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Resources and Reports

CWUP 5-130-020 Graduate Student Application and Admissions Information

Individuals seeking admission to a graduate program must apply and provide the appropriate application materials to the School of Graduate Studies and Research (SGSR) for review by the academic program.  The SGSR coordinates the graduate admissions process for all campuses and academic programs.  Academic programs may have higher entrance requirements than the SGSR.  The academic program may make a recommendation for an admissions decision to the dean of the SGSR who makes the final decision for admissions to the graduate program.

(1) Application Files

(A) Applicants must submit the following materials to SGSR:

1. A completed application for graduate admission

2.  A written statement of educational and professional objectives

3. Three letters of recommendation written by professors or others capable of assessing an individual’s potential for success in a graduate program

4.  Official transcripts from all universities and colleges attended

5. A non-refundable application fee

6. Additional admission materials may be required by academic programs

7. Additional admission materials may be required for international students.

(2) International Applicants

International applicants have additional admission requirements that may include, but are not limited to: language proficiency, financial status, and official transcript translations. 

(A) English Proficiency Documentation and Criteria

Proficiency in English is required for graduate study at Central Washington University. Therefore, every applicant whose native language is not English must demonstrate English language proficiency (ELP). Proficiency can be demonstrated in one of the following four ways:

1. A bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degree from a regionally accredited institution in the United States where English is the medium of instruction.

2. A bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degree from an institution in Australia, the Bahamas, Canada, Ireland, Jamaica, Kenya, New Zealand, Singapore, Trinidad and Tobago, or the United Kingdom where English is the medium of instruction. While enrolled at the degree-granting school, the student must be in residence on campus.

3. Official documentation from the applicant’s undergraduate degree-granting institution (if the institution is in a country other than those listed in #2 above) verifying that all instruction is in English. A minimum of three years of enrollment at the undergraduate institution is required. Documentation must be presented to the School of Graduate Studies and Research; credential service reports are not acceptable. Acceptable documentation must be one of the following:

a. Official or attested letter from the undergraduate college, university Registrar, or Controller of Examinations office.

b. Official transcripts, attested mark sheets or degree statements, are also accepted if English is stated as the medium of instruction.

4. Official English Language Test Score (sent to Central Washington University via testing center):

a. TOEFL or equivalent (check with SGSR for additional accepted tests)

b. Minimum Required Score: 79 iBT (except English programs)

c. Minimum Required Score: 88 iBT (English Programs)

5. Applicants using TOEFL test scores must submit official scores via Educational Testing Service, using Central Washington University’s institution code 4044.  An offer of admission cannot be extended prior to the receipt of official scores.

6. An applicant who does not meet the minimum required score will not be considered admissible by the School of Graduate Studies and Research. The SGSR does not offer conditional admissions to students who have not yet met the minimum English Language Proficiency (ELP) requirement.

7. An applicant who has attained the minimum required score or higher has satisfied the SGSR’s ELP requirement.

8. Test scores are valid for two years and must be valid on the date the application is submitted.

(B) Financial Documentation

All international students must provide adequate financial documentation before an admission decision can be made and an I-20 issued.

Documentation includes:

1. A Confidential Financial Statement (CFS) signed by the student and by the person who will be sponsoring the student financially.

2. A current bank statement in the name of the student's sponsor or the student.  The statement must be dated and no older than three months, must be original, in English or translated to English.  The bank statement must show that the account holder has at least the total cost for one academic year available.

(C) International Academic Transcripts

Foreign university transcripts must be official and accompanied by a degree certificate. Copies will not be accepted.  A CWU International Credentials Evaluator reviews and evaluates all transcripts and certificates.  If the Evaluator is unable to verify the degree an applicant may be requested to supply an evaluation from a CWU approved agency.  There are additional and/or different requirements for Chinese, Indian, Nigerian, and Pakistani applicants.  Additional transcript information may be found on the SGSR website.

(3) Application for Graduate Certificates

Applicants to a certificate program must meet the minimum requirements for admission into the SGSR. Academic certificate programs may have higher entrance requirements than the SGSR. 

(4) Application Deadlines

(A) The priority deadlines for submitting all application materials are as follows:

1, February 1 for fall quarter

2. April 1 for summer quarter

3. October 1 for winter quarter

4. January 1 for spring quarter

Individual programs may request an alternate deadline to be approved by the SGSR dean. The SGSR dean will evaluate requests for specific deadlines with the appropriate college dean(s), program department chair(s), and program director(s)/coordinator(s). Once deadlines are approved and published for the admission quarter, there will be no exceptions for late applications.

(5) Online Graduate Degree Admission

Central Washington University has authorization and/or exemption to deliver fully online degree programs to students. Due to federal regulations, CWU must be authorized to deliver instruction to each state. A list of authorized states may be found on the online learning website. If an applicant resides in a state not listed, the applicant is ineligible for admission into a fully online degree program offered at CWU. 

(6) Admission Decisions

(A) Initial admissions decisions to the SGSR are based upon a combination of factors.  

(B) These factors include, but are not limited to:

1. grade point average

2. letters of recommendation from professors or others able to critically assess an applicant’s ability to succeed in a graduate program

3. a written statement of purpose

4. standardized test scores (if applicable),

5. academic preparation for work in the proposed field,

6. and the applicant’s interests as matched with those of faculty in the program to which and individual applies.

(C) Individual graduate programs may have additional admission criteria.

(7) Types of Admission for Graduate Studies

CWU distinguishes four types of admission for graduate students: full, probationary, conditional, and deferred.

(A) Full Admission

To be eligible for full admission, an applicant must have earned a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited four-year college or university in the U.S. or the equivalent from an institution abroad. The applicant must demonstrate, in the opinion of the faculty and the dean of the SGSR, the ability to successfully complete a graduate degree. The applicant must also have achieved at least a 3.0 (B) average in all coursework attempted during the last 90 quarter hours (60 semester hours) of study.

(B) Probationary Admission

An applicant who does not meet the minimum GPA admissions requirements, but who shows promise of success in a graduate program, may be considered for admission. An individual may be admitted on probationary status, based on departmental recommendations and a favorable review by the dean of the SGSR. If admitted, the applicant is placed on probation for one quarter, during which time the student must complete graduate level coursework approved by the academic program. A grade point average of 3.0 (B) or more is required in this probationary period. Upon meeting this requirement and with the favorable recommendation of the department, the student will be fully admitted and allowed to continue toward candidacy for a degree. If the student is unable to achieve a 3.0 GPA, the student will be removed from the program and dismissed from the SGSR.

(C) Conditional Admission

An applicant may be conditionally admitted to a graduate program when he or she does not fully meet admission requirements. Typically, such individuals lack certain field-related experiences and/or required background knowledge. An applicant may also be admitted to this category pending receipt of the official transcript(s) indicating completion of the bachelor’s degree. The academic program will notify the student in writing of what conditions must be met or how to obtain the missing experience or knowledge. A conditionally admitted student will achieve regular status when the condition has been satisfied and the admitting department recommends advancement to regular status.

(D) Deferred Admission

If a department and the SGSR wish to admit an applicant to a program that has no space available for a particular quarter, a deferred admission may be offered. The quarter for which admission is deferred will be negotiated between the applicant and the department. If both agree, the applicant will be asked to accept or decline in writing the deferred admission, which will be valid for up to one year from the term in which the person was to have matriculated. If the applicant agrees to defer admission, no new application or application fee will be required. The student will be expected to pay the non-refundable confirmation deposit and to obtain the approval of the academic department and the dean of the SGSR concerning the quarter in which he or she wishes to enroll.

An applicant who has been admitted to graduate study, but who wishes to defer matriculation to a subsequent quarter, may do so with the written authorization of the academic department and the SGSR. Such a deferment will be valid for up to one year from the term in which the student was to have matriculated. If the department is unable or unwilling to provide this authorization, the applicant will be obliged to reapply for admission, pay the admission application fee, and provide additional documents as needed.

(8) On-Leave Status

Students seeking to interrupt their studies may do so with the approval of the department chair(s), but must pay a non-refundable fee for registration as an on-leave student. This fee covers four successive academic quarters beginning with fall quarter. Students whose graduate program runs throughout the academic year will be assessed an on-leave fee every fall quarter. Students whose program meets primarily in the summer months will be assessed the on-leave fee at the beginning of summer quarter.   While on leave, graduate students retain library privileges.

[Responsibility: Dean, Graduate Studies; Authority: Provost/VP for Academic & Student Life; Reviewed/Endorsed by: Provost’s Council 02/18/2020; Cabinet; Review/Effective Date:06/17/2020 Approved by: James L. Gaudino, President]


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