Undergraduate Catalog

Note: The information on this page may not correspond to the PDF/printed version of the 2019-20 undergraduate catalog. This page has been updated to include changes to the freshmen admission policy, approved October 9, 2019, and effective for the Fall 2019 semester.


All new freshman applicants to Western Illinois University must submit the following supporting documents:

  1. A listing of courses taken and in progress with grades earned, or an official current transcript listing courses taken and in progress. A final official transcript must be submitted immediately upon completion of high school.
  2. The results of either the SAT test or the ACT test for students with less than a cumulative grade point average of 3.30 on a 4.00 scale. Self-reported scores will be considered for admission, but an official score must be provided prior to enrollment. SAT or ACT scores affixed to the official transcript shall be accepted to meet this requirement. Applicants may alternatively request that scores be sent to Western Illinois University Undergraduate Admissions either at the time of testing or online at:

High school graduates and GED holders who have been out of school for five years or more do not need to submit SAT or ACT scores.

Admission Standards

Western Illinois University is committed to admitting students whose academic records indicate a high potential for success. Students are generally considered for freshmen admission if they are currently enrolled in high school or if they have never attended a college or university since graduating from high school. All new freshmen applying to WIU are considered for admission on the basis of three criteria:

  • High school coursework/curriculum (Please refer to High School Course-Specific Requirements section below.)
  • Cumulative grade point average on a 4.00 scale
  • An official SAT or ACT test result for students with less than a cumulative grade point average of 3.30 on a 4.00 scale
Profile of the Freshman Class of Fall 2018
  • SAT Total (average): 1031
  • SAT Total (middle 50%): 940–1100
  • ACT Composite Score (average): 21.3
  • ACT Composite Score (middle 50%): 18–23
  • High School GPA (average): 3.31
  • High School GPA (middle 50%): 2.76–3.71

Applicants whose SAT/ACT score or high school GPA falls below regular admission criteria are considered for admission through alternative credential evaluation. For consideration, students are encouraged to submit a personal statement which addresses their academic goals, study habits, or extenuating circumstances that may have affected their academic performance in high school. Letters of recommendation, if provided, may also be considered. Students may be admitted regularly or into the Reach Program (alternative admission program). To guarantee full consideration for admission as an incoming freshman through this alternative credential evaluation, applicants are encouraged to submit an application and supporting materials by March 15. For more information about the Reach Program, please visit wiu.edu/reach.

Note: WIU considers applications on a rolling admission basis. Students are encouraged to submit all documentation prior to August 1 for the fall semester.

High School Course-Specific Requirements:

Freshmen entering WIU are to have completed the following high school coursework before entering the University:

  1. English: four years with an emphasis on written and oral communication and literature.
  2. Social Studies: three years with an emphasis in history and government.
  3. Mathematics: three years of introductory through advanced algebra, geometry, trigonometry, or fundamentals of computer programming.
  4. Science: three years of laboratory sciences which include biology, chemistry, physics, earth science, or other college preparatory sciences.
  5. Other: two years to be selected from art, film, foreign language, music, speech, theatre, journalism, religion, philosophy, and vocational education.

In the event that new students have deficiencies in course-specific requirements, the University will consider alternative evidence or other academic activities in determining the mastery of the knowledge and skills in the area(s) of the deficiency.

Linkages Program

The Linkages Program is a concurrent enrollment program whereby students enroll at Western Illinois University (Macomb or Quad Cities campus) and a participating community college. The goal is to help students reduce tuition costs and ensure a seamless transition into a WIU major. The Linkages Program is designed for college-ready students who will take one 100-level or 200-level course at Western Illinois University and register for the remainder of their classes at the participating community college. The Linkages Program is also a way for students to “lock in” WIU’s 4-year cost guarantee and become part of the WIU community. A current list of participating community colleges is available from the WIU Undergraduate Admissions website at wiu.edu/linkages. Students who are interested in the Linkages Program must submit a complete application for admission to the University.

Other Special Admission Provisions

Applicants without a High School Diploma

Persons who do not have a high school diploma and are not currently attending high school may apply for admission if they have passed the General Educational Development (GED) test and have received the SAT or ACT scores required for regular admission. Applicants must submit official GED test scores and SAT/ACT scores to WIU Undergraduate Admissions. GED holders who have earned their GED five or more years ago are not required to provide an SAT or ACT score for admission. GED holders will meet with advisors who will discuss specific courses needed to meet any deficiencies in academic requirements.

Non-Degree Status

Any student who has earned a high school diploma or its equivalent may attend Western as a non-degree student without meeting the regular admission requirements under the following provisions:

  1. The student may enroll in no more than six semester hours per term, and may accrue no more than 30 semester hours at WIU.
  2. Students who have earned more than 30 semester hours of college credit at Western Illinois University are not normally eligible for non-degree status. However, such students may appeal to the Council on Admission, Graduation, and Academic Standards (CAGAS) for non-degree status.
  3. Students currently on academic probation or suspension are ineligible for non-degree status.
  4. Non-degree students must apply to CAGAS if they wish to be considered for degree candidacy.
  5. Non-degree students are not eligible for financial aid.
Dual Enrollment High School Students

High school students may be accepted for special admission to enroll in University courses while concurrently enrolled in secondary school. The following provisions apply:

  1. The student must meet regular admission criteria or have earned a cumulative unweighted 3.0 GPA or higher after at least three semesters of high school coursework.
  2. The high school principal, counselor, or an appropriate designee must provide written
  3. support for the admission application.
  4. Students must agree to pursue academic advising through the University Advising and Academic Services Center in Macomb or Quad Cities Student Services, as appropriate. International students must agree to pursue academic advising through the Center for International Studies.
  5. Students may enroll for a maximum of two courses per term without permission of the Council on Admission, Graduation, and Academic Standards (CAGAS).
  6. Only 100- or 200-level courses, in which the student meets WIU placement or prerequisite requirements, may be taken without permission of the appropriate department chairperson.
  7. Exceptions to the above policy must be approved by CAGAS.
Visiting Students

A student who is a degree candidate at another institution may attend Western for one term under the following provisions:

  1. The student must submit an application to Undergraduate Admissions for one semester.
  2. The student must submit an official transcript from their last school attended verifying that he/she is in good status at that institution,
    Complete a personally signed WIU Visiting Student Form attesting good standing at the last school attended.
  3. Subsequent enrollment terms will be applied for through the Office of the Registrar as a re-entry student.