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Washington State University
College of Arts and Sciences Scholarships


CAS Graduate Scholarship Application

Be prepared! Review the essay questions and collect any required materials before you start the online application!

The College of Arts and Sciences graduate scholarship application includes multiple short-answer essay questions to be answered by all students and a few additional questions for students interested in specific academic programs.

Personal Statement

The short-answer personal statement section is an important part of your scholarship application: it is your opportunity to help us get to know you better. Six of the essay questions are the same as on the WSU general scholarship application. You may use the same responses for both applications.

Eight questions, each with a 110-word maximum response.

Your personal statements should describe a special interest, significant experience, or achievement in the following areas, and address what you learned from these experiences.

  1. Leadership/group contributions: Describe examples of your leadership experience and share how you have significantly influenced others, helped resolve disputes, or contributed to group efforts over time. Consider responsibilities you have taken for initiatives in or out of school.
  2. Knowledge or creativity in a field: Describe any of your special interests and how you have developed knowledge in these areas. Give examples of your creativity: the ability to see alternatives; take diverse perspectives; come up with many, varied, or original ideas; or willingness to try new things.
  3. Dealing with adversity: Describe the most significant challenge you have faced and the steps you have taken to address this challenge. Include whether you turned to anyone in facing that challenge, the role that person played, and what you learned about yourself.
  4. Community service: Explain what you have done to make your community a better place to live. Give examples of specific projects in which you have been involved over time.
  5. Handling systemic challenges: Describe your experiences facing or witnessing discrimination. Tell us how you responded and what you learned from those experiences and how they prepared you to contribute to the WSU community.
  6. Goals/task commitment: Articulate the goals you have established for yourself and your efforts to accomplish them. Give at least one specific example that demonstrates your work ethic/diligence.
  7. Finances: How are you financing your education?
  8. Additional statement: Is there anything else you would like the scholarship committee to consider in the selection process that has not already been addressed? (i.e., significant experiences, philanthropy, unique circumstances, etc.)

Questions 1-6 from the WSU general scholarship application, © OSU Insight Resume

Activities and Career Interests

For all CAS students.

Three short statements, each with a 110-words maximum response.

  1. Describe any current or previous research and/or creative activities you have participated in outside of class-assigned research papers or projects, and what you learned from those activities.
  2. Describe your professional career interests and post-graduation goals, and how scholarship support will help you succeed.
  3. List any awards, honors, and/or scholarships you have received in the past three years.

Important Deadlines

Nov. 30 – FAFSA/WASFA Priority Deadline for Current Students

Jan. 31 – WSU General Scholarship Application due

Jan. 31 – FAFSA/WASFA WSU Deadline for New Students

Additional Opportunities

WSU Graduate School
Information on jobs and additional funding opportunities

WSU Outside Scholarships
For all WSU Students

PNNL-WSU Distinguished Graduate Research Program
For doctoral students interested in clean energy, smart manufacturing, sustainability, and national security innovation

NIH Protein Biotechnology Training Program
For graduate students interested in interdisciplinary biotechnology research

Research Assistantships for Diverse Scholars (RADS)
For U.S. students from under-represented and under-served communities


Steven Ward
CAS Scholarship Specialist

Degree-specific Questions and Materials

Students in the disciplines listed below will be asked to provide additional materials and/or essay responses. The questions you see in the application will be based on the academic program you select at the start of the application.

As indicated in the list below, some responses will require you to upload a separate document and some essay responses will be entered directly in the form.

If you are not affiliated with a particular program,  you will not be asked to complete the additional items.

Criminal Justice & Criminology

To be considered for a service scholarship, please write an essay on your interest in the criminal justice field and your commitment to service (to the department, college, university, and/or community).
Text box, 500 words max.

Earth Sciences

  1. If you are interested in the geology professions, describe why it is your ultimate career goal.
    Text box, 150 words max.
  2. If you are interested the study of geological sciences, describe your commitment and enthusiasm.
    Text box, 150 words max.


To be considered for scholarships in the Department of English, you must submit one of the following

  • A group of three to five short poems
  • One long poem
  • A piece of fictional writing
  • A literary essay of 1,000–1,500 words
  • A link to a video of your performance poetry

Upload one document (Word or PDF), 100MB max. Format guidelines: 12 point, Times New Roman, double-spaced.

Students interested in poetry or fiction may also provide a second sample of their work.

Fine Arts

Please upload a single file with samples of your work or provide a link to your online portfolio.

Upload options include Word, PDF, compressed Zip file; 100MB max.


  1. Are you engaged in research and the study of India? If yes, attach a written proposal endorsed by a faculty member who will be supervising your project.
    Upload options: Word, PDF; 100MB max. Format guidelines: 12 point, Times New Roman, double-spaced.
  2. Are you interested in American history on the local, regional, or national level?
    If you are specifically interested in rural American history, attach a research project proposal on a related topic.
    Upload options: Word, PDF; 100MB max. Format guidelines: 12 point, Times New Roman, double-spaced.


Describe how you are creative, entrepreneurial, and use critical thinking skills.
Text box, 150 words max.


1. Are you in the Cougar Marching Band? If yes, describe what you have learned by being a member of the Cougar Marching Band and why you should receive a scholarship.
Text box, 500 words max.

A separate audition is required for some scholarships. Please visit the School of Music website for details.


Describe your dedication to the field of physics.
Text box, 150 words max.

Political Science, Philosophy, & Public Affairs

Are you interested in a career in public service?
If so, describe your commitment to a career in public service.
Text box, 150 words max.

Remember, you will only see questions related to the academic fields of study that you indicate at the start of the application.

Good luck, and Go Cougs!



Uploaded documents
(For longer essays or other written work)

  • 12 point
  • Times New Roman
  • Double-spaced

Text box responses
You may type your responses directly in the scholarship application form or you may copy-and-paste text you have already written.

Best practice: Type or paste your essay response(s) into a text editor program (e.g. NotePad, TextEdit, etc.), and then copy and paste that text into the scholarship application.

Remember to proofread all responses and documents.