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400 East University Way
Ellensburg, WA 98926-7501
p. 509-963-1111
w. www.cwu.edu

Central Washington University

Central Washington University Rating: 4.1/5 (16 votes)

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Introduction

For students looking for a college experience in the Pacific Northwest, Central Washington University offers a good range of academic programs in a rural setting. Located in a small town in Washington state, the pioneer spirit remains an integral part of the character of the university. In addition to the main campus, the university also has University Centers at eight other locations, offering a variety of programs to students in those communities.

The university was founded in 1891 as the Washington State Normal School. The campus was located in Ellensburg as a consolation prize to the city, which lost its attempt to be the state capital of Washington state.

Academics

Academic paths include 150 undergraduate degrees and 27 master’s degree programs. The university was founded as a teacher education facility, and the education program remains an integral part of the university’s mission. Programs are divided into a college of arts and humanities, college of business, college of education and professional studies, college of the sciences, continuing education, undergraduate studies, graduate studies, science honors research program and the William O. Douglas Honors College.

Popular Majors

Business and education are the two most popular majors. The university also has a well-regarded construction management program. The university has a number of research programs. The university has one of the only two research facilities for communications between chimpanzees and humans and was home to the famous chimp Washoe for more than 20 years. All research is purely sociological, no medical research or testing is done on the chimps.

Honors Program

The university also has a well-regarded science honors research program that allows students to develop self-directed research programs. Participation in the program is seen as a leg up into a science-related career, as in recent years students have co-authored a number of scholarly articles in professional publications and presented research at several conferences.

Class Size

Students may have to attend large classes. The faculty to student ratio is 21 to 1 and less than 40 percent of the classes have less than 20 students.

Accreditation

The university is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities, which accredits schools in of Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, and Washington. The NWCCU accredits more than 150 colleges and universities in the region.  

Most Popular Fields of Study

Admissions

Admissions are selective. CWU has an admissions index which weighs information submitted by applicants. The index takes into consideration GPA and ACT and SAT scores. New students who score below a certain level on the index may have to submit an essay and meet other requirements for admission.

The deadline to submit an application for fall quarter is April 1, winter quarter is Nov. 1, spring quarter is March 1 and summer quarter is June 1. Transfer students typically must submit ACT and SAT scores and their college transcripts. Students with less than a 2.5 GPA may undergo a comprehensive transfer application review.

Financial Aid

Students are eligible for federal grants and student loans. There are also a number of grants and scholarships offered by the state of Washington, the university and other organizations that students may be eligible for.

For example, the university offers a Heacock Family Scholarship for Women in Technology that awards $1,000 to female students majoring in mechanical engineering technology, electronics engineering technology or industrial education. The university also partners with Scholarship America in the Dollars for Scholars Program, which matches up to $250 of a student’s award from the Dollars for Scholars program.

The university also offers a merit tuition program to students with a demonstrable financial need who score a 45 or higher on the admission index and who have a 3.5 high school GPA. The program awards up to $2,700 per term and students must maintain a 2.5 GPA per term to keep the scholarship.

The university’s Web site has an exhaustive list of the scholarship opportunities provided by the school and outside sources, including information on how to apply for the scholarships. The office of financial aid also stands ready to help students find other grants and scholarships they may be eligible for.

Student Financial Aid Details

Ranks 4301st for the average student loan amount.
Secrets to getting the best scholarships and financial aid in Washington.

Students

About a third of the university’s 10,000 students live in on-campus housing. The student body is split pretty evenly among women and men, with women making up little more than half the student body.

There are nearly 100 clubs and organizations for students. These include professional and academic organizations, as well as special interest groups such as the Rodeo Club. Club sports are also offered at the university and rugby has become a student favorite, with the rugby team winning several intercollegiate games.There are no Greek fraternities or sororities.

The university’s student union is the heart of student activities. This $58 million facility houses a variety of university shops, eateries and activities. The campus also features a recreation center, an 80,000 sq. ft. facility that offers students a variety of exercise and recreation options. Students visiting the recreation center can take advantage of indoor climbing, strength training, fitness classes and a variety of other activities.

Another popular student activity is the campus radio station, KCWU. From relatively humble beginnings, the campus radio station has evolved into a well-run and well-equipped broadcast station. The student newspaper is called The Observer.

The university’s theatre program is well-respected, and the university hosts a Summer Institute for Theatre Arts that draws theatre educators from throughout the nation each year.

Student Enrollment Demographics

Student Graduation Demographics

Athletics

The athletic department fields teams in men’s baseball, basketball, football, cross country, track and field and women’s basketball, volleyball, cross country, track and field and soccer. It is an NCAA Division II school and is a member of the Great Northwest Athletic Conference Championship. The teams are nicknamed the Wildcats. The school’s colors are red and black.

Traditions

The yearly rodeo in Ellensburg has become something of a university tradition, with the university cooperating closely with the city of Ellenburg. Tickets are often tough to come by, as the event is extremely popular with the residents of Ellenburg and students at the university.

Local Community

Given their location in a small town, students don’t have all the distractions that their fellow students in big city colleges and universities have, but there are a variety of entertainment options on campus for students.

Ellensburg is a small city in rural Washington state. The city has a small, yet thriving local music community and the city hosts an annual Jazz in the Valley Music Festival each July. The town is also host to an annual rodeo competition each Labor Day weekend. Also, despite the small size of Ellensburg, the university can draw big names for concerts and other events. Recent guests at the university include Kathy Griffin, Ben Folds and Jim Gaffigan.

Alumni

Notable alumni include Roland Wheeler, inventor of the Bowflex; Craig T. Nelson, actor in the TV series Coach; astronaut Dorothy M. Metcalf-Linderburger; and NFL quarterback Jon Kitna.

Information Summary

Ranks 18th in Washington and 865th overall
See the entire top 2,000 colleges and universities list

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College Building :: Central Washington University College Campus :: Central Washington University CWU undergraduate student involved in microbiological field research at Soap Lake :: Central Washington University Central Theatre Ensemble :: Central Washington University Central Theatre Ensemble - Urinetown :: Central Washington University Central Theatre Ensemble :: Central Washington University

Campus Crime Statistics

Ranks 0th in Washington and 491st overall on StateUniversity.com‘s Safe School Index
  Incidents per 100 Students
Aggravated assault 3 0.03
Murder & Non-Negligent Manslaughter N/A N/A
Rape 4 0.04
Robbery 2 0.02
Arson 1 0.01
Burglary 17 0.15
Larceny N/A N/A
Vehicle theft 3 0.03
Arrest 52 0.46

Local Crime Statistics

  Incidents per 100 People
Aggravated assault 14 0.08
Murder & Non-Negligent Manslaughter 1 0.01
Forcible Rape 8 0.04
Robbery 6 0.03
Arson N/A N/A
Burglary 153 0.83
Larceny 580 3.14
Vehicle theft 38 0.21

Demographics – Main Campus and Surrounding Areas

Reported area around or near Ellensburg, WA 98926-7501
Surrounding communityDistant town (between 10 to 35 mi. away from an urban cluster)
Total Population24,800 (16,675 urban / 8,125 rural)
Households9,749 (2.32 people per house)
Median Household Income$30,198
Families5,382 (2.93 people per family)

Carnegie Foundation Classification

Master's Colleges and Universities (medium programs)
UndergraduateProfessions plus arts & sciences, some graduate coexistence
GraduatePostbaccalaureate comprehensive
Undergraduate PopulationFull-time four-year, selective, lower transfer-in
EnrollmentVery high undergraduate
Size & SettingMedium four-year, primarily residential

General Characteristics

Title IV EligibilityParticipates in Title IV federal financial aid programs
Highest offeringPost-master's certificate
Calendar SystemQuarter
Years of college work requiredN/A
Variable Tuition
Religious AffiliationN/A
Congressional District5308

Special Learning Opportunities

Distance LearningN/A
ROTC — Army / Navy / Air Force  —   /   / 
Study Abroad
Weekend College
Teacher Certification

Student Tuition Costs and Fees


Ranks 980th for total cost of attendance
  In District In State Out of State
Effective as of 2014-09-19
FT Undergraduate Tuition $7,941 $7,941 $19,467
FT Undergraduate Required Fees $1,035 $1,035 $1,035
PT Undergraduate per Credit Hour $265 $265 $649
FT Graduate Tuition $8,874 $8,874 $19,851
FT Graduate Required Fees $1,035 $1,035 $1,035
PT Graduate per Credit Hour $296 $296 $662
Total Cost of Attendance — On-Campus $22,785 $22,785 $34,695
Total Cost of Attendance — Off-Campus w/out Family $22,785 $22,785 $34,695
Total Cost of Attendance — Off-Campus with Family $12,990 $12,990 $24,900

Student Tuition Cost History and Trends

Prior year cost comparison
  In District In State Out of State
Published Tuition & Fees $7,827 $8,925 $7,827 $8,925 $18,597 $19,557
  Cost (regardless of residency)
Effective as of 2014-09-19
Books & Supplies $972 $1,002
On-Campus – Room & Board $9,000 $9,200
On-Campus – Other Expenses $2,928 $3,012
Off-Campus w/out Family – Room & Board $9,000 $9,200
Off-Campus w/out Family – Other Expenses $2,928 $3,012
Off-Campus with Family – Room & Board $2,928 $3,012

Admission Details

Effective as of 2014-09-19
Application Fee RequiredN/A
Undergraduate Application Fee$50
Graduate Application Fee$50
First Professional Application FeeN/A
Applicants 4,507 (2,077 male / 2,430 female)
Admitted 3,703 (1,644 male / 2,059 female)
Admission rate 82%
First-time Enrollment 1,502 (716 male / 786 female)
FT Enrollment 1,482 (706 male / 776 female)
PT Enrollment 20 (10 male / 10 female)
Total Enrollment11,287

Admission Criteria

 = Required,   = Recommended,   = Neither required nor recommended
Open Admissions
Secondary School GPA / Rank / Record  /  N/A / 
College Prep. Completion
Recommendations
Formal competency demo
Admission test scores
TOEFL
Other testsN/A

Admission Credits Accepted

Dual Credit
Life Experience
Advanced Placement (AP)

Athletics - Association Memberships

Sports / Athletic Conference Memberships NCAA
NCAA Football Conference Great Northwest Athletic Conference
NCAA Basketball Conference Great Northwest Athletic Conference
NCAA Baseball Conference Great Northwest Athletic Conference
NCAA Track & Field Conference Great Northwest Athletic Conference

ACT Test Admission

1064th for 75pctl scores
Applicants submitting ACT results 23%
Verbal scores (25/75 %ile) 16 / 23
Math scores (25/75 %ile) 17 / 23
Cumulative scores (25/75 %ile) 18 / 23

SAT Test Admission

866th for 75pctl scores
Applicants submitting SAT results 87%
Verbal scores (25/75 %ile) 430 / 550
Math scores (25/75 %ile) 450 / 550
Cumulative scores (25/75 %ile) 880 / 1100

Student Services

Remedial Services
Academic / Career Counseling
PT Cost-defraying Employment
Career Placement
On-Campus Day Care
Library Facility

Student Living

First-time Room / Board Required
Dorm Capacity2,656
Meals per WeekN/A
Room Fee$4,497
Board Fee$5,298

Student Completion / Graduation Demographics

 
Total 46 86 220 195 17 2,011 178 2,896
Accounting 4 6 7 42 83 9 153
Acting
Aeronautics/Aviation/Aerospace Science and Technology, General 1 6 9
Airline/Commercial/Professional Pilot and Flight Crew 1 15 16
Anthropology 2 32 2 36
Apparel and Textile Marketing Management 2 2
Applied Mathematics, Other 2 1 7 2 13
Art Teacher Education 4 4
Art/Art Studies, General 1 12 2 17
Asian Studies/Civilization
Aviation/Airway Management and Operations 1 5 3 9
Behavioral Sciences 1 11 1 14
Biological and Physical Sciences
Biology Teacher Education 1 1
Biology/Biological Sciences, General 2 1 8 4 63 2 84
Broadcast Journalism
Business Administration and Management, General 16 11 14 55 1 164 19 301
Business Administration, Management and Operations, Other
Business/Office Automation/Technology/Data Entry
Chemistry Teacher Education 1 1
Chemistry, General 2 5 11 2 21
Chinese Language and Literature
Cinematography and Film/Video Production
Communication, General 1 1 2 17 2 25
Computational Science
Computer Science 1 12 1 14
Computer and Information Sciences and Support Services, Other
Conducting
Construction Engineering Technology/Technician
Construction Management 2 17 2 22
Corrections
Counseling Psychology 2 12 14
Counselor Education/School Counseling and Guidance Services
Criminal Justice/Police Science
Criminal Justice/Safety Studies 9 21 10 139 13 203
Culinary Arts and Related Services, Other 2 1 1 20 3 29
Dietetics/Dietitian
Digital Communication and Media/Multimedia
Drama and Dance Teacher Education 9 2 11
Drama and Dramatics/Theatre Arts, General 1 4 19 1 27
Early Childhood Education and Teaching 3 2 3 1 9
Earth Science Teacher Education
Economics, General 1 9 1 11
Education, General 1 1 15 19
Educational Leadership and Administration, General 9 10
Electrical, Electronic and Communications Engineering Technology/Technician 1 2 5 7 1 16
Elementary Education and Teaching 6 21 2 1 191 21 252
Emergency Medical Technology/Technician (EMT Paramedic) 1 14 1 17
Engineering Technology, General 1 7 6 1 16
English Language and Literature, General 2 1 1 42 3 51
English/Language Arts Teacher Education 1 8 10
Environmental Science
Environmental Studies 1 17 1 20
Exercise Physiology 1 1 7 1 44 1 58
Experimental Psychology 1 3 1 1 11 1 18
Family Systems 1 18 1 22
Family and Consumer Sciences/Home Economics Teacher Education 1 2
Family and Consumer Sciences/Human Sciences, General 20 21
Family and Consumer Sciences/Human Sciences, Other
Fashion Merchandising 1 3 8 13
Film/Cinema/Video Studies 1 1 12 14
Fine/Studio Arts, General 1 3 3 24 34
Foodservice Systems Administration/Management 2 3
Foreign Languages and Literatures, General 11 12
French Language and Literature
Geographic Information Science and Cartography 1 3 1 6
Geography 2 1 21 1 27
Geological and Earth Sciences/Geosciences, Other 4 4
Geology/Earth Science, General 1 17 2 20
German Language and Literature
Gerontology
Graphic Design
Health Teacher Education
Health and Physical Education/Fitness, General 4 14 18
Higher Education/Higher Education Administration
History Teacher Education 1 6 3 10
History, General 2 33 3 38
Human Nutrition
Human Services, General 2 2 1 10 4 19
Industrial Production Technologies/Technicians, Other
Industrial Technology/Technician 1 6 1 8
Information Technology 2 2 5 7 2 84 8 118
Japanese Language and Literature
Jazz/Jazz Studies
Journalism 2 1 13 3 20
Keyboard Instruments 1 1
Kinesiology and Exercise Science 3 3 1 2 35 2 50
Legal Studies, General
Logistics, Materials, and Supply Chain Management
Manufacturing Engineering Technology/Technician
Mass Communication/Media Studies 1 1
Mathematics Teacher Education 17 2 19
Mathematics, General 1 4 6
Mechanical Engineering/Mechanical Technology/Technician 3 1 12 2 19
Metal and Jewelry Arts
Multi-/Interdisciplinary Studies, Other 1 1 15 2 19 2 43
Music Pedagogy
Music Performance, General 8 8
Music Teacher Education 1 2 1 18 1 25
Music Theory and Composition 1 1
Music, General 1 2 2 2 18 3 29
Musical Theatre
Natural Resources Management and Policy
Nutrition Sciences 1 5 1 36 2 46
Occupational Safety and Health Technology/Technician 1 3 2 22 1 29
Pacific Area/Pacific Rim Studies 2 1 3
Painting
Parks, Recreation and Leisure Facilities Management, General 1 1 4 28 1 39
Percussion Instruments 2 1 3
Philosophy and Religious Studies, General 1 11 14
Physical Education Teaching and Coaching 3 1 18 23
Physics, General 2 10 13
Political Science and Government, General 1 7 3 20 2 33
Pre-Law Studies
Pre-Nursing Studies
Professional, Technical, Business, and Scientific Writing
Psychology, General 7 11 6 1 86 5 122
Public Health Education and Promotion
Public Health, General 2 2 37 2 46
Public Policy Analysis, General 1 3 4
Public Relations, Advertising, and Applied Communication 1 1
Public Relations/Image Management 2 4 3 1 33 5 53
Reading Teacher Education
Retail Management
Russian Language and Literature
School Psychology 2 1 8 11
Science Teacher Education/General Science Teacher Education 2 2
Social Sciences, General 10 24 7 1 112 11 170
Sociology 3 7 1 52 5 74
Spanish Language Teacher Education 2 1 2 5
Spanish Language and Literature 6 12 1 19
Special Education and Teaching, General 6 6
Special Products Marketing Operations 11 1 12
Sport and Fitness Administration/Management
Stringed Instruments 8 2 10
System, Networking, and LAN/WAN Management/Manager
Teacher Education and Professional Development, Specific Levels and Methods, Other
Teaching English as a Second or Foreign Language/ESL Language Instructor 4 1 6
Technical Teacher Education
Technical Theatre/Theatre Design and Technology
Tourism and Travel Services Management
Trade and Industrial Teacher Education 3 3
Voice and Opera
Web Page, Digital/Multimedia and Information Resources Design
Wine Steward/Sommelier 1 4 5

Faculty Compensation / Salaries

Ranks 1610th for the average full-time faculty salary.
Effective as of 2014-09-20
Tenure system N/A
Average FT Salary $66,756 ($69,693 male / $59,653 female)
Number of FT Faculty 453 (261 male / 192 female)
Number of PT Faculty 669
FT Faculty Ratio 0.7 : 1
Total Benefits $15,656,874
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Elisabeth Bailey+

Elisabeth Bailey is a freelance writer and editor with particular interests in academics, food,and sustainability . She is also the author of A Taste of the Maritimes: Local, Seasonal Recipes the Whole Year Round and writes regularly for Canadian Farmers’ Almanac and the National Wildlife Federation. Elisabeth and her family live and enjoy great local food in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia.

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