The Washington State University General Catalog

Washington State University and its various colleges reserve the right to change the rules regulating admission to, instruction in, and graduation from Washington State University and any other regulations affecting the student body. Such regulations shall go into effect whenever the proper authorities may determine and shall apply to prospective students and to those who may at that time be enrolled.


Undergraduate Admission Requirements

1. GENERAL REQUIREMENTS

  1. To be eligible for admission to Washington State University, an applicant must be a high school graduate or its equivalent, or have completed a more advanced transferable credential from a college or university with approved accreditation (see Rule 6).
  2. The total number of new students admitted for any one semester will be based on the number of students for whom facilities can be made available.
  3. Appeal of admission decisions may be made only to the Admissions Subcommittee of the Academic Affairs Committee or its designee.
  4. Anyone seeking admittance to the Graduate School must follow procedures in the Graduate School Policies and Procedures Manual available in the Graduate School.
  5. The university reserves a limited number of spaces in the incoming class for the admission of students with exceptional talent. Refer to the admission of students with extraordinary talents component of the Admissions policies section of the university catalog.

Advanced Standing and Transfer Credit

4. TRANSFER REQUIREMENTS

  1. Applicants who have completed a transferable Associate’s degree from a post-secondary institution with approved accreditation (see Rule 6) will be admitted as space allows.
  2. Applicants without a transferable Associate’s degree, but with at least 27 semester (40 quarter) hours of transferable credit from a post-secondary institution with approved accreditation (see Rule 6) normally may be admitted as space allows provided they have at least a 2.5 cumulative grade point average. Applicants whose cumulative grade point average is lower than a 2.5 will have their academic record reviewed more comprehensively to determine admission eligibility.
  3. Applicants with fewer than 27 semester (40 quarter) hours of transferable credit will be considered for admission if they also meet the first-year student requirements. Applicants whose cumulative transfer grade point average is lower than a 2.5 may have their academic record reviewed more comprehensively to determine admission eligibility.
  4. In evaluating admission credentials of students with transfer work whose cumulative transfer grade point average is below a 2.00, all of the post-secondary transfer credit from a previous institution may be disregarded, provided the work was completed not less than four years before the time of enrollment at Washington State University. Application of this policy is contingent upon the evidence of extenuating circumstances that present a significant probability of future academic success. The Faculty Admissions Subcommittee or its designee in the Office of Admissions will consider these admission requests. After the student has completed 15 semester hours of satisfactory work at WSU, the student may petition to restore the credits previously withheld. All credit earned in courses graded C or better will be considered for restoration and, if approved, only the courses and credit (not grades or grade points) will be restored.

 

6. TRANSFER CREDIT

Transfer credit is awarded for college-level academic credit earned based on appropriateness for WSU’s academic programs and comparableness in nature, content, academic rigor, and quality to WSU’s curriculum.  One set of transfer course articulation tables will be used for course evaluation by all WSU campuses.  The transfer course search tool articulation tables for courses from approved domestic and international institutions is maintained and monitored by WSU Pullman Admissions transcript evaluators and the Transfer Center in consultation with academic units. Transfer credit equivalencies are subject to change.

a)  Transfer credit is awarded from nationally recognized postsecondary institutions with institutional accreditation from the following approved accreditation agencies (or equivalent for international institutions). 

  • Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC) Western Association of Schools and Colleges
  • Higher Learning Commission (HLC)
  • Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)
  • New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE)
  • Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU)
  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)
  • WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC)

See Rule 14 for information on credit processes for postsecondary institutions with nationally recognized institutional accreditation that is not from an approved accreditation agency. 

b) Transfer credit awarded from approved institutions on the quarter system is converted to 0.67 semester credits.

c) Ninety semester hours shall be the maximum allowed by transfer toward a baccalaureate degree.

d) The maximum combined lower-division transfer credit allowed [from approved accredited institutions, CLEP (College Level Examination Program), AP (Advanced Placement), IB (International Baccalaureate), Cambridge International, military, and any other source] shall be 73 semester credits toward a baccalaureate degree irrespective of when those credits were earned.

e) Junior status, 60 semester credits, and completion of lower-division University Common Requirements (UCOREs) normally will be granted to students who have been awarded the Direct Transfer Associate (DTA) degree from a Washington state public community and technical college. Additional courses, up to the 73-semester credit limit, will be reviewed for transfer on a course-by-course basis.   Certain approved associate degrees may also be considered to have fulfilled the lower-division UCORE for graduation, provided the degree’s general education curriculum approximates the disciplinary breadth of WSU’s UCORE curriculum, but do not guarantee junior status or 60 semester credits. Completion of lower-division UCORE will be granted to students who have been certified by their institution as having completed the University of California Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum (IGETC) or the California State University General Education Breadth Curriculum. For details on specific degrees consult the Office of Admissions and the Transfer Center.

f) Reverse transfer allows students to complete an associate’s degree after transfer to WSU.  Policy details and credit levels vary depending on the community or technical college.  Students who enter WSU with at least 30 transferable quarter credits (20 semester credits) from a Washington state public community college or technical college will receive the support of the Transfer Center to complete the steps for reverse transfer.  Students who enter WSU and later complete one of the associate degrees listed in Rule 6(d) or (f) will receive the benefits described in Rule 6(d) or (f).

g) Students who have completed the Associate of Science Transfer (AS-T) degree from a Washington state public community and technical college normally will receive the same priority consideration for admission as they would for completing the Direct Transfer Associate (DTA) and will be given junior status and 60 semester credits.  Completion of the AS-T degree satisfies UCORE WRTG, QUAN, BSCI, PSCI, and three of the following requirements: HUM, SSCI, ARTS, DIVR, ROOTS.  Up to three additional lower-division UCORE may be satisfied via transfer credit, up to the 73-semester credit limit, or via in-residence credit prior to completion of a baccalaureate degree.  An individual course completed within the AS-T degree may not satisfy more than one UCORE category.

h) Completion of all UCORE and the University Writing Portfolio graduation requirement will be granted to students who have completed a baccalaureate degree from another approved accredited institution or the equivalent of a U.S. bachelor’s degree from an international institution with approved accreditation (see 6a), provided that the general education curriculum approximates the disciplinary breadth of WSU’s UCORE curriculum.  Approved degrees will also provide senior standing and 90 semester credits. 

i) Completion of lower-division UCOREs will be granted to students who have been certified as having completed the lower-division general education curriculum from a baccalaureate institution with approved accreditation (see 6a), provided the degree’s general education curriculum approximates the disciplinary breadth of WSU’s UCORE curriculum.  Please consult the Office of Admissions or Transfer Center for more information.  

j) Other degrees will be evaluated on a course-by-course basis for fulfillment of requirements, in the absence of an approved articulation.  Higher degrees do not necessarily fulfill baccalaureate degree requirements.

k) Transfer credit follows WSU policy for repeat credit (see Rule 34), academic forgiveness (see Rule 43), and grades and grade points (see Rule 90). Transfer credit graded below D is considered failing. Transfer credit grades do not count in the WSU grade point average (see Rule 114). 

 

14. CREDIT FROM INSTITUTIONS WITHOUT APPROVED ACCREDITATION

Students who have taken college-level, academic work at institutions that are nationally recognized but not from an approved accreditation agency may petition for transfer of appropriate credits.  Petitions may be filed after the student has completed a minimum of one semester (minimum of 15 credits) of satisfactory work at Washington State University. To receive credit, a student must have earned a minimum grade of C in the course for which he or she is requesting transfer credit. Petitions are reviewed and approved first by the Department Chair and then by the College Dean from the unit that offers courses in that discipline. The Vice Provost or designee reviews and approves petitions in cases where there is no equivalent WSU unit. Following approval by the Department and College (or Vice Provost or designee), the petition is then forwarded to the Chair of the Admission Subcommittee for review and approval. Students may contact the Office of Admissions for more information.

 

15. CREDIT FOR COLLEGE PREPARATORY PROGRAM EXAMS

Subject to standards established in consultation with academic departments concerned, credit may be granted to entering or enrolled undergraduate or professional students via various means including external examinations.  Approved external examinations include:  Advanced Placement (AP) Program examinations of the College Entrance Examinations Board; the International Baccalaureate (IB) Examinations; and Cambridge International Examinations. 

 

WSU does not accept credit by examination as transcripted by other institutions.  Students must request official score reports to be sent directly to WSU.  Acceptable scores for receiving credit are published online at wsu.edu/advancedcredit.

 

Credits by examination shall yield no grade points. Such credits may partially fulfill University Common Requirements (UCOREs) for graduation. Duplicate credit for the same subject taken on different exams like Cambridge A-level or A-S level, AP, or IB will not be granted. Advanced credit policies are reviewed on a regular basis and are subject to change.

 

Students may request to take a course at WSU for which they have been awarded AP, IB, or Cambridge International credit.  Prompted by the request, all the credit earned from the applicable AP, IB, or Cambridge International examination credit is removed from the overall credits awarded by WSU.  Only the subsequent enrollment in the WSU course will contribute to the total credits earned and grade point average; the AP, IB, or Cambridge International credit cannot be reconsidered for credit for the same course.  Students submit the request to ask for the WSU course to be allowed and for the AP, IB, or Cambridge International credit to be omitted to the Registrar's Office.

 

(a)  Advanced Placement Program.  Credit for AP examinations will be granted at the lower-division for scores of 3 and above, as determined in consultation with the specific academic department. The acceptable score for receiving credit is published online at wsu.edu/advancedcredit.

 

(b) International Baccalaureate (IB) Examinations.  Credit is awarded for standard and higher-level examinations with a score of 4 or higher with the exception of non-English Language A exams.  See wsu.edu/advancedcredit for course-by-course equivalencies.  Please contact the Transfer Center for additional details.

 

(c) Cambridge International Examinations.  Credit is awarded for A- and AS-level examinations.

 

16. MILITARY CREDIT

Credit will be evaluated on the basis of military transcripts received from active duty military and veterans pursuing an education at WSU.  Military credit is limited to a maximum of thirty [30] semester credits.


Transcript Credit:

(a) WSU uses the American Council on Education (ACE) "A Guide to the Evaluation of Educational Experiences in the Armed Services" as a framework for evaluating transferable credit documented on the Joint Services Transcript.

 

(b) ACE recommendations for the amount and level of credit (upper-division or lower-division) are followed if the military course (non-vocational/technical) is applicable to university or departmental requirements.

 

(c) DANTES Subject Standardized Tests (DSST) and Defense Language Proficiency Tests (DLPT) Exam Credit:  See Rule 17 Credit for Prior Learning.

 

17. CREDIT FOR PRIOR LEARNING

Prior learning is defined as the knowledge and skills gained through informal education and training, work, and life experience.   Under limited circumstances, WSU assesses academic credit for prior learning through approved academic department challenge examinations and departmental placement examinations.  These sources of academic credit for prior learning are awarded only at the undergraduate level for documented student achievement evaluated by faculty and equivalent to expected learning outcomes for courses within WSU’s regular curricular offerings.  Students should consult with academic units to determine if such an assessment is warranted and available. 

 

WSU also assesses academic credit for prior learning via external examination sources that include College Level Examination Program (CLEP), DANTES Subject Standardized Tests (DSST), and Defense Language Proficiency Tests (DLPT) exams. Approved credit for these exams is subject to transfer credit limitations as published in Rule 6. 

 

Credit that is granted for prior learning is identified on students’ transcripts and may not duplicate other credit awarded to the student in fulfillment of degree requirements.  WSU does not accept academic credit for prior learning as transcripted by other institutions.


1. Challenge Examinations.  Under limited circumstances, matriculated students currently registered at Washington State University, with permission of their advisor or department chairperson and of the chairperson of the department offering the course, may take challenge examinations for university credit in courses in which they are not registered.  Students may not take challenge examinations in courses which they have audited, or in which they have received a final grade.  Upper-division students may not receive credit by challenge examination in lower-division courses in their major field.  Undergraduate students may not receive credit by challenge examination in any course prerequisite to a course in which they are enrolled or have received a final grade.  The maximum credit for challenge examinations is 25% of the credits need for a degree unless permission is obtained from the student’s academic dean.  Consult the Registrar’s Office for challenge exam fees.
 
2. WSU Placement Assessments. Under limited circumstances, and in accordance with policies established by the university, some departments may grant credit or curricular advancement based on certain placement or proficiency exams.  Consult the department for information on eligibility, applicable fees, and other relevant policies.  
 
3. College Level Examination Program (CLEP) General and Subject Examinations:  Credit for CLEP will be granted if the examination is passed with scores established in consultation with the academic department concerned. Credit will normally be granted for scores of 50 or above. Credit will be granted for the comparable WSU course, or elective credit may be granted. Not more than 6 semester credits will be granted for each examination.
 
4. DANTES Subject Standardized Tests (DSST) and Defense Language Proficiency Tests (DLPT) Exams:  Credit for DSST and DLPT exams will be granted for college-level academic subjects (non-vocational/technical) using the minimum score and credit amount based on American Council on Education (ACE) credit recommendations. 

 

Academic Level and Credit Requirements

25. ACADEMIC LEVEL (CLASS STANDING) FOR UNDERGRADUATES

 

An undergraduate student’s academic level (or class standing) is based on the number of credits earned.  This level is used to meet requirements for enrollment, financial aid and scholarships, housing, etc.  A student’s academic level includes awarded transfer credit. 

Total Credits Earned

Academic Level

0 – 29

First-Year Student

30 – 59

Sophomore

60 – 89

Junior

90 +

Senior

An undergraduate student with a prior bachelor’s degree is classified as a post-baccalaureate student regardless of the number of credits earned.  Post-baccalaureate students are not considered graduate students.

 

Credit

29. WORK FROM HIGH SCHOOLS AND VOCATIONAL BUSINESS COLLEGES

No university credit shall be given for work from high schools or vocational business colleges. Recognized exceptions are College Board Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB), for which official score reports are required to award credit. Students are awarded transfer credit for Running Start (RS), College in the High School (CHS) and similar programs only when official college transcripts are presented. Credit is not granted on the basis of the high school transcript.

34. REPEAT COURSES

Students may repeat a course in which they have received a grade of C- or below, or a withdrawal (W), or when a course may be repeated for additional credit. Students may enroll more than once in the same course in any given term (fall, spring, or summer) provided that the particular periods of enrollment do not overlap and that other conditions for allowed repeats are met.

  1. Repeating courses graded C- or below. To attempt to improve the cumulative grade point average, a student may repeat courses in which a C- or below was received. When such a course is repeated, only the last grade contributes to the grade point average and total hours earned. Students may repeat a course graded C- or below one time at WSU.  At WSU, additional repeats may be allowed only by special permission of the academic unit offering the course.  Students in the professional programs (MBA, Medicine, Pharmacy, or Veterinary Medicine) may be held to additional restrictions as described in their student handbooks or catalog materials.
  2. Repeats are allowed as transfer credit from another institution.  However, the series of repeats and grades is retained on the student’s academic record.
    1. Only courses identified as acceptable equivalents according to the appropriate department, the Transfer Guide, or the Admissions Office are treated as repeats. If courses deemed equivalent in content differ in credit hours, the credit hours of the repeat course supersede the credit hours of the original course.
    2. For courses repeated at other institutions, credit is awarded following the WSU repeat policy.
  3. Repeating for additional credit.
    1. Some courses have been approved for repeat credit, i.e., the student may re-enroll in the course during a subsequent term and credit may be accumulated. Such courses are designated in the WSU catalog as “May be repeated for credit” and will list the maximum credit limitation.
    2. Courses which have been approved for repeat credit, such as topics, may offer multiple sections of a course during any one term. Students may enroll in more than one section of these courses in any one term provided that the specified particular topics and titles differ.

Grades And Grade Points

100. THE GRADE POINT SYSTEM

A provides 4.0 grade points per credit hour.
A- provides 3.7 grade points per credit hour.
B+ provides 3.3 grade points per credit hour.
B provides 3.0 grade points per credit hour.
B- provides 2.7 grade points per credit hour.
C+ provides 2.3 grade points per credit hour.
C provides 2.0 grade points per credit hour.
C- provides 1.7 grade points per credit hour.
D+ provides 1.3 grade points per credit hour.
D provides 1.0 grade points per credit hour.
F provides no credit or grade points. (Credits attempted are calculated in GPA).
P credit given—grade points not calculated.
S credit given—grade points not calculated.
M credit given—grade points not calculated.
H credit given—grade points not calculated.
NH credit given—grade points not calculated.
I provides no credit or grade points.
W provides no credit or grade points.
X provides no credit or grade points.
U provides no credit or grade points.

 

The student’s grade point average (GPA) is computed by dividing grade points earned by the number of credits attempted. Credits attempted for F grades are calculated into the GPA.  Grades P, S, M, H, and NH do not carry grade points, and the credits are not calculated into the GPA. Transfer and other nonresident credit are not computed in the Washington State University grade point average. 

Course

Credits

Grade

Grade points

ENGLISH 301

3

A

12.000

BIOLOGY 333

3

D+ 3.900

SOC 420

3

B+

9.900

MUS 491

2

P

 

SOC 499

4

S

 

 

Credits attempted, excluding those yielding no grade points, equal 9, and divided into total grade points earned, 25.8 = GPA (2.866).  

The third decimal point is rounded one decimal place to result in a final GPA of 2.870.  The WSU transcript displays two decimal points, 2.87.

The number 5 is rounded up following standard rounding rules. 

 

Graduation

119. REQUIREMENTS FOR OFFICIAL CERTIFICATES

Official certificates generally represent a body of coursework that demonstrates proficiency in a subset of skills or knowledge that have useful application in a variety of professions.  They are formally recognized by the university and convey that students have developed mastery of course material.  
An officially recognized certificate is a document issued by WSU, displaying the WSU seal and president’s signature, which is issued to students who have completed a course of study that meets the guidelines outlined below and has been approved by the Faculty Senate.  Officially recorded certificates also appear on the WSU academic transcript.
For certificate completion, the following criteria apply:
 
Undergraduate Certificates:
1. Admission and certification requirements:  Students who are admitted to the university may pursue an official undergraduate certificate through the unit offering the certificate.  The requirements for each certificate, including specific certification criteria, are listed in the catalog under the responsible unit.   Not all undergraduate certificates are available on all campuses.  
2. Credit hours:  A minimum number of 15 credit hours is required, with the exact number specified by the academic unit offering the certificate.
3. Transfer credits:  The maximum number of credit hours earned at other institutions that may apply towards a particular WSU certificate shall not exceed ¼ of the total number of credit hours required for the certificate.  Acceptance of particular courses from other institutions for WSU certificate credit will be at the discretion of the department or program offering the certificate.
4. Grading:  The number of credit hours that students may elect to take Pass/Fail shall not exceed one-fourth of the total number of credit hours required for the certificate.  
5. GPA requirement for completion:  The minimum cumulative GPA based on all graded coursework required to earn the certificate is 2.0.
6. Accumulation of credits towards undergraduate degree:  Credit hours earned in certificate program may be applied toward a degree.
7. Application for conferral of the undergraduate certificate:  Students apply for conferral of the certificate following the same schedule as is used for undergraduate degree conferral (see rule 125). The unit is responsible for checking that all requirements are met.  Upon successful completion of the requirements and payment of the certificate fee, the certificate will be posted to the official WSU transcript and an official certificate will be mailed to the student.  Students apply online at myWSU.edu under apply to graduate.
 
Graduate Certificates:
1. Requirements for the Graduate Certificate vary but typically consist of 9 to 12 credits of graded coursework. Once admitted as a part-time graduate certificate student, the student can take graduate certificate courses and/or graduate courses but must maintain a 3.0 GPA. Students currently enrolled in regular graduate degree programs (master’s or doctoral) may concurrently enroll in graduate certificate programs with the approval of their committee.
2. To qualify as a formal graduate certificate program, the program must conform to existing Graduate School academic standards and to existing policies outlined for graduate degree programs, including Faculty Senate approval and the following:
a) Graduate certificate programs must use approved undergraduate or graduate coursework, with no more than one-third of the coursework being at the undergraduate (400) level.
b) Student may be admitted to the Graduate School as a Graduate Certificate Student and have completed all appropriate prerequisite classes to take graduate coursework.
c) Courses graded S/F cannot be used toward major or supporting work for any degree program.
d) The maximum time allowed for completion of a certificate is 6 years from the beginning date of the earliest course applied toward the certificate. Students may request an extension of this time as described in the Graduate School’s Policies and Procedures Manual Chapter 6, Section F.
e) A certificate fee is assessed at the time of completion of the certificate. The student must be enrolled the semester in which he/she applies for a graduate certificate.
 
Professional Certificates:
1. Admission Requirements:  Students who are enrolled through one of the professional careers (medicine, pharmacy, veterinary medicine, and the MBA business career) must be approved by the academic unit to seek an official certificate.  The requirements for the certificate, including specific admission criteria, are listed in the catalog under the unit offering the certificate.
2.    Credit hours:  A minimum number of 9 credit hours is required, with the exact number specified by the academic unit offering the certificate.
3.    Accumulation of credits towards a professional degree:  Credit hours earned in certificate program may be applied toward a degree, unless prohibited by the academic unit.
4.    Grading:  Students must meet grading requirements and maintain satisfactory academic progress as outlined in the catalog in order to earn the certificate.
5.    Transfer credits:  Acceptance of particular courses from other institutions for credit towards the certificate will be at the discretion of the academic unit offering the certificate.
6.    Upon successful completion of the requirements and payment of the certificate fee, the certificate will be noted on the official WSU transcript and an official certificate will be mailed to the student.  Students apply online at myWSU.edu under apply to graduate.
 
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