May 22, 2024  
2020-2021 Undergraduate Catalog 
2020-2021 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]



General Information
Central Washington University (CWU) offers admission to qualified students as they apply. All applicants must submit a completed CWU application along with a non-refundable application processing fee or fee waiver.  Fee waivers must be uploaded with the application.  Acceptable fee waivers include: ACT/SAT (provided by a high school counselor), TRIO, Median Family Income (found on the first page of income tax return), and NACAC (signed by high school counselor).  

CWU has a rolling admission policy which means that students may submit an application for any quarter at any time before that quarter starts.   CWU has set the priority application date for fall quarter for first-year and transfer students as February 1. This coincides with the FAFSA priority deadline and is also the deadline to be considered for recruitment scholarships and the CWU General Scholarship Application.  Applicants that apply for fall quarter will be notified of an admissions decision within two to four weeks after all application materials are received. Applications received after February 1 will be processed on a space-available basis. For the most current information and admissions deadlines for other academic quarters, please visit 

For initial admission, applicants must meet minimum standards as established by the State of Washington. The Academic Affairs Committee may recommend more stringent standards as well as standards for automatic admission. Standards for initial admission will be established by the Academic Affairs Committee of the Faculty Senate in consultation with the Dean of Student Success and the Associate Vice President for Admissions and Enrollment. Adherence to established standards of admission will be monitored by the Academic Affairs Committee.

First-Year (Freshmen) Applicants
First-year applicants are students currently enrolled in high school or high school graduates who have earned fewer than 40 college credits after high school graduation, including Running Start and other college-level credits. 

CWU offers criteria-based admissions decisions for students with 3.0 or higher high school GPA and completion of College Academic Distribution Requirements (CADR).  See below for more information on CADR. For those who do not meet this criteria, CWU offers a comprehensive review process which takes into consideration: high school GPA, ACT or SAT scores, a personal statement, high school grade trends, and course rigor.   

Application processes vary depending on cumulative GPA as outlined below: 

  • Applicants with a 3.00 cumulative GPA or higher who have satisfied the State of Washington CADR requirements will be automatically admitted regardless of ACT or SAT scores.  Applicants must still submit ACT or SAT test scores for placement in English and Math courses at CWU.  A personal statement is not required.  
  • Applicants with a 2.50-2.99 cumulative GPA who have satisfied the CADR and have a composite ACT score of ≥ 19 or combined SAT score of ≥ 1050 (or > 550 for Math and English) will be automatically admitted. A personal statement is not required. 
  • Applicants with a 2.50-2.99 cumulative GPA who have satisfied the CADR and have a composite ACT score of < 19 or combined SAT score of < 1050 (or < 530 for Math or <560 for English) will be considered through CWU’s comprehensive review process. A personal statement may is required. 
  • Applicants with a cumulative GPA of 2.00-2.49 who have satisfied the CADR will be considered through CWU’s comprehensive review process. A personal statement is required. 

First-year applicants deficient in any of the CADR areas up to, but not exceeding 3 Distribution Requirements, may be considered through the alternate admissions standards (CWUP 5-90-020(6)). Students considered for admission through the alternate admissions standards will be subject to the comprehensive review process and are required to submit a personal statement. 

Official application materials must be received by the office of admission, including all high school and college transcripts, as well as ACT or SAT scores. 

At least a 2.00 cumulative GPA is required in all high school and any applicable college work.

College Academic Distribution Requirements (CADR)
CADR refers to college admission criteria established by the Washington Student Achievement Council (WSAC). Each school district determines which of its courses meet CADR guidelines. Students are encouraged to take additional courses above and beyond the minimum CADR requirements. 

  • English: 4 credits, including 3 credits of literature and composition. 
  • Math: 3 credits plus 1 credit of a senior year math-based quantitative course.  Acceptable courses include algebra I, algebra II, geometry, pre-calculus and above, math analysis, statistics, applied math, appropriate career and technical courses, or an algebra-based science course such as chemistry or physics. If you take and pass pre-calculus or math analysis of calculus prior to your senior year, you’re exempt from this requirement. 
  • Social Science: 3 credits.  Acceptable courses include world history, US history, anthropology, contemporary world problems, economics, geography, government, political science, psychology, sociology. 
  • Lab Science: 2 credits (one credit required in an algebra-based lab science). 
  • World Language: 2 credits of the same world language, Native American language or American Sign Language. 
  • Arts: 1 credit.  Acceptable courses include classes in fine, visual, or performing arts or 1 credit beyond the minimum in any other required CADR areas.

College Credit Earned While in High School 
Regardless of the number of college credits completed, or if an Associate Degree is earned, students earning college credit while in high school, including coursework taken during summer after graduation, will be considered freshmen (first-year) for admissions purposes. Running Start students and others with college credit are eligible for all freshmen scholarships and must live on campus for their first year. CWU accepts most college credit earned while in high school, including programs such as: 

  • Advanced Placement (AP) 
  • College in the High School 
  • College Level Examination Program (CLEP) 
  • CWU Cornerstone 
  • International Baccalaureate (IB) 
  • Running Start

Home-school Applicants 
A home-schooled student is any applicant who will complete their high school coursework at home and will not receive a diploma from an accredited high school. An applicant is qualified for freshman admission if they: 

  • Present evidence of their completion of the academic CADR courses by submitting an official home-school transcript. Transcripts must be signed by a parent or guardian in order to be official. 
  • Submit official ACT or SAT scores. 
  • Provide the GED as proof of high school completion. A GED is not required but may be submitted for eligibility for Federal Financial Aid and to participate in varsity athletics. 
  • Submit any official college transcripts (if applicable). Regardless of the number of college credits completed, students earning college credit in high school will be considered freshmen for admissions purposes as long as they do not take coursework after graduation from high school (excluding summer). 

All home-schooled students will be reviewed by the Admissions Review Process on an individual basis.

Transfer Applicants 
A transfer applicant is one who comes with 40 or more quarter credits (27 semester credits) from an accredited two-or four-year college or university. Credits earned at other institutions will be evaluated to determine if they will count toward a CWU degree. Transfer students must submit official copies of all college transcripts to the Office of Admissions. Applicants who have not earned a high school diploma may be offered admission to the university under the alternative admissions process outlined in CWUP 5-90-020(6)

Generally, transfer students who have completed at least 40 college-level transferable credits with at least a 2.0 cumulative GPA will be admissible.

Alternative Admissions 
Applicants who do not meet admission criteria may be considered for admission by the Admissions Review Committee through an alternative admissions pathway. Such applicants include, but are not limited to, applicants who have been home-schooled, persons who are 18 or older and have neither completed high school nor 40 credits of college work elsewhere but have earned the GED, applicants deemed deficient in high school course requirements, and applicants who are 25 or older who have poor academic histories and who have not attended school recently. Applicants considered through the alternative admissions pathway will be subject to the comprehensive review process and are required to submit a personal statement. Applicants without an associate degree must satisfy the foreign language admission requirement prior to completing a total of 135 credits.

International Students 
Central welcomes qualified students from other countries. Students demonstrating the greatest potential for success at the university level may be admitted after a thorough review and evaluation of their entire academic background. 
Because educational systems vary widely around the world, there is no single, uniform admission requirement for international students. International students must meet the following minimum requirements for admission purposes: 

1. Evidence of completion of the academic course work and national examinations that would qualify them to apply to colleges and universities in their native country. 

2. If English is not the first language, competency in English demonstrated in one of the following ways: 

a. Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) minimum score of 525 paper-based, 195 computer-based, and 71 internet-based. 

b. International English Language Testing System (IELTS) minimum score of 6.0. 

c. Completing two English department approved composition courses each with minimum grade of 2.0 or equivalent rating from a regionally accredited U.S. college, university, or an approved university partner. 

3. If English is the first language, the foreign language requirement for the Bachelor of Arts degree can be fulfilled by completing the basic skills foreign language requirement, passing the CLEP®, passing a foreign language course challenge exam, or obtaining approval from the Chair of World Languages. 

4. Applicants transferring from U.S. institutions must have a minimum grade point average in transferable courses as established by the Academic Affairs Committee or DTA associate degree from an accredited Washington State community college (or approved out-of-state associate degree). 

5. Adequate financial support for the student’s intended studies. Financial support will be judged based on applicant’s confidential financial statement and a current bank letter or guaranteed source of funding. 

6. If all of the above conditions are met, the student is recommended for admissions by the international admissions counselors, and the Office of International Studies and Programs may issue the INS certificate of eligibility for F-1 status (Form 1-20). 

(B) Exceptions to the above admissions requirements must be approved by the admissions review committee in consultation with the Director of International Studies and Programs. 

Students who originate from one of the following countries are considered to have met English Proficiency Standards: Australia, Ireland, New Zealand, United Kingdom, and English-speaking provinces of Canada. These students are exempt from furnishing proof of English proficiency documents. 

International Transfer students who are transferring from U.S. institutions must have a minimum grade point average of 2.5 in transferable college level courses and meet the academic requirements for college entrance in their native country. Though not required for admission purposes, adequate financial support, verified by the Confidential Financial Statement form and a current bank letter or scholarship award, is required of all international applicants. 

All supporting documents should be sent a minimum of 90 days in advance of the quarter for which the applicant seeks admission. 

Students who submit international college or university transcripts must have an official course-by-course translation. Evaluation may be done by university personnel or one of the following foreign credential evaluation companies: Foundation for International Services (FIS) Inc. at or World Education Services (WES) at

Re-admission of Former Students 
Students who interrupt their CWU studies for more than one quarter (excluding summer) must re-apply for admission to the university and pay the application fee. If the student has attended any institution during their absence from CWU, the student must send official transcripts of all post-CWU coursework to the Office of Admissions at the time they re-apply. Eligibility for re-admission will be based on prior academic performance at the university and any courses completed since last attending CWU. If a student left on academic or disciplinary suspension, they should contact the Dean of Student Success for reapplication instructions at least 30 days prior to the start of the quarter for which the student is applying. 

Confirmation of Admission 
Students who are offered admission to the university must confirm their intention to enroll by logging into MyCWU and using the Accept/Decline button in their Admissions Toolbox. This will begin the orientation, registration, and advising process. The university may withdraw an offer of admission for fall quarter if confirmation is not complete by May 1. Students who have not confirmed may be denied admission after that time if enrollment limits have been reached. Students who choose not to accept offers of admission should notify the Office of Admissions by emailing or use the Accept/Decline option in MyCWU. An offer of admission is only valid for the academic quarter indicated in the acceptance letter. A student who chooses not to accept an offer of admission may reapply for a subsequent quarter. 

Withdrawal of Offer of Admission 
Offers of admission may be withdrawn by the Office of Admissions if a student’s academic work between the time of application and the quarter for which the student has applied results in the student not meeting the admissions criteria or other university standards. 

Non-matriculated Student Application 
Students who are not seeking degrees or certificates may be allowed to enroll in courses as non-matriculated students. These students do not need to go through the regular admissions process but should apply through Registrar Services by completing the Non-Matriculated Application form. Non-matriculated students register during open enrollment a space-available basis. Credits earned as a non-matriculated student may not be used to satisfy degree or certificate requirements unless the student applies and is accepted as a matriculated student, in which case a maximum of 45 credits may be applied. Exceptions may be made for non-matriculated students in collaborative certificate programs. 

Students who have previously attended CWU as matriculated students and have not obtained a degree, or students who have applied and been rejected for undergraduate matriculated status will not be allowed to enroll as non-matriculated students. Non-matriculated students are not eligible for most financial aid, veteran’s benefits, or other services regularly provided for matriculated students. 

High School Enrichment Program 
Students who have not yet graduated from high school may be allowed to enroll as non-matriculated students for courses that they need to advance academically, provided that such academic opportunities are not readily available to them elsewhere. 

To be eligible for the High School Enrichment Program, students must have demonstrated superior academic performance or preparation in the area of study for which they are applying. High School Enrichment Program applicants must submit official copies of their high school transcript. Some courses may require that the student submit ACT, SAT, or COMPASS scores in order to qualify for placement into those courses. In addition, they must complete the High School Enrichment application that is available from Registrar Services, and obtain the approval of their high school principal, the course instructor, and Registrar. Regular tuition and fees apply. For further information, please call 509-963-3001 or e-mail