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Western Carolina University Degree Programs Available

Western Carolina University appears in our ranking of the Top 25 Most Affordable Online Business Graduate Degrees.

Earning a college degree is often one of the best ways to advance in a current career. It is also often necessary in order to move into a new career. However, there are even more benefits to earning a degree than simply improving one’s career outlook. Research indicates that those who hold a college degree earn more money, are more satisfied in their career and are less likely to be unemployed than those who hold a high school diploma. Western Carolina University offers several degree programs, available both online and on campus, that can improve an individual’s career options.

Western Carolina University offers degree programs through six different colleges. These colleges include:

  • College of Arts and Sciences
  • College of Business
  • College of Education and Allied Professions
  • College of Engineering and Technology
  • College of Health and Human Sciences
  • David Orr Belcher College of Fine and Performing Arts

The College of Arts and Sciences offers degrees in math, science and the humanities, providing students with a liberal arts foundation. Through the College of Arts and Sciences, Western Carolina University offers a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy and Religion that allows students to concentrate their studies in either philosophy or religion. The program is available on campus where students complete core courses centered on traditions related to philosophy and religion. Students are provided instruction in ethics, logic, history, philosophy and religious traditions.

The undergraduate program in Business Administration and Law offered through the College of Business is available on campus and online. The program focuses on business administration, law, policy, and strategy. Students gain an understanding of how business and law relate as well as legal theory, research, and the application of law in the business world. Courses required may include Business Organization, Contracts and Sales, Business Ethics and Corporate Responsibility as well as Alternative Dispute Resolution.

The College of Education and Allied Professions offers a Master in School Administration that is available in a hybrid format, designed for working teachers and specialists in other education-related fields. The program prepares them for work in leadership roles, providing a pathway to principal licensure for those who do not hold a master’s degree in North Carolina. Courses are completed online with four face-to-face Saturday courses students must attend at the Western Carolina University Biltmore Park Instructional Site in Asheville, North Carolina. Courses may include Shaping School Culture, Ethical School Leadership, Leading Social Justice as well as School Law.

The College of Engineering and Technology offers a Master of Construction Management that is available completely online. The program is designed for working professionals looking to advance in construction careers. Students gain an understanding of construction finance, sustainability, and leadership as well as legal issues that impact the construction industry. Courses required may include Construction Forensics, Advanced Materials and Methods, Land Development, as well as Research Methods in Construction.

The Master of Health Sciences offered through the College of Health and Human Sciences is designed for those with backgrounds in healthcare administration who wish to advance into leadership roles. It is available online or on campus. Students develop an understanding of statistics, healthcare policy, research, operations management as well as marketing. Students may concentrate their studies in Emergency Medical Care, Health Education, Health Management or Nutrition.

The David Orr Belcher College of Fine and Performing Arts offers a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Entertainment Design and Technology that is available on campus. The program promotes creativity, facilitates innovation and cultivates artists who are prepared to succeed in the entertainment industry. Students develop storytelling ability as well as the comprehensive process in an immersive, mentored environment where they learn by doing. Courses required may include Foundations of Stage & Screen, Stage and Film Makeup, Theatre Arts Workshop, Scenic Painting, and Costume Design.

About Western Carolina University

Founded in 1888 by families living in rural Cullowhee Valley who wanted to create a school for children, the school opened after the hiring of Robert Lee Madison from Virginia who taught 100 students between the ages of 6 and 20. In an effort to educate more teachers in the rural area, Madison obtained a $1,500 grant in 1893 to establish a normal school as part of the Cullowhee Academy. State appropriations were expanded four years later when enrollment grew to 234 in the normal department.

A six-year program that included two years of preparatory school was added in 1918. Students in grades 8 and 9 could attend the preparatory school and, at the end of the program, received a junior college degree. Teaching, classics, or vocational agriculture were the three degree options. In 1925, the school became the Cullowhee State Normal School and, four years later, became the Western Carolina Teachers College. Then the name changed again in 1953 to Western Carolina College and the school gained university status in 1967. The state legislature merged Western Carolina with 16 other state campuses in 1972 to become the University of North Carolina System.

Today, there are more than 11,600 students enrolled. Western Carolina University also offers the First Generation Club, a program designed to address special issues that face first-generation college students.

Western Carolina University Accreditation Details

Western Carolina University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. Accreditation indicates that the school has the resources necessary to meet their goals and objectives. It also indicates that the school offers programs that meet or exceed the criterium that indicates high-quality education. If, during a volunteer peer review, areas are identified that need improvement, the school agrees to address those issues immediately. In addition, the following organizations accredit various programs at the school:

  • Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics
  • American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, Council on Academic Accreditation I Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology
  • Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education
  • Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
  • Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs
  • National Association of Schools of Art and Design, Commission on Accreditation
  • National Association of Schools of Music, Commission on Accreditation
  • National Association of Schools of Theatre, Commission on Accreditation
  • National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education

Western Carolina University Application Requirements

Applicants to the Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy and Religion, Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration and Law or the Bachelor of Fine Arts in Entertainment Design and Technology must provide official high school transcripts as well as official ACT or SAT scores. Applicants who have more than 24 credit hours and are more than 24 years of age do not need to provide ACT or SAT scores but must provide official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended.

Applicants to the Bachelor of Fine Arts in Entertainment Design and Technology must submit to an interview and/or audition. They must also provide two letters of reference, a resume and an essay regarding their five favorite plays or films. Applicants must also provide a portfolio of any design or technical work.

In order to apply to the Master in School Administration, applicants must have three years of successful full-time teaching and hold a Class A teaching license in North Carolina or another state. They must provide official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended with a 3.0 GPA. They must also provide three recommendations with one from their current administrator. A district verification form, current resume as well as short- and long-term goals must be provided.

Applicants to the Master of Construction Management must have an undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher and must hold a bachelor’s degree or higher. They must provide a current resume as well as one letter of recommendation. Official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended must be provided as well.

In order to apply for the Master of Health Sciences, applicants must hold a bachelor’s degree or higher from an accredited college or university. They must provide official transcripts from all schools attended. They must have a GPA of 3.0 or higher in all undergraduate work and must provide official GRE scores. Three letters of recommendation are also required along with a goal statement.

Western Carolina University Tuition and Financial Aid

Full-time undergraduate tuition for North Carolina residents is $3,452 per semester and for non-residents is $5,452 per semester. Graduate tuition is $5,020.50 per semester for in-state students and $10,224 per semester for non-residents. Online undergraduate tuition is $53.88 per credit hour for in-state students and $189.02 per credit hour for non-residents. Online undergraduate tuition is $246.57 per credit hour for residents and $756.72 for non-residents.

Undergraduate students may be offered loans, grants, scholarships or work-study programs. Graduate students are offered loans, assistantships or fellowships, although they may apply for outside scholarships and grants. In order to qualify for undergraduate scholarships, students must complete the Undergraduate or Graduate University Scholarship Application. To qualify all other financial aid, students must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The FAFSA must be renewed on an annual basis. Graduate students may also be offered assistantships, fellowships and other types of awards. Western Carolina University also accepts military and employer benefits.

Western Carolina University offers students a comprehensive education, attracting students from around the world.