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Future Students

Thank you for your interest in Western Carolina University's distance learning programs! We are here Please browse the information below for answers to many of your frequently asked questions. Have additional questions? Contact us!

About WCU

WCU was founded in 1889 to bring higher education and career opportunities to the western region of North Carolina. A member of the University of North Carolina system, WCU now provides an education to more than 10,000 students from 48 states and 35 countries. Read more


Western Carolina University is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award bachelor's, master's, education specialist, and doctorate degrees. Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of Western Carolina University. Also, the university holds 21 special program accreditations and is a member of more than 30 state and national associations and organizations to which its professional programs are related. Please see the WCU Undergraduate Catalog for more specific information about accreditations, associations and organizations.

Applying for Admission

Whether you're seeking a degree, certificate or just looking to take a course, applying to a college or university can often be a bit intimidating. We make it easy, just follow our "steps to apply for admission." Admission to an online program is a two stage process. First, you need to get accepted to the University and then be accepted by the program.

Program Admission Requirements

Each program has an individual web site outlining the program requirements, for both admission, and degree completion.

Can I complete an entire undergraduate degree online?

No, WCU's undergraduate degree programs are considered "degree completion" programs. You will need to have at least some prior coursework completed. The amount of transfer credits you will need to be accepted will vary from program to program. View the program web page for more information.

Liberal Studies Requirements

All undergraduate online degree programs have a core of liberal studies classes that are required. Most students will have some or all of these credits completed prior to enrolling. WCU offers many of these courses online to allow you to complete any missing requirements. You can view our matrix of Liberal Studies Courses to see the requirements and the WCU equivalents.

Transferring Credits from other colleges and universities

There are a variety of ways you can transfer your liberal studies or other course requirements. Some of these include military training, exams for credit, and coursed taken at other colleges and universities. You can review the policy on transferring credits earned elsewhere on the registrar's web page.

Tuition and Fees

Please visit Distance Learning Tuition and Fees.

Financial Aid

The Office of Financial Aid is ready to assist students with funding their education. Information on available programs and application procedures can be found on the Financial Aid web page.

VA and Military Tuition Assistance

WCU's Office of Military Student Services is ready to assist you with using your Veterans or Military Tuition Assistance

Computer Requirements

All students must have a computer with reliable access to the internet. Assignments may include accessing Internet resources, Blackboard, Go to Meeting, email, the WCU library, and the home page of an instructor. Speakers and microphone and or Web-cam may be required for some classes. Students should have access to standard Microsoft Office software. Students, who do not have this software, have the ability to download a student version for free. Other software may be required depending on program.

Support Services for Online Students

Western Carolina University offers a wide variety of services for online students. Students have access to a wide variety of services from academic advising to tutoring. Students can access their student records, pay tuition, view schedules, and register for classes, order books completely online. Students also have access to online tutoring services 24 hours a day via Smarthinking.


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