We accept applications for returning students on a rolling basis, and processing times vary depending on the first day of the term. The sooner you apply, the more quickly you will receive a decision and be eligible to register for classes.
Application Priority Dates
While we welcome applications received after the priority date, applying by the this date will ensure you can register along with continuing students during Phase I Registration.
Do you need to reapply?
Previous Western students who have not been enrolled for one or more quarters (excluding summer) need to reapply for admission. Students who don’t reapply won’t be able to register for classes. The Returning Student Application can be used by former Western undergraduates and post-baccalaureates returning to complete those degrees.
If you were academically dismissed, you need to petition for scholastic reinstatement. There are special circumstances for students enrolled in Outreach and Continuing Education supported location programs, too.
Don’t use this application if
You'll likely be readmitted to Western if you:
- left Western in good academic standing
- are pursuing your first degree
- complete your application by the application priority date
Readmission to Western does not imply you are qualified for your intended major. Contact your intended academic department as soon as possible to discuss how to declare a major. This is especially important for programs with separate application processes.
A complete application includes:
- An application for admission
- $65 non-refundable application fee (fee waiver may be available with demonstrated financial need)
Applying by mail
While a PDF version of the Returning Student Application for Admission is available, we recommend you apply online for faster processing. (Note: If you choose to apply by mail, mail your application and a check or money order for the $65 application fee to the address below. To expedite processing, please include your Western student number on both your application and check.)
Western Washington University
Office of Admissions
Old Main 200, MS 9009
516 High Street
Bellingham, WA 98225-9009
Updated college transcripts
While not required at time of admission, if you enrolled at another college or university since leaving Western, you should request to have an official transcript sent to the address above as soon as possible to be added to your student record.
Admission to the University does not imply admission to a major or enrollment in specific courses. Many Western majors have a separate application process and/or selective admissions requirements, including completion of prerequisite coursework, elevated GPA, audition or portfolio review.
Art requires a portfolio
College of Business and Economics programs (excluding Economics) require an application
Design requires a portfolio
Early Childhood Education requires an application
Elementary Education requires an application
Fairhaven College of Interdisciplinary Studies requires additional application materials
Human Services requires an application
Industrial Design requires a portfolio
Music requires an audition
Secondary Education requires an application (post-baccalaureate applicants only)
Special Education requires an application
While not required as part of the admissions process, we encourage you to apply for financial aid.
Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
- FAFSA priority deadline: January 31
- Western's Federal School Code: 003802
House Bill 1079 & The Real Hope Act
Western Washington University extends educational opportunities and resident tuition to all students who meet the criteria of Washington House Bill 1079, established by the State legislature in 2004. Supporting all students persisting to degree, Western ensures confidentiality and protection of student education records, including immigration status. We also celebrate the passage of the Real Hope Act in Washington State and encourage eligible students to apply for the Washington College Grant using the Washington Application for State Financial Aid (WASFA).
What to expect after applying
After you submit your application for admission online, you will receive an email confirming that we received it.
You will be prompted to pay the application fee (we cannot process your application without it) and provided with a link to check your application status using the Student Admission Portal. The portal provides a personalized checklist of items we've received, as well as any missing items needed to make your application complete.
Students will be notified in writing of their admissions decision and it will also be made available in the Student Admission Portal. We appreciate your patience in this process to ensure every application is carefully reviewed.
While we will accept late applications, those who apply after the Priority Date may not be eligible to register during Phase I.
Equal Opportunity and Reasonable Accommodation
WWU is an equal opportunity institution. To request an accommodation in the application process, contact the Disability Access Center (DAC), (360) 650-3083 (voice), (360) 255-7175 (VP), firstname.lastname@example.org. One week advance notice is appreciated. To request application materials in an alternate format, please contact the Office of Admissions, (360) 650-3440, email@example.com.