Academic Planning

Top 10 Things You Need to Know
for Academic Planning and Graduating on Time!

  • Explore the list of Programs of Study (Majors and Minors)
  • Identify prerequisites, major declaration requirements, and curriculum requirements for your intended major.
  • Find out how to declare your major! Watch the Declaring A Major video
  • Connect with the department of your intended major to get any curriculum guides available.

Knowing about your Graduation Requirements...
Including but not limited to:

  • Minimum 180 credits, with a minimum of 60 credits upper division (300-400 level)
  • General University Requirements (GURs)
  • Complete 3 "Writing Proficiency" (WP) points
  • Complete an approved major, and minor if required by your major
  • Meet minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0

Helpful info for students who are bringing in transfer credits from Running Start, AP, IB, or College in the High School, or other colleges: (Transfer Course Equivalency Report Example)

  • The name of the transfer college or institution and courses from that college are listed in the left column. The WWU Equivalent Courses are listed in the right column. If you have earned a degree such as an Associate Degree with Direct Transfer Agreement (DTA), it will show up under the institution name, as in this example with Whatcom Community College.
  • Transfer courses with exact course equivalents at Western. Taking a course at Western that appears in the right-hand column will be considered a repeat and you will lose your transfer credit for that course.
  • Transfer courses with an equivalent ending in XX or TT. For these courses, there is no equivalent course taught at Western within that discipline. These courses may or may not count toward a major or minor. Students should contact the academic department to find out whether these courses may be used as a prerequisite or toward a major or minor. Regardless of whether these courses apply toward a major or minor, they do count toward the 180 credits needed for graduation.
  • Transfer grades. Grades earned at another institution will show up on the TER with a ‘T’. These grades do not affect a student’s Western GPA, but may be considered by departments when determining eligibility to declare the major.
  • Those transfer courses satisfying a GUR at Western will have the GUR attribute listed in the far right column.

A maximum of 105 credits at the 100-200 level can be applied toward earning a degree at Western. Any questions about how courses were accepted should be directed to Admissions Office. Students should email and include name, W number, and specific question.
To find out if Western has received a transcript, students may check their Confirmed Student Portal.

Credit Information

  • The number of credits earned for an accepted transfer course will be used even if the number of credits for the equivalent course at Western differs.
  • Semester credit hours are converted to quarter credit hours by multiplying by 1.5.
  • All credits earned at the lower division level will transfer as lower division credit, even if the course is equivalent in content to an upper division WWU course.
  • Western's online catalog was created Fall Quarter, 1998. Transfer coursework completed prior to that time has been evaluated as accurately as possible and will appear as if it was earned in 1998.

Equivalent Course Information

  • SUBJ 1XX (i.e. ENGL 1XX): Transfer courses that have no WWU equivalent but correspond with a WWU department/major; and may be used as electives in the major or minor, if needed
  • SUBJ 1TT (i.e. ENGL 1TT): Transfer courses that have no WWU equivalent but a) correspond with a WWU department/major; and b) may be used in the general elective area. These courses may not be used as electives in the major or minor
  • TRAN 1TT: Transfer courses that do not correspond to any one WWU department/major but may be used in the general elective area
  • DTA 1TT: Transfer credit accepted within the restrictions of the Direct Transfer Agreement (AA-DTA, 15 credits max) or Associate of Science-Transfer (AS-T, 5 credits max) degrees
  • PEND - Transfer courses pending WWU equivalency review
  • CRDT - Credit adjustment

Key to the Attr (Attribute) column on the far right side:

  • ACOM - Communication (Block A)
  • BCOM - Communication (Block B)
  • ACGM - Comparative, Gender, & Multicultural Studies-Block A
  • BCGM - Comparative, Gender, & Multicultural Studies-Block B
  • HUM - Humanities
  • SCI - Natural Science without a lab component
  • LSCI - Natural Science with a lab component
  • QSR - Quantitative and Symbolic Reasoning, satisfies the requirement in part or in full
  • SSC - Social Sciences
  • MSAT - Transfer course meets the QSR GUR in full
  • MPAR - Transfer course meets the QSR GUR in part. Satisfactory completion of one course from list. See Registrar’s Office for list of options.  
  • PC1 – Pre-Calculus 1
  • PC2 – Pre-Calculus 2
  • REM IA - Intermediate Algebra

Additional Codes

  • UD - Transfer course applies to WWU 60 credit upper division requirement
  • NUD - Transfer course does not apply to WWU 60 credit upper division requirement
  • Grades assigned to transfer courses are preceded by a 'T' and are not calculated into Western's GPA but may be considered for major requirements. Grades preceded by a 'TX' reflect courses that exceed transfer credit limits. No credit or GUR will be granted for courses whose grade is preceded by a 'TX' and these courses will not appear in the Degree Evaluation.

A prerequisite is a requirement or course that must be completed with a C- or better before taking a specific course. View prerequisites using Browse Classes.

It's important to be aware of prerequisites in your major or minor and to plan accordingly in order to avoid roadblocks that delay graduation. In some cases, prerequisite courses are only offered during particular quarters. Research when courses will be offered with the department or using Browse Classes.

For academic success it is important that you create a balanced schedule. Consider the commitments in your life such as work, athletics, family, and study time.

Consider your academic strengths and weaknesses. If you struggle to do well in a course with heavy reading and writing requirements, try to balance your schedule with another type of course. When possible, pair larger class sizes with smaller classes and lecture courses with more project based courses.

There are many benefits to averaging 14-16 credits per quarter!

Perform Better: We know that Western students who complete 14-16 credits per quarter average a higher GPA overall.

Save Money: If you are a full-time student, tuition is the same amount for 10 credits up to 18 credits. Enrolling in 14-16 credits can both save you money and shorten your time to graduation. See the Tuition & Fee schedule for more details.

Graduate in a Timely Manner: To complete 180 credits required to graduate in four years - you should complete an average of 15 credits per quarter, or 45 credits per year. Sometimes getting exactly 15 credits per quarter is a challenge due to course credit amounts so 14-16 is recommended. Some high credit majors may exceed 180 total credits and will take longer than four years to graduate. Also, this credit count may not factor in options such as minors.

See an academic advisor for more information about your particular academic plans and timeline.

Academic Advising & Student Achievement Center: GUR planning, choosing a major, major preparation, general electives

Majors at Western: General information on any major, including declaration and credit requirements, advisor contact information, and sample careers

Major department/advisor: Course planning for major

Browse Classes: Prerequisites & course timing (you may also see the departments)

Degree Works – Western’s academic planning and degree evaluation tool – is used to evaluate coursework fulfilling major, minor, and degree requirements.

Degree Works shows how Western courses, transfer courses, and courses in-progress apply toward graduation requirements.

You can access Degree Works anytime in Web4U under Student Records. If you have not yet declared a major, or would like to see how completed and in-progress coursework would apply to another major or a minor, you can use the What If tool in Degree Works. More information, including step-by-step instructions, are available on the Registrar’s Office website.

Degree Works is not intended to replace advising sessions. Continue to see an advisor to discuss your progress toward graduation.

It is important to be aware of Important Dates and Deadlines:

  • Submitting forms for financial aid and scholarships
  • Class Registration
  • Adding, dropping and withdrawing from a course
  • Applying for your major
  • Applying for graduation

The official means of communication between the University and you is your WWU email. If there is something important to know from any Western department or office, they will email you. Thoroughly reading all of your WWU email is one way to stay on top of the most up-to-date information important to your success at Western.

If you need assistance with your WWU email or would like to forward it to another email address, you can find information through Academic Technology and User Services’ (ATUS) website.