Western Carolina University

A logo of Western Carolina University for our school profile


Undergraduate and Graduate Degrees From Western Carolina University

Western Carolina University appears in our ranking of the 25 Best Bachelor’s in Engineering Online Degrees. In addition to the Bachelor’s in Engineering Technology, Western Carolina University offers a number of degree programs for both undergrads and graduate students. The university has a variety of education programs that help students get their teaching licenses in North Carolina. Its Birth to Kindergarten Education program is a unique option that teaches students more about early childhood education. The university also offers an English Education program for those who want to teach English. Most education programs require that students do observation work in the field and that they do some teaching as well. Students with an interest in film and television might find the university’s Film and Television Production appealing. North Carolina is home to a number of studios. It also offers tax incentives that help studios film in the state for less money. Students enrolled in this program have the chance to work on real sets and with actual actors. They’ll also take classes to learn what happens behind the scenes. Some courses allow them to work on their own productions. Graduate programs include options like a Clinical Mental Health Counseling program. This program requires that students do hours of fieldwork and work with real patients. The university’s Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) program allows students to pick a concentration in the nursing field based on their career goals. A student must have a BSN and a valid nursing license before enrolling in this program. Western Carolina University also offers graduate programs in other fields, including:
  • Social Sciences Education
  • Higher Education Student Affairs
  • Communication Sciences
  • Disorders and Social Work.

About Western Carolina University

Established in 1889, Western Carolina University (WCU) is a public university in North Carolina. Some also call the university Western Carolina. Founded as a small academy, it offered an alternative option for students who wanted to attend high school. It later became a normal school. The training programs that it offered helped students become teachers in some of the new schools opening in the south. Western Carolina also served as a teachers college and a state teachers college before becoming Western Carolina College and then WCU. Eight colleges and schools operate under the WCU name, including the College of Arts and Sciences and the College of Business. Its Graduate School is responsible for all  graduate programs. Its Honors College offers opportunities for students who meet honors requirements. Five programs available at the university allow students to study the history and culture of the region. It even has a program dedicated to preserving Native American languages. WCU has a flagship campus in Cullowhee, North Carolina and two other campuses in Cherokee and Asheville. It has an enrollment of more than 11,000, which includes graduate students and undergrads.

Western Carolina University Accreditation Details

It’s accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS). With regional accreditation, students can get financial aid when they first enroll in the university. It also allows students to transfer any credits they earned from one college or university to another. More than 10 of its programs have accreditation as well. Program accreditation comes from organizations like:
  • the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
  • National Association of Schools of Music
  • National Association of Schools of Art and Design

Western Carolina University Application Requirements

Though both undergrads and graduate students can apply to Western Carolina, they must meet different admissions requirements. Undergrads can use one application to apply to any of the university’s traditional degree programs. They’ll use a different application when applying to a distance education program. This includes all the available online programs. The university asks all students to create an application account. They can use that account to work on the application and to view the decision made by the university. It also allows them to log in and see if the university needs any more information from them. Undergrads will submit an official high school transcript and an official test score to the university. They can submit scores from either the SAT or the ACT. Graduate students can also use the online application and create their own accounts. The requirements that they need to meet will vary across programs. WCU asks for an unofficial transcript that shows the student made successful steps towards completing a bachelor’s degree. Prior to starting classes, the student must present an official transcript that shows he or she finished that degree. Many programs also ask for a resume that shows all the professional experiences that the student has and for a personal statement or a goals statement. Students may need to submit a writing sample and provide references or letters of recommendation too.

Tuition and Financial Aid

The North Carolina Tuition Promise Plan is a plan created by the state that went into effect in 2018. This promise applies to all public schools and allows students to earn their degrees for less money. The program brought down the tuition costs that students face. Undergrads taking at least 12 credits each semester qualify for the university’s full-time tuition rate. This charges North Carolina residents $3,388 per semester. Nonresidents pay $4,950.50 per semester. Students living on the WCU campus must also pay for both a meal plan and a dorm room in one of its residence halls. Full-time graduate students must take at least nine credits a semester. Residents pay $4,950.50 per semester. Nonresidents pay $10,154 each semester. Some programs charge slightly higher fees, and those enrolling in a doctoral program will face higher costs too. A large number of Western Carolina students across all levels qualify for financial aid every year. The university encourages students to apply for financial aid via the FAFSA, even if they think they will not get any aid. Undergrads can work for WCU in different jobs on its campus. They can also use loans and grants to cover their costs. Graduate students may qualify for different types of grants too. Those students often use federal loans to cover most or all of their costs. Western Carolina University also offers scholarships that undergrads can apply for before the start of the fall semester.

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