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The university provides quality graduate programs in selected fields, taught by a faculty committed to excellence in teaching and research. A hallmark of this university is to offer our graduate students:
- Small classes
- Opportunities to work closely with professors
- An excellent learning environment
- Low tuition
- Hands-on research experience
- An attractive setting in a friendly community
Administration and Organization
The Office of Graduate Studies and Research welcomes visits and inquiries from graduate students and prospective graduate students. Our staff is here to assist the academic community, both in the area of graduate studies as well as in the sphere of grants and sponsored research.
Wayne S. Quirk, PhD
Director of Sponsored Research
Associate Director of Research and
Admissions Program Coordinator
Post-admissions Program Coordinator
Barge Hall, room 305
Business hours: 8 a.m. - 5 p.m., Monday through Friday (PST), except holidays. If you call during non-business hours, be sure to let us know when and where to reach you and we will return your call as soon as possible.
The graduate experience at CWU is challenging, rewarding, and exciting. But, like every quality experience, it is subject to certain rules and policies to ensure that high academic standards are maintained. Below, we present information about CWU’s graduate programs. We seek to ensure that graduate students are fully apprised of the policies and procedures governing student progress. It is the responsibility of graduate students to familiarize themselves with these and the policies of the programs in which they are enrolled. Central believes in equal educational and employment opportunity for all without regard to race, color, creed, national origin, sex, age, marital status, or any sensory, physical, or mental handicap.
Additional information concerning university policies and regulations applicable to graduate programs, including accreditation, institutional memberships, grading practices, mission and roles, and tuition and fees, will be found in various sections of this catalog. Consult the Table of Contents or index for further information.
Definition of a Graduate Student
A graduate student is anyone duly admitted to graduate study at CWU, and who is officially enrolled in a graduate program here. Graduate programs offered include master’s degree programs, fifth-year and other certification programs, and non-degree study as a resident or visiting graduate student.
Programs of Graduate Study
Central Washington University offers the following graduate degrees:
Master of Arts
Master of Arts for Teachers
Master of Education
Master of Fine Arts
Master of Music
Master of Professional Accountancy
Master of Science
Mental Health Counseling
Family and Consumer Sciences
Health and Physical Education
Graduate Certificate Programs
In addition to the degree programs available, CWU offers the following graduate certificate programs. See Graduate Certificate Programs below for details.
Renewal of Initial or Residency Certificate
Fifth-year of Study for Continuing or Professional Certificate
Continuing Principal’s Certificate
Continuing Program Administrator
Educational Staff Associate Certificate
Central offers admission to applicants who have high potential for success in their chosen graduate disciplines. We seek to admit people with diverse backgrounds in order to enhance the learning environment for all students.
Admissions decisions are based upon a combination of factors. These include grade point average, letters of recommendation from professors or others able to critically assess an applicant’s ability to succeed in a graduate program, a written statement of purpose, standardized test scores (if applicable), academic preparation for work in the proposed field, and the applicant’s interests as matched with those of faculty.
Types of Admission
CWU distinguishes three types of admission: regular, probationary, and conditional.
Regular: To be eligible for regular admission, an applicant must have earned a bachelor’s degree from a recognized 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 Graduate Studies and Research, the ability to successfully complete a master’s 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.
Probationary: An applicant who does not meet the minimum GPA admissions requirements, but who shows promise of success in a graduate program, will be considered for admission. He or she may be admitted on probationary status, based on departmental recommendations and a favorable review by the dean of Graduate Studies and Research. If admitted, the applicant is placed on probation for one quarter, during which time he or she must complete at least 10 credits of coursework approved by the home department. A grade point average of 3.0 (B) or more is required. 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, he or she will be dropped from the program.
Conditional: An applicant may also be conditionally admitted to master’s programs when he or she does not fully meet admission requirements. Typically such admittees 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. A conditionally admitted student will achieve regular status when the condition has been satisfied and the admitting department recommends advancement to regular status.
Confirmation Fee: A nonrefundable $55 tuition deposit/confirmation fee is required to verify acceptance of the offer of admission. This payment is due by May 1 for fall quarter, November 1 for winter quarter, and January 1 for spring quarter, or within two weeks of the date of acceptance, whichever is later. Although this prepayment is not required for summer quarter, a $40 registration fee is required before registering for summer classes. These fees are subject to change when tuition rates are revised. Additionally, a letter of intent may be required by some departments.
Applying to CWU
CWU welcomes applications from all those who meet our minimum requirements for admission. To apply, visit our Web site at www.cwu.edu and click on the admissions link or obtain a set of our application materials from:
CWU Graduate Studies and Research
400 East University Way
Ellensburg, Washington 98926-7510
A completed application file consists of the following materials received by the Office of Graduate Studies and Research:
- A completed application for graduate admission.
- A written statement of educational and professional objectives.
- Three letters of recommendation written by professors or others capable of assessing your potential for success in a graduate program.
- Official transcripts from all universities and colleges attended.
- Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT) scores if required by the program. Scores should be no more than five years old at the time of application.
- A non-refundable application fee of $50 payable at the time of filing application. Application fees may be paid by check, credit card (MasterCard and Visa only), or cash (please do not send cash through the mail). If you wish to pay by check, make it payable to Central Washington University and send it, along with the other application materials, to the Office of Graduate Studies and Research. If you prefer to pay by credit card, you may telephone the Cashiers Office with this information (509-963-2224) to make a payment. Cash transactions should be made in person at the Cashiers Office, Barge Hall, Room 104.
In addition to the above requirements, all international applicants must complete the following:
1. If the applicant’s native language is not English, he or she is required to submit one of the following: a) a minimum Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) score of 550 paper-based, or 79 Internet-based. Scores should be no more than two years old at the time of application, or b) a minimum International English Language Testing Systems (IELTS) score of 6.5 academic score. Scores should be no more than two years old at the time of application, or c) a baccalaureate degree from accredited U.S. university or an accredited international university where the main language of instruction is English. Please note that the department of English requires a TOEFL score of 580 paper-based or 92 internet-based, or an IELTS academic score of 7.0.
2. International applicants are also required to complete a confidential financial statement and submit evidence that sufficient funding is available in U.S. currency through either personal resources and/or a sponsor for one academic year’s experience at CWU.
3. Foreign university transcripts must be accompanied by a course by course transcript evaluation. You can find more information regarding the evaluation and agencies that are accepted by CWU here: http://www.cwu.edu/~masters/new_international.html#transcripts.
The priority deadlines for submitting all application materials are as follows:
February 1 for fall quarter
April 1 for summer quarter
October 1 for winter quarter
January 1 for spring quarter
If a department and the graduate office 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. He or she will be expected to pay the non-refundable matriculation fee of $55 and to obtain the concurrence of the home department and the dean of Graduate Studies and Research 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 home department and the graduate office’s concurrence. 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, paying the admission application fee, and providing additional documents as needed.
Application for Certification and Non-degree Study
The university offers those seeking professional credentials, but who do not wish to pursue a master’s degree, the opportunity to become post-baccalaureate students. Applications for admission to this status may be obtained from the Office of Admissions and returned to meet the appropriate deadlines.
Applicants for the continuing certificate must contact the Certification Office to organize an approved program.
Applicants for school counseling or school psychology programs leading to certification must also submit references and GRE scores. Admission procedures to these two certification programs are the same as for master’s program admission.
Assistantships and Financial Aid
The university offers a number of assistantships during the academic year to beginning and continuing graduate students. Graduate assistantships are available in each of CWU’s graduate program departments. Nearly two-thirds of the university’s graduate assistants teach; the remainder serve as research assistants with a few performing university service functions.
1) Be fully admitted to a master’s degree program and registered with at least 10 credits (of these, at least 5 credits must be numbered 501 or higher unless on an approved Course of Study form) at the commencement of the contract period
2) Be recommended to the position by the department where the appointee would be assigned
3) Demonstrate a high level of professional and academic promise. Priority deadline is February 1
Full-time assistantships require an average of 20 hours of service per week and enrollment in at least 10, but not more than 14, credit hours per quarter, and a minimum grade point average of 3.0 each quarter. All graduate assistantship appointments are made through a formal written contract letter from the dean of Graduate Studies and Research. Assistantship award announcements are not made until sometime after April 15.
Interested persons should contact the Office of Graduate Studies and Research for assistantship applications and information at www.cwu.edu/~masters.
Financial aid is available through the university from federal and state funds for students demonstrating financial need. Applications for financial aid may be obtained from the Office of Financial Aid and should be submitted no later than March 15. Employment opportunities, both on and off campus, are typically available as well through the financial aid office.