Frequently Asked Questions

FAQ Section Links

General Admissions

Transfer Admissions

International Admissions

Standardized Tests

Financial Assistance

Academics

Special Academic Programs

Planning Your Visit to Campus

Career Preparation

Undergraduate Research

Study Abroad

Living at GW and in DC


 

General Admissions

What are your requirements for admission?

The Office of Admissions carefully reviews each applicant based on academic background, the rigor of high school coursework, and GPA. In addition, admissions officers consider essays, letters of recommendation, and extracurricular activities. Submitting standardized test scores to GW is optional. We are looking for students who have the academic preparation, personal qualities, and motivation to thrive in GW’s dynamic environment.

What factors go into the admissions decision-making process?

The review of a GW admissions application is holistic and includes an evaluation of the applicant’s academic background, the rigor of the high school program and grades earned. In addition, the committee takes into consideration essays, letters of recommendation, extracurricular activities and test scores (if applicable).

Are there minimum SAT/ACT or GPA requirements for admission to GW?

Because we take a holistic approach to the application review process, we have no minimum GPA or SAT/ACT requirements for admission. However, admission to GW is competitive and admitted students are typically strong academic students in their high school graduating class.

Can I change my school or major?

Applicants can select primary and alternate schools before they submit their application. We do not allow students to alter their school list once it has been submitted. Current GW students may be able to transfer into another school after their first year, although rules vary by program.

Am I required to designate a primary and alternate school choice on the application?

All early decision, regular decision, and transfer applicants are required to select a primary GW school or college on the application for admission. If you have another area of interest, you may also indicate an alternate choice on the Common Application. Applicants are not required, but highly encouraged to identify an alternate choice.

Which admissions requirements must I fulfill if I apply to both a primary and alternate choice school?

Students selecting a primary and an alternate choice must fulfill all admission requirements for both schools, if they are different. For example, if the Corcoran School of the Arts and Design is your primary or alternate choice, you would be required to submit a portfolio.

If I am offered an opportunity to be on the waitlist, can I change my primary and/or alternate choice schools?

No, you cannot change your primary and/or alternate schools. You will be considered for admission off the waitlist if space becomes available in either your primary or alternate choice.

How do I monitor the status of my application materials online?

Your application status can be checked through the GW Undergraduate Student Portal. Applicants will receive an email with a link to sign up after their application is received by GW.

What is the GW Undergraduate Student Portal?

The GW Undergraduate Student Portal is designed for you, the applicant, to not only check the status of your admissions application, but to view missing documents, find our contact information, and when it’s posted, view your application decision and next steps.

How do I locate my GWID?

Applicants can find their GWID under their name in the GW Undergraduate Student Portal. If you have not received your GWID, please reach out to our office at gwadm@gwu.edu with your first name, last name, and date of birth.

Do I need to submit a portfolio for admission? If it’s not required, can I still send in extra portfolio materials? (Specifically Common App arts supplement)

Only students who intend to earn a BFA in fine arts, fine art photography, photojournalism or graphic design within the Corcoran School of the Arts and Design must submit a portfolio (12 to 20 completed pieces). When applying to GW via the Common Application, if you select Corcoran as your primary or alternate school choice, you will receive information on how to submit your portfolio via Slideroom.

Students applying for any other degree are not required to submit a portfolio. Please note that GW cannot guarantee that any submitted material will be reviewed if it is not part of the official application process.

How much is the application fee? Can I receive a fee waiver?

GW’s application fee is $75 and can be paid via the Common App. Students looking for a fee waiver should make a request from the Profile screen of the Common App; if a student does not meet those criteria but still wants to request a fee waiver, they should have their counselor contact our office.

Should I apply to George Washington University through the Early Decision plan?

Early Decision is a binding agreement. If admitted, applicants agree to attend GW, submit a non-refundable enrollment fee by the deposit deadline and withdraw applications submitted to other colleges. Therefore, if GW is your first choice college and you definitely plan to attend if accepted, then we encourage you to apply Early Decision.

Do you accept AP, IB or college credits taken in high school?

Yes, freshman and transfer applicants may earn college credit through AP, IB or college courses. Find details under Bring Credit to GW.

Does GW require an interview?

No, evaluative interviews are not required or offered for GW admission. However, please feel free to reach out to the GW admissions representative assigned to your area.

Can I receive a second bachelor’s degree?

If you have previously earned a bachelor’s degree, you are not eligible to apply for undergraduate admission at GW. However, you may want to consider one of GW’s graduate programs.

Do you offer online programs?

Yes, GW offers certain certificate, bachelor’s and graduate programs online. These programs are coordinated by GW Online Programs and not the Office of Undergraduate Admissions. Explore GW’s online program options.

Can I apply if I have earned a GED?

Yes, if you have not attended college since earning your GED, you can apply as a freshman applicant; if you have attended college since earning your GED, you can apply as a transfer student.

What are your homeschool requirements?

Students who have been schooled at home are required to submit standardized test scores in addition our other application requirements. The Office of Admissions will work with students to waive the Counselor Recommendation form. Read more about our admission process for freshmen or transfer students.

What are your requirements for high school students who attend online high schools?

Students who have attended an online high school are required to submit standardized test scores in addition to our other application requirements. Read more about our admission process for freshmen or transfer students.

If I’m admitted for the fall semester, may I start school early?

Students who have been admitted for the fall semester at GW are not eligible to move up their entry date to the summer semester.

If I will complete most or all of my high school requirements as a junior, can I apply as a high school junior?

As long as you have met the graduation requirements set forth by your local high school, you may apply for undergraduate admission to GW. We look forward to receiving your application!

Is there an appeals process to be reconsidered for admission or a merit scholarship?

No, there is no appeals or negotiation process. The Admissions Committee carefully reviews every application for both admission and merit-based scholarships. Since applications are given careful review, we feel very confident in our decisions and exhaust all available merit funding as well.

Is it possible for readmitted students to start during one of GW’s summer sessions?

Yes, students who were previously registered at GW and wish to resume studies after discontinuing enrollment for one or more semesters (summer sessions and leaves of absence excluded) must apply for readmission. Applications are accepted at any time as long as they adhere to the deadlines for each semester. The deadline to submit your readmission application for the summer session is four (4) weeks prior to the beginning of the desired summer session.

 

Transfer Admissions

Who is considered a transfer student?

A transfer student is anyone who has graduated from high school and completed at least one college course since high school graduation.

Do you accept credits from my college?

GW accepts transfer credit from various colleges and universities. All domestic transfer credit must have been taken at a regionally-accredited institution. International transfer credits must have been taken at an institution recognized by the country’s Ministry of Education.

What is the maximum number of transfer credits GW will accept?

GW’s residence requirement limits the number of transfer credits that can be applied toward a degree. Students must complete at least 60 of the total credits required for their degree at or through the university. Credits earned through GW study abroad, GW satellite campuses, GW distance education courses and Consortium courses are treated as “in residence.”

When will I receive my credit evaluation to see which credits will transfer?

An evaluation of your courses taken at other institutions is completed after you have been admitted to GW. You will receive your evaluation, which outlines which credits will transfer to GW, with your letter of admission; however, final determination of how credit will be applied toward your degree must be obtained from your academic advisor. We suggest you meet with your advisor upon acceptance to determine which courses will fulfill degree requirements.

How many credits and what GPA do I need to be admitted?

There is no standard credit or GPA requirement for transfer admission into GW. The Admissions Committee carefully reviews each applicant based on academic background and the rigor of high school coursework. In addition, the committee takes into consideration essays, letters of recommendation and extracurricular activities.

Do I need to submit high school information and standardized test scores?

Your transcript should be sent from each high school you attended. This requirement is waived for students with an associate's degree.

Applicants are not required to submit standardized test scores, except in select circumstances. Review the policy and see if you're required to submit test scores.

When should I apply?

Submit all required documents before the deadline for the term you wish to enter. Review transfer application deadlines.

Are there merit scholarships available for transfer students?

There are five merit scholarships available for transfer students: Scottish Rite, Transfer Engineering, National Society of Collegiate Scholars, Phi Theta Kappa and Alpha Beta Gamma. Read details about merit scholarships for transfer students.

Does GW provide housing for transfer students?

All first-, second- and third-year students are required to reside on campus unless they have been approved for a Residency Exemption. More information regarding housing and the application process can be found on the GW Housing webpage.

 

International Admissions

Is there a separate application for international applicants?

No, all undergraduate applicants apply via the Common Application. However, requirements differ, so we encourage you to review the international application process.

As an international student, am I eligible for financial or merit aid?

International students are not eligible for need-based financial assistance, but they are eligible for merit scholarships, for which there is no additional application.

How do I apply if I am a dual citizen?

Any U.S. citizen, including those with dual citizenship, or U.S. permanent resident should apply as a domestic student.

I am not a U.S. citizen, but I live in the United States and go to school here. Am I considered an international student?

Anyone who is not either a U.S. citizen nor a U.S. permanent resident is considered an international student.

If I am in the process of obtaining citizenship/permanent residency/a green card, how do I apply for admission?

Students who are in the process of obtaining a green card/residency/citizenship are required to apply as an international student. You must provide required documentation, including a bank statement and financial certificate. If you are granted residency, subsequent to being admitted, but before matriculating, you may not be required to go through the F-1 Visa process.

Is the TOEFL/IELTS test required for admission for international students? If so, what is the minimum preferred TOEFL/IELTS score?

If English is not your first language, you are required to demonstrate English proficiency as part of the admissions process, regardless of citizenship. For details, review our international application process.

I attend an American high school (or college) and have been taking classes taught entirely in English. Do I still need to take the TOEFL/IELTS?

If you spent your most recent four years in a school setting where English is the sole language of instruction in all academic subjects (excluding foreign language and ESL/ELL courses), you are exempt from the TOEFL/IELTS/PTE requirement.

What financial documents are necessary to submit as proof of sufficient funding?

You’ll find details under the Required Materials section of our international application process page.

Is housing guaranteed for international students?

All first-, second- and third-year students are required to live on campus unless they have been approved for a Residency Exemption. More information regarding housing and the application process can be found on the GW Housing webpage.

What tests do I need to take?

GW does not require SAT/ACT scores for most students, but it does require TOEFL, IELTS or PTE scores for international applicants. For details and exceptions, view our test-optional policy.

How do I transfer credit for academic classes I have taken outside the U.S.?

International students or students who have taken academic classes outside the U.S. must have all previously attended educational institutions send copies of official certificates and records directly to the Office of Undergraduate Admissions. These documents should list subjects studied, examinations taken, grades received and degrees received. Certified copies of diplomas and certificates from all secondary schools, colleges and universities attended as well as records of state examinations and certificates are also required.

When will I get my I-20?

Once we have received all required documents, it typically takes the Department of Homeland Security three weeks to process an I-20.

What kinds of resources are available to international students?

GW’s International Services Office (ISO) facilitates international educational exchange through its services and programs. It serves as the primary administrative, programming and advising office for our international community.

 

Standardized Tests

Do I have to submit test scores?

GW is test-optional, so if you are applying for freshman or transfer admission you are not required to submit standardized test scores, except in the following select circumstances:

  • Applicants applying to the accelerated Seven-Year B.A./M.D. Program

  • Applicants who are homeschooled or who attend an online high school

  • Applicants who attend secondary schools that provide only narrative evaluations rather than some form of grading scale

  • Recruited NCAA Division I athletes

Are there minimum SAT/ACT or GPA requirements for admission to GW?

Because we take a holistic approach to the application review process, we have no minimum GPA or SAT/ACT requirements for admission. However, admission to GW is competitive and admitted students are typically strong academic students in their high school graduating class.

Can I change my application to test optional after I submit?

You must choose whether to apply as test optional prior to submitting your application. Once that selection has been made, it cannot be changed. Please know that following decision release, we will ask admitted students to submit test scores for research purposes.   

I know GW is a test-optional school. If I choose to submit SAT scores, does GW require me to send scores from the redesigned SAT?

GW will accept scores from either the old version of the SAT or the redesigned SAT for admission. GW will consider the reading and math sections of the redesigned SAT; neither the writing section of the redesigned SAT nor the ACT will be evaluated.

Does GW superscore standardized tests?

GW will take the highest composite score from the ACT but will superscore the SAT (we do not combine the old and new SAT, though; superscores must be from the same test version).

Does GW require SAT Subject Tests for admission?

SAT Subject Tests are not required, except for the BA/MD program. If sent, they will be considered with the rest of the file.

 

Financial Assistance

How do I apply for financial aid? What are the requirements and deadline?

Applicants are automatically considered for merit-based scholarships. View the application process for need-based aid. Financial aid material must be submitted by the admission application deadline. Learn more from the Office of Student Financial Assistance.

Do you offer merit scholarships?

Yes, applicants are automatically considered for merit scholarships as part of the admissions process. Learn more about merit scholarships at GW.

Are international students eligible for financial or merit aid?

International students are not eligible for need-based financial assistance, but they are eligible for merit scholarships, for which there is no additional application.

What is GW’s Fixed Tuition Policy?

This policy locks in your tuition rate during your first semester as a GW student. We guarantee that your tuition will stay the same for up to five years. (Note that room, board, and fees may increase during that time.)

Is GW need-blind or need-aware?

GW practices need-aware admissions, which allows us to meet as much of the financial need of as many students as possible. The admissions committee begins the evaluation process by reading each applicant’s file based solely upon the merits of the application. A student’s financial background is not considered until the final stages of the admissions process.

Is all financial aid at GW guaranteed?

GW can only guarantee merit scholarships and institutional aid (both dependent on the student making satisfactory academic progress), but it cannot guarantee federal financial assistance, outside scholarships, loans or other type of aid.

 

Academics

Should I include both a primary and secondary school on my application?

When applying to GW, all freshmen, transfer and international applicants are required to select a primary GW school or college. If you have another area of interest, you may also indicate an alternate choice. You are not required to choose an alternate school or college, but we encourage students to select one.

Applications that include a primary and alternate school will be considered sequentially, first for the primary school and then by the alternate choice. If a student is not admitted to their primary school and no secondary school is listed, they will not be admitted to GW.

Students selecting a primary and an alternate choice must fulfill all admission requirements for both schools, if they are different. For example, if the Corcoran School of the Arts and Design is your primary or alternate choice, you would be required to submit a portfolio.

Can I complete more than one major at GW? If so, what is the percentage of GW students double majoring?

You can certainly double major at GW. Approximately 18 percent of seniors double major at GW, and 30 percent have a minor in a related discipline.

If I want to double major between schools, which school should I list as my primary school?

Choose your top choice school as your primary school. GW students are able to double major across schools, regardless of the school to which they were admitted. As a student, you can work with your academic advisor to explore double-major options.

If I am a student in Corcoran, can I double major?

The Corcoran School of the Arts and Design is considered part of the broader Columbian College of Arts and Sciences at GW. Students who complete the requirements of two majors in the Columbian College (such as mathematics and physics, or history and economics) may graduate with a double major under a specific primary degree (BA, BS, BFA). However, due to the studio-intensive nature of the BFA programs, students will have to work diligently if they are to achieve a double major with another academic concentration. We strongly encourage students to consult with advisors in the two departments of interest before declaring both majors.

Can I switch my major?

Generally, yes. Some programs may have requirements, while others are open. Your academic advisor can help you if you wish to change majors after you enroll.

Students who wish to change to a major within another school must submit an internal transfer request to the University Registrar. A university-wide graduation requirement is that students must be registered in the college/school in which their primary major is housed. Some schools may require that certain prerequisite courses have been taken and that minimum grades have been earned before the transfer is processed.

How many classes are taught by teaching or graduate assistants?

Graduate assistants may lead break-out or discussion sections at GW, but no graduate assistant relays new information independent of the course’s main instructor.

 

Special Academic Programs

How do I apply for special academic programs?

You indicate your interest in special academic programs on the Common App. Read more about our Special Interest Programs.

Can I choose to apply to special programs after I submit my application?

No, you must select any special programs you wish to apply to before submitting your application.

How many applicants apply each year to the Seven-Year B.A./M.D. Program?

Usually between 1,000 to 1,200 students apply to the Seven-Year B.A./M.D Program each year. Applicants exhibit academic excellence, competitive (90th percentile) SAT/ACT scores, leadership in activities, community service, health care experiences and a strong desire to become a physician.

How many students are admitted to the B.A./M.D. program? How many spaces are there?

Typically, the cohort size for the B.A./M.D. Program is 10-15 students. Of those that apply, approximately 20-30 students are brought to campus for interviews with current GW faculty to determine finalists.

What is NROTC, and how does it work at GW?

GW’s Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps (NROTC) adds military training, opportunities, and knowledge to the traditional undergraduate program. The program is comprised of midshipmen and prior-enlisted Sailors and Marines from GW, Catholic University, University of Maryland at College Park, Georgetown University, and Howard University. Learn more information about GW’s NROTC.

Do you have a honors program?

Yes, the GW Honors Program is an interdisciplinary experience that helps students hone their analytical and expressive powers, deepen their understanding of complex issues and broaden their perspectives. Our Honors students are what we like to call “intellectual omnivores” - they understand that you can’t be interested in one thing without being interested in all things. Learn more at the GW Honors Program website.

Can I reapply to the Honors Program if I’m not selected my first year?

Current students at GW who wish to apply to the Honors Program must be in the second semester of their freshman year (rising sophomores). There are no minimum requirements to apply, but there are requirements to remain in the Honors Program.

Does GW offer summer programs for high school students?

Yes, learn about our Pre-College Program for high school students.

 

Planning Your Visit To Campus

Do you have student fly-in programs?

In the fall, we invite students to apply to join us for Your GW--A Program Celebrating Diversity and Inclusion. Learn more on the Your GW webpage.

Can I stay in a residence hall when I visit campus?

We do offer overnight opportunities to high school seniors. Contact our office to arrange your stay.

When is the Office of Undergraduate Admissions and Welcome Center open?

Our office is open 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. Monday through Fridays (except university holidays), with extended phone and email hours offered during peak seasons. The Admissions Welcome Center hosts information sessions and campus tours Monday through Friday and on select Saturdays throughout the year; view available dates on our visit calendar.

Are open houses offered during the fall/spring?

We offer a variety of programs throughout the year. See all of our public visit opportunities on our visit calendar.

Will I be able to tour a residence hall?

We do not show residence halls on regular Foggy Bottom or Mount Vernon Campus tours; we only show residence halls during our admitted student programs. If you’d like to see our freshman residence halls, we encourage you to visit GW’s Housing Office, which includes videos featuring many of our residence halls.

What is included on a campus tour?

All campus tours are led by student guides, who offer their own GW story, current campus events, and Colonial insight.  On Foggy Bottom campus tours, which last about an hour, you will travel from the Marvin Center (our student center) through our campus to see everything from our academic buildings to food truck row to University Yard and the GW Hippo. A Mount Vernon Campus tour helps you to get acquainted with our smaller residential campus, including its dining halls, athletic spaces and more. Should you opt for the Discover the Arts at GW tour, you will experience our fine arts facilities, from Smith Hall to the Flagg Building.

Where is the Admissions parking lot?

While we do not offer free parking for guests, there is a GW deck available for visitors below the Science and Engineering Hall. Since we are located in the heart of D.C., we recommend using public transit or alternative methods of transportation to reach GW.

How close is the airport or train & bus stations?

As the only D.C. school with our very own Metro stop on campus, travel is just a ride away. Located on the Silver, Blue and Orange lines, the Metro can take you to Union Station for rail and bus travel (15 minutes) or to Reagan National Airport (DCA) to travel by air (20 minutes). View a map of the Metro Rail system.

Can I make an appointment to speak with an admissions representative?

Yes, reach out to the admission representative for your area with questions or to schedule a meeting to discuss your own application and questions. An admission representative is also available in the Welcome Center to answer questions following campus tours.

Do I need an appointment to visit campus?

We encourage visitors to register in advance for a campus visit, but we do welcome walk-ins if space is available.

Can I talk with current students during my visit?

Of course, you will have the opportunity to speak with many current students while on campus. Students staff the reception desk in the Welcome Center and will happily answer any questions you may have during check in - and your tour guide will be a current student who will share their story and answer your questions. If you’d like to speak with a student from a specific discipline, ask at the Welcome Center or contact our office.

Can I meet with someone regarding my specific academic area of interest?

Our tour guides offer a wealth of GW information, from academics to extracurriculars. In addition, we have students available from each school and many aspects of student life. Their contact information is available from the Welcome Center.

When is the best time to visit campus?

The best time is the time that works for you, and luckily, GW is beautiful and vibrant at all times of the year! However, we do love our Cherry Blossoms, which typically bloom the third week of April.

 

Career Preparation

Are there any internship opportunities available to GW students? If so, what types of internships are available?

Yes, in fact GW is ranked as the #1 university for internships by The Princeton Review. Students usually seek opportunities that align with their majors, but there are so many industries in Washington D.C. that there’s something for everyone. Recent placements have included: The World Bank, The International Monetary Fund, The Naval Research Laboratory, NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center, National Public Radio, the White House, ABC News, the US Department of State, the US Congress, the French Embassy, the American Psychological Association and National Geographic. For more information about internship opportunities, please visit Career Services.

Are you able to take an internship for credit?

Yes, it is possible to receive up to 6 credits for internships. Please visit the Career Services webpage for more.

Do GW undergrads receive any sort of preference when applying to GW Medicine or GW Law?

Unless GW students have enrolled in an early assurance program, they will not receive preferential treatment in either the GW Medical School of GW Law School admissions process.

 

Undergraduate Research

Can I take part in research as an undergraduate? What kind of opportunities are there?

Yes, there are undergraduate research experiences that offer students the chance to learn first-hand, in collaboration with professors, how new knowledge is generated. Some students may also engage in research at their respective internship sites. GW has undergraduate fellowships and grants to fund these experiences. Learn more at the Center for Undergraduate Fellowships and Research.

 

Study Abroad

Do you offer study abroad? (if so where and how many students participate)

Yes, and more than 50 percent of GW students will study abroad before they graduate. The Office for Study Abroad provides and facilitates international educational opportunities at GW, including over 300 programs in more than 60 countries.

 
 

Living at GW and in DC

How do I decide where to live?

Once you are accepted to GW, you will complete a housing form, which allows you to rank your housing preferences, including residence halls on our Foggy Bottom and Mount Vernon campuses. Typically, students get one of their top three choices on the housing form. Learn more from GW Housing.

Can I live on campus all four years?

Yes, students are required to live on campus through their junior year, and there is a housing option for seniors who wish to remain on campus.

Are there any support programs for students with learning differences?

As a diverse and inclusive community, we strive to meet the needs of every Colonial. Learn about the numerous supports for students with learning disabilities offered by GW’s Disability Support Services.

Can I have a car on campus?

Freshmen students on Foggy Bottom cannot have a car on campus, but those on Mount Vernon can. Sophomores and above may have a car, although very few students find it necessary. Find out more about Transportation and Parking Services on campus.

Is tobacco use allowed on GW’s campus?

No, GW is proudly a smoke-free campus.

What are the dining options for GW students?

GW has an open dining plan. This means that rather than limiting students to just on-campus dining halls, they have the freedom to eat at more than 100 local eateries on or near campus that accept the GWorld card as a form of payment. Get plan prices, browse our dining partners and get more information on the Dining webpage.

Does GW offer any kosher/vegan/gluten-free dining options?

A major perk of our open dining plan is the option to be completely flexible with your own dining experiences. Your dietary needs and/or restrictions are in your hands, and most of our more than 100 dining partners offer kosher, vegan and/or gluten-free options.

Is there Greek life?

Yes, GW has 35 Greek organizations on campus, including pre-professional, cultural and social fraternities and sororities. About 30 percent of students participate in Greek life. Learn more about Greek life at GW.

Can you tell me about religious groups on campus?

Religious life at GW is inclusive and lively, across the board, with more than 20 student organizations centered on faith.

What’s the weather like?

Mid-Atlantic region weather means mild temperatures for fall and spring, with a warm summer and chilly winter. D.C. is a four-season climate.

Where can I find out more about the District of Columbia on the web?

A great place to start is www.washington.org. You can learn about the different D.C. neighborhoods, places to eat, where to stay and things to do!

What do students do for fun at GW?

D.C. is a great place for college students, with many inexpensive culturally enriching opportunities. Many students visit the monuments and Smithsonians, explore different neighborhoods of D.C. like Adams Morgan and Capitol Hill or partake in any of the seasonal festivals, concerts, and events in the area.