Non-traditional Options

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There's More Here Than a Four-year Degree

Earn Your Degree in Three Years

IWU's three-year degree options enable some students to earn a high-quality education in less time, and for a lower cost. By earning your undergraduate degree in three years, instead of four, you'll pay less tuition over the course of your education, and you will be able to begin earning income in your career earlier, too.

Explore Three Year Options >

Non-degree Seeking Options

From sitting in on a class for personal development or earning credit for a single class, students can experience the IWU-Marion community as a non-degree seeking student.

Explore Non-degree Options >

Three-year Degree Options

IWU's three-year option is the same quality education as our four-year college plan.  You will enjoy all the benefits of an exceptional education within a Christ-centered academic community: more than 80 professional majors; an outstanding, committed Christian faculty; smaller, more personalized classes; and impressive, state-of-the-art facilities. Plus, you will engage in an education focused on your unique purpose and calling in life, as we help you to develop personally and professionally through life coaching, career development, leadership studies, student engagement, and more.

3-year Strategies to Consider

We offer strategies that provide you the flexibility to potentially graduate early and reduce the costs associated with attending IWU.


Many high schools offer Advanced Placement (AP) courses to students. Such classes are an excellent way to begin earning college credits early. These classes are considered to be equivalent to university freshman-level courses and appropriate credit will be given for grades of 3 or above.

Some high schools offer International Baccalaureate (IB) courses and programs. Credit may be awarded for successful completion of some courses through the International Baccalaureate programs. Scores of 5 or higher are required for such credit to be accepted. Credit may only be awarded with official scores and an IWU individual assessment.


Students who have attended IWU as a dual enrollment credit student will have their credits applied toward their degree. Students who have attended other accredited colleges or universities may often transfer credit toward their IWU education.

Transcripts of all other university work must be submitted directly to Indiana Wesleyan University from the office of the registrar at the college or university attended.

All students must complete their last 30 credit hours at IWU to earn their degree. Credit is granted for work with a satisfactory grade ("C" or above) taken at an approved college or university accredited at the same level as IWU, provided the courses are applicable to the curriculum the student wishes to pursue at IWU. An "approved college or university" generally refers to those institutions that are accredited by a regional accrediting body or the Association for Biblical Higher Education.

Continuing your education at IWU beyond just the fall and spring semesters can help propel you toward graduation, too. We offer classes in multiple sessions during May and the summer months to accommodate your scheduling needs.

May term is three weeks long and courses are offered at discounted rates. Most May courses are three credits but a maximum of four credits may be earned. Two to four credits in May is considered full time. Summer sessions 1 and 2 are each five weeks long. Four semester hours of credit is considered full time. Maximum enrollment is six credit hours per each session.

Summer term extends from May to the first of August. Four semester hours is considered full time. Maximum enrollment is six credit hours.

Some summer courses are offered through an online format, which provides the freedom to continue your IWU education from home during the summer.

A student is classified as full time when enrolled for 12-17 credit hours in a semester.

Students may complete the 124 semester credit hours required for a baccalaureate degree with four semesters of 15 credits and four semesters of 16 credits.

Students who wish to register for more than 17 credit hours must meet the following criteria:

  • To enroll for 18 credit hours the student must have a 3.0 GPA
  • To enroll for 19 credit hours the student must have a 3.5 GPA

Now that you've seen the scenarios we've created, you might have a few ideas of your own. There are many combinations you can use to help leverage your time on campus.

One additional option is to take CLEP (College-Level Examination Program) exams to earn some college credits. These credits you have to pay for, but they are less expensive than typical college course prices. In moderation, CLEP is a good way to demonstrate your mastery of subject material and pick up some elective credit. Please do not take CLEP exams without the recommendation of your academic adviser.

Non-degree Seeking Options

IWU-Marion offers students several unique and exciting academic opportunities, beyond a typical four-year degree.

A student who is not pursuing a university degree and wants to take individual courses for personal development may be admitted as an unclassified student.

A maximum of 6 credit hours per semester and a total of 18 credit hours may be completed with this status.

This does not constitute admission to a University program and the University does not maintain degree audits for this classification. Unclassified students who subsequently wish to pursue a degree program must apply for regular admission status and at that time will receive a degree audit of the chosen major. 

Term Start End
Summer 2 July 1 August 2 Apply
Summer 1T May 1 August 2 Apply
Fall August 29 December 12 Apply

Audit status is for students who are not pursuing a university degree but want to take an individual course  for no credit  with IWU.

  • Audit registration is allowed on a space available basis.
    • Undergraduate students may not register under this category until after the first day of class and must have the approval of the class instructor.
  • The current audit fee per credit hour must accompany the registration.
  • Auditing a course gives one the right to attend the course. No credit or letter grade is given.
    • The course will be indicated as an "AU" on the student's IWU transcript.
Term Start End
Summer 2 July 1 August 2 Apply
Summer 1T May 1 August 2 Apply
Fall August 29 December 12 Apply

The IWU High School Partnerships program allows students the opportunity to earn college credit through a joint agreement between IWU and the student’s high school/homeschool co-op.

Attending one of IWU’s partner programs and wanting to take a course through your school this semester? Connect with your school to learn the available courses and apply online here.

Current Partnerships:

  • Heritage Christian School (Indianapolis, Ind.)
Term Start End
2023-24 Apply
IWU-Marion's Wildcat Academy dual enrollment program allows juniors and seniors in high school to earn college credit before high school graduation. These credits satisfy IWU requirements and can be transferred to other universities.

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