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Application and Admission to Graduate Study
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 associate vice president of Graduate Studies, Research and Continuing Education, the ability to successfully complete a master’s degree. Also, the applicant must have achieved at least a 3.0 (B) average in all course work 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.
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In addition to the above requirements, all international applicants must complete the Application of International Students, obtainable from the Office of Admissions. 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, 79 Internet-based (213 computer-based). Scores should be no more than two years old at the time of application, or b) a baccalaureate degree from an accredited U.S. university or an accredited international university where the main language of instruction is English.
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.
CWU welcomes applications from all those who meet our minimum requirements for admission. To apply, visit our Web site at http://www.cwu.edu and click on the admissions link or obtain a set of our application materials from the
Office of Admissions
Central Washington University
400 East University Way
Ellensburg, Washington 98926-7463
Telephone: (509) 963-3001
Fax: (509) 963-3022
A completed application file consists of the following materials received by the Office of Graduate Studies, Research and Continuing Education:
- A completed application for graduate admission.
- A written statement of educational and professional objectives.
- Three (3) 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, Research and Continuing Education. If you prefer to pay by credit card, you may telephone the Cashiers office with this information (509-963-2224) to make payment. Cash transactions should be made in person at the Cashiers office, Barge Hall 104.
The priority deadlines for submitting all application materials are as follows:
March 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
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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 Admissions office 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
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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. Applicants must 1) be fully admitted to a master’s degree program with at least 10 credits at the commencement of the contract period; 2) be recommended to the position by the department where the appointee would be assigned; and 3) demonstrate a high level of professional and academic promise.
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. 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 or at www.cwu.edu/~masters.
Financial aid is also 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 1. Employment opportunities, both on and off campus, are typically available as well through the Financial Aid Office.