Navigating Your Degree


As a WSU graduate student, there are several tasks you should work when you start your program and/or arrive on campus. This To-Do list is meant to help you. Contact us at if you have questions.

1) Establish Washington state Residency*

Establishing residency in the state of Washington can save you a significant amount of money – namely the out-of-state portion of your tuition. Review current tuition rates. For students on an assistantship, out-of-state tuition is covered by the tuition waiver during the first year of study. For subsequent years, the student is responsible for covering the out-of-state portion of the tuition if residency has not been established by August of your second year.

All students on an assistantship are required to establish a residence (or domicile) in the state of Washington to be eligible for the tuition waiver. This is a requirement of the RCW (Revised Code of Washington) state law and applies to U.S. and international students.

Because the documentation to demonstrate eligibility for residency spans a 12-month period, you must begin the process as soon as you arrive in Washington and establish a domicile. Numerous documents and registrations are required. Learn more about establishing residency. Residency requirements will also be covered in the Graduate School online orientation.

Please note: residency requirements and deadlines were established by the state of Washington, not WSU.

*International students are ineligible for Washington state residency. However, international students on assistantships receive a tuition waiver that covers the in-state and out-of-state portions of the tuition.

Jump to top of section

2) Identify Advisors and Mentors

At the time of your admission or arrival at WSU, you may be assigned a temporary faculty advisor (often the director of your graduate program). Feel free to seek guidance from them on your courses and academic plans for your first or second semester in graduate school until you choose a permanent advisor/mentor who will become the chair of your faculty advisory committee. (You may have been recruited to your graduate program to work with a specific faculty member.)

Every student needs a faculty advisory committee. The committee chair is your primary advisor and mentor who can help guide you on course choices and areas of research, scholarship, or creative activity. You should have regular, frequent conversations and meetings with your committee chair. Review the expectations of mentorship from your committee chair in the Graduate School policies and procedures.

Refer to your program’s graduate student handbook for specific details on how committees are chosen or assigned, and which faculty can serve on committees. Review policies and procedures Chapters 7 and 8 for master’s and doctoral students, respectively.

Friendly advice:
1. Talk to your professors and get to know them beyond the material covered in lecture.
2. Get to know the academic or program coordinator in your department, because they will help you with information about the program, policies, procedures, and paperwork.
3. Talk to senior students.
4. Seek formal and informal mentors, ask questions about course offerings, professional development, research expectations and program norms and traditions.

The people with whom you connect early in your WSU career will likely remain resources of support and information throughout and beyond your graduate studies!

Jump to top of section

3) Enroll in research credits (700/702/800) 

All graduate degrees require the completion of a specified number of credits at the 700 level (master’s) or 800 level (doctoral). Visit Chapter 5 of the Graduate School’s policies and procedures for enrollment information.

Jump to top of section

4) Complete required trainings

Responsible Conduct of Research Training

Link to exam: Responsible Conduct of Research. All graduate students are required to take the CITI-RCR training (Collaborative Institutional Teaching Initiative Responsible Conduct in Research training), which takes about 2 hours. There are different modules within the CITI-RCR focused for different disciplines. Your department can direct you to which module is appropriate for your graduate training. For RCR training, a grace period of one semester will be granted for students who have yet to complete it at the start of their assistantship. For future semesters, a hold will be placed on your registration, preventing processing of assistantships until you complete the training. To ensure timely processing of assistantships, complete the trainings in your first semester by these deadlines: September 30 (Fall semester), January 31 (Spring semester) and June 30 (Summer semester).

Discrimination/Sexual Harassment and Sexual Misconduct Prevention

WSU is committed to demonstrating trust and respect for all persons and cultivating individual and institutional integrity in all that we do. The goal of the online DSHP course is to assist WSU in maintaining a safe and respectful working and learning environment. For more information and to register for the course, visit Human Resource Services. For DSHP training, there is a one semester grace period as described above for RCR training. The Compliance and Civil Rights office has additional information on WSU’s response policy for discrimination, sexual harassment, and sexual misconduct.

Jump to top of section

5) Get Involved!

Graduate and Professional Student Association (GPSA)

The GPSA is the representative body for all WSU graduate and professional students. The organization holds social and professional development activities and provides numerous ways to get involved at WSU at different levels—from networking at social events to becoming a senator and advocating at university and state legislative venues. Visit the GPSA website to find more information. The GPSA Study Center is on the Holland and Terrell Libraries Ground Floor. View a Terrell Libraries map

Cultural Clubs and Registered Student Organizations (RSO)

There are more than 400 registered WSU student organizations, and if you can’t find one that fulfills your interests, you can start your own! There are many benefits to joining an RSO, including building your community and making new friends with similar interests and discovering new passions and strengths. Learn more about Student Organizations.

Department Associations

Most graduate programs have a graduate student association in which you can participate. Involvement in these student associations provide social interaction with your colleagues and opportunities to grow your leadership and communication skills and/or pursue professional development activities to enhance your academic and career success. Contact your academic coordinator to discover the opportunities and ways to become involved in your program’s graduate student association.

6) Create a Program of Study 

The Program of Study is an official form filed with the Graduate School that specifies the faculty on your advisory committee, including the chair and which courses you need to successfully complete to obtain your degree. In short, this form is a contract between you and your advisor, committee, graduate program leadership and the Graduate School regarding your degree requirements. We recommend you complete and file this Program before your third semester as a graduate student. Note: please check with your department since they may have their own requirements.

At the very latest, the Program of Study must be submitted early (October 1 or February 1) in the semester before you intend to take your final exam (master’s students) or preliminary exam (for advancement to candidacy for doctoral students). For example, if the relevant exam occurs during the Spring semester, the Program of Study must be submitted by October 1 of the preceding Fall semester. The academic coordinator and graduate handbook for your graduate program can help with specific details for when and how to file your Program of Study. Further information on Graduate School policies and procedures may be found in Chapter 7 for master’s students and Chapter 8 for doctoral students.

Jump to top of section

Jump to top of section | Jump to top of Degree section

There are several resources available to guide you through the requirements of your degree and help you navigate life as a graduate student. Visit the WSU Graduate School Forms webpage and contact your academic coordinator.

Log into myWSU at any time to view your academic advising, academic records, finances, classes, announcements, and more.

If you have questions, feel free to call 509-335-6424, email, or drop by the Graduate School office (French Administration 324).

WSU Graduate School Website

The Graduate School is here to help you, and you can visit our website for instructions, forms, and deadlines. Look under Current Students in the left hand navigation to find more resources, including funding opportunities and Professional Development Initiative workshops.

Visit the policies and procedures website , which will help guide you through your academic career through detailed instructions for most situations you may encounter as a WSU graduate student. Also, be sure to become acquainted with your department and/or graduate program contacts. These resources will be instrumental in helping you navigate your graduate career. Everyone is here to help you, and they can only do their best to help if you ask for help and proactively seek advice.

Your Academic Coordinator

The academic coordinator in your department is one of your first points of contact. This staff member will work to ensure you are aware of the requirements for your program, developing your program of study, and monitoring your progress. Academic coordinators provide support from the application stage through the various academic hurdles of your degree to the final steps for graduation. In addition, they serve as a liaison between your department/program and the Graduate School.

Your Faculty Advisor

Your faculty advisor will serve as the chair of your committee. As a mentor, advisors are expected to assist you in your scholarly development with encouragement and support for your academic growth. Your advisor will guide you in a professional manner and provide clear explanations of your specific research expectations and responsibilities. The professional relationship you develop with your faculty advisor will be very important as you move forward on your academic journey at WSU. He or she can provide opportunities for you to present at conferences, contribute to publications, and/or be named in copyrights and patents. You should have a clear understanding of your expectations and responsibilities, including timelines and completing your theses and/or dissertations. Please respect your advisor’s time by arriving to your meetings on time and prepared, including reviewing your program handbook and writing down questions you may need to discuss.

Your Committee

Each and every graduate student not only has an advisor but will also develop a committee to assist them through their degree program. In addition to your advisor, your committee members will help guide you in your scholarly development and encourage and support your academic growth as you make your way through your graduate career. It is important to have regular meetings with your committee so they can provide this guidance.

When you reach the final semester of your program and are ready to graduate, visit the commencement website.

Jump to top of Degree section


Semester 1

Select an advisor.

An academic advisor will be key in helping you navigate through the policies put forth by the Graduate School and your department. Check with your prospective department chair or click on your program link on the faculty web pages to find an advisor whose research interests match your own.

Resolve admissions contingencies.

Check your status with the Graduate School and clear any contingencies listed on your original admissions certificate. You will be unable to file a Program of Study (listed below) until you clear all contingencies. Registration holds may be added that prevent future registrations until contingencies have been cleared.

Establish ties in Washington.

Since graduate tuition at WSU is considerably less expensive for Washington residents than for out-of-state graduate students, you will want to establish residency as soon as possible.

Jump to top of section

Semester 2

Select your committee.

By now, you’re probably settled in and have some idea of the type of research you would like to conduct. It’s time to select your master’s committee, which will help guide you through the research. A master’s committee consists of three faculty members: two from your department and another of your choosing. One member will be the committee chair, and the other, your primary contact.

Seek IRB approval.

WSU requires approval for the use of human or animal subjects in research, so before you begin any research, you must gain approval from the Institutional Review Board. In addition, you need proof of this approval in order to use human or animal subjects in your research before you schedule your final examination. For more information, contact the Office of Research Support and Operations.

File your Program of Study.

Your committee chair, in conjunction with the other members, will help you in developing your proposed Program of Study [PDF]. This includes an official list of classes you have taken, those you intend to take, and your research interest. After the proposed program is signed by each committee member, you will need to submit it to your department chair who will ensure it meets department and Graduate School requirements. Be sure to follow up and ensure your program of study was submitted to the Graduate School for final approval by the end of your second semester.

Jump to top of section

Semester 3

Apply for residency.

After you have proof that you have lived in Washington for twelve months, you can apply for residency. This will enable you to be charged the lower in-state graduate tuition rate as you continue your studies.

Jump to top of section

Semester Before You Graduate

Apply for Master’s Degree.

It’s important that you submit an application for degree to the Graduate School at least one semester before your final exam is scheduled and pay the $50 graduation fee. The Graduate School will notify you of any final graduation requirements before enrolling for your last semester.

Jump to top of section

Your Final Semester

Plan to graduate this semester? Follow these detailed step by step instructions.

Schedule your final oral exam.

After your master’s thesis or project is complete, you will need to work with your committee to determine when you will take your final exam. Next, submit the final examination scheduling form and a draft of your thesis to the Graduate School no later than 10 working days prior to the date of the exam, and they will schedule your final examination.

Submit your thesis to the Graduate School.

To avoid delays, be sure your thesis is formatted in accordance with the Graduate School formatting requirements. Your thesis is due 10 working days after your final exam. Check the Graduate School website for other forms you should submit along with your thesis, including the Hold Harmless / Copyright Acknowledgement [PDF] form.

Graduation and diplomas.

The Bookie begins accepting orders for graduate regalia approximately two months prior to commencement. You may place your order by calling 800-937-4978, extension 318.

Update your diploma address.

Diplomas are mailed throughout the weeks following commencement. Graduating students must update their diploma address within myWSU by the last day of the term. If you are unsure where you will be at that point, please ensure your diploma address lists a parent, friend, or your other permanent address where WSU may mail your diploma. If you have questions, please email

Jump to top of section| Jump to top of Degree section


Semester 1

Select an academic advisor.

Your academic advisor will be key in helping you navigate the policies of your department and the Graduate School. If you have yet to be assigned an academic advisor, check with your department chair or the faculty web pages to select one whose research fits your interests.

Resolve admissions contingencies.

Check your status with the Graduate School and clear any contingencies listed on your original admissions certificate. You will be unable to file a Program of Study (listed below) until all contingencies are cleared. Registration holds may also be added until contingencies have been cleared.

Establish ties in Washington state.

If you’ve relocated from another state, you will want to become a Washington state resident as soon as possible. Graduate tuition is considerably less for residents than for out-of-state students. Establishing residency can significantly reduce the cost of your graduate education. Non-resident waivers are only guaranteed for one year.

Jump to top of section

Semester 2

Select your committee.

By now, you’re probably settled in and have an idea of the type of research you would like to conduct. It’s time to select your dissertation committee, which will help guide you through your research. A dissertation committee consists of three faculty members: three permanent tenure-track faculty, all of whom hold the highest appropriate degree comparable to the degree you are seeking, and at least one member from your minor department, if applicable. For more information, please consult the General Academic Requirements.

Seek IRB approval.

WSU requires approval for the use of human or animal subjects in research, so before you begin you must seek approval from the Institutional Review Board. You will need to provide proof of said approval in order to use human or animal subjects in your research prior to scheduling your final examination. For more information, contact the Office of Research Support and Operations .

File your Program of Study.

Your committee chair and other members should aid you in developing your proposed Program of Study. This is an official list of classes you have taken and/or will take, and research you have conducted or will conduct. After each member signs the proposed Program of Study [PDF], it should then be submitted to your department chair, who will ensure that it meets departmental and Graduate School requirements. The Program of Study should be submitted no later than the end of the first year of your post-master’s graduate work. If you have not previously earned a master’s degree, submit the program no later than the end of your third semester of graduate work. For more information about filing your program of study, consult Policies & Procedures.

Jump to top of section

Subsequent Semesters

Be sure to check with your academic department for additional requirements and deadlines that may apply.

Apply for residency.

After you have proof that you’ve lived in Washington for twelve straight months, you may apply for residency, which enables you to receive the lower in-state graduate tuition rate.

Schedule (and pass) your prelim exam.

Consult with your department and review the Graduate School’s academic policies and procedures for more information about your preliminary exams. 

NOTE: Be sure to complete and submit the Preliminary Examination Scheduling Form at least 10 working days prior to your exam date.

Jump to top of section

Your Final Semester

Plan to graduate this semester? Follow these detailed step by step instructions.

File an application for your Doctoral Degree.

Submit an application for degree to the Graduate School at least one semester before you schedule your final examination. There is a $50 graduate fee. The Graduate School will notify you of any final graduation requirements before you enroll in your last semester. Schedule your final exam [PDF]. After you complete your dissertation, submit the final examination scheduling form, IRB/IACUC approval, and upload a draft of your dissertation to ProQuest and pay the applicable publishing fees.

Submit your dissertation in digital format.

To avoid delays, be sure your dissertation is formatted in accordance with Graduate School submission requirements [PDF]. Check the Graduate School’s web site for other forms that should be submitted along with your dissertation, including the Copyright Acknowledgement [PDF] form, and Survey of Earned Doctorates [PDF]. Your dissertation is due 10 working days after your final exam.

Order your cap and gown.

The Bookie begins accepting orders for graduation regalia approximately two months prior to commencement. You can place your order by calling 800-937-4978 extension 318.

Update your diploma address.

Diplomas are mailed throughout the weeks following commencement. Graduating students must update their diploma address within myWSU by the last day of the term. If you are unsure where you will be at that point, please ensure your diploma address lists a parent, friend, or your other permanent address where WSU may mail your diploma. If you have questions, please email

Jump to top of sectionJump to top of Degree section


  1. See the list of graduate certificate offerings.
  2. Determine if you are eligible to earn a graduate certificate.
  3. Apply for your graduate certificate.

Jump to top of Degree section

Jump to top of page

Academic and Career Success

Earning your graduate degree requires years of hard work and study. It’s important for you to establish attainable goals to help guide your work and study. You will want to establish these as soon as you enter your graduate program. Feel free to visit the Academic Success and Career Center at 

Career Preparation

During your graduate program, you need to do as much as you can to prepare for your career. Although pursuing a teaching or research position in or outside of academia is a popular career plan for many graduate students, feel free to explore broader pathways such as jobs in government, the non-profit sector, and/or industry.

Knowing Yourself

Understanding your career goals and knowing your own strengths and weaknesses can help guide your career plan. The WSU Graduate School and University offer many opportunities for graduate students to grow, including GPSA and the PDI, so watch for those ongoing opportunities, match them to your desired skillset, and sign up.

Match skills to your career goals

When you have career goals, you will want to match your skills and passion to the position requirements. Therefore, it’s important to know what skills you must gain during your graduate school journey to increase your opportunities and potential to land your dream job. The WSU Graduate School offers information on funding opportunities on its website, and you can also contact your department for help.

Build your career network

Build a career network in your field can also help you achieve your career goal. We encourage you to step outside your “comfort zone” and participate in broader social interactions. You can participate in school or community organizations, where you can hone your social, communicative, and collaborating skills. You can also participate in internships, where you can directly connect yourself to people in your career field. Some of the online resources are good for you to start establishing your career network such as LinkedIn.

Jump to top of Academic & Career Success section

The Professional Development Initiative (PDI) was created and is managed by the Graduate School and the Graduate and Professional Student Association (GPSA). With the goal of ensuring all graduate and professional students gain the skills, knowledge, and mindsets necessary to succeed professionally and academically, PDI provides a wide range of programs, training opportunities, and resources to graduate and professional students that will help prepare them for academic and career success. Visit the PDI website. Find out more information about core competencies, events, and institutional memberships.

PDI Core Competencies

Graphic of GOALS acronym by the Professional Development Initiative

PDI Events

PDI organizes several events each semester aimed at developing the core competencies of graduate and professional students that are listed above. You can read about and register for PDI events on its website. If you are not on the Pullman campus, you can participate in PDI events through live streaming by selecting that option when you register.

Institutional Memberships

PDI offers graduate and professional students access to some of the top industry and academic career memberships that can be found on the PDI website .

Logo for Grammarly

Grammarly at EDU offers online writing assistance and plagiarism tools to encourage polished grammar and better overall wordsmithing that results in a professional writing style. The PDI offers 20 FREE memberships to this platform. Students with memberships can access to 400+ points of grammar checking, a built-in plagiarism checker, and learning management system integration.

Logo for The Versatile PhD

Versatile PhD helps graduate students and new PhDs envision, prepare for and excel in non-academic careers. Here you will find a wonderful online community, an overview of PhD careers, PhD-appropriate job listings and access to a database of nearly 90,000 members. Because WSU subscribes to VPhD, you ALSO get these subscription-only resources such as, detailed inside information on industry careers from the PhD perspective, successful resumes & cover letters that got PhDs their first post-ac jobs, personal stories of long-term PhD success outside the academy, and a “Power Search” feature that identifies real post-academic contacts for you.

Jump to top of Academic & Career Success section

The Professional Development Initiative offers a TA workshop in early fall. If you are a new teaching assistant, watch for advertisements for this workshop and be sure to register. Here are select resources for teaching assistants from past workshops:

Preparing Lectures and Using Learning Innovations

The WSU Academic Outreach and Innovation division serves to discover, implement and support academic technology that increases teaching efficiency and enhances student access and engagement. The team can assist you in designing courses, activities, and assessments that align with your course learning goals, select and implement the right academic technology tool, and create rich media objects that convey course content in easily digestible ways.

Guidelines for Course Planning and Syllabi

Please see more information for preparing a course syllabus.

The Graduate School also provides teaching resources for graduate students.

Jump to top of Academic & Career Success section

Picture of student holding a pen and writing

The Graduate Writing Center (GWC) is a free service available to WSU graduate and professional students based in CUE 402G on the Pullman campus and online.

Writing consultants in the GWC assist graduate and professional students from all disciplines with all types of written communications—from research articles and dissertation chapters to teaching philosophies, job applications, and grant proposals. GWC consultants do not simply proofread or copy-edit documents. Instead, the GWC works to provide strategies for students to improve as writers, scholars, and emerging professionals. The GWC strives to make graduate and professional students empowered to develop and manage their writing habits and goals

Our services:

  • Face-to-Face Appointments (in person and online): Appointments allow students to meet and talk with a GWC consultant for one-to-one discussion around a piece of writing up to 15 pages. Appointments are scheduled in advance, so the consultant may read the piece of writing before the appointment and can focus the conversation on specific needs and revisions.
  • Drop In (in person): Throughout the semester, the GWC offers open hours during which students can show up in CUE 402G without making an appointment. This service offers immediate feedback and suggestions on strengthening flow, organization, clarity, and coherence of a piece of writing up to 15 pages.
  • Workshops (in person and online): Workshops may cover pre-writing activities, including concept mapping and outlining, or strategies and writing time for abstracts, literature reviews, or other specific graduate writing tasks. These sessions encourage interaction among students and between students and facilitator as well as generation and discussion of new writing or practices.
  • Please attend the PDI Writing Workshop Series and check out the Graduate and Professional Student Association (GPSA) services.

Jump to top of Academic & Career Success section

Picture of WSU Campus

WSU libraries aspire to exceed the needs and expectations of the WSU community by:

  • Selecting, organizing, preserving, and providing access to sources of knowledge in all formats,
  • Designing and delivering information services to support our public land grant university,
  • Providing environments for individual and collaborative discovery, study and learning, and
  • Offering instructional services to promote information literacy and lifelong learning.

The WSU libraries are located on the Pullman, Spokane, Tri-Cities, and Vancouver campuses also provide services for the Global Campus.

Libraries on the Pullman Campus

There are three libraries on the Pullman campus: the Animal Health LibraryHolland/Terrell Libraries, and Owen Science and Engineering Library. The libraries provide students several services.

Getting books, articles, media and more

WSU Libraries system is available for you to search and find learning resources both online and in the libraries. Each library in the system has its own Access Services (Circulation) desk where library materials may be checked out. To check out an item, you need to bring it to the Access Services desk along with your valid WSU ID. The regular loan period for most books is one semester for graduate students. Interlibrary loan is available as well. Click HERE to know more about the service.


All three libraries have computers available for use by WSU students any time the libraries are open. Most computers have Microsoft Office and screen readers (NVDA and Kurzweil 3000). You can also check out laptops for 4 hours at a time at Holland and Terrell Libraries and the Owen Science and Engineering Library. Meanwhile, the libraries are equipped with CougPrints print/scan/copy machines. There are two ways to print: (1) Upload your documents to My Print Center from your own device and retrieve from any printer on campus using your Cougar Card, or (2) Print directly from a library computer. Only Cougar Cash can be used for the payment. Deposit Cougar Cash HERE.

Studying in the Libraries

Study spaces are provided in all three libraries on the Pullman campus. Please click HERE to find out the study spaces located in each library. To book a study room, you can find the availabilities of rooms and times and finish a reservation online.

Quick Guide to WSU Libraries Modified Operations | WSU Libraries | Washington State University

Picture of inside a library


The Health Sciences Library supports the academic programs of WSU in Spokane. It maintains a collection of books and journals in print but relies on the main campus libraries in Pullman and Cheney for much printed materials. The services provided by the Health Sciences Library include access to the library’s Catalog, access to multiple indexing and journal articles databases on many subjects, course reserves, article and book delivery, equipment to view coursework-related videos, use of group study rooms, internet access, photocopying, professional instructional and reference services, and call for instructions or to schedule appointments.

Picture of Spokane library


The Max E. Benitz Memorial Library is the Tri-Cities campus library resource. Media, maps, microforms, government publications, eBooks, ejournals, manuscripts, archives and special collections support the teaching and research programs. Approximately 35,000 volumes are added to the collection annually.

Picture of WSU Tri-Cities Library


There is one library on the Vancouver campus that is open seven days every week. You can check Library Hours. Similar to libraries on other campuses, students can find Book & Materials, Articles, and Library News to support your academics.

Picture of hands typing on a laptop


WSU Global Campus students have full access to WSU Libraries, including 3.5 million books, journals, documents, microforms, etc. Services available include online access to database, reference assistance, borrowing WSU-owned books and other circulating materials, and photocopies of non-circulating materials. Global Campus students can request assistance with research projects by contacting the Distance Learning Librarian, Erica England at; you may also find an answer to your question at the Ask Us page. Visit the website for more information about the services provided by WSU Libraries system to the Global Campus.

Jump to top of Academic & Career Success section

WSU Access Centers on all campuses provide accommodations and services to students with disabilities, psychological or medical conditions, or temporary injuries that limit their access to the WSU environment. Each campus offers general and specific accommodations. Visit the relevant website below.

Pullman Access Center 

Spokane Access Services 

Vancouver Access Services 

Tri-Cities Access Services 

Common disabilities include ADHD, learning disabilities, mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, sensory disabilities such as deafness and blindness, physical/mobility disabilities, and chronic medical conditions, such as seizure disorders, chronic migraines and diabetes. The Center also serves students with temporary disabilities or injuries that impede the ability to travel on campus or take exams.

Jump to top of Academic & Career Success section

Jump to top of page

Get involved!

Graduate and Professional Student Association logo

The Graduate and Professional Student Association (GPSA) is the representative body for the graduate and professional students at WSU. With the aim to “facilitate the relationship between graduate and professional students and the WSU community,” GPSA helps enrich the graduate and professional student experience academically, professionally, and socially while at WSU.

GPSA offers a wide variety of programs that provide academic, professional, personal, and financial support services for graduate and professional students. The GPSA programs include but are not limited to the following:

Financial support, including Travel and Registration Grants  to WSU Pullman fee paying graduate and professional students

Visit Chartered Orgs for graduate or professional registered student organizations.

Dissertation Grants to support WSU Ph.D. students’ research work.

The Excellence Awards include many awards and categories, including Graduate Assistant, Teaching Assistant, Research Assistant, Graduate Students Instructor, Academic Advisor, Registered Student Organization, and Community Involvement.

GPSA Research Expo & Academic Showcase offers graduate and professional students a forum for presenting their original research, scholarship, and/or creative work at WSU Pullman/ Participants have opportunities to win scholarships in six competition categories.

The Professional Development Initiative (PDI) provides a range of programs, training opportunities, and resources to graduate and professional students to help prepare them for academic and career success. The many workshops and events benefit students’ academic and career development, communication, and collaboration skills, leadership and professionalism traits as well as personal wellbeing.

GPSA organizes many events for graduate and professional students. Visit the Coug Presence website to learn about additional events, including ice cream socials and free bowling and social nights every semester. Subscribe to the Monday Minute Newsletter and the Graduate School’s Friday Focus.

Want to Get Involved?
There are several ways to get involved in the GPSA. Find out more on the GPSA website. Join GPSA committees. Any graduate student is eligible to join a GPSA Committee and can join as many committees as they want.

Jump to top of School & Community Involvement section

Flag of Washington and LGBT. Washington and LGBT Mixed Flag waving in wind. 3d rendering.

WSU aims to be affirming for all romantic/sexual orientations and gender identities/expressions. The LGBTQ+ Student Center, also called “The Center,” serves and supports LGBTQ+ students, faculty, staff, and alumni systemwide by providing resources, fostering community building and relevant initiatives. Additionally, the Center promotes academic and personal growth, learning, and development for students.

Programs and Events
For a series of events held by the Center, visit the Programs and Events website.

LGBTQ+ Resources
The LGBTQ+ Center provides definitions of many terms that help students build a foundation for being an affirming ally at WSU and beyond. Visit LGBTQ+ Resources to learn more about terms, definitions, and scholarships.

Jump to top of School & Community Involvement section

Picture of Flags showing an international student fair

WSU is a multicultural community made of international students from many different countries. To help international students better immerse themselves in this and surrounding communities, WSU provides the students with several resources.

International Programs
International Programs helps everyone who wants to make international friends and connections. Located in the CUB, this Center offers inter-cultural communication and leadership opportunities, and a variety of global programs for the campus and community. Computers and free printing, free tea and coffee, a comfortable lounge with TV and kitchenette, and quiet study space are available at the Center. Events are often organized to facilitate students’ language learning and cultural understanding.

International Students’ Council
Visit the International Students’ Council website  to learn about events throughout the year that promote cultural exchange on campus and in the Pullman community. Membership is open to all students and leadership opportunities are offered to students in a variety of positions.

Student Organizations
More than 300 registered student organizations welcome international students to join and participate in events at WSU. Getting involved in the student organizations and participating in various events held by the organizations are good ways for international students to immerse in the WSU and surrounding communities. Learn more at International Student and Scholar Services.

Jump to top of School & Community Involvement section

Image of WSU Women's Center logo

WSU’s Women*s Center engages with the multi-dimensional experiences of women, to challenge patterns of injustice for people of all genders, and to provide a welcoming and inclusive space for all. The Center elevates all marginalized voices while prioritizing prerogatives to learn, organize, and support one another as peers and mentors. It fosters a community dynamic both within and beyond the Center that is collaborative, creative, and inclusive.

The Women*s Center organizes various events to inspire, encourage, and empower people to create change in their lives and communities. Programs and Events range from simple crafting to week-long events with visiting speakers. The Center also collaborates with campus and community partners to create educational programs during awareness months, International Women’s Week, Honoring Indigenous Women, and Women’s History Month.

Women’s Leadership Conference: Together with the University of Idaho, WSU organizes this conference annually to celebrate our differences and create an empowered community more inclusive of women as a group and irrespective of social identity, status or institutional role.

International Women’s Day: According to the United Nations, International Women’s Day is “a day when women are recognized for their achievements without regard to divisions, whether national, ethnic, linguistics, cultural, economic or political.” WSU celebrates the entire week as part of Women’s History Month. Each year, the WSU International Women’s Week Committee develops a calendar of events celebrating women’s challenges and achievements worldwide.

The WSU Women*s Center Student Achievement Scholarship information may be found on  the resources page. You may apply using the WSU General Scholarship Application.

Jump to top of School & Community Involvement section

Center for Civic Engagement
Civic engagement is central to the student experience, empowering you to become an active citizen and forge community-campus partnerships. You can access The Center for Civic Engagement and foster meaningful engagements between students and their community by providing opportunities for service.  You may also find your niche in civic engagement on the Givepulse website.

Community Engagement
Becoming involved in your community can promote inclusion and help you make new connections. The GPSA has provided a pathway for WSU students to find community partners, opportunities, and events. Find out more about Community Engagement and getting involved.

Jump to top of School & Community Involvement section

Jump to top of page

Personal Wellbeing

Picture of WSU building

Cougar Health Services provides WSU students clinical services and counseling and psychological services. Find out where to park and the hours of operation.

Student Insurance

WSU administers insurance for international students, eligible graduate student assistants, and graduate and professional students in health sciences. Students can contact the billing office to get help from the certified health insurance navigators with exploring options for health insurance coverage, enrolling in WSU student insurance plans and the Washington Health Benefit Exchange, understanding and navigating the medical system and insurance benefits, and applying for financial assistance for routine and urgent medical care. Learn more about student insurance.

Medical Clinic

The primary care teams at Cougar Health Services Medical Clinic comprise physicians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, registered nurses, and support staff. Services include gynecological and sexual health services, STI/STD testing, internal medicine, sports medicine and orthopedic care, LGBTQ+ health care, laboratory and X-ray services, physical therapy, nutrition counseling, travel clinic, allergy desensitization injections, immunizations, and behavioral health care. Learn more about Cougar Health Services Medical Clinic.

Vision Clinic

The Cougar Health Services Vision Care is committed to providing professional, highly accessible vision care for WSU students. Services include comprehensive eye exams, contact lens fittings, emergency same-day appointments for conditions such as red eye, flashes of light, floaters, and injuries to the eyes/face, treatment for eye conditions such as fry eye, allergies, diabetes, glaucoma, and macular degeneration, and pre- and post-op LASIK care.  Learn more about Vision Care.

Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS)

Don’t let the negative emotions steal your life. Cougar Health Services offers counseling and psychological services, such as brief, focused individual or couple therapy, group therapy and workshops, biofeedback, and psychological assessment. To begin using these services, make an appointment with CAPS.

Jump to top of Personal Well-Being section

Compliance and Civil Rights  

It also reviews and investigates all complaints of discrimination, discriminatory harassment, sexual harassment, and sexual misconduct and advises faculty, staff, and students on appropriate management of such issues. Visit the Policies and Procedures website.

Ombuds Office

The Office of the University Ombuds is an informal, neutral channel for students to voice university-related concerns. The primary purpose of the office is to protect the interests, rights, and privileges of students, staff, and faculty at all levels of university operations and programs. This office provides information relating to university policies and procedures and facilitates the resolution of problems and grievances through informal investigation and mediation. Contact the Ombuds.

Campus Safety

WSU is committed to enhancing the safety of the students, faculty, staff, and visitors to all campuses. Read about Clery Act Compliance.

Communicating with the Campus and the Public during Emergencies: Many resources and tools are developed for emergency communications, including Campus Outdoor Warning System, Crisis Communication System, and WSU ALERT.

Resources for preventing and responding to violence and other campus emergencies:
(1) WSU Police provides general crime prevention for the general university community;
(2) The Campus Violence Prevention site answers how to report students of concern and will screen and intervene with students whose behavior is perceived as threatening to self or others;
(3) Human Resource Service’s Safe Environment initiative is committed to preventing campus violence and ensuring a safe and healthy environment;
(4) The Office of Emergency Management is a key resource for developing emergency response and recovery plans for the campus and in responding to emergency situations.

Student privacy: WSU complies with regulations in the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), and you can visit the FERPA site for complete information.

Sexual assault, domestic violence and stalking: sexual assault, domestic violence, and stalking will never be excused or tolerated at WSU. Learn more about how to report sex or gender-based violence.

WSU prohibits sexual harassment and discrimination based on sex and/or gender, as defined in WSU Executive Policy 15. Discrimination in all its forms, including harassment, sexual harassment, and sexual misconduct, destroys mutual respect and a trusting environment, can bring substantial personal harm to individuals, and violates individual rights. Such behaviors can be reported to Compliance and Civil Rights. Resources and grievance options are available.

To ensure your personal safety and security of the property, please always lock your room doors.

Jump to top of Personal Well-Being section

As a graduate student, you may sometimes find it challenging to balance your life, work, and study. Perhaps your new puppy or kitten leaps on you when you are drafting a manuscript, or you may have to postpone a much-needed trip or listening to a favorite podcast. Remember: maintaining work-life balance is integral so you can be fresh and rested, which will help your overall motivation and mental health. Inside Higher Ed provides some tips that might help you.

Practice mindfulness

You do not need to study all the time. After long days pipetting at the lab bench or hunched over a computer, go outside to have fun, or give yourself a break. You will feel refreshed and revitalized after adventuring and relaxing and then you can take on your to-do list. WSU provides you with resources to practice mindfulness. Visit the GPSA and PDI websites, which both offer resources on mindfulness.

Reset and recharge

You can start with some mini goals and deadlines. Reward yourself with a break or a good meal when you complete the goals. With more and more mini goals that are completed, you will find that you have already made a big progress. Visit the Student Resources page to find things to do–systemwide.

Prioritize your time, and feel okay saying “No”

Saying no is hard, but sometimes we must say no to others, even to ourselves. Learning when and how to say no is an important skill for graduate students.

Jump to top of Personal Well-Being section

Managing your finances

You can reduce stress by having a clear understanding of your monthly income and expenses. Create a monthly budget so you know where you stand and take out loans for only the amount you need. Check out Professional Development Initiative (PDI) workshops on managing your finances.

Funding and Financial Aid

WSU is dedicated to helping graduate students find funding and financial support. Many students receive a graduate student assistantship, which often comes with a tuition waiver. Learn more about graduate assistantships. And don’t forget to apply for scholarships and apply for fellowships.

Jump to top of Personal Well-Being section

Jump to top of page