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Prospective Student FAQ

Questions? See a list of common ones we often receive below. Don't see your question? Email us at

Can my non-refundable application fee be waived?

The non-refundable application fee will not be waived, deferred, or refunded for any reason. The application fee must be paid before the application will be processed. A McNair scholar may receive a waiver, however.

I have already paid an application fee. Do I have to pay it again if applying to another program or reapplying?

Yes. You will have to submit an application fee every time you apply to a graduate programs (excluding the dual programs: MBA & MPA, MPA & MURP, MPA & MSW). Transcripts that have been submitted may be used for other programs.

How long is an application valid?

The application is valid for the specific program and term within which it was submitted.

What are the application deadlines?

Deadlines vary by department/program. You may check them here and contact the department/program to which you are applying if you have any questions. International applications should be submitted approximately six months prior to the start of the intended term to allow for the issuance of an I-20.

Are there any special instructions for McNair Scholars?

  1. Must have an official letter from your McNair Director showing your participation in the McNair Scholars Program at your previous college/university.

  2. Fill out the graduate online application.  DO NOT SUBMIT.  Submitting the application will require the applicant to pay the non-refundable application fee.

  3. Send an email to with the official McNair Letter / Waiver from their director (signed) showing participation in the McNair Scholars Program. The email's subject line may hold "McNair Scholar." Within the email, applicants should state their McNair Scholar status and that they have completed the online application for  <program>. The application will then be submitted by the Graduate Studies Office, Admissions Program Coordinator, on the applicant's behalf.

What do you mean by “official” transcripts?

For our purposes, "official" means sent directly from the issuing office to our receiving office. This definition comes from the policies of Eastern Washington University and cannot be petitioned. We judge transcripts to be official if:

  • Transcripts arrive to us in an envelope sealed by the issuing institution.
  • Transcripts arrive to us via a secured electronic transcript exchange program, e-script, National Clearing House or Parchment Services.
  • Transcripts arrive to us in an envelope sealed by a US State Department sponsored organization (e.g. USEF), and are attested by that organization. 

Basically, we judge a transcript to be official by the way it was received. We must be vigilant about fraudulent credentials. You may include sealed envelopes with official transcripts inside of another envelope.  

Also, keep in mind that the United States government considers educational records to be federally protected and private. We cannot obtain your records unless you arrange for them to be sent them to us.

Why do I need to submit an official transcript from each institution which originally issued me credit?

  • This shows a complete picture of an applicant's academic career.

  • Obtaining an official transcript lets us know that you are not financially indebted to some other institution.

  • Transfer credits may lose grade information, or course titles change.  

  • Transcripts can and do change over time (grades are revised, degrees are added/revoked).

  • Transcripts contain more information than grades (i.e. degrees or certificates, accreditation, suspensions & dismissals, etc.)

What if I can’t obtain an official transcript?

If your institution will not release your transcript because of a financial, disciplinary, or academic hold, you will need to work with your institution to resolve the issue.

What should I do if I'm applying before I've graduated?

To be considered for admission, you will need to provide a complete academic record that is current at the time of your application. If you are admitted, we would need to then also receive an official transcript with your degree posted. (Some international students may need to send us an official copy of their diploma or degree certificates.) We would add this requirement to your official letter recommending you for admission.

If I send transcripts, references, or other application materials ahead of time, how long will you keep it on file before discarding them?

  • Official transcripts: 1 year

  • Official test scores: 1 year

What if I previously applied to a graduate program?

Application materials are kept for one year.

When will I hear if I have been admitted or denied?

First, check your application account for the most up-to-date information. Use the Login ID and PIN you created when you applied. 

The amount of time it takes to hear about the decision letter varies by department. Check with the department to which you have applied to find out when they will notify applicants of their admission decisions.

What was the reason I was denied admission?

Each individual graduate program makes its own admission decisions based on their established criteria. For the specific reasons behind your decision, please contact the graduate director or graduate advisor in that department.

How do I register for a class if I’m not admitted into a graduate program yet?

You must be admitted to a Graduate Program to register for a class. If you are not in a graduate program, you may be admitted as a non-degree student. The graduate non-degree application is located here

What email address is used as official correspondence between student and EWU Graduate Studies?

The email that is listed on your application is valid until you are recommended for admission and accept. Once you accept the offer of admission and enroll in a program at EWU, your EWU email is the only email we conduct business with.

What are the department or program requirements?

Each program/department will have separate requirements from the Graduate Programs. You may view them here.

Can recommendation letters be from anyone?

  • Applicants are encouraged to get their references from professors, supervisors and applicable colleagues. Consult the specific requirements of the graduate program to which you're applying before requesting references.

  • References from friends and family are usually not acceptable.

Can the GRE or GMAT be waived?

The requirement for graduate students to take the GRE or GMAT exam is department- or program-specific.

The MBA program requires a GMAT or GRE exam, unless an applicant has:

  • Obtained a business degree from Eastern Washington University or any AACSB-accredited university with a GPA of 3.5 and above, computed from the applicant's most recent 90 quarter or 60 semester graded hours.
  • At least 5 years of progressive professional experience in business (which must be approved by the MBA director,  

Please contact the department to inquire whether the GRE is required. In rare circumstances, a GRE has been waived by a department, typically when a GRE score has been on file but is older than the five (5) year limit or when a master's degree (which required a GRE) has been earned by the applicant.

Can the TOEFL be waived?

All international graduate applicants to EWU are required to take an English Language Proficiency exam, except for those who have earned a college degree from a United States or other native English-language school or institution or those entering the Graduate Preparation Program offered by EWU's English Language Institute. See International Admissions guidelines for more information.

I was admitted to the program. Why can’t I register?

Some possible reasons:

  1. You may have been provisionally admitted and still have items outstanding that are required for full admission. Check your application account to ensure you have completed all the items in your checklist. Use the Login ID and PIN you created when you applied.
  2. Your admission is pending a degree-bearing transcript from your college or university.
  3. Your admission is pending for some other reason (e.g., missing items).
  4. You may be attempting to register at the wrong time. Priority registration is for current graduate students to register for the next term. New and returning student registration begins after Priority Registration for current EWU Students. The Priority Registration schedule is available here.
  5. You may be attempting to register for the wrong academic term. Double-check whether your program follows a quarter- or semester-based schedule, and be sure to select the correct term when registering.
  6. It is past the last day to register on EagleNet.
  7. You are using an incorrect password.

How many credits do I need to be considered full time?

To be considered a full-time student and eligible for financial aid, you must complete 10 credits per quarter or semester, and at least 5 of those credits must be graduate level.

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