Central Washington University Personal Statement

The following instructions are in addition to the formal instruction on the School of Graduate Studies and Research website.  All applications go through the School of Graduate Studies and Research. 

Our admissions decisions are based on a composite of criteria applied to all of the credentials presented in your application.  We do not use absolute minimum scores ("cutoffs") to make admissions decisions.  However, those students with a GRE score at or above the 50th percentile and a GPA of at least 3.0 in the bachelor's degree are especially encouraged to apply. 

Applicants must have completed a baccalaureate degree prior to beginning the MHC masters program.  While most of our students have a degree in psychology or closely related major, we accept applicants with degrees in any field, as long as they meet all the admission requirements.  Please see the Course of Study page for suggestions of undergraduate courses to prepare for the MHC program.

** Prerequisites: PSY 362 (Introductory Statistics) and PSY 363 (Intermediate Statistics and Research Methods), or their equivalent from a different institution.  See the Course of Study page for detailed information on this requirement.

Application and Selection Timeline

  • The application deadline for Fall admission is February 1. 
  • (Applications submitted after this date will be actively considered if space in the program is still available.)
  • The MHC faculty review all applications by mid-February.
  • Applicants who advance through this initial screening will be invited to a mandatory interview day.
  • We have an Interview Day that occurs the last Friday in February.  This takes place in the Psychology Building at CWU.
  • We will begin to make offers to prospective students soon after the interview date, by mid-March.

You apply to the MHC program by submitting an application to the School of Graduate Studies and Research.  Information is found at the Apply to CWU School of Graduate Studies and Research page.  Be sure to read their information thoroughly. 

A complete application will include the following:

  • CWU School of Graduate Studies and Research Application (including $50 application fee).  We encourage you to apply online; paper applications will also be accepted.  Find the online form at Forms and Documents.
  • Personal Statement (Statement of Educational and Professional Objectives): Part of the application is your personal statement. Please address the following three questions when you write your personal statement:
  1. Why do you want to become a counselor?
  2. What strengths and weaknesses do you have that will impact your ability to become a counselor?
  3. What are your long-term goals?
  4. Your personal statement should be limited to 500 words (two pages, double spaced). 
  • Resume or Curriculum Vitae
  • Official Transcripts from all colleges and universities you have attended.  The address to which transcripts should be sent is:

School of Graduate Studies and Research
Central Washington University
400 East University Way
Ellensburg, WA 98926-7510

  • Letters of Recommendation: You must submit three letters of recommendation.  One or more of these letters must be an academic recommendation from an instructor.  Find the online form at Forms and Documents.
  • GRE: Have your official score for the General Aptitude Test of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) sent directly to the School of Graduate Studies and Research. The ETS Institution Code number to use for sending GRE scores to Central Washington University is 4044.

Checklist for Application to the Mental Health Counseling Program


Application to the School of Graduate Studies and ResearchSee http://www.cwu.edu/masters for detailed instructions
Official TranscriptsFrom all higher education institutions you have attended
Official GRE ScoresSee School of Graduate Studies and Research webpage for further detail
Personal StatementNOTE:  See three questions above for guidelines on how to formulate your paper
Resume or CVYour up-to-date resume
NOTE: This is a program requirement that is not mentioned in the School of Graduate Studies and Research requirements
Three Letters of RecommendationPreferably academic references.  At least one letter must be an academic letter, from an instructor

Financial Information

Tuition and Mandatory Fees: See the CWU Registrar Tuition and Mandatory Fees site to get an estimate of the cost of attending CWU.

Financial Aid: For Federal Financial Aid information (e.g., student loans), contact Central Washington University's Financial Aid office at 509-963-1611.

Graduate Assistantships: Currently, a very limited number of graduate assistantships are available for qualified students. These assistantships offer a monthly stipend and a tuition waiver. We encourage those interested in assistantships submit their application materials to the School of Graduate Studies and Research by the February 1 deadline.  Find detailed information at Graduate Student Funding page.  See Forms and Documents page for the exact application form.

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Applicants with a 3.4 cumulative GPA or higher and have satisfied the CADR requirements (see below) will be automatically admitted regardless of ACT or SAT score*.

*Applicants must still submit an ACT or SAT test scores.  Test scores are required if you are applying for Financial Aid and also used for scholarship consideration and for placement into English and Math courses at CWU.

Applicants with a 3.00 - 3.39 cumulative GPA who have satisfied the CADR requirements will be considered for admission based on grades AND test scores.

For applicants with CADR deficiencies, Admissions will take into account, grade trends, course rigor, senior year course schedule, and ACT/SAT scores.

Applicants with a cumulative GPA of 2.00 - 2.99 Central recognizes that many factors affect grades and test scores, so the university utilizes a holistic admissions review process. In this process we consider grade trends, course rigor, senior year course schedule, and ACT/SAT scores.

Other students who may be reviewed through the admissions review process include those who have not completed high school, earned a General Education Development (GED) certificate, as well as students 25 or older who have poor academic histories and have not attended school recently. Applicants may be required to complete supplemental application forms and/or submit additional information or essays.

To be considered for admissions, students must have at least a 2.00 cumulative GPA in high school and any applicable college work.


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 listed below.

  • English: 4 credits (including 3 credits of literature and composition)
  • Math: 3 credits (including algebra I, algebra II and geometry)
  • Senior year Math-Based Quantitative Course: 1 credit. (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, math analysis or calculus prior to your senior year, you're exempt from this requirement.)
  • Social Science: 3 credits
  • 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
  • 1 credit of fine, visual, or performing arts, or electives from any of the other required CADR areas.


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