WCSU consists of four schools and one division: the Ancell School of Business (which includes the Justice & Law Administration program), the Macricostas School of Arts and Sciences, the School of Visual and Performing Arts, the School of Professional Studies, and the Division of Graduate Studies.
Founded in 1903, WCSU is part of the Connecticut State University (CSU) system, the primary division of the Connecticut State Colleges & Universities (CSCU) system, which includes Eastern, Southern and Central Connecticut state universities; CSCU as a whole consists of those universities in addition to a number of community colleges. Between the four state universities, more than 34,000 students are enrolled, with more than 5,700 students enrolled at Western. (As of the Fall 2016 semester.)
WCSU is home to the Jane Goodall Center for Excellence in Environmental Studies, which is the result of a partnership between WCSU and the Jane Goodall Institute (a private non-profit organization that promotes research, education and wildlife conservation).The university's Westside campus houses the Ives Concert Park, one of the premier performance venues in the area.