Western Carolina University, [WCU] North Carolina, Cullowhee

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1 University Way Cullowhee, North Carolina, NC 28723
Estd 1889

Updated on - Dec 13th, 2021 | 05:07 PM By Archana S

Overview Content

Western Carolina University (WCU) is the westernmost institution in Cullowhee, North Carolina. It is the fifth oldest institution of the sixteen four-year universities in the University of North Carolina system. WCU caters to education to students from over 40 countries and attracts them to explore the region’s vast natural diversity. It provides extensive educational opportunities to more than 12,000 students in undergraduate and graduate programs.

When was Western Carolina University Established?

Western Carolina University was founded in the year 1889.

Where is Western Carolina University?

Western Carolina University is located in Cullowhee, NC, just over 50 miles west of Asheville.

Western Carolina University Accreditations

Western Carolina University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award baccalaureate, master’s, and doctorate degrees. 

Education at Western Carolina University

Western Carolina University offers 120+ undergraduate degrees, majors, and minors. 40+ graduate degrees and certificates. WCU is proud to offer quality academic programs including nationally recognized degree programs in fields such as nursing, education, forensic science, emergency management, entrepreneurship, engineering, project management, natural resources conservation, and much more.

Western Carolina University Highlights

Western Carolina University is a public regional institution of higher education whose mission is to create learning opportunities that incorporate teaching, research, service, and engagement through on-campus, off-campus, online and international experiences. Given below are some of the highlights of Western Carolina University:

University Type

Public University

Acceptance Rate


Graduation Rate


Retention Rate


Intake session

Spring, Summer, and Fall

Student-Teacher Ratio


Why Choose Western Carolina University?

Western Carolina University focuses its undergraduate, master’s, and three doctoral programs, educational outreach, research, creative, and cultural activities to sustain and improve individual lives and enhance economic and community development in Western Carolina and beyond. Given below are some of the reasons for the students to choose Western Carolina University for their higher education in the USA:

  • Western Carolina University has been consistently ranked as one of the Top 10 public regional institutions in the South.
  • WCU’s student body is comprised of more than 12,000 students including more than 10,500 undergraduate students.
  • More than 21% of students self-identify as part of a racial minority group and 75% of students are between the ages of 18 and 24.
  • WCU's 64% of all classes have fewer than 30 students, and the student/faculty ratio is 17 to 1.
  • More than 4,500 of WCU’s students live on campus in Cullowhee. The campus includes 13 residence buildings, including one for graduate students and one for married students.
  • Approximately 83 percent of WCU students receive some form of financial aid.

Schools/ Colleges at Western Carolina University

Western Carolina University provides a wide range of undergraduate and graduate courses through the different colleges that form an integral part of WCU. These colleges have courses in various areas of study such as arts, business, education, computer and technology, healthcare, etc. with each college having a central home on campus where students in similar disciplines learn and collaborate. The colleges of WCU are listed below:

  • College of Arts and Sciences
  • College of Business
  • College of Education and Allied Professions
  • College of Engineering and Technology
  • David Orr Belcher College of Fine and Performing Arts
  • College of Health and Human Sciences

Faculties/ Departments at Western Carolina University

WCU is a university where students, faculty, staff, and alumni learn to pursue excellence, live with compassion and be leaders. Each faculty is highly qualified and offers excellent education. It offers 160+ academic programs at the undergraduate, master's, and certificate courses through six colleges. Some of the academic departments under Western Carolina University are given below:

Computer Science

Forensic Science


Information Systems & Technology





Mathematics & Data Analytics



Music Education

Political Science


Financial Aid at Western Carolina University

Western Carolina University is committed to making higher education achievable for students. They have earned numerous accolades for providing quality education at an incredible value. Around 70% of undergraduate students receive one or more financial aid including grants, scholarships, and/or student loans each year. The average financial aid amount is $6,218, and 88% of newly enrolled students received financial aid last year. 

Scholarships or grants are offered to deserving students based that is determined by financial need. Western Carolina University offers numerous scholarships, both need and merit-based, supporting a wide variety of student types and fields of study. Some of the financial aid options available to international students at WCU are as follows:

  • WCU Tuition Grant
  • Chancellor’s Series scholarship
  • Graduate Excellence Awards
  • Kendall W. King Scholarship Fund

Student Services at Western Carolina University

Western Carolina University provides several student services including academic/career counseling & wellness, employment for students, and placement services for completers. In addition, the school has an on-campus daycare center for its students, staff, and faculty. It has its own libraries on its campus. Some of the services offered at WCU include:

  • Residential Living
  • Campus Activities
  • Campus Dining
  • Campus Recreation & Wellness
  • Counseling & Psychological Services
  • Health Services
  • Greek Student Engagement
  • Intercultural Affairs
  • Student Activities Calendar
  • Student Community Ethics
  • Academic/ Career Counseling Service

University Stats

Student Population at Western Carolina University

Western Carolina University has an enrollment of 12,243 students. The number of undergraduate students is 10,517 and graduates are 1,726. The total number of students in-state is 10,638 and out-of-state students are 1,605. The male-to-female ratio is 54:64.

Western Carolina University Rankings 

WCU has been consistently ranked as one of the top 10 public regional institutions in the South. Western Carolina University is ranked according to its performance across a set of widely accepted indicators of excellence. Mentioned below are some of the best rankings of WCU:

  • Ranked #9 in Best Value Schools by U.S. News and Reports
  • Ranked #13 in Best Colleges for Veterans by U.S. News and Reports
  • Ranked #25 in Regional Universities South by U.S. News and Reports
  • Ranked #38 in Best Colleges for Criminal Justice in America by Niche
  • Ranked #190 Hardest Colleges to Get Into in America by Niche.

Student-Faculty Ratio


Male-Female Ratio


International Students


Total Enrolment


Admission Details

How can I get into Western Carolina University?

Western Carolina University is already ranked amongst the hardest universities to get in with an acceptance rate of 69%. Admissions are done in three sessions, Spring, Summer, and Fall. Mentioned below are the admission requirements for international students at WCU:

  • Complete online application
  • Official Transcripts of School
  • Proof of English Proficiency (TOEFL/IELTS)
  • GMAT and GRE Scores for Graduate Students
  • Resume
  • Personal essay 
  • Immunization form
  • Bank documents showing the finances of the students for at least one year.
  • Passport's copy.

Acceptance Rate

Minimum Score
TOEFL Requirements

Min. 68

Minimum Score
IELTS Requirements

Min. 6.0

Application Website

Accepts Direct Application


Accepts Common Application


Total Applications


Average Tuition Fees

The tuition fees vary for the undergraduate and graduate courses at Western Carolina University. The average tuition fee is estimated at $10,807. The tuition fees for undergraduate and graduate courses at WCU are listed below:

Degree Type Tuition Fees
Diploma -
Undergraduate $10,807
Post Graduate $20,354

Application Details

Western Carolina University accepts undergraduate and graduate applications through the Online portal. The application fee is $65. Given below are the Western Carolina University deadlines:

Events Dates
Application Deadline

Other Fees

What is the Annual Average Cost to attend Western Carolina University?

The average cost of attending WCU is $10,807, the estimated cost of accommodation is $3,452. International students enrolled in WCU are required to bear their living expenses that include accommodation charges, board fees, and other personal expenses. The cost of living varies for the students living on campus and off-campus. Listed below are some of the basic costs that students have to bear at Western Carolina University:

  • Books & Supplies: $2,332 / Year
  • Room & Board: $9,553 / Year
  • Other Expenses: $2,670 / Year
Average Annual Tuition Fees
Average Accommodation
Application Fees

Contact Information

Western Carolina University's address is 1 University Way Cullowhee, North Carolina, NC 28723. The mailing address is dlpresnell@wcu.edu. The remaining details to contact WCU is displayed below:

Cullowhee, North Carolina



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