Academic Advising Center

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


#1. Programs of Study (Majors and Minors)

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

#2. Graduation Requirements

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

#3. How To Read Your TER

Your Transfer Equivalency Report (TER) details previous coursework that transferred to Western. The report will indicate how your transfer coursework was accepted at Western, including GUR, prerequisite, major, minor, and elective credits. It is important that you review how your credits transferred to Western to avoid taking requirements you have already fulfilled.

You can find your TER in Web4u under student records.

#4. Prerequisites

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

#5. Balanced Schedule

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.

#6. Aim for 14-16 Credits Per Quarter

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.

#7. Course Planning Resources

Academic Advising 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

Classfinder, Timetable of Classes: Prerequisites & course timing (you may also see the departments)

#8. Degree Planning

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 face-to-face advising sessions. Continue to see an advisor to discuss your progress toward graduation.

#9. Important Dates Deadlines

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

#10. Check Your WWU Email

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 ATUS' Find Answers page.



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