GSEHD Fall 2021 Semester FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

Where can I obtain comprehensive University information on the vaccination policy?

The University has collated an extensive FAQ about its vaccine policy. Students who are already completely vaccinated are encouraged to submit their vaccine paperwork as soon as possible to avoid delays.

I am enrolled in an in-person or hybrid academic program. Do I need GW health clearance to continue with my program of study?

As a reminder, GW requires students, faculty, and staff to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, unless they receive an approved exemption. It is of vital importance you have uploaded your COVID-19 vaccine documentation or approved exemption. We want you to be able to continue with your program of study.

I am enrolled in a fully-online academic program. Do I need GW health clearance to continue with my program of study?

Students in fully-online programs who do not intend or need to be in person on any of GW campuses should continue to adhere to their local and state health guidance, but are not required to obtain GW health clearance in order to continue with their program of study. If students want to attend an in-person meeting or event, they would need to meet the guidelines required for campus access (includes all GW-owned or -operated facilities) and wear a mask indoors.

What if I have a disability and need to seek individual accommodations and/or auxiliary aides?

Students should contact the Disability Support Services Office at 202-994-8250 or to seek additional information.

May students who wish to attend class remotely on occasion choose to do so by preference or for convenience?

Students cannot attend class remotely, either in general or on particular days, merely as a preference or for convenience.

What if I am unable to attend in-person in Fall 2021 because of circumstances beyond my control, but want to continue with my coursework (e.g., student visa requirement)?

If a student wishes to request an exemption from attending an in-person course in the fall 2021 semester because of circumstances beyond their control, please submit a request via email to Laura DeLuca, Director of Student Services, to for consideration by the Dean’s Office. Please note exemption requests will only be approved after careful consideration of extenuating circumstances.

If I am unavoidably absent due to extraordinary circumstances, can I request a recording of the class?

At the discretion of the professor, a recording of part or all of the class session may be made available to an individual student.

Can a faculty member opt to hold office hours virtually?

Yes. Faculty may conclude that holding virtual office hours will allow for greater student participation. Students may also request an individual virtual meeting with a faculty member, should a need arise.

I am an international student. Is there specific information for me?

The University has FAQs related to international students that covers visa compliance, the vaccine requirement, and options for the fall semester. Students can also reach out to the International Services Office (ISO) with specific questions:

Will guest speakers and other non-GW community members be allowed on campuses even if they are not vaccinated?

GW’s COVID-19 vaccination requirement applies only to students, faculty, and staff. Visitors will be required to abide by the university’s COVID-related health and safety protocols, as applicable.

Do I need to wear a mask in University buildings?

Yes. GW requires all individuals regardless of vaccination status to wear a mask indoors in university-owned or -operated facilities.

What steps did the University take to ensure buildings and facilities will be safe to occupy?

The University undertook the following steps:

  • Updated heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems, where necessary. Our buildings align with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendations for building re-openings and industry-leading guidance from the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) for ventilation, filtration, and air exchange.
  • Continued ongoing cleaning in all campus spaces.
  • Installed high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters where applicable.
  • Continued preventative pest control services.
  • Performed preventative maintenance checks on all mechanical systems in every building.
  • Performed monthly water flushes in buildings to minimize the risk of diseases associated with stagnant water.
  • Performed full building air flushes where applicable prior to the start of the academic year to improve indoor air quality.
  • Updated public health guidance signage.
How often will classroom surfaces be cleaned?

The University Facilities Department has continued to work throughout the pandemic to ensure spaces are ready for occupancy. When returning to GW-owned or -operated facilities you can expect a return to pre-COVID level cleaning processes which include overnight and early morning cleaning in preparation for the regular business day.

What are the plans for the October 2, 2021 Commencement on the National Mall?

This University’s FAQs provide up-to-date information regarding the Commencement.

GSEHD and University Campus Events, Infrequent Attendance, Internships

Will there be GSEHD events for students to attend?

Yes. GSEHD, the Office of Student Life, student organizations, and departments are planning to host several events throughout the academic year. Any student, staff, or faculty member who wishes to attend events in person must be compliant with the University’s vaccine mandate and wear a mask indoors. Attendance at GSEHD events may require individuals to verify their clearance status. When possible, we will offer virtual attendance options.

May I participate in an on campus event if I take classes off campus and have not met the vaccine requirement?

Any student, staff, or faculty member who wishes to visit GW-owned or -operated facilities--for an event, meeting, class, or to utilize resources--must be compliant with the University’s vaccine and mask mandates.

What if I want to come to campus only one time in the Fall semester? Or meet with a faculty member in person one time in the Fall semester?

Any student, staff, or faculty member who wishes to visit GW-owned or -operated facilities--for an event, meeting, class, or to utilize resources--must be compliant with the University’s vaccine and mask mandates. This includes access to the physical libraries, GSEHD events, GW events, faculty and staff meetings, and meetings with faculty and staff about dissertation research (e.g., EDUC 8999 Dissertation Research). Students can request a virtual meeting with their academic advisor or student services representative without University clearance.

What if I am attending an off-campus internship, practicum, or clinical experience?

Any student, staff, or faculty member who wishes to visit GW-owned or -operated facilities must be compliant with the University’s vaccine and mandates. Please consult with your academic advisor, course instructor, or site supervisor about any additional requirements for internships, practicums, and/or clinical experiences that occur off-campus.

What if I live very far from one of the two campus-COVID-19 testing sites?

In cases where it is not possible to travel to one of the two University COVID-19 testing sites, and monthly COVID-19 testing is required to maintain University clearance, please contact your student services representative for additional options. The two University testing sites are on the Foggy Bottom campus and the Virgina Science and Technology campus.

What if the virus worsens during the academic semester?

This could happen and we may need to modify our hybrid and in-person classes. In conjunction with CDC guidance, the GW Medical Advisory Group will be constantly monitoring the number of cases and positivity rate, among other key metrics, in the community to determine if a change in our day-to-day operations is necessary. If the University mandates an end to in-person learning, then GSEHD classes will be delivered remotely as they were during the 2020-2021 academic year.

Additional Frequently Asked Questions

Any updates to University guidelines will supersede this list of FAQs.