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About CWU

Why choose Central Washington University?

For hands-on experience that makes learning exciting and relevant. Students come to Central Washington University for small classes taught by professors. There are no 800-student lectures here. Our average class size is just 25.

You'll get a chance to do what you're learning. CWU is as committed to learning that takes place outside the classroom as what happens inside. Our students get real-world experience in the fields they study - music, engineering, aviation, geology, chemistry, physics, theater, and more.  CWU students conduct, present, and publish research with faculty partners. Whatever you're interested in, chances are you'll put it to work in ways usually only open to graduate students at other universities.

The result is a real-world understanding of how to use what you know. Employers tell us CWU students have a practical edge over graduates who only know what's in books. Our hands-on approach to education makes learning exiting and relevant. You're going to love it here.

A beautiful and historic setting.

Central Washington University is located in the heart of Washington State in the historic town of Ellensburg and close to just about everything.  To the north are the jagged Stuart Mountains and skiing at Mission Ridge. To the south lies the Yakima River Canyon Scenic Byway, which hosts cattle drives, marathons, and some of the best fishing in the United States. 

East of Ellensburg is the mighty Columbia River, carved out by sheets of ice and massive floods during the Ice Age. Ninety minutes west of Ellensburg lies Seattle, one of America's great cities, home to world-class cuisine, arts, and entertainment of all sorts.

Earn your degree at CWU campuses throughout the state and online.

Not everyone wants to or is able to enroll full-time at a residential campus. Central Washington University brings university education into communities throughout the state. CWU is co-located with community colleges in Lynnwood, Everett, Des Moines, Kent, Steilacoom, Yakima, Moses Lake, and Wenatchee.

A new dual-admission program places students on track to complete a bachelor's degree as soon as they are admitted into a community college. Working side-by-side with our community college partners ensures students have the advising, the classes, and the support they need to finish the degree they need.

CWU also serves more students on-line than any other comprehensive university in Washington. "Finish Line" is an online campus launched in fall 2011 to enable people to complete degrees online.

With more than 100 majors and eleven pre-professional programs (Pre-Dentistry, Pre-Dietetics, Pre-Engineering, Pre-Law, Pre-Medicine, Pre-Nursing in Public Health, Pre-Occupational Therapy, Pre-Optometry, Pre-Pharmacy, Pre-Physical Therapy, Pre-Veterinary) at the undergraduate level, Central's General Education curriculum provides a basis for developing your specialized interests.

Wildcat Athletics and Sports

CWU is a member of the NCAA Division II Greater Northwest Athletic Conference. Wildcats boast the most winning collegiate football record in the entire state. CWU is a perennial competitor in men's basketball, too.

Central's Collegiate Sport Clubs allow students the opportunity to participate in and represent Central in competitive sporting activities that are not available through Athletics. Central also has a top-notch intramural sports program that's recognized throughout the region, which allows amateur athletes an opportunity to participate in recreational and competitive activities with other Central students. More than 30 percent of CWU students participate in intramural sports.

Student Union and Recreation Center

Inspired by the vision of CWU students, The Student Union and Recreation Center (SURC) is the pivot point for university conversations and activity of all kinds. At more than 220,000 square feet it's the largest building on campus and one of the first facilities of its kind to combine both recreation and student life programs.

The SURC is home to a fifty-foot rock wall, an indoor jogging track, a four-court gymnasium, strength training and cardio vascular areas. Work out in group exercise rooms, play with outdoor equipment rentals and then take it down a notch in locker-room saunas. You'll find a market-style dining area with flexible meal programs and a wide variety of food choices. You can shop at the Wildcat Shop, find an ATM machine, and take in a movie. The SURC is home to student government, the Wellness Center, and the student radio station, 88.1 KCWU, "The Burg." Like other CWU buildings, the SURC is completely wireless, making your connection to the Internet easy. 

Get Connected

Getting involved in the Wildcat experience is easy. Along with excellent academics and top-rate faculty, CWU offers many opportunities to meet people and learn new things about yourself and the world. With more than 100 clubs and associations to choose from, you'll find the activity and the people you're looking for in the Accounting & Finance Club, Astronomy Club, Central Theatre Club, Chemistry Club, Climbing Club, English Graduate Student Association, Guitar Club, Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano a de Aztlan (M.E.Ch.A.), Namakemono Anime Club, Political Student Union, Psychology Club, Rodeo Club, Student Art Council, and Student Washington Education Association, or any of dozens of other student groups.

Your Voice Matters

The Associated Students of Central Washington University help develop university policies, represent students in state government, and support student clubs, sports, and other activities. Students have a voice on just about every university standing committee and task force. Students are a vital part of the life and administration of Central Washington University.