Office of Admissions and Visitor Information
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 e-mail 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 admissions 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. Several academic degree programs require the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT), but candidates should check the departmental requirements prior to applying. International Candidates: English Proficiency examination scores are required of all applicants whose native language is not English, unless they are citizens or permanent residents of the United States or unless they have received an undergraduate or advanced degree from an institution in a country where English is the sole language of instruction. Acceptable examinations include the TOEFL, IELTS and PearsonPTE.
- 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’s admissions representative. 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.
Official transcripts typically include a university seal, the signature of the university registrar, and may be printed on security paper or, if electronic, contain digital security features. In addition to these features, official transcripts must be received by CGU directly from the institution or in a sealed envelope prepared by the other institution. Transcripts that have been opened and in the hands of the student/applicant or are printouts or re-scans from another source (with the exception of SOPHAS) are not considered official.
Applicants must submit an 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 e-mail to email@example.com. Reference forms are available through the online application.
How to Submit References. Applicants should complete the Recommendation section of the online application and enter the e-mail addresses of the individuals who will provide references. These individuals will receive an e-mail 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, 150 E. Tenth St., Claremont, CA 91711.
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)
A current resume 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.
Applicants requesting institutional fellowships should take all required tests in time for the results to be received by CGU prior to the application deadline or earliest deadline for programs with multiple deadline dates.
GRE/GMAT. Each academic degree program determines if the GRE or GMAT are required for admission. Please review the department-specific requirements below to determine your applicable standardized test requirement.
Applicants submitting test scores should have scores sent directly to CGU by the testing agency. Scores more than five years are not considered official per the testing agency guidelines. Testing information is available from a variety of resources.
- 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.
- Others: Please visit the CGU website for current testing requirements and additional information.
CBEST and CSET. For Teacher Education programs passage of the CBEST is required at the time of admission. Passage of the CSET at time of application is highly recommended.
English Proficiency Requirement. A valid examination score on the TOEFL, IELTS or Pearson PTE is required of all non-native English speaking applicants. The examination is not required for the following applicants:
- Citizens or permanent residents of countries where English is the sole official language of instruction.
- Applicants who 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.
- Applicants who have successfully completed an academic English pre-Master’s or intensive graduate bridge program from a nationally recognized, regionally accredited four-year college or university in the United States in the last two years, with submitted evidence of successful completion and subject to curriculum approval by the International Scholars Program.
Official scores must be sent to CGU directly by the testing agency. Self-reported scores are considered unofficial. Scores older than two years are also not accepted.
A minimum TOEFL score of 75 iBT, IELTS score of 6.0 or Pearson PTE score of 50 is required to be considered for admission to CGU through the International Scholars Program (ISP) firstname.lastname@example.org. A minimum TOEFL score of 95 iBT, IELTS score of 7.0 with no sub-score lower than 6.5 or Pearson PTE score of 66 is required for direct-entry admission. Admitted students who score below the direct entry requirement are required to successfully complete ISP, earning a grade of B or higher in all required ISP courses, prior to beginning their academic degree program.
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
Claremont Consortium BA/MA Accelerated Degree Program. This program is open to 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 Computational Mathematics with California State University, Long Beach
Applicants to these programs are encouraged to visit the website for requirements 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.
See the Addendum to this Bulletin for additions to this section.
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 students first tuition bill. The standard deposit amount is $300, with the following exceptions:
- $750 - Drucker School of Management Programs
- $750 - Center for Business and Management of the Arts Business 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. The university does not provide specific information as to why an application was denied admission.
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 recommend 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’s admissions representative or the Office of Financial Aid.
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.