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Additional Tips

WKU Lingo

Academic Advisor: A faculty/staff member who guides a
student in deciding on a major, using an iCAP, and selecting classes.  Each student must meet with their assigned advisor each semester prior to registration.
Academic Probation: The academic standing of a student
whose college grades are below the standard required to be
in good standing. See the Undergraduate Catalog.
Audited Classes: A class taken to gain information but not for credit. Audited classes do not fulfill degree requirements.
Blue Book: Special booklets (available at the WKU Store). 
Often required to take an exam in classes.
College: An administrative division that coordinates activities 
of several academic departments. WKU has six undergraduate colleges with a dean overseeing each.
Course Number: Numbers assigned to classes to show their 
level of difficulty or depth/breadth of study. A 100-level class 
is less difficult or broader in scope than a 200-level class.
Course Pass: Permission to enroll in a specific section of a
restricted class. Passes are electronically entered on a 
student’s record when permission is granted.
Course Reference Number (CRN): A five digit number used to identify a specific class and section.
Credit Hour: The amount of academic credit earned for time spent in a classroom or laboratory as a required part of a 
class.  Credit hours earned are not the same as the total 
number of hours a student is required to attend lecture or lab sessions.
Drop/Add: The period after the start of an academic term 
during which students may add or drop classes on TopNet without a fee. See the Undergraduate Catalog.
Elective: A class that may be selected by the student, as 
opposed to classes required as part of the curriculum for a specific degree. Some elective classes apply toward a degree 
or certificate.
Finals Week: Time at the end of the semester when classes 
do not meet and final exams are given.
Freshman: A student with less than 30 hours of credit.
Full-time: Taking 12 or more credit hours in a semester.
General Education: A set of requirements for students 
seeking a baccalaureate degree at WKU. These requirements 
are in addition to the classes in the student’s major and/or 
GPA: Grade Point Average. To determine GPA, divide quality points earned by GPA hours.
iCAP (Interactive Curriculum and Academic Progress): An audit that displays progress toward your degree requirements.
Incomplete: The grade earned by a student who has not fulfilled all required work in a class by the end of the term. Students who arrange with their instructor to complete work within a specified time will receive a grade; otherwise, the incomplete changes to an F. Incomplete grades are designated on TopNet with an “X.”
Major: A student’s concentrated field of study.
Minor: A student’s secondary field of study.
Part-time: Taking less than 12 credit hours per semester.
Pre-Requisite: Class that must be completed prior to taking another class. (Ex. You must take an introductory level class before an advanced class.)
Priority Registration: A period of time prior to each term during which students register for classes.
Quality Points: Numerical point values for letter grades (A=4, B=3, etc...) multiplied by the ‘number of GPA hours determine the equality points earned for a class. For example, earning an A in a three-semester hour class results in 12 quality points.
Restricted Class: A class restricted to prevent registration by anyone except those meeting certain qualifications. For example, an honors section of a class is restricted to ensure that only students in the Honors Program enroll in the class. An “R” next to the Course Registration Number in TopNet designates a restricted class. Contact the instructor for a course pass to enroll.
Syllabus: A document provided by an instructor about a class including materials required, a class outline, and grading policy. Syllabi for classes are viewable on TopNet. 
TopNet: An online system that students use to sign up for classes, view a university bill, run an iCAP, and see grades.
Transcript: A history of a student’s academic experience, including classes taken, or transferred from other institutions. 
Undergraduate Catalog: An online university publication, including information such as degrees offered, curricula for various degrees, admission standards, and class descriptions.
WKU ID#: A unique number assigned to every student and faculty member, used instead of an SSN within the campus community.
. .

Class Scheduling Tips
Scheduling Your Classes @ WKU.
When you meet with your advisor to schedule your classes, the following will be considered:  How strong is your academic background? (as reflected by your high school GPA, your ACT/SAT scores, etc.)  Will you be employed (if so, for how many hours each week)? Will you be commuting to campus (if so, from what distance)? Will your family responsibilities require substantial amounts of time? What are the demands of the classes you have selected (research papers, laboratory, etc.)?  Be ready to answer these questions and begin to form a relationship with your academic advisor.  Not only can he/she help you with registration questions, but they can also assist with job or study abroad opportunities!
Take time to recheck your schedule for class conflicts. Allow time for lunch!
If you have a specific interest in a department or major, ask your advisor about taking an intro level class.  He/she won't know your interests unless you speak up!
The time of day matters.  Schedule your classes during the part of the day you are most alert and attentive.
Schedule changes (drop/add) may be necessary following your initial registration.  You can drop or add classes on TopNet with no penalty fee through the last day to drop or add a class as printed in the registration guide. After that date, you may withdraw from a class with a grade of "W." A schedule change fee per class will be assessed for all student-initiated withdrawals. 
12 credits = Full Time Status The number of hours you take depends upon the strength of your academic background and your time commitments.
Familiarize yourself with campus. Knowing where the buildings are when signing up for classes will work wonders!  If you just aren’t sure, ask an TOP staff member or your academic advisor.
Balancing your classes between Monday-Wednesday-Friday (MWF) class meetings and Tuesday-Thursday (TR) class meetings will bring balance to study time during the week. 
Avoid scheduling difficult classes back-to-back.
Try to avoid racing up The Hill.  Walking time:  Gary Ransdell Hall to Thompson Complex = approx. 15 minutes; Tate Page Hall to Cherry Hall = 13 minutes.
When in doubt... seek the advice of your advisor.  They are here to help you succeed and guide you on your path to graduation.


Thinking of Changing Your Major...
If you are exploring your options, use general education classes to gain more information about various academic disciplines and use this opportunity to narrow your focus concerning possible areas of specialization. It is recommended that all baccalaureate degree-seeking students concentrate on classes that will apply to gen. ed. requirements during their first year of college studies.  
If you are still trying to decide between two (or 5) majors, don't take too many classes in a major during your first year, unless they also count toward General Education Requirements. You will avoid having excessive electives when you settle on a major later.
It’s important to take general education classes.  All baccalaureate degree programs (four-year programs) at WKU require a minimum of 39 credit hours in classes designed to provide you a broad academic preparation in basic areas of human knowledge and to orient you to the intellectual, social, and natural world. During your first and second years, the majority of the credits required to satisfy these gen. ed. requirements should be earned. Many programs require or recommend specific general education classes as a part of the major or in support of the major. 
If you are committed to a major, you must take gen. ed. classes along with classes from your field of study.  With the assistance of your academic advisor, even if choosing a major in a highly structured discipline, you will be able to blend important introductory classes in the discipline you choose with classes that meet gen. ed. requirements. Through varied class selection, you can be assured of progress toward degree completion even if you decide to change your major later.
WKU's general education program is called the WKU Colonnade Program. For more information about it, click here.


Set a Goal to Graduate!There are many campus services at WKU to help you navigate
through college. From studying for your first exam to finding
.a job after graduation, all you have to do is ask.

A minimum of 120 credit hours is required for all baccalaureate degrees at WKU. To complete in four years (eight semesters 
no summer sessions), you must average 15 credit hours each semester. To complete in five years, (ten semesters with 
summer sessions), you may average the minimum full time requirement of 12 hours each semester.  Every student is 
so discuss your unique goals and challenges with your advisor early. Revisit and revise your plan often to make sure you are meeting your goals or making new ones.  Keep your goal to graduate in mind when setting up your classes, and keep it posted in your room for inspiration!   .


WKU Checklist

Visit CampusIf you haven’t experienced a glimpse of life on The Hill, you
are encouraged to visit and see what being a part of the Hilltopper community is all about.  Click here or call
270-745-2551 to schedule a campus tour through the
WKU Office of Admissions. If it isn’t feasible to visit campus,
click here to see a virtual tour.
Arrange for Housing
All freshmen and sophomores at WKU are required to live in a residence hall unless commuting from their permanent address of less than 50 miles. If you need a housing application, exemption, or have questions, please call 270-745-4359, click here to visit the Housing and Residence Life website, or email
Send Your Transcript
Students transferring from another college or university
should request an official transcript from each school
attended be mailed to:
WKU Office of Admissions
1906 College Heights Blvd. #11020
Bowling Green, KY 42101-1020
Call Admissions at 270-745-2551 if you have questions.
Attend M.A.S.T.E.R. Plan
M.A.S.T.E.R. Plan (Making Academic & Social Transitions Educationally Rewarding) is an optional program for new WKU students beginning the week before classes start. It is designed to prepare students to meet the challenges of campus life and the college classroom by providing information sessions.  To sign up visit the M.A.S.T.E.R. Plan website, call 270-745-5863, or email
Reserve Your TOP Date
All incoming freshmen and transfer* students are required
to sign up for the Topper Orientation Program.  At TOP,
you will meet with an academic advisor and register for your
first semester of classes at WKU. If you have questions, call us at 270-745-4242.
Purchase a meal plan
All first year students living on campus are required to buy a meal plan.  WKU Restaurant Group has an assortment of meal plans available.  To guide you through the plans, staff will be available at TOP, and plans can be purchased on your TOP date. Visit their website or call 270-745-2416.
Apply for Aid & Scholarships
If you have questions concerning student financial
assistance, student employment, and/or academic
scholarships, call the Office of Student Financial Assistance
at (270) 745-2755. Click here for more info or email them
at or
Get Involved
Make your WKU experience rich and rewarding. Click here to visit Student Activities and Organizations for information on clubs and organizations on campus..

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 Last Modified 5/12/16