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School of Graduate Studies and Research

Apply to the CWU Graduate School

Please read the information for International Students if applicable, before applying.

Admissions information

Central Washington University offers admission to applicants showing high potential for success in their chosen graduate disciplines. CWU admits students with diverse backgrounds to enhance the learning environment for all students.

Admission to CWU requires a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution. In addition, applicants must earn a minimum of a 3.0 GPA in all coursework attempted in at least the last 90 quarter (60 semester) hours of recognized academic work.

Admission decisions are based on a combination of factors. Grade point average, letters of recommendation from professors or others able to critically assess success in a graduate program, statement of purpose, standardized test scores (if applicable), academic preparation for work in the proposed field, and interests as matched with those of our faculty are all taken into consideration. We encourage prospective students to call, write to, or visit professors with similar areas of interest.

Applying to CWU

You have two options for applying to the CWU Graduate School.

  1. Please use CWU's on-line application.
  2. Alternatively, you can submit a paper-based application, by downloading and completing the Graduate School application.

Regardless of whether you use the on-line or paper application, be sure to include all of the following materials. Do not forget that your name must appear on each document. Materials submitted in support of your application cannot be returned nor will they be released for other purposes.

1.  Admission application. Your admission application must be completed and signed. Note that the signature on the form indicates your pledge that all information given is accurate and that all documents submitted for admission review are true and valid.

2.  Statement of objectives. Write a statement, approximately 500 words, of educational and professional objectives outlining your career goals and detailing any additional information that will help the admissions committee understand your educational objectives and needs. The statement of educational and professional objectives is one of the most important deciding factors for entrance into graduate school. One resource that may help guide your organization of the statement is the Online Writing Lab at Purdue University
Your statement should portray you as:

  • Passionately interested in your field and/or how you will apply the knowledge to your future profession
  • Well-prepared academically and personally able to take on the challenges of graduate school
  • Able to have rapport with professors and fellow grad students - in other words, collegial

3.  Letters of recommendation. Obtain three letters of recommendation written by professors or others capable of assessing your potential for success in a graduate program. Confidential recommendations should be submitted in sealed envelopes signed by the referees across each flap. Only CWU officials may open these. Non-confidential letters of recommendation need not be submitted in signed and sealed envelopes. Individuals writing letters of recommendation may use the enclosed recommendation form, or, if they prefer, they may write a letter. Either way, be certain that your name is included on each recommendation.

4.  Official transcripts. Obtain official transcripts from all universities and colleges you have attended. Central Washington University will accept electronic transcripts that are emailed directly from the issuing university or college. They should use the email.  Hard copies must be submitted in sealed envelopes prepared by the issuing institution’s registrar’s office and sealed by that office. If you have attended CWU, it is not necessary to provide a CWU transcript. In addition to the above general admission requirements, several departments have special admission requirements.

5.  Writing Samples. Writing samples are required for the following programs: English (7-10 pages); History (7-10 pages); Theatre Studies (5 pages preferably in your discipline); Law and Justice (minimum 2 pages from college course or work related); Exercise Science (please contact the department at 509-963-1911 to receive your topic for the required 2 page writing sample).

Once completed, your application file will be carefully evaluated by a committee of faculty in the program or department to which you are applying . You will be informed of their decision as quickly as possible.

Send application materials to:

School of Graduate Studies and Research
Central Washington University
400 East University Way
Ellensburg, WA 98926-7510

Admissions tests

Graduate Record Examination (GRE)

GRE scores, required by some departments, may be ordered from the Educational Testing Service (ETS) by calling (609) 771-7670 or visiting their web site at ETS will forward the test scores directly to the Graduate School.

When preparing for the GRE, you will find some helpful resources, including examples of past test questions, and complete practice tests at the ETS site.

Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT)

The GMAT may be ordered by fax (609) 883-4349 or telephone (609) 771-7330 or by visiting their Web site at

When preparing for the GMAT, you may find the following sites helpful: