International Applicants

students laughing

International Applicants

GW has a long history of welcoming international students to our university–we value diversity and inclusiveness and do our best so that every student feels welcome on our campus. We consider an international student to be any applicant of foreign nationality who will be entering, or has already entered, the United States with a valid visa. If you are currently a U.S. citizen or dual citizen, a U.S. Permanent Resident, or in the U.S. as a refugee or an asylum seeker, you will apply as a domestic first-year or transfer applicant. Additional information is available for undocumented students.


First-Year vs. Transfer Applicant

While you have additional application requirements to complete as an international student, you are still required to apply as either a first-year or transfer student. 



International Student Application Steps

Both first-year and transfer international applicants will follow these application steps. We are familiar with the educational systems across the globe and will consider your application within the context of your educational environment.

Submit an Application

Complete and submit the Common Application for first-year applicants or the Transfer Common Application for transfer applicants.

First-year applicants may apply Early Decision I, Early Decision II, or Regular Decision. Early Decision plans utilize a binding agreement, meaning that you are required to attend should you be admitted to the university. The Early Decision agreement form can be found on the Common App website. Be sure to pay attention to application deadlines.

The essay portion of the application provides an opportunity for applicants to demonstrate their English language writing skills. Applicants will choose one of two specific prompts that best allows them to share their story with the Admissions Committee. Detailed instructions can be found in the Common Application.

In addition to the Common Application essay, the applicant can complete the optional Writing Supplement. The GW supplemental essay question is a chance to show their personality and make connections between your experiences and GW’s institutional values.

Please note: The application is not complete and we cannot begin the application review until we receive all required forms. Be sure to complete the last step after Summary and Review, which finalizes payment of the fee, and be certain it is successfully submitted. The application requires a nonrefundable application fee of $80 for students. The Common Application opens in early August for fall and spring admission.

Supporting documentation, including School Report, transcripts, and letters of recommendation, can be submitted electronically via the Common Application, via email to [email protected], or via mail to our office:

     The George Washington University
     Office of Undergraduate Admissions
     800 21st St NW Suite 214
     Washington, D.C. 20052

Please note that electronic submission is preferred and will allow us to complete your application in a timely manner.

Please allow us several weeks from the time the application is submitted to process all documents and post them in the GW Admissions Portal. During the busy application period, the portal is the best resource, as we are continually updating students' applications and documents. You will receive a link to the portal with instructions on how to log in after your application is submitted.

On the Common Application and corresponding documentation, please ensure the applicant’s name is written as it appears on their passport or government identification. If the applicant uses a name that differs from their legal name on official identification, please use the Common Application's Preferred Name field to include their chosen name or nickname. All international applicants must provide a permanent, physical mailing address (that is not a post office box).

Submit a Writing Supplement (Optional)

All applicants have the option to submit the GW Supplement as a part of their Common Application.

First-Year Special Programs

If you are applying to any of the special programs listed below, you must submit the required supplemental essay(s) or portfolio and/or schedule an audition. Further information about these programs can be found on our undergraduate admissions website.

Transfer Special Programs

If you are applying to any of the special programs listed below, you must submit the required supplemental essay(s) or portfolio and/or schedule an audition. Further information about these programs can be found on our undergraduate admissions website.

  • School of Media and Public Affairs
  • BFA Programs in the Corcoran School of the Arts & Design
Send Official Transcripts

Applicants must submit official transcript copies representative of their entire secondary school career. We consider secondary school to be four years of academic study including the current year in progress. Transcripts are required from each secondary school attended as well as marks from any national examinations.

Also, applicants are expected to submit a mid-year report from their senior year which includes grades for all classes. For Early Decision I students, first quarter or first trimester grades will fulfill this requirement.

Your School Counselor or other School Official may upload your transcript along with your School Report via the Common Application. They may also email your transcript along with your School Report to [email protected]. The transcript must be sent directly from the sender's school email address in order to be considered official.

For Transfer Applicants

Students applying to transfer must submit an official transcript from each college or university previously attended. If you have less than 30 college credits, you will need to submit high school transcripts. These credentials are required (whether or not credit was earned or is desired) and should be sent directly from the registrar's office to GW's Office of Admissions. Transcript request forms are available in the Transfer Common Application.

For All International Applicants

If your original transcripts are not in English, please submit both the original documents as well as certified English translations.

Send Optional Test Scores

GW is test optional, meaning students applying for first-year or transfer admission are not required to submit standardized test scores (SAT or ACT). GW requires SAT/ACT scores from these groups:

  • 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

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; admitted students are typically strong academic students in their high school graduating class.

GW’s member screen on the Common Application asks applicants whether they would like test scores considered as part of their application. Once that selection has been made and the application submitted, it cannot be changed. If an applicant has previously submitted test scores to our office but indicates on the application that they would not like their scores considered, test scores will not be viewed during application review. Please note that following the release of our admissions decisions, we will ask admitted students to submit test scores for research purposes.

Should you submit SAT or ACT scores, please be mindful of GW’s test score codes:

     SAT Code: 5246
     ACT Code: 0664

Note, GW considers only the critical reading and math sections of the SAT for admission.

Demonstrate English Language Proficiency 

If English is not your first language, you are required to submit official scores from an English proficiency examination, regardless of citizenship. We recommend that you take the TOEFLIELTSPTE Academic, or Duolingo English Test prior to submitting your application and make sure that official test scores are sent directly to us. Institutional test scores are not accepted for admissions purposes. To meet the English Language Proficiency requirements for admission, GW applicants should earn:

  • A minimum score of 90 on the TOEFL; OR
  • A minimum score of 6.5 on the IELTS; OR 
  • A minimum score of 61 on the PTE Academic; OR
  • A minimum score of 115 on the Duolingo English Test

GW's school code for the TOEFL is 5246.

English For Academic Purposes (EAP)

Based on the results of your English Proficiency exam results and your application, you may be required to take English for Academic Purposes (EAP) during your first year of study at GW. EAP may be waived if you meet the criteria for an English Language Proficiency waiver listed below or if you submit a minimum score of 100 on the TOEFL exam, a minimum score of 7.5 on the IELTS exam, or a minimum score of 125 on the Duolingo English Test. Please note that GW evaluates each application holistically so applicants may still be recommended for EAP even if they meet the requirements for a waiver.

English Language Proficiency Waiver

The English Language Proficiency requirement may be waived if you meet one of these criteria:

  • Submit a score of 650 or higher on the SAT Evidence-Based Reading and Writing or Critical Reasoning exam
  • Submit a score of 29 or higher on the ACT English exam
  • As a first-year applicant, you will have completed your most recent 4 years of secondary education at an institution where English is the primary language of instruction by the time you enroll at GW
  • As a transfer applicant, you have completed two consecutive English Language Composition courses at the college level at the time of application

If you believe you qualify for a waiver, please complete the English Proficiency Waiver Request Form. Your request will be reviewed on a rolling basis once your application and transcripts have been submitted. All international applicants are required to submit either an English proficiency exam score or submit a waiver request by the application deadline. Waiver requests will be evaluated for approval within one week of submission.

Optional Unscripted Video Interviews

In addition to submitting English language proficiency test scores, GW welcomes unscripted video interviews submitted through InitialView. This opportunity allows you to showcase your English skills through conversation. The submission of an InitialView interview is optional and does not replace our English language proficiency requirement.

Submit a School Report

For First-Year Applicants

The School Report should be completed by the applicant’s high school counselor and can be found on the Common Application website. It is typically submitted along with the applicant's high school transcript and a school profile.

For Transfer Applicants

The College Report (formerly called the Registrar’s Report or College Official’s Report) should be submitted by your current or most recent college where you were enrolled full time. This form should be completed by the registrar or appropriate dean or college official who can verify your enrollment and academic/disciplinary standing. To access the College Report form, navigate to the George Washington University program page on your Transfer Common App then follow these steps.

  1. Go to the "Questions" tab.
  2. Click the "College Report" link in the fourth question.
  3. Print the "College Report" form.
  4. Take the form to the Registrar, Dean of Students, Academic Advisor, or designated office at your campus to have the form completed.
  5. GW must receive the form for your current or most recent school/institution where you were enrolled full time.
Submit a Letter of Recommendation

For First-Year Applicants

GW requires a letter of recommendation from both your high school counselor and from at least one academic teacher. Both letters can be submitted directly by the recommender online through the Common Application's Teacher Evaluation form, emailed to [email protected], or mailed to our office.

For Transfer Applicants

GW requires one academic recommendation through the Recommendations tab on the Transfer Common Application. To request the recommendation:

  1. From the Recommendations tab, select "Add Recommendation."
  2. Select "Academic" for Recommendation Type.
  3. Complete the Recommender's Information, Waiver, and Permission questions.
  4. Click "Save This Recommendation Request."

Your recommender will then get an email with instructions on how to submit their letter of recommendation for you to GW.

Complete a Financial Certificate

The Financial Certificate is required for all international applicants to demonstrate financial ability to pay for their tuition and living expenses at GW. The form should be completely filled out by the applicant and signed by their sponsor. Please visit our website to obtain a PDF copy of the GW Financial Certificate.

Use these references for examples of a completed Financial Certificate:

For First-Year Applicants

After submitting your Common Application, you will be invited to the GW student portal. Under Next Steps, you will find instructions on how to upload your Financial Certificate.

For Transfer Applicants

The Financial Certificate is referred to as a Financial Transcript on the Transfer Common Application and can be uploaded under the Documents tab of the George Washington University program page.

Submit a Portfolio (Corcoran Only)

Portfolio reviews are required for our BFA programs, with the exception of the BFA in Interior Architecture. Your portfolio should tell your story in a way that makes sense to you. We have no restrictions or requirements on what should be in your portfolio other than what you believe to be your strongest work. It is important to make sure that this is the best representation of you as an artist, and of your work up to the point of your application. Here are a few portfolio guidelines:

  • All students are required to submit 12-20 completed works of art.
  • The included work should be your best and most recent work.
  • If possible, the work should be related to your area of interest.


It is very important that the majors match in both the CommonApp and SlideRoom. Please take care when selecting the program (e.g., BA in Fine Arts vs. BFA in Fine Arts), and make sure you've selected the same major in both locations.

Send Optional Documents

While we encourage you to submit these documents with your application, they will only be required if you are admitted to GW.

Bank Statement

Upon admission to GW, international students will be required to provide a bank statement before an I-20 Form can be issued. The bank statement should be an original letter from the sponsor’s bank on official bank letterhead, verifying their ability to provide the funds stated on the Financial Certificate.

The bank statement must be in English and include the sponsor’s name, the currency, and also indicate that the funds are in liquid form (in a checking, savings, or deposit account and/or available for withdrawal without restriction). Bank statements older than 1 year or missing any of the above requirements will not be accepted.

If you are receiving a scholarship or sponsorship from your home government, an international organization, a company, or employer you must provide a signed letter on official letterhead addressed to GWU specifying the start and end dates of the sponsorship, the amount, the currency type, what the funds will cover, and terms of the sponsorship.

Please refer to these examples of acceptable bank statements:


In addition, applicants will be required to provide a clear copy of your passport information page upon admission to GW.

Current F-1 Visa Holders

Upon admission to GW, students who are currently studying in the United States on an F-1 visa will be required to submit these additional documents:

  • All 3 pages of your most recent I-20
  • Copy of your visa
  • Copy of your most recent I-94
  • Completed Transfer Verification Form
Check Your Application Status

After submitting your application, please allow 7-10 business days for GW to receive it. Upon receipt, we’ll send you an acknowledgment email with instructions about how to log in to your GW Admissions Portal where you can track application materials and view your admission decision.

Please allow several weeks from the date you submit your application to process your documents and post them in your GW Portal. During the busy application period, your GW Portal is your best resource, as we are continually updating students' applications and documents.

If you have any questions about the application process, visit our contact us page.