During the admission process, Western’s Audit of Requirements for Degrees (WARD) was prepared to display your prior credits and to designate how these credits apply to the BGS degree requirements. By considering Western credits, transfer courses, military credit, proficiency exams and Western courses in progress, this automated record provides timely information on your progress toward meeting degree requirements.

As soon as you receive your WARD, check it carefully for accuracy and completeness. If there is inaccurate information, notify us immediately so that we may make appropriate corrections. We recommend that you have your copy in hand whenever you call the office.

The WARD is issued for advising purposes only. It is not an official document of the University. Advising and planning will be based on this document and official transcripts. Therefore, it is to your advantage to keep us informed of courses taken from other institutions, name and address changes, etc.

At the top of the WARD, above the double lines, is the Header Information. This includes the date and time the report was prepared along with items from your academic records including name, student identification number, graduation date, program codes and catalog year. The program code on the right (H22) identifies your program (BGS). The various symbols contained throughout the report are explained in the “Legend” block located at the end of each WARD.

Below the double lines the Requirement Blocks begin. Surrounded by double lines, each requirement (or requirement option such as WIU General Education or IAI General Education) is unique unto itself.

The report contains two columns per page. Under Column 1, the first block indicates the overall status of the report:

  • At Least One Requirement Has Not Been Satisfied - OR
  • All Requirements Have Been Completed

The next Requirement Block lists the general graduation requirements. This block reports total hours earned, cumulative grade point average, residency hours, senior institution requirement these are: 1) Complete a minimum of 16 hours of upper division WIU courses; 2) Complete a total of 40 hours of upper division courses; , and math competency requirement.

You have the choice of completing the requirements of either the WIU General Education component or the Illinois Articulation Initiative (IAI) component. These requirements are listed next on the WARD. You need to carefully review these two options to determine your current status in each and then, with the help of your advisor, determine which would better meet your individual needs.

The final Requirement Block is listed under the header of “BGS Major.” 3) Complete one Writing Instruction in the Discipline or BGS Writing Course option. Also listed under this Requirement Block are any courses falling under the heading of “University Electives.”

Each time progress is made toward degree completion, your WARD is updated. Students can view the updated WARD through the Student/Alumni Records System (STARS). You need to review this report carefully and discuss any potential problem areas with your advisor. Here is a sample WARD Report (pdf).

Duplication of Credit

When Admissions/Records Officers of the BGS degree program prepared your WARD, they checked for possible duplication of credit in your past academic work. In each case, they made every effort to award you as much credit as your records warranted without granting credit twice for the same course or course equivalency. If you have any questions about your WARD, please contact your advisor.

Now that you are in the program, you will need to avoid taking courses that duplicate work that has already been recorded on your transcript or WARD. When in doubt, contact your advisor BEFORE taking a course, taking a proficiency examination, requesting courses in a prior learning portfolio, etc. Specific areas that constitute duplication of credit include:

Repeating a course at the same school for a better grade. Credits will be awarded toward graduation only once for the course even though it will appear on your transcript each time you take it.

Taking a course at a college or university that contains the same subject matter as a previous course from a different institution. This applies even if the courses have different numbers, names, or were taken in different departments.

CLEP subject examinations that cover the same material as covered in a course taken prior to the CLEP examinations.

CLEP or Excelsior examinations which would award credit that is a prerequisite to courses taken in that subject that have been taken and recorded on your transcript.

Proficiency credit for courses that have been taken.

Written Prior Learning Portfolio credit awards for courses taken.