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School of Graduate Studies and Research

Graduate Student Funding

The School of Graduate Studies and Research helps coordinate a number of funding opportunities for graduate students, to help with the costs of tuition and living expenses, as well as the costs of graduate research and creative projects.


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

Graduate assistantships are available in most of CWU's graduate program departments. Nearly two-thirds of the university's graduate assistants teach; 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 filed before February 1. Later applications will be given consideration if positions become available.

2021-2022 Academic Year Graduate Assistantship contract benefits

     Resident &   
  International* Nonresident**
Item (US Dollars) (US Dollars) 
Tuition Waiver     9,372.60     22,926.70
Salary      8,214.00        8,214.00
Health Insurance      2,232.00        2,232.00
Student Health and Counseling Center Fee         308.88           308.88
Wellness Fee           54.00             54.00
Total Assistantship Value    20,181.48      33,735.58

*Washington State residents and international students without documented permanent US residency status (green card).
**Nonresident US citizens and international students with documented permanent US residency.

International students not having documented permanent US residency status may apply for assistantship appointments. Available appointments, however, are rarely awarded to international students in the first year of graduate study.  When an assistantship award is made to a student not having documented permanent US residency status, in most cases, the tuition waiver is limited to the amount of resident tuition allowable by state law, $9,372.60 for the 2021-22 academic year, pursuant to CWUR 3-90-100.2.Sec 014 which states that eligibility shall be authorized by the dean of Graduate Studies and Research with procedures created and monitored by the director of Financial Aid.

Nonresident 50% Tuition Waiver

CWU Graduate Tuition Waiver Fellowships are open to Washington State nonresidents, and are awarded to exceptional students who show promise in scholarship, academics, leadership, or meritorious service. Fellowships are also available for students with diversity experiences that contribute significantly to the quality of CWU’s graduate programs. To be considered for this fellowship, applicants must be recommended by the degree program’s coordinator. The fellowships are designed to attract first year, newly admitted candidates with a possible renewal for a second year. This is the recommendation form.  Please contact your coordinator to express your interest to be nominated. Students from all colleges may apply. Applications will reviewed on a rolling basis (and subsequently as funds are available).

Applicants must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident who is admitted to a Central Washington University graduate program but who is not a WA State resident. The fellowships typically include a 50% non-resident tuition waiver for the 9-month academic term. There is no stipend provided.  Fellowships are only awarded to full-time students who have been admitted into a CWU graduate program with a 3.0 minimum (3.25 GPA for Academic Merit) last 90 graded quarter, or 60 semester hour, cumulative GPA. Preference is given to newly admitted candidates; however, fellowships are renewable for an additional year at the level and type originally funded.

Students must remain at full-time status (ie: be enrolled in at least 10 credits of which 5 must be of 501 or higher) to continue receiving the waiver and maintain a minimum quarterly and cumulative 3.0 GPA (3.25 GPA for Academic Merit Fellowships.) The award will be withdrawn if a student attains Washington State resident status during the award period.

Category of Awards:

Academic Merit Fellowship.  Awards are available to students based on an applicant’s last 90 graded quarter credit hour (60 semester hour) cumulative GPA (minimum 3.25).

Leadership / Meritorious Service Fellowship.  Awards are available to students who have served in leadership roles within their community, college, or professional organizations. 

Diversity Fellowship:  Awards are available to first-generation college students or applicants who have a history of overcoming disadvantage. Fellowships are also available for students with diversity experiences who contribute significantly to the quality of CWU's graduate programs. Awards are also available for those nominated by diversity-focused organizations outside of Central Washington University.
Click for Full Description and Recommendation Form.

Grants and Fellowships

The graduate school provides competitive funding programs to help graduate students with research and creative activities. When due dates fall on a weekend or holiday, the applications will be due the next business day.

  • Graduate Student Research/Creative Activity Support Award - an award for up to $1,000 for supplies, equipment, and/or non-retroactive travel designed to assist students with completing their thesis or creative project. Click here for more information.
  • Graduate Student Summer Fellowship - a taxable award of $3,500 paid during the summer to assist students so they can focus on their thesis or creative project. Click here for more information.
  • Applying for both the research support award and summer fellowship (April deadline only) - to apply for both the summer fellowship AND the research support award, please follow the Graduate Student Research Support Award instructions.

Student Travel Awards

Funding is available for graduate students who are presenting research or creative work. Graduate students may apply for up to $400 in travel expenses. Students who are co-presenting the same research or creative work at the same venue with another CWU graduate student(s) must split the award equally between all co-presenters who apply for funding.

Travel funding for this award may be utilized for the following expenditures: ground fare, airfare, lodging, and conference registrations. Per diem (meals) will not be reimbursed. Reimbursement must occur within six months of the travel and within the same fiscal year (July 1 - June 30) as per CWU Travel Policies. All other policies and procedures related to travel will apply. For travel regulations please refer to CWU’s travel webpage:

To apply for travel funds, please email the following information and documentation to Diane Houser. Applications not adhering to the below requirements will be denied. 

  1. Applicant's name, department name, and faculty mentor's name
  2. Conference/venue name, location (city/state/country), and the start and end dates (mm/dd/yyyy)
  3. Title of the work being presented
  4. Letter of support from faculty mentor
  5. Proof of presentation (usually the acceptance email from the conference or the agenda showing day and time of presentation; must include mention of the applicant's name and project title; conference agenda submissions must include only the first page showing venue information and the page with applicant's pertinent presentation information (do not send the whole agenda or website links)
  6. Name of co-presenters, if any
  7. If traveling to a foreign country, written persmission from the Provost to travel to the specific venue noted in #2. 

Upon receipt of a completed application, an email reply will be sent to the applicant with a commitment of funds and further instructions for preparation of the Travel Authorization Form and/or Travel Expense Report.


Scholarships exclusive to graduate students:

CWURA Graduate Student Scholarship- 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. Click here for more information.

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. Click here for details.

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.



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