George Washington University

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Updated August 7, 2020

George Washington University (GWU) was founded in 1821 and is the fulfillment of the first United States president's dream to create an institution of higher learning in the nation's capital. Today, the private university enrolls students from all over the nation and around the world; it has three main campuses and several satellite centers in and around the District of Columbia (DC). Although the university is most prominently known for training future public servants in the fields of law and political science, GWU students also participate in degree programs in a broad range of disciplines like public health, computer engineering and journalism. GWU was one of the first major universities to provide students with comprehensive online degree programs, and it continues to improve and expand its online offerings. The university also serves as a major research hub that encourages interaction among faculty, graduate students, the U.S. government and international organizations in the areas of medicine, engineering, biology and public policy to solve societal issues.

George Washington University Accreditation Details

GWU is regionally accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools. A number of the university's colleges and schools have earned additional accreditation credentials based upon the disciplines that they represent. For instance, the university's School of Medicine and Health Sciences administers degree programs that are accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs, the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Science and the Commission on the Accreditation of Physical Therapist Education. Additionally, the degree programs associated with the Graduate School of Education and Human Development are accredited by the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE). These schools also administer online programs that receive the same accreditation benefits as their traditional program counterparts.

George Washington University Application Requirements

Students from many academic levels decide to study at GWU, and there are separate admissions activities for undergraduate, graduate and professional degree students. Undergraduates can apply for admission via the Common Application by submitting the completed forms electronically through the Common Application website or by downloading the forms and sending completed hard copies to the GWU Office of Admission. Students are encouraged to submit their documents online, but those who send their application by mail must make sure that their name and date of birth appear on every sheet submitted. GWU admissions staff members scan the application documents and review the applications online; items included in the package that cannot be scanned are not considered in the review process.

The application for incoming freshmen requires that students submit high school transcripts, standardized test scores, guidance counselor and teacher recommendations, essays and their primary and alternate choices of colleges or schools within GWU. Art and design students must also submit up to 15 examples of their work with their application packages. GWU allows students to apply for regular admission or early decision to gain an edge in the admission process; freshmen who apply as early decision candidates must note it on their applications.

Students who want to pursue graduate or professional degree programs at GWU must submit their applications online via the GWU graduate admission website. The application requirements for these students vary by college, school and individual program. For example, students who want to enroll in programs administered by the GWU Graduate School of Education and Human Development must submit online applications that include their undergraduate transcripts, standardized test scores, two letters of recommendation, statements of purpose, resumes and writing samples. Graduate and professional students' applications are reviewed when all documentation is received by the admission office and the $75 application fee is paid. Students who apply to online undergraduate, graduate and professional degree programs must use the same application for undergraduate or graduate school admission as traditional students.

Tuition and Financial Aid

The annual tuition for GWU undergraduates for the Fall 2015 semester is $50,367. Graduate school tuition rates at GWU vary by program. For example, the Doctor of Education in Administration and Policy Studies degree program has a tuition rate of $1,000 per credit hour; the estimated tuition cost for the year for this program is about $48,000, because the program requires a minimum of 16 classes to graduate. Alternately, an advanced degree in international affairs has a rate of $1600 per credit hour. GWU's undergraduate students benefit from a fixed cost tuition rate that is set during their freshmen year and applies until they graduate. Besides standard loans, GWU students can take advantage of grants, scholarships, paid internships and work study programs to help them to pay for their educational expenses. Scholarships offered to GWU students are competitive and merit based; students qualify for these financial awards based on scholastic, athletic and artistic talent. Also, students can find more information about federal work study jobs and other part time employment at GWU by contacting the university's career services center.

Online Degrees Available

GWU was recently ranked in the top 12 percent of the nation's Education schools by U.S. News and World Report. GWU's graduate School of Education and Human Development particularly shines when it comes to diverse degree program options and formats. For example, the GWU Doctor of Education allows educators to earn specialized degrees in Education Administration and Policy Studies. The Doctor of Education in Education Policy prepares students for leadership positions as researchers and policy analysts who help to improve education practice. Students take classes at the DC campus exclusively, and program courses relate to topics like qualitative research methods in education, education policy implementation and methods of education policy analysis. The Doctor of Education in Administration is held conveniently at GWU's Virginia Science and Technology Campus, the Hampton Roads Center and the Alexandria Graduate Center. This degree program trains educators for senior positions in the field of education such as principals, superintendents and college deans.

GWU's Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership and Administration prepares future educators to bring out the scholastic best in their students at the primary and secondary school levels. Course topics for the degree program cover curriculum design and analysis, human relations, communication and legal issues in education. The NCATE accredited degree program is offered online, and it assists candidates who are preparing to meet the requirements for education certifications in many states. Besides the numerous degree offerings and flexible curricula formats in the discipline of education, prospective George Washington University students are likely to be drawn to the school's location and connections among the nation's top policy makers.

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