Fall 2020 Information for Undergraduate Students

Updated July 28, 2020

As the CCAS Dean’s Office is planning for fall we understand and recognize you have questions and need information to make informed decisions about your personal and academic plans. We hope this page will help you navigate through the fall semester.



Academic Policies

Academic Forgiveness

Undergraduate students are eligible to repeat for credit and grade forgiveness three undergraduate-level courses taken at GW in which they received a grade of D+ (1.3) or below (except if the failing grade was due to a violation of GW’s Code of Academic Integrity). With the approval of their academic advisor, a student may repeat a course under this policy at any time during their enrollment at GW; however, a course is not eligible for this policy if the student has taken a subsequent course for which the initial course is a prerequisite. The student’s registration, including the repeated course, may not exceed 18 credits in the semester in which the course is repeated; students in the School of Engineering and Applied Science may not exceed 19 credits.

Under this policy, the original grade remains on the transcript until the student repeats the course. Once the course is repeated, a permanent notation of RP replaces the grade for the first attempt of the course in the semester in which it was taken. The grade earned in the repeated course appears on the transcript in the semester in which the course was repeated. Only the grade earned for the repeat enrollment is factored into the student’s cumulative grade-point average. The grade for the repeat enrollment is the final grade for the course, regardless of whether it is above or below the original grade. In the case that a student wishes to repeat more than three courses for academic forgiveness, they must first receive approval from the chair of the department under which the course is housed.

Lifestyle, Sport and Physical Activity (LSPA) Credits

Up to 3 credits of Lifestyle, Sport and Physical Activity (LSPA) courses, taken for a letter grade starting in the Fall 2020 semester, may count toward the 120 credits required for the bachelor's degree in Columbian College. Students must earn a passing grade of D- or higher in the LSPA course for it to count toward graduation requirements.


Frequently Asked Questions

No.  Because of health and safety concerns, GW has decided to move to online learning. A few students who have extenuating personal or academic circumstances will be allowed to live on campus.

At this time, we do not believe this plan for fall will change. Please check your email frequently for updates.

Please visit the Campus Advisories website for information about the GW Campus Plans.

Please visit the Frequently Asked Questions page on the GW Fall 2020 website

The GW Campus Re-Opening Teams are currently working on the health and safety protocols that will be required. It will be important for each member of our community to adhere to these protocols to protect themselves and our community. A campus compact will be distributed before classes begin. At a minimum, all members of our community will be required to wear cloth masks while on campus in public areas (indoors and outdoors) and in the presence of others, to practice social distancing and follow CDC recommendations for handwashing and coughing/sneezing hygiene.

We are aware that COVID-19 as well as the response to the pandemic have had a disproportionate effect on communities of color. In developing and implementing health and safety protocols as well as other back to campus activities, the University is committed to ensuring equity and inclusivity and working to eliminate social inequities, stigmatization, and racism.

We will require seasonal influenza shots for on-campus students, faculty, and staff, with exceptions based on medical conditions and religious beliefs in compliance with legal requirements and standards of medical care. In the absence of a COVID-19 vaccine, it will be important to guard against other illnesses to the extent possible.

Yes. Students will be tested upon arrival on campus, and will be tested throughout the semester. This testing program will be led by our own public health experts in accordance with all appropriate health regulations. Regular testing will continue throughout the fall semester and will be immediately available to anyone on campus who is experiencing COVID-19 symptoms or has been exposed.

The Colonial Health Center will serve as the main health care resource for on campus students. A new occupational health and wellness unit in the Medical Faculty Associates will provide employee health surveillance and health promotion.

We will perform on-campus contact investigations in coordination with the D.C. Department of Health contact tracing staff, via a newly established Campus COVID Investigation Team (CCIT). This will enable us to quickly identify and test potential GW community members who may be positive for COVID-19 and to clearly identify for public health authorities the individuals who have been in contact with the person. The CCIT will also serve an integrating function for data from our screening, case investigation, and related efforts.

For further information on COVID-19 compliance, visit the GW Compliance website.

We do not have information about the spring 2021 at this time. Please check your email or visit the GW COVID-19 website for updates.

We anticipate that students who are able to do remote coursework in the fall will be able to continue some or all of their coursework remotely in the spring, but no official decisions have been made for Spring 2021.

For new, initial visa applicants we are working with the International Student Office to determine options available under the current federal guidance for those who choose to come to the US. 

As an international student located in the US, you must maintain full-time status by registering for at least 12 credits of coursework in Fall 2020. At present, we believe you will have the option to take most of your courses via remote instruction, however you will be required to register for one in-person/hybrid course.  Once we have final guidance, we will work to provide students with those course options.

Undergraduate students without a safe alternative, students for whom their home situation is not conducive to successful virtual education, international students, and students with specific in-person academic or research requirements or culminating experiences that must be completed on-campus may apply to be considered for on-campus housing.

Campus Living and Residential Experience (CLRE) will begin accepting applications for fall on-campus housing via GW Campus Living and Residential Education website on Wednesday, July 29.

All classes will be recorded so you can view them at another time. We will also be as flexible as we can during these unprecedented times.

No. Students may not take more than 3 courses (not to exceed 12 credits in total), post- matriculation, at another institution during their entire academic career at GW. This cap on post-matriculation credits include any requests to “Study Away” overseas. Exceptions will not be made to this policy.

You may request to take a Leave of Absence or go on Continuous Enrollment status during the fall semester. However, before you make that decision, it is critical that you meet with your academic advisor - particularly if you wish to take classes away from GW and transfer those credits back towards your degree requirements.

It is up to the student as to whether they defer for a semester or an entire year. During their deferral period, students may not take courses at another institution. Doing so will invalidate their offer of admission as the Office of Undergraduate Admissions reserves the right to review all academic coursework completed prior to enrollment to determine admissibility.

Students wishing to take advantage of online course offerings at GW this fall should not submit an application for deferred admission because their student records are deactivated during deferral. As such they would be unable to register for fall courses.

Students should check with the appropriate office to determine if taking a semester or year off will affect their financial situations. Contact [email protected] or visit the Office of Student Financial Assistance website.

GW provides counseling and psychological services to all enrolled students. More information is available on the Counseling and Psychological Services website.

Please keep in mind that academic policies and information are dynamic (as is the virus). When there are major updates, we will alert you, but you should stay in contact with this document. You also may email [email protected] with specific questions regarding your Fall 2020 course schedule or academic planning.