Graduate Admissions Process


Graduate Student in lab


At Columbian College, you will be given the tools to thrive both intellectually and professionally. With nearly 100 advanced degrees and graduate certificates to choose from, you have the opportunity to find a program suited to your academic, professional and personal goals.

Admission to the college is selective. Prospective students must have demonstrated academic excellence and hold a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution of higher learning.


Application Requirements

An application for admission is required for all graduate programs. Details including the general application process and document requirements for domestic students are provided.

Interested international students should visit our International Graduate Applicants page for additional application requirements.

Current GW undergraduate students who want to apply for a combined degree (bachelor's + master's) should visit our Combined Degree Programs page.

If you have any questions, please contact the Office of Graduate Studies at [email protected].

How to Apply

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 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 program page in the GW Graduate Program Finder.

Complete the relevant standardized test (GRE/TOEFL), if required. Most master's and doctorate programs, with the exception of some MFA majors, require the GRE. The GRE may be waived if you already have a JD, MD or PhD.

If required, you must send your official scores to the George Washington University (GRE school code 5246) and they must be received before the application deadline.

The online application will automatically send an email to your references requesting the recommendation. It will be helpful to have your references in place and their current contact information handy. Please allow your references sufficient time to complete and submit their recommendations before the application deadline.

You must submit your application through our online application center. For details regarding the supporting documents required for your program, visit your program's page on the GW Graduate Program Finder. 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.

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

You may log on to your online application at any time to view its current status. Once you submit your application, please allow one to two business days for your application to be reviewed and updated. Your application will be updated as we receive your official test scores and recommendations. 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 it is complete. Your application must be submitted and complete before the end of day of the application deadline.

Check Admission Status

Your program's page in the GW Graduate Program Finder includes the information you need to apply, including deadlines, supporting documentation and test score requirements. 

GW Graduate Program Finder

Application Requirements

The minimum requirements for all Columbian College graduate programs include the application form, transcript, GRE test scores, resume, statement of purpose, letters of recommendation and application fee. Some programs may require additional materials. Check the GW Graduate Program Finder for detailed information regarding your program of interest.

You can complete the application form on the GW Graduate Application Center. You will need to submit an application for each program you are applying for. Once you submit your application, you will not be able to make any adjustments.

A transcript is required from each college and university attended, regardless of whether or not a degree program was completed. Transcripts should be uploaded to the "Education" section of the online application.

Your application will be reviewed for admission on the basis of the unofficial copies.

Official copies of your transcripts will be required only if you are offered admission.

All transcripts MUST:

  • Be legible and complete. Please ensure that the transcript is readable.
  • Include the course names. The course codes alone are insufficient.
  • Include your name, institution and program of study. Transcripts are required from all post-secondary institutions attended, even if no degree was awarded.
  • Not be a Degree Audit.
  • Be from the institution. Self-written copies are not accepted.
  • Be in English. If your transcripts are in a language other than English, a certified English language translation must be provided. The English translation alone can be uploaded into the online application.
  • Not be encrypted or password protected.

Tips for Scanning and Uploading Transcripts

  • We prefer that you scan a copy of your official transcript and upload the scanned copy to your application. While you may upload a web-based copy of your transcript, please ensure that both your name and the name of the institution appear on the copy.
  • Transcripts should be scanned at the lowest resolution that produces a legible copy. We recommend using under 200 dpi.
  • Color copies are not necessary. Scanning in black and white or grayscale is strongly recommended.
  • In your upload, please include one copy of the transcript legend or grading scale for each university. This usually appears on the back of each transcript page.
  • Please do not upload certified, encrypted or password-protected files.
  • Your scanned copy must be printable on letter size (8-½” by 11”) or A4 paper.
  • Once you have uploaded your transcript, click the "View Document" button and ensure that your document is legible. Illegible documents are not acceptable and will delay the processing of your application.

Official vs. Unofficial Transcripts

  • Official Transcript: An official transcript is a transcript that is sent directly to GW from your institution in a sealed envelope or online through a secure system such as e-script. Alternatively, you may have an official transcript sent to yourself and then forward it, unopened, on to the Columbian College Office of Graduate Studies. This is acceptable only if the original envelope the transcript was sent in has not been opened. A transcript that has been opened cannot be considered an official copy. For foreign institutions that only issue one official transcript, we will accept “attested” or “certified” copies as official copies.
  • Unofficial Transcript: An unofficial transcript is a transcript that has been in the hands of the student, such as an online printout of your academic history or a printed transcript that has been opened. Typically, online copies are considered unofficial. We accept web copies of your transcript, but it must display your program, order your courses by semester (not by title or grade etc.) and show your grades and GPA.

Please note that all official credentials, such as transcripts, marksheets and degree certificates become property of the George Washington University once they have been submitted and will not be returned to the student or the issuing institution. Failure to complete any of these will result in a hold being placed on your account, which will prevent you from registering for courses, paying your tuition bill, etc. 

All doctoral programs and most master's degree programs require a current general GRE test score. Some of our departments will waive the GRE requirement for students with a prior, earned JD, MD or PhD. If you hold one of these degrees, please check the GW Graduate Program Finder to see if your program waives this requirement.

Your GRE must not be more than five years old from the time you apply. You must send your GRE scores to George Washington University (GRE school code 5246) through the Educational Testing Service (ETS). We must receive them before your application deadline. ETS needs approximately 10 days to send out your scores, so you must request that they be sent to GW at least two weeks before your deadline.

Some programs recommend the GRE subject test. These are: English, Mathematics, Physics and Chemistry.

The only Columbian College program that has a minimum GRE score is the PhD in Clinical Psychology.

More information on the GRE test is available on the ETS website.

A copy of your most current resume is required and should include all previous education and employment.

The statement of purpose is typically an essay of approximately 250-500 words in which you explain your reasons for undertaking graduate study in your chosen field. The length and requirements of your statement of purpose depend on your program. For more information, visit your program’s page on the GW Graduate Program Finder.

Letters of Recommendation should come from faculty, supervisors, and others who know you well in an academic or professional setting.

If possible, at least one letter should come from a faculty member who taught you in a class and can speak to your potential for rigorous graduate study. Choose a professor who is in the field, or a similar field, to which you are applying.

If submitting a professional recommendation, select a manager or supervisor rather than a colleague. A supervisor can attest to your ability to meet deadlines, accept feedback, and how well you build relationships with both your peers and authority figures.

To determine the number of recommendations required for your program application, please check the GW Graduate Program Finder.

Recommendations are submitted through the online application system. Once you have entered the recommender’s name and email address in your online application, the system will send the recommender an auto-email, and provide them with a secure link through which to submit the recommendation. Your recommender may need to check their spam or trash folders for receipt of this email.

If the secure link is not functioning, your recommender is welcome to email their letter directly to [email protected], and we will attach the letter to your application.

Recommendations can arrive in our system before or after application submission, so you do not need to wait for all recommendations to be received before submitting your online application form.



You can choose to pay the $80 application fee by credit card or check. Please note that you may not change the method of payment once you submit your application. If you are eligible for a fee waiver, you may submit a request to have the fee waived at the end of the application submission process.

The application fee is waived for:

You will receive notification within one to two business days of submitting the fee waiver request of the approval status. At that time, you may finalize submission of the application.