Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)


Welcome to our Frequently Asked Questions. If you are here, it means you have chosen to apply to Central Washington University’s (CWU) Graduate School and you have some questions.

We are here and happy to help because you belong here. We see Central at the center of your better future.

You may have questions about the Graduate School, the Ellensburg community, and how to apply and we hope that you find your answers. However, should you have a question not listed below please contact us at masters@cwu.edu or (509) 963-3101.

How many graduate students attend CWU?


Our graduate student population consists of 500 active students (enrolled) and an additional 200 inactive students (not enrolled) who are completing their research and thesis/projects.
  • Where are you located?

    Ellensburg is in the central region of Washington State. Here, you will find a small and welcoming community surrounded by beautiful mountains and farmland. Ellensburg’s historic brick downtown is three blocks from CWU’s campus. Explore Ellensburg and its community online or take a trip and visit our beautiful campus.

  • Where do I find the Academic Catalog (graduate catalog)?

    The Academic Catalog provides important information about the Graduate School and its program requirements. When visiting the Academic Catalog, please remember to use the upper-right, drop-down menu to select the current year’s Graduate Catalog.

  • How competitive are your programs?

    Each program has a different level of competitiveness. Please check with your specific department to find out how many students they accept each year.

  • How many students are admitted each academic year?

    The Graduate School admits the bulk of our students (300-350) fall quarter. However, we also have several programs with rolling admission, or they admit winter and summer quarters. These admitted student numbers average an additional 250 total.

  • Is there on-campus housing for graduate students?

    Yes, there is housing on our Ellensburg campus. You may contact our Housing & Residence Life department at housing@cwu.edu or 509-963-1831. 

  • Are campus tours available?

    Yes, campus tours are available. Please check out the CWU visitation page to find out all of your options. You may also contact the program you are interested in and make arrangements to visit their department where you can meet faculty and current graduate students, tour the facilities and labs and sit in on a grad class. Explore the programs that CWU offers where you can find links to specific graduate program web pages, or you can contact the Graduate School for more information.

  • Does CWU have organizations or clubs for graduate students?

    The Graduate Student Association (GSA) is the official club for graduate students. You may join them on Instagram @cwu.gsa

  • How much will graduate school cost?

    The Graduate Student Tuition Rates and Mandatory Fees are found on the Central Washington University Financial Aid and Scholarships Website. Please note that tuition rates are shown in student-type categories which include Washington State Resident and Nonresident. You will need to look for:

    • Graduate Ellensburg (Ellensburg campus-based student with Washington State residency)
    • Graduate Centers and Online (online or center-based student with Washington State Residency)
    • Graduate Nonresident (Ellensburg campus-based student without Washington State residency)
    • Online Graduate Nonresident (online or center-based student without Washington State residency)
    • College of Business Graduate Programs (with all categories)
  • How do I apply for scholarships?

    The CWU Scholarship Office maintains an extensive list of general and CWU-only scholarships, as well as pointers to databases of scholarship opportunities.

    The Office of International Studies and programs facilitates a Tuition Waiver for International students.

    The CWURA Graduate Student Scholarship is a scholarship exclusive to CWU graduate students. This competitive scholarship is offered to provide $1,500 to one student per year, who holds an earned bachelor’s degree from Central Washington University and who is admitted to or currently enrolled in a master’s degree program as a full time student at Central Washington University, for the purpose of defraying all or part of the student’s unmet financial need as determined by the Office of Financial Aid.

  • What types of aid are available?

    There are several types of financial aid including graduate assistantships, scholarships, financial aid (U.S. Department of Education), student employment, and two grad programs are a part of the Western Regional Graduate Program.

    Assistantships

    Central Washington University offers a limited number of assistantship appointments during the academic year to beginning and continuing graduate students.

    Graduate assistantships are available in most of CWU's graduate program departments. Most of the university's graduate assistants teach, and the remainder serve as research assistants or staff assistants performing university service functions.

    Graduate assistants are normally selected during the months of March and April for the following academic year. For full consideration, applications should be submitted to the School of Graduate Studies and Research before February 1. Assistantship applications are a part of the online Graduate School Application. If you decide to apply to an assistantship after you have submitted your application to the Graduate School, please contact our office, masters@cwu.edu for the application form. Assistantship applications received after the deadline will be given consideration if positions become available.

    2023-2024 Academic -Year Graduate Assistantship Contract Benefits:

    • Salary: $14,000.00
    • Tuition Waiver*: $0.00 - $  9,653.85
    • Health Insurance: $2,414.00
    • Student Medical and Counseling Clinic Fee: $ 308.88
    • Wellness Fee: $ 54.00

    *All graduate assistants are charged at the instate rate for tuition over the term of an assistantship appointment.

    Scholarships

    The CWURA Graduate Student Scholarship is exclusive to graduate students. This competitive scholarship is offered to provide $1,500 to one student per year, who holds an earned bachelor’s degree from Central Washington University and who is admitted to or currently enrolled in a master’s degree program as a full time student at Central Washington University, for the purpose of defraying all or part of the student’s unmet financial need as determined by the Office of Financial Aid.

    The CWU Scholarship Office maintains an extensive list of general and CWU-only scholarships, as well as pointers to databases of scholarship opportunities.

    The Office of International Studies and programs facilitates a Tuition Waiver for International students.

    Financial Aid

    Financial aid is also available through the university from federal and state funds for students demonstrating financial need. Applications should be made directly to the CWU Financial Aid Office by March 15.

    Student Employment

    Employment, both on and off campus, is available; the CWU Student Employment Office will have details on some available positions.

CWU News

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School of Graduate Studies and Research

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