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Thank you for your interest in the Graduate School at Western Carolina University!

As the westernmost campus in the UNC system, WCU delivers the quality education you would expect from one of the best systems of higher education in the nation. Our programs focus on applied experience and real-world research that our students use to further their expertise and careers under the guidance of world-class faculty. 

Explore our Programs

WCU offers more than 40 graduate degree and certificate programs designed with three things in mind: quality, flexibility and affordability. As a regional comprehensive university, our focus is on master's-level programs in high-demand areas. However, we also offer a limited number of doctoral programs including programs in physical therapy, nursing practice and educational leadership to meet the demands of the region.


Certificate Programs



Admission FAQs

What are the requirements for admission? 
An undergraduate background appropriate for graduate study in the proposed field. An applicant may be required to take additional coursework to strengthen the undergraduate background. A satisfactory score on the standardized graduate test for the program selected (e.g., GRE, GMAT).

How do I apply to graduate school?
You can apply now! using our online application. You will need to set up a free Slate account in order to access the online application. Once your application is complete, it will be sent to the program for review.

Are there deadlines for admission?
There are deadlines for specific programs. For programs without formal deadlines we recommend that completing the application no less than four to six weeks before classes begin.

Do I have to take the GRE?
You have to take the GRE for most, but not every program. Visit our programs information page.

What is the Institution Code for the GRE?

I have a copy of my transcript, will that be sufficient?
Yes. For the application process, you can upload your unofficial transcripts into your online application. If you are admitted, WCU will require an official transcript from your bachelor's degree or highest earned degree.

How long does it take to get a master's degree?
It varies by program, but students can typically complete a master's degree in about 2 years.

What is considered full-time graduate studies?
Students must enroll in at least nine hours per semester to be full time.

Can I enroll in two degree programs at the same time?

How much does it cost to go to Graduate School at WCU?
Compared to other institutions, WCU's Graduate School is reasonably priced. View our tuition and fees page for current tuition rates.

How do I pay for graduate school?
You can pay for graduate school in many ways. WCU offers various scholarships, Study Grants, and tuition waivers click the links for information about these options. We also provide graduate assistantships. Learn more about paying for graduate school.

What is a graduate assistantship?
A graduate assistantship is a job. You work 20 hours per week teaching, conducting research, or in some other professional development position on campus. Assistantship salaries range from $8000-$10,500. Learn more about graduate assistantships.

Can I get an assistantship if I have another job?
No, you cannot have any other employment than the assistantship.

Is my tuition automatically waived if I receive a graduate assistantship?
No. You must have an assistantship to receive a tuition waiver, but not everyone with an assistantship will get a waiver. Speak with your program director or department head for information about receiving a tuition waiver.

How do I get in-state residency?
For more information on Residency for Tuition Purposes, please refer to the RDS (Residency Determination System) web page.

Where is the Graduate School located?
The Graduate School is conveniently located near the main entrance to WCU's Cullowhee campus. When entering campus, take an immediate right. Then, take your first right across the bridge to the Cordelia Camp Building. Our office is located in 110 Cordelia Camp Building. Campus Map

Cullowhee is located 45 minutes west of Asheville between the Blue Ridge and Great Smoky Mountains, less than 3 hours from Atlanta.

Where do I go for help in getting a job in my program?
Many of our programs focus on helping you get a job. Check with your Program Director and visit our Career Services.

Is student insurance available? If so, how much does it cost?
Yes, student insurance is available. For more information, visit Student Health Insurance and WCU's Health Center.

Are there any graduate student organizations?
Yes, WCU has a very active graduate student population including Graduate Student Association (GSA).


WCU offers graduate programs at its main campus in Cullowhee, at its instructional site in Asheville and online.

Cullowhee   Western Carolina University's main campus in Cullowhee is just minutes from the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and the Blue Ridge Parkway. Our unique mountain location with its biodiversity and cultural realities serves as a rich training ground for graduate students studying fields from art and biology to social work and physical therapy.

Asheville   WCU in Asheville provides access to graduate degrees for working professionals in the region in fields such as accounting, engineering, public affairs, nursing and educational leadership.


What do I need to know if my class is in Asheville?
For the latest information about Asheville classes, visit our WCU Programs in Asheville website.

Is transportation available to class in Asheville from Cullowhee?
No, we currently have no transportation system in place. However, many students do carpool.

My classes are in Asheville, am I a distance student?
No. Distance students are those taking courses in a program offered only online.

Online WCU offers 10 fully online graduate degrees in fields ranging from entrepreneurship to health sciences to education and much more.

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