Vision & Mission


Solving the complex problems facing humanity and advancing global wellbeing requires agile minds capable of thoughtful deliberation and skillful collaboration. At GW’s Columbian College of Arts & Sciences (CCAS), we seek to create opportunities for students to discover knowledge that is profoundly innovative and cross-disciplinary, and that embraces the university's unique proximity to governmental institutions and global power centers, prestigious research agencies, and iconic cultural institutions.

Organizational Sciences students in a row at a table





CCAS prepares students to become responsible global citizens and visionary leaders across the public, private and nonprofit sectors through: 

  • An engaged liberal arts education: We champion the importance of a broad and inclusive education in the sciences, social sciences, arts and humanities because we believe that innovation comes from thinking across disciplines.
  • Pioneering and innovative research: We promote innovation and collaboration in research, scholarship, and creativity, working beyond the disciplinary boundaries of thought and imagination to enable advances for future generations.
  • Expansive and expanding student knowledge: We teach students essential skills in critical thinking, leadership, written and oral communication, and analysis — all of which are needed for students to adapt to new industries and prepare for fulfilling, successful, and impactful lives.
  • Civic engagement: We focus on linking intellectual knowledge with real-world applications, knowing that our students’ critical thinking skills will help them solve problems in the community, the nation, and the world.
  • Diversity through inclusive excellence: We believe that a diverse community of students, faculty, and staff with varied backgrounds, ideas, and interests creates a vibrant learning environment, cutting edge curricula, and research excellence.




Charted in 1821 by an Act of Congress, Columbian College was the founding college of what became The George Washington University in 1904. It remains GW’s largest and most comprehensive academic unit and the cornerstone of the campus community. CCAS encompasses 42 academic departments and programs and three affiliated schools—the Trachtenberg School of Public Policy & Public Administration, School of Media & Public Affairs, and Corcoran School of the Arts & Design. Approximately 8,000 students are enrolled in 67 undergraduate majors and 92 graduate degree programs. CCAS's 500 full-time faculty members include Fulbright and Guggenheim scholars, award-winning artists, cutting-edge scientists, and critically acclaimed authors.