Graduate Studies

 Admission (excerpted from 2023-2024 Graduate Catalog)

PDF version of Graduate Catalog

New Students
International Students
Post-Baccalaureate Certificate Programs
Admission to Integrated Baccalaureate and Master's Degree Program
Second Baccalaureate Degree Program
Teacher Certification
Re-entry Admission Procedures
Admission Examinations
Immunization Policy

 Admission of New Students


Application for admission to the School of Graduate Studies at Western Illinois University must be made online at A nonrefundable application fee is required. Applicants should refer to the program of interest’s website or contact the department directly to inquire about additional admission requirements. Admission to the School of Graduate Studies does not imply or constitute admission to an advanced degree program.

It is recommended that applications be submitted at least three weeks prior to the start of the semester in which the applicant wishes to enroll to allow for evaluation of credentials. Some programs may have specific deadlines for admission materials.

Applicants must have earned at least 60 s.h. of graded coursework from an accredited institution to be considered for admission.

Bachelor’s Degree Requirement

Applicants for admission to the School of Graduate Studies must hold a bachelor's degree from an institution that is accredited by the appropriate U.S. Department of Education regional institutional accrediting agency. Applicants are required to provide proof of such degree by submitting an official degree transcript to the School of Graduate Studies, 1 University Circle, Macomb, Illinois 61455. If official transcripts will be sent electronically by the credit-granting institution, they may be emailed to Student copies will not be accepted.

Degree-seeking applicants must request one official transcript to be sent directly to the School of Graduate Studies for each college or university previously attended. This includes Study Abroad coursework.

Non-degree applicants must request one official transcript or statement of degree from the highest degree granting institution to be sent directly to the School of Graduate Studies.

Graduate School personnel has access to WIU transcripts, including any transfer work accepted by WIU, so applicants do not need to request official transcripts from WIU.

If proof of a bachelor’s degree (official degree transcript or statement of degree) is not submitted to the School of Graduate Studies by mid-point of the first term of a student’s enrollment, a transcript hold will be placed on the student’s account. The transcript hold will prevent the student from enrolling in future terms and a WIU transcript will not be released, if requested, until this requirement is met. The University is in no way obligated to grant graduate credit for any course unless the student complies with the above procedures.

GPA Requirements for Degree-Seeking Applicants

Degree-seeking applicants may qualify for full admission under either of the following two conditions:

  1. Have a cumulative GPA of at least 2.75* (based on all hours attempted at all institutions attended) for undergraduate work, or
  2. Have a 3.0* or higher GPA for the last two years (60 s.h.) of undergraduate work.

Applicants not meeting conditions one or two, but who have completed at least six semester hours (nine quarter hours) of graded graduate coursework (S/U or Pass/Fail grades do not apply) from a regionally accredited institution with a graduate GPA of 3.0 or higher, may be recommended for admission by the School of Graduate Studies. However, admission based on graduate GPA is entirely at the discretion of individual departments. Some departments may not consider graduate GPA for admission at all; some may require more than six semester hours of graduate coursework before consideration is given; and some may only consider graduate GPA if a graduate degree was successfully completed. Applicants should consult individual departments to inquire whether graduate GPA will be considered.

Graduate School personnel use all undergraduate graded coursework prior to earning a bachelor’s degree in the calculation of GPAs for consideration to graduate programs. Undergraduate coursework taken after earning a bachelor’s degree will be included in the last two year’s GPA calculation, if necessary.

*Some departments may have higher GPA admission requirements. Refer to the departmental requirements chart at the back of the catalog.

Additional Admission Requirements for Degree-Seeking Applicants

Admission in any graduate degree program at WIU is contingent upon successful completion of undergraduate coursework specified as a prerequisite. Admission requirements for any particular graduate degree program may exceed the minimum admission standards of the School of Graduate Studies. Refer to the appropriate program section of this catalog or the program website for further details. Once all admission materials are received in the Graduate School, a GPA calculation is completed and application materials are forwarded to the program of interest for consideration.

Some degree programs require the submission of additional application materials prior to considering the application for admission. Letters of recommendation, personal goals statements, and writing samples may be required. Additionally, some programs require the submission of official scores for the General Test of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT). Requirements for each program are listed in the program section of this catalog or at

Some programs may require domestic applicants who are non-native speakers of English with foreign degree credentials to demonstrate verbal proficiency in the English language in order to undertake graduate studies.

Graduate School Acceptance Classifications

Applicants may be accepted in the School of Graduate Studies as degree-seeking graduate students, probationary graduate students, conditional graduate students, or non-degree graduate students.

 Doctorate, Masters, and Specialist's Degree Graduate Students

Doctoral applicants should apply for admission to doctoral programs simultaneously with admission to the School of Graduate Studies. Refer to the departmental information for specific admission requirements. Applicants for master’s and specialist degree programs should also consult the departmental information in this catalog or on the appropriate website. Applicants accepted into a graduate program without restrictions are considered regularly accepted students.

Other classifications include:

 Probationary Graduate Students

Those applicants who do not meet the Graduate School or departmental GPA requirements for regular admission to a degree program may be recommended for probationary admission by the department. Some departments do not accept students on a probationary status. Refer to the appropriate departmental section of this catalog for details.

Upon completion of at least six semester hours of graduate-level work at Western Illinois University with at least a “B” average, Graduate School staff will review the probationary student’s file and update the admission status accordingly, notifying both the student and academic department of the change. Some programs may require nine or more hours of graduate work and require specific courses to be completed. If the degree program requires the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT), action on the admission status will not be taken until the student’s GRE/GMAT scores are submitted. The hours earned while a probationary student may be used to satisfy the requirements for the graduate degree.

Probationary students are not eligible to hold assistantship positions.

Conditional Graduate Students

Those applicants who have not yet completed a bachelor’s degree, whose admission file is lacking an official transcript with six semester hours or fewer earned, or who must present official documents in person to the Graduate School, may be recommended for conditional admission. Once conditions as stipulated in the acceptance letter are met, the student is automatically changed from conditional to regular accept.

 Non-degree Graduate Students

Applicants not accepted into a degree program may be considered non-degree graduate students. Students in this category may be:

  1. Pursuing teacher licensure, post-baccalaureate certificates without being in a graduate degree program simultaneously, completing coursework for teacher endorsements, or simply taking courses beyond a bachelor’s degree;
  2. Lacking a complete admission file, including transcripts or test scores or other departmental required admission documentation, at the time of first registration for courses, thus making it impossible to determine their exact admission status;
  3. Ineligible for admission to degree programs as they do not meet admission requirements and have no intention of pursuing a degree at this institution;
  4. Seeking a second bachelor’s degree (This is the initial classification until the applicant is accepted into the second bachelor’s program and submits a degree plan to the Registrar’s Office at which time they are changed to senior undergraduate status); or
  5. Ineligible for regular admission into a degree program as a graduate from a nontraditional bachelor’s degree program with fewer than 60 semester hours of graded coursework. Should these students wish to pursue a graduate degree at WIU, they may petition to have their status changed to degree-seeking after completing six semester hours of graduate-level work at WIU with at least a “B” average and after submitting all required admission materials. With the approval of the academic department, the six semester hours may count toward the minimum number of hours required for the graduate degree.

Non-degree students who later wish to pursue a graduate degree should submit a change of status form ( so they may be considered for admission as a degree-seeking student. Non-degree students are not eligible for assistantship positions.

 Admission to Integrated Baccalaureate and Master’s Degree Programs

GPA Requirements for WIU Undergraduate Students

Applicants must meet one of the following to be considered for admission into an integrated program:

  • Minimum WIU cumulative GPA of 3.25 and a minimum GPA of 3.25 in the major, or
  • Minimum WIU cumulative GPA of 3.0 and a minimum GPA of 3.3 in the last 30 s.h. from WIU.

WIU undergraduate students may apply for admission to an integrated baccalaureate and master’s degree program after completing 60 semester hours of undergraduate coursework, of which a minimum of 30 semester hours must be at WIU. Admission must be granted by the School of Graduate Studies before a student will be allowed to enroll in integrated baccalaureate and master’s bridge (“B”) courses. Students may begin taking bridge courses after the completion of 90 semester hours, or when beginning their final two semesters (fall and spring) as demonstrated by a written degree completion plan. Students must submit the undergraduate request to enroll in integrated (“B”) courses found at

Students in an integrated program who do not complete the required bridge (“B”) courses prior to completion of the undergraduate degree will be removed from the integrated program and must meet regular admission requirements for the master’s program.

GPA Requirements for Undergraduate Applicants from Other Institutions

Applicants must meet one of the following to be considered for admission into an integrated program:

  • Minimum cumulative GPA of 3.25 and a minimum GPA of 3.25 in the major, or
  • Minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 and a minimum GPA of 3.3 in the last 30 s.h. from WIU.

Undergraduate applicants from other institutions may apply for admission to integrated programs per the agreements with specific programs. Applicants may submit a WIU Graduate School application ( after completion of 60 semester hours at the undergraduate institution. Admission must be granted by the School of Graduate Studies before a student will be allowed to enroll in integrated baccalaureate and master’s bridge (“B”) courses. Students may take up to three bridge courses during their senior year. Students who anticipate using financial aid for these courses should contact the WIU Financial Aid Office (309) 298-2446 prior to registering to confirm eligibility.

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 Admission to Post-Baccalaureate Certificate Programs

Applicants for admission to post-baccalaureate certificate programs must hold a bachelor’s degree from an institution that is accredited by the appropriate regional accrediting agency with an overall GPA of 2.75 or last two years’ GPA of 3.0. Some certificate programs have additional admission requirements or prerequisites and may require a higher admission GPA. Students may be considered for probationary admission, at the discretion of the academic department, if they do not meet the minimum GPA requirements. Application for admission must be made online ( for first time applicants or through the appropriate admission form ( for current graduate students. Additionally, students must submit an application for completion ( once the coursework has been completed.

Applicants must request the Registrar of each college or university previously attended to send an official transcript to the School of Graduate Studies. Transcripts on file in the Office of the Registrar will be obtained by Graduate School personnel. Admission materials will be transmitted to the academic department for consideration.

 Admission of International Students

International students are subject to all requirements for admission to the School of Graduate Studies. In addition, each international student must also meet the following requirements:

1. Hold a degree that is comparable to a recognized U.S. bachelor’s degree.

2. Complete and submit the online International Application for Admission ( Submit $50 nonrefundable application fee.

3. Provide evidence of English language proficiency by obtaining a satisfactory score on one of the approved proficiency exams (see list at; successfully complete a bachelor’s degree from an American institution with four years in residence, and within two years of matriculation at Western Illinois University; or successfully complete one year of full-time study at the graduate level (18 semester hours or more) in residence at a U.S. institution immediately prior to matriculating at WIU. Some departments may require higher TOEFL and IELTS scores than University minimums and may require additional demonstration of verbal English proficiency before full acceptance into the program will be granted. Students whose native language is English or who are from countries who are exempt from this requirement (see list at are not required to provide proof of proficiency.

4. Upon admission, submit to original financial documentation proving evidence of adequate funds to support student during first year of study. If the applicant has a sponsor, submit the WIU Affidavit of Support (

International students may also be required to remediate any deficiencies in previous college work by completing undergraduate courses at Western Illinois University.

International students interested in applying as an undergraduate or graduate student should visit

 Admission to Second Baccalaureate Degree Programs

To be eligible for a second baccalaureate degree, after having been granted a baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution, a candidate must comply with the following:

1. The candidate must apply to and be accepted by the School of Graduate Studies for admission to the University.

2. The candidate must submit a degree plan from the major department to be approved by the Council on Admission, Graduation, and Academic Standards (CAGAS).

3. The candidate must secure approval from CAGAS prior to enrolling.

4. The candidate becomes an undergraduate upon approval of the second degree plan. All undergraduate University policies are applicable.

5. The candidate must earn a minimum of 30 additional semester hours in residence. Courses in the degree plan may not be taken pass/fail.

6. The candidate must complete an undergraduate application for graduation at least one semester prior to graduation.

Note: The grade point average calculation for second baccalaureate degree students will not utilize any grades from previous degrees.

 Admission to Teacher Licensure Programs

Graduate students seeking licensure that requires an advanced degree (guidance, educational leadership, school psychology, and speech-language-hearing science) should contact the department chair of their graduate program.

All others seeking initial or subsequent teacher licensure, whether by an advanced degree, second bachelor's degree, or as a nondegree graduate student, should contact the University licensure officer in the Office of Teacher Education at (309) 298-1434. Information is available at

 Re-entry Admission Procedures

Students in good standing who have discontinued graduate work for more than one full year must file a re-admission application to re-enter the Graduate School. This application should be submitted at least three weeks prior to the beginning of the new semester in which the student expects to register. The re-admission application is available at Students who re-enter the University after an absence of three or more years, excluding summer sessions, must meet the requirements of the catalog under which they re-enter unless they receive written approval from the dean of the college in which they are enrolled to continue under an earlier catalog. Students re-entering into a graduate degree program should review the Revalidation of Courses policy, as courses become outdated after six years.

 Admission Examinations

Prior to admission to certain programs, the student must take the Graduate Record Examination General Test (GRE) or the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT).

Applicants to those programs requiring the GRE or GMAT are encouraged to complete this test either in their senior year of undergraduate work or before filing an application for admission. Test scores are valid for five years. For further information, visit (GRE) or (GMAT).

 Immunization Policy

Illinois state law and University policy require all enrolled students to provide official written evidence to Beu Health Center of current immune status with respect to certain communicable diseases. Effective July 21, 2016, the diseases to which all enrolled students must show immunity are meningitis, measles, mumps, rubella, tetanus, and diphtheria.

This policy is implemented under the authority of the College Student Immunization Act (110 ILCS 20) and associated rule (Title 77, Chapter 1, Subchapter k, Part 694). Please refer to for Western Illinois University’s current Immunization Protocol policy.