Running Start

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A Foundation of Learning

Washington State University Tri-Cities is proud to offer the Running Start program for qualifying high school juniors and seniors.  The Running Start program allows students to attend classes on the WSU Tri Cities campus and receive both high school and college credit simultaneously.

Students can take up to 15 credits per semester, tuition free.  Students may attend WSU Tri-Cities full-time or combine their classes between the high school and WSU Tri-Cities. 

Kathleen McAteer

Kate McAteer
Assistant Vice Chancellor
for Academic Affairs


As the Assistant Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, it is my pleasure to oversee the Running Start program on campus. This avenue for dual credit provides students with the opportunity to earn affordable college credit while earning their high school diploma. Students in the region have access to rigorous course work with highly talented faculty who are invested in their success.

As a Running Start student at WSU Tri-Cities, you will engage in an authentic college experience that puts you on the path to a successful academic career. I invite you to visit campus, meet our helpful staff, and explore the possibility of getting a head-start on your college education.

Interested in Running Start?

WSU Tri-Cities Running Start Information Nights are a great way to familiarize yourself with the program and to ask questions.

1/18/2018 Thursday Mid Columbia Partnership 6:00 PM
1/31/2018 Wednesday Southridge HS 6:00 PM
2/7/2018 Wednesday WSUTC 6:00 PM
2/8/2018 Thursday Kamiakin HS 6:00 PM
2/13/2018 Tuesday Kennewick HS 6:30 PM
2/15/2018 Thursday Pasco HS 6:00 PM
2/20/2018 Tuesday Richland HS 6:00 PM
2/21/2018 Wednesday Columbia HS 6:00 PM
2/22/2018 Thursday Chiawana HS 6:00 PM
2/28/2018 Wednesday Hanford HS 6:00 PM
3/1/2018 Thursday Three Rivers Link 5:00 PM
3/5/2018 Monday Othello HS 6:00 PM
3/13/2018 Tuesday Prosser HS 11:05 AM
3/19/2018 Monday Connell HS 5:30 PM
3/20/2018 Tuesday Benton City HS 9:00 AM

1) Students who have a 3.50 or higher cumulative, unweighted high school GPA (on a 4.0 scale) are admissable after submitting their high school transcript.

2) Students who have a 3.30 to 3.49 cumulative, unweighted high school GPA are reviewed for admission by a WSU faculty committee.  Additional information is requested to assist the committee in making their determination, including:

  • Personal statement
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Test scores, if applicable (PSAT, ACT, PLAN, SBAC)

3) Homeschool students are reviewed for admission by a WSU faculty committee on an individual basis.  Additional information is requested to assist the committee in making their determination, including:

  • Personal statement
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Test scores, if applicable (PSAT, ACT, PLAN, SBAC)

 4) Students whose cumulative high school GPA is below 3.30 at the time of application are not eligible for consideration but are encouraged to improve their GPAs and apply the following academic year. 


  •  Attend a Running Start Information Night
  •  Submit an online application
    • Priority admission is April 1st (recommended)
    • You may upload/drop-off/mail the required forms with your application:
    • Unofficial high school transcript
    • Parent permission form
    • FERPA form
  • Homeschool students and students with 3.3-3.49 GPA will be contacted to submit additional documentation, including:
    • Letters of recommendation from teacher and/or counselors
    • Personal statement detailing your educational goals
    • Standardized test scores, if available (PSAT, SBAC, PLAN)

Students will be contacted by US mail and email upon acceptance to WSU TC Running Start 

  • Set-up WSU Network ID
  • Students will receive an email from WSUTC to the email provided on application, with instructions on how to create a Network ID. Once a Network ID is created, students will be able to log into MyWSU and check their WSU emails.  This step is required to be completed prior to placement testing
  • Complete Placement Testing
  • Meet with High School Counselor
    • Next, students will meet with their high school counselor to identify their remaining high school graduation requirements
    • Academic advising at WSU will be based on these requirements
    • Priority to complete by April 30
  • Attend WSU Advising
    • Upon completion of the above listed steps, students will receive information on scheduling their WSU advising session
  • Enroll in Classes
    • New student enrollment opens June 4th at 8:00am
    • Students will log into MyWSU and officially enroll in selected courses
  • Attend Orientation
    • Students are required to attend a half-day orientation. Attendance confirms your fall enrollment at WSU TC.  Students who are not able to attend are required to attend the Running Start office prior to the event.  Students who do not attend without prior notice, will be dropped from fall classes.

 Buy or Rent your Textbooks                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             WSU TC Bookie

 Pay Course Fees                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Course fees, if applicable, are due by the end of the first week of classes


  • Complete the online application
  • Print, sign and submit the Parent Permission Form and FERPA 
  • Submit unofficial high school transcript.
  • Submit supporting documents if you are a homeschool student or cumulative High School GPA is between 3.30-3.49

 Note:  All forms must be submitted before admission status can be determined. Completed documents can be submitted within the online application or in-person to the Running Start Office (CIC 201D)

All Running Start students are required to meet with an advisor in order to set up their course schedule each semester.

Following Math Placement & Writing Placement, the RS office will notify students regarding their initial academic advising appointment.

Students will work closely with their WSU advisor and with their high school counselor to ensure they are on track for high school graduation and a successful academic year.

photo of Shannon Horne
Shannon HorneRunning Start Academic AdvisorCIC Building509-372-7438

See our Frequently Asked Questions about WSU Running Start and contact us with any other questions or concerns.

Washington State University

Running Start Information Night 

Join us for an in-depth look at Running Start!

– Running Start 411

– Faculty Presentation

– Student Presentation

March 29, 2018 @ 6 pm

2710 Crimson Way, East Auditorium