Application Process

The first step in your graduate student journey is applying to graduate school. Admission to Columbian College graduate programs is selective. Prospective students must have demonstrated academic excellence and hold a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution of higher learning. We are here to help you with application tips and best practices as well as answers to FAQs regarding the application process.

How to Apply


Step One: Review Application Requirements

Each Columbian College graduate program has its own set of application requirements. Application deadlines for graduate programs also vary.

Depending on the program, you may be asked to submit official test scores, a portfolio, varying numbers of recommendation letters and other materials. Carefully review the application requirements and deadlines for your program by visiting the appropriate page on the GW Bulletin's Graduate Program Finder website.



Step Two: Create an Application Account

Once you've reviewed the requirements and deadlines for your desired program, you can create an account through the GW application portal. You can apply for multiple programs under the one account. Any outstanding documentation and the status of your application can be viewed through the portal.

Your application will only be considered for admission once it is complete. Your application must be submitted and complete before the end of day of the application deadline.



Step Three: Upload Supporting Materials

You can upload all of your required materials to your online application through the portal. For details regarding the supporting documents required for your program, visit your program’s page on the GW Bulletin's Graduate Program Finder website. Depending on the program, these documents may also include a writing sample or portfolio in addition to your resume, transcript(s) and statement of purpose.

If your program requires the GRE, or if you are required to submit an English Proficiency Test, ensure you allow approximately 2 weeks for GW to receive your official scores. We must receive your official scores directly from the testing agency by the application deadline.

Do not wait for your GRE/English scores before submitting your application. We will match your scores to your application once we have received them. If you sent your official scores to GWU well before submitting your application, please allow two business days for your checklist to update to show that the scores have been received.



Step Four: Send Your Recommendation Invitation(s)

Once you enter your recommender's information in the portal, the online application will automatically send an email requesting the recommendation(s). It will be helpful to have your references in place and their current contact information handy. Please allow your recommenders sufficient time to complete and submit their recommendations before the application deadline.

You may also send reminder emails to your recommenders after you have submitted your application. However, you will not be able to add new recommenders after you submit; you will need to contact us at [email protected] if you need to add new recommenders after submitting.



Step Five: Submit Your Application

You must submit your application through our online application portal. We encourage you to submit your application well before the posted application deadline. 

You may submit your application before your test scores and recommendations are received. You may not make changes to your application yourself once it is submitted.



Step Six: Check Application Status Updates and Important Information

You may log on to the application portal at any time to view your application's current status. Once you submit your application, please allow one to two business days for your application to be reviewed and updated. Your application form will show as 100% Complete and your Checklist will note any official test scores, recommendations, or transcripts that are missing. Your Checklist will be updated as we receive these items, completing the entire application package. You will be notified by email when your application is sent to the department for review and once a decision is made.

Your application will only be considered for admission once the checklist shows that it is complete. Your application must be submitted and complete before the end of the day of the application deadline. Your application decision can be viewed through your account.


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