How to Apply

Visiting students should apply for short-term abroad programs through the Office for Study Abroad.

Cloyd Heck Marvin Center
800 21st Street NW
Suite 505
Washington, DC 20052
Tel: 202.994.1649
Fax: 202.994.9133

Visiting Student Options

Visiting students are invited to enroll in short-term study abroad courses led by GW faculty. These courses spend anywhere from one week to one month abroad, and most hold class sessions on campus or online before and after travel.

Study Abroad

Enrich your mind while exploring new horizons. GW offers a wide range of short-term abroad programs in the world’s most fascinating locations—taking your studies beyond the lecture hall into the global classroom. Study modernism and the arts in Paris, examine development and change in contemporary China, or join an archaeological expedition in Israel. Courses range from one week to two months, and most include some on-campus or online meetings. For a life changing and unforgettable learning experience, study abroad with GW!

D.C. Consortium Students

Students who are enrolled at member institutions of the Consortium of Universities of the Washington Metropolitan Area may register for courses at GW on a space-available basis.  Enrollment is not guaranteed, as courses may be closed or subject to department/faculty approval.  Students must register through the Consortium Coordinator at their home institutions.

Consortium students are not allowed to register for courses that are the equivalent of a course being offered in the same semester at their home institution.  Additionally, the following GW courses are not available to Consortium students:  off-campus courses, Independent Study, Study Abroad, medicine, and nursing.  Except for candidates for the degree of Master of Laws at Georgetown University, law students are also excluded from participation.  Students should check with their Consortium Coordinator for any further restrictions on enrollment.

Tuition & Fees

Classroom Lecture


A complete listing of tuition and fees are available on Colonial Centrals’ tuition rate website. 

Bill Payment

Full information about viewing your account, paying your bill, and obtaining refunds is also available on the Colonial Central website.  

Please note that financial aid is not available for non-degree students, and you must pay any balance for a previous semester before you will be eligible to register.

Withdrawals & Refunds

Semester tuition charges and fees for authorized withdrawals and changes in schedules will be refunded based upon the University Refund Policy. Exceptions to the University refund policy may be petitioned under the following circumstances:

  1. Medical emergency (hospitalization or major medical condition). Written documentation from a physician will be required (ex. Date originally seen, diagnosis, prognosis).

  2. Death of a "close family" member. "Close family" is limited to the student's parents; spouse; same-sex domestic partner; children of the student; grandparents and grandchildren of the student. Official written documentation will be required.

  3. A call to military duty. Written documentation will be required.

Tuition will be refunded according to University refund policies for reasons such as business travel, minor illness or injury, or workload increase.

In no case will tuition be reduced or refunded because of absence from classes.

Courses & Enrollment Policies

A list of courses, sorted by department and level of study, are provided in the Schedule of Classes, and each course number is linked to a course description in the University Bulletins


Listed below is an explanation of the University’s course numbering system.  Students are eligible to take courses in any school, except those in the Law School and the M.D. program in the School of Medicine & Health Sciences.   Additionally, the Graduate School of Education and Human Development allows non-degree students to register for no more than one semester.

Please note that some courses have prerequisite coursework, and some are open only to GW degree candidates.   Non-degree students who do not hold a bachelor’s degree are discouraged from registering for graduate-level coursework (6000 to 8999).

Enrollment Policies

Faculty permission is required to take courses on a credit/no credit or audit basis. 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.

You may enroll in up to 12 credit hours of graduate courses or 18 credit hours of undergraduate courses per fall or spring semester.  Only 6 credit hours may be taken per 6-week summer session.

If you intend to use courses as transfer credit toward a degree or certificate program at GW or another college or university, you should check first with the school or program to determine what credit may be accepted.

Prospective and registered non-degree students are responsible for reviewing the University’s policies on non-degree students provided in the Undergraduate Bulletin or the Graduate Bulletin (under the section entitled “Other Schools, Programs, and Services”). 

Course Numbering System

0701, 0721, 0751

  • Represent an ongoing program of curriculum innovation at GW

0770s, 0780s

  • Taught by scholars who hold appointments as University Professors


  • Dean Seminar courses

1000 to 2999

  • Designed for undergraduate students, primarily freshman & sophomores.

  • Open to other undergraduate students.

  • Used by graduate students to make up undergraduate prerequisites.

  • Not for graduate credit.


  • Designed for undergraduate students, primarily juniors & seniors.

  • Open to other undergraduates.

  • With appropriate approval, specified courses can be taken for graduate credit by completing additional credit.


  • Designed for graduate students, primarily master's and professional degree students.

  • Open to qualified seniors with approval of instructor and dean/advising office.


  • Designed for graduate students, primarily doctoral and professional degree students.


Abbreviations for Days of the Week

  • M: Monday

  • T: Tuesday

  • W: Wednesday

  • R: Thursday

  • F: Friday

  • S: Saturday

  • U: Sunday

Non-Degree Enrollment Steps

If you would like to register for a course at The George Washington University and are not enrolled in a degree or certificate program, you need to apply as a non-degree student.  A variety of courses are open to non-degree students at GW’s Foggy Bottom, Mount Vernon, and Virginia Science & Technology campuses, as well as online and at other off-campus and contracted sites.


Application Requirements

A non-refundable application fee of $25, payable by check or credit card, is required. Applicants who choose the check option will not be processed further until the check arrives.  This fee is waived for applicants who have previously been enrolled at GW and for current GW faculty and staff.  References, standardized test scores, and transcripts are not required for non-degree applicants for general study. Additional requirements and fees may apply to international students and students applying to special programs.


How to Enroll as a Non-Degree Student

The following are the steps required to enroll as a non-degree student at GW.

  1. Review GW’s tuition.

  2. Read about GW courses and enrollment policies to learn about GW’s course numbering system and general limitations on non-degree enrollment. 

  3. Search the Schedule of Classes to identify the course or courses in which you with to enroll.  Make note of the course(s) dates, time, location, and any course-related fees. 

  4. Apply for admission as a non-degree student.  Select “General Study” if you are not applying to one of the special non-degree programs listed on the application.  The system maintains your confidentiality through the assignment of a personal identification number and allows you to complete the application at your convenience.

  5. As soon as you receive confirmation of your eligibility to register as a non-degree student, use the GWID provided in the e-mail to create your GW NetID and GW e-mail account.  The NetID is required to access GW systems, and the GW e-mail will be the address to which the GW sends all official communications, including your student e-bill.

  6. Enroll in the course(s) you have selected by following the registration instructions included in the e-mail confirming your non-degree status.

    • You will be able to register through GW’s online system (GWeb), unless the class falls under one of the other types of courses listed under Classes Not Available on GWeb

    • If you are unable to register online, you will need to follow the process for paper registration, using either the Registration Transaction Form –EZ (RTF-EZ) or the standard Registration Transaction Form (RTF).  Guidelines for both forms are available on the Office of the Registrar’s website.

    • NOTE: Information about creating a schedule and registering for class are provided online.  If you have problems registering, please call theOffice of the Registrar at (202) 994-4900 during office hours.  Be sure to have your GWID number ready.

  7. Acquire a GW ID card from the GWorld Office

  8. If you are under the age of 26, DC law required that you submit the Mandatory Health Form to Student Health Services, prior to the first day of class.

  9. Prepare for class:

  10. Log-on to Blackboard, GW’s online course management system.

  11. Check the GW Bookstore to see if course materials are available.

  12. Find your class location(s) on the campus maps.

  13. Pay your bill.


If you need to make adjustments to your schedule:

Adjustments to your schedule may incur tuition charges and/or fees as described under Tuition, Fees, Billing & Refunds.  Adding and dropping courses as even exchange is possible without financial loss if both transaction requests are made during the same class week and are for an equal number of credit hours.

Take a Class


The Office of Non-Degree Students makes credit-bearing courses available to those who are not currently degree candidates at GW and students who have been admitted to the University for a future semester. Applicants who have been suspended from any educational institution for poor scholarship or who are not in good standing at their current or prior institution will not be eligible to enroll as a non-degree student for one calendar year after the effective date of the suspension.  An applicant who has been denied admission to a degree or certificate program at GW will also not be eligible to enroll as a non-degree student for the same semester for which the application was denied. 


Non-Degree Audiences

Students who wish to take a course or courses, and are not applying to a special non-degree program, should follow the step-by-step process described on Enrolling as a Non-Degree Student and select “General Study” on the application form. 

Please review the relevant sections below if you

  • Are considering applying to a degree program,

  • Are a visiting student from another college or university,

  • Are an international student, or

  • Plan to enroll at GW as part of a special non-degree program.


Prospective Degree Program ApplicantsVisiting Students
International StudentsSpecial Programs

Prospective Degree Program Applicants

If you are considering applying for a GW degree or certificate program, please carefully review the transfer credit policies for the school and program in which you’re interested.  Most programs will transfer only a limited number of credits taken non-degree into a degree or certificate program.  Please note that successfully completing non-degree coursework is no guarantee that you will be accepted to a program or, if accepted, that the coursework will apply toward the degree or certificate.

Visiting Students

Students interested in taking classes to transfer back to a program of study at another college or university are welcome to register as a non-degree student 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 to your degree program.

Students enrolled at member institutions of the Consortium of Universities of the Washington Metropolitan Area who wish to register for courses at GW should review the following website: Consortium Students.

International Students

International students are eligible to apply for non-degree status at GW, but the University cannot provide you with an I-20 or DS-2019 visa form unless you have been admitted to a program.

International students who wish to study at GW during the summer semester should enroll through the International Summer at GW program.

If your native language is not English or you are not a citizen of a country where English is the official language, you must submit official scores from either the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the academic

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.

Special Programs

GW welcomes a number of special groups of students who are registered in non-degree status.  If you plan to enroll at the University as part of any of the programs listed below, please click on the link provided for application instructions.