Non-Degree FAQs

What is non-degree seeking status?
When is the application deadline?
What are the minimum requirements?
Which courses can I take?
What are the current tuition and fees?
Is financial aid available?
Can I audit a class?
I am a GW Alumni, what options are available to me as a non-degree student?
Are earned credits transferable?
How do I find more information about a course?
Where can I find more information on Corcoran courses and policies?


What is non-degree seeking status?

Non-degree enrollment status is designed for students who wish to take courses but are not currently in pursuit of a degree at GW. Non-degree status includes those students who have been admitted to GW for a future semester. Non-degree students do not earn certificates or degrees from GW, but can take courses for a grade, earn credit, and those grades and credits will become part of an official academic record at GW. 

When is the application deadline?

There are no application deadlines for applying for non-degree status.  However, the number of non-degree students eligible to enroll in a particular semester may be limited, and registering after the first day of the semester will incur a late registration fee.

What are the minimum requirements?

Applicants must have at minimum a high school diploma and good academic standing at their home institution.  International applicants whose native language is not English or are not a citizen of a country where English is the official language, must submit official scores from either the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS).  The minimum scores required are:


  • 600 on the paper-based TOEFL, or

  • 100 on the Internet-based TOEFL, or

  • an overall band score of 7.0 on IELTS, with no individual score below 6.0


English language test scores (TOEFL and IELTS) may not be more than two years old.


Exceptions may be made for applicants who hold a degree from a high school or university located in a country in which English is the official language and also the language of instruction at the school or university. In addition, exceptions may be made for applicants who have taken standardized tests such as the SAT or GRE.  Please contact our office for further information.


Though references, standardized test scores, and transcripts are not required for all non-degree applicants for “General Study,” they may be requested in certain cases. Special programs may have additional requirements. 

Which courses can I take?

A variety of courses, including online courses, are open to non-degree students at GW’s Foggy Bottom, Mount Vernon, and Virginia Science & Technology campuses, as well as other off-campus locations and contracted sites. Please visit the schedule of classes for up to date information.

What are the current tuition and fees?

Non-degree students are charged on a per credit basis.  For current rates please visit Colonial Central.

Is financial aid available?

Financial aid is not available to non-degree seeking students.

Can I audit a class?

Non-degree students are allowed to audit classes.  Normal tuition rates still apply to audited classes.   Students who audit a class are not allowed to take the class at a later date for credit. More information on course auditing can be found on our Course and Enrollment Policies page.


I am a GW Alumni, what options are available to me as a non-degree student?

GW Alumni can take classes for credit through the Office of Non-Degree Students (full tuition and fees apply) or take classes on an audit basis only through the Alumni Course Audit Program.  Please contact the Alumni Office for further information.

Are earned credits transferable?

Grades and credits earned in non-degree status will become part of an official academic record at GW. Before applying for non-degree status, you should review your home institution’s policies to ensure the course will be eligible to transfer. Also, non-degree students interested in transferring GW courses to a degree program at GW should contact the major department for transfer credit policies.  Upon completion students may request an official transcript.

How do I find more information about a course?

You can find faculty and departmental contact information on their department website in the GW directory or in the University Bulletin.

Where can I find more information on Corcoran courses and policies?

Current Corcoran degree students should contact their school for more information on their program, course options, graduation and more. Corcoran Continuing Education students can find more information on the Corcoran Continuing Education section of our website. Additional resources for all Corcoran students are available on GW’s main Corcoran School of the Arts and Design site.


Graduate Study

The George Washington University offers more than 200 master's, doctoral and graduate certificate programs designed to fit the unique needs of our students. With numerous locations throughout Washington, D.C., Virginia, and Maryland, you can find the program that is right for you.  

Summer Sessions

Summer classes at the George Washington University provide a unique opportunity to earn academic credit from a top-ranked university, learn from superb faculty, and take advantage of the extraordinary educational and cultural resources of Washington, D.C. Open to undergraduates, graduates, and visiting students, summer classes are offered in compressed 6, 8, 10 and 14-week sessions during the day, in the evening, and online, so you can integrate coursework into your busy lifestyle.

Summer Sessions Website

Visit the Summer Sessions website for complete information about summer options, including:

Virginia Science and Technology Campus

The Virginia Science and Technology Campus was established in 1991 as GW’s flagship research and technology center. Situated on 100 acres in Loudoun County, Virginia, it is strategically positioned in the center of Northern Virginia’s technology corridor.

More than 20 exceptional graduate degree and certificate programs in business, information systems technology, engineering and human and organizational learning are offered at the Virginia Campus.

The Virginia Science and Technology Campuss collaborates with regional corporations, organizations and local governments, as well as with on-site organizations such as the Integrated Justice Information Systems Institute (IJIS), the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and the renowned Jason Project, a subsidiary of National Geographic. Dozens of centers of excellence and laboratories in critical areas are housed on the campus, including:

  • National Crash Analysis Center, a collaboration among academia, industry and the federal government to explore and improve road safety and security.
  • Center for Intelligent Systems Research, conducting research applying neural networks, fuzzy logic and genetic algorithms to solve a variety of transportation problems.
  • Center for High-Performance Reconfigurable Computing, a national center and consortium for research funded by the National Science Foundation, with partners from academia, government and industry.
  • Institute for Massively Parallel Applications and Computing Technologies, advancing interdisciplinary research, education and training in high-performance computing.

Foggy Bottom and Mount Vernon Campuses

Foggy Bottom

Since 1912, GW’s Foggy Bottom Campus has been a part of the historic Foggy Bottom neighborhood, only blocks from the White House, U.S. Department of State, World Health Organization, John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and the World Bank, as well as museums, galleries and corporate headquarters. The University capitalizes on its location to deliver an unrivaled educational experience that draws nearby international, governmental and cultural resources into the classroom, attracts adjunct faculty from the top ranks of public and private institutions and facilitates exceptional research, internship and career opportunities for its students.

The Foggy Bottom Campus includes more than 100 campus buildings on 42 acres in the heart of Washington, D.C. and is home to more than 200 doctoral, masters and graduate certificate programs. Fields of study are wide-ranging, innovative and, often, interdisciplinary. 

Mount Vernon Campus

The Mount Vernon Campus, spread over 25 acres, is in Washington’s wooded Foxhall neighborhood, surrounded by homes, embassies, diplomatic residences and the Kreeger Museum of Art. Connected to the Foggy Bottom Campus by a 24-hour shuttle service, it houses science labs, extensive athletic facilities and six undergraduate residence halls. The campus is home to the graduate programs in forensic sciences and interior design.

Other Washington, D.C. Locations

  • Next to the Foggy Bottom Campus, the K Street Center for Professional Education, at 2020 K St. NW in Washington, D.C., is home to graduate programs in landscape design and paralegal studies.
  • GW’s legislative affairs program has been offered in the Hall of States building on Capitol Hill for several decades.

Funding Your Graduate Education

Graduate students can fund their education in various ways and often utilize multiple resources. Brief descriptions of the general types of funding available are described below. For more detailed information, please visit the following Web sites:

Fellowships and Assistantships

Most merit-based assistance (graduate teaching assistantships, research assistantships and fellowships) is awarded through the schools or programs. Applicants who would like to be considered for assistantships and fellowships should consult the appropriate program’s Web site for further information. If you are applying for a fellowship/assistantship, answer “yes” to this question on the online application for graduate admission and, if required by your school or program, submit a separate fellowship/assistantship application and other materials that may be required.

Please note that the application for fellowships and assistantships is Jan 15 for the fall semester and Sept 1 for the spring semester. All admission materials are due by this deadline, even if this is earlier than the stated deadline for your program of interest. Applications received after the deadline will be considered for these awards only if funds remain available.

Loan Assistance

The Office of Student Financial Assistance (OFSA) oversees the processing of all loans for students who have been admitted to a GW graduate degree or approved graduate certificate program. Federal loan programs require U.S. citizenship or permanent resident status and at least half-time attendance.

Credit-based consumer loans are available to supplement other sources of aid, and OSFA can provide school certification for any alternative program you choose. You should compare rates, fees and repayment options when choosing among the programs available.

Instructions for applying for these different types of loans are provided online. To have a loan processed before classes begin, all application materials must be on file in the Office of Student Financial Assistance by:

  • Fall Semester: May 1
  • Spring Semester: October 1
  • Summer Semester: March 1

Employment Opportunities

Many graduate students obtain employment to help fund their studies, often using the following resources:

  • GW Career Center: Information on full-time, part-time, internship, cooperative education, temporary and summer positions is available 
  • Jobs at GW Web site: Maintained by the Division of Human Resource Services, this site provides information about full-time and regular part-time positions. After a three-month waiting period, new GW employees, as well as the spouses and children of full-time employees, may receive educational benefits. (Note: Graduate students employed full- or part-time on a research grant may use their tuition benefits immediately if they begin their employment before the first day of classes.
  • Federal Work-Study Program: Available to U.S. citizens, provides jobs for graduate students with financial need, allowing them to earn money to help pay education expenses.

International students with F-1 or J-1 visa status may be able to supplement their classroom experiences and personal funds through employment, co-operative education or internships, but proper employment authorization must be obtained BEFORE beginning work.For more information, contact the International Services Office.

Housing and Living Expenses

Housing on the  Foggy Bottom campus is available at GW, but in a limited capacity.  Most graduate students live off-campus.  GradLife provides a searchable database of available off-campus housing to help you find a place to suit your style.  They also have message boards to help you find a roommate or furniture.

Although actual living expenses vary considerably, depending on students' housing and lifestyle preferences, the following is an estimate of the minimum costs for graduate students in the Washington metropolitan area (excluding tuition and fees):

  • Housing, meals, transportation, and personal expenses (full year): $20,742.00
  • Books and supplies (academic year): $500.00
  • Health insurance (estimate for full year): $2,258