2022-2023 Undergraduate Catalog 
    
    Dec 01, 2022  
2022-2023 Undergraduate Catalog

Admission



Westfield State University does not unlawfully discriminate in admission to, access to, treatment of, and/or employment in its educational programs and activities on the basis of race, religion, national origin, age, disability, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, genetic information, marital status, parental status, or veteran status.

First-Year Admission, Day Division


The Admission staff reviews the applications of students who wish to matriculate in the undergraduate day division and pursue at least 12 credits of course work per semester. A student applying for full-time Day Division admission as a first-year directly from high school must supply the following information:

  • The Day Division Application Form and Fee.
  • An official high school transcript. Beginning with grade 9 and including grades from the first marking period of the senior year, or acceptable evidence of equivalent preparation. Once accepted to Westfield State, a final high school transcript with the student’s graduation date is required.
  • Official transcripts of any college work attempted.
  • A complete listing of college courses attempted in any dual-enrollment program(s) during the high school experience. Submit a final, official transcript immediately upon completion of any dual-enrollment courses.
  • For the Fall and Spring 2023 admission cycles, Westfield State will continue to be Test Optional for all applicants and majors. For more specific details, please review the Test Optional Policy section.

Further First-Year Admission Requirements

In addition, first-year applicants must meet minimum admission standards established by the Massachusetts Board of Higher Education, which includes completing the following 17 college preparatory courses:

  • 4 courses of English
  • 4 courses of Mathematics (Algebra I and II; Geometry or Trigonometry; or comparable coursework, including mathematics during the final year of high school)
  • 2 courses of Social Sciences (including 1 course of U.S. History)
  • 3 courses of Science (from Natural Science and/or Physical Science and/or Technology/Engineering), including 3 units with laboratory work
  • 2 courses of the same foreign language
  • 2 courses of electives (taken from the above list and/or the Arts and Humanities and Computer Sciences)

The university has a selective admission policy. In accordance with the guidelines established by the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education and with the approval of the university’s Board of Trustees, Westfield State University has reserved the right to set higher minimum standards than those published by the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education for the State Universities. Certain majors may require additional, specific courses for admission. Some majors may also require a performance test as part of the admission process.

Exemptions from these guidelines and the 17 courses may be granted for applicants who qualify under specific guidelines determined by the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education. Contact the Office of Admission for further information.

Applicants who meet the minimum eligibility requirements are not guaranteed admission to the university. A successful applicant has achieved a solid academic record while maintaining a challenging academic program and will have demonstrated a willingness to contribute to the life of the community.

Accepted first-year students attending Massachusetts public high schools must present evidence of passing the MCAS prior to enrollment. A final, official high school transcript conferring graduation will suffice for this purpose.

First-Year Applicant Filing Deadlines

Fall Semester Admission:

  • November 15 (Early Action)

  • March 1 (Regular Decision)

Spring Semester Admission:

  • November 15

Admission decisions are made on an individual basis by the Admission staff beginning October 1 for the spring term, mid-November for fall Early Action applicants, and late in January for fall Regular Decision applicants after all required documents are received.

Test Optional Policy

Westfield State University will not require submission of SAT or ACT scores for prospective students applying to the university. Please note that we will still require proof of English proficiency for International & ESL applicants, or evidence of competency in Level B2 of the Program at the International Language Institute in Northampton, MA.

Although SAT/ACT scores will not be required, we do encourage applicants to submit scores if they have taken the tests, especially if a student has a high school GPA of 2.69 or lower.

Transfer Admission, Day Division


Transfer applicants are those who have attempted to complete any number of college courses at a regionally accredited college or university after high school graduation and prior to their planned enrollment term at Westfield State University.

All transfer applicants must submit the following materials to the Office of Admission:

  • The Day Division Application Form and Fee*
  • An official high school transcript* (or its equivalent)
  • Official transcripts from all colleges/universities previously attended
  • If applicable, a list of in-progress college courses during the term that immediately precedes the planned enrollment term at Westfield State University.

*Applicants who graduate from the Massachusetts community college system prior to enrolling at Westfield State University are exempted from submitting the application fee and are generally exempted from submitting the high school transcript.

Failure to submit complete, official copies of ALL previous academic credentials constitutes academic dishonesty and will cause an offer of admission to be rescinded.

Further Transfer Admission Requirements

To be considered for admission as a transfer, applicants are required to meet one of the following criteria:

  • 12-23 transferable college credits and a minimum 2.5 college GPA; or
  • Up to 23 transferable college credits, a minimum 2.0 college GPA, and a high school transcript that meets the admission standards for freshman applicants; or
  • 24 or more transferable college credits and a minimum 2.0 college GPA.

Please note that some majors may have higher GPA requirements. Qualified Massachusetts community college graduates, particularly those with MassTransfer Program status, are given priority for admission into all major programs of study, provided their applications are submitted and all other required documents are received by the priority deadline.

Day Division admission is competitive and not guaranteed to all applicants who meet minimum eligibility standards. Transfer admission decisions are made on an individual basis beginning January 1 for the fall semester and October 1 for the spring semester after all required credentials have been received. The number of transfers accepted will be determined by existing vacancies in each degree program and the number of applicants deemed eligible according to transfer admission standards determined by the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education and Westfield State University. Admission decisions for part-time, evening, and online program students attending under the Office of Graduate & Continuing Education (NOT Day Division) are made on a rolling basis and take into account the special experiences of non-traditional students.

Once admitted to Westfield State University, the transfer student assumes a new cumulative grade point average that is subject to academic policies established by the university.

Transfer Applicant Filing Deadlines

Fall Semester Admission:

  • March 1

Spring Semester Admission:

  • November 15 (Regular)

  • October 15 (Priority)

MassTransfer program applicants should submit their MassTransfer forms by the priority deadlines (March 1 for fall, October 15 for spring).

RN-BSN Program, Transfer Information

Students enrolled in the RN-BSN degree completion program (offered through the Office of Graduate & Continuing Education) may transfer up to 90 credit hours (earned at a regionally accredited two- and/or four-year higher education institution) towards the completion of the Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree without time restriction, upon meeting the following criteria prior to enrollment:

  1. Earn an Associate Degree in Nursing from a regionally accredited institution, and

  2. Hold a current unencumbered RN License.

Transfer credits earned under the Massachusetts Nursing Education Transfer Compact (NETC), the MassTransfer Block, and other agreements are inclusive of the 90 credits that may be transferred toward a BSN degree. Students must complete no less than 30 credits at Westfield State University and fulfill all graduation requirements.

Transfer grades earned in nursing and science courses are subject to standards set for all BSN students, while transfer grades earned in courses from other disciplines are subject to guidelines of the statewide MassTransfer policy or Westfield State University general transfer policies, depending on each student’s eligibility.

Admission Profile, Day Division


Class of 2026 summary (entering Westfield State Day Division for September 2022)*:

  • Mean Grade Point Average (GPA): 3.17 on a 4.0 scale (3.00 GPA is equivalent to a grade of “B”)
  • 6,578 applications were received
  • 5,670 completed applications were received
  • 5,373 applicants were accepted
  • 861 accepted students deposited

New Transfer Student summary, Fall 2022 Day Division*:

  • 626 transfer applications were received
  • 347 transfer applicants were accepted
  • 202 accepted transfer students deposited

*Based on available data dated June 29, 2022.

International Student Admission


International students seeking admission to Westfield State University must submit the same information and meet the same requirements established for first-year or transfer applicants.

Additional required application documents for international students include, where applicable:

  • International Students Forms
  • Demonstration of English Proficiency by submitting one of the following:
    • Test Scores: TOEFL: 79 iBT, IELTS: 6.5, PTE Academic: 53 (other English tests may be considered for admission);
    • Proof of competency in Level B2 of the program at the International Language Institute of Massachusetts; or
    • High school transcripts validating that English was the language of instruction.
  • Credential evaluations

To obtain an I-20, international students need to present:

  • Certificate of Finances with a bank statement or bank letter demonstrating funds to cover the cost of attendance.
  • Copy of passport (picture page)
  • Transfer Verification Form (only for transfer students applying from other schools in the U.S.)

Permanent resident applicants with academic transcripts from institutions outside of the U.S. must also have their international documents evaluated by a credential evaluation office such as SpanTran, Center for Educational Documentation, World Education Services, Inc., etc.

Transferring Credits to Westfield State University


Transfer credits are accepted from regionally accredited colleges only, in academic disciplines that are compatible with the Westfield State University curriculum. The minimum transferable grade for these courses generally is ‘C-.’  Applicants may transfer in a maximum of 90 credits from a regionally accredited institution (implemented fall 2018), of which no more than 79 credits can come from a two-year institution (AP, CLEP, and military experience credits are included in the two-year institution calculation).

A student must successfully complete a minimum of 30 credits from Westfield State, all remaining requirements for the major field of study, and all other degree requirements to receive a baccalaureate degree from Westfield. All undergraduate, non-matriculated students taking courses through the Office of Graduate & Continuing Education who wish to pursue a degree must be enrolled in a degree program prior to the completion of the last 30 credits needed for graduation. In addition, some major programs of study require the completion of a minimum number of credits in residency at Westfield State University.

Transfer Grade Policy

The minimum acceptable grade is C- (1.70).

This policy does not apply to courses completed as part of a designated MassTransfer associate’s degree from a Massachusetts community college. The minimum transferable grade for courses completed under this program generally is D (1.0). D grades will transfer for these students only within the 60-credit guarantee of the MassTransfer degree. Additionally, students who transfer from any Massachusetts public higher education institution may transfer D grades only as part of the completed 34-credit GenEd Foundation.

Courses taken at other institutions after a student’s initial enrollment at Westfield State University are subject to the post-matriculation transfer policy.

This policy change was implemented for students entering in spring 1995.

Policy on Transferring Older Credits

Transfer credits at regionally accredited institutions, earned more than 10 years prior to an applicant’s planned entrance date at WSU, are evaluated on a course-by-course basis. Admitted students may be awarded up to a total of 60 credits, which comprises one-half of the bachelor’s degree. The minimum transferable grade for these courses is C (2.0).

An evaluation of older credits is done in consideration of the appropriateness and applicability of the credits earned to the programs offered by the university, and according to the following distribution order:

  1. Award credits to the Common Core, then 
  2. Award general elective credits, then
  3. Consider awarding credits to the intended major program.

To preserve the integrity of a contemporary baccalaureate degree for all graduates of Westfield State University, the appropriate department chairperson (or other designated department faculty member) must evaluate all older credits being considered for the major program as part of the admission process to determine their current relevance. Further, older credits that otherwise would provide foundation coursework in, or directly related to, the current major program should not be applied to the major unless the student otherwise demonstrates to the department chairperson (or other designated department faculty member) a sufficient level of proficiency in the subject matter that allows for advanced course placement.

The total number of older credits to be awarded toward the major should not exceed one-third of the total number of credits required for the major program.

Students with older credits awarded in the admission process, who subsequently change their major program, should have their previously awarded general elective credits reevaluated by the appropriate department chair (or other designated department faculty member) to determine their current relevance to the newly designated major program. However, such a post-matriculation review of older credits in a new major program should not alter the original total number of credits awarded toward the completion of the bachelor’s degree. Admitted students who wish to appeal the evaluation of their older credits may submit a rationale for reconsideration in writing to their School Dean, so long as the 60-credit maximum is not exceeded.

Older credits earned at Westfield State University are not affected by this policy.

This policy change is effective for students entering spring 2004 and onward.

Transfer Credit Appeals Process

Students who question the evaluation and awarding of transfer credits earned prior to their enrollment date at Westfield State University should submit an appeal in writing to the Office of Admission. The Associate Director of Transfer Admission will review the appeal and consult, on an as-needed basis, with the appropriate academic department chair(s) and the Director of Admission. If a resolution is not reached at this level, the matter will be brought to the Vice President of Enrollment Management and the Vice President of Academic Affairs, or his/her designee, for a final decision.

MassTransfer Program


In June 2008, the Board of Higher Education accepted the Final Report from the Commonwealth Transfer Advisory Group which included a new statewide transfer policy: MassTransfer.

MassTransfer seeks to provide a broad population of students with straightforward and understandable options toward the completion of associate and baccalaureate degrees, clearing the way for student access and student success in Massachusetts’ public higher education system.

MassTransfer has two main purposes:

  1. to provide community college students who complete approved associate degrees under MassTransfer with the benefits of the full transfer and applicability of credit, guaranteed admission, and a tuition discount (each benefit based on the student’s final grade point average) to linked baccalaureate programs; and
  2. to provide any student in the Massachusetts public higher education system the intermediate goal of completing a portable transfer block (“General Education Foundation”) which satisfies general education/distribution/core requirements across institutions (with the receiving institution able to add no more than six additional credits/two courses). The determination of the 2 classes will be based on omissions in the student’s transcript in relation to the Westfield State University core requirements at the time of admission.

MassTransfer integrates and replaces the Commonwealth Transfer Compact, Joint Admissions, and the Tuition Advantage Program as of fall 2009. Community college students who matriculated prior to fall 2009 and who choose to continue in the Commonwealth Transfer Compact and/or Joint Admissions Program are required to complete their associate degrees by August 2013 and must matriculate at a Massachusetts state college or University of Massachusetts campus by fall 2014.

Students matriculating in fall 2009, as well as currently enrolled students, may accumulate courses leading toward the completion of an approved associate degree under MassTransfer or the MassTransfer Block. The policy benefits applies to students who complete either an approved associate degree or the GenEd Foundation beginning fall 2010, regardless of initial date of enrollment at the community college.

A student seeking readmission as a matriculated student to an institution previously attended-whether on a full-time or part-time basis-is held to the receiving institution’s readmission policies.

General Education Foundation

A student completing the General Education Foundation (“GenEd Foundation”, formerly known as the “MassTransfer Block”) will have earned the 34 credit hours outlined below, exclusive of developmental coursework:

  • English Composition/Writing: 6 credit hours
  • Behavioral and Social Sciences: 9 credit hours
  • Humanities and Fine Arts: 9 credit hours
  • Natural or Physical Science: 7 credit hours, including one 4-credit lab
  • Mathematics/Quantitative Reasoning: 3 credit hours

Total: 34 credits

Each associate degree program under MassTransfer is linked to baccalaureate degrees at the Massachusetts state universities. The list of associate degree programs and linked baccalaureate programs under MassTransfer can be found at www.mass.edu/masstransfer/.

Students who have completed the 34-credit General Education Foundation will be required to take no more than 6 credits (~two courses) of additional general education coursework at Westfield State University. To view the student benefits for completing the GenEd Foundation, please see Section I below by using this link.

STEM General Education Foundation

A student completing the General Education Foundation for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) programs will have earned the following 28 credit hours outlined below, exclusive of developmental coursework:

  • English Composition/Writing: 6 credit hours
  • Behavioral and Social Sciences: 6 credit hours
  • Humanities and Fine Arts: 6 credit hours
  • Natural or Physical Science: 7 credit hours, including one 4-credit lab
  • Mathematics/Quantitative Reasoning: 3 credit hours

Total: 28 credits

The 28-credit STEM General Education Foundation is intended to only affect students in A2B (Associate to Bachelor’s) Pathways in STEM disciplines, whether they were A2B Linked, A2B Mapped, or A2B Additional Pathways. The 28-credit STEM General Education Foundation does not have stand-alone MassTransfer benefits like the 34-credit General Education Foundation outside of the STEM pathways, but it does allow Massachusetts community college students to take more STEM courses while earning their associate degrees.

Students who have completed the 28-credit STEM General Education Foundation will be required to take no more than 12 credits (~four courses) of additional general education coursework at Westfield State University. To view the student benefits for completing the STEM GenEd Foundation, please see Section II below by using this link.

MassTransfer Benefits


Section I 

A student completing an associate degree who seeks admission to a linked baccalaureate program under MassTransfer will be entitled to the following benefits based upon the final cumulative grade point average at the community college awarding the degree:

A final cumulative grade point average of 2.0 or higher:

i. Waives the admissions application fee and essay.

ii. Guarantees the full transfer of college-level credits, including “D” grades, applied to the degree requirements of the linked baccalaureate degree at WSU. The MassTransfer student will be required to complete no more credits or courses than a native student with the following stipulations:

  • The student changes their major.
  • If the linked baccalaureate program requires a higher grade point average or specific courses for the major which are also required of native students, then the MassTransfer student must meet these requirements.
  • Upon satisfying general education requirements, the student may be required to complete up to, and no more than, 6 additional credits (~two courses) in compliance with the New England Association of Schools and Colleges’ Standards for Accreditation, as noted by the receiving institution (Westfield State) during admission. This stipulation applies when the receiving institution (Westfield State) already places these requirements on its native students, and the receiving institution (Westfield State) can determine at its discretion which credits, if any, shall be required.

iii. Satisfies the general education requirements at the receiving institution (Westfield State University), with the receiving institution able to add no more than 6 additional credits (~two courses) in compliance with the New England Association of Schools and Colleges’ Standards for Accreditation. This will apply when the receiving institution (Westfield State) already places such requirements on its native students and will determine at its discretion which credits, if any, shall be required.

Please be advised that Westfield State’s minimum transfer standard is higher than 2.0 and varies by major.

Note: College-level course credits consistent with the standards set forth in the Undergraduate Experience recommendations are included under MassTransfer. Credits awarded by the sending institution through CLEP, challenge examinations, and credit for prior learning shall be included when a student qualifies under MassTransfer.

A final cumulative grade point average of 2.5 or higher:

i. Grants all of the benefits outlined in Section 1a.

ii. Guarantees admission to the linked baccalaureate degree or school (WSU) with the following stipulations:

  • If the linked baccalaureate program requires a higher grade point average or specific courses for the major which are also required of native students, then the MassTransfer student must meet these requirements.
  • If, because of space or fiscal limitations, the receiving institution does not admit all qualified applicants to a given major or program, the receiving institution (Westfield State) will use the same criteria for MassTransfer applicants as it does for its native students.

iii. Students must be in good academic, fiscal, and disciplinary standing with all previous institutions.

Please be advised that admission to Westfield State’s Education Licensure programs requires a minimum GPA of 2.60.

A final cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or higher:

i. Grants all of the benefits outlined in sections 1a and 1b.

ii. Guarantees a tuition waiver equal to 100% of the Massachusetts resident tuition rate at a state college or university campus for two years of undergraduate enrollment with the following requirements:

  • Enrollment is continuous at the state college or university campus (Westfield State).
  • The student earns a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or higher for the first year of enrollment at the state college or university campus (Westfield State).
  • Before awarding the 100% tuition waiver to qualified students, Westfield State must receive an official degree-bearing transcript or letter from the sending institution’s Registrar stating that degree requirements are completed before transferring to WSU.

Section II

For students completing the General Education Foundation at any Massachusetts higher education institution with a 2.0 or higher grade point average. 

  1. A student completing the General Education Foundation will have earned 34 credit hours as outlined below, exclusive of developmental coursework:
  • English Composition/Writing: 6 credit hours
  • Behavioral and Social Sciences: 9 credit hours
  • Humanities and Fine Arts: 9 credit hours
  • Natural or Physical Science: 7 credit hours, including one 4-credit lab
  • Mathematics/Quantitative Reasoning: 3 credit hours
     

Benefit
Students completing the 34-credit GenEd Foundation (exclusive of developmental coursework) with a 2.0 or higher GPA will be entitled to the following benefit:

  • Satisfies the general education requirements at the receiving institution (Westfield State University), with the receiving institution able to add no more than 6 additional credits (~two courses) in compliance with the New England Association of Schools and Colleges’ Standards for Accreditation.

i. This will apply when the receiving institution (Westfield State) already places such requirements on its native students and will determine at its discretion which credits, if any, shall be required.

ii. Students enrolled in a specific major or degree program may be required to take additional courses if they are specifically required for the major or program, and are required of native students.

iii. Determination of the two courses will be based on omissions in the student’s transcript in relation to the Westfield State University core requirements at the time of admission.

  1. A student completing the STEM General Education Foundation will have earned the following 28 credit hours outlined below, exclusive of developmental coursework:
  • English Composition/Writing: 6 credit hours
  • Behavioral and Social Sciences: 6 credit hours
  • Humanities and Fine Arts: 6 credit hours
  • Natural or Physical Science: 7 credit hours, including one 4-credit lab
  • Mathematics/Quantitative Reasoning: 3 credit hours
     

Benefit
Students completing the 28-credit STEM GenEd Foundation (exclusive of developmental coursework) with a 2.0 or higher GPA will be entitled to the following benefit:

  • Satisfies the general education requirements at the receiving institution (Westfield State University), with the receiving institution able to add no more than 12 additional credits (~four courses) in compliance with the New England Association of Schools and Colleges’ Standards for Accreditation.

i. This will apply when the receiving institution (Westfield State) already places such requirements on its native students and will determine at its discretion which credits, if any, shall be required.

ii. Students enrolled in a specific major or degree program may be required to take additional courses if they are specifically required for the major or program, and are required of native students.

iii. Determination of the four courses will be based on omissions in the student’s transcript in relation to the Westfield State University core requirements at the time of admission.

MassTransfer A2B Degree and Commonwealth Commitment Programs


Effective with fall 2016 and fall 2017 enrollment within the Mass. community college system, the MassTransfer program was expanded to include two additional features that award extra transfer benefits to qualified students in 16 academic disciplines:

  • MassTransfer A2B Degree (associate-to-bachelor’s degree) agreements in selected disciplines guarantee that students who complete a 60-credit curriculum map attached to their community college degree will receive a foundation block of transfer credits applied directly to the corresponding major at the four-year transfer institution. Students who complete the A2B Degree with a 3.00 graduation QPA or higher and transfer directly to Westfield State within one year of completing the associate degree also are eligible to receive the MassTransfer Tuition Waiver. 
  • A2B Degree students who earn a graduation QPA of 3.0 or higher and transfer directly to Westfield State immediately upon completing the associate degree may also qualify for the Commonwealth Commitment, which awards an additional financial incentive of a freeze on the annual cost of full-time in-state tuition and mandatory fees, as well as a 10% discount on the cost of mandatory fees. Students must have signed up to participate in the Commonwealth Commitment program prior to completing 15 credits at the community college and must transfer to Westfield as full-time students. Upon transferring to Westfield, qualified Commonwealth Commitment students also are eligible to receive the MassTransfer Tuition Waiver.

More detailed information on qualifying terms and conditions of the MassTransfer A2B Degree and Commonwealth Commitment program, including system-wide MassTransfer A2B Degree curriculum maps, is available on the Mass. Department of Higher Education website at: http://www.mass.edu/masstransfer/about/home.asp