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About CWU

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.

Central Washington University's Ellensburg residential campus encompasses 380 acres. There are also seven university centers (Des Moines, Everett, Lynnwood, Pierce County, Moses Lake, Wenatchee, and Yakima).


• Top-rated four-year university in Washington according to The Economist

In a new ranking system that measures a college by its economic value to its graduates, CWU is the top-ranked four-year university in the state of Washington, according to The Economist magazine.

• Top 5 percent Globally in Business Programs

The CWU College of Business has again earned the prestigious accreditation of the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. Only 5 percent of business schools globally earn the designation.

• LGBT Friendly

Campus Pride selected Central Washington University as one of the top LGBT-friendly schools in the nation in the Campus Pride 2014 Top 50 LGBT-Friendly Colleges & Universities. The listing highlights the positive efforts to improve safety and academic life for LGBT students.

• Honored for Diversity

CWU was the only four-year university in Washington to receive the Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award in 2015 (and the only to receive it two years in a row).

• #2 for Top Online Colleges in Washington

Central Washington University was chosen as the number 2 online college in Washington by

• ‘Veterans Supportive Campus’

CWU has been formally recognized as a “Veteran Supportive Campus,” according to the Washington State Department of Veterans Affairs.

• CWU GEAR UP Program Applauded by Governor

Washington Governor Jay Inslee proclaimed GEAR UP (Gaining Early Awareness & Readiness for Undergraduate Program) Week last September. The program offers career and college admissions counseling and financial aid counseling to low-income Washington high school students.

• Best Value in Teacher Education

The National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) created the nation’s first national list of teacher rankings, of which, CWU received an A- in secondary education.

• Geological Sciences: One of Best in the Nation

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.

Samuelson Remodel

Watch a time lapse video of the Samuelson Union Building being demolished.

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!


Take the Next Step to Becoming a Wildcat.