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. Some programs will allow a bachelor of applied science degree. A list of programs that accept BAS degrees.

In addition, applicants must earn a minimum of a cumulative 3.0 Grade Point Average (GPA) in all graded coursework attempted in at least the last 90 quarter (60 semester) hours of recognized academic work. (Some programs require a higher cumulative GPA). 

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. In order for an application file to be considered complete, it must contain all the items required. Priority consideration is given to applicants who have a complete application on file with the Graduate School by the  priority date . Some of our programs do have other deadlines, so, please check carefully with the program you are applying to. Not all programs offer admission each quarter.

Applying to CWU

  1. Please use CWU's on-line application. When you go to the application page, make sure you pick the option of "Apply as a Graduate Student " this option is accessed at the bottom right hand side of the page. If you get an error, please try a fresh browser without any CWU browsing history. You cannot access the application if you are already in myCWU or have any history of CWU websites in your browser!
  2. If you need assistance please  email or call the School of Graduate Studies and Research at or 509-963-3101.

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. There is a non-refundable fee of $75.00. You may be eligible to apply for an Application Fee Waiver.

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.  Written statement of educational and professional 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

Primate Behavior Applicants - Please refer to this program's Specific Application Requirements

Biology Applicants - Please refer to this program's Specific Application Requirements

Public Health - Professional writing sample of 1,000 words or more. Examples may include: Peer reviewed manuscript, policy analysis, technical report, or white paper on which the applicant is the primary author.

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.

Your recommendation providers can complete their recommendations in one of two ways:

1. As an applicant you can add their contact information including email address to the recommendation provider section within the online application. Your online recommendation providers will receive an email with instructions on how to complete their recommendation online. If completing an online recommendation form please remind your recommendation providers that the email will be coming from and to add this address to their safe sender list.

2. If you are completing a hard copy admissions application, or, your recommendation provider does not feel comfortable submitting their recommendation online you may give them a hard copy recommendation form.  These 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 should use the recommendation form, and include a written letter.

3.  Official transcripts. A transcript is considered to be "Official" when it comes directly from the institution to the Graduate School. In order for it to come from you, and be official, it must be in the original, sealed envelope from the institution. Obtain official transcripts from all universities and colleges you have attended, unless credit earned was only for highschool AP coursework. Central Washington University will accept electronic transcripts that are emailed directly from the issuing university or college. They should use the Graduate School's email address of  Paper 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.

4.  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); Public Health (1,000 words or more with a focus on scientific or technical writing on a health-related topic); 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.

Application Fee Waivers are available.
The application fee is $75.00. To determine if you are eligible based on your MFI (based on income tax return) We use the information found on the
Washington Student Achievement Council chart.

Dependent students:
Copy of the first page of parent(s) income tax return showing Median Family Income (MFI) OR
Independent students:
Copy of the first page of your income tax return showing Median Family Income (MFI) or applicable documentation.

Once you've completed the fee waiver form  please submit it along with a copy of the above mentioned documentation to the Graduate School address below or email to  removing your social security number from any documents.  After your fee waiver has been processed by the Graduate School you will be sent an email with instructions on what you should do next. Please note, if you submit your application and pay the $75.00 application fee before you receive your next step instructions it will not be refunded.

If you have questions, please contact: or call 509-963-3101.

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 may be required by some departments,. Please check with the department prior to taking the test. Test results may be ordered from the Educational Testing Service (ETS) website or by calling (609) 771-7670. ETS will forward the test scores directly to the Graduate School. Test scores are valid for 5 years after the test date. Central Washington University's Institutional code number is 4044.

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. There is a Fee Reduction Program available and information can be found
on the ETS Fee Reduction page.

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