Will your GW story be history in the making?

Freshman Application Process

You should apply to the George Washington University (GW) as a freshman if you are currently in your senior year of high school, have earned a GED or completed high school, but never enrolled in college courses.

You will submit the Common Application to apply to GW. You can submit certain materials, including your transcript, recommendations and essay through the Common Application, but we also accept documents that are sent via mail and email.

The GW Admissions Committee carefully reviews each applicant based on academic background, the rigor of high school coursework and GPA. In addition, the committee takes into consideration essays, letters of recommendation and extracurricular activities. Submitting standardized test scores is optional.

We are looking for students who have the academic preparation, personal qualities and motivation to thrive in GW’s dynamic environment.


Don't Miss Your Chance to Tell Your Story

Early Decision 1: November 1


Early Decision is a binding choice. If admitted, you agree to attend GW, submit a non-refundable enrollment fee by the deposit deadline and withdraw applications submitted to other colleges. The deadline for Early Decision I is November 1 and you will receive your admission decision by late December.

Apply Early Decision I by November 1

Early Decision 2: January 5


The second binding deadline for Early Decision is January 5 and you will receive your admission decision by mid-February.

Apply Early Decision II by January 5

Regular Decision: January 5


The Regular Decision deadline is January 5, and you will receive your admission decision by early April.

Apply Regular Decision by January 5

Spring Freshman Admission


The Spring Freshman admission application deadline is October 1 and you will receive an admission decision in late November.

Apply for Spring Admission by October 1


Required Materials For Freshman Applicants

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High School Transcript, School Report and Mid-Year Grade Report

An official high school transcript must be submitted by your high school, either online or by mail. Your transcript must show grades from ninth through eleventh grade as well as courses being taken during your senior year. The mid-year grade report should be sent to GW by your high school as soon as grades become available.


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Letters of Recommendation

One counselor and one teacher recommendation should be submitted through forms on the Common Application.


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Portfolio (for Corcoran Students Only)

If you're applying to the Corcoran School of the Arts and Design to major in Fine Arts, Fine Arts Photography, Graphic Design or Photojournalism, you must submit a portfolio of 10 to 15 completed works of art. If possible, the work in your portfolio should be related to your area of interest. The portfolio must be submitted by the application deadline through SlideRoom.

Share Your Voice

In addition to the Common Application, you must complete the Writing Supplement. The GW supplemental essay question is a chance to show your personality and share your voice beyond your application. Respond to the following prompt on the Common Application in 250 words or fewer.


The George Washington University encourages students to extend learning beyond the traditional classroom by taking advantage of hands-on learning through service, research, internships, and study abroad. Describe an experience that transformed the way you view the world and how this perspective has prepared you for GW.

Enhance Your GW Experience—Choose a Special Interest Program

  • Expand Your Interests and Passions
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    Expand Your Interests and Passions

    GW offers a variety of special interest and academic programs so you can expand your interests and passions in diverse fields. To be considered for these programs, you must fulfill the application requirements for regular freshman admission and complete each program’s appropriate requirements within the Common Application. These programs are available only to entering freshmen.

    Find a program and review the entrance requirements

Optional Materials for Freshman Applicants

Optional Test Scores

Graphic depiction of multiple choice bubbles GW’s test-optional policy went into effect on August 1, 2015, so if you are applying for freshman or transfer admission you are not required to submit standardized test scores, except in select circumstances.

Review the policy and see if you're in a group that's still required to submit test scores.

AP/IB Credit

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You may receive credit for college-level coursework through International Baccalaureate (IB) or College Board Advanced Placement (AP) examinations, allowing you to skip introductory courses, enter higher-level classes and fulfill general education requirements.

Find out if you can bring credits to GW.

Choose a Primary and Alternate School

You may be committed to one specific field of study during your time at GW, but you may also choose GW because of the breadth of our curricular offerings.

For this reason, we offer you the option to select both a primary and an alternate school choice on your application.

You are required to select a primary school to apply to, but you are not required to choose an alternate school or college. If you wish to choose an alternate, include your choice on the Common Application.

Still have questions about your choice? Review more details about primary and alternate school choice.

Submit Your Application

When you've completed your application and submitted all of your required materials, you should submit it through the Common Application.

You will receive a confirmation from the Common Application that your application was submitted.

Once your application has been received by GW, you will receive an email confirmation with a link to our applicant portal, where you can track the status of your application.