Next Steps for Admitted Students

Download a copy of The Source, our resource guide for graduate students:

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To help new graduate students get started before arriving on campus, we have developed the following easy-to-follow list of suggestions.  Although we recommend that you follow them in order, it is not absolutely necessary unless otherwise noted.  

  1. Review your offer of admission.
    Your admissions or dean's office will have sent you information concerning your admit status, including any prerequisites or conditions of admission, who to contact for academic advising and any school-specific orientation activities.  Your academic department or program may have also contacted you about their advising processes and orientation.  If you have any questions regarding your offer of admission or other information provided by your school or department, please contact them directly.
  2. Respond to the offer of admission.
    This MUST be done prior to registration and must be accompanied by any required tuition deposit or enrollment fee.
  3. Retrieve your GWid.
    After accepting your offer of admission and paying your deposit, you may retrieve your GWid number online at if you were not provided this number in your letter of admission. The GWid will be your primary identifier and will be required for access to GW's library databases and services provided by many University offices.
  4. Access the GWeb Information System.
    Go to and select the “GWeb Information System” link from the top left menu of the page. To log in, you will need to enter your GWid and Personal Identification Number (PIN). By default, your PIN is your date of birth in one of the following formats: MMDDYY or MMYY99. The system will list the personal information we have for you, such as billing address and contact information.

    The GW Student Portal, my, carries a "My Action Items" feature that serves to make members of the GW community aware of all important business service messages, including special University procedures for registration, financial aid and housing, as well as student account notices of holds on your record that could prevent you from registering.
  5. Create a GW e-mail account.
    After accepting the offer of admission and paying your deposit, you can establish a GW e-mail account through the Virtual Help Desk's Account Center.  See the Help Desk Account Center for detailed instructions and online assistance.
  6. Review appropriate sections of the University Bulletin and Schedules of Classes.
    Academic policies, course descriptions, degree requirements, fee information and financial regulations are provided in the University Bulletin.  Schedules of classes for the upcoming semester are also provided online:

    On-campus and distance education courses

    Off-campus courses

    Virginia Campus courses

  7. Contact your academic adviser.
    Following the instructions provided by your admissions or dean's office, contact the appropriate faculty member in your academic program to discuss your course selection for the upcoming semester.
  8. Register for classes.
    You may register for classes on the GWeb Information System at unless your academic program or dean's office has provided you with other specific instructions for registration. Consult the Schedule of Classes for details.

    Please review the information carefully if registering for variable credit hour courses. Also, note that students who register on or after the first week of classes are charged a late registration fee.

    If you have any questions about registration, call 202-994-4900 or e-mail
  9. Plan for academic computing.
    Students who establish a G1 Account (available through may use any of five 24-hour, open-access computer labs.  Each lab features 25 core applications and public printing services. For a list of computer labs, please visit
  10. Settle your student account.
    The University employs an electronic billing system, the Student Account eBill, which you may access through GWeb.  Once you have registered for courses and your Statement of Account is available, you will receive notification through your GW e-mail account.  Using the Student Account eBill system, you can view your account balance, make payments, and arrange for third-party notifications.  Please note that payment is usually due before the first day of the semester or summer session, or by the first day of class for courses offered in a timeline other than the traditional semester or summer session.

    For more information, including a list of Frequently Asked Questions, please visit the Colonial Central ( website.
  11. Get your GWorld card.
    The GWorld card is the official identification card of The George Washington University.  To obtain a GWorld card, you must go to the GWorld Card Office after you have (a) received or retrieved your GWid number and (b) are officially registered for at least one course.  Please note that the earliest date the GWorld card can be issued is one month prior to the first day of classes.  Don't forget to bring a government-issued picture ID (e.g., a driver's license or passport).  The office location and hours of operation as well as detailed information about the GWorld Card are provided at

    This card is required for access to some University buildings (e.g., libraries, residence halls) and to obtain University services, including checking out library materials, requesting a transcript, cashing checks and obtaining a parking permit. You can deposit funds to a pre-paid non-refundable debit account (Colonial Cash) that allows you to use your GWorld card to make purchases in select locations on and off campus in place of cash, checks or credit cards.  Some services offered on campus, such as parking and paying for printing and copying materials in the library, require the use of Colonial Cash.
  12. Plan to attend orientation activities.
    The University’s schools and departments offer a variety of orientation activities for new graduate students.  If you have not yet received information about these activities, please contact your academic department for details about any scheduled events.  Additionally, each fall, the University holds a Graduate Student Services Fair during the week before classes begin. The fair provides you with an opportunity to talk with representatives from GW organizations and offices and pick up materials on student resources. Students starting graduate studies in the spring or summer session are encouraged to come to the subsequent fall fair.  If you have any questions, please contact us at
  13. Plan your housing.
    On-campus housing for graduate students is limited but, as the University is easily accessible to public transportation, a wide variety of convenient off-campus options is available.  Information on on-campus housing is available online at and an excellent resource for off-campus housing is offered at
  14. Take a tour of the campus.
    Tours of the main GW campus (Foggy Bottom), conducted by current graduate students, are offered throughout the year on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, departing at 12:30 p.m. from the office of Graduate Student Enrollment Management (Rice Hall 302, 2121 I St., NW). Tours generally last approximately one hour. Although reservations are not required, you may register online– simply select “Campus Tours” as the type of event.  Note: Campus tours are offered daily (excluding holidays) during the week immediately preceding the first day of classes in the fall and spring semesters.

The Graduate Resource Guide

Download a copy of The Graduate Resource Guide.

Housing Information

GW provides some on-campus housing and a searchable database to find a place off-campus that suits your style.