Application Instructions

Questions? Contact Admissions

Phone: 216.368.4390


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*** APPLYING FOR SPRING, SUMMER, OR FALL 2021? We are working to implement a new application system. The new system should be up and running at the end of August. We request that you wait until that time to begin your application. Thank you ***

Applicants should contact the department or program they intend to apply to obtain specific information. Contact information can be found on their websites or in the Program Addresses section of the online application. All submitted materials become the property of the School of Graduate Studies and will not be returned.

  • Be aware of the Deadlines.
  • Carefully look over our Degree Programs to ensure you are applying for the right program and it falls under the School of Graduate Studies. 
  • Look through our FAQs; there's answers for all steps of the application process.  
  • International applicants should read through our Resources

Application Procedure

*Note: This does not cover all sections of the application, just some important things to be aware of. 

1) Create an online application

  • If you have previously applied, or are applying to multiple programs, you will need to create a different profile using a different email address for each application. 
  • Remember this login information, you will need it when logging in between sessions to complete your application and to retrieve your official admission decision. 

2) Personal Data section

  • Applicant Type - Choose Degree Seeking
  • Preferred First Name - Enter your Preferred First Name if you have one. This will show up in parentheses on your official admission letter; example Legal First Name (Preferred First Name) Legal Last Name. 

3) Education History section

  • Academic Transcripts - Identify and upload an unofficial transcript from each post-secondary institution directly onto the application. ONLY if you are admitted, then you will be required to submit official transcripts. In order to alleviate the cost and logistics of applying, please do not send transcripts in with your application; they will not be reviewed. CWRU graduates do not need to send official transcripts, we can verify your information in SIS - please only upload an unofficial transcript to the application for review. International Students: Documents in languages other than English must be accompanied by certified scanned translations in English.

4) Upload Documents section

  • CV or Resume - 1-2 pages
  • Personal Statement - The personal statement should be 1-2 pages and reflect why you want to pursue graduate school or your particular program, your personal/professional goals, any previous research experience, research interests, etc.
  • Writing Sample - Writing samples should ONLY be uploaded for History, Music Education, Musicology, Music History, Music (Historical Performance Practice), Organizational Behavior, and Social Welfare). 
  • PPOS Form (BS/MS and IGS CWRU Undergraduate students only) - Specific step-by-step instructions are listed in the application and on our Integrated Programs page

5) Test Scores section

  • See your individual department's website for specific score information or requirements.
  • In order to alleviate application costs and logistics, it is not necessary to send official score reports during the admissions process; please upload unofficial score reports onto the application for review. ONLY if you are admitted, then you will be required to submit official score reports.
    • GRE - The GRE is valid for five years after the test date. There is no minimum GRE score, applications are evaluated holistically. Scores can be sent officially through ETS using CWRU's school code 1105
    • The following programs do not require the GRE: Art Education, Astronomy, Biochemistry, all BSTP PhD programs, Clinical Translational Science, Designing Sustainable Systems, Earth, Environmental & Planetary Sciences, Molecular Medicine, Nutrition, Physics, or Theater. The GRE is optional for Chemistry MS and PhD, but required for Chemistry Entrepreneurship
    • MCAT, GMAT, USMLE, LSAT - Please fill in these exams in the Other Exam space. Scores should be sent officially directly to your program/departments

Language Scores for International Applicants

  • International applicants whose first language is not English must demonstrate English proficiency. Minimum language scores to gain admission are below; we do not offer conditional admission to applicants who do not meet the minimum language scores. 
  • You only need to upload your unofficial score report; you do not need to send official test scores unless you are formally admitted. The TOEFL, IELTS, and PTE are all valid for two years after the test date.
    • TOEFL - 90 minimum if internet-based or 577 if paper-based (minimum of 80 TOEFL if applying to a Course Focused Engineering program). Scores can be sent officially through ETS using CWRU's school code 1105* The School of Graduate Studies does not accept the TOEFL MyBest Scores. Applicants must achieve a minimum of 90 on one exam date; exams will not be superscored.
    • IELTS - 7.0 minimum (minimum of 6.5 IELTS if applying to a Course Focused Engineering program). Please do not send scores officially, simply include your TRF number on your application and we can verify your score online. 
    • PTE Academic - 61 minimum. Scores can be sent officially through the Pearson website to be verified online.
    • The following departments require higher language scores of 100 TOEFL or 68 PTE: Art History, and Art History and Museum Studies, Biomedical Engineering, Chemistry Entrepreneurship, Master of Engineering and Management (MEM), and Pathology
  • Language score waivers can be granted if you have 1) completed a bachelors or higher from a university where the primary medium of instruction was English or 2) your home country's primary spoken language is English. **There are no waivers for MEM, the PhD in Organizational Behavior or Pathology.

6) Supplemental section (if applicable)

  • Some departments may have a additional Supplemental page open up on the application. This page has additional questions that you must answer or documents that must be uploaded. 

7) Recommendations section

  • Letters of Recommendation - Three letters of recommendation must be submitted from those individuals sufficiently familiar with you, and who can assess your academic preparation, abilities and accomplishments. Letters should be from your most recent instructors in your proposed field of study. If you have been out of school for several years, one letter may be from your employer, supervisor or other person familiar with your most recent activities.
  • If your Recommender is completing the recommendation Offline (emailing it to the department instead of using the online system), be sure to go to the Downloadable Forms section, print the Recommendation Form and provide it to them. This form should accompany their recommendation letter. 
  • If you are using Interfolio or having your recommenders send directly to the department, please download the Recommendation form on the application and provide it to the recommenders and mark the recommendation as 'Offline'. 

8) Check Your Application section

9) Application Fee, Sign/Submit

  • View and Print your Application PDF.
  • Tick the Confirmation box.
  • Pay your non-refundable $50 application fee. You will be redirected to QuickPay to enter your credit information. We cannot accept cash, check, or money order. 
  • Proceed to the final step to type your Full Name and date and click SUBMIT APPLICATION. 
  • *Note: If you are experiencing a severe financial hardship which prevents you from paying the application fee, please email to speak with our admissions staff about a waiver.

Checking Your Application Status

To check on the status of your application, log into the online application system. If accepted, Congratulations, you now must Accept or Decline our offer of admission in the online application system. This step must be done in order to matriculate and enroll in classes through the Student Information System (SIS). If you have been denied but still wish to gain admission to our university, feel free to create a whole new application for a later term using a different email address. We suggest reaching out to the department in this case to determine what may make your application stronger. 

Next Steps After Acceptance

After you accept our offer of admission, we will matriculate your file into the Student Information System (SIS). You will receive an email from the School of Graduate Studies with instructions on activating your CWRU Network ID. Note that while you may be able to login to your CWRU Email account, you may/may not have access to login to SIS yet if we are still a few months before the start date of the term. The date you are able to register for courses will vary, keep checking your SIS account to determine if you have access. 

All new students will receive information about Graduate Student Orientation and students beginning in the Fall will receive information about completing the New Student Checklist. Check out our Important First Steps page for more information. 

* If you were admitted Conditionally and have outstanding documents that need to be submitted to Graduate Studies, you should work on submitting those documents as soon as possible. A hold will be placed on your SIS account and you will be unable to register for courses for your second term if you have not submitted your transcripts within your first term of study. 


Admission is only for the term specified in the letter of admission from the School of Graduate Studies. If you are unable to enroll for that semester, you can ask to defer for up to two academic semesters. Please email to request a deferral. Your department may accept or reject your request, and the terms of readmission may differ from the original offer. If a delay of more than two semesters is requested, your file must be reviewed and reevaluated by the department. If more than two years pass since acceptance, you must reapply. Because non-enrolled applicant files are kept for a maximum of two years, all documentation must be resubmitted.