamount Gap! 

This 5-week program, provides students the opportunity to develop a network of faculty, staff, high-achieving upperclassman, and peers in an inclusive learning community environment. Students will receive lots of academic support, earn 6-8 credits toward graduation, and have fun with friends ranging from outdoor adventures to movies and game nights!

WHY Catamount Gap in the Summer?

  • Get a jump-start on your major or liberal studies requirements--students take USI 130, University Experience (or the corresponding Honors equivalent, USI 101) and two additional courses chosen based on the student's major, interests, and any transfer credit.
  • Connect with other students and make lasting friendships!
  • Build relationships with key faculty members who will continue to support you throughout your time at WCU.
  • Earn 6-8 credits--half a semester's worth of courses--in just five weeks!
  • Receive support from the Writing and Learning Commons, Math Tutoring Center, and Supplemental Instruction.
  • Be matched with a high-achieving peer mentor.
  • Learn the ins and outs of the university during the slower-paced summer session.
  • Go on a field trip! Classes have visited Duke Energy Center, the Cherokee Museum, and the French Broad River.
  • Enjoy the adventure opportunities the mountains of Western North Carolina provides during the summer. 
  • Move-in: Wednesday, June 21, 2023 (late move-in is allowed on June 22 morning for special circumstances)
  • WCU Orientations: Thursday and Friday, June 22 and 23, 2023
  • MAPS Orientation: Saturday, June 24, 2023
  • Classes begin: Monday, June 26, 2023
  • Classes end: Friday, July 28, 2023
  • Closing Ceremony and Move-out: Saturday, July 29, 2023
  • Fall Classes begin: Monday, August 21, 2023

CORE Class #1:

USI 130: The University Experience (1 credit)
Introduction to the university and to higher education. Discussion of issues involved in the transition from high school to college like time management, brain-based studying techniques, etc. Overall emphasis on academic and career planning and personal development.


Core Class #2 (one of the following 3 credit classes):

  • English 101: Writing and Rhetoric (ENGL 101)
  • English 190: Freshmen Seminar in Literature (ENGL 190)
  • Communication 201: Foundations of Communication (COMM 201)
  • Math 130: Precalculus I (MATH 130)


Free Choice Class #3 (one of the following 3 credit classes):

  • Health 111: Stress Management (HEAL 111)
  • Psychology 150: General Psychology (PSY 150)
  • Art 104: Introduction to the Visual Arts (ART 104)
  • Geology 141: Earth History and Prehistoric Life (GEO 141)
  • Education 190: Teachers, Schools and Society (EDCI 190)


Class Size: 
These classes are small, approximately 20 to no more than 25 students per course section, so that students receive personal attention from their instructors.
Study Hall Sessions:
In addition to the coursework above, students are required to attend study hall sessions from Monday to Thursday. 

Students in Catamout Gap are eligible to apply for federal financial aid to cover the cost of the program. If you are interested in financial aid for Summer School, you must also complete FAFSA for 2022-2023. You may apply for summer FAFSA now. Questions about financial aid should be addressed to the Western Carolina University Financial Aid Office at 828.227.7290 or emailed to

The summer costs include tuition, fees, room, board, and all Catamount Gap activities. The costs for the fall and spring semesters are at the regular school year rate. 

2023 Catamount Gap In-State Out-of-State
Tuition and Fees (7 credit hours) $893.97 $2,060.59
Tuition and Fees (8 credit hours) $1,021.68 $2,354.96
Room (double occupancy)* $722 $722
Meal plan $750.09 $750.09
Total (7 credit hours) $2,366.06 $3,532.68
Total (8 credit hours) $2,493.77 $3,827.05

This table serves as an estimation; actual cost is affected by many factors and is not final until posted to students’ accounts. 
*Single rooms are available for additional cost, but are limited.  Contact Residential Living for more information.

If the student is not waiving health insurance, then there will be an additional fee added for Student Health Insurance. The amount for summer coverage (July) is yet to be determined. This cost will be added to the student's bill and removed if the student waives the Student Health Insurance for the school year. 
The deposits ($150 tuition and $150 housing) will be subtracted from the total summer charges.
Note: Only one set of deposits ($300 total) needs to be paid and will cover enrollment for the summer and fall terms. Deposits are non-refundable.

Orientation charges: 
The Orientation charges for students and parents must be paid prior to attending orientation. More information about Orientation will be sent in April. 
(The University reserves the right to alter any charges without any prior notice upon direction from the appropriate governing authorities.)

Students may participate in intramurals, attend movies and concerts, get involved with campus leadership opportunities. Activities have included rock climbing, hiking, whitewater rafting, tubing, camping, canoeing, baseball games, regional/cultural tours, and picnics. Students are encouraged to be actively engaged and to make suggestions for special trips and excursions.

For more information, please visit the Frequently Asked Questions page.

What Former Catamount Gap Students Have to Say: 

Natalie Davis

Hugo Sanchez

Ready to Enroll?

Please follow these easy steps to sign up for Gap Summer:

  1. Review the Frequently Asked Questions page.
  2. Click on this link to Register Now .
  3. Complete the Summer Activities Events Waiver Form.
    • Scan and email it to   !! pictures from your mobile device will NOT work.
    • Or, Fax it to 828.227.7078
    • Or, Mail it to:

205 Killian Annex
Western Carolina University
1 University Drive
Cullowhee, NC 28723

  1. If you have disability accommodations from high school or a documented disability, please register with the Office of Accessibility Resources.
  2. You might have filled out the 2023-2024 FAFSA for your Fall enrollment which will apply to Fall 2023, Spring 2024, and Summer 2024. If you would like to apply for financial aid for the summer Gap Program, please fill out the 2022-2023 FAFSA which will provide funding for Summer 2023.

Finally, please follow these steps to finish applying to WCU:

  1. Before you begin, click on this WCU Admission Checklist to get your bearings.
  2. Then, refer to the Admitted Students site and follow the step-by-step instructions (if you have not done so already).
  3. Finally, you will log in to your MyWCU account, the same account you used to apply to continue the admission process. Log onto MyWCU using your 92 number (student ID number) which you will find in your acknowledgment letter.
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