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Transfer

for students who have enrolled in college course work after high school

Frequently Asked Questions


Getting to Know Western...
How do I get more information about Western sent to me?

To receive more information about Western, complete the request form and we will send you application information as well as exciting opportunities available at Western.

If you have questions, don't hesitate to contact us.

I would like to visit campus and talk with someone about admission.

There are many campus visit options available to our guests. Please consult the Visiting Western and Your Admissions Team sections of our website.



Transfer Basics...
Who is a transfer student?

A transfer student is someone who attempted college credit after graduating from high school or earning a GED (excluding credit earned the summer after high school graduation). Students who earned college credits while also fulfilling high school requirements will be considered freshmen and will need to fulfill the requirements for freshman admission. This includes Running Start students who earned an associate degree while in high school.

If Running Start students are considered freshmen, does that mean my college credits won't transfer?

No. Any transferable college credit you earned while also fulfilling high school requirements will be considered in transfer to Western. To receive credit, it is the student's responsibility to ensure that Western receives their official transcripts. The same policies and restrictions regarding the acceptance of transfer credit will apply.

How can I prepare to transfer to Western?

If you are attending a Washington state community college, you are encouraged to plan all your community college course selections well in advance of applying to Western. By working closely with your community college transfer advisor, using publications such as the Transfer Planning Guide and the information available on Western's website, and contacting an advisor at Western for the program in which you are interested in majoring, you should receive the information necessary to plan a successful transition.

If you are earning a DTA associate degree prior to transfer you should include major prerequisite coursework whenever possible in fulfilling your associate degree requirements. Failure to complete prerequisite coursework prior to transfer may jeopardize admission to the University, negatively effect admission to competitive majors and/or significantly delay your progress to graduation. This is particularly true of programs which require sequential courses such as the natural, physical, and social sciences, environmental studies, foreign languages and applied programs. You should also complete the English and mathematics requirement prior to submitting an application for admission to Western.

How do I transfer to Western?

To be admitted to Western from another college or university, you must submit an application for admissions along with a non-refundable application fee. You can apply online at www.wwu.edu or submit a paper application to the Office of Admissions. You must also submit official transcripts from all colleges and universities you have ever attended - even if you do not wish to transfer the credit to Western. Application materials must be postmarked by the deadline published on the application to be considered on-time; late applications will be considered on a space-available basis. Applicants with fewer than 45 transferable quarter credits (30 college-level semester credits) must meet freshman admissions requirements.

How will Western accept my associate degree in transfer?

Students who complete a Washington state Direct Transfer Agreement (DTA) associate degree prior to initial enrollment at Western will ordinarily satisfy all of Western's General University Requirements (GUR) and be considered juniors upon transfer. To be accepted in lieu of Western's GUR, the associate degree must meet Washington state's Intercollege Relations Commission (ICRC) guidelines and include at least 90 credits. The DTA degree must include 75 credits of specified distribution that are directly transferable to Western. Up to 15 credits not normally transferable may transfer if used as part of the DTA associate degree. The pass/fail grading option may be used only in the general elective area.

Students who earn an Associate of Science - Transfer (AS-T) degree in the biological sciences, chemistry, computer science, engineering technology, environmental sciences, geology, or physics will not complete their GUR prior to transfer. These students will need to fulfill their remaining GUR at Western prior to graduation.

Do I have to take math at Western?

Students who transfer with a DTA associate degree generally have satisfied all of Western's GUR including the quantitative & symbolic reasoning (QSR) requirement for graduation. Such students usually need to take math at Western only if it is required for their major or minor. Please note that the QSR requirement at Western is more rigorous than that required for the DTA associate degree. Therefore, students who plan to take math courses at Western should begin taking preliminary math classes at their community college as early as possible. For questions about placement into an appropriate math course, students should review the math department website.

How can I get departmental information in my area of interest?

Visit departmental websites or check out our major guides, which provide an excellent overview of each major and the courses required to earn a degree. You can also reference our online course catalog.



Applying to Western...
Should I apply online?

Whatever is most comfortable for you, works for us. Nearly 90% of our transfer applicants find the online application to be most convenient as you can edit it and you don't have to worry about how legible your printing is. You can also print a paper application and send it through the mail. Regardless of how you apply, we encourage you to keep a copy of your completed application for your records.

How do I get technical support when using your online application? (I forgot my login and/or password. I need help paying online. I can't navigate between the form pages.)

For technical support of the transfer and postbaccalaureate online application, please visit the ApplyWeb Help page. You will find help with many technical issues, such as signing in, online payments, or form and navigation issues. You can also use this link to submit your specific question, which will be answered to you by email. If you prefer not to use the ApplyWeb Help page, you can send an email directly to help@applyweb.com -- be sure to include your full contact information with your questions.

What are the deadlines for application?

Visit our website for the most current information about application deadlines.

How much is the application fee?

Visit our website for the most current information about the application fee.

How do I request an application fee waiver?

Please consult the application instructions for the most current information about application fee waivers.

What should I expect after I apply for admission?
  1. If you apply online you will receive an acknowledgement email within an hour of successfully submitting the application and payment of the application fee.
  2. If you apply online or on paper you will receive an email within two weeks after we receive your application. This email will include your student number (Western ID) and instructions on how to check your application status online using the Application Status website. This website will list the items we've received, as well as any missing items needed to make your application complete. This website will not display your decision.
  3. You will be notified in writing of an admissions decision. While some students are notified earlier, the majority of decisions are made six weeks after the application deadline. Fall applicants who apply early may receive a decision as early as February and no later than mid-May.
How will I know if you received my application?

You will receive an email within two weeks after we receive your application. This email will include your student number (Western ID) and instructions on how to check your application status online using the Application Status website. This website will list the items we've received, as well as any missing items needed to make your application complete. This website will not display your decision.

How will I know if you received the transcripts I requested from my current college?

If you apply well in advance of the application deadline and your file is incomplete for any reason, you will be notified via email or letter. If you wait until just before the application deadline, it may not be possible to notify you if your file is incomplete. You can also check your Application Status after we have received your application to see if your transcripts have arrived.

If your email or mailing address changes at any time after you submit your application for admission, you should notify the Office of Admissions to update your file.

How do I order my test scores be sent to WWU?

Transfer students who have earned fewer than 45 transferrable quarter credits (30 semester) must submit offical SAT or ACT test scores to the Office of Admissions. Complete details about submitting test scores is available in the application instructions section of our website.

Do transfer students need to submit a high school transcript?

Transfer students who have earned fewer than 45 transferrable quarter credits (30 semester) must submit an official high school transcript or proof of GED completion. Complete details about submitting your high school transcript is available in the application instructions section of our website.

Where do I mail my application and transcripts?

Mail all application materials and transcripts to:

  • Western Washington University
  • Office of Admissions
  • 516 High Street
  • Bellingham, WA 98225
Can I mail in my application late? Will I still be considered?

Late applications will be considered on a space available basis. You will receive written notification of the decision.

Can I fax transcripts or my application?

No. We do not accept faxed transcripts or applications.

Do I need to apply to my major?

Students should review the Academic Planning pages in the Transfer Planning Guide or contact the academic department in which they are interested as major declaration requirements vary. While many academic programs are open to all interested students, others are selective and require completion of prerequisite coursework, a separate application process, and/or an elevated GPA. The following departments require additional information prior to admission to Western: Art, Fairhaven College, Music, Recreation, and Teacher Education (elementary and special education). Students interested in these programs should contact department advisors for information prior to submitting application materials to the University. Admission to Western Washington University does not guarantee admission to a particular major nor assure enrollment in specific courses.

I've been admitted! What happens now?

Congratulations on your admission! We have an Admitted Student website just for new transfer students, which will help you finalize your decision, get to know us better, plan your finances, find a new home, prepare for orientation and registration, and tie up other loose ends.



Transferring Credit...
Which courses at my community college satisfy Western's General University Requirements (GUR)?

Students who complete a Direct Transfer Agreement (DTA) associate degree from a Washington state community college prior to initial enrollment at Western will ordinarily satisfy all of Western's General University Requirements (GUR). Students transferring without a DTA associate degree, including those who complete an Associate of Science - Transfer (AS-T) degree, will undergo a course-by-course evaluation of their transcripts for applicability to Western's GUR. These students will need to fulfill their remaining GUR at Western prior to graduation. A list of currently transferable Washington community college courses and university courses is available online.

How many of my credits will transfer?

A transfer credit evaluation, including a GUR evaluation, will be made available to all confirmed transfer students prior to registering for their first quarter's classes. A total of 135 quarter (90 semester) credits are allowed to transfer, of which a maximum of 105 quarter (70 semester) credits may be at the lower-division (100 and 200) level.

Will my transfer credits count toward my GPA at Western?

No. Grade points earned at other institutions are excluded in the computation of your cumulative GPA at Western. Your Western GPA will be based on your course work at the University. However, transfer credits are used to determine your class standing (i.e. sophomore, junior) which affects your priority for class registration.



Once I'm Here...
How is my transfer GPA calculated at Western?

In calculating your transfer admission GPA, the Office of Admissions uses all transferable academic courses, including repeats, from all regionally accredited colleges you have attended. Some majors at Western have a GPA requirement that may be different than your transfer admission GPA. For example, admission to the major may be dependent on your GPA in the last 45 college credits earned or in prerequisite courses for your major.

How long will it take for me to graduate after I transfer?

The length of time necessary to complete a degree at Western depends on several factors including the number of transferable credits awarded, students' preparation for their major, competitiveness of the major chosen, number of credits required for the selected major, and whether a student attends full- or part-time. Students should work closely with department advisors to select appropriate courses prior to transferring. Failure to complete prerequisite coursework prior to transfer may negatively effect admission to competitive majors and/or significantly delay progress to graduation. This is particularly true of programs which require sequential courses such as the natural, physical, and social sciences, environmental studies, foreign languages and applied programs.

Who do I contact if I need academic advising?

Transfer students should contact the department of their intended major for advising. Prior to transfer, the Office of Admissions provides admissions advising and assistance related to general university requirements as well as information for students who have not yet declared a major. Students will be assigned a faculty advisor at Transitions, Western's orientation and advising program for newly admitted transfer students, prior to registering for their first quarter at Western. Students admitted for other quarters should seek out advising from their academic department prior to registering for their first quarter. This contact may occur in person, or via phone or email.

Is housing available for transfer students?

A variety of on-campus residence hall options and apartments are available for students interested in living on campus including nearly one-third of transfer students who choose to live on campus their first year. Information is available from the University Residences website. Priority for housing is first-come, first-served, based on the date a student submits their application for admission.

Bellingham also offers many off-campus housing options for students, including those within a short commute of the University. Western's Associated Students provides an off-campus housing registry with an online list of off-campus apartments, houses, and roommates. Since the registry is designed to serve current Western students, a Western-assigned email address is needed for ongoing use of the database. However, once you have received your Western ID number, you can access the housing registry by requesting a 30-day password.



Financing Your Education...
Will I be able to afford Western?

Western is committed to helping reduce the cost of attendance for students who cannot afford full tuition, on-campus housing and meals, books, and related expenses. Students who submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by Western's priority financial aid deadline of February 15th are considered for need-based aid in the form of grants, tuition waivers, work-study employment, and loans.

Nearly 85% of low and lower middle income students - as determined by the FAFSA - who are Washington residents that applied for financial aid generally are awarded need-based grants, waivers and scholarships that exceed the full cost of tuition and fees. These waivers and grants are free money, meaning they do not need to be repaid. The remaining grants, waivers, scholarships, on-campus employment and loans help cover additional expenses such as housing, meals, books and related expenses.

Western recognizes that affordability is also a concern for middle income families. Partial tuition waivers, loans, student employment, and scholarships help these families to reduce the cost of attendance as well.

How do I apply for financial aid at Western?

Western's Student Financial Resources office makes every effort to help eligible students meet their educationally related financial needs through grants, scholarships, student employment, loans, or some combination of these student aid programs. Qualified transfer students are eligible to apply for financial assistance. Students should apply for financial aid well in advance of the February 15 priority deadline for the following academic year. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is available each January for the upcoming academic year and should be completed as early as possible. You may obtain the FAFSA packet from your college's financial aid office. However, the fastest and best way is to apply online. Western's Title IV number is 003802.

How easy is it to find a job while I am a student?

The Student Employment Center helps work-study and non work-study students find jobs both on and off campus. Well over 3,000 students hold jobs in a variety of different areas on campus. Some examples of student jobs are web page designers, computer programmers, food services, departmental assistants, Residential Advisors, student advisors, kayak guides, and grounds crew.

Are any scholarships available for transfer students?

A variety of scholarships are available to new and continuing Western students. Students may browse Western's Scholarship Center website for a current listing of scholarships. A sampling of scholarships previously awarded to transfer students includes Alumni Association, Multicultural Achievement Program, and President's scholarships. Many academic departments also provide scholarships to incoming students based on previous academic performance, audition, or other criteria; students should contact the department in which they are planning to major to inquire about the availability of department scholarships.



Other...
Does Western have an orientation program?

Fall and Summer quarter: Transfer students admitted for Fall or Summer quarters are invited to participate in Transitions, an orientation, advising, and registration program held each July. Students will receive their invitation to Transitions in the late May, after they confirm their intent to enroll at Western.

Winter and Spring quarter: Students admitted for Winter and Spring quarters are invited to attend one of three Orientation and Advising dates, which are generally held 1-2 months prior to the start of the term. Students will receive their invitation to attend these sessions after they confirm their intent to enroll at Western.

All of these orientation programs give students an overview of campus resources and services, gain insight into the registration and advising process at Western, and meet with an advisor. For more information about orientation programs, visit the New Student Services/Family Outreach website.

Where is Bellingham and what is it like?

A coastal city of 80,000, Bellingham is located 55 miles south of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada; and 90 miles north of Seattle. Our location between two major cities provides easy access for national and international visiting artists, scholars, and touring groups. The local music scene and arts community are great, with many places for live music, performances, and art. On and off-campus theatre and other performance opportunities are abundant, including the Up-Front Theater, owned by internationally known improv comedian Ryan Stiles.

The San Juan islands and Bellingham Bay lie directly to the west; Mt. Baker and the North Cascade mountain range are less than an hour east. Bellingham is the only city in Washington and Oregon to be designated a Trail Town USA by the American Hiking Society. In addition, Bellingham has also been rated nationally as one of the top 10 places to live for people in their 20s.

What kind of outdoor recreational opportunities are available?

Bellingham is an outdoor-lover's paradise. For the outdoor enthusiast, the San Juan Islands, Skagit River delta, and Mt. Baker National Forest and Ski and Snowboard Area are all at our doorstep. Nearby, Mt. Baker Ski Area has one of the longest seasons in the country (November - late-April), enjoyed world record snowfall during the 1998-1999 season, and is well regarded as the place where snowboarding began!

One great way to get into the outdoors is to visit the Outdoor Center, a part of the Associated Students of Western. The student-run bike shop is the perfect place for a tune-up. The Outdoor Center also rents outdoor equipment ranging from backpacks and sleeping bags to snowshoes and snow skis. They also plan kayaking, hiking, mountain climbing, skiing, snow-shoeing, snowboarding, biking, and sailing trips with trained student leaders to destinations all over the greater Whatcom County area.

Another location for great outdoor activity is the WWU Lakewood recreational facility located on the shores of Lake Whatcom. The Lakewood facility is surrounded by 30 acres of wooded land and beach property owned by the University. At Lakewood you can rent kayaks, canoes, rowboats, sailboats, and windsurfing boards for as little as a dollar a day. Or, just come to relax and swim off the docks!

Western's location is idea for fieldwork and outdoor research, with mountains, glaciers, rivers, saltwater, and a wide variety of other natural habitats in our backyard.

Is on-campus child care available?

The Child Development Center is a cooperative childcare program made up of teachers, students and parents working together to provide a healthy and safe environment for children. Information, including registration details, is available at the CDC website.




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