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!


If you desire to make application to an:

  • Undergraduate,
  • Online or extension-based,
  • For-credit,
  • Course or program of study
  • Through Western Carolina University,

You have come to the right place! 


This online application is NOT designed for application to:

·        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;


Please seek university clarification if you are unsure as to the appropriate application to complete.  


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

  • The Office of Admission is responsible for collecting and reviewing all required documentation (both WCU and UNC General Administration requirements) to ensure your admissibility to the university itself.  Individual programs may require additional documentation, stipulate additional admission criteria, and/or establish specific program deadlines. 
  • Program Directors/Coordinators make programmatic admission decisions after admissibility to the university has been established. 
  • Educational Outreach works with the distance learning applicants, the Office of Admission, and academic Program Directors/Coordinators to assist with the two-stage admission process, course registration, and student transition to enrollment at WCU. 

The instructions, notices, and resource links within the distance learning online application are for your benefit.  Reading or referring to them will help you navigate the application process. 


If you have any questions about distance learning programs before beginning the application process, go to http://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.  WCU is not yet authorized to offer online courses to applicants from the following states:




Maryland - application in process



Residents of states listed above should contact WCU Distance Learning at Distance@wcu.edu. A Distance Learning staff member will contact the applicant’s state of residence to determine if authorization to accept an admission application from the individual’s state of residence can be obtained by the University.

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.


Visit the Catamount Online Readiness Experience (CORE) to see what online learning will be like at WCU. CORE will help you decide if online courses are right for you. Visit CORE at http://distance.wcu.edu (right-hand side of the page).

If you are ready to begin the distance learning online application process, click below:

Last updated: 5/14/2013 12:14:00 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.
  • 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 April 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:
  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
  Criminal Justice Fall/Spring
  Emergency and Disaster Management Fall/Spring
  Emergency Medical Care Fall Only
  Engineering Technology All Terms
  Entrepreneurship All Terms
  High School Dual Enrollment 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
Military Personnel and Dependent Resources
Preparing You for Online Learning

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.

To send an electronic transcript, you must:

  • Make sure you have entered the following information in your profile and/or CFNC.org online admission application:
    • First and Last name - This must match your legal name (use the name that appears on your report card, or check with your high school counselor).
    • NC Student Number (formerly NC WISE Student ID) - is your North Carolina public high school student identifier number and is only applicable to North Carolina High School students. Providing the NC Student Number is voluntary and if provided, will give you the opportunity to request your high school transcript electronically.
    • Current high school (or high school at time of graduation)
    • Date of birth
    • E-mail address
    • Gender
  • Be currently enrolled at or graduated from in 2013, a participating public high school in North Carolina that has converted from NC WISE to PowerSchool/HomeBase. If you are not sure about your school's current status or statusat the time you graduated, check with your school counselor.

Important Announcement:

As of November 13, 2013, electronic transcripts for some schools are now being processed from NC DPI's new PowerSchool system. Please refer to the list of schools spreadsheet to see if your school is in a district that has chosen to send from the new PowerSchool system, or if your school is in a district that has chosen to send from the NC WISE system. The differences are described below.

PowerSchool: This means that currently enrolled students can now send electronic transcripts that contain their current student information from PowerSchool.
Please note there will be a temporary process change for electronic transcripts until later this academic year for students who graduated in summer 2013 or before. NC DPI is in the process of migrating historical data from NC WISE to PowerSchool. If you graduated in summer 2013 or before, you will need to contact your high school directly to request a transcript.

NC WISE: This means that all currently enrolled students and former students can send electronic transcripts that contain their information from NC WISE. For currently enrolled seniors, please note that transcripts from NC WISE do not include any courses in which you are currently enrolled (Fall 2013).

Over the next few weeks NC DPI is working to transition all remaining schools to the new PowerSchool system. Please check this message area and the list of schools spreadsheet (link above) for the latest information.

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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