Special Interest Programs

At the George Washington University (GW), you can expand your interests or passions with the opportunity to apply or be considered for specialized programs during the application process. Our special interest programs might interest you if you excel in the sciences, mathematics, the arts, as well a variety of other areas of interest.

Many of the programs offer co-curricular experiences, specialized coursework and residential housing options, in which students with similar interests live together in communities. All programs are fully integrated into each student’s general curriculum and major requirements.

Due to academic and residential requirements for many of these opportunities, you are limited in the number of programs to which you may be considered. With the exception of Presidential Scholars in the Arts, which is available to all applicants, you may apply to or be considered for only one special interest program.

If you apply to the University Honors Program or to the Seven-Year B.A./M.D. Program, you are not eligible to apply to other special interest programs.

Program Options


A joint program between GW's Columbian College of Arts and Sciences and the School of Medicine and Health Sciences, the Seven-Year B.A./M.D. Program is designed for students who have decided to become physicians and want to accomplish that goal in a shorter amount of time than a traditional program of study usually requires.

During the first three years of the program, a student must meet all general curriculum requirements and complete a major in the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences. Progress is reviewed annually by a special faculty committee. In the fourth year, students enroll in the School of Medicine and Health Sciences and begin formal medical training.

Applying to the Program

The deadline to apply to the program is December 1. Students applying to this program must apply as Regular Decision candidates; due to the timing of the interview process, students are not eligible to apply for Early Decision admission. In addition, SAT or ACT examinations and SAT Subject Tests in science and mathematics are also required. BA/MD applicants are not eligible to apply test-optional.

All standardized testing, including SAT Subject Tests, must be sent to George Washington University Undergraduate Admissions. Please do not send any scores to the George Washington University MD Program. Our College Board code is 5246 and our ACT code is 0664.  U.S. citizens, U.S. permanent residents and Canadian citizens may be considered for admission to the program.

Applicants who are not accepted to the B.A./M.D. program will be considered for admission to GW and scholarships under Regular Decision.


Civic House

The Civic House Academic Residential Community (ARC) is a selective first-year program for students interested in becoming active citizens engaged in their communities. The three core values of Civic House are live, learn and serve. Students work with nonprofit organizations across the city through their service-learning coursework in University Writing 1020 and a number of service projects during the academic year. There are no additional steps to take on your application to be considered. The Office of Undergraduate Admissions invites students to participate.

Politics & Values Program

In the Politics & Values community, a select group of students has the opportunity to explore relationships between individual citizens, society, politics and values, while living and studying together in an intensive year-long course. The course covers Political Theory, American Politics, Comparative Politics and International Relations – all at an accelerated pace, with each field studied in great depth. There is not a separate application process for this program. The Office of Undergraduate Admissions invites students to participate.

Presidential Scholars in the Arts

The George Washington University's Presidential Scholars in the Arts (PSA) program is composed of our most talented arts students who are driven by challenging education and artistic growth. Our students are supported in their artistic pursuits and have the opportunity to work one-on-one with faculty, who are both dedicated artists and teachers. Together, they experience our nation’s most important museums, stages, libraries, centers for performing arts, and arts organizations. Located in the heart of Washington, D.C., GW offers a vibrant community of practitioners and supporters of the arts.

The Corcoran School of the Arts and Design awards PSA scholarships each year to entering freshmen who have shown excellence in the performing or visual arts. PSA scholarships are renewable for up to 10 consecutive semesters with continuous full-time enrollment and satisfactory academic progress.

The selection process for the Presidential Scholars in the Arts program and scholarship is competitive, and successful candidates demonstrate excellence as talented scholars in the performing and visual arts.

Depending on the academic program, PSA recipients must either major or minor in their arts discipline:

Dance, Music, and Theater recipients must major or minor in their discipline.

Visual Arts recipients must major in Fine Art, Graphic Design, Interior Architecture, Fine Art Photography, or Photojournalism.


How do I apply?

Submit a PSA application. Students applying Early Decision 1, Early Decision 2, and Regular Decision may apply. PSA applications are due January 5. Candidates will be notified of their PSA decision in late March.


If you have questions about PSA, please contact Carol Lee Conchar at cconchar@gwu.edu.

Scholars in Quantitative and Natural Sciences

This opportunity is for students interested in biology, chemistry, physics, computer science, mathematics or statistics who wish to engage in a specialized interdisciplinary curricular experience and research internships with GW scientists. The Scholars in Quantitative and Natural Sciences program is designed to expose undergraduate students to research projects beginning in their freshman year. Students are invited to the Scholars in Quantitative and Natural Sciences program by the Office of Undergraduate Admissions upon review of the Common Application.

University Honors Program

The University Honors Program (UHP) is a community of scholars who are intellectually engaged with each other and faculty members. Honors students complete seminar sequences and interdisciplinary courses throughout their academic careers.

Students also have the opportunity to study abroad and can enroll in any available elective honors courses, independent research courses and special course offerings. Honors students are expected to pursue special honors in their major or to complete an independent honors senior thesis.

Applying to the Program

Applicants must indicate their intent to apply to UHP on the Common Application and answer the related essay questions in 250-500 words.

Essay Prompt #1

The Honors Program’s core curriculum is comprised of interdisciplinary courses, discussion-based engagement with complex issues, and reflection. Why do you want to make this program a priority for your undergraduate experience?

Essay Prompt #2

Please write on one of the following two topics: a) Please describe an instance when you took ownership of your intellectual growth and molded your education to meet your own goals. What did you learn about yourself through the process? b) Write a letter to the author of a book you didn’t like.

Women's Leadership Program

The Elizabeth J. Somers Women's Leadership Program (WLP) is a selective, year-long, living and learning program for freshman women of any school at GW.

Offered exclusively at the Mount Vernon Campus, WLP students live together in Somers Hall with a graduate teaching assistant who serves as a mentor and academic resource. The program offers development in women's leadership through academic courses, weekly symposia, workshops and special lectures.

Applying to the Program

Applicants must indicate their interest in the WLP and answer the program question on the Common Application.