New Student Orientation

Your tenure as a graduate student at The George Washington University Columbian College of Arts and Sciences (CCAS) will soon begin. We want you to know one thing: You Got This! You have earned your place at this prestigious institution, and when you complete your degree, you will enter into a network of more than 310,000 alumni living and working in Washington D.C., all 50 states, and over 150 countries throughout the world.

Our orientation program is a series of "information bulletins" sent via email every 2 weeks, containing all the information you need to prepare for your first semester at GW. Designed to provide the right information when you need it, our graduate student orientation series also encompasses tips from current students, live information sessions, chats with our student services staff, and reminders on academic policy and university processes.

Welcome from the Dean

To kick things off, please view the Dean of CCAS, Paul Wahlbeck’s welcome message to all new CCAS graduate students. 




Orientation Series Information

To ensure you are well equipped to being your studies in the Fall 2023 semester, you will receive biweekly emails starting in June 2023. The information contained in these emails will be posted on this page as well. 

Orientation Events 

More information about events for new Fall 2023 students will be posted soon. 

Program Orientations

Most programs will offer an additional program-specific orientation closer to the start of semester. Expect more details to be sent via email.


Frequently Asked Questions

The CCAS Office of Graduate Studies (OGS) understands that you have questions about beginning your studies and that you require information to make informed decisions about your personal and academic plans. We hope this FAQ will help. For more information, please visit the Frequently Asked Questions page


Academic and Campus Life

How do we get access to Handshake?

Access will be granted by Career Services. You must be registered in at least one class to gain access.

How many years do Master's students have to complete their degree?

All students, regardless of their program, have a time limit to complete degree requirements.  All Master's programs have 4 years.  More information on time limits can be access on our Time to Degree website

How do I know who my academic advisor is?

A list of academic advisors or DGS's can be viewed on our contact us website.

Is DegreeMAP something that will pop up later, when school starts?

All students have access to DegreeMAP once you have created a NetID. Please visit the CCAS Orientation website to view a video for steps on how to access your DegreeMAP.

Do the libraries provide access to online journal and journal databases, like JStor, Sage Pubs, etc.?

Yes, GW libraries provide online journal databases.

How do I get a GWorld Card?

You may visit the GWorld Office during business hours to get your card. Students must be in compliance with GW's vaccine requirement prior to arriving on campus. More information can be found here.


Housing and Healthcare

Can I jump on a GW healthcare plan or something similar?

Any student can participate in the GW health plan. To enroll visit the Colonial Health website.

What are some suggestions you have if we are struggling to find affordable housing?

The Office of Off Campus Student Affairs is a great resource for finding housing.


Transportation and Parking

Can GW students access a metro/bus pass at a reduced price?

The George Washington University has joined the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority's (WMATA) U-Pass program, providing full-time students with unlimited use of Metrorail and Metrobus for a discounted, flat fee. More information is available here

Is there student parking available at the Corcoran?

No parking is available at the Corcoran building, however, parking is available nearby.  More information can be found on the GW Parking website.

Are there shuttles to the Mt. Vernon campus?

Yes. More information can be found on The Mount Vernon Express website.



When will student tuition bills be released and when are they due?

Student accounts will release Spring bills in late November. Payment is due before the start of the semester (January 11).

Fall bills will be released in late July. Charges Due the first day of classes (Monday, August 30, 2021)

Does GW have a monthly payment plan?

Yes.  Student accounts offers a monthly payment plan.  More information can be found on the Student Accounts website.

How are consortium classes billed?

All consortium classes are billed by the home school and will be charged per the home school rates.  Therefore as a GW student you will be billed by GW at the GW credit hour rate.

Is there an enrollment deposit?

Yes. You must submit a non-refundable $250 enrollment deposit. The deposit will be credited to your student account and applied toward your tuition for the first semester. PhD, Combined Degree, and Classical Acting MFA students are not required to submit a deposit. See instructions for paying your tuition deposit.

If I drop out after the first day of the semester will I still have to pay for those classes?

Courses dropped prior to the first day of the semester will result in a 100% refund. Courses dropped on or after the first day are subject to the refund schedule. The schedule details the way in which the tuition and fees will be prorated should a student drop courses or withdraw completely. Drop penalties are non-refundable.