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Welcome to Central Washington University, home of the Wildcats. We're a public, four-year university located in historic Ellensburg, Wash. 

Central’s commitment to hands-on learning and discovery and individual attention takes students beyond the limits of the classroom and books. Students get to do what they’re studying in real-world, professional settings, which makes learning exciting and relevant. 

Each year CWU graduates thousands of well-educated citizens who are ready for high-demand careers in the workforce: construction management, accounting, engineering technology, teacher education, wine business, paramedicine, aviation, and more.  

CWU prepares students to succeed in a global economy through strong partnerships with 30 colleges and universities around the world. Last year we welcomed more than 400 students from 36 countries to our campus.


CWU is nationally recognized as a welcoming university with high quality academic programs.

  • Top 50 LGBT-Friendly Universities in the US

Campus Pride selected Central Washington University as one of the top LGBT-friendly schools in the nation. The listing highlights the positive efforts to improve safety and academic life for LGBT students as well as the top institutions leading the way. 

  • Washington Monthly​ Top 100 "Best Bang-for-the-Buck" Schools in in the Nation

A national ranking places four of Washington State's six public universities in the top 100 in the nation for offering the best quality for the price.

  • #1 in Washington State in the "Educate to Career" College Ranking

CWU is best at improving earnings and ensuring employability of graduates
Central Washington University placed 110th on a survey of 1,200 colleges nationwide in student career success after graduation.

  • #2 nationally for graduation rates for minority students

 The Education Trust "College Results Online" ranks CWU second nationally for graduation rates for under-represented minority students.

  • National Top 20 for Professional Teaching Standards

The National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) placed CWU in  top 20 institutions in the United States that awarded degrees to teachers who became National Board Certified Teachers (NBCTs). .

  • Top 100 Nationally for Research Funding in the Geological Sciences 

The CWU Department of Geological Sciences is ranked in the top 100 departments nationwide for research grant funding in Earth Sciences from the National Science Foundation.

  • Most Affordable Online Colleges in Washington State for 2015 ranks the best online colleges in Washington, sorted by affordability. Central took the No. 2 spot in 2015. The rankings identify fully online programs, explain how the online interface works, and spotlight the school's online initiatives.

  • Top 46 Cheap Online Colleges with Quality Programs for 2014

The ranking by the Affordable Colleges Foundation focuses on six key metrics that illustrate online program affordability, academic strength and dedication to student success.

  • Top 30 Online Psychology Degree Program for 2015

The Affordable Colleges Foundation's data team spent months researching hundreds of available psychology degree programs to find out which schools truly make a difference with stand-out academics, resources and student support services.

Science Phase II Live Construction Cam

Watch our new physics and geology facility go up! It's scheduled to open fall 2016.

CWU Brochure

Find out what makes CWU a wonderful place to discover the world, make friends, and earn a degree.

Campus Tour

CWU has one of the most beautiful college campuses in the Pacific Northwest. Click here and see it for yourself!