Application Instructions

Questions? Contact Admissions

Phone: 216.368.4390


Quick Links

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.

  • All applicants must have the equivalent of a four-year, US bachelor's degree conferred prior to the start of the term of admission.
  • 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 and Requirements

Application Procedure

1) Create an online application

  • If you are just starting out, click Create an Account under First Time Users. If you have previously applied, click on Returning Users and login with your email address and password. 
  • You will receive an email to activate your account. Click the link in the email and enter the temporary pin to move ahead with creating your password.
  • Note: 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) Home page

  • First time users - Click Start New Application, select the year you intend to enroll, the school, and click Create Application.
  • Returning users - Click on the application you would like to work on, click the school, and click Open Application. 

3) Instructions page

  • Read through and follow the instructions thoroughly. 
  • Find information on Deadlines, FAQs, and International Applicant Resources. 

4) Program Details

  • Degree Type - Choose from Certificate, Master's, Doctoral, or Combined Bachelors/Masters (Current CWRU Undergraduates only)
  • Program and Program Option - Choose your desired program and program option (thesis, project, course-focused, etc). 
  • Semester - If the semester you are trying to apply for is not displayed, the deadline may have passed or it may not be offered starting in that term. Refer to the deadlines listed here
  • If you have received an Inquiry Code, enter it here. 

5) Academic History

  • Identify and upload an unofficial transcript from each post-secondary institution directly onto the application. If you are admitted and plan on attending CWRU, 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 and/or a course-by-course credential evaluation from an organization such as WES or SpanTran.

6) English Proficiency Requirements (International applicants only)

  • 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 or qualify for an education waiver.
  • You only need to upload your unofficial score report; you do not need to send official test scores unless you are formally admitted.
  • Is English your native language?
    • If Yes, click Continue.
    • If No, you will be asked to provide an unofficial test score report or indicate that you qualify for a waiver based on your education. 
  • 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 Masters  program). Scores can be sent officially through ETS using CWRU's school code 1105* The School of Graduate Studies does not accept the DuoLingo exams, the IELTS Indicator, TOEFL MyBest Scores, or the TOEFL Essentials exam. Applicants must achieve a minimum of 90 on one exam date; exams will not be superscored. (We are currently accepting the TOEFL Home Edition.)
    • 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, Organizational Behavior, and Pathology
  • Language score waivers can only 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, Pathology, or the PhD in Organizational Behavior.

7) Test Scores

  • 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. If you are admitted and plan on attending CWRU, then you will be required to submit official score reports.

8) Recommendations section

  • Most departments require three letters of recommendation to 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.
  • Your recommender will receive an email containing a link to submit their rating and letter through the online recommendation system. 
  • If your recommender wishes to complete the recommendation by mail instead, have them mail or email their letter directly to your program department.
  • If you are using Interfolio, select "To be mailed by the recommender"  and have the committee file emailed directly to your program department.

9) Conduct and Behavior

  • Answer Yes or No to the following questions. If Yes, you will be asked to explain including dates, the nature of the offense, and name and location of the university or court, penalty, and additional information you want considered.
    • "Other than minor traffic offenses, have you ever pled guilty or been convicted of a criminal offense, or are there criminal charges pending against you? You may answer No to this question if the criminal adjudication or conviction has been expunged, sealed, or otherwise ordered by a court or be kept confidential."
    • "Has there ever been action taken against you for ethical/professional misconduct?"
    • "Have you ever been placed on academic probation, suspended, or expelled from a college or university?"
  • Your department will not have access to see these responses and they will not be used as part of the application process. 

10) Supplemental Questions

  • Upload a CV or Resume
  • Upload a Statement of Purpose - This should be a 1-2 page essay and explaining your intent for pursuing graduate school and/or the program you're applying to, 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 CWRU Undergraduate students only) - Specific step-by-step instructions are listed in the application and on our Integrated Programs page

11) PhD Research Questions (if applicable)

  • If you have prior research experience, enter up to four of your most significant experiences including the institution, average hours per week, and number of months the research lasted. 

12) Additional Details (not applicable to BS/MS)

  • Are you applying for financial assistance?
  • Are you a current employee or are you related to a current full-time employee (this does not include UH, CCF, Metro, or VA employees).
  • Would you like to be considered for the North Star Graduate Student Award
  • Have you ever applied to CWRU as a graduate or undergraduate student?
  • Indicate your U.S. military experience.
  • Indicate if you participated in the National Name Exchange or McNair Scholars Program. 
  • What influenced your decision to apply?

13) Planned Program of Study (BS/MS only)

14) Review and Signature

  • Fix any errors on your application. If you cannot figure out how to remedy the error, contact Graduate Studies Admissions
  • Digitally sign your application.
  • If you have received an Inquiry Code, enter it here. 

15) Application Fee

  • If applicable, pay your non-refundable $50 application fee. You will be directed to enter your credit card 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. Fee waivers are not guaranteed to be available.

Checking Your Application Status

To check on the status of your application, log into the online application system. Select the application and click Open Application. This will display your Student Status Page. Here you can view your submitted documents and letters of recommendation. You can also upload additional documents and update your contact information. If there is a Status Update highlighted in yellow, click View Update to view your admission decision letter. You can download this letter as a PDF by clicking Download PDF in the upper right corner. 

If you were accepted, congratulations, you now must accept or decline our offer of admission. You can do this by clicking the link in your offer letter or in the Forms section of the Student Status Page. 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 go back to the Home page and click Start New Application for a later term. 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.

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.