Degree FAQ

Below is a list of terms commonly used at Western relating to completion of a degree.

Degree - The academic rank a student will receive - Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science, etc. - after completion of a set of requirements. At Western, the degree (BA, BS, BMUS, BFA, BAE, BSN) is comprised of the GUR, Major, Minor (if applicable), Writing Proficiency, total credits and upper division credit requirements.

Degree Application - A document submitted by the student two quarters before they expect to complete all degree requirements. Western awards a degree only when a Degree Application has been submitted.

Major/Minor Evaluation - An assessment completed and approved by the academic department that shows the requirements of major/minor has been or will be met. All Major/Minor Evaluation(s) must be approved in Degree Works before Degree Application submission.

Degree Evaluation - A formal assessment conducted by the Registrar's Office after the Degree Application is received that details degree requirements remaining. The Degree Evaluation will be sent to the student email.

Graduation - The receiving or awarding of an academic degree. After a student completes the requirements, the Registrar's Office will award the degree and the student has graduated.

Commencement - The ceremony in which graduating students are recognized for earning degrees. Students must make a reservation to attend Western commencement as it is an optional event for graduating students.

Diploma - The paper certificate (mailed 6-8 weeks after graduation) that shows the degree has been successfully completed. Beginning Fall 2023, WWU graduates are also issued a secure digital copy of their diploma. Claim information for digital diplomas is send to the student's on-file external email address a few weeks after the end of the quarter in which they complete their final degree requirements.

Transcript - A student's official academic record showing all courses taken and grades, degree(s) and honors earned.

Check the status of your degree application in Web4U in two ways: in the Degree record at the bottom of your Academic History, or at the top in the Degree/Cert Status section of Degree Works. "Applied" means your application has been received and charged the fee, but is not yet processed. "Pending" means you've been sent an official Degree Evaluation to your student email and are set up for graduation, and eligible to make a commencement ceremony reservation at the beginning of your graduation quarter (optional). The status will stay at "Pending" until all grades are received in your final quarter and your degree is awarded.

If Financial Aid is requesting an updated degree evaluation, complete any applicable documentation and submit to the Registrar's Office:

- Obtain approval from department via Degree Works Notes for any changes in advisor-approved courses

- Declare/Submit new Major/Minor Evaluations

- Submit Degree Evaluation Update Request

If you are changing your graduation quarter, submit a Degree Application (no fee). If you want to cancel your degree application while you plan for a new graduation quarter, email from your student email and ask us to deactivate your degree file. Reactivate your degree file later by submitting a Degree Application (no fee).

If your graduation quarter will stay the same, complete any applicable documentation for changing/adding courses and submit to the
- Obtain approval from department via Degree Works Notes for any changes in advisor-approved courses
- Declare and/or obtain approval for any new Major/Minor Evaluations
- Submit Degree Evaluation Update Request

If you registered for different courses than listed on your Degree Evaluation and they are correctly displaying in Degree Works or you are taking the same courses but in different quarters than originally planned, then no action is required unless requested by Financial Aid. If the courses are not applying towards requirements in Degree Works, you will need to contact your department to approve the alternate coursework via Degree Works Notes.

If you have further questions about updating your Degree Evaluation, contact or call 360-650-3985.

If you have applied for a minor but do not complete all the minor requirements, your degree will be awarded without the minor as long as the minor is not required for your program. You must notify a degree evaluator (360) 650-3985 or by email if you wish the degree to be held pending completion of the minor.

Official transcripts for coursework from other institutions should be ordered and sent to WWU either electronically to, hand delivered in a sealed envelope or mailed to: Registrar's Office, OM 230, 516 High St., Bellingham, WA 98225-9008.

Courses that are required for the degree and have incomplete status ("K" grade) must be completed—and the final grade submitted by the instructor—by the end of the graduation quarter. It is the student’s responsibility to make arrangements with the instructor to ensure timely submission and processing of the final grade.

Grades for self-paced courses are due at the end of the graduation quarter.

Email Degree Evaluation to get an embassy letter request form.

You are eligible to continuously enroll after graduation as a post-baccalaureate student. If you interrupt your enrollment for a quarter other than summer, you will need to apply for readmission by contacting the Office of Admissions, Old Main 200, 360-650-3440.

Email the course syllabus to use a study abroad course as a GUR to

We do not accept petitions for waivers of the 180 minimum total credit requirement, the 60 credit upper-division requirement, the 2.0 minimum GPA requirement, or petitions for waivers based on personal experience. A student should contact a degree evaluator in the Registrar’s Office to initiate petition of a degree requirement: or phone (360) 650-3985.

Contact a degree evaluator in the Registrar's Office to initiate a petition to use a transfer course as a GUR by email or phone (360) 650-3985.

If all degree requirements are not completed by the close of the quarter, a notification will be sent to your student email address informing you of the problem(s). If the problems are not resolved by the date on the email, your degree will not be awarded and your graduation file will become inactive. You will then need to submit a Degree Application (no fee) to graduate under the requirements in effect at the time of your future graduation.

Submit the Degree Requirements Review Form to initiate a review of the requirements remaining to earn your degree.