Set Up Your Account
By the time you receive your Admissions letter, a WKU online account will already have been created for you. You should have received notification of this from an email, along with an "800-number". This number will serve as your identification number and will be crucial for so many of your activities prior to and during your stay at WKU.
TOPNET is your link to all of your WKU information: transcripts, billing, meals, housing, etc. Once admitted, you will be issued an 800-number as your student ID. Use this in all your WKU matters. For example, use it to log into TOPNET. The first time you log in, you will be asked to change your password. This is very important and you should make sure it is something difficult for someone else to use. Identity theft is a major concern on university campuses, so guard your password carefully and never let anyone else use it.
You will also use your 800-number in the campus computer labs and for printing.
In addition, you will be issued a WKU email address that will appear as this: firstname.lastname@example.org. You may, however, maintain a preferred email through some other provider. If you choose to keep a non-WKU email address as your preferred address, you MUST go to TOPNET and update your information so that all important messages sent to your WKU account will be forward to your personal account. Often students forget this and an important message is sent to the WKU account, never to be seen by the student. Don't let this happen. Be responsible and update your information on TOPNET.
Once you have set up your TOPNET account, you will be able to register for courses. As an exchange student, you are most likely able to take the full range of WKU courses in every area of study. However, many upper level classes require pre-requisites and you will need to show that you've completed such courses. The simplest way to do this is to provide transcripts along with the syllabus (in English) for the relevant course(s). The earlier you do this, the better.
IMPORTANT: You must be a full-time student to maintain your J-1 status. To be "full-time" as an UNDERGRADUATE you must be enrolled in at least 12 credit hours and no more than 18 credit hours per semester, which usually equates to 4-6 courses. If, as an undergraduate, you wish to take more than 18 credits, you are responsible for any and all additional costs. To be a "full-time" GRADUATE student, you must be enrolled in 9-credit hours per semester; all of these credits hours should come from graduate level courses.
Online courses are available to WKU students, including J-1/exchange students. However, please note that undergraduate students choosing to register for online courses must be enrolled in at least 9-credit hours of face-to-face coursework, graduate students must be enrolled in at least 6-credit hours. Also, students should be aware that online/distance learning courses cost more per credit hour than face-to-face courses (for more information, click here). The Office of Study Abroad and Global Learning will not prevent exchange students from registering for online courses provided that they maintain the necessary number of face-to-face credit hours. However, the student will be responsible for covering the additional tuition costs of those courses.
Before You Arrive
Once You Arrive
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