Non-Degree Students

"Non-degree" is an academic term used to describe students who are “not formally accepted into a degree-seeking program.” Registering as a non-degree student permits high school students to gain experience, gives current college students an opportunity to learn at another institution, and allows community members a chance to grow on a personal or professional level.

Non-degree students take the same courses as everyone else and earn the same college credit.  Non-degree students are not eligible to receive financial aid; however, they may take advantage of other services offered by the University, including:

  • Access to a myWCU student self-service account and email address
  • Payment plans
  • Student services, including use of campus libraries, computer labs, health services, and career development services

Candidates will be permitted to take classes at West Chester University as a non-degree student if they meet the minimum enrollment requirements based upon their highest level of education. Students must also possess the necessary prerequisite coursework and/or demonstrate, prior to enrollment, minimum performance competencies required for a particular course. There may be certain circumstances when a former, denied, or recently accepted degree-seeking student may not be permitted to register in the non-degree program.

International citizens who are in the United States on a visa, with exception to a student visa or tourist visa, may be eligible for non-degree study. Certain visa types do allow for incidental study while maintaining their current visa status in the United States.

Undergraduate or Graduate Non-Degree?

All undergraduate level courses are defined by a 499 number or below, while graduate level courses are defined by a 500 number or above.

Students are considered an Undergraduate Non-Degree Student if they:

  • Register for courses defined by a 499 number or below
  • Are currently attending high school or are a current/former college student taking undergraduate level courses
  • Have an Associate’s or Bachelor’s Degree and intend on taking undergraduate level courses
  • Participate in the International or National Student Exchange Program or have been accepted into a Pre-Graduate Certificate Program.

Students are considered a Graduate Non-Degree Student if they:

  • Register for courses defined by a 500 number or above
  • Have a Bachelor’s Degree and intend on taking graduate level courses
  • Plan to enroll in both graduate and undergraduate courses during the same semester

Non-Degree Terms and Conditions

All non-degree students must agree to the following:

  • Enrollment in the non-degree program does not imply admission to the University. To make a request for formal admission into a degree-seeking program, students must apply through the Office of Admissions or the Office of Graduate Studies. Students denied formal admission to the institution are eligible to enroll in coursework through the non-degree program, assuming they meet the enrollment requirements for non-degree.
  • Enrolling as a non-degree student to complete graduation requirements is not permitted. If a former student is looking to complete graduation requirements, they need to contact the Office of Admissions or the Office of Graduate Studies.
  • All non-degree students are required to remain in good academic standing while at West Chester University.
  • All non-degree students must comply with University policies, including academic guidelines, requirements for attendance, and class/campus behavior. Students are responsible for following all dates published on the Academic Calendar.
  • Non-degree students are not eligible to receive financial aid and must pay all tuition and fees by their due date.
  • Admission into the non-degree program is contingent on meeting the application requirements and supplying supporting documentation. Non-degree applications will not be processed until supporting documentation is received.
  • Course registration is dependent on submission of supporting documentation, meeting the prerequisite requirements, course availability, and in some cases, department approval.
  • All grades received will remain on the student’s permanent college transcript. Accordingly, release of those records is bound by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act. Information pertaining to student’s coursework will only be released to the student. For more information on this Act, see http://www.wcupa.edu/registrar/privacy.aspx.
  • It is the responsibility of the student to activate their myWCU account, including email, once the student receives their WCU ID number. All communication with University staff and faculty members will be through the student’s West Chester University email account.
  • The grades earned as a non-degree student remain on the student's transcript and will be included in the computation of the cumulative GPA should a non-degree student be accepted into a degree-granting program.

Career Credit Limits

Undergraduate

  • Students without an undergraduate degree are limited to earning a maximum of 24 credits.
    • After earning 24 credits, the student must apply for admission to a degree-granting program.

Graduate

  • Students completing graduate courses are limited to earning a maximum of 9 graduate credits.
    • After earning 9 credits, the student must apply for formal admission.

 Non-Degree Admission Requirements

Current High School Student - High School Dual Enrollment Program

Dual enrollment students must be willing and able to accept the freedom and responsibilities associated with college attendance, interaction with college students, and exposure to the social and intellectual challenges of a college campus. Enrolling in a university course exposes students to a more diverse curriculum and culture, and they may be exposed to material deemed inappropriate for minors. The student must be able to work independently and monitor his/her own performance.

It is the responsibility of the student and their high school to determine how the coursework completed at WCU will fulfill specific secondary school graduation requirements.

Admission Requirements

In addition to the Undergraduate Non-Degree Terms and Conditions, dual enrollment non-degree candidates must meet the following requirements:

  1. Must be a sophomore*, junior, or senior
    1. *If a student is a sophomore, the student’s principal or guidance counselor must submit a letter explaining the student’s academic and dispositional readiness for college-level work.
  2. Minimum high school GPA of 2.80
  3. Must possess necessary prerequisite coursework and/or demonstrate, prior to enrollment, minimum performance competencies required for the course
  4. Must complete High School Registration Form(s)

High School/GED Graduate

Admission Requirements

In addition to the Undergraduate Non-Degree Terms and Conditions, non-degree candidates must meet the following requirements:

  1. Minimum GPA/Test Score
    1. High School Graduates: Minimum GPA of 2.80
    2. GED Graduates: Score of 150 on each GED test, equaling a combined score of 600
  2. Must possess necessary prerequisite coursework and/or demonstrate, prior to enrollment, minimum performance competencies required for the course

Current or Former College Student

Any current college students taking classes at West Chester for the purpose of having the credits transferred to their home institution are responsible to determine if the home institution will accept the credits earned and must arrange to have an official transcript sent from West Chester University to the home institution.

Admission Requirements

In addition to the Non-Degree Terms and Conditions, current/former college students seeking to enroll in undergraduate courses must meet the following requirements:

  1. Minimum college GPA of 2.00 from current or most recent accredited institution attended
  2. Must possess necessary prerequisite coursework and/or demonstrate, prior to enrollment, minimum performance competencies required for the course
  3. Cannot be a former WCU degree-seeking student looking to take classes towards degree completion
    1. Any former degree-seeking students interested in returning to complete a degree must contact the Office of Admissions. Any non-degree application filed for this purpose will not be honored.

College Graduate: Post-Baccalaureate Applicants Taking Undergraduate Courses

Admission Requirements

In addition to the Non-Degree Terms and Conditions, post-baccalaureate non-degree candidates must meet the following requirements:

  1. Minimum GPA of 2.0 from the accredited institution that issued degree
  2. Proof of undergraduate degree with confer date specified
  3. Must possess necessary prerequisite coursework and/or demonstrate, prior to enrollment, minimum performance competencies required for the course

College Graduate: Post-Baccalaureate Applicants Taking Graduate Courses

Admission Requirements

In addition to the Non-Degree Terms and Conditions, non-degree candidates seeking to enroll in graduate courses must meet the following requirements:

  1. Minimum GPA of 2.0 from the accredited institution that issued degree
  2. Proof of undergraduate degree with confer date specified
  3. Must possess necessary prerequisite coursework and/or demonstrate, prior to enrollment, minimum performance competencies required for the course

College Student Who Attends Another University in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education

West Chester University is a member of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE). As a member, we can offer our students, as well as students who attend other PASSHE institutions, a larger variety of classes without loss of institutional residency, eligibility for honors or athletics, or credits towards graduation at the home institution.

Read more on the PASSHE Visiting Student Program standards by clicking here: http://www.wcupa.edu/registrar/documents/PASSHEApplicationVisitingStudentStatus.pdf

Not sure if you attend a PASSHE institution? Please visit this website to check: http://www.passhe.edu/Pages/default.aspx

Senior Citizens

Senior Citizens can take courses as a non-degree student at the Undergraduate or Graduate level in accordance with our Senior Citizen Policy.

High School Dual Enrollment  

Dual enrollment students must be willing and able to accept the freedom and responsibilities associated with college attendance, interaction with college students, and exposure to the social and intellectual challenges of a college campus. Enrolling in a university course exposes students to a more diverse curriculum and culture, and they may be exposed to material deemed inappropriate for minors. The student must be able to work independently and monitor his/her own performance.

It is the responsibility of the student and their high school to determine how the coursework completed at WCU will fulfill specific secondary school graduation requirements.

Admission Requirements

In addition to the Undergraduate Non-Degree Terms and Conditions, dual enrollment non-degree candidates must meet the following requirements:

  1. Must be a sophomore, junior, or senior
    1. If a student is a sophomore, the student’s principal or guidance counselor must submit a letter explaining the student’s academic and dispositional readiness for college-level work.
  2. Minimum high school GPA of 2.80
  3. Must possess necessary prerequisite coursework and/or demonstrate, prior to enrollment, minimum performance competencies required for the course
  4. Must complete High School Registration Form(s)

 Applicants seeking dual enrollment, as well as their parents/guardians, must confirm understanding of the following: 

  1. The dual enrollment student must comply with all University policies, including requirements for attendance, class and campus behavior.
  2. Enrolling into WCU courses does not guarantee admission to degree candidacy.
  3. The dual enrollment students must be willing and able to accept the freedom and responsibilities associated with college attendance, interaction with college students, and exposure to the social and intellectual challenges of a college campus.  Enrolling in a university course exposes students to a more diverse curriculum and culture, and they may be exposed to material that may be deemed inappropriate for minors.
  4. The student must be able to work independently and monitor his/her own performance.  Further, the student will have access to all student services offered to the traditional college student; however, progress will not be monitored by the University.
  5. The grades received in university courses will remain on the student’s permanent college transcript.  Accordingly, release of those records is bound by the Family Education Rights Privacy Act. Information pertaining to student’s coursework will only be released to the student, not to parents or school officials.  (For more info on this Act, see http://www.wcupa.edu/registrar/privacy.aspx.)

Students who have IEPs or otherwise qualify for accommodations, please see the Office of Services for Students with Disabilities (OSSD) website at www.wcupa.edu/ossd for information on the level of accommodation provided for college courses.  Please contact the OSSD (ossd@wcupa.edu) to submit appropriate disability documentation.

Note: It is the responsibility of the student and the high school to ensure that courses completed at WCU will fulfill specific secondary school graduation requirements.