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Western Kentucky University Degree Programs

Western Kentucky University appears in our ranking of the Top 50 Most Affordable MPH Online Programs.

Western Kentucky University (WKU) is a public educational institution located in Bowling Green, Kentucky. Founded in 1906 as a “Normal School” dedicated to the production of elementary and secondary education instructors, the school has grown in concept to include multiple disciplines of study and currently enjoys the enrollment of over 20,000 students. The university operates four campuses; its main campus in Bowling Green, KY, Elizabethtown-Fort Knox, KY, Glasgow, KY, and Owensboro KY. Student life at WKU is supportive and productive as the school recognizes over 350 student organizations in which students are invited to participate and 34 fraternity and sorority organizations. The university offers 15 associate degree and undergraduate-certification programs, over 80 areas of study for undergraduate students along with 70 minor degree opportunities, and 51 masters programs. WKU also provides access to 39 post-graduate certificates and four doctoral programs.

Western Kentucky is organized into six divisions or schools to streamline the educational experience for its students. Those internal colleges are:

  • College of Health and Human Services
  • College of Education and Behavioral Sciences
  • Gordon Ford College of Business
  • Ogden College of Science & Engineering
  • Potter College of Arts and Letters
  • Mahurin Honors College

Of the 15 associate degrees offered at WKU, two are offered entirely online—Associates in Interdisciplinary Studies, and Associates in Nursing (LPN to ASN). With an associates-level degree in hand, students can move quickly into a bachelor’s program.

The Mahurin Honors College ranks in the top three percent of honors programs in the U.S. With a typical ACT/SAT score ratio of 30/1300; the school is restricted to the most driven, innovative, and expansive mined students on campus. Of the 20,000 students that attend WKU, only 1,300 are accepted into the honors program. The program enhances student’s abilities to form interdisciplinary relationships and to think critically while applying multiple factors to a single problem or a varied set of issues.

Western Kentucky University offers students over 80 pathways toward a baccalaureate degree. While the university began as a teacher’s college, it expanded its offerings during the last century to include an array of subjects such as business, agriculture, anthropology, information technology, biology, broadcasting, religion, foreign languages, art, healthcare, architecture, dental hygiene, dance, criminology, construction, computer sciences, engineering, chemistry, film, family services, sports and fitness, English, economics, hospitality, history, healthcare, and a unique folklore program to name a few.

Of the 80 pathways toward a bachelor’s degree at Western Kentucky, the university presents 14 entirely online as well as in the classroom. Those online programs include:

  • Bachelor of Arts in Sociology
  • Bachelor of Arts in Criminology
  • Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies
  • Bachelor of Science in Computer Information Technology
  • Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene
  • Bachelor of Science in Engineering Technology Management
  • Bachelor of Science in Family & Consumer Sciences, Family Studies
  • Bachelor of Science in Family & Consumer Sciences, Child Studies
  • Bachelor of Science in Health Care Administration
  • Bachelor of Science in Health Information Management
  • Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences
  • Bachelor of Science in Management, Business Administration
  • Bachelor of Science in Organizational Leadership
  • Bachelor of Science in Workforce Management

WKU offers students the opportunity to expand their studies through a minor degree program. With 70 minors to choose from, there is no dearth in choices. Minor degrees at Western Kentucky require a student to take between 18 and 24 credit hours of study in the minor field. A student may choose to use their electives to satisfy their minor degree. Many students take advantage of the summer months to complete their minor degrees online. Online minor programs include:

  • Minor in Criminology
  • Minor in History
  • Minor in Library Media Education
  • Minor in Nonprofit Administration
  • Minor in Performing Arts Administration
  • Minor in Sociology

Another opportunity that WKU offers undergraduate students to sharpen their skills in an area of study is the undergraduate certification program. These certifications require 15 credit-hours of study and can be taken alongside the major degree, in addition to a minor, or by students seeking the certification without pursuing a baccalaureate. WKU offers fifteen undergraduate certifications, six of which are available entirely online, including:

  • Undergraduate Certification in Applied Data Analytics
  • Undergraduate Certification in Emergency Management Disaster Science
  • Undergraduate Certification in Family Home Visiting
  • Undergraduate Certification in Long Term Care Administration
  • Undergraduate Certification in Occupational Safety & Health
  • Undergraduate Certification in Organizational Leadership

WKU offers 51 master’s programs which involve a minimum of 30 and a maximum of 36 credit hours of study including a capstone or thesis project. A good sample of those programs is included in the 20 masters-level programs that Western Kentucky offers online, including:

  • Master of Arts in History
  • Master of Arts in Mathematics
  • Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership
  • Master of Arts in Adult Education
  • Master of Arts in Teaching in Special Education, Learning and Behavioral Disorders
  • Master of Business Administration
  • Master of Health Administration
  • Master of Public Health
  • Master of Social Work
  • Master of Science in Biology
  • Master of Science in Child and Family Studies
  • Master of Science in Engineering Technology Management
  • Master of Science in Environmental and Occupational Health Science
  • Master of Science in Instructional Design
  • Master of Science in Libraries, Informatics, and Technologies in Education
  • Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology
  • Master of Science in Recreation and Sports Administration—Concentration in Athletic Administration & Coaching
  • Master of Science in Recreation and Sports Administration—Concentration in Facility and Event Management
  • Master of Science in Recreation and Sports Administration—Concentration in Intercollegiate Athletic Administration
  • Master of Science in Recreation and Sports Administration—Concentration in Sports Media and Branding

Along with or after studying for a master’s degree at WKU, graduate students can sharpen their skills in areas by studying for a post-graduate certification. All of the 30 post-graduate certifications or endorsements are available online. These programs involve an additional 15 to 18 credit hours of study but serve to enhance the working abilities of the students who take their knowledge and apply it to their field of work.

WKU offers four doctoral programs, including:

  • Doctor of Psychology, Applied Psychology
  • Doctor of Education, Educational Leadership
  • Doctor of Nursing Practice, Nursing Practice
  • Doctor of Physical Therapy, Physical Therapy

About Western Kentucky University

Western Kentucky University opened its doors to its first students in 1906 as a teacher’s education school. Today, WKU still honors that commitment and much more. The students have opportunities to study an array of areas while enjoying the view of the Kentucky countryside from their hilltop. The high quality of education added to the unspeakable beauty of the area attracts faculty seeking a quiet yet lively place at which to share their knowledge. The resulting positive atmosphere inspires those outside looking in to evaluate the school as a positive influence on all who attend.

US News & World Report ranks WKU as 15th in its list of Best Online Bachelor’s Programs for Veterans and 20th in Best Online Bachelor’s Programs overall. The publication rates Western Kentucky 42nd in Best Online Educational Programs and 74th in Best Online MBA Programs.

Western Kentucky University Accreditation Details

Western Kentucky University is regionally accredited through the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. Internal programs are accredited by:

  • Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN)
  • Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND)
  • Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications (ACEJMC)
  • Association of University Programs in Health Administration (AUPHA)
  • Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM)
  • American Dental Association (ADA)
  • American Physical Therapy Association (APTA)
  • Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology
  • Commission on English Language Program Accreditation (CELPA)
  • Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH)
  • National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD)
  • National Association of Schools of Dance (NASD)
  • National Association of Schools of Music (NASM)
  • National Association of Schools of Theatre (NAST)
  • National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE)
  • Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP)
  • Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration (NSPPAA)
  • National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA)
  • Council on Social Work Education Office of Social work Accreditation (CSWEOSA)
  • American Council for Construction Education (ACCE)
  • American Board of Engineering and Technology (ABET)
  • Association of Technology, Management, and Applied Engineering (ATMAE)

Western Kentucky University Application Requirements

Students who have a 2.00 or above GPA are free to apply for entrance into WKU. Those who are accepted with a 2.00 – 2.49 GPA are required to enter the Summer Scholars Program to build study skills before advancing into the regular curriculum. Applicants must take either an ACT or SAT and have the organization send in the resulting scores. Applicants must show an official high school transcript that demonstrates the completion of the Kentucky minimum high school graduation requirements, including:

  • Four years of English
  • Four years of mathematics including algebra I and higher courses
  • Three years of social studies
  • Three years of lab sciences
  • Two years of a single foreign language

Tuition and Financial Aid

Tuition at WKU for Kentucky residents is $10,802, including fees per year; non-residents pay $26,496. On-campus living expenses add $8,492 in room and board. Graduate-level tuition and fees run at $707 per credit hour.

The Financial Aid Department at WKU has access to over 6,000 grant programs to help with the cost of attending college. The department works with students to apply for scholarships that do not require high GPAs. The WKU Financial Aid Department discourages college debt and advises students on how to avoid loans and other pay-back programs.

Western Kentucky has a high success rate working with students, whether they struggled through high school or breezed through all their previous studies. Graduates from Western Kentucky University gain a feeling of success that follows them and enhances their work and family life.