Student Services & Activities

The Cloyd Heck Marvin Center is the hub of the Foggy Bottom Campus, home to the GW Bookstore, the Center for Student Engagement, food services, recreational facilities, the Cafritz Foundation Conference Center and Colonial Central GW’s one-stop student service center.

Graduate students come to the George Washington University not only for outstanding research and study opportunities but also for the rich offerings of the Washington metropolitan area and our vibrant student life. Our mission is to ensure that all students connect with the resources, organizations and events that make GW a unique institution.

The Grad Life Web site offers comprehensive information for meeting the non-academic needs and interests of our graduate and professional students, including:

  • Housing information
  • A calendar of upcoming events on campus
  • Information on graduate student organizations
  • Tips for getting involved with GW

The Academic Success and Professional Development Series, is a group of workshops that cover various topics to assist graduate students with their success in graduate school.

The Directory of Student Organizations reflects our students’ diverse interests, causes and extracurricular activities.

The Center for Student Engagement serves as the focal point for a variety of student opportunities, including university-wide events, student organizations and involvement in mentoring and community services. One of its most popular programs, TRAiLS, organizes outdoor excursions, from hiking to caving and from surfing to kayaking, while coordinating service projects that promote environmental awareness and protection.

Other student services include:

  • Child Care Services – offered by CCLC
  • Counseling Center – for assistance with personal, social, career and study problems that can interfere with educational and career goals
  • Food services – options that complement off-campus dining
  • GW Bookstore
  • Career and Employment Services - The GW Career Center provides a variety of career and employment resources to GW graduate students. Additionally, a number of schools offer career services to students enrolled in their programs.
  • International Services Office – information, advice, counseling, and assistance for international students, researchers, faculty and short-term visitors and their families
  • Multicultural Student Services Center – offering diversity services, programs, resources and initiatives that focus on cultural education, student retention, academic achievement and cross-cultural competencies
  • Recreation Facilities – located at both the Foggy Bottom and Mount Vernon campus
  • Student Health Service – a comprehensive center for health care, medical evaluation and treatment and for referral for outpatient problems
  • Writing Center – providing peer tutors to assist with all kinds of writing projects, including course papers, theses, speeches and scientific reports
  • Safety and Security - GW is committed to helping all members of our community provide for their own safety and security. From the strategic placement of blue-light emergency phones on campus to emergency medical response, transportation services and victim assistance, GW works to maintain and enhance the safety and security of our campuses.


Academic Support Services

The George Washington University encourages graduate students to take advantage of a full array of support services throughout their programs of study.

You’ll find service descriptions as well as contact information for key offices and organizations in The Graduate Resource Guide, which is provided to all new graduate students before their first semester begins. Other key resources:

  • Your academic department and faculty adviser will be your first point of contact for information and support. Together with staff and administrators in your school’s Office of the Dean, they will work with you to answer questions about academic policies and procedures, resolve any problems and direct you to specialized services.

Financial Services

Students admitted to a GW graduate degree or approved certificate program can learn about federal Stafford Loans, Graduate PLUS loans and alternative loans through our Office of Student Financial Assistance. 

Learn more about the types of funding and assistance for graduate students

Disability Support Services

GW ensures that students with disabilities may participate fully in university life, derive the greatest benefit from their educational experiences and achieve maximum persona success.

Learn more about Disability Support Services.

Career and Employment Services

The GW Career Center provides career and employment resources—including the GWork job listing service—to graduate students in the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences and the Schools of Media and Public Affairs and the School of Education and Human Development. The School of Business, School of Engineering and Applied Science, Elliott School of International Affairs, Law School, Graduate School of Political Management, School of Public Health and Health Services, School of Public Policy and Public Administration, and College of Professional Studies each provide school-based career services to graduate students.

Learn more about the GW Career Center.  

Safety and Security

GW is committed to helping all members of our community provide for their own safety and security. From the strategic placement of blue-light emergency phones on campus to emergency medical response, transportation services and victim assistance, GW works to maintain and enhance the safety and security of our campuses.

Learn more about safety and security

Information For

U.S. Veterans and Active Duty Military

International Students

McNair Scholars

Current GW Undergraduates

Facilities and Libraries

Outstanding resources and facilities on The George Washington University campuses complement the excellent research and cultural institutions available in the Washington metropolitan area. Our laboratories, libraries and arts and cultural centers nurture a vibrant academic community for inquiry-based research, critical thinking, creative expression and civic engagement.

University Libraries

GW has five exceptional libraries and participates in the elite Washington Research Library Consortium that provides access to more than 7 million volumes housed at eight area universities and colleges.

Learn more about our libraries

Fine and Performing Arts Spaces

GW’s rich array of artistic and cultural venues supports its own exhibitions and productions as well as those of visiting artists and performers. On the Foggy Bottom Campus, Lisner Auditorium is the second largest performance venue in the District of Columbia and produces concerts, literature events, dance and theater performances and much more. GW is also home to the Luther W. Brady Art Gallery and Dimock Gallery, the Charles E. Smith Athletic Center and Mount Vernon Athletic Complex, and the Morris & Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation Conference Center.


Academic Technologies (AT) supports and maintains more than 500 computers in labs and classrooms throughout the Foggy Bottom, Mount Vernon, and Virginia campuses. Equipped with software applications, Internet access, and public printing services, these computing spaces provide an array of tools for members of the GW community. A G1 account login and password is needed for service access at these locations.

Language and Media Labs

Facilities at the School of Media and Public Affairs are equipped for high-quality video conferencing, data and panel presentation, and full TV production, either for tape or to transmit live anywhere in the world. The Language Center, under the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences, offers a media room with state-of-the-art computers and software and media dedicated to language studies. It also has two fully equipped media classrooms.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Admissions

What are the admissions requirements?

Admissions requirements vary from program to program. The requirements are listed on the Admissions Requirements by Program pages. Within a school, different programs may also set different standards, so meeting minimal school requirements doesn't always mean being accepted into a particular program.

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What should I say in my Statement of Purpose?

You should always follow the specific guidelines of the school with regard to the length and content of the statement, as noted on the Admissions Requirement page for your program of interest. However, within these guidelines, you should use the statement as an opportunity to share unique qualifications and interests that may make you stand out from other applicants.

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How can I defer my admission to a later semester?

You may request in writing, that your admission be deferred to a future semester within one calendar year and you will not be required to pay an additional application fee. If you wish to defer your admission for more than one year, you must submit a new application along with the application fee. A request for deferment does not guarantee that you will be admitted again, as your application may be re-evaluated with the applicant pool for that semester.

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Can I apply to more than one program?

You may apply to more than one program, but you will have to submit a complete application to each program, including the application form, application fee, transcripts, and all other supporting documents. The only exception is standardized test scores (GRE, GMAT, TOEFL, IELTS). You need to request only one official copy of your test results be sent to GW.

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2. Transfer Credit

Will my previous graduate credits transfer to GW?

Some programs will allow transfer of a limited number of post-bachelor's, graduate-level courses. Generally, for a transfer of credit to be approved, the course work must (1) have been taken at an accredited college or university; (2) be approved as part of your program of studies; (3) have been passed with a grade of "B" or better; and (4) have been taken for graduate credit. Although some programs may allow transfer of master's coursework toward a doctoral program, in most cases transfer credit can not have been used to fulfill requirements for another degree.  Further, individuals schools may have additional restrictions.

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Can I take courses as a non-degree student first, and can these courses count toward my degree program?

Depending on the program, students may take courses on a non-degree basis prior to beginning an academic program. Please keep in mind, however, that successful completion of non-degree courses does not guarantee admission to a graduate program and not all credits earned in non-degree status can be transferred to a degree program. The rules and regulations governing this vary from school to school, so be sure to contact the school directly should you have any questions. For further information about GW's non-degree option, please visit the Office of University Students Web site.

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3. Academics

How can I find detailed information about a specific program of study?

Our Web site provides a searchable database that allows you to search by academic area and school, as well as degree level, location, and full-time/part-time options.  You may also view a complete alphabetical list of graduate programs. If you still have questions after studying the program Web site, please e-mail the program directly. 

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Where can I find information about the Law School or Medical School?

 If you are interested in a program in the Law School, the School of Medicine and Health Sciences, or the School of Public Health and Health Services, please visit the following Web sites for details on those admissions processes:

School of Medicine and Health Sciences

School of Public Health and Health Services

The George Washington University Law School

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What program or field of study should I choose?

The answer to this question depends on what you want to do professionally: you should select the field of study that provides the content expertise and credential necessary to be both competent and competitive in your field of interest. There are several ways to determine what field of study or degree is necessary:

  • Talk to working professionals in the field to discover how they got where they are today and what credentials, experience and skills are required for new employees.
  • Contact professional associations—most will describe entry level qualifications, the current job market, and future projections; what areas of expertise, knowledge, or skills are valued.
  • Talk to GW faculty advisors in the field(s) of your interest, explain what you want to do and ask questions to determine whether their program would provide a good pathway.

It is also important to think about you personal strengths and interests. If you are currently enrolled in at a college or university, your career or counseling center should be able to provide some tests and advice to help you focus on what program would be best for you.

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How can I contact a faculty member in my program?

Many departmental and program Web sites include faculty listings and contact information. For an alphabetical listing of programs with links to department Web sites, please click here.

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How many years will it take me to complete my degree?

The length of time really depends on you, but on average, master's candidates complete their degree in two to three years and doctoral candidates in four to six years. There are time limits on the maximum number years a candidate can take to complete a degree. Those limits are:

Columbian College of Arts and Sciences  
Master's 4 years
Doctoral 8 years
School of Business  
Master's 5 years
Doctoral 7 years
Graduate School of Education and Human Development  
Master's 6 years
Doctoral 8 years
Elliott School of International Affairs  
Master's 5 years
School of Engineering and Applied Science  
Master's (PT) 5 years
Master's (FT) 3 years
Doctoral 7 years
School of Public Health and Health Services  
Master's 5 years

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What is the academic course load for graduate students?

Most programs can be pursued either full-time or part-time, although some schools have set a minimum number of hours per semester.  To be considered full-time, students must be registered for at least nine credit hours and be employed no more than 20 hours per week. Keep in mind that your course load can affect your eligibility for financial aid and/or visa status. 

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Can I enroll in a graduate program as a part-time student?

Yes, almost one-half of our students attend classes on a part-time basis. Many graduate programs offer coursework in the evening, and some are scheduled on weekends or online.

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What programs are offered online?

To get a list of these programs, use the Graduate Program Finder and select "online learning" as the location.

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4. GW Students

How culturally diverse is GW?

A detailed statistical report on the geographical origin, ethnic and gender makeup of GW's student body can be found by visiting the Institutional Research Web site and clicking on "Factbook."

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How can I contact a graduate student currently enrolled in my area of interest?

You may contact the admissions office in your school or you may send an e-mail to us at Just let us know your area of interest and we will do our best to find a current grad student to answer your questions.

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5. Costs and Funding

What are the costs for graduate study at GW? Are there additional fees?

Tuition, fees and estimated living expenses for the current academic year vary by program. Please note that graduate tuition and fees are comparable to the national average for private institutions and are expected to increase yearly.

2011 - 2012 Tuition and fees
Foggy Bottom and Mount Vernon campuses

2011 - 2012 Tuition and fees
Off-campus, Online, and Virginia Science and Technology Campus

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How can I find out about financial aid opportunities?

Full information about the types of funding available to graduate students at GW is available online

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Are graduate fellowships/assistantships available?

Fellowships and assistantships are available in all of the schools, but please be aware that applicants for these awards have an earlier admission deadline than other applicants. A complete application packet must be submitted before an applicant can be considered for a fellowship or assistantship. 

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Is there funding for international students?

A variety of merit-based financial assistance opportunities are open to international students. Many receive funding from GW, other fund their graduate program through their home countries or the company for which they work. Also contact your department/program office for program-specific funding that may be available. International students applying for teaching assistantships must demonstrate sufficient English language skills, and restrictions apply to international students seeking on-or off-campus employment. For more information, download our e-brochure, Funding for International Students.

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6. Living and Working in Washington, DC

Where can I find information on housing?

Most graduate students live off-campus; however, GW offers some on-campus housing. Grad Life's Web site includes information on area neighborhoods located within an easy commute of the main campus, leases and legal issues, security and safety issues, finding a roommate, and vehicles and transportation.

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Where can I find information on employment or research opportunities at GW?

Information on employment can be found at the Human Resources Services Web site and the GW Career Center. Centers and Institutes at GW are other areas of employment to research, but it is best to ask the faculty of the program that interests you what research opportunities are currently available.

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7. Miscellaneous Questions

How can I receive information by mail and e-mail about my program of interest?

Complete the Graduate Program Interest Form and we'll send you information and keep you informed about the University and your program of interest.

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I didn't receive the program information I requested. What should I do?

Please allow two-to-three weeks for a program information packet to arrive. If after that time you still have not received it, send an e-mail to and we will check to see when the packet was mailed. Please note that paper applications for graduate admissions are not generally available. Applicants are expected to use our Graduate Application Center. The graduate bulletin is also available online.

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Costs, Housing and Funding

George Washington Bust
Tution and Fees Housing and Living Expenses Funding Your Graduate Education

 Tuition and fees at The George Washington University are comparable to the national average for U.S. private universities. These costs, set by the GW Board of Trustees, generally increase from year to year and may vary by program and location.    

2012-2013 Tuition and Fees
Foggy Bottom and Mount Vernon campuses

2012-2013 Tuition and Fees 
Off-campus, Online, and Virginia Science and Technology Campus

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):

$19,980.00 housing, meals, transportation, and personal expenses (full year)
$500.00 books and supplies (academic year)
$2,200 health insurance (estimate for full year)

Funding Your Graduate Education

Fellowships and Assistantships Loan Assistance Employment Opportunities

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:

The Graduate Section of our Costs and Financial Planning Web site describes types of funding and assistance, including department based support.

The Office of Student Financial Assistance offers loans for admitted students.

GW Career Center has information about Federal Work-Study, part-time jobs, internships and cooperative education.

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:

  • Information on full-time, part-time, internship, cooperative education, temporary and summer positions are available on GW Career Center's Web site.
  • The  Jobs at GW Web site, maintained by the Division of Human Resource Services, 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.
  • Student & Academic Support Services lists available positions on their Opportunities for Graduate Students Web site.
  • The 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.

Doctoral Research and Funding

The George Washington University’s doctoral students—especially those in research-oriented Ph.D. programs—have opportunities for assistantships, fellowships and research training positions to support most of their doctoral study. Some students also seek outside fellowships and grants to fund their studies or to pursue dissertation research they might otherwise be unable to undertake. These funding opportunities open the way for invaluable experience and education in research practices, teaching methods and other essential professional skills.

Faculty Research

GW has expert faculty members in dozens of research fields, ranging from nanotechnology to social sciences to medical research.

Funding for Doctoral Students

GW provides many types of funding, most of it based on merit and awarded to incoming students by the faculty of the student’s particular program.

  • Teaching, research and administrative assistantships provide a salary, a stipend for living expenses and an award to cover tuition costs.
  • Fellowships, such as GW’s prestigious Presidential Merit Fellowships and a host of others funded by donations and other institutional funds, provide a stipend and tuition.
  • Stipends and research assistant positions funded through the grants of faculty mentors offer some support to doctoral students in the sciences, engineering and other fields. Stipends support students’ training as researchers, while research assistant positions provide a salary and at least partial tuition for work on professors’ project grants.

External Funding

Some doctoral students seek to supplement internal funding with competitive awards from external funding sources, such as the prestigious NSF Graduate Fellowships. These not only hel students complete their degrees but they add luster to their vitae. External funding can support a student’s education, pay for dissertation research in archives or in other countries, or cover the laboratory materials needed for research projects.

GW's Global Reach

The George Washington University is a community of students, faculty, alumni and colleagues that begins in Washington and spans the world. Our schools and divisions create lasting relationships with institutions of higher learning overseas, and our faculty and students forge partnerships around the globe. We take great pride in our international projects and partnerships, knowing that, together, we can play a critical role in building a global community that will benefit humanity as a whole.

Arts and Sciences

  • In collaboration with Xu Xing of the Chinese Academy of Science, James Clark, GW’s Weintraub Professor of Biology, discovered a new species of dinosaur in China.
  • Professor Mark Edberg and UNICEF researchers developed a framework for collecting data on the health and well-being of youth and adolescents.
  • The Department of English and the British government partnered to support the British Council Writers-in-Residence program, bringing writers Suhayl Saadi and Nadeem Aslam to the GW campus.


  • Students traveled to South Africa during the FIFA World Cup to examine the economic impact of the games and study the ways in which businesses can use sports as a tool for social change.
  • Global MBA students take part in a required international residency practicum and act as consultants to international clients in the clients' home countries.  Students present business plans and recommendations to their clients.  Residencies have taken place in India, Mexico, Serbia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, and Vietnam.
  • The George Washington University's Center for Latin American Issues hosted a major conference to discuss post-earthquake progress in Haiti.  The event drew representatives from several nations, the U.S. Agency for International Development and Albert Ramdin, assistant general of the Organization of American States.

Education and Human Development

  • The Graduate School of Education and Human Development offers a master’s degree in human resource development in collaboration with the Singapore Institute of Management.

Engineering and Applied Science

  • A graduate student in the Department of Computer Science has begun a summer camp in his homeland, Macedonia, to expose teenagers to science literacy and formal research methods. The camp gives the teenagers an opportunity for hands-on experience with robotics and computer science.
  • Faculty from the GW Institute for Crisis, Disaster and Risk Management have been part of a team of observers for the Netherlands National Flood Exercise, providing observations and comparative practices through reports and presentations to government officials and emergency management personnel.
  • A graduate from the engineering management program is serving as assistant undersecretary for urban planning in Bahrain’s Ministry of Municipalities and Agriculture.

International Affairs

  • Through partnerships with universities in 18 countries, the Elliott School of International Affairs offers the Master of International Studies, a special one-year degree, exclusively for those universities’ current students and recent alumni.
  • The Elliott School's International Development Studies Capstone Projects provide a unique opportunity for students to work on a development project in the field.  Students travel to countries such as Bolivia, Bangladesh, Honduras, Zambia, Mali, and Kosovo to gain valuable real-world experience.
  • The Elliott School sponsors more than 300 public events a year, bringing national and international policymakers, business leaders, diplomats, journalists, activists, and scholars to campus to engage with the GW community.


  • Established in 2004, the Law School's India Project uses legal education to help build bridges between the United States and India.
  • GW Law is collaborating with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on a new China Environmental Law Initiative Web site to encourage a continuing dialogue between the United States and China on environmental law.
  • GW is the exclusive U.S. rapporteur, joining more than 70 rapporteurs from other countries, for the International Law in Domestic Courts, an online subscription service founded by Oxford University Press that provides commentary on judicial decisions involving international issues from around the world. The rapporteurs identify and propose the cases, then write scholarly commentaries on the cases accepted for inclusion in the database.

Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

  • The Health Sciences Programs have a partnership with University of Capetown to enhance the clinical research capacity in sub-Saharan Africa, and with Tommasat University in Thailand for a master's program in nursing program.
  • Each year, during spring break, a group of GW medical students and doctors set up a clinic in rural Haiti.
  • Medical students participate in international clinical electives at exchange sites in more than 20 different countries. They have also worked with many different international organizations, including the Foundation for International Medical Relief of Children, Foundation for Sustainable Development, Child Family Health International, Doctors for Global Health, Operation Smile, the World Health Organization and the International Centre for Migration and Health.

Professional Studies

  • The Graduate School of Political Management (GSPM), the Institute for Politics, and Democracy and the Internet (IPDI) hosted 200 new media experts involved in helping disaster relief at Crisis Camp 2009.
  • As part of a capstone project in the strategic public relations program, a student developed a comprehensive fundraising and awareness program focused on preserving and protecting the Amazon rainforest.
  • Faculty member in the master’s program in publishing collaborated with the World Bank to conduct seminars in digital publishing in Colombia, Egypt, Ghana and Mexico.

Public Health and Health Services

  • The Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, in collaboration with the Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Tropical Medicine, led an initiative to create an International Institute for Public Health Laboratory Management and provide training in the management and oversight of public health laboratories. The initial focus is on personnel from countries targeted by the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and other developing nations.
  • As part of the master’s program practicum, a student has worked with the World Bank on the Northern Sudan Health Project Preparation, helping to collect data to assess individual, community and societal needs of Northern Sudan women and reduce maternal mortality.