Graduate Catalog 2024-2025 
    
    Jul 18, 2024  
Graduate Catalog 2024-2025

Admission



The University of West Georgia invites qualified applicants from all cultural, religious, racial, and ethnic groups to apply for graduate programs in the College of Arts, Culture, and Scientific Inquiry; College of Education; Richards College of Business; School of Communication, Film, and Media; Tanner Health System School of Nursing, and University College. 

How to Apply

The Graduate School admissions office receives all documents in the admissions process. This includes the online application, standardized test scores (e.g., GRE, GMAT), all official transcripts, citizen or immigration documents, letters of recommendation, personal statements, essays, or any other documents that are a part of the admission process for any graduate program.  A degree from a regionally accredited institution is required.

Program Admission Standards

Program admission standards aid the selection of applicants whose academic preparation indicates they will be successful in graduate studies at the University of West Georgia, although programs may reject otherwise qualified applicants due to space limitations or other programmatic variables. If no minimum GPA is stated in the program requirements, a 2.50 is required. Programs may require additional indicators, beyond transcripts and grade point averages that demonstrate the applicant’s ability to successfully complete graduate study prior to rendering an admission decision. For example, some programs may require letters of recommendation, narrative statements, art portfolios, program-qualifying examinations, interviews, and/or musical performances to determine the admissibility of students. See information in the Graduate Catalog about individual graduate programs for more details regarding admission requirements.

Applicants to master’s and post-baccalaureate programs must submit official transcripts from all post-secondary schools attended. Applicants to specialist, doctoral, and post-masters programs must submit official transcripts from degree-granting institutions only. 

Application Process

Applicants must submit an online application with a $39.99 non-refundable application fee. (Georgia residents 62 years of age or older and McNair Scholars are not required to pay the application fee). The online application and instructions for the application process can be found at http://www.westga.edu/gradstudies/apply-now.php.

Graduate admission application deadlines vary by program and some programs do not admit students every semester. Application deadlines can be found at https://www.westga.edu/academics/gradstudies/admissions-deadlines.php. International students must meet additional requirements and earlier deadlines. Admission information for international students can be found at https://www.westga.edu/isap.

Admission is valid only for the semester reflected on the application.  An applicant who applies but chooses not to enroll during the semester of application may update the semester for which they are applying if the update is completed within 12 months. The student can update the application online at westga.edu/gradschool. Only one update is permitted.

Students furnishing the University with false, incomplete, or misleading information relating to their application or academic record will be subject to rejection or dismissal.

GRE/GMAT Score Protocol

The only official reports of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores are those issued by ETS and sent directly to the University of West Georgia using our school code: 5900. Scores obtained from other sources or sent in other formats will not be accepted. Scores must be current and taken within five years of the application deadline date for the specific program of study.

The only official reports of Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) are those issued by Pearson and sent directly to the University of West Georgia using our school code: 5900.  Scores obtained from other sources or sent in other formats will not be accepted.  Scores must be current and taken within five years of the application deadline date for the specific program of study.

Academic programs may offer an exemption or waiver for the GRE/GMAT under specific circumstances that must be outlined in the graduate catalog. Please consult the program of study’s admission criteria for more information.

Once received, the University of West Georgia will not issue or release GRE/GMAT scores to students, applicants, or other institutions in any format.

Process for Graduate Admission Appeals 

Appeals of graduate admissions decisions at the University of West Georgia are made to the Dean of the Graduate School.  This is the process admission appeals will follow.

  1. Notice to applicants.

Applicants will be apprised of their ability to appeal admissions decisions through postings on the University’s Office of Graduate Admissions and the Graduate School’s websites, as well as communications sent contemporaneously with admissions decisions.

a.Website Posting. The Office of Graduate Admissions website will prominently feature a link regarding admissions appeals, which will link to an explanation of the appeals process. This will also be included on the Graduate School’s website under web resources for graduate students.

b. Notification of Admissions Decisions. Contemporaneously with notifications of admissions decisions, applicants will be informed of their ability to appeal those decisions and directed to the University’s web resources detailing the appeals process.
 

  1. The Appeal.

A. Basis for appeal. Appeals of admissions decisions may follow different processes based on the grounds of the appeal.

1. Discrimination. If the applicant believes their admissions decision is impermissibly based upon the applicant’s race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, ethnicity or national origin, disability religion, age, genetic information, veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by institutional policy or state, local, or federal law the applicant may directly contact the Office of Equal Opportunity & Title IX.

2. Other basis. If the applicant wishes to appeal their admissions decision based on other factors, the applicant needs to submit a written appeal to the Dean of the Graduate School.

B. Written Appeal. Within fourteen (14) calendar days of the notification date of the admissions decision, the applicant may file an appeal. The appeal should, at a minimum, contain the following:

1. An explanation of the admissions decision;

2. An explanation of why the applicant believes the decision was incorrect;

3. Identification of any evidence the applicant believes supports her or his position. The applicant may be asked to provide this evidence to permit the Graduate School to process their appeal;

4. Any other information the applicant believes is relevant to her or his appeal.

5. Current contact information for the applicant.

Effective appeals will typically involve information the applicant may not have provided in their original application, but which might influence the University’s decision regarding her or his application.

For example, following notification of an unsuccessful application, an applicant for the Master of Arts in Criminology might speak to a professor regarding their application. During that conversation, the applicant notes her or his five (5) years of successful service as a law enforcement officer. The professor notes this was not included in the original application and states the program faculty might believe it relevant to their consideration of the application. The professor then suggests the applicant file an appeal, providing specific evidence of their successful law enforcement record and an explanation of why the applicant believes it contributes to their strength as a graduate student in that discipline.

Please note the Graduate School is unlikely to be influenced by arguments in which the applicant is challenging the judgment of a program’s faculty regarding aspects of the program’s application. This is particularly true regarding the faculty’s assessment of an applicant’s relevant grade point average or their scores on an admissions examination required by the program (e.g., GRE, GMAT) or the weight to give such items in the faculty’s evaluation of the applicant.

C. Submission of Appeal. The appeal may be submitted electronically or in writing to the Graduate School. It should be submitted to:

graduate@westga.edu

Assistant Director of Graduate Admissions
Graduate School
1601 Maple Street

Carrollton, GA 30110

The Graduate School will acknowledge receipt of the appeal electronically.

3. Review Process.

Upon receipt of the appeal, the Graduate School will identify an appropriate process for reviewing the appeal. This process may vary based upon the grounds of the appeal (such as a need to solicit input from the graduate program faculty).

After identifying and receiving information and evidence relevant to the appeal, the Graduate School will empanel a group of at least three (3) members of the University’s Graduate Faculty to review the appeal. The Graduate Faculty members will make a recommendation regarding the appeal to the Dean of the Graduate School.

4. Decision.

In the absence of exceptional circumstances, within fourteen (14) calendar days of the receipt of the appeal, the Dean of the Graduate School will issue a decision regarding the appeal. It will be communicated to the applicant through electronic mail.

Inactive Status

Students who do not attend in the semester for which they were admitted will be made inactive.  Students who were previously enrolled in graduate courses, but who have not been in attendance within the last year (three consecutive semesters, 12 months) are classified as Inactive Students at the beginning of the third semester of absence and must apply for readmission. When readmitted to a program of study, students will be required to complete the current program in place at the time of readmission.

Change of Program

A graduate student who wishes to transfer from one program to another must apply for readmission to the new program and be accepted. The application fee for readmission to the new program will be waived if it has been less than 12 months since the date of the original application.

Immunization Requirements

Students entering any unit of the University System of Georgia are required to provide official documentation of immunization prior to registration.  Students attending UWG in 100% online graduate programs with no campus option do not need to submit immunizations.  Students with questions about immunization records should contact the Immunization Clerk in Health Services at immunize@westga.edu.   Immunization requirements and recommendations for University System of Georgia students can be found at https://www.westga.edu/student-services/health/assets-health/docs/Certificate_Immunization_Form.pdf.

Enrollment of Persons 62 Years of Age or Older

Georgia residents 62 years of age or older may enroll as regular students in courses offered for resident credit on a space available basis without payment of fees, except for supplies, technology, laboratory, or shop fees. Space-available will be determined by the institution. Students enrolled for credit who elect to participate in the campus health program, student activities program, or to use the parking facilities may be required to pay the appropriate fees. Students must be residents of Georgia, 62 years of age or older at the time of registration, and they must present a birth certificate or comparable written documentation of age. A Certificate of Immunization is also required, although students attending UWG solely online may qualify for a term-by-term exemption.

Applicants who wish to enroll under this program must meet the program admission requirements and file the online application for admission, although they are not required to pay the $39.99 admission fee.

Applicants should select that they wish to be part of the 62+ Program on the application and submit proof of age and Georgia residency (Georgia driver’s license or other official document showing age and residency). Other requirements for admission as listed elsewhere in the Admissions section of the catalog and the relevant graduate program apply.

Transient Student

A transient student is a “visiting” student who wishes to take course-work at UWG for one semester and then return to their previously enrolled institution (referred to as the “home” institution).

In addition to submitting a completed admission application and $39.99 application fee each time they wish to attend UWG, a transient student must also submit to the Graduate School’s admissions office a Transient Approval Letter from the Registrar or Dean of his or her “home” institution. This transient letter must state that the student is in good academic standing at the “home” institution. In case of doubt, the Associate Dean of the Graduate School may classify the applicant as a transfer applicant and require the applicant to comply with all transfer admission requirements.

Enrollment as a transient student is limited to one consecutive semester. A transient student wishing to continue enrollment at UWG as a degree-seeking transfer student must reapply as a transfer degree-seeking student and fulfill all transfer admission requirements. Application as a transfer student and all required transfer admission documents must be received by the application and document deadline dates. Transfer credit into graduate programs is limited and may not be permitted by all programs.

Since transient students are “visiting” students and not degree-seeking UWG students, transient students are not eligible for financial assistance from UWG. Transient students must make financial assistance arrangements with their “home” institution.

Definition of a “Georgia Resident” for Purposes of Applying and Paying Fees

A student who is not a legal resident of the State of Georgia is charged out-of-state tuition. Hence, the determination of whether a student is classified in-state or out-of-state for tuition purposes is significant, and the applicant must indicate their classification on the application for admission. For more detailed information, see Regents’ Policies Governing the Classification of Students.

Additionally, in accordance with Board of Regents Policy 4.3.4 Verification of Lawful Presence, all applicants who are accepted for admission or readmission to the institution for Fall 2011 or any academic semester thereafter, and who seek to be classified as in-state for tuition purposes will be required to provide validation of residency and lawful presence in both the state of Georgia and the United States.

Graduate Admission Classification

A prospective student who plans to take coursework beyond the baccalaureate degree must apply to the University and be admitted to a program under one of the following classifications:

Degree Admission

Students admitted to a program that leads to a graduate degree are classified as degree-seeking students. Degree-seeking students are placed into one of two categories.

  1. Regular: Meets all requirements for admission and has been approved for admission by the graduate program and college/school in which they plan to study. See information in the Graduate Catalog about individual graduate programs for more details regarding admission.
  2. Provisional Degree: Does not satisfy the full admission requirements to a degree program. Some programs allow Provisional Degree admission for an applicant who does not meet one or more of the standards required for admission as a Regular student. Provisional Degree admission is a temporary status that makes the applicant eligible for admittance under conditions specified at the time of admission by the Department Chair or Graduate Program Director and approved by the Graduate School.  Provisional Degree status must be removed and Regular status achieved per the conditions specified at the time of admission.  Failure to meet the specified provisions shall result in dismissal from the program.  The Graduate School monitors and removes the provisional status where appropriate each semester. International students may not be admitted on a provisional basis.

 

Applicants are advised to communicate directly with the Department Chair or Graduate Program Director for more information because some programs do not permit Provisional Degree admission. See information in the Graduate Studies Catalog about individual graduate programs for more details regarding Provisional Degree admission.

Nondegree Admission

Students admitted under the non-degree category may earn credit in graduate courses without working toward a graduate degree. Some graduate programs permit students admitted in a nondegree category to later apply to a degree program. In this case, upon the advisor’s recommendation and approval of the Graduate Program Director and Director of Graduate Studies in the College/School, nondegree graduate courses may be included in the program of study should the student gain readmission as a Regular or Provisional Degree student. Nondegree admission categories include the following:

  1. Transient: An applicant in good standing at a regionally accredited institution may be accepted as a Transient student provided an approved transient letter or transient form is obtained from the Registrar or appropriate Dean of the “home” school (the school where the student is currently enrolled). Enrollment as a Transient student is limited to one consecutive semester. A Transient student wishing to continue enrollment at UWG as a degree seeking transfer student must reapply as a transfer degree seeking student and fulfill all transfer admission requirements. Application as a transfer student and all required transfer admission documents must be received by the application and document deadline dates. Transfer credit into graduate programs is limited and may not be permitted by all programs.
  2. Enrichment:  Individuals who wish to take courses for personal or professional improvement may apply under this category. Some programs may permit a student who has taken courses for enrichment to apply them to a graduate program, provided that the applicant applies for admission, meets all regular admission requirements, and is admitted to the program. In this case, no more than nine (9) semester credit hours earned in the Enrichment nondegree status may be applied toward a graduate degree, provided that the Graduate Program Director and Director of Graduate Studies in the college/school approve the credits for the graduate degree. Because admission under the Enrichment category is dependent on a number of variables, such as the applicant having completed relevant prerequisite courses, applicants should communicate directly with the department that offers the enrichment course of interest to determine admissibility under the Enrichment category.
  3. Educator Certification, non-degree (Teacher, Service, or Leadership for PK-12 schools):  An applicant with a bachelor’s or master’s degree who wants to earn certification through the Georgia Professional Standards Commission may, in some cases, be admitted as Educator Certification nondegree students and enroll in graduate courses. Note that admission in this category and completion of an educator certification program does not guarantee subsequent admission to a graduate degree program, which is a separate process with different admission criteria. Due to the complex nature of educator certification requirements, which are regulated by the Georgia Professional Standards Commission, applicants should contact the College of Education to access up-to-date, detailed information. Applicants will be directed to the appropriate advisor, whether in the College of Education or another college. Students enrolled in this admission category are not eligible for graduate assistant positions. 
  4. UWG Certificate (not educator certification): Some departments offer certificate programs that may be associated with a degree program or independent of a degree program. Awarded by the University of West Georgia, these certificates differ from certifications awarded by the Georgia Professional Standards Commission for Georgia PK-12 educators. The student must apply through the Registrar’s Office for the certificate upon completion of all requirements.

 

Admission as a UWG Undergraduate/Graduating Senior

A UWG undergraduate senior within eight hours of completing the requirements for a bachelor’s degree may be permitted to enroll in courses for master’s degree credit provided that the following conditions are met:

  1. The UWG student must obtain the permission of the Department Chair and Graduate Program Director who schedule and/or provide advising for the master’s degree course(s). Permission must also be given by the Dean of the college or school of the undergraduate major.
  2. The UWG student is qualified for admission to master’s degree study except for the award of the undergraduate degree.
  3. The UWG student registers for no more than twelve (12) semester credit hours. For example, a student who needs eight (8) hours to complete the baccalaureate degree could register for those eight (8) undergraduate hours plus an additional four (4) hours of graduate credit. The graduate credit would apply to a master’s degree, essentially accelerating the student’s completion of a master’s degree after admission to a UWG master’s program. Under no circumstances may a course be used for both graduate and undergraduate credit, except when part of an approved Accelerated Bachelor’s-Master’s (ABM) program of study.  See the Undergraduate Catalog for the complete ABM policy.
  4. Under no circumstances may a course be used for both graduate and undergraduate credit, except when part of an approved Accelerated Bachelor’s-Master’s (AB) program of study.  See the Undergraduate Catalog for the complete ABM policy.

Statement of Competitive Admission

All qualified persons are equally welcome to seek admission to the University of West Georgia, and all persons may apply for and accept admission confident that the process and regular practic