Admission to Western
Western Connecticut State University seeks to enroll students who will benefit from and contribute to the university. Admission to the four undergraduate schools is competitive. Students are admitted to the university on the basis of predicted success in the specific majors for which they apply.
Campus Visit, Interview, Open House
One way the prospective student and the university can learn more about each other is through an on-campus interview. This is not required, but is encouraged. The interview provides applicants with an opportunity to exchange information, ask questions, explain and clarify admission credentials and receive a tentative evaluation of their status.
Visitors to campus are encouraged to take student-conducted tours and to meet informally with students and faculty. This will give a more personal view of Western Connecticut State University. Group presentations and guided tours are available on several Saturdays in the fall and spring, as well as weekday tours when the university is in session. The Office of University Admissions hosts an open house each fall.
Arrangements for a campus visit or interview should be made well in advance. Please call the Office of Admissions at (203) 837-9000 for more information.
Application Procedures (Fall and Spring)
As of July 1, 2014, Western Connecticut State University is a member of The Common Application and students are encouraged to apply online at www.commonapp.org/Login. Students may also apply online using Western’s online application at www.wcsu.edu/admissions/application. Students may obtain a paper application from the Office of Admissions, or download an application from the website at www.wcsu.edu/admissions/application. Transcripts must be sent to the Office of Admissions and additional information such as senior year grades, test scores or final semester grades may be required.
Application dates for undergraduate students:
Fall Semester: Rolling admissions begin December 1, with class spaces filled on a first-come, first-served basis. Pre-nursing and nursing program deadline is February 1; EAP deadline is February 1.
Spring Semester: Rolling admissions begin October 1, with class spaces filled on a first-come, first-served basis.
A $50 nonrefundable application fee must accompany the completed application. No application will be processed without payment of this fee. Waivers of this fee may be made if requested by a recognized educational or social welfare agency.
If admission is offered, a nonrefundable tuition deposit must be submitted by May 1 for fall semester entry.
First-year Application Guidelines
Academic preparation is the most important factor in determining admission. Class rank, grades of “B-” or better, and SAT/ACT (critical reading and math) results are recommended, but a sincere effort is made to judge achievement in relation to the quality and depth of the secondary school program.
Candidates for admission must have a high school diploma from an accredited secondary school or an equivalency diploma. General Educational Development (GED) test scores must be converted into a State of Connecticut Equivalency Diploma. Homeschooled students also may be considered for admission. All students must submit a personal essay and at least one letter of recommendation.
Applicants must show evidence of successful completion of the following academic units in high school with a cumulative grade point average of “B-” or higher:
a. Four years of English, including writing skills and literature.
b. Three years of mathematics, including Algebra I, geometry and Algebra II.
c. Two years of social sciences, including U.S. History.
d. Two years of laboratory sciences.
e. Three years of a single foreign language.
f. Academic course work may be substituted for one of the areas above.
Standardized Test Optional Policy
Beginning with the class entering in fall 2013, the submission of standardized tests (SAT I and ACT) is optional for admission to Western Connecticut State University. While we recognize that standardized tests accurately measure aptitude for many students, there are many others whose talents are not measured by such tests. The test results can serve as an artificial barrier to many highly qualified students, preventing them from even considering degree completion at Western.
We are proud to join with the more than 850 colleges nationwide who have made the decision to move to test-optional admission. Research has shown that the best predictor of academic success in college is the grades students achieve in high school (grade point average of 3.0 or above).
* If Accepted, students who choose to enroll, are required to submit standardized test scores for academic placement and advising or a placement exam. Please note that students applying to the pre-nursing program, are required to submit standardized test scores for admission.
Admission criteria for students who do not submit standardized test scores are as follows:
- Un-weighted B or 3.0 recalculated to university standards or top 35% of class
- Resume of activities/letters of recommendation (required)
- Official high school transcript (required)
- Personal essay (required)
- March 1st deadline
The application fee is $50.
Additional Application Materials:
- SAT I (critical reading and math) scores from the College Board and/or ACT results (to include the writing sample) are required.
- Transfer students are not required, under ordinary circumstances, to submit SAT I results.
- Students who are 20 or older may submit nine semester hours of college credits in lieu of the SAT scores.
- If English is not the applicant’s native language, a 79 (Internet-based exam), 213 (computer-based exam), 550 (paper-based exam) score or higher on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) must be submitted in lieu of, or in addition to, the SAT scores. We will also accept a score of 77 or higher on the Melab and 6 or higher on the IELTS (Band).
- Scholarship and financial aid candidates must be accepted to the university and complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by March 1 to be considered on time.
- Applicants for degrees in music education, Bachelor of Music programs and liberal arts music must complete the application for admission to the university and audition for the department as well. Students must meet the admission criteria of both the university and the music department. In addition, applicants will be tested on (1) knowledge of basic theory; (2) pitch discrimination; (3) basic piano techniques; (4) voice quality and ability to sing in tune.
- Before registration, all entering students are required to present evidence to the Health Service Office of a tuberculin test and proof of immunizations (measles, rubella, mumps and varicella). A recent physical examination is also required before the first class of the semester. Cost of this examination is the responsibility of the student. Please contact the Health Service Office for further information.
- The residence status of each student is defined by Public Act 474 passed by the 1973 General Assembly.
A standard reclassification form will be used by students seeking to change their residence classification. This form is available from the Office of Admissions.
Tuition and fees are determined for each student on the basis of Connecticut or out-of-state residency. The failure of a student to disclose all facts relating to residence status shall be grounds for suspension or expulsion.
Admission Criteria For Nursing Applicants
The first Monday in February is the deadline to apply to the pre-nursing/nursing program.
I. PRE-NURSING: This is Western’s first-year sequence, freshman year, and must be completed successfully before students are allowed to move into the second-year sequence, or a student’s sophomore year. Once admitted to the second-year sequence by the Nursing Department, these students are then called nursing majors.
First-year sequence requirements include the following classes: Interpersonal Communication, a writing-intensive class (English Composition II at other colleges), Introduction to Psychology, Introduction to Sociology, a full year of Survey of Chemistry and a full year of Anatomy and Physiology.
Western’s nursing program is highly competitive. Freshman admission standards for pre-nursing are:
- A score of 1,000 on the critical reading and math SAT combined and a minimum score of 500 on the SAT Math section.
- 3.0 or “B” average or better.
- Top third of graduating class.
- Grade of “C” or better in high school chemistry.
Transfer qualifying standards are:
- 3.0 or “B” average or better.
- “C” grades or better in anatomy/physiology and chemistry. Note: Transfer students may not take General Chemistry I at their sending institution and take Survey of Chemistry II at Western.
- Western does not admit transfer students who have earned a grade of less than “C” in nursing courses from another institution.
II. NURSING: This begins Western’s second-year sequence, or the student’s sophomore year. Admission to the second-year sequence of the nursing major is competitive and is by application to the Department of Nursing. The decision to be admitted to the nursing major is made by the Department of Nursing.
1. All nursing applicants must have successfully completed college preparatory classes in chemistry and biology in high school, or their equivalents in a post-secondary institution.
2. All students must be admitted to the university before applying for admission to the nursing major. The applicant pool is not limited to pre-nursing students. The decision to admit an applicant to the nursing major is made by the Department of Nursing.
a. Applicants must obtain an application form from the Department of Nursing.
b. The completed application must be received by the Department of Nursing by the first Monday in February for the applicant to be considered for enrollment in the nursing major in the forthcoming fall semester. Incomplete applications will not be reviewed.
c. Applicants must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.50 to be considered.
d. Applicants must have successfully completed the following courses:
i. Writing-intensive course (W)
ii. COM 162 Interpersonal Communication
iii. PSY 100 Introduction to Psychology
iv. SOC 100 Introduction to Sociology
v. BIO 105 and BIO 106 or equivalent with a grade of “C” or better
vi. CHE 120 and CHE 121 or equivalent with a grade of “C” or better
vii. MAT 100 Intermediate Mathematics or equivalent test score
e. Once accepted into the nursing program, applicants must complete BIO 106 or equivalent and CHE 121 or equivalent (both with a grade of “C” or better) and any remaining prerequisite courses (a writing intensive course (W), COM 162, PSY 100 or SOC 100) by the semester (i.e., spring term) in which they are accepted, and must maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.50.
f. Students will be notified in April of the admissions decision by the Department of Nursing. Students who meet the above criteria will be admitted on a space-available basis.
3. Applicants to the nursing major will be held to the program requirements in effect at the time of acceptance into the major.
4. Applicants to the nursing major must have a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0 to be considered.
5. Transfer students and Western students wishing to change their major to nursing must apply to their department for admission to the nursing major and must meet the same requirements as pre-nursing students.
III. RN TO BSN: These students are currently licensed Connecticut or New York RNs and hold either an Associate of Science in Nursing or a Hospital Diploma in Nursing. At this time Western is able to accommodate all applicants who meet the entrance requirements. The university does reserve the right to limit the number of students accepted into this program as necessary.
To apply, students must file an application, pay the application fee, have official transcripts sent from every college attended and photocopy both sides of their RN license. The license must be valid and current.
These students may be admitted in the fall or spring semester.
They must have a 3.0 cumulative grade point average or better to be considered.
In some cases, anatomy/physiology and microbiology may have been completed more than 10 years before being admitted. The student is responsible for contacting the Nursing Department chair for permission to use these classes in the major.
Twenty-eight credits in the major are guaranteed to RN to BSN students. However, these students are responsible for meeting all of the university’s requirements for a B.S. in Nursing degree, including general education requirements.
Admission Auditions for All Music Degree Programs
Students wishing to pursue degree programs in the Department of Music must adhere to the following criteria for admission:
1. Fulfill general admission guidelines found in this catalog for the university, school and department.
2. Perform and pass an audition, in person or through electronic media, for members of the faculty. The student, through this audition, must exhibit the standards and skill sets required for entry into the Department of Music, including:
a. The ability to read and interpret standard musical notation.
b. The ability to produce an acceptable tone quality on an instrument or voice commensurate with entrance into the liberal arts program, the Bachelor of Arts (B.A.), or one of two professional degree programs, the Bachelor of Music (B.M.), or the Bachelor of Science (B.S.), at the collegiate level.
c. The ability to accurately perform basic fundamentals associated with an instrument or voice, such as major scales and percussion rudiments.
d. The ability to accurately perform repertoire on an instrument or voice commensurate with entrance into a liberal arts (B.A.) or professional degree (B.M. or B.S.) program at the collegiate level.
3. Take and receive a passing score on a sight singing/ear training examination. (This examination will be used for entrance.)
Information regarding audition dates and specific audition requirements for all performance areas may be obtained on the website at www.wcsu.edu/music or by contacting the Department of Music at (203) 837-8350.
Admission Auditions for Musical Theatre Degree Program
1. Fulfill general admission guidelines found in this catalog for the university, school and department.
2. Perform and pass an audition in person for members of the faculty. The student, through this audition, must exhibit the standards and skill sets required for entry into the Musical Theatre program, including:
a. The ability to accurately perform with accompaniment 16 bars of an up-tempo vocal selection and 16 bars of a ballad.
b. The ability to perform a half- to one-minute monologue portraying a character close to the age of the individual auditioning.
c. The ability to learn and perform a short dance phrase that demonstrates movement skills.
d. Take and receive a passing score on a sight singing/ear training examination. (This examination will be used for entrance.)
Information regarding audition dates and specific audition requirements can be found on the website at www.wcsu.edu/theatrearts or by contacting the Department of Theatre Arts at (203) 837-8250.
Transfer Admission for Music Students
All students wishing to transfer into any degree program in music at WCSU must meet the criteria listed above, including those currently attending institutions holding articulation agreements with WCSU. All transfer applicants will be assessed in the areas of applied music, keyboard competency, music history, music theory and sight-singing/ear-training to determine eligibility for matriculation as well as for transfer credits that may be accepted in individual coursework.
Placement Examinations in Mathematics and Writing
It is the academic policy of the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities System and of Western Connecticut State University to have students begin their education with course work at the appropriate skill level in mathematics and writing.
To ensure that students are taking the correct courses, the university administers a placement examination for mathematics and writing before registration. Students who have been admitted to the university receive an acceptance packet from the Admissions Office informing them of requirements regarding these placement exams.
Some students are required to take mathematics only, writing only, or both examinations. Some students are exempt from both placement exams.
Exemption criteria are as follows:
A verbal SAT score of 510-590 permits a student to register for WRT 101, Composition I: The Habit of Writing. A verbal SAT score of 600 or greater permits a student to register for a writing-intensive course. The writing placement exam is required for a verbal score of 500 or less.
Math placement is based on a student’s SAT or ACT score. A student may place into a higher-level math class by taking the mathematics placement exam and achieving the appropriate score if they wish:
- SAT math score 490 and below or ACT math score 1–17 = MAT 100P, Elementary Algebra.
- SAT math score 500–540 or ACT math score 18–21 = MAT 100, Intermediate Math.
- SAT math score 550–590 or ACT math score 22-23 = General Education Math placement.
- SAT math score 600 and higher or ACT math score 24–36 = Calculus placement (or any General Education math course).
An equivalent course taken at an accredited institution with a grade of “C” or better in mathematics and/or writing may also exempt a student. Official transcripts must be on file in the Admissions Office.
Advanced placement exam scores in both these areas may also exempt a student. Please contact the Admissions Office for more information.
Placement information must be on file in the Admissions Office before a student can register for the appropriate courses.
The university requires that all remedial course work be completed within one academic year. A student who fails to meet this requirement will not be allowed to continue as a matriculated student. Please note: Some majors also require a chemistry placement examination.
The university considers applications from students who have three years of secondary school preparation. A “B” average in all college preparatory courses and a rank-in-class in the top 30th percentile are the minimum academic requirements. SAT results are necessary and should be well above the national average. Motivation and maturity should be clearly evident. Consent of the guidance counselor and legal guardians is necessary as well as an interview with a member of the admissions board.
First-Year Admission with Advanced Standing
A student may enter Western as a freshman, but with advanced standing toward a degree. Advanced standing may be achieved by taking Advanced Placement Examinations in which a score of three or higher will earn college credits in each subject area.
Additionally, students can earn college credit through the College Level Examination Program (CLEP) or by taking courses for college credit while in secondary school.
College Level Examination Program (CLEP)
The Campus and Student Centers administer several graduate and undergraduate tests.
At the undergraduate level, the centers administer the College Level Examination Program (CLEP). These examinations recognize that through work experience, reading or other activities, a student may have acquired knowledge equivalent to that taught in introductory college courses. By demonstrating this knowledge on a CLEP test, a student may qualify for college credit without attending class.
Western administers all CLEP examinations for the award of college credit. Each examination covers material equivalent to that taught in one or more courses at the university. To earn credit, the student must demonstrate knowledge equivalent to that of a student who has taken the course and received a grade of at least a “C.” Advance permission from an academic department may be required for some CLEP exams.
At the graduate level, the university administers the Miller Analogies Test (MAT), a graduate admissions test.
For more information about examinations and their requirements, call the Testing Hotline at (203) 837-8877, or check the website at www.wcsu.edu/testing.
Transition To College Program
This program permits selected secondary school seniors to enroll in a maximum of two courses a semester (six hours a week) while completing their secondary school curriculum. Students earn college credit and are graded upon completion of course(s).
Admission to the program requires:
a. Traditional college preparatory courses;
b. Junior class cumulative rank in the top 50% of the class;
c. Strong recommendation from the secondary school counselor indicating the student has the motivation and maturity to benefit from a college education;
d. A combined SAT score of 1000 or better.
The Board of Admissions will make a decision promptly after receipt of the application and will notify the student’s secondary school guidance counselor of the decision.
Educational Achievement & Access Program (EAP)
The Educational Achievement & Access Program (EAP) provides a select group of under-prepared students with the opportunity and support they need to obtain a college education. EAP provides a challenging introductory five-week summer program that assists students in developing their academic and study skills.
This five-week experience includes courses in mathematics, writing, an HPX/Great Hollow Wilderness experience, and study skills sessions that assist students with their first steps towards achieving academic success at Western.
Through EAP, students have the opportunity to become familiar with campus and residential life, make new friends and meet Western’s faculty and staff. Academic courses are combined with review/study hall sessions that provide students a more in-depth understanding of the materials presented in their classes. Students also receive daily tutoring in their academic subjects during assigned study hall sessions.
All EAP students are provided with the following year-round academic/university services:
- Writing Lab
- Math Lab
- Tutoring Resource Lab
- Individual academic counseling/advisement sessions
- Special social/cultural events
The EAP admissions application deadline is February 1. Enrollment in the program is limited and admission is based on SAT scores, high-school rank, letters of reference, personal interview and a written essay. EAP students are required to take the same writing and mathematics placement tests as non-EAP students. EAP students are admitted into a degree program or as “undeclared” students in the School of Arts and Sciences.
For more information about the EAP program, please call the Admissions Office at (203) 837–9000 or the EAP Office at (203) 837–8801.
A transfer applicant is a student who has earned 12 or more college credits (with no more than three credits by examination) after graduating high school.
Every official transcript bears a school seal. Students must contact the Registrar’s Office of each college or university previously attended to arrange forwarding of an official transcript to Western’s Office of University Admissions via mail.
A 2.0 cumulative grade point average (GPA) for all previous college-level study is required for consideration for admission to the university; specific academic programs may require higher GPAs for admission. Applicants with 45 or more credits must meet any special departmental or school admissions requirements as indicated below:
Programs offered through the Ancell School of Business, including Justice and Law Administration: 2.3 GPA for all courses attempted.
Communication: 2.0 GPA and 2.5 in major courses.
Education: 2.8 GPA for all courses attempted.
English: 2.0 GPA and 2.67 in major courses.
Mathematics/Computer Science: 2.0 GPA and 2.5 in major courses.
Social Work: 2.0 GPA and 2.5 in major courses.
Courses with a “C-” or higher grade are generally transferable to Western. However, only credits are accepted in transfer, not grades.
A “T” symbol is used to designate transfer credits on Western’s student transcripts. Courses taken at other institutions which are vocational or technical in nature may not be accepted at WCSU. Note: Any academic courses with a passing grade will transfer from Central, Eastern or Southern Connecticut state universities.
Students may transfer no more than 90 semester hour credits from a four-year college or university and no more than 75 credits from a two-year college. Note: At least 30 credits, and at least half the total credits required in a student’s major, must be completed at Western.
A new academic program or course submitted by an applicant for transfer consideration may be reviewed by the Admissions Board. A secondary school record is not required of transfer students under normal circumstances.
Evaluation of Transfer Credits
Transfer applicants may normally expect that their transfer credits will be evaluated at the time a decision is made to admit the applicant. Evaluations may be passed along to academic departments for review in acceptance to a degree program. Transfer applicants dissatisfied with their credit evaluation may appeal the decision to the Registrar, who is charged with managing the appeal process in coordination with the appropriate academic representatives. Students may request an appeal to adjust their transfer credit evaluation at any point up to their graduation from the university.
Transfer Arrangement for Associate Degree Recipients
It is the policy of the Board of Regents for Connecticut State Colleges and Universities that all students who graduate from two-year associate degree programs at the State Community Colleges are admissible to the Connecticut State Universities system. These students are admitted to the third year of study on the same basis as continuing students are admitted to junior standing. This policy also applies to the transfer applicants holding associate degrees from the Connecticut Board of State Academic Awards. Courses with grades of “D+”, “D” and “D-” are transferable only if the student has an associates degree.
Applicants who hold an associate degree are normally not admitted to a program if their cumulative grade point average is lower than departmental or school standards for admission. A student in this situation should contact the Director of University Admissions for an interview.
A policy set by both Connecticut State Universities and Connecticut Community Colleges in the CSCU system requires that mathematics courses taken at a community college must have had a prerequisite of intermediate algebra in order to be transferred to Western and meet general education requirements.
Special Student Categories
The university welcomes veteran applications. A veteran is encouraged to meet with a veterans affairs education benefit adviser through the Office of Enrollment Services located in Old Main 206, who will provide information about veterans benefits.
The university accepts the results of the College Level Examination Program (CLEP) which is administered at no charge to military personnel on active duty through Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Education Support (DANTES). Armed Forces personnel desiring further information about the examinations should contact their education officer or write to DANTES, Madison, WI 53713 if taken before 1974. After 1974, contact DANTES, Box 2819, Princeton, NJ 08540.
A veteran who has been accepted into a degree program may, upon presentation of the DD Form 214, Report of Transfer or Discharge, receive exemption from the university’s exercise science requirement. The university also may accept college-level credits earned through the United States Armed Forces Institute and for service schools completed, as recommended by the American Council on Education, providing that credit is applicable to the individual’s degree program.
International student applications are accepted by Western Connecticut State University, though scholarship and loan fund limitations prohibit offering financial assistance to any students who do not hold U.S. citizenship.
International students residing outside the United States should contact the Office of University Admissions for admission information.
Applicants must earn a 79 (Internet-based exam), 213 (computer-based exam), 550 (paper-based exam) score or higher on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). The university also accepts a score of 77 or higher on the Melab and 6 or higher on the IELTS (Band).
Students also are required to indicate ability to finance their education.
Application materials will be sent if language ability and economic support are determined to be sufficient. If a request for application materials is approved, appropriate academic transcripts must be sent to the university as soon as possible.
Applicants are required to provide an official evaluation of their high school diploma and college level courses that has been conducted by an international educational service. A high school diploma or its equivalent may be a document-to-document evaluation. College and university courses must be evaluated on a course-by-course basis.
All new students planning to enter the university in the fall semester must submit all application materials before March 1. Students desiring to enroll in the spring semester must submit all completed materials before October 1. Students already studying in the United States should submit admission materials as outlined in the admissions procedure.
This university is authorized under federal law to enroll nonimmigrant alien students.
For more information about international student advisement, call the International Services Coordinator at (203) 837-3270.
The university may admit non-matriculated status individuals from other colleges and universities who meet Western’s admissions criteria and application deadlines for undergraduate study. Such applicants normally intend to return to their original collegiate institutions after attending Western for one year or less.
As a non-matriculated student at Western, the guest student must be approved in advance each semester by the Director of University Admissions, who also serves as the student’s academic adviser. A maximum of 30 credits may be earned at Western in this manner.
A readmit applicant is one who has previously been matriculated as an undergraduate at Western and is now seeking to return after one or more semesters without an approved leave of absence.
Readmission guidelines are as follows:
- An applicant must have a 2.0 cumulative grade point average.
- An applicant with 45 or more credits completed must also meet any special department/school admissions requirements.
- An applicant should familiarize himself/herself with the university Fresh Start Policy to determine if it applies.
- The Board of Admission will review any cases with unusual circumstances worthy of consideration.
Fresh Start Readmission
Western’s Fresh Start Policy allows an applicant who was a previously enrolled, matriculated student with a cumulative grade point average of less than 2.0 to be eligible for readmission under certain conditions. The purpose of the program is to allow students who initially struggled academically to have a second chance at graduating with a GPA unaffected by the below-average grades of their initial enrollment.
- The period of withdrawal or suspension and readmission must include at least one year in which no college courses were taken at WCSU. Remedial non-credit college courses in English/writing and mathematics are accepted. The Director of University Admissions may waive this condition, provided that during the period of withdraw or suspension and readmissions, the applicant has: (1) taken at least 12 credit hours of courses at another institution which are transferable to WCSU, and (2) earned a grade of “B” or better with respect to each such course taken. Nothing herein shall be interpreted in a manner that would require the Director of University Admissions to waive the condition.
- Completion of no more than 60 credits at WCSU with a “C-” or higher average, when applying for admission.
- Satisfactory completion of WRT 098: Written Communication and/or MAT 098: Elementary Algebra prior to admission, if appropriate.
- Significant evidence of personal growth since withdrawal, in the form of two letters of recommendation. A student may be conditionally admitted to the university under this policy, resulting in restrictions in the number and nature of courses taken during the first semester of enrollment.
- A personal interview may be required.
- The Fresh Start Program may be exercised only once. The student’s cumulative GPA at Western becomes 0.0. Grades of “F”, “D-”, “D”, and “D+” are forgiven. Grades of “C-” or better count toward graduation. Students are admitted on probation under this option.
- Students must meet all criteria for the academic program they wish to be enrolled in. Please see specific program requirements in the catalog.
Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC)
Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC) is not being offered at Western Connecticut State University. Students interested in pursuing this program should contact the ROTC office at Sacred Heart University at (203) 365-7564.
Air Force Reserve Officers Training Corps (AFROTC) is offered at the University of Connecticut in Storrs and Yale University in New Haven and is available to Western students in all majors.