Jun 20, 2024  
2024-2025 University Catalog 
2024-2025 University Catalog

About Central


Ever since Central Washington University was founded in 1891, we have prepared students to excel in the workplace and become effective contributors in society. Over the past 133 years, CWU - originally named the Washington State Normal School - has consistently sought to redefine and advance higher education in the state of Washington, while focusing on making post-secondary degrees accessible to all, regardless of race, ethnicity, or socioeconomic status.

Our success is based on creating a diverse, inclusive, and welcoming environment through hands-on academic programs that prepare our students for the real world; cultivating and sustaining an award-winning faculty; and delivering an affordable education that offers significant return on investment for our graduates. By focusing on these Core Values and constantly working to improve our product, CWU offers one of the best returns on investment among higher education institutions in the Northwest, if not the country.


Central Washington University will be a model learning community of equity and belonging.


In order to build a community of equity and belonging, Central Washington University nurtures culturally sustaining practices that expand access and success to all students. We are committed to fostering high-impact practices, sustainability, and authentic community partnerships that are grounded in meaningful relationships.

Core Values

Central Washington University is committed to advancing societal growth through the essential activities of teaching, discovery, and service. None of these core elements can be achieved in isolation from the others, but when combined, they contribute to making the world a better place for everyone.

As we work to elevate individuals and communities, the faculty and staff at CWU know that we must prioritize our efforts in relation to our Vision, Mission, and Core Values. While seeking to maximize the value of each element of our Mission, CWU goes out of our way to emphasize the integration of scholarship, teaching, and public service.

As a public comprehensive university, CWU strives to create a learning environment that prioritizes teaching, learning, and student success. The faculty is comprised of scholar-teachers who are committed to the interests of their students, their disciplines, and the region. This altruistic approach by CWU faculty and staff encourages individualized programs geared toward student success. By keeping the needs of our students and the broader community top of mind, we promote undergraduate and graduate student-faculty partnerships that are geared toward discovery, creative expression, and engaged learning.

Along these same lines, CWU understands that we must create a campus environment that promotes reasoned, civil, and enlightened discourse and creative expression without fear of reprisal, ridicule, or exclusion. We are dedicated to the principles of academic freedom, and our primary focus is to provide an educational environment that empowers each person with the freedom to explore, evaluate, and learn in ways that suit their individual needs.

Central takes pride in being a place where people from a wide variety of backgrounds and cultures gather. This means that our campus must do whatever it takes to enable all individuals to grow and prosper as they seek to identify their true selves. In keeping with the academic values of shared governance and reasoned dialogue, the university aims to be open, transparent, and empowering above all.

This philosophy guides everyone in the Wildcat community, from students, staff, faculty, and administrators. Everyone here agrees that we must adhere to these shared values:

Unifying Value: Student Success

The success of our students is the measure of everything we do here at CWU. To that end, we must create pathways for students of all backgrounds to reach their academic and professional goals, expand upon our culturally sustaining practices, and invest in our students’ holistic well-being.

  • Goal #1: Develop clear pathways into and through the university to ensure equitable access to higher education, enhance student engagement and success, and improve retention and graduation rates.
  • Goal #2: Elevate culturally sustaining practices so that the cultural wealth that historically excluded students, faculty, and staff bring to our university community is integrated into the learning environment.
  • Goal # 3: Elevate the holistic well-being of our students.

Core Value #1: Engagement

We can’t do this alone. The success of our students depends on our ability to nurture lasting relationships with our partners across Washington state, the Pacific Northwest, and beyond.

  • Goal #1: Amplify and elevate CWU’s relationship with local and regional communities.
  • Goal #2: Partner with businesses, nonprofits, governmental agencies, tribal agencies, and other entities, as well as individuals, to increase opportunities for students.

Core Value #2: Belonging

We believe that diversity is strength, and that in order for CWU to truly serve our students, those students must be made to feel welcome, accepted, and seen. CWU is a university for everyone, from every walk of life.

  • Goal #1: Establish hiring, onboarding, and evaluation processes that nurture a culture of inclusion for all employees, with a focus on increasing the number of employees from historically excluded groups.
  • Goal #2: Become a Hispanic Service Institution (HSI).
  • Goal #3: Cultivate an inclusive and welcoming campus culture that embraces diversity, and that fosters a sense of belonging for all students, faculty, and staff, and also instills pride in the university.

Core Value #3: Stewardship

At CWU, we take care of the land, along with the people who live and work here. We advance environmental, social, and economic sustainability, work to honor the Indigenous peoples who have resided here since time immemorial and who continue to reside in our region. We also understand the intrinsic value of investing in our faculty and staff through professional development opportunities and mentoring.

  • Goal #1: Promote sustainable practices and responsible stewardship of land and resources to support an ecologically healthy and socially just world, while respecting and honoring Indigenous peoples.
  • Goal #2: Elevate shared governance and collaboration across the university and advance professional development and leadership opportunities that demonstrate the value of our human resources and that build a strong, united university community.
  • Goal #3: Implement values-based budgeting to ensure the efficient and effective use of fiscal resources and the long-term fiscal sustainability of the university.

Equal Opportunity Policies

CWU’s policies and practices affirm and actively promote the rights of all individuals to equal opportunity in education and employment without regard to their race, ethnicity, color, creed, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression, age, marital status, disability, genetic information, or status as protected veterans. The university administers an affirmative action program for employment purposes and complies with applicable federal, state, and local laws, regulations, and executive orders. Policy statements on affirmative action, gender equity, and sexual harassment, as well as discrimination complaint and resolution policy and procedures available at https://www.cwu.edu/about/policies-procedures/index.php.

The person responsible for institutional compliance with most federal and state discrimination laws and institutional policies is John MacArthur, Director of Civil Rights Compliance and Title IX Coordinator. He also serves as the university’s ADA Compliance Officer. He may be reached at 509-963-2031 or John.MacArthur2@cwu.edu. Contact Civil Rights Compliance and Title IX with any questions or concerns related to civil rights and/or disability-related laws and institutional policies, 509-963-2031 or John.MacArthur2@cwu.edu. Office of Civil Rights Compliance and Title IX is in Barge Hall, Second Floor, Suite 202.


Central Washington University is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU). Some programs have been accredited by specialized accrediting and certification associations, including:

WTB Catalog Statements

Catalog certified as true and correct for content and policy. Ruben Cardenas, CWU Veterans Director

Selected programs of study at Central Washington University are approved by the Workforce Training and Education Coordinating Board’s State Approving Agency (WTECB/SAA) for enrollment of those eligible to receive benefits under Title 38 and Title 10, USC.

Central Washington University does not and will not provide any commission, bonus, or other incentive payment based directly or indirectly on success in securing enrollment or financial aid to any persons or entities engaged in any student recruiting or admissions activities or in making decisions regarding the award of student financial assistance.

Schools should limit student enrollment to 85% veteran enrollment for each separately approved educational or vocational objective. In the event that a veteran wishes to enroll in a program that has already reached the 85% cap, he or she may do that but will not be eligible for VA funding. Chapter 35 and 31 students may still enroll even if the 85 percent has been realized.