Western Carolina University - Distance Learning

Welcome to the Western Carolina University - Distance Learning Online Application
A message from the campus:

Welcome to the Distance Learning Application!


Please read the following information before starting the application.


This application is for students wishing to enroll in an Undergraduate Distance Learning program.    


This application is NOT for:

·         Graduate-level courses or programs of study

·         Programs that are offered at WCU resident-credit sites (programs delivered face-to-face at the resident credit centers in Cullowhee, Asheville/Enka, or Cherokee;

·         Continuing Education (CEU) or other non-credit courses, programs, or workshops


If you are unsure which application you should be using, please feel free to call Distance Learning at 828.227.7397 or toll-free 866.928.4723.


Admission to distance learning programs is a two-stage process: 

  • Stage one is review and acceptance by the University. The Office of Admissions will collect all of your transcripts and application materials. Once complete, they will review your materials and provide you with a decision.
  • Stage two is acceptance to your program of choice. After completing stage one, the program will review your materials and provide a decision based on the program requirements and availability of seats in the program. Decisions usually only take 10-14 business days, but can take six (6) weeks or more, depending on when you successfully pass stage one.
    Please note: The following programs have supplemental applications that you MUST complete before program review.
  • Distance Learning will contact you with the program decision and an Intent to Enroll form. You must complete and return that form before your admission is final and you are able to register.


If you have any questions about distance learning programs before beginning the application process, go to distance.wcu.edu or contact Educational Outreach at distance@wcu.edu or toll free at 866-928-4723. 


Notice for applicants from outside the State of North Carolina:

Admission of applicants residing outside the State of North Carolina to an online degree or certificate program or individual online course offered by Western Carolina University is dependent on WCU’s ability to secure authorization from the applicant’s state of residence, if such authorization is required. Please visit our State Authorization page for up-to-date information regarding your state.

To protect and verify student identity, distance learning programs/courses may utilize proctored exams.   The University of North Carolina system utilizes http://services.northcarolina.edu as a resource for the identification of approved proctors within close proximity to enrolled students.  In many cases, proctors are available at no-cost, or low-cost.   The use of proctored exams is determined by the instructor and is typically limited to mid-term and final examinations.   The course syllabus and the course comments on the University Course Schedule will indicate if proctored exams are required.

Last updated: 1/25/2016 3:16:00 PM ET

How to Apply

  1. Make sure you are completing the appropriate application for admission and that you identify your correct student type
  2. After reading the instructions, please complete the online application thoroughly. Your failure to provide complete, accurate, and truthful information on this application will be grounds to deny or withdraw your admission, or dismiss you after enrollment. When you are finished, click the 'SUBMIT' button on the left column of any application screen.
  3. Request an official copy of your transcript from your high school and each college you have attended be sent to the Office of Admission. [Note: receipt of a high school transcript may be waived under certain conditions (i.e., completion of an associate of arts (AA), an associate of science (AS), or a bachelor's degree; for nontraditional students age 24 or older; or for transfer students who have completed the 44-hour general education core at a North Carolina community college), but the high school transcript initially is a requirement for all applicants until sufficient documentation is received to verify that an applicant meets an approved waiver condition. An associate of applied science (AAS) degree does not fully meet the liberal studies requirement and does not waive automatically the need for a high school transcript.]
  4. The standardized test score requirement is a requirement for all applicants until sufficient documentation is received to waive it for applicants who may be eligible for a waiver (i.e., transfer students who have earned 30 or more semester hours of college-level work or certain non-degree applicant classifications.) Submit official Scholastic Assessment Test I (Code 5897 or SAT I) or American College Test (Code 3172 for ACT) scores. [All North Carolina public universities require scores for the writing section of the SAT or ACT. The writing section of the test is incorporated within the SAT I, but ACT takers must register for the "ACT Plus Writing."]. 
  5. Submit all materials to the Office of Admission, Western Carolina University, 102 Cordelia Camp Building, Cullowhee, NC 28723.

Admission Decisions:

A determination as to academic eligibility to the university is made following receipt of the complete application and required documentation (Stage 1). In some instances, students must meet specific deadlines, meet additional criteria, and/or submit other supplemental information to gain admission to a specific program of study (Stage 2). Program-specific supplemental applications and/or criteria exist for the following undergraduate distance learning programs:

  • Academically and Intellectually Gifted (AIG) Licensure - The AIG program leads to an add-on license. An A-level license in any teaching area is required for eligibility. A one-week field experience on campus the last week in June is required. Be sure to determine whether you wish to pursue AIG licensure through undergraduate or graduate courses before completing this undergraduate application. The graduate-level AIG courses may be applied to the MAED in Special Education with a gifted emphasis.
  • Birth-Kindergarten - The Bachelor of Science degree offers a concentration in either early childhood or professional education, which leads to licensure. Entry to the program is selective and not based on open enrollment. It is anticipated that no more than 30 students will be accepted each Fall and Spring semester. A GPA of 2.75 or higher is required for acceptance to the BK Program, and students must maintain a 2.75 grade point average solely from WCU courses.
  • Business Law - The BSBA Business Administration and Law degree, unique to the North Carolina University System, provides a comprehensive grounding in business practice and theory through academic rigor and practical relevance. Gain a competitive edge with an understanding of the interrelationship between business and law, legal theory and the application of law to everyday business transactions and management. This degree provides majors with a solid background in business as well as a foundation for continued study in graduate or law school.
  • Criminal Justice - The Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice with a concentration in Administration of Justice is a distance learning program targeting criminal justice professionals. A supplemental application documenting a minimum of one year of experience in the Criminal Justice field is required. Please visit the Criminal Justice program to download the supplemental application.
  • Culturally-Based Native Health Certificate
  • Emergency and Disaster Management 
  • Emergency Medical Care (Only open to certified paramedics, or to Special Operations Combat Medic (SOCM) course graduates or U.S. Army 18D personnel; fall only start date)
  • Engineering Technology - Classes are held face-to-face in Asheville (A-B Tech), Isothermal (ICC), and Hickory (N.C Center for Engineering Technology).
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Nursing: RN to BSN  - The RN to BSN program requires a supplemental program application. Please visit the RN to BSN program to download the supplemental application. Application deadline for Fall (August) admission is March 10 and Spring (January) is September 10.
  • WCU Teacher Certification (Required for WCU Teacher Certification applicants) 

Application priority filing dates or deadlines may vary by student type and academic program so be sure to submit all requested documentation in advance of any deadlines. Applications submitted after stated deadlines will be considered on a space-available basis.

Application Priority Deadlines:

Please note that Priority Deadlines refer to the date which will allow you the best possible chance of admission for the semester you choose. We will continue to accept applications for Distance Learning Programs on a space-available basis, or until the application period closes. Please contact Distance Learning (877.928.4968) if you have questions.
  Spring: October 1st
  Summer: March 1st
  Fall: March 1st
*Please refer to individual program pages for specific program deadlines
Distance Learning Admit Terms:
  Academically or Intellectually Gifted (AIG) Licensure All Terms
  Birth-Kindergarten Fall/Spring
  Business Law All Terms
  Criminal Justice Fall/Spring
  Emergency and Disaster Management Fall/Spring
  Emergency Medical Care Fall Only
  Engineering Technology All Terms
  Entrepreneurship All Terms
  Nursing: RN to BSN Fall/Spring
  Special Nondegree Seeking All Terms
  Transient/Visiting Student All Terms
  Undeclared All Terms
  WCU Teacher Certification All Terms
  Non-WCU Teacher Certification All Terms
  Certificate (Non-teaching) All Terms

Additional Information
University Admission Requirements
Student Resources

High School Transcripts

Most North Carolina public high schools now have the capability to electronically send official high school transcripts to all 110 North Carolina colleges and universities through CFNC.org. We encourage you to visit your school counselor to verify coursework and grades prior to requesting an electronic transcript.

In order to send electronic transcripts, you must:

  • Be currently enrolled, or enrolled at the time of graduation, at a participating public high school in North Carolina.
  • Make sure you have entered the following information in the This is Me section of Your Profile:
    • First and Last name - This must match your NC SID name (use the name that appears on your report card, or check with your high school counselor).
    • NC Student Number (formerly NCWISE Student ID) - This can also be found on your report card.
    • E-mail address
    • Gender
    • Date of birth
    • My Account is connected to (the high school where you are currently enrolled, or were enrolled at the time of graduation)
If these conditions are met, you are ready to proceed to the Transcript Manager. A successfully requested transcript should be received by the college within 1-2 business days.

Important Announcement:

  • If you graduated in summer 2012 or before, you will need to contact your high school directly to request a transcript. Please note this is a temporary process change for electronic transcripts until NC DPI migrates historical data from NC WISE to PowerSchool.

If these conditions were met when you submitted your CFNC.org online application, you will then be presented with the option to request your high school transcript be sent electronically to that institution.

If you submitted an online admission application through another website or university portal, we encourage you to request your high school transcript be sent electronically to that institution from the CFNC Transcript Manager (located under the Apply tab → To College → Transcript Manager).

Western Carolina University
Office of Admission
102 Camp Building
Cullowhee, NC  28723
In-state telephone: (877) 928-4968
Out-of-state telephone: (877) 928-4968
Fax: (828) 227-7319
E-mail: admiss@wcu.edu
Website: www.wcu.edu
How to Use the Western Carolina University - Distance Learning Online Application

To complete the online application, simply type your answers in the corresponding fields or select your answers from the popup lists (where applicable).

After you complete a screen, click the NEXT button at the bottom or on one of the sections listed on the left column to move to a different screen. Before you are allowed to jump screens, we will inspect your data on the current screen for errors or inconsistencies. If errors or omissions are found, you will be returned to the screen to correct your answer(s). Otherwise, your data will be saved and you will proceed to the requested screen. We also allow you to skip to another screen without your new data being saved. Be aware that if you use the Skip & Jump function on the left column, data on the current screen will not be saved and will have to be re-entered prior to submittal.

When you have completed the application please check your work. When you are ready, click the 'SUBMIT' button located on the left column to submit the application.

Click here if you have any technical questions or need assistance with this online application.

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