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Catamount Gap

Get a Head Start on Your College Career!



"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. 

Orientation: Thursday and Friday, June 23rd and 24th, 2022
Classes begin: Monday, June 27th, 2022
Classes end: Friday, July 29th, 2022
Move-out: Saturday, July 30th, 2022
Closing ceremony: Saturday, July 30th, 2022
Fall Classes begin: Monday, August 22nd, 2022

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
   - English 190: Freshmen Seminar in Literature
   - Communication 201
   - Math 130, 146, 153


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

   - Health 123: Health and Wellness (HEAL 123)
   - Political Science 169 or 101 (PSC 169 or PSC 101)
   - Psychology 150: General Psychology (PSY 150)
   - Music 102: Music in American Culture (MUS 102)
   - Art 104: Introduction to the Visual Arts (ART 104)
   - Finance 210: Managing Your Money for Financial Success (FIN 210)
   - Geology 140: Investigations in Environmental Geology (GEO 140)
   - Natural Resources Management 140: Natural Resources Conservation
      and Management (NRM 140)
   - 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.

Supplemental Instruction or Study Hall Sessions:
In addition to the coursework above, students are encouraged to attend supplemental instruction and are required to attend study hall sessions from Monday-Thursday. Supplemental instruction is led by graduate students from the department. Concepts from previous class periods are further explored. This allows for group study and additional instruction.

Sample of Summer Academic Schedule

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 2021-2022. You may apply for summer FAFSA now by clicking this link. 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 learning community activities. The costs for the fall and spring semesters are at the regular school year rate. Below are the costs for 2021 Catamount Gap:

2021 Catamount Gap In-State Out-of-State
Room (double occupancy) $709.50 $709.50
Meal Plan $750.09 $750.09
Tuition and Fees, 7 Credit Hours $1,786.19 $2,857.19
Tuition and Fees, 8 Credit Hours $2,041.36 $3,265.36
Total Cost, 7 Credit Hours $3,245.78 $4,316.78
Total Cost, 8 Credit Hours $3,500.95 $4,724.95

*Single rooms are available for additional cost, but are limited. Contact  Residential Living for more information.

Orientation Costs:
The Orientation fee must be paid separately at the time that you register for orientation. More information about Orientation will be available soon.

(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: 

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