Degree Classification - Definitions
Non-degree is an academic term for “not formally accepted in a degree program.” Non-degree students are permitted to enroll for coursework toward professional development, personal growth, or certification. High school students may attend on a non-degree basis with written permission of their high school principal or guidance counselor.
A student may elect to pursue a second undergraduate degree concurrently with the first, such as a B.S. in Computer Science and a B.F.A. in Studio Arts. If approved for a dual degree program, and in order to receive both degrees at graduation, the student must earn at least 30 credits beyond the requirements of the baccalaureate program, with 150 credits being the fewest required credits. When a student is enrolled in dual degree programs:
- The student may not be graduated until both the degrees are completed.
- All requirements for the curriculum of each degree must be satisfied.
- A course required in both degree programs does not have to be repeated for the second degree.
- All University requirements such as minimum GPA and number of credits taken at West Chester University in the major must be met for each degree separately.
A student may select two majors within the same degree. In this case, a student must meet all of the requirements for both majors. The student should consult regularly with advisors from both programs. Students wishing to pursue two types of baccalaureate degrees (B.A., B.F.A., B.M., B.S., B.S.Ed., B.S.N., B.S.W.) should refer to the Dual Degrees section above.
An individual may pursue a second degree at West Chester University after earning the first degree either at West Chester or some other institution. Such an individual must apply for admission through the Office of Admissions as a transfer student and earn at least 30 hours of West Chester University credit beyond the requirements of the initial baccalaureate program. In addition, a student must take at least 50% of the courses in his /her major or minor discipline (excluding cognate courses) at West Chester University. All requirements for the curriculum in which the second degree is earned must be satisfied. A given course required in both the degree programs is not repeated for the second degree.
Minor Fields of Study
Students who have enough flexibility in their major curriculum to fulfill the requirements of a minor may submit an Academic Plan Change Request to add a minor through their myWCU. To enroll in a minor field of study, students must have the approval of both their major and their proposed minor departments. Admission to the minor does not guarantee admission to the major. Students must complete 18 to 30 hours of courses selected in consultation with the minor program advisor. At least 50 percent of minor course work must be taken at West Chester. Also, students must earn a minimum GPA of 2.00 in the set of courses taken for a minor in order to receive transcript recognition of that minor. Certain minor programs may require a higher minimum GPA. Students should consult with the minor program advisor.
Please see academic department pages for minor offerings.
A student wishing to transfer from one program of study at the University to another program must submit an Academic Plan Change Request through their myWCU. Instructions for this process can be found on the Registrar's website. The student must meet the standards for admission to the desired program and obtain approval from the departments involved. Any courses that were initially accepted for transfer credit from another college are subject to re-evaluation by the department to which the student transfers internally.
Undeclared Major Declaration Policy
First year students who entered West Chester University as undeclared/pre-major must declare a major at the completion of 45 West Chester University earned credits. This is most often equivalent to three semesters of full-time study at the University. Transfer students (Internal and External) who are undeclared must declare a major after two semesters of full-time study as an undeclared student. Students must be in good academic standing and must meet all admission requirements specified by the program s/he plans to transfer into. Exception to this policy may be granted to students who are planning to declare a major with highly restrictive admission requirements and may need additional semesters to complete those requirements. Any undeclared student who does not declare a major within the stipulated period of time will be required to develop an action plan addressing his/her academic area(s) of interest before the advisor hold will be lifted to enable the student schedule for the next semester.
Request to Postpone/Defer Declaring a Major
An undeclared/pre-major student may submit a request to defer declaring a major if the student is postponing major declaration because s/he has yet to complete the prerequisites for the anticipated major. The process of postponing a major declaration requires an established plan of action by the student, which must be approved by the student’s academic advisor, the chairperson of the department of Educational Development Services (EDS), and the dean/designee of Undergraduate Studies and Student Support Services (USSSS).