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Central Washington University

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Central Washington University Overview

Central Washington University is a public institution located in Ellensburg, Washington. The location of CWU is a good match for students who are interested in living in a college town while they pursue their degree.

What Is Central Washington University Known For?

2,844 Undergraduate Awards
$30,374 Avg Cost After Aid
86% Acceptance Rate
  • The post-master's certificate is the highest award offered at CWU.
  • In 2017-2018, 72% of the faculty were full-time.
  • After graduation, CWU bachelor's degree recipients go on to jobs where they make $46,500 a year. That's about 14% more than their peers at other schools.

Best Schools

Central Washington University Rankings

CWU is ranked #7 out of 41 schools in Washington.

These rankings may look different from those published by other outlets, because we use an outcomes-based approach rather than a subjective one. We get our data from a number of places, including the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) and the College Scorecard. For more information, check out our rankings and methodology page.

CWU has been awarded the following overall awards by our latest rankings.

Rank Ranking Name Share
#106 Most Popular Online Bachelor’s Degree Schools Tweet It - Post It
#196 Most Popular Bachelor’s Degree Schools Tweet It - Post It

Program Level Awards

These are highlights of some of the most noteworthy awards granted to specific programs at CWU.

Rank Ranking Name Share
#1 Best Natural Resources Conservation (Other) Master’s Degree Schools Tweet It - Post It
#2 Best Quality Control Technology Bachelor’s Degree Schools Tweet It - Post It
#6 Best Special Education Bachelor’s Degree Schools Tweet It - Post It
#14 Best General Education Bachelor’s Degree Schools Tweet It - Post It
#35 Best Parks, Recreation, Leisure, & Fitness Studies Bachelor’s Degree Schools Tweet It - Post It
#37 Best Teacher Education Grade Specific Bachelor’s Degree Schools Tweet It - Post It
#43 Best Education Bachelor’s Degree Schools Tweet It - Post It
#65 Best Homeland Security, Law Enforcement & Firefighting Bachelor’s Degree Schools Tweet It - Post It
#65 Best Criminal Justice & Corrections Bachelor’s Degree Schools Tweet It - Post It
#135 Best Psychology Bachelor’s Degree Schools Tweet It - Post It

Awards From Around the Web

The following table lists some notable awards CWU has earned from around the web.

Rank Ranking Name Source
#12 Best Teacher Education Subject Specific Colleges for Veterans College Factual
#18 Best Teacher Education Grade Specific Colleges for Veterans College Factual
#20 Best Education Colleges for Veterans College Factual
#51 Best Parks, Recreation, Leisure, & Fitness Studies Colleges for Veterans College Factual
#54 Best Teaching Schools Teaching Degree Search
#78 Best Colleges for Education College Factual

Where Is Central Washington University?

Location of Central Washington University

Contact details for CWU are given below.

Contact Details
Address: 400 East University Way, Ellensburg, WA 98926-7501
Phone: 509-963-1111
Website: www.cwu.edu
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/cwu.wildcats
Twitter: http://twitter.com/CentralWashU

How Do I Get Into CWU?

You can apply to CWU online at: www.cwu.edu/admissions/online-admissions

Admission Requirements for CWU

Submission Required?
High School GPA required
High School Rank neither required nor recommended
High School Transcript recommended
College Prep Program required
Recommendations recommended
SAT or ACT Scores required
TOEFL required

How Hard Is It To Get Into CWU?

86% Acceptance Rate
56% Of Accepted Are Women
97% Submit SAT Scores
CWU has the high acceptance rate of 86%, which means it is fairly easy to gain admittance as long as you submit a complete application with requested materials.

Approximately 44% of accepted students are men and 56% are women. The acceptance rate for men is 85%, and the acceptance rate for women is 87%.

Average Test Scores

About 97% of students accepted to CWU submitted their SAT scores. When looking at the 25th through the 75th percentile, SAT Evidence-Based Reading and Writing scores ranged between 430 and 530. Math scores were between 480 and 570.

SAT Reading and Writing Scores for Central Washington University  ( 430 to 530 )
200
800

SAT Math Scores for Central Washington University  ( 480 to 570 )
200
800
CWU received ACT scores from 20% of accepted students. When looking at the 25th through the 75th percentile, ACT English scores ranged between 15 and 23. Math scores were between 17 and 24. Composite scores were between 17 and 24.

ACT English Scores for Central Washington University  ( 15 to 23 )
1
36
ACT Math Scores for Central Washington University  ( 17 to 24 )
1
36
ACT Composite Scores for Central Washington University  ( 17 to 24 )
1
36

Can I Afford Central Washington University?

$30,374 Net Price
59% Take Out Loans
5.8% Loan Default Rate
The overall average net price of CWU is $30,374. The affordability of the school largely depends on your financial need since net price varies by income group.

The net price is calculated by adding tuition, room, board and other costs and subtracting financial aid.

Student Loan Debt

While almost two-thirds of students nationwide take out loans to pay for college, the percentage may be quite different for the school you plan on attending. At CWU, approximately 59% of students took out student loans averaging $6,019 a year. That adds up to $24,076 over four years for those students.

The student loan default rate at CWU is 5.8%. This is significantly lower than the national default rate of 10.1%, which is a good sign that you'll be able to pay back your student loans.

Central Washington University Undergraduate Student Diversity

9,977 Full-Time Undergraduates
52% Women
35% Racial-Ethnic Minorities*
There are 11,111 undergraduate students at CWU, with 9,977 being full-time and 1,134 being part-time.

 Full-Time vs. Part-Time Undergraduate Students at  CWU

There are also 547 graduate students at the school.

Gender Diversity

Of the 9,977 full-time undergraduates at CWU, 48% are male and 52% are female.

Undergraduate Student Gender Diversity at  CWU

Racial-Ethnic Diversity

The racial-ethnic breakdown of Central Washington University students is as follows.

Racial-Ethnic Diversity of CWU Undergraduate Students
Race/Ethnicity Number of Grads
Asian 417
Black or African American 387
Hispanic or Latino 1,739
White 5,059
International Students 299
Other Races/Ethnicities 2,076

Geographic Diversity

Washington students aren't the only ones who study at Central Washington University. At this time, 20 states are represented by the student population at the school.

Over 56 countries are represented at CWU. The most popular countries sending students to the school are Japan, Saudi Arabia, and Vietnam.

Online Learning at Central Washington University

3,180 Took All Classes Online
11,052 Took At Least One Class Online
23.3% Avg Growth Over 4 Years
There are 25 bachelor’s degree and 17 master’s degree programs available online at CWU. In 2017-2018, 11,052 students took at least one online class at the school.

The following chart shows how the online learning population at CWU has changed over the last few years.

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This school is the 4th most popular in Washington for online learning according to the online graduations recorded by the Department of Education for the academic year 2017-2018.

Online Growth Rankings of CWU

The average growth rate over the last four years of online students at Central Washington University was 23.3%. This is the #816 largest growth rate of all schools that are only partially online. This refers to all students at CWU regardless of major.

The following table shows the 1-year growth rate of CWU majors that offer at least one online course. This table only includes majors with positive growth.

Major 1-Year Growth Rate
Business Administration & Management 6%
Computer & Information Sciences 7%
Computer Information Systems 10%
Education 22%
Educational Administration 46%
Engineering Technologies 8%
General Education 33%
General English Literature 15%
General Psychology 4%
Health & Physical Education 2%
Health Professions 2%
Information Technology 17%
Other Multi/Interdisciplinary Studies 17%
Parks, Recreation, Leisure, & Fitness Studies 3%
Public Health 38%
Sociology 18%
Teacher Education Subject Specific 16%

The table below shows how the average growth rate over 4 years at CWU ranks compared to all other partially online schools that offer a specific major. Note that the majors may or may not be offered online at CWU.

Major Growth Rate Rank
Transportation & Materials Moving #2
Air Transportation #2
Sociology #8
General English Literature #11
General Social Sciences #12
Human Services #15
Writing Studies #16
Allied Health Professions #26
English Language & Literature #26
Health & Physical Education #29
Parks, Recreation, Leisure, & Fitness Studies #31
Social Sciences #41
Computer Information Systems #42
General Psychology #43
Teacher Education Subject Specific #43
Special Education #43
Public Administration & Social Service #54
Psychology #62
Educational Administration #65
Computer & Information Sciences #87
Criminal Justice & Corrections #99
Homeland Security, Law Enforcement & Firefighting #108
Education #176
Health Professions #249

When we speak of partially online, we are referring to schools whose online population is less than 50% of its total student body. Mostly online refers to those with online populations greater than or equal to 50%.

Central Washington University Undergraduate Concentrations

The table below shows the number of awards for each concentration.

Major Basic Certificate Bachelor’s Graduate Certificate Master’s TOTAL
Teacher Education Grade Specific 29 319 0 0 348
Business Administration & Management 0 308 0 30 338
Teacher Education Subject Specific 17 110 22 62 211
General Psychology 0 192 0 0 192
Criminal Justice & Corrections 0 139 0 4 143
Accounting 0 139 0 0 139
General Social Sciences 0 92 0 0 92
Marketing 0 75 0 0 75
Information Technology 0 68 0 7 75
Finance & Financial Management 0 61 0 0 61
General Biology 0 53 0 4 57
Sociology 0 56 0 0 56
Health & Physical Education 0 23 0 31 54
Computer Information Systems 0 37 0 15 52
Computer Science 0 51 0 1 52
Health/Medical Prep Programs 0 51 0 0 51
Physiology & Pathology Sciences 0 42 0 0 42
Anthropology 0 40 0 0 40
Public Relations & Advertising 0 39 0 0 39
Human Services 0 38 0 0 38
Air Transportation 0 38 0 0 38
Construction Management 0 37 0 0 37
Human Resource Management 0 37 0 0 37
Music 0 29 0 8 37
Educational Administration 0 0 0 35 35
Drama & Theater Arts 0 27 0 6 33
Industrial Production Technology 0 31 0 0 31
History 0 25 0 5 30
Special Education 5 23 0 1 29
Writing Studies 0 26 0 3 29
Dietetics & Clinical Nutrition Services 0 29 0 0 29
Public Health 2 27 0 0 29
Quality Control Technology 0 25 0 0 25
Recreation Administration 0 25 0 0 25
Human Development & Family Studies 0 23 0 0 23
Geography & Cartography 0 23 0 0 23
Geological & Earth Sciences 0 17 0 5 22
Clinical, Counseling & Applied Psychology 0 0 0 22 22
Political Science & Government 0 20 0 0 20
Film, Video & Photographic Arts 0 20 0 0 20
Fine & Studio Arts 0 18 0 2 20
Ecology, Evolution & Systematics Biology 0 19 0 0 19
Communication & Media Studies 0 19 0 0 19
Mechanical Engineering Technology 0 19 0 0 19
Romance Languages 0 19 0 0 19
Journalism 0 18 0 0 18
Chemistry 0 14 0 4 18
Behavioral Science 0 5 0 12 17
Allied Health Professions 0 16 0 0 16
Design & Applied Arts 0 16 0 0 16
Biochemistry, Biophysics & Molecular Biology 0 14 0 0 14
Natural Resources Conservation 0 3 0 11 14
Business/Managerial Economics 0 13 0 0 13
General English Literature 0 13 0 0 13
Culinary Arts 0 13 0 0 13
Economics 0 13 0 0 13
General Philosophy & Religious Studies 0 12 0 0 12
Physics 0 12 0 0 12
Textile & Apparel Studies 0 11 0 0 11
Cell Biology & Anatomical Sciences 0 10 0 0 10
Environmental Control Technology 0 10 0 0 10
Food, Nutrition & Related Services 0 10 0 0 10
Management Sciences & Quantitative Methods 0 9 0 0 9
General Education 0 4 0 5 9
General Family & Consumer Sciences 0 1 0 8 9
East Asian Languages 0 9 0 0 9
Hospitality Management 0 7 0 0 7
General Sales & Marketing 0 7 0 0 7
Electronics Engineering Technology 0 7 0 0 7
Other Multi/Interdisciplinary Studies 0 4 0 2 6
Child Development & Psychology 0 0 0 6 6
Public Policy 0 6 0 0 6
Mathematics 0 5 0 0 5
Computer Software & Applications 0 4 0 0 4
Teaching English or French 2 0 0 2 4
Applied Mathematics 0 4 0 0 4
Specialized Sales, Merchandising & Marketing 0 3 0 0 3
Ethnic Studies 0 3 0 0 3
Natural Resources Conservation (Other) 0 0 0 3 3
Area Studies 0 2 0 0 2
Nutrition Science 0 0 0 2 2
Dance 0 2 0 0 2
General Engineering Technology 0 0 0 1 1
Biological & Biomedical Sciences (Other) 0 0 0 0 0
Business Support & Assistant Services 0 0 0 0 0
General Business/Commerce 0 0 0 0 0
Management Information Systems 0 0 0 0 0
Radio, Television & Digital Communication 0 0 0 0 0
Multilingual Education 0 0 0 0 0
Student Counseling 0 0 0 0 0
Computer Engineering Technology 0 0 0 0 0
Construction Engineering Technology 0 0 0 0 0
Engineering Physics 0 0 0 0 0
Mechanical Engineering 0 0 0 0 0
Literature 0 0 0 0 0
Human Sciences Business Services 0 0 0 0 0
Germanic Languages 0 0 0 0 0
Linguistics & Comparative Literature 0 0 0 0 0
Slavic, Baltic & Albanian Languages 0 0 0 0 0
Mental & Social Health Services 0 0 0 0 0
Non-Professional General Legal Studies 0 0 0 0 0
Liberal Arts General Studies 0 0 0 0 0
Gerontology 0 0 0 0 0
Historic Preservation 0 0 0 0 0
Museum Studies 0 0 0 0 0
Natural Sciences 0 0 0 0 0
Natural Resource Management 0 0 0 0 0
Parks, Recreation & Leisure Studies 0 0 0 0 0
Philosophy 0 0 0 0 0
Religious Studies 0 0 0 0 0
Public Administration 0 0 0 0 0
Arts & Media Management 0 0 0 0 0
General Visual & Performing Arts 0 0 0 0 0
TOTAL 55 2,789 22 297 3,163

References

*The racial-ethnic minorities count is calculated by taking the total number of students and subtracting white students, international students, and students whose race/ethnicity was unknown. This number is then divided by the total number of students at the school to obtain the racial-ethnic minorities percentage.

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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