Policies and Procedures
The Graduate Division of Western New Mexico University provides an opportunity for advanced study, research, and development of scholarship. Programs are intended to foster professional motivation and intellectual curiosity in graduate students. WNMU offers the Master of Arts in Counseling, Educational Leadership, and Interdisciplinary Studies, the Master of Arts in Teaching, the Master of Business Administration, the Master of Science in Nursing, the Master of Social Work and Graduate Certificates.
WNMU is fully accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, the Professional Standards Commission of the State of New Mexico, and the Council for Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) at the national and state levels. WNMU is fully accredited by the Association of Collegiate Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP) to offer the Master of Business Administration degree. The Master of Social Work program is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE).
The Graduate Council develops policy for the Graduate Division and acts as an advisory body to the Graduate Division. The Graduate Division administers overall graduate policy. Graduate programs are administered by the head of each department offering the programs. Each graduate student works under the supervision of an advisor who is appointed by the Associate Dean or Department Chair.
Graduate students should be familiar with the requirements of the 500-600 level graduate courses in their areas of specialization.
Graduate Division Learning Goals
- Incorporates and elucidates major theories, research methods, and approaches to inquiry in the field of study, applying major methodologies and practices to projects, papers, exhibits, or performances. Demonstrates measurable analytical and critical ability over numerous assignments of various kinds in one or more disciplines.
- Disaggregates, reformulates and adapts principal ideas, techniques or methods at the forefront of the field of study in carrying out an essay or project.
- Applies, analyzes, and evaluates the perspective of different points in time, different cultures, language, political order, or technological context within a core issue in the field of study and presents a reasoned analysis of the issue, either orally or in writing that demonstrates consideration of competing views.
- Distinguishes human activities and judgments particularly subject to ethical reasoning from those less subject to ethical reasoning.
- Uses logical, mathematical or statistical methods appropriate to addressing a topic or issue in the field of study.
- Demonstrates effective communication by creating coherent arguments and explanations of original individual and/or collaborative work and presenting them error-free to general and specialized audiences.
- Analyzes multiple aspects of assigned material, drawing on current research, theory, and techniques in the field of study. Demonstrates measurable analytical and critical ability over numerous assignments of various kinds.
- Demonstrates effective communication by developing sustained, coherent arguments or narratives through error-free written and oral media to general and specialized audiences.
Source: Lumina Foundation, The Degree Qualifications Profile downloaded from: https://www.luminafoundation.org/files/resources/dqp.pdf.
Graduate Division Admission
When to Apply
Admissions to the Graduate Division at WNMU are processed on an ongoing basis. We strongly encourage prospective students to apply and send the required documents as EARLY as possible. Students applying for the fall, spring, or summer terms should apply no later than one month prior to the first day of classes for the term in which they seek enrollment. (See the Academic Calendar for specific dates). Students who submit applications after the recommended dates are not guaranteed admission to the university for that term. Please note, individual programs may opt to have earlier deadlines.
- How to Apply to the M.A., M.A.T., M.B.A., *M.S.N., M.S.W., Programs - *The M.S.N. program is not accepting applications at this time.
A student seeking to obtain a graduate degree at WNMU must complete a two-part admission process. This two-part process should be initiated concurrently. In Part One, students apply for admission to the WNMU Graduate Division. In Part Two, students apply for admission to a specific graduate program using the application requirements of that program. Students should follow these steps:
Part One: Graduate Division Admission
To apply for Graduate Division Admission, an applicant must do the following:
- Complete and submit the Graduate Application on-line at wnmu.edu/applynow/;
- Provide the University with copies of official transcripts showing the award of a bachelor’s/master’s degree from an accredited college or university recognized by CHEA (Council of Higher Education Accreditation). These transcripts must be on file before an applicant is considered for final admission to the Graduate Division and no later than the end of the first semester in which any graduate course work is taken. Official transcripts can be sent electronically to firstname.lastname@example.org or to the Office of Graduate Admissions, 1000 West College Avenue, PO Box 680, Silver City, NM 88062
Upon completion of the application process, applicants will be placed in one of the following:
- Graduate Division FINAL Admission/Good Standing
Note: Graduate Division FINAL Admission does not guarantee a student admission into a specific program.
- M.A., M.A.T., M.B.A., M.S.N., M.S.W., Graduate Certificate Applicants
- Applicants with an overall grade-point average of at least 3.0 out of a possible 4.0 for the last 64 credit hours of their studies, both undergraduate and graduate work, will be admitted on Graduate FINAL Admission/Good Standing status. Note: If 30-36 hours of graduate work was the most recent completed, that will be the basis of the G.P.A. assessment. Proof of degree is still required.
- Applicants who have most recently completed a master’s or other advanced degree with a G.P.A. of 3.0 or higher will be admitted on Graduate FINAL Admission/Good Standing status.
- Transcripts must be on file no later than the end of the first semester in which any graduate course work is taken.
- Graduate Division FINAL Admission/Academic Probation
M.A., M.A.T., M.S.N., M.S.W. Applicants
A Graduate Division FINAL Admission/Academic Probation student is one who does not meet the Graduate Division FINAL Admission/Good Standing requirements. This classification is for an applicant whose grade-point average assessment is between a 2.75 and 2.99 out of a possible 4.0. An applicant who has been admitted on Graduate Division FINAL Admission/ Academic Probation status must complete one semester of graduate work designated by his or her graduate advisor(s) with a grade-point average of 3.0 or better to be removed from Academic Probation. If a student does not meet this requirement, they will be disqualified from the Graduate Division pursuant to Graduate Division Academic Standing Policy. (See Grade Requirements.)
- Graduate CONDITIONAL Admission
A Graduate Division CONDITIONAL Admission student is one whose Admissions file is not complete. Applicants must provide the Graduate Admissions Office with copies of official transcripts showing the award of a bachelor’s/master’s degree from an accredited college or university recognized by CHEA (Council of Higher Education Accreditation). These transcripts must be on file before an applicant is considered for final admission to the Graduate Division.
- M.A., M.A.T., M.S.N., or M.S.W. Applicants
An M.A., M.A.T., M.S.N., or M.S.W. student may take a maximum of one semester of course work while on Graduate Division CONDITIONAL Admission status. The student may not register for additional course work until his or her file is complete and the student has met all requirements for Graduate Division Final Admission.
- M.B.A. Applicants
M.B.A. students who have not submitted transcripts and GMAT scores (if required) will be admitted as Graduate CONDITIONAL Admission students until those are on file with Graduate Admissions. Failure to do so within the first semester of enrollment will preclude further progress toward the M.B.A. degree, as only one conditional term is permitted by the Graduate Division. Applicants who have completed an undergraduate degree in Business may enroll in any M.B.A. classes offered, with the exception of BSAD 597 . Applicants who have completed an undergraduate degree in a non-business discipline may not enroll in BSAD 530 , BSAD 556 , BSAD 560 , BSAD 570 , BSAD 597 , or ECON 512 without prerequisite preparation. Applicants who have a non-business undergraduate degree may register for the previously mentioned courses, except for BSAD 597 , upon successful completion of the MBA pre-requisite course package administered by Peregrine Academic Services. Proof is the certificate of completion following the completion of the course package and forwarded to the MBA Director to place in the applicants file. BSAD 597 is the capstone course and should be completed in the applicants’ final semester.
- Graduate Division NON-DEGREE Student Admission
A non-degree student is 1) a student who is not seeking a degree or 2) a student whose G.P.A. assessment is below the minimum 2.75 and who is required to enter with the status of NON-DEGREE until he or she meets the standards of admission set by the Graduate Division. Available coursework for the student interested in an M.S.W. in this situation includes SWK 501 , SWK 502 , and SWK electives. Graduate students who enter or take courses as NON-DEGREE students are not eligible to receive financial aid through WNMU. To be admitted as a NON-DEGREE graduate student, for reasons other than G.P.A., an applicant must complete the online application as “Graduate Non-Degree”.
- The M.S.W. program also requires that the student sign a memorandum of understanding (MOU) regarding this status and courses taken while under this classification. The M.S.W. program welcomes professionals to enroll under this status for purposes of professional development and CEU credits. The MOU is required in all cases. If a NON-DEGREE student later chooses to seek a degree, he or she must re-apply to the Graduate Division and their intended program of study. Courses taken by students with NON-DEGREE status must be approved by the student’s advisor and Chair/Associate Dean in the intended degree program in order to be counted toward the degree. The student must submit a petition to their intended program and, if approved by the program, subsequently to the Graduate Division. A student working to raise his or her G.P.A. for Admission may appeal the G.P.A. entrance requirement once he or she has completed 6 credit hours at WNMU with a minimum grade of “B” in all courses. The appeal is processed with the student’s Advisor and Chair/Associate Dean for a given program and is then forwarded to the Graduate Division for final approval and for system update. All other Graduate Division and program admission requirements still apply. See Section E Path to Acceptance below:
- Non-Degree-Seeking M.S.N. Students who do not wish to enroll in the M.S.N. program at WNMU still may enroll in all of the “3P” courses:
NUR 505 - Advanced Pathophysiology Across the Lifespan
NUR 510 - Advanced Physical Assessment Across the Life-span ; and,
NUR 515 - Advanced Pharmacology Across the Lifespan
Requirements to take one or more of the “3Ps” are as follows:
Apply as a non-degree-seeking graduate student at WNMU.
Send an unofficial transcript showing earned baccalaureate degree (B.A., B.S., etc.).
Complete the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).
- Path to Acceptance
A graduate student in non-degree seeking status due to a G.P.A. assessment below 2.75 may petition for final admission after successfully completing a minimum of 6 credit hours of graduate level coursework with a minimum cumulative G.P.A. of 3.0 with no individual course grade lower than a “C” in any course offered for credit. No more than 9 credit hours may be taken as a non-degree seeking student under this section. For students intending to petition to the M.S.W. program, no more than 12 credit hours may be taken as a non-degree seeking student under this section.
Non-degree seeking students are not eligible for financial aid. Students who fail to meet the requirements to petition will be disqualified from the Gradate Division. After one year, disqualified students may apply for readmission as a non-degree seeking student to attempt the path to acceptance a second time. (Students attempting admission to the School of Education’s Alternative Licensure program may petition for reinstatement immediately by filing an appeal with the Graduate Division for readmission from academic disqualification.) Failure to meet the requirements to petition a second time will result in disqualification from the Graduate Division with no additional opportunities to attempt the path to acceptance.
Petitions must be filed with the support of the student’s intended program. All programmatic admission requirements must also be met at the time the petition is filed. Students who petition must also file a new Graduate Division application and pay the application fee for their intended program. Students who gain final admission through the path to acceptance will enter the Graduate Division on academic probation status.
Part Two: Program Specific FINAL Admission
A Program Specific FINAL Admission student is one who meets all general requirements for admission to the WNMU Graduate Division, as well as admission requirements for a specific graduate program. Not all graduate programs have additional admission requirements, but for those that do, admission to a specific graduate program should be initiated concurrently with admission to the Graduate Division.
See specific programs below for more information.
Submit a complete application packet for review to the specific graduate degree program to which the candidate seeks admission. Program specific application packets must be completed by the end of the first semester of attendance. Following review, students will be notified of Program Specific FINAL Admission by the applicable department or program.
International Graduate Students
The general policies of the University, as outlined in this catalog, apply to international students as well as students who are United States citizens. Certain policies necessitated by federal laws are applicable only to international students.
An international student is any individual attending WNMU who holds an F-1 or J-1 non-immigrant visa. Legally admitted immigrants and refugees are not considered international students.
Information and application materials for admission to WNMU as an international student are available from the Office of Graduate Admissions and the Office of Academic Affairs.
English Proficiency: WNMU requires that graduate international students establish English proficiency by one of these means:
1. A Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) score of either 550 or higher on the PBT (paper-based) version of the test, or 79 or higher on the iBT (internet) version of the test; or
2. A Score of 6.5 or higher on the IELTS (International English Language Testing System); or
3. A Duolingo score of 100 or higher
English Proficiency Scores. Scores may be waived for any student who can show proof of a bachelor’s degree from an English-language educational institution. Further, an international student from an English-speaking country who elected to receive a bachelor’s degree from a foreign-language institution may petition for an exemption from the proficiency requirement.
A student is deemed proficient in the English language if he or she:
- Holds a U.S. high school diploma or U.S. General Equivalency Diploma (GEDR*) or international high school diploma, e.g., U.S. military base, business/diplomat expat community, etc., in which instruction is delivered primarily in English;
- Holds the equivalent (evidenced by credential evaluation) of a U.S. high school diploma from overseas institution in which instruction is delivered primarily in English;
- Completes (with passing grades in all courses) a minimum of two (2) academic terms at a regionally or nationally accredited U.S. post-secondary institution in which instruction is delivered primarily in English;
- Completes (with passing grades in all courses of ‘C’ grade or higher) English 101 and 102 at a regionally or nationally accredited U.S. post-secondary institution in which instruction is delivered primarily in English;
- Presents acceptable English Language Proficiency test scores meeting the minimum required levels set forth below.
Admissions: Applications for admission for Fall semester must be received by June 1st, applications for Spring semester by October 15th, and applications for Summer by March 1st. All supporting materials, including national examination scores and transcripts from colleges or universities (with an English translation and a NACES evaluation), all test scores, including the TOEFL, proof of adequate financial support, and health examination form, must be on file in the Office of Graduate Admissions:
Materials not received by the deadlines noted above may not be processed nor guaranteed for issuance of I-20’s for that term. If time does not permit processing for the requested semester, admission and the I-20 will be deferred to the subsequent semester.
International students are required to show proof of adequate health insurance or to purchase such insurance. The policy must include emergency evacuation or repatriation to their home country. If such proof is not provided, a health insurance policy will be provided by the university with cost of said policy being the responsibility of the student.
A student wishing to be readmitted to a WNMU graduate program must complete the Application for Readmission form, available on-line, and any other necessary requirement(s) as directed by Graduate Admissions. Please note a student is only eligible for readmission if they have previously been admitted to the Graduate Division and completed at least one graduate course on a WNMU transcript with a grade or a W.
An M.S.W. student who wishes to be readmitted must complete the M.S.W. application for readmission. She/he will be considered for re-entry into the program based on available capacity. Additional transcripts and updated supplemental application materials may be needed depending on the length of time away from the program. Timeliness of application is important, as room for students who apply for readmission will be impacted by space in the M.S.W. program and the number of new applicants. Students wanting to apply for readmission should pay close attention to the deadlines for admission for each term.
Any student who has attended other colleges or universities prior to application for readmission to WNMU must submit complete academic transcripts from those institutions to the Graduate Admissions as part of the application procedure.
Graduate Student Change of Program Process
- (not to be used for any student that is non-degree seeking)
Any graduate student wanting to change programs needs to follow the appropriate process based on STUDENT status.
Current student: If enrollment has been continuous (no time is taken off except summer term), the student must complete a Graduate Degree Change Request form and submit it to the appropriate academic department with whom they wish to move for approval pursuant to the program’s admission requirements. The academic department should note their decision on the form and submit it to the Graduate Division. Any advisor can provide the student with that form.
Readmit student: If a student has taken a fall or spring term off, a program change must be requested through a new application for re-admission. Anytime a student changes programs, the student must complete the new admissions requirements for that program prior to being allowed to register, given the conditional admission term has already been used during previous enrollment.
When a graduate student is terminated or expelled from any graduate program for ethical infractions, violations of standards of professional conduct, academic integrity infractions, or other issues, the Graduate Division and Registrar must be informed and will keep a record. If the student elects to move to a new program of study within the Graduate Division, that program has a right to be informed of the infraction as part of their admission process
Overall, the program and/or the student has a right to have the subsequent admission decision considered by the Graduate Council. This will serve as the student’s appeal process; the decision rendered by the Graduate Council is final and may not be appealed.