Undergraduate Catalog 2022-2023


Office of Admissions: Potter Hall, Office 117
Phone: (270) 745-2551; Fax: (270) 745-6133
Email: admission@wku.edu
Website: http://www.wku.edu/admissions


WKU’s admission policy is designed to provide educational opportunities for students who have a serious commitment to continuing their formal education and reasonable prospects for academic achievement.

In evaluating applications for admission, factors that may be considered include: complete and accurate information listed on the application for admission; high school performance; scores achieved on the American College Test (ACT) or Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT) (Western Kentucky University does not require students to submit the optional written portion of either the SAT or the ACT for consideration in admission to the University); post-secondary academic record, if any.

By recognizing differences in interests and levels of achievement, the admissions process is the initial step in providing students with personalized counseling. An application for admission should be submitted well in advance of the term for which the student plans to enroll. Beginning freshmen should complete the application process early in their senior year in high school.

Pre-College Curriculum

The Office of Admissions checks for successful completion of the Pre-College Curriculum (PCC). Successful completion of the PCC means that:

  1. The student met the KY minimum high school graduation requirements.  (Note: Students not graduating from a KY high school do not have to meet Kentucky PCC requirements. Out-of-state students are expected to meet the PCC requirements of their home states). 
  2. The student has completed two credits of a single world language. (Admission to WKU may still be granted without the completion of two credits of a single world language


The Office of Admissions evaluates whether students meet the standards for admission as determined by the University. These criteria are subject to review and revision by the University at any time. Current admissions requirements are available on the Office of Admissions’ website (https://www.wku.edu/admissions/).

Students admitted to WKU are subject to placement in academic support programs, based on their previous academic work.  

Applicants who have earned a state issued high school equivalency diploma or are graduates of a Kentucky based non-certified non-public high school, including home school, shall meet the admission criteria established by the university, which shall include taking the appropriate admissions exams to assess readiness.  For additional information, see the Admissions website (https://www.wku.edu/admissions/) or email admission@wku.edu. To view Kentucky GED policies, visit https://ged.com/policies/kentucky/.

Other Admission Considerations – Special Approval Categories

Graduates of Non-Accredited High Schools - Admission may be granted on the basis of completion of the pre-college curriculum and a satisfactory high school record that has been validated through satisfactory scores on the American College Test or the Scholastic Assessment Test.

Early Admission - High school students who are within one unit of graduation and have a superior academic record may be admitted upon special approval from the Office of Admissions. Applicants should submit a high school transcript with the application. Students with a 2.50 unweighted high school GPA or greater are not required to submit ACT or SAT scores for admission purposes.  

Concurrent High School-College Enrollment - Superior high school students may be admitted to enroll in courses concurrent with high school enrollment.

Dual Credit Program - WKU Academic Affairs administers a Dual Credit program at participating high schools. The Dual Credit program allows students to earn college credit as part of their high-school curriculum. Courses are offered at a substantially reduced tuition rate and provide a means of preparing college-bound students for the challenge of university coursework. https://www.wku.edu/dualcredit.

GED Applicants - All Kentucky students who have earned a GED are also obligated to have completed the pre-college curriculum requirements for entry to Western Kentucky University (unless the applicant is 21 years of age or older). Non-resident applicants are required to fulfill their state’s pre-college curriculum.

Non-Degree Applicants - Students who do not expect to become applicants for any certificate or degree may enroll upon approval of the Office of Admissions. They will not be required to follow any regular curriculum, but they will be subject to all other rules and regulations of the University.

Senior Citizens - Kentucky residents who are 65 years of age or older, on or before the day the semester begins, are granted Senior Citizen Scholarships for any college class in which they enroll for credit or to audit.

Checklist for Applying to WKU1

Entrance Level Records Needed When to Apply
Beginning Freshman
  • Application Fee
  • High school transcript
  • ACT (or SAT) scores (unless the applicant is 21 years of age or older or has a 2.50 unweighted high school GPA or greater)
Early in senior year
  • Application Fee
  • One official transcript from each postsecondary institution attended
  • High school transcript also required, if less than 24 semester hours earned
  • ACT (or SAT) scores also required, if less than 24 semester hours earned (unless the applicant is 21 years of age or older or has a 2.50 unweighted high school GPA or greater)
At least one semester prior to entrance
  • One official transcript from each institution attended since leaving WKU
At least one semester prior to entrance
  • Application Fee
  • Letter of good standing from home institution
At least 30 days before term begins
International Students
  • Contact the Office of International Admissions
As early as possible

International Admissions    

Mr. John Sunnygard
Associate Provost for Global Learning and International Affairs
Phone: (270) 745-4857; Fax: (270) 745-6144
Email: applyinternational@wku.edu
Website: http://www.wku.edu/international

International Admissions is housed within WKU Global, a unit of the Office of Global Learning & International Affairs. WKU aspires to enroll a diverse body of students who are fully prepared for a rigorous, fulfilling college experience.  For prospective students who hold an F-1 Student Visa, the University’s academic requirements for admission described in the preceding sections must be met. All necessary documents including academic records and proof of English language proficiency must be received before WKU International Admissions can make a decision.  International Admissions will review student credentials and render the admission decision. International students must also provide financial documents in order to obtain an I-20 or DS-2019.

Decisions regarding admission and the issuance of immigration documents are made in compliance with all federal and state guidelines and in compliance with admissions standards and the policies of the University.

All official transcripts from each college or university attended must be in English. It is each student’s responsibility to have the documents translated before admissibility can be determined. WKU does not provide translation services; however, students may contact the embassy/consulate of the country in which documents are issued, a certified translation service, or Education USA for translation assistance.

The following will apply:

  • All information must be translated into English.
  • Translation must be exactly the same as the original document including format.
  • No interpretation or evaluation of information should be included.
  • Translation must be typed, signed, and dated by the translator. Contact information for the translator must be listed including address, phone number(s), email address, and fax number (if available).
  • Each applicant is responsible for any altered or fraudulent documents submitted; the applicant will be denied admission and the issuing board or institution will be notified.
  • Western Kentucky University reserves the right to request professional credential evaluation by an independent third party.

International Undergraduate Admission Requirements

English Proficiency Requirements - All applicants from non-English speaking countries are required to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) offered by the Educational Testing Service, or one of the approved methods listed below. It is the applicant’s responsibility to obtain the necessary information and application forms, and to arrange to take the test by a date that assures the results are reported to the University by the required International Admissions deadlines. The test of English proficiency must be completed no more than two years before the date of receipt by WKU. English proficiency tests older than two years are invalid. Transfer students may demonstrate proof of English proficiency by completing 24 or more hours at a U.S. regionally accredited university with a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.0.

Test Score (minimum)
IELTS (academic version) 6.0
ELS 109
Pearson Test of English – Academic (PTEA) 52
SAT Evidence Based Reading and Writing (March 1, 2016 and after) 460
Duolingo English Test (DET) 100

First Time Freshmen must have the equivalent of a secondary school education and meet the minimum grade point average (GPA) requirement of 2.5 (converted GPA) set forth by WKU, demonstrated financial resources, and must meet one of the minimum requirements for English proficiency as stated in the chart above.

Transfer Students must meet the academic transfer requirement set forth by WKU by completing 24 or more hours at a U.S. regionally accredited university with a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.0, demonstrated financial resources, and must meet one of the minimum requirements for English proficiency as stated in the chart above.  Transfer students without 24 credits from a U.S. institution, will be required to submit secondary school transcripts and be bound by first time freshmen requirements.

NOTE:  English proficiency and GPA calculations will be determined using methods approved and published by organizations such as AACRAO, and ECE. Academic programs may require specific English proficiency tests and/or test score above the direct admission requirement. Nursing: http://www.wku.edu/nursing/documents/approvedtoefl.pdf.

Official Transcripts of International Students – Students who have attended any educational institution will need to request that all schools attended send 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 should provide a photocopy of the original document. This can be sent via email to iem@wku.edu or uploaded to (http://intranet.wku.edu/php/prod/iem_upload/index.php). If deemed necessary by WKU, an official translated copy of the transcript(s) must be provided. 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 International Admissions for review and verification.

College credit is acceptable if earned at a regionally accredited U.S. institution or the equivalent as determined by the academic department within the discipline. At time of application, transfer students with less than 24 total credit hours at a tertiary institution will be required to submit secondary school transcripts along with required college transcripts.  Transfer students with 24+ hours of college credit are not required to submit secondary school transcripts (College transcripts are required).

International Pathway to Academic Success (IPAS) - The program includes one year of credit bearing academic courses to help successfully transition international students to university studies in the United States. Students must have a secondary school education and a minimum grade point average (GPA) of 2.25, demonstrated financial resources, and proficiency in English as determined by one of the following: a 61 on the TOEFL internet-based test, an IELTS (academic version) of 5.5, a 45 on the Pearson Test of English – Academic (PTEA), or 90 DET (DuoLingo) Any applicant meeting these requirements will be admissible to the IPAS. Each student admitted to the IPAS will complete a learning contract, which outlines the institutional and student commitment for student success.   Upon obtaining 24 credit hours in good standing, students will have completed the IPAS and transition to traditional WKU courses.

Supplemental Requirements

WKU Application Fee($75) Final High School Transcript/Diploma Credential Verification and In-House Evaluation TOP
Direct Admit Required Required Required Required
Pathway Required Required Required Required
Transfer Required High School/College Transcript Required Required

Note: TOP is a new student orientation program provided jointly with WKU Admissions. TOP helps students become more familiar with Western Kentucky University and provides an opportunity to meet with an academic advisor from your chosen major in a small group setting. You will also register for classes and receive a copy of your class schedule. Placement exams are also administered (COMPASS, MPE, ACCUPLACER), during the TOP orientation.

J-1 Non-Degree Exchange Visitors Undergraduate English Proficiency Admission Requirements – Exchange visitors must provide proof of English proficiency. A detailed description of the minimum admission requirements are outlined at: http://www.wku.edu/international/intlreq.php.

Joint Admissions

WKU partners with community colleges through the Joint Admissions Program. Students participating in Joint Admissions are admitted to a participating community college and WKU at the same time as they work toward completing their community college degree. WKU currently has joint admission agreements with the following KCTCS institutions: Bluegrass Community and Technical College, Elizabethtown Community and Technical College, Henderson Community College, Hopkinsville Community College, Jefferson Community and Technical College, Madisonville Community College, Owensboro Community and Technical College, Somerset Community College, and Southcentral Kentucky Community and Technical College. Additionally, WKU has joint admission agreements with Volunteer State Community College in Tennessee and Ivy Tech Community College – Southwest located in Indiana.

Readmission of Service Members

Military service is defined as service, whether voluntary or involuntary, in the armed forces, including service by a member of the National Guard or Reserve on active duty, active duty for training, or full-time National Guard duty under federal authority, for a period of more than 30 consecutive days under a call or order to active duty of more than 30 consecutive days. This does not include National Guard service under state authority.

Service members that are not able to attend courses due to military service should notify the Office of the Registrar.  Students will be readmitted with the same academic status they held during their last attending semester.  Students that have not attended a full semester will be readmitted with the academic standing they had when accepted to the University. Students may contact the Office of Admissions for questions or concerns regarding readmission after military service. 

Residency Determinations

Determination of residency for admission and tuition assessment is governed by state regulation 13 KAR 2:045. The regulation can be viewed on the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education web site http://cpe.ky.gov/legislation/residency.html. Information about WKU’s residency policy is available at https://www.wku.edu/registrar/residency.php. Residency determinations are made and communicated to the student at the point of admission. It is the student’s responsibility to initiate a residency reclassification review if the residency decision is thought to be incorrect. Residency determinations cannot be made retroactively.

An active member of the Kentucky National Guard who enrolls as a student in a Kentucky public university as a non-Kentucky resident shall be considered a Kentucky resident for tuition purposes per KRS 164.2844(2).

Admission Appeal Procedures

When further consideration of a WKU admission decision is desired, the University Admission Appeals Committee shall have the responsibility for reviewing the situation to determine if the decision was in keeping with existing policy.

An appeal will only be considered by this committee after a letter of appeal written and signed by the applicant has been submitted to the Office of Admissions clearly explaining the reasons the student feels an exception should be made. The letter of appeal should include details that the applicant considers appropriate. The University Admissions Appeals Committee will convene using the letter of appeal, as well as all admission materials, as the basis for decision. The applicant will be informed in writing of the decision of the committee.

For additional information concerning admission appeals, contact the Office of Admissions at admission@wku.edu.

Departments Requiring Additional Admission

Students should be aware that several academic majors require admission to the program in addition to admission to Western Kentucky University. Students should contact the specific department to determine any additional admission requirements. Baccalaureate degree programs generally accept applications for admission by the third year of study, while associate degree programs generally accept applications by the second semester of the first year. Students interested in associate degree programs are encouraged to contact the department well in advance of initial enrollment. University admission is required before departmental admission can be considered.

The Graduate School Admission

Information regarding admission to the Graduate School is published in the Graduate Catalog or can be requested at graduate.school@wku.edu or (270) 745-2446.