2012 – 2013
Office of Graduate Studies and Extended Education
McKelvie Hall, 102 W. Rosedale Avenue
West Chester University
West Chester, PA 19383
Revised August 2012
|Admission Requirements||International Students||Student Responsibility|
|Application Deadline||Matriculation Fee||Testing: GRE, GMAT|
|Application Procedure||Notification of Admission||Testing: Miller Analogies|
|Eligibility, Admission Criteria||Senior Citizens||Undergraduates|
|Graduate Certificate Programs|
It is the responsibility of students to know and observe all admissions policies and procedures for their programs. The University will not waive a regulation because a student claims unawareness of it. Students should adhere to the dates relating to application for graduation as well as other pertinent deadlines announced by the department or the Office of Graduate Studies and Extended Education.
Students who have earned or will successfully complete a bachelor’s degree prior to enrollment from an accredited college or university in the United States or with equivalent preparation acquired in another country are eligible to apply for admission to a graduate program.
Applications are available on the Graduate Studies Web page (www.wcupa.edu/grad). Students must submit the completed application and supporting documentation directly to the Office of Graduate Studies, including the following:
The applicant is responsible for assuring that the Office of Graduate Studies receives all necessary materials by the recommended application deadlines.
All application materials become the property of West Chester University and may not be returned or forwarded to another institution.
Many graduate programs allow for rolling admissions, but for some of the graduate programs, recommended deadlines for the submission of completed applications are as follows: April 15 - fall semester, October 15 - spring semester. April 15 is the deadline for graduate assistant applicants.
Some programs have established different recommended application deadlines. Please see application information under individual programs listed in this catalog.
The application and all supporting credentials should be submitted by the deadline dates shown above. Late applications will be accepted; however, admission will be on a space-available basis for applicants who meet all other admission requirements. Applicants who have missed the deadline should consult with the graduate coordinator for that program to receive advice regarding the possibility of enrolling as a nondegree student for a maximum of nine credits while awaiting action on their application.
Students interested in receiving a graduate assistantship should apply to the Office of Graduate Studies no later than April 15.
All applications are reviewed by both the appropriate department or program and the associate provost and dean of graduate studies. Applicants will be notified acceptance or rejection of their applications. If accepted, students must follow all program advising and scheduling policies and procedures. Accepted students should meet immediately with their advisers to outline a program of study.
All newly accepted students are required to pay a $100 matriculation deposit as proof of intention to enroll. This is a nonrefundable tuition deposit that will be credited to the student’s account upon enrollment. The Office of Graduate Studies and Extended Education reserves the right to cancel a student’s admission if he/she fails to submit a deposit prior to enrollment.
West Chester University's policy for graduate studies includes that the highest possible grades/test scores do not guarantee admission to graduate school, nor do low grades/test scores automatically disqualify a candidate. Our policy is that no applicant should be admitted unless we expect that applicant to do well enough to graduate and have no serious academic problems.
Note: At the graduate level, West Chester University performs an individualized and holistic review of all applications for admission to the University. Graduate admission decisions are made using a variety of criteria that includes an evaluation of all college transcripts, letters of reference submitted independently by an evaluator, an applicant’s goal statement, and where required by the program, standardized test scores, portfolio review of work/life experience, and other similar program-specific requirements. Graduate applications are reviewed by the graduate coordinator for recommendation, and admissions decisions are made by the graduate dean. Individuals who have questions about their admissibility are encouraged to contact the Office of Graduate Studies or the appropriate graduate coordinator.
An applicant who has academic deficiencies may be granted provisional admission. The departmental graduate coordinator will specify course work which must be taken to remove such deficiencies and which might not be credited to degree requirements including, if necessary, undergraduate prerequisites. Admission to degree study does not constitute admission to degree candidacy. After a student has satisfactorily fulfilled certain course requirements specified in the degree program and has completed 12 to 15 semester hours of work, the student must apply for admission to degree candidacy.
A graduate certificate program is a focused collection of courses that, when completed, affords the student a record of academic accomplishment in a given discipline or set of related disciplines. Graduate certificate programs are a minimum of 18 credits.
Admission criteria for graduate certificate programs are the same as for graduate degree programs. While the courses in a graduate certificate program may be used as evidence in support of a student’s application to a graduate degree program, the certificate itself is not considered a prerequisite, nor is it a guarantee of admission. Graduate certificate students are not eligible for graduate assistantships.
While taking the last course(s) of the certificate program, the student should apply for the certificate by using the appropriate form (available on the Graduate Studies Web site).
Scores from the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) are required for many degree programs. The prospective degree student should consult the appropriate program outline and schedule a test prior to matriculation.
Both tests are administered by the Educational Testing Service, P.O. Box 6004, Princeton, NJ 08541-6004. For current information regarding application materials and test dates, contact the Counseling Center, 610-436-2301. Application forms must be filed with the Educational Testing Service at least 15 days prior to the date of any examination.
The examinations may be taken at any of the testing centers designated by the Educational Testing Service.
Some degree programs require students to take the Miller Analogies Test. Students requiring the test can call 1-800-622-3231.
An undergraduate who has completed 90 credits of undergraduate course work, is in the final year of work for the bachelor's degree, and has an overall grade point average of at least 3.0 may, with the permission of the associate provost and dean of graduate studies, enroll in up to six credits of graduate-level courses. Credits earned may be applied to a master's degree program subject to the approval of the major department.
Graduate students may declare "audit" status in a course through the end of the ninth week of class BUT may only audit one course per semester. Faculty may refuse to grant auditor status. Full-time graduate students have the privilege of auditing without additional charge, provided they obtain approval from the course instructor and the course does not create an overload situation. If an overload results, students are assessed the per credit rate for each credit in excess of 15. Part-time students may audit, provided they obtain the instructor's approval, enroll in the course through the Office of the Registrar, 25 University Ave., and pay the regular course fees.
Credit is never given to auditors. The auditor status may not be changed after it has been declared. The grade of Audit (AU) is recorded on the student's transcript. An audited course will not fulfill any requirement toward graduation.
Applicants to a degree program at West Chester who have earned credits through previous graduate study at another college or university may transfer credit under certain circumstances. Application forms for transfer of credit may be obtained online (www.wcupa.edu). The following conditions are the minimum requirements for acceptance of transfer credit:
The Senior Citizen Program allows retired Pennsylvania residents to attend West Chester University tuition free on a SPACE-AVAILABLE BASIS. To qualify, the student must be retired, at least 60 years old, and have been a Pennsylvania resident for at least a year. Students may enroll as either degree or nondegree students and may audit or take courses for credit. The program does not include internships, independent study, individualized instruction, student teaching, thesis, seminar, or any similar course requiring extra faculty compensation for the additional enrollment. All scheduling information is available in the Office of Graduate Studies.
Senior citizen students may not register prior to the beginning of classes. They must attend the first meeting of the class(es) for which they wish to register and obtain the instructor's signature on their schedule, indicating there is space available in the class. They then return their signed schedule, along with a signed Senior Citizen fee waiver form and signed audit form if they wish to audit, to the Office of Graduate Studies. The office then schedules the student and submits the fee waiver form to the Office of Financial Aid.
Applications and supporting documents must be submitted to the Office of Graduate Studies no later than March 15 for admission the following fall semester, and September 1 for admission the following spring semester.
Applicants whose native language is not English must submit evidence of satisfactory performance on either the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing Systems (IELTS–academic version). Satisfactory TOEFL scores are 550 for the written exam, 213 for the computer-based exam, and 70 for the Internet-based exam. Satisfactory ILETS scores are at the sixth band. Information about the TOEFL exam is available at www.ets.org and the ILETS exam at www.ielts.org .
The following official education documents must be filed with the Office of Graduate Studies:
After the application and supporting documents have been reviewed, the Office of Graduate Studies will notify the applicant of its action. International students are urged to remain in their own countries until they receive notice of acceptance. The University cannot assume responsibility for the housing or welfare of international students.
International students at West Chester University are required to carry adequate health and accident insurance. Insurance must be effective for all periods of time the student has been authorized to be in the United States by an immigration document issued by the University.
Health and accident insurance policies must be purchased through a company that sells insurance in the United States. West Chester University has set minimum coverage standards which must be met by all insurance policies. Information about the minimum standards is available at the Center for International Programs Office, 610-436-3515.
To assure compliance with the insurance requirement, all international students must come to the center by August 31 of each academic year (January 31 for students entering spring semester). There students may obtain information as to the amount of insurance required and the means of obtaining coverage to meet the insurance requirement.
See policy on Continuous Enrollment, page 15.