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Future Students

About WCU

WCU was founded in 1889 to bring higher education and career opportunities to the western region of North Carolina. A member of the University of North Carolina system, WCU now provides an education to more than 10,000 students from 48 states and 35 countries. Read more

WCU Campus-Cullowhee, NC


Transferring Credits from Other Colleges and Universities

There are a variety of ways you can transfer your liberal studies or other course requirements. Some of these include military training, exams for credit, and courses taken at other colleges and universities. We have created a page to help answer the most common questions about transfer: Distance Transfer Page

Is online learning right for me?

Online learning can be a great option for working adults who need a way finish their degree while maintaining a full-time job. This is perfect for the WCU Distance programs, as they are designed to be part-time, and almost all of our classes are asynchronous in nature. All distance students have to be considered transfer students, as these are degree completion programs. UNC Online has already created a short video and quiz to help determine if online learning is right for you, we recommend taking a look at  Online Learning 101

Applying for Admission

Whether you're seeking a degree, certificate or just looking to take a course, applying to a college or university can often be a bit intimidating. We make it easy, just follow our "steps to apply for admission." Admission to an online program is a two stage process. First, you need to get accepted to the University and then be accepted by the program. Second, you will get accepted to your program, see below for more information on Program Admission Requirements.

Program Admission Requirements

Each program has an individual web site outlining the program requirements, for both admission and degree completion.
Students often ask, "Can I complete an entire undergraduate degree online?" The answer is, No. WCU's undergraduate degree programs are considered 'degree completion' programs. You will need to have at least some prior coursework completed. The amount of transfer credits you will need to be accepted will vary from program to program. View the program web page for more information."

For information on if your program requires a secondary application, you can view our Step 2 application process page

Liberal Studies Requirements

All undergraduate online degree programs have a core of liberal studies classes that are required. Most students will have some or all of these credits completed prior to enrolling. WCU offers many of these courses online to allow you to complete any missing requirements. You can view our matrix of Liberal Studies Courses to see the requirements and the WCU equivalents.

Tuition and Fees

Please visit Distance Learning Tuition and Fees.

Financial Aid

The Office of Financial Aid is ready to assist students with funding their education. Information on available programs and application procedures can be found on the Financial Aid web page.

VA and Military Tuition Assistance

WCU's Office of Military Student Services is ready to assist you with using your Veterans or Military Tuition Assistance.

Computer Requirements

All students must have a computer with reliable access to the internet. Assignments may include accessing Internet resources, Canvas, Go to Meeting, email, the WCU library, proctering serivces or a lockdown browser, and the home page of an instructor. Speakers and microphone and or Web-cam may be required for some classes. Students should have access to standard Microsoft Office software. Students, who do not have this software, have the ability to download a student version for free. Other software may be required depending on program.

Support Services for Online Students

Western Carolina University offers a wide variety of services for online students. Students can access their student records, pay tuition, view schedules, register for classes, and order books completely online. Students also have access to online tutoring services 24 hours a day via Brainfuse.


WCU's Accreditation Statement.

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