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International Application Process

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.


Who Is Considered an International Student?
At The George Washington University, 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. Please refer to the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's visa chart for further information regarding valid visa types.

The George Washington University (GW) considers anyone who has graduated from high school and completed at least one college course since high school graduation to be a transfer student. Each year we welcome nearly 350 new transfer students from more than 300 different colleges and universities. We seek transfer students who have succeeded academically at another college or university and have the motivation to thrive at GW.

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

If you are a U.S. citizen or U.S. permanent resident, you will apply as a freshman or transfer applicant.

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


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International Application Steps

Submit an Application

Complete and submit the Common Application online.

Note that there are multiple decision plans at GW. We offer Early Decision I, Early Decision II, as well as 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 five specific prompts that best allows them to share their story with the Admissions Committee. The essay will be 250 to 650 words and detailed instructions can be found in the Common Application.

In addition to the Common Application essay, the applicant must complete the 250 word 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. The application requires a nonrefundable application fee of $75 for students. 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 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 gwadm@gwu.edu, or via mail to our office:
     The George Washington University
     Office of Undergraduate Admissions
     2121 I Street NW, Suite 201
     Washington, D.C. 20052

Please note that electronic submission is the preferred method of submitting documentation to the Admissions Office 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. Students should use the Common Application's “preferred name” field to include a preferred name, if it differs from the name on official identification. All international applicants must provide a permanent, physical mailing address (that is not a post office box).

Submit a Writing Supplement

GW requires all students to submit additional supplemental information as a part of their Common Application, including an additional supplemental essay. Applications will not be considered complete without the writing supplement. The writing supplement is accessible via the Common Application website.  


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


If you are applying to any of the special programs listed below, complete the required supplemental essay(s), submit a 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 they have 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 gwadm@gwu.edu. The transcript must be sent directly from the sender's school email address in order to be considered official.

International transfer applicants must submit an official transcript from each college or university you 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.

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 freshman or transfer admission are not required to submit standardized test scores (SAT or ACT), 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

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.

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, we consider 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 TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE Academic prior to submitting your application and make sure that official test scores are sent directly to us.

GW requires applicants to have a minimum score of 90 on the TOEFL, a 6.5 on the IELTS, or a 61 on the PTE Academic to be considered for admission. Applicants that score between 90-99 on the TOEFL, 6.5-7 on the IELTS, or a 61-68 on the PTE Academic might be required to take English for Academic Purposes (EAP) during their first year of study at GW.

Institutional test scores are not accepted for admissions purposes. GW's school code for the TOEFL is 5246. Based on the results of your TOEFL, IELTS, PTE Academic or SAT examinations, you may be required to take an English for Academic Purposes course upon arriving at GW.

This requirement may be waived if you:

  • Submit a SAT critical reasoning score of 650 or higher
  • Submit a SAT evidence-based reading and writing of 650 or higher
  • Submit an ACT English score of 29 or higher
  • 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)
  • If you have successfully completed, at the time of application, two English composition courses at the college level

Please note that in order to have your application reviewed in a timely manner, scores should be submitted by November for Early Decision I applicants and by December for Early Decision II and Regular Decision applicants.

Submit a School Report

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.

You must submit the College Report (formerly called the Registrar’s Report or College Official’s Report) form from 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:

  1. Go to your Common Application Dashboard.
  2. Click the "Recommenders and FERPA" link.
  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. You must complete the form for your current or most recent school/institution where you were enrolled full time.

Submit a Letter of Recommendation/Teacher Evaluation

GW requires a letter of recommendation from both your high school guidance 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 gwadm@gwu.edu, or mailed to our office.

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, signed by their sponsor, and emailed to gwadm@gwu.edu once completed.

Please refer to the following examples of a completed Financial Certificate below:

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 the following examples of acceptable bank statements below:


In addition, applicants will be required to provide a clear copy 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 the following 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 acknowledgement 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.

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