Graduate Catalog

2014 – 2015


2013-2014 Graduate Catalog Archive

Office of Graduate Studies
McKelvie Hall, 102 W. Rosedale Avenue
West Chester University
West Chester, PA 19383
Phone: 610-436-2943
Fax: 610-436-2763
gradstudy@wcupa.edu

Catalog Home


Revised February 2014

Admission

Admission Requirements International Students Student Responsibility
Application Deadline Matriculation Fee Testing: GRE, GMAT
Application Procedure Notification of Admission Testing: Miller Analogies
Auditors Readmission Transferring Credit
Eligibility, Admission Criteria Senior Citizens Undergraduates
Graduate Certificate Programs    

Student Responsibility [top]

It is the responsibility of the applicant to recognize and observe all program admissions policies and procedures.

The Application Procedure [top]

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 the equivalent from another country are eligible to apply for admission to a graduate program.

Electronic applications are available on the Graduate Studies web page. Students must submit the completed application and supporting documentation, including the following:

  1. One official copy of academic records (transcripts) from every college and university attended (except West Chester University). Note: Applicants to a professional growth program need only submit transcripts from the institution where their highest degree was awarded.
  2. Two professional recommendations (Please note: some programs may require additional recommendation letters or customized forms formatted by the department.)
  3. A written statement of professional goals. Language candidates (French and Spanish) must write the statement in the program language. (Please note that some programs have specific requirements regarding the personal statement. Specific program requirements will be listed as part of the application instructions.
  4. Several programs require a recognized test of scholastic aptitude, e.g., Graduate Record Examination (General and/or Advanced), the Miller Analogies Test (MAT), and/or the Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT). Upon the student's request, test scores are sent by the originating source (e.g., Educational Testing Service) directly to West Chester University.
  5. Additional requirements may include the following:
    • An audition (music applicants only)
    • Resume
    • Any supplemental information (e.g., forms, writing samples required by department)
    • A few departments may require a personal interview.
  6. Applicants should consult with the graduate coordinator of the primary interest area to assure compliance with admission requirements for a particular degree program.

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.

Application Deadline [top]

Most of the graduate programs allow for rolling admissions. However, some programs do have specific deadlines. Please refer to the department website for more information.

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 indicate their interest in the area designated on the electronic admissions application.

Notification of Admission [top]

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.

Matriculation Deposit [top]

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 reserves the right to cancel a student’s admission if he/she fails to submit a deposit prior to enrollment.

Admission Requirements for Degree Students [top]

  1. Applicants must have a baccalaureate degree from a college or university accredited in the United States or the equivalent from a foreign college or university prior to enrollment. A minimum 2.80 undergraduate GPA (on a 4.0 scale) is required for most programs. Please note that some programs may have higher GPA minimum requirements. Refer to program websites or program coordinators for more information. Provisional acceptance may be possible but not guaranteed under some circumstances for applicants who do not meet minimum requirements.
  2. Applicants must submit scores from the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT), Graduate Record Examination (GRE), or the Miller Analogies Test (MAT) if these are required for admission to the program in which the student wishes to enroll. Students applying to a program with any of the above requirements who have an earned, recognized, post-baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university will have this requirement waived. A student with an earned graduate-level certificate from West Chester University (see page 5 concerning certificates), applying to a graduate program, may have the standardized test waived at the recommendation of the graduate coordinator.
  3. The department offering the desired degree program must recommend acceptance. Before such recommendation is given, an interview with a faculty member may be required. The applicant also must meet any other additional requirements established for the degree program, including grade point averages that exceed the minimum graduate admission requirements.
  4. The associate provost and dean of graduate studies must give official acceptance. Only written notice from the dean constitutes approval of admission, not correspondence with a department or an individual faculty member.
  5. Space must be available in the program.
  6. Requirements to resolve academic deficiencies are to be met prior to registering for graduate courses. Individual departments may have more rigorous requirements.

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 rendered using multiple criteria that includes an evaluation of all college transcripts, letters of reference submitted independently by an evaluator, an applicant’s goal statement, and if 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.

Policies and Procedures for Graduate Certificate Programs [top]

Definitions

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 website).

Guidelines

  1. Students are awarded a graduate certificate upon completion of a well-defined program of course work within an approved graduate program.
  2. The didactic material encompassed within a graduate certificate program may represent a subset or extension of an existing graduate discipline.
  3. For a graduate certificate program, the number of graduate credits is expected to be a minimum of 18. The number of credits must be appropriate to the learning objectives and focus of the program.
  4. Graduate certificate programs may be at the post-baccalaureate or post-master's level. Post-master's graduate certificate programs must be designated as such.
  5. Graduate certificate programs do not include a thesis.
  6. All graduate certificate programs will be reviewed within the course of regular graduate program assessment and review.
  7. Certificate programs also may be proposed for post-baccalaureate students that consist of undergraduate credit courses, professional credit courses, or noncredit courses; in such cases, the programs will not be considered to have met the standards for graduate certificate programs.
  8. With the exception of courses offered in collaboration with another institution or expressly addressed in the certificate program requirements, a majority of credits for the certificate program must be completed at West Chester University. Graduate credits from another accredited institution may be accepted for transfer and are subject to the transfer of credit policy in place with approval of the department and the associate provost and dean of graduate studies.
  9. Students pursuing a graduate certificate will be required to meet the same admissions and academic requirements as those defined for degree-seeking students (e.g., maintenance of a 3.0 GPA).
  10. The title of any graduate certificate program must contain the words "Graduate Certificate Program." Only Pennsylvania Department of Education certification programs may include the word "certification."
  11. While the courses in a graduate certificate program may be used as evidence in support of a student's application for admission to a graduate degree program, the certificate itself is not considered a prerequisite, nor is it a guarantee of admission.

Student Eligibility and Admission Criteria [top]

  1. Admission criteria beyond the bachelor's degree from an accredited institution will be determined by the department and explicitly stated.
  2. Each program may set admissions criteria above those required for general graduate admissions to a certificate program (e.g., higher GPA or TOEFL scores, standardized test scores, whether or not certificate courses may be counted towards a related master's degree program).
  3. Graduate certificate students are not eligible for graduate assistantships.

Graduate Record Examination and Graduate Management Admission Test [top]

Scores from the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) are required for some 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.

Miller Analogies Test [top]

Some degree programs may require students to take the Miller Analogies Test. Students requiring the test can call 1-800-622-3231.

Undergraduates [top]

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.

Auditors [top]

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. 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.

Transfer of Credit [top]

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/grad). The following conditions are the minimum requirements for acceptance of transfer credit:

  1. The credits must have been earned at an accredited graduate school.
  2. The courses taken must be approved by the department or program in which the applicant intends to enroll at West Chester and by the associate provost and dean of graduate studies.
  3. The maximum number of credits that may be transferred shall not exceed 20 percent of the total required for completion of the student's degree program, rounded to the next highest three-credit increment.
  4. The grade earned for courses to be transferred must be B or better. (An "A" equals 4.0.)
  5. An official transcript and a course catalog description or syllabus must be submitted. Transcripts must be sent directly to the Office of Graduate Studies by the institution that granted the credits, and they must clearly indicate that the courses to be transferred are graduate courses for which graduate credit was given.
  6. The courses for transfer must have been taken recently enough to fall within the six-year time limitation.

The Senior Citizen Policy [top]

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.

Admission of International Students [top]

Applications and supporting documents must be submitted to the Office of Graduate Studies no later than May 15 for admission the following fall semester, and October 15 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 80 for the Internet-based exam. Satisfactory IELTS scores are at the 6.5 band. Information about the TOEFL exam is available at www.ets.org and the IELTS exam at www.ielts.org .

The following official education documents must be filed with the Office of Graduate Studies:

  1. A completed application.
  2. One official transcript evaluation by either the World Educational Services (www.wes.org), Education Credential Evaluators, Inc. (www.ece.org), or any NACES-participating organization (www.naces.org).
  3. Documents in a language other than English must be accompanied by English translations certified by a University official. Original documents must accompany the certified translations.
  4. Those under the British system of education must submit results of external examinations issued by the university administering the examinations. The college record alone is not sufficient. All educational documents must be signed and sealed by a university or college official. Handwritten documents are not acceptable.
  5. TOEFL or IELTS scores must be sent from the testing agency directly to the Office of Graduate Studies. After the application is complete, the academic department and the graduate dean will review it. The applicant will be notified of the admission decision via e-mail. (Students who have successfully completed INTERLINK’s Level-5 English language instruction are not required to submit evidence of satisfactory performance on an English as a second language performance test.)
  6. A proof of financial support form must be completed and returned to the Office of Graduate Studies. Current costs are approximately $27,214 for the academic year. (Summer and holidays are not figured into these costs.)
  7. A medical history form and an immunization record must be completed by a physician and returned to the Student Health Center, www.wcupa.edu/_services/stu.inf/.
  8. If a student is admitted to a degree program, the University will supply a U.S. Immigration (I-20) Form.

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.

Student Visa

Applicants who require a student visa must indicate this on the application form. Those already in the United States can supply a copy of their current visa. Note: I-20’s cannot be issued for professional growth programs. These programs do not lead to a certificate or degree.

Proof of Financial Support

International students must demonstrate proof of financial support in the amount of $27,214 for their first academic year in the United States at West Chester University. That support can be demonstrated through a variety of sources, as long as the total from all sources of support equals at least $27,214. The sources of funds can include scholarships, grants, loans, sponsorship by a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, personal or family funds, and acceptance deposits. All sources of funds must be verified. Acceptance deposits may be required to verify personal or family funds. For students who have previously studied in the United States, verification that all financial obligations were met at prior academic institutions may be all that is required to demonstrate proof of financial support.

Insurance Requirements for 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.

Readmission [top]

See policy on Continuous Enrollment, page 15.