Get ready to transform — academically, mentally, and professionally. It's time to obtain the skills needed to push into the next echelon of your career. Prepare to learn from GSEHD's compassionate, next-generation educators, along with your diverse peers, who will encourage you to cultivate new ways of thinking. We all know learning doesn't only take place within the four walls of a classroom, so we invite you to join us in making Washington, D.C. and the world around us our classroom.
GW and GSEHD are comprised of people who really want to make a difference and are dedicated to advancing the public good. We know you're ready to leave your mark on the world, but first, we're honored to have you join our community as you prepare to become a leader in your field.
The guide below will be a great resource over the next few weeks and even throughout your student journey. Follow the steps to prepare to join our learning community and to gear up for the first day of classes.
Confirm your attendance by responding to your Offer of Admission before the listed deadline. Your admission letter is only sent electronically through the Application Portal, so be sure to print a copy for your records.
- Login to the Application Portal.
- Navigate to the "Acceptance Letter."
- Indicate whether you would like to accept your admissions offer, defer to a future semester, or decline the offer.
Your offer of admission will include any prerequisite coursework and/or any conditions placed on your admission. Please review these carefully, and if you have any questions, contact your Admissions Coach.
AFTER you have accepted your offer of admission in the portal, you can begin completing the next steps to complete registration and prepare for the upcoming semester.
- Step 2: Setup your GW Accounts (Required for New GW Students)
GW's Identity and Access Management (IAM) service helps to create, maintain, and secure your digital identity while at the University. Your digital identity includes your GWID/UserID, which you will use to login to University resources, and your email address.
Students who have accepted their admission offer will receive an email in their preferred personal email address from email@example.com with instructions on how to verify your UserID and set a central password. You must verify your account within 48 hours. (Be sure to check your spam folder if you don't see it!) After verifying your UserID, you will receive a confirmation email to your preferred personal email address with your newly assigned GW email address. (If you do not receive either email, click below for instructions.)
Protect Your Accounts
Once you claim your identity, you will need to set up your two-step authentication (2SA). Without 2SA you will be unable to access many GW applications.
Check Your Email
All official notifications (grades, bills, and important academic communication) will be sent to your GW email address. Be sure to either check it regularly or have it forwarded to an account that you plan to check regularly.
Access GWeb Information Systems
The GWeb Information System allows online access to GW student services, such as registering for classes, viewing student billing accounts, viewing grades, and accepting financial aid. Be sure to also update your current address and contact information. To access your account:
- Visit my.gwu.edu and click on "GWeb Info System" in the left side navigation.
- Select the "Current Students" button.
- Enter the GW UserID (G+8 numbers) and password you previously created.
Request Technical Assistance
If you experience any technical difficulties, please contact the University Helpdesk at firstname.lastname@example.org or 202-994-4948.
- Step 3: Review Costs of Attendance and Apply for Financial Aid and Scholarships
Review Tuition and Fees
To gather an understanding of the cost for your degree, review the current tuition rates and additional fees on your program's page or GW’s Graduate Tuition page (select GSEHD). Tuition is charged per credit and may change year-to-year, and program fees may vary based on delivery/campus. Additional fees may apply. Gain a comprehensive view of fees on the Student Accounts page.
For planning purposes, the Office of Financial Aid provides a COA worksheet to create an estimated Cost of Attendance based on a specific loan period, tuition rate and campus of attendance.
Complete the FAFSA
If you haven't already, complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), which is required to apply for financial aid from GW. The form is available each year on October 1. If you are applying for federal student loans, you will need to complete the GW Graduate Loan Questionnaire in addition to the FAFSA. GW’s Office of Student Financial Assistance should be your main point of contact for all questions related to the FAFSA and loan process.
Apply for Financial Aid and Scholarships
There are various opportunities to receive funding through GW, GSEHD, and external resources. Explore our "Funding" page to learn more. The list of opportunities is not comprehensive, but it is a great start to learn more about options for funding your graduate education. Visit the Office of Graduate Student Assistantships & Fellowships for additional potential funding opportunities.
If you have an organization paying your bill (such as an embassy or employer), submit your sponsor authorization to Third-Party Billing.
Complete Loan Requirements (if applicable)
The Office of Student Financial Assistance (OSFA) can provide more information about loans. If you utilize a loan program, below are a few reminders about items to complete, but be sure to consult OSFA for a comprehensive guide.
- Review Direct Loan limits for your degree program.
- Apply for a Federal Graduate PLUS Loan or Private Alternative Loan to cover additional charges or expenses and then submit GW’s Supplemental Graduate Loan Questionnaire (located under forms and documents then click the graduate tab) for the correct aid year.
- Complete Entrance Counseling for the Federal Loan Programs.
- Complete Loan Agreement for a Subsidized/Unsubsidized Loan (MPN) and Complete Loan Agreement for a PLUS Loan (MPN) if applicable
Access Payment Portal
GW bills by semester according to registration. Once you have registered for classes, a Statement of Account will be emailed to your GW email account regarding the payment amount and due date. We do not mail paper statements; all billing is done electronically through the Student Account eBill.
Please note: Payment for the semester is due on the first day of the semester on the main campus, not the first day of your session or the first day of the semester for an off-campus course, or upon registration for any courses added after the first day. Your billing statement will include the billing due date. View full list of financial due dates and deadlines >
- Arrange for your bill to be paid in full by the first day of the semester, or sign up for the Monthly Payment Plan.
- Enter your bank account information in Student Account eBill to make electronic payments and receive your direct deposit credit refund automatically.
- If you would like pay your account in person or have questions, please visit the Student Accounts office.
Your admissions letter would have indicated if you are receiving a GSEHD award. If you did receive an award, please ensure you follow the steps in your award letter to accept the award; these steps are different from the steps for accepting your admission letter.
Note: Tuition discount awards will be added to your student account in the weeks prior to the first day of classes. Please do not pay your eBill until the award is listed on your student account.
Consider Tuition Insurance
GW partners with GradGuard to provide students with the ability to protect your educational investment by reimbursing up to 100% of tuition, room, and board in the event of a medical or mental health withdrawal, based on your level of coverage.
Information and support regarding financial aid: Visit the Office of Student Financial Assistance.
- Step 4: Submit Final Documents (if applicable)
Submit Official Transcripts
If you submitted an unofficial transcript for your application review and were admitted “conditionally," you will need to submit official final transcripts from all colleges/universities where you earned a degree by the end of the first semester of enrollment. Make sure to do so as soon as possible so that your registration is not hindered.
Complete Immunization Verification
All students under age 26, regardless of program of study, location of study, part-time or full-time status, degree or non-degree status, must comply with the immunization requirement as set forth by the Law of the District of Columbia. It is important that you comply as soon as possible so that your registration is not hindered.
- Step 5: Review the GSEHD Student Handbooks
We know, we know... No one ever reads the handbook. BUT we promise, there's a lot of important information included in them that will answer many of your questions and prepare you for registering for classes. You need to be familiar with the topics included in case you need it in the future, such as if you need to make a change to your course schedule, withdrawal from a course or program, etc.
Graduate Student Handbook > Doctoral Student Handbook >
Doctoral Students: Be sure to review the Doctoral Student Journey guide as well. It provides an excellent overview of the phases of your candidacy, expectations, additional checklists, and more.
- Step 6: Prepare for Course Registration
Review Your Program Plan
Your program plan of study, which is listed in the University Bulletin and on DegreeMAP, is your contract with the university. This plan outlines the coursework and any additional requirements you will need to complete in order to graduate.
Shortly before you begin your classes, review DegreeMAP, an electronic reflection of your program plan that tracks which courses you have completed as well as those still needed. To access DegreeMAP:
- Login to GWeb and click on the "Student Records and Registration" link.
- Select the "Student Records Information Menu."
- Click on the "DegreeMAP" link.
- Click “Launch DegreeMAP” to view your degree requirements and your individual academic history.
Doctoral Students: Your program plan is a working agreement between a doctoral student and the faculty and may be modified with agreement of the faculty. If you find inconsistencies in your program plan of study, please contact email@example.com.
Meet With Your Advisor
Before registering for courses, it is highly recommended to meet with your faculty advisor to review your program plan, possible courses, etc. You can find your advisor's name and contact info in DegreeMAP.
Doctoral Students: A doctoral primary advisor provides the doctoral student with guidance through the pre-candidacy period. This advisor may also become the chair or a member of the student’s dissertation committee and provide further guidance through the dissertation work, if desired. You might also be assigned a secondary advisor at the time of admission, who can serve in a similar role. Your advisor will guide you in the selection of appropriate electives and research courses and help introduce you to appropriate field, research, and publishing experiences.
Attend New Student Orientation
It is also highly recommended that all new graduate students attend NSO. Even if you attended GW in the past, you will learn information specific to your program and have an opportunity to connect with your faculty and peers before classes begin. You will also be able to complete advising before registering for courses if needed. Event information will be shared with all admitted students via email.
At least one week prior to your registration time each semester, and again just before, you should check to make certain that you do not have any holds on your record that will prevent registration. You can do this on GWeb by clicking “Student Records & Registration > Student Records Information > View Administrative Holds."
Register for Courses
Before registering for classes, please follow the registration sequence/guidance of your faculty advisor.
Register for classes using the online GWeb Information System (see registration instructions here). Once you have completed the registration process, please verify your course registration under “Student Detail Schedule” in the GWeb Registration Menu.
Students who register for classes late, after the online registration system has closed, or who encounter technical difficulties can register using a Registration Transaction Form.
*International students: You will not have access to register for classes until you have completed the I-20/DS-2019 form request process.
If you have any questions about registration, call 202-994-4900 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Step 7: Last To-Do Items Before Classes Start
Request Your GWorld Card
The GWorld card is the official ID card at GW. Your card serves as your university identification, holds your meal plan and Campus Cash accounts and allows you to access facilities on campus. You can add Campus Cash to pay for printing and copying on campus.
If you are a virtual student (with no in person classes), we can send you a distance card for ID purposes. Distance cards do not provide any access to on-campus facilities.
Please check with your program and/or course instructors about what textbooks or other course materials you will need. You are welcome to obtain your textbooks through whatever service is most convenient for you. All textbooks will also be available at the GW Bookstore, which is located at the Foggy Bottom Campus University Student Center, 800 21st St NW, Washington, DC 20052.
Secure Student Health Insurance (If Needed/Required)
GW offers a comprehensive Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP) through Aetna Student Health. Dental and vision insurance programs are also available. Graduate students are able to enroll in the programs if they choose. International students have additional requirements. Learn more under the "International Students" dropdown below.
Health insurance guarantees that you can obtain necessary treatment if you develop a serious illness or injury. It also guarantees that you can obtain preventative medical services like immunizations and physical exams.
Review Student Rights and Responsibilities + FERPA Materials
As a GW student, it’s important to know what GW expects of you and what you can expect from GW. The Code of Academic Integrity and the Code of Student Conduct provide some of the expectations for GW students’ behavior in class, outside of class, off-campus, and online.
GSEHD complies with the provisions of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), commonly referred to as the "Buckley Agreement." If you want to grant another individual access to your financial, GWorld, and educational records, be sure to submit your FERPA Student Consent Form.
Learn More about Parking/U•Pass® Student Transit Program for Metro & Metrobus
Parking: Students who are eligible to park at GW will only be assigned parking privileges on the campus where they reside or take the majority of their credit hours. Daily, monthly, and semester rates are available for the Foggy Bottom campus. VSTC offers free parking with pass, and Mount Vernon offers free parking up to 3 hours, and daily rates for additional hours.
U•Pass: The George Washington University has joined the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority’s (WMATA) U•Pass program, providing full-time students with unlimited use of Metrorail and Metrobus for a discounted, flat fee. Metro charges GW $1 per day during the semester per enrolled student. Students pay a subsidized fee of $100 on their eBill and the university covers the rest of the cost of the U•Pass transportation program.
Apply for a Parking Permit & Manage Account > Learn More About U•Pass >
Explore Campus Dining Options & Meal Plans
We take our food pretty seriously here, and we're sure to take full advantage of D.C.'s vibrant food scene. Designed to fit the busy lifestyle of students, GW dining supports a myriad of dietary preferences by providing healthy foods and convenience.
In addition to the GW Dining locations, we have relationships with more than 80 dining partners, including restaurant, quick service, fast-casual and grocery partners, at both on-and off-campus locations. These dining partners accept Dining Dollars and Campus Cash as a form of payment for your food.
- International Students: Additional Checklist
Complete the Student Visa Process
Once admitted and you accept the offer, you must follow the Student Visa Process below to gain entry into the United States. Please note, the process to obtain a student visa from a U.S. consulate abroad usually takes a minimum of 3 months.
Register for English for Academic Purposes Course (if required)
If you did not meet the required English Language Test scores at the time of admission, then you will be required to register for an English for Academic Purposes (EAP) course during your first semester at GW.
Secure Student Health Insurance
ALL international students holding a J1 or F1 visa are required to carry student health insurance while studying at GW. These students will be automatically enrolled in the GW SHIP and must submit an opt-out waiver if they have another insurance plan that meets the required criteria. Those students not listed above, may voluntarily enroll in SHIP.
For more information on the GW SHIP or on mandatory health insurance, please email email@example.com or contact the Health Insurance Coordinator, 202-994-5300, option 5.
Connect with the International Services Office (ISO)
GW is proud to host more than 4,000 students, faculty, and staff from 130+ countries. The International Services Office is the first stop for the GW international community and will help eliminate administrative challenges when studying in the US. Become familiar with the services they offer, register for upcoming events, and most importantly, connect with the team to ensure you have all of the required documentation completed to begin your graduate studies.
Starting a new adventure at a new college or degree program can seem a bit overwhelming, but we're here to support you throughout the process! New Student Orientation is a great introduction to GSEHD and GW. You'll learn about available resources and get to know fellow students and members of our team. All new students are enrolled in an asynchronous New Student Orientation in Blackboard. This orientation is required. It is self-paced so you can complete the orientation on your own time. (The deadline for completion is the first day of the semester.)
- Who should I contact about...?
Academic Issues and Course Selection:
Please contact your faculty advisor, whose name and contact info can be found in DegreeMAP. Some programs offer a program support coordinator who can assist them with academic issues.
Administrative Issues or Additional Student Support
Please contact your Student Services Representative, whose name and contact info can be found on the website of the GSEHD Office of Student Services. The Office of Student Services is located at 2136 G St NW, Washington, DC 20052.
Each student has an assigned student services representative that is here to assist and guide you. We can guide you through the administrative aspects of your studies and help connect you with other university resources when necessary. We are also here to help you when you are feeling overwhelmed. Know that you have many options to help you succeed in your studies.
An overview of available funding is provided by the Office of Admissions on their Funding Your Graduate Education page.
- What do I need to do if I have "conditional admission" based on official transcripts?
Official final transcripts are required from all colleges and universities where you earned a degree. An official final transcript is a transcript received directly from your previous institution that shows all grades received toward the earned degree. If you submitted an unofficial transcript for your application review and were admitted “conditionally”, you will need to submit official final transcripts by the end of the first semester of enrollment. Make sure to do so as soon as possible so that your registration is not hindered. For information on how to submit your official final transcripts, please consult the GSEHD Admissions FAQ webpage.