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School of Graduate Studies and Research

Prospective CWU Graduate Students

future students

Welcome to the School of Graduate Studies and Research


We hope that you will find the information you need here to help you on your way to becoming a Graduate Student at CWU! Should you have questions about any specific degree program, we encourage you to contact the academic department directly and inquire with staff and faculty there. We can also answer many questions here in the School of Graduate Studies. We look forward to hearing from you!

Graduate faculty, programs, and graduate student resources

Most graduate students choose to attend a university because of a particular professor, program, or department. The graduate faculty at Central have strong records of research and other creative activity, service, and teaching and are excellent mentors to creative and inquisitive students in a variety of disciplines.

See our list of graduate program offerings to find the program and faculty advisor that are right for you.

In addition to finding the right professor and program, prospective graduate students look for a school with the resources for successful graduate study. CWU offers an array of research facilities and student resources that you will find nowhere else.

Structure of classes and programs

Admission is selective, class size is small, and instruction is personalized.  Classes at CWU are taught on the quarter system. The academic year begins in late September and ends each year in early June. All master’s candidates must earn at least 45 approved credit hours to complete their degree, although a few programs require more than 45 credit hours. All programs require a thesis, research or creative project, and/or comprehensive examination as part of the degree requirements.

How to Apply

There are three ways in which you can apply to Central Washington University:

  •  Apply on-line. Submit your application electronically with the on-line application form. With this option, you will need to pay electronically with a credit card.

Please have transcripts mailed to

Central Washington University
School of Graduate Studies and Research
400 East University Way
Ellensburg, WA  98926-7510

When you receive an offer of acceptance, you must pay your confirmation deposit.  To do this my.cwu and click on "student services center."  Click the drop-down tab for "finances."  Click on "Account inquiry."  From there, follow the steps to pay your bill.

Application Requirements

1. Application ($75.00 fee/can apply online:

2. Statement of Educational and Professional Objectives.  The statement of educational and professional objectives is one of the most important deciding factors for entrance into graduate school. One website that may help you guide your organization of the letter is:
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​

3. Three letters of recommendation. May be submitted online with your application by supplying contact information for your three references.  Your references will receive an automatic email notifying them of your request to complete a recommendation.  If your reference prefers to send a letter by mail, forms can be found here:

4. Official transcripts from all colleges/universities attended

5. 3.0 GPA or above on your last 90 quarter credits/60 semester credits.  Some programs may require a higher GPA.

When applying online you must use a credit card to pay the $75.00 application fee. 


Admissions tests

Graduate Record Examination (GRE)

GRE scores, required by some departments, may be ordered from the Educational Testing Service (ETS) by calling (609) 771-7670 or visiting their web site at ETS will forward the test scores directly to the Graduate School.Central Washington University Code No. if 4044. GRE tests are valid for 5 years after the test date.

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.

Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT)

The GMAT may be ordered by fax (609) 883-4349 or telephone (609) 771-7330 or by visiting their Web site at

When preparing for the GMAT, you may find the following sites helpful:

    GMAT Test Questions
    GMAT Exam Practice Tests

Out-of-state applicants

As a state-supported regional university, CWU has different tuition requirements for in-state and out-of-state students. For current graduate tuition and mandatory fee rates, please see the Registrar's web page.

CWU offers two graduate programs, Primate Behavior and Resource Management, that participate in the Western Regional Graduate Program (WRGP) of the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE), which allows enrolled nonresident graduate students from participating WICHE states to pay resident tuition rates.

For information regarding establishing residency please contact the Registrar's Office.

International applicants

CWU is fortunate to host many international students who have come to Ellensburg to pursue their graduate education. Prospective international students should carefully read the international graduate student application instructions, as the process is different than the standard application process.

McNair Scholars

In order to have your application fee waived, you must submit a form and letter confirming your participation in the McNair Program.  Contact the McNair/TRiO office at your institution for more information.

Centers and distance learning

Other graduate students can complete some or all of their program requirements from CWU's centers in Des Moines, Lynnwood, Moses Lake, Pierce County, Wenatchee, and Yakima.

Paying for graduate school

While a graduate education is an investment in your future, many students do carefully consider tuition, fees, books, the other costs of a graduate program when they are researching schools. CWU offers low tuition rates, generous assistantships, and several scholarship, grant, and fellowship opportunities to help you better afford graduate school.


CWU's Office of Housing and New Student Programs has extensive information on CWU-owned apartments and other student amenities.


Apply Today!


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