While our staff can answer your questions in a one-on-one or group setting, here are answers to some of the most common questions we’re asked by prospective GW students.
General and First-Year FAQs // Transfer FAQs // International FAQs //
B.A./M.D. FAQs // Standardized Test FAQs // Other Programs
General and First-Years
- I'm just beginning my college search. Where should I begin?
High school students in the early stages of the college search process should explore our Admissions 101 content on our Journey to GW page, which offers general resources to guide you along the journey. When you're ready to learn more about the George Washington University, our campus visit options are also available on the Journey to GW page!
- 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 for most applicants. 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?
GW is test-optional for most applicants. We use a holistic approach when evaluating every applicant. For those who choose to submit standardized test scores, 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 will select a primary school or college on their application. We do not allow students to alter their choice once it has been submitted; some changes may be allowed for admitted students. Current GW students may be able to transfer into another school after their first year, although rules vary by program.
- If I am offered an opportunity to be on the waitlist, can I change my primary school?
No, you will be considered for admission off the waitlist if space becomes available in your primary 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 so the applicant can not only check the status of their admissions application, but also find their GWID, view missing documents, find our contact information, and when it’s posted, view their application decision and next steps. Details will be sent via email after applications are processed by the university.
How do I locate my GWID?
Applicants can find their GWID under their name on the home screen of the GW Undergraduate Applicant Portal. If your GWID is not visible in your portal, please reach out to our office.
- Do I need to submit a portfolio for admission? If it’s not required, can I still send in extra portfolio materials or the Common App arts supplement?
Only students who intend to earn a BFA (except Interior Architecture) 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 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 $80 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 the 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, first-year and transfer applicants may earn college credit through AP, IB, or college courses. Find details under Bring Credits 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 or contact our office with any questions you may have.
- Can I receive a second bachelor’s degree?
If you have previously earned a bachelor’s degree, you can apply as a transfer student to earn a second degree at GW; however, students with bachelor's degrees will not be able to transfer any credit to GW and are not eligible for scholarships or financial aid (except for the Federal Direct Stafford Loan).
- 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 should apply as a first-year applicant; if you have attended college since earning your GED, you should apply as a transfer student.
- I am a homeschool student. Are there special requirements I need to fulfill to apply for GW admission?
Along with the Common Application and letters of recommendation, homeschool students are required to submit the SAT or ACT and a transcript of courses taken to complete the high school diploma requirements. The Office of Admissions will work with students to waive the Counselor Recommendation Form. Read more about our admission process for first-year or transfer students. If a student needs guidance about applying as a homeschool student, please contact our office for assistance.
- 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 first-year 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 in my junior year, 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 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.
- 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. High school students taking dual enrollment courses must apply as first-year applicants, even if they are earning credits toward an associate's degree.
- 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. Students from select community colleges can view equivalency charts to get s sense of what credit may transfer over. 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 following your 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?
If you have earned under 30 college credits, a final high school transcript with graduation date should be sent, along with official transcripts from any other high school you have attended. This requirement is waived for students with an associate's degree awarded after they have graduated from high school.
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 GW's 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. Please refer to GW's Campus Living & Residential Education website for more information regarding the transfer student housing application process.
- 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. If a merit aid is awarded, it will be noted in your admission letter.
- 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 a U.S. citizen or 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 GW's Campus Living & Residential Education webpage.
- What tests do I need to take?
GW does not require SAT/ACT scores for most students, but it does require English language proficiency for international applicants. For details, review our international application process and 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.
- How many students apply each year to the Seven-Year B.A./M.D. Program?
Usually between 1,000 and 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, healthcare 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 around 10 students. Of those that apply, approximately 20-30 students are brought to campus for interviews with current GW faculty to determine finalists.
- Do I need to apply to a specific major to be considered for B.A./M.D.?
No, but you must apply to GW's Columbian College of Arts and Sciences. Your chosen major must allow you to develop an academic plan to complete your undergraduate degree in three years.
- What is GW’s SAT and ACT test policy?
Although GW is test-optional for most applicants, students applying to the B.A./M.D. program are required to submit either an SAT or ACT score.
- Will GW honor Pass/Fail grading during the pandemic?
We understand that COVID-19 has been disruptive to schools across the globe. We will be flexible with grading adjustments that secondary schools have adopted during the pandemic.
- Will GW convert a Pass to a letter grade?
GW does not recalculate a “pass” grade to a letter grade or calculate it into a cumulative GPA.
- What courses should I take to make myself a competitive candidate for admission to GW and the B.A./M.D. program?
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. Most successful B.A./M.D. applicants will have taken the most demanding curriculum offered at their school, particularly in math and science courses.
- What specific extracurricular activities is GW looking for from a competitive B.A./M.D. applicant?
The strongest applicants for B.A./M.D. typically have done substantial volunteer work in the medical field with a strong preference for students that have clinical experience working directly with patients. Many have also participated in college-level science/medical research while high school students.
- Are students admitted to the B.A./M.D. program at GW guaranteed admission to the GW Medical School?
The medical school acceptance is provisional as program requirements must be maintained in order to transition into the M.D. program. These requirements include: maintaining a minimum 3.60 overall GPA; no grades of C or below in any science courses; providing an MCAT practice exam score from an online MCAT review; and participation in medically-related and service experiences. The Dean of M.D. Admissions provides guidance, mentoring, and programming.
- I know I want to be a doctor. If I am not admitted to the B.A./M.D. program are there other opportunities at GW for pre-med students?
YES! As second-semester sophomores at GW, students can apply for “Early Selection (PDF)” to the GW Medical School. We also offer pre-health advising for all GW students who want to pursue medical school or other graduate programs in the health professions.
- What about internships in D.C.?
Our central location in Washington, D.C., provides exceptional opportunities for pre-health students to get involved in internships and medical research.
GW students intern at the GW University Hospital, the National Institute of Health, the National Cancer Institute, and dozens of other locations. And keep in mind that the GW University Hospital and Medical School are on the Foggy Bottom campus so there are daily opportunities to interact with medical professionals while you are an undergraduate at GW. You can learn more about GW internships by entering any major on the linked page to see where GW students have recently been interns.
- What is GW’s SAT and ACT test policy?
GW continues to be test-optional for the majority of applicants, as we have been since 2015. Unless you are in a population noted below, all first-year and transfer applicants may choose whether or not to submit their standardized test scores on their application. At this time, the following populations are still required to submit SAT/ACT scores:
- Applicants applying to the accelerated Seven-Year B.A./M.D. Program
- Applicants who are homeschooled
- Applicants who attend secondary schools that provide only narrative evaluations rather than some form of grading scale
- (Test-optional for 2021-2023 entry terms) 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 it?
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.
- Does GW superscore standardized tests?
Yes, GW will superscore both the ACT and SAT (we do not combine the old and new SAT, though; superscores must be from the same test version).
Admission to Other GW Programs
- I'm interested in nursing, professional programs, graduate study, or summer/non-degree programs. Where do I go?
Although GW offers a wide range of academic programs, GW's Office of Undergraduate Admissions only recruits traditional first-year and transfer applicants for GW's Columbian College of Arts and Sciences (including Corcoran School of the Arts and Design and School of Media and Public Affairs), Elliott School of International Affairs, School of Business, School of Engineering and Applied Science, and the Milken Institute School of Public Health. Applicants to other schools at GW should refer to their respective school/department for admission policies. Other common areas of interest are listed below:
- GW College of Professional Studies (bachelor's completion, master's, graduate certificates)
- GW Graduate School of Education and Human Development
- GW Law
- GW School of Medicine and Health Sciences
- Details on the Eight-Year BS/MD program with St. Bonaventure University
- Details on the military-affiliated BSHS program
- GW School of Nursing
- GW Summer and Non-Degree Programs (for pre-college students)
- GW Trachtenberg School of Public Policy & Public Administration
Search all of GW's Graduate Programs