Undergraduate Catalog 2023-2024

Transfer of Credits

Undergraduate students transferring to WKU are required, as a part of the admission process, to provide the Office of Admissions with official transcripts from all previously attended institutions.

Credits earned at other accredited American institutions of higher education may be transferred to WKU and applied toward a degree. The “Transfer Credit Practices” report published by the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers will be the reference used for the evaluation of such credits.

Students who previously earned course credit from a non-regionally accredited institution may petition for recognition of that credit. Consideration will be given to courses whose content suggests competencies at least equivalent to courses offered by WKU. For more information see: http://www.wku.edu/admissions/transfer/transfercredit.php.

Courses completed at a baccalaureate degree granting institution will be accepted for transfer credit at the level of the equivalent WKU course. Courses completed at a community or junior college will transfer to WKU as lower division credit only, even if WKU offers a comparable course at the upper division.

Acceptance of transfer credits for a particular major, minor, or certificate is subject to approval by the appropriate academic department.

WKU accepts transfer grades, and those grades will be recorded onto the WKU transcript and computed into the student’s overall GPA. Transfer work submitted will be equated to our internal scale and denoted as such on your record. Some academic departments require a minimum grade of “C” in each course applicable toward a major. Refer to the departmental descriptions in this catalog or contact the department chair to determine the specific requirements for each major. Credit for a course in which a failing grade has been received can be earned only by repeating the course in residence unless prior written approval is granted by the chair of the department in which the course is offered.

When a transcript from an accredited institution records credit granted for educational experiences, the credit will generally be accepted in transfer. Approved educational experiences include: credit by exam, advanced placement, prior learning credit, and dual credit high school work. WKU does not accept developmental coursework for degree credit. The student’s academic department will decide how and whether the credit applies to degree requirements for a particular major, minor, or certificate. WKU supports the CPE policy which outlines acceptable AP and CLEP scores. The complete CPE policy is available at http://cpe.ky.gov/policies. A list of WKU AP/CLEP equivalencies is available at http://catalog.wku.edu/undergraduate/academic-information/credit-examination.

Graduation honors (e.g., cum laude) are based upon students earning a minimum of 45 hours in residence for baccalaureate degrees and a minimum of 27 hours in residence for associate degrees.

The minimum residence requirement for the baccalaureate degree and associate degree is 25% of the minimum number of semester hours required in the student’s degree program, earned through instruction at WKU. At least one-third of the hours in the major and minor must be earned at WKU.

Kentucky General Education Transfer Policy

The Kentucky General Education Transfer Policy (2012) provides guidelines for the transfer of general education coursework between Kentucky public postsecondary institutions. The policy guarantees that if a student completes an associate (AA or AS) degree or some general education coursework at a KCTCS college, any Kentucky public university will accept their general education credits as meeting lower-division general education requirements.

The transfer of general education credits is predicated on the acquisition of competencies in broad academic areas, rather than a comparison of individual courses taken at one institution or another.

The five broad categories are: 1) Arts and Humanities (AH), 2) Communications: Written Communication (WC) and Oral Communication (OC), 3) Natural Sciences: (NS), plus Science Lab (SL), 4) Quantitative Reasoning (QR), and 5) Social and Behavioral Sciences (SB).

The sending institution will indicate, either on the transcript or as an attachment to the transcript, whether the student is Fully Certified, Core Certified, or Category Certified in general education, or if they have completed any of the coded general education courses (i.e., AH, NS, OC, QR, SB, SL, and WC) at their institution.

  • Fully Certified - All general education requirements are completed (AA and AS degrees guarantee full certification).
  • Core Certified - The 30 hours of core general education is completed, and remaining general education requirements of the receiving institution are still required.
  • Category Certified - One or more of the above categories is complete (e.g., AH Category Certified is interpreted as no additional courses are required in the AH category).
  • Course Certified - The category is not complete, but a course in that category applies to that category.

Questions pertaining to the Kentucky General Education Transfer Policy should be directed to the Transfer Center, Downing Student Union 2135, (270) 745-2178, tranfser@wku.edu. The full CPE General Education Transfer policy can be viewed at the following link: http://cpe.ky.gov/policies.

General Education Transfer Policy from States other than Kentucky

Students who complete an associate degree containing 30 unduplicated semester credit hours of General Education (typically an Associate of Arts [AA] or an Associate of Science [AS]) from a regionally accredited institution outside Kentucky are considered to have fulfilled all WKU Colonnade General Education requirements. In addition, students who have fully completed the general education requirements at a regionally accredited four-year institution outside Kentucky are considered to have fulfilled all WKU Colonnade General Education requirements if, and only if, the general education program contains 30 or more unduplicated semester credit hours. In both cases, these credit hours are to be drawn from and include at least one course from each of the following areas: humanities/fine arts, social/behavioral sciences, and natural science/mathematics.

General Education Transfer Policy for Institutions that Close

Students who complete all General Education requirements containing 30 unduplicated semester credit hours toward a Bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution that is closing or has closed are considered to have fulfilled all WKU Colonnade General Education requirements. These credit hours are to be drawn from and include at least one course from each of the following area: humanities/fine arts, social/behavioral sciences, and natural science/mathematics.

Transfer Student Services

Upon admission and receipt of all transcripts, the student’s transfer credit will be recorded into the university’s student information system and will be available online at http://www.topnet.wku.edu and in WKU’s automated degree audit system. Students and academic advisors may view course articulation (or equivalency) on their degree audit prior to the student’s participation in the Topper Orientation Program (TOP). The degree audit serves as the official assignment of credits to WKU Colonnade General Education Requirements; however, acceptance of transfer credits for a particular major, minor, or certificate is subject to approval by the appropriate academic department. Students may petition WKU departments to determine if a course should be equivalent to a WKU course.

Transfer Academic Plans

To assist associate degree recipients in understanding the courses needed to complete a baccalaureate degree at WKU, a variety of Transfer Academic Pathway Plans have been established. A list of the specific degree programs and pathway plans are available at https://www.wku.edu/transfer/plans.php.

Formal Articulation Agreements

Formal articulation agreements are mutually beneficial partnerships with colleges and universities developed to match coursework between institutions to help students make a smooth transition from other institutions. These agreements specify how transfer credit will be applied toward general education or other degree requirements. WKU’s formal articulation agreements are available at http://www.wku.edu/academicaffairs/pd/articulation.php.

International Transfer Credit

Transfer credit from foreign educational institutions may be granted after a determination of the type of institution involved, its recognition by the educational authorities of the foreign country, and an evaluation of the content and level of the courses. Extensive use is made of professional references which describe the educational systems and programs of individual countries.

Students who have attended an educational institution located outside of the United States will need to request all schools attended to send the official transcript(s) directly to Western Kentucky University. Some educational institutions do not issue transcripts to other schools; instead they issue transcripts or the original certificate/mark sheet to students. In this case, students must make a photocopy of the original transcript/certificate/mark sheet and have the school attended (or a certified translation service firm) certify/attest that the photocopy is a true copy of the original document. Consulates and embassies often serve as a resource for the attestation of educational documents. Students on WKU’s campus may bring the original transcript(s) or document(s) to the International Admissions Office for review and verification. For more information, contact isss@wku.edu.

WKU Students who Study Abroad

Transfer credit is awarded upon receipt of an official transcript from an international institution, only if the study abroad experience was pre-approved by the Office of Study Abroad and Global Learning. Transfer credit will be converted to semester hours, and all courses and grades are transferred. Additional information is available at http://www.wku.edu/studyabroad/academic_credit.php.

WKU Students who Enroll Elsewhere

WKU students occasionally enroll in courses at other institutions, usually during the summer term or through the “Study Away” program. Prior to such enrollment, students should access the online transfer equivalency guide available through the Transfer Center website (see View Transfer Credit Equivalencies at http://www.wku.edu/transfer/transferhow.php. This site provides the exact equivalency by course between institutions, if the course has been articulated. Approval for credits to be applied to WKU Colonnade General Education Requirements is provided by the Analyst for Transfers within the Transfer Center, and will appear on TopNet and the degree audit. Approval for transfer courses to be applied to a major, minor, or other programs should be obtained from the appropriate academic department.

Questions pertaining to transfer policies, services, or procedures should be directed to the Transfer Center, Downing Student Union 2135, (270) 745-2178, transfer@wku.edu.