Admissions Office, 121 East 10th Street, Claremont, CA 91711
Office: (909) 607-7811
Claremont Graduate University seeks students whose academic and professional interests can benefit from its unique, transdisciplinary approach to graduate education. CGU offers admission to applicants who have the highest potential for graduate study and who, with the benefit of graduate education, are most likely to make profound contributions to their academic and professional fields through teaching, research, or professional practice. Focused exclusively on a candidate’s academic potential for success, the admissions process is not influenced by race, color, creed, gender, sexual orientation, place of national origin, age, or handicap.
The Office of Admissions is located at 121 East Tenth Street, Claremont, CA 91711. Staff is available to answer questions concerning the processing of application materials received, the academic requirements for admissions, and the disposition of application materials. The admission staff is also available to assist program faculty and staff in addition to students. For questions and concerns, admissions staff can be reached by phone (909) 607-7811, fax (909) 607-7285 or via email firstname.lastname@example.org. Office hours are 8:30 a.m. until 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, with the exception of University holidays.
Criteria for admission include demonstrated academic achievement, personal accomplishment, professional experience and the high probability of the student’s success in graduate study as assessed through a comprehensive review of their credentials submitted at the time of application.
The admissions evaluation process is two-fold. First, a review of basic, standard credentials is conducted in compliance with accreditation and other higher education requirements. Second, individual schools and academic departments may consider the prior educational and professional experience of the applicant, assigning discipline-specific weight to the overall evaluation of an applicant’s eligibility. Applicants are, therefore, encouraged to review their eligibility for admission with program representatives to ensure that all personal and professional credentials are thoroughly considered.
Evaluation of an applicant’s ability to pursue graduate study is based on several kinds of evidence.
- Quality of previous undergraduate and, if applicable, graduate work. CGU requires applicants to submit proof of a completed a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university. The school also requires a minimum standard of a B average in undergraduate coursework (3.0 on a 4.0 scale). Applicants with international credentials must submit academic records in both their original language and literal English translation. Students may apply for admission to CGU during or after their final year of undergraduate studies. Proof of graduation from undergraduate coursework will be required by the end of the first semester of enrollment at CGU.
- Strength of letters of recommendations from individuals competent to judge the candidate’s probable success in graduate coursework. These letters are usually from individuals the candidate knows well, including former professors, mentors, supervisors or those who can give an in-depth evaluation of the candidate’s strengths and weaknesses in regard to his or her academic work.
- Scores on nationally standardized examinations. Most departments at CGU require the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT), but candidates should check with the department prior to their application to ensure they have taken the correct test. International Candidates: If the candidate is not a citizen or permanent resident of the United States and has not received an undergraduate or advanced degree from an institution where the sole official language of instruction is English, the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is required.
- Candidate’s statement of purpose of his or her academic career objectives and their relation to the intended program of study. The statement of purpose allows the faculty to gauge whether the candidate’s research interests will align with the goals of the department and greater University.
- Strength of resume or curriculum vitae. A candidate may be required to submit either a resume or curriculum vitae depending on the program they are applying to. Candidates are encouraged to contact the department in advance to decide which is more appropriate.
- Strength of writing sample(s). Depending on the program, candidates may be required to submit one or more writing samples so the faculty can review the strength of the candidate’s writing abilities.
- Other evidence of potential success in graduate studies. Candidates may submit additional materials relevant to their application to CGU.
Academic departments and schools vary in their selection criteria. Prospective students are encouraged to discuss specific admission standards with the academic department of interest. In keeping with the philosophy of Claremont Graduate University, the admission decision is individualized and based upon a wide range of information about the applicant, rather than on rigid, pre-selected criteria. The Dean of Admission for the University grants official admission on the basis of faculty review and recommendation.
Applications to CGU are accepted on a rolling basis; however, priority and final deadlines are in place for each entrance term. Deadline dates for each available entrance term can be found on the admissions website. These dates are updated with the opening of each admission term. Applications received after the published deadlines are evaluated on a space-available basis. Applicants are encouraged to apply early and by our priority deadlines. Priority consideration for fellowship award funding goes to applicants who meet our priority deadlines.
Applicants may apply online by visiting www.cgu.edu/apply. Applicants are asked to review the checklist of required application materials found on the CGU website. Supporting documents may be uploaded to the online application at the time of submission, or mailed to the Office of Admissions at 121 E. 10th St., Claremont, CA 91711. When possible, applicants submitting hard-copy documents should place all materials in one envelope, writing on the outside of the envelope the name of the program and semester for which the individual is applying.
The following items are required for a complete application to CGU.
Applicants must submit a sealed, official transcript from every undergraduate and graduate institution that has granted the applicant a degree. Transcripts for work transferred towards the completion of a degree at another institution are not required, but may be requested by the departmental admissions committee. For undergraduate coursework, applicants are required to submit proof of a completed bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university.
Applicants currently earning a degree that will be completed prior to attending CGU are required to submit a transcript showing work in progress for evaluation purposes. Once the degree has been granted, a final official transcript documenting the degree conferred must be submitted to CGU.
Applicants who submit transcripts with a significant number of courses with a pass or credit grade may be requested to provide additional documentation.
International Transcripts. Transcripts from universities outside of the United States are evaluated to ensure equivalency to a U.S. bachelor’s degree. Transcripts written in a language other than English must be accompanied by an official certified English translation. Three-year Bologna degrees will be considered on a case-by-case basis to determine equivalency. Non-Bologna three-year degrees should be supplemented with additional coursework, or a one-year master’s degree. Foreign transcripts that do not state a degree conferral must be accompanied by a degree certification from the degree-granting institution. International applicants are advised to review the Transcript Guidelines to ensure that submitted documents are acceptable.
Letters of Recommendation
A minimum of two official reference letters is required. Some degree programs require candidates to submit three letters. Program specific requirements can be found on the admissions website. Applicants in possession of sealed official letters should submit the letters in a package with all other supporting application documents. For letters being submitted directly by the recommending party, we request the letters be submitted online, by mail, or by email to email@example.com. Reference forms are available through the online application and in PDF format on the university website.
How to Submit References. Applicants should complete the Recommendation section of the online application and enter the email addresses of the individuals who will provide references. These individuals will receive an email requesting them to submit their references online. Should this method be chosen, no paper reference letters are required.
Applicants whose references will be not submitted online should request letters directly from the recommending party. Letters should be provided to the applicant in a sealed envelope, with the signature of the recommending party written across the envelope flap. Signatures on the outside of an envelope are intended to ensure confidentiality of the document. Letters can also be mailed directly to Claremont Graduate University at CGU Office of Admissions, 121 E. Tenth St., Claremont, CA 91711. Mailed letters of recommendation should include the CGU Recommendation Form (available online) in addition to the letter of recommendation.
Who Should Submit References. Most academic departments request references from individuals acquainted with the applicant’s academic ability. References from employers may be desirable or required in some professionally related programs. Applicants are encouraged to provide specific information to their recommending parties to strengthen composition of the reference letter. For information regarding the University’s policy on the confidentiality of references, see the “Policies” section of this Bulletin.
Resume/Curriculum Vitae (CV)
AA current résumé or CV is required and should provide, at minimum, information about the applicant’s last three employers and the nature of the work performed. Publications, awards received, association memberships, and computer literacy should also be included.
Statement of Purpose
The Statement of purpose is the applicant’s opportunity to provide information about personal background, interests, aspirations, and to detail how these interests relate to the proposed academic program. For specific instructions for the statement of purpose, please refer to the Statement of Purpose guidelines in the application instructions.
Required Standardized Tests
GRE/GMAT. For programs requiring entrance examinations, such as the GRE or GMAT, official scores must be sent directly to CGU by the testing agency. Scores more than five years old do not meet CGU application requirements. Programs testing requirements are as follows:
- All PhD programs and the Doctorate of Public Health (DrPH) require the GRE.
- PhD programs in Economics, Information Systems, International Studies and Politics & Government may submit GMAT scores in lieu of the GRE requirement.
- Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA) does not require GRE or GMAT scores.
- Master’s level programs in Applied Women’s Studies, Mathematics, Botany, Public Health, Cultural Studies, English, History, Professional Music, Philosophy, Psychology, PPE, and Religion require the GRE.
- Master’s level programs in Economics, Financial Engineering, Management and PEB require either GRE or GMAT scores.
- Master’s level programs in Education, Global Commerce and Finance, Human Resources Management, Information Systems, International Studies and Politics & Government are test optional.
- Master’s level programs in Art, Executive Management, Music (non-professional) and Teacher Education applicants do not require GRE or GMAT scores.
- Art Business and Arts Management applicants are encouraged, but not required to submit the GRE or GMAT scores.
- Applicants to programs in the School of Community and Global Health may submit GMAT or MCAT scores in place of the GRE requirement.
- The GRE subject specific section is recommended but not required for applicants to the Economics and Psychology programs. Subject specific tests are recommended in addition to, but not in place of, the GRE general test.
Testing information is available:
- GRE: www.gre.org. CGU’s institutional code for the GRE is 4053.
- GMAT: www.mba.com. CGU’s institutional code for the GMAT is DZK-QS-08.
CBEST and CSET. Passage of the CBEST is required at the time of admission. Passage of the CSET at time of admission is highly recommended but not required. Applicants who have not passed the CSET at the time of admission will be expected to do so early into their program.
TOEFL/IELTS. TOEFL or IELTS scores are required of all international applicants who meet all of the following criteria:
- Whose native language is not English;
- Who are not citizens or permanent residents of countries where English is the sole official language of instruction. and
- Who do not hold an undergraduate or advanced degree, or will not have earned such a degree prior to enrolling at CGU, from an institution in the U.S. or in countries where English is the sole official language of instruction.
Official scores must be sent to CGU directly by the testing agency. Scores older than two years are not accepted.
A minimum TOEFL score of 75 iBT or a minimum IELTS score of 6.0 is required to be considered for admission to CGU. A minimum TOEFL score of 95 iBT, or a minimum IELTS score of 7.0 with no sub section lower than 6.5, is required for direct-entry admission. Admitted students who score below 95 iBT on the TOEFL, or below 7.0 on the IELTS, will be required to successfully complete the International Fellows Program prior to beginning their academic degree program.
The International Fellows Program (IFP) is designed to cover foundational skills for success in academic work at the graduate level while building international students’ facility and comfort with academic English. Further, the IFP facilitates the international student’s cultural adjustment and transition into the graduate student workload and life in American society.
Enrollment in IFP is dependent upon the TOEFL iBT or IELTS scores of incoming students, regardless of the degree program in which they are enrolled.
- TOEFL iBT 75-84/IELTS 6.0: Students are required to satisfactorily complete Modules 1 and 2 of the IFP.
- TOEFL iBT 85-94/IELTS 6.5 and 7.0*: Students are required to satisfactorily complete only Module 2 of the IFP.
*IELTS scores of 7.0 with no sub section lower than 6.5 are eligible for direct entry.
Students must satisfactorily complete the IFP prior to beginning course work in their degree program. The IFP is offered in the summer and fall semesters; however, students may find it easier to enroll in the IFP in the semester prior to their anticipated starting term, i.e. students starting in the Fall term should arrange to enroll in the IFP in the Summer.
Countries with English as an Official Language and the Language of Instruction in Higher Education:
Antigua and Barbuda
British Virgin Islands
Canada (except Quebec)
Ireland, Republic of
Papua New Guinea
St. Kitts and Nevis
St. Vincent and the Grenadines
Trinidad and Tobago
Turks and Caicos Islands
Applicants to the Art Department must electronically upload a portfolio of representative work for evaluation. Portfolios will only be accepted through the online service provided by SlideRoom, www.claremont.slideroom.com. Portfolios should consist of 15 images of recent artwork that represent a cohesive body of work. Performance and/or video artists may submit work that is no longer than 3 minutes in length. Summary educational information, the names of your three references, and a copy of your one-page artist statement will also need to be provided with your SlideRoom portfolio submission.
Master’s in Business Administration (MBA)
A personal interview will be arranged for selected applicants. The Management department will contact the applicant directly regarding an interview, if applicable.
Applicants with a concentration in performance must audition and should fill out the Audition Materials form found in the online application. Taped recordings may be accepted in place of a personal appearance for applicants outside of Southern California for whom travel to Claremont Graduate University would prove difficult. Applicants with a concentration in composition must submit representative samples of their work. Applicants with a concentration in Education or History must submit published articles, unpublished term papers, or other examples of their work. Additional information is available on the website.
Applicants should provide a list of relevant, upper-division undergraduate and/or graduate religion courses taken, identifying for each the institution and term/year of enrollment, the grade received, and a brief course description. Applicants must include a list of ancient and modern languages studied, detailing for each reading, writing, and speaking proficiency.
A personal interview will be arranged for applicants. The Teacher Education and Education departments will contact the applicant directly regarding an interview.
Claremont Consortium BA/MA Accelerated Degree Program. This program is open to all undergraduates of the Claremont Colleges. The accelerated Bachelors/Master’s program offers significant benefits in obtaining a graduate degree on an accelerated track. Students take CGU courses during their senior year through their undergraduate college. Upon completion of the Bachelor’s degree, these students are fully admitted to CGU, from which they may obtain a Master’s degree. Applicants to the program should apply during the Fall semester of their junior year at the undergraduate college. For complete timeline and program procedures, visit the BA/MA Accelerated Degree Program page.
Joint Programs. CGU offers a number of joint programs in selected fields with other institutions.
- MBA/JD with Southwestern Law School
- MBA/MS Industrial Design with Art Center College of Design
- PhD in Education with San Diego State University
- PhD in Engineering and Industrial Applied Mathematics with California State University Long Beach
- PhD in Computational Science with San Diego State University
Applicants to these programs are encouraged to visit the website for information on each program.
Accuracy of Submissions. Applicants are required to sign a statement at the end of the application form certifying the accuracy of the information submitted. Any misrepresentation may be cause for denial of admission. If misrepresentation is discovered after admission, dismissal from CGU and revoking of any degree granted may result.
Use of Applicant Documentation. All records submitted to the Office of Admissions at CGU become part of a candidate’s official file and can neither be returned nor duplicated for any purpose. It is recommended that candidates obtain copies of their official credentials to keep in their possession. No copies will be provided to third parties outside the University even if the applicant requests this release. Copies will be provided to appropriate offices at the University, however, in the interest of academic matters or financial awards relative to the applicant. Applications and supporting documents are retained according to the retention policies of CGU.
Retention of Applicant Documents. Admissions retains and then destroys after one year all application materials received from applicants who did not register for courses after admission, who were denied admission, who did not respond to CGU’s offer of admission, or whose application files were never completed.
Offers of Admission
Formal admission to CGU is offered only through the Office of Admissions. Applicants admitted to CGU will receive a written offer of admission from the Dean of Admissions. To accept admission, applicants must submit a non-refundable deposit by check or credit card online. The non-refundable deposit is applied to the individual’s first tuition bill. The standard deposit amount is $200, with the following exceptions:
- $750 - Drucker School of Management Programs
- $1,000 - Art Business and Arts Management Programs
To submit a tuition deposit, visit https://www.cgu.edu/tuitiondeposit. Admitted students shall notify CGU regarding their decision to accept or decline the offer by the deadline indicated on the admission letter. Applicants admitted past these deadlines will be given a new deadline stated in their Offer of Admission. Following the deposit submission, admitted students will receive information regarding course registration.
Applicants who are unsuccessful in gaining admission to a graduate program are notified in writing by the Office of Admissions.
Applicants are notified of admissions decisions to the University in one of the following classifications.
- Full Graduate Admission. Full graduate admission is awarded to individuals who are admitted without reservation and from whom all required application documents have been received. Only students who have full graduate standing may become candidates for a degree.
- Provisional Admission. Provisional admission may be awarded to applicants whose application documents are incomplete at the time of admission. The documents on file at the time of an admission decision must be strong enough to warrant provisional admission pending receipt of the outstanding credentials. Students who do not submit the necessary credentials by the end of the first semester of study will not be permitted to register for the following semester. Once all admission requirements have been satisfied, provisional status will be removed.
- Conditional Admission. Conditional admission may be awarded to applicants who are required to satisfy additional requirements. Conditions are specified by the Office of Admissions and/or the academic department at the time of admission or shortly thereafter. An example of a conditional requirement includes prerequisite courses. Once all conditions have been satisfied, the academic department will review for full graduate standing.
- Denied Admission. Applicants who are not competitive for admission are denied admission. The university may also deny admission to those whose presence is deemed detrimental to the institution or campus community.
Reconsideration for Admission
An applicant who has been denied admission may request reconsideration of admission by submitting a request to the Dean of Admissions. The request must include new and substantial information that was not provided in the original application package. Request for reconsideration does not mean admission will be granted. The information submitted will be reviewed by Dean of Admissions and the academic department. Reconsideration decisions may not be rendered until the conclusion of the program’s admission cycle.
Other Admission Classifications and Special Enrollment Categories
- Deferred Application. If maximum enrollment has been reached, an academic department may offer an applicant the option to be considered for admission to a later semester than the one originally requested. Similarly, on a one-time basis, applicants also have the option to move their application to an alternate start term. Applicants requesting to move their application beyond one year from the term originally applied to may be required to reapply. To request an application move, applicants should contact the Office of Admissions or the academic program to which they applied.
- Deferred Admission. If maximum enrollment has been reached, an academic department may offer an admitted student the option to enroll in a later semester than the one to which the individual applied. Similarly, individuals who are unable to attend in the semester to which they were admitted may contact their academic program to request a deferral. The request will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis and if approved, the student may request to defer admission once for up to one year.
- Multiple Deferrals. Multiple deferrals are not granted. Individuals who have previously deferred must reapply for admission. A new application and application fee are required. However, additional supporting materials are not required if the applicant is resubmitting the application within one year of the original deferral. However, applicants may wish to update any application materials as needed.
Special Enrollment Categories
Claremont Graduate University welcomes individuals interested in graduate study to attend courses under certain restrictions. Individuals classified in any of the enrollment categories below are not continuing students and have not been admitted to or guaranteed admission to any degree program at the University. Students in these categories are also generally ineligible for financial aid programs. Individuals interested in admission to any CGU degree program must submit a complete application package through admissions.
- Alumni. CGU graduates are eligible to take CGU courses for personal enrichment at a 50% discounted rate. Courses taken at the alumni discount may not be applied toward a degree. Additional information for alumni enrollment in courses can be found on the website.
- Audit. A student who is not enrolled in a degree program but wishes to audit one or more courses (no credit will be given for courses) must submit an admissions application, application fee, and official bachelor’s degree transcripts. The approval of the dean as well as the approval of the instructor(s) of the course(s) concerned is required for study in this category. International students on F-1 and J-1 visa status are not eligible to audit courses unless they are also enrolled in a degree program. International students in degree programs may not use audit courses towards their 8-unit minimum.
- Certificate. Various schools at CGU offer certificate programs. To be admitted to a certificate program, applicants are required to submit a complete application packet, with the exception of test scores. See the previous section on “Application Components” for details. Certificate students wishing to subsequently apply to a degree program at CGU will need to submit any outstanding application components missing at the time the student began the certificate program, such as test scores, and complete a Certificate to Degree Change Form. The faculty may request supplemental documentation when a certificate student is being considered for admission into a degree program. For international students, I-20/DS-2019 paperwork for F-1 or J-1 visas cannot be issued for certificate programs.
- Special Standing. Applicants who wish to attend CGU as a non-degree student may be admitted as a special standing student. Special standing applicants must submit an application, an application fee, and official bachelor’s degree transcripts. Special standing students who later decide to apply for a degree or credential program must supply additional application components to be evaluated for admission. Admission to special standing is limited to one academic year or 12 units of study. Approval by the Provost is required for further study in this category. International students in F-1 and J-1 visa status are not eligible to enroll as special standing students.
- Summer Visitors. During the summer semester only, interested individuals may take courses at CGU without the need to obtain admission to the university. Individuals must obtain permission of the course instructor on the Registration Form for Visiting Students and submit the form to the registrar. Please note that participating in CGU’s summer semester as a visiting student does not constitute admission to CGU. Visiting students who wish to enter a degree program must submit a complete application to the Office of Admission for evaluation by the academic program of interest. International students in F-1 and J-1 visa status are not eligible to enroll as visiting summer students without permission from their host campus.
The CGU academic departments award fellowships, stipends, and assistantships to selected students based on their individual academic merit and/or need. Applicants may direct any questions about fellowships, stipends, and assistantships to the academic department of interest.
Departments use the application deadlines to determine fellowship aid. Applicants are encouraged to submit a completed application by the established deadline, or by the earliest priority deadline for departments with multiple deadlines, to maximize the chance for fellowship aid. Further information is provided in the Financial Aid section of the Bulletin.