Admissions | Doctoral Programs

Admission to the Ph.D. in Business Administration

Admission to the Ph.D. in Business Administration is very competitive. The school admits less than 5 percent of the 220-250 applications it receives each year. Admitted students typically score above the ninetieth percentile on GMAT or GRE aptitude tests and must be proficient in the English language.

Applications are initially reviewed by faculty in the field of study (Department) the student is interested in applying to. Department faculty interview applicants in person or via distance media. Departments select and recommend suitable applications for approval by the school’s Doctoral Committee. Subsequent admission discussions occur between the Department and students on the approved list.

The Ph.D. program is a full-time program of studies. Students admitted as full time students cannot work outside or inside the university for more than 20 hours a week, whether they are on a fellowship or not.

Application Process

Application to the Ph.D. program is made online.

A nonrefundable application fee is required. It is waived only for current GWU degree candidates, GWU graduates, McNair Program Scholars, & active duty military personnel.

Completed Applications & all required credentials (including official Entrance Examination Scores) must be received by January 15th, 2018. This is an absolute deadline.

Financial Certificate (International Applicants)

The entire form must be completed and submitted along with other application materials.

An application will not be considered complete until the Financial Certificate and the necessary verification documents have been received by the Ph.D. Office.

Detailed information for international applicants is available from the International Services Office.


Applicants may submit copies of transcripts from each institution of higher education attended, including the George Washington University with their applications. Official transcripts will need to be submitted if the student is admitted. Official transcripts are to be sent directly by the universities to:

The Ph.D. Program Office
450 Duques Hall
George Washington University
2201 G St. N. W., Washington, DC
20052, U.S.A.

Graduates of foreign universities must also submit notarized English translations of all transcripts if they are in another language.

Required Entrance Examinations

Applicants are required to take either the Graduate Record Examination (GRE–5246) or the Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT–QK4-4F-26). Submitted scores must be from an exam taken within the last five years.

English Language Requirement

Students from countries where English is not an official language and non-native English speakers are required to take either the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) (Institutional Code 5246, Department Code 02) or the academic International English Language Testing System (IELTS). A request for an exemption may be made for applicants with a degree from a university located in a country in which English is the official language, and it is the language of instruction at the university.

Minimum satisfactory TOEFL and IELTS scores are defined as follows:

  • TOEFL: 600 or above (paper exam), 100 or above (internet exam); 250 or above (computer exam)
  • IELTS: an overall band score of 7.0 with no individual band score below 6.0

**TOEFL and IELTS scores may not be more than TWO years old.

Letter of Intent (Statement of Purpose)

The Letter of Intent should explain the reasons for seeking a Ph.D. in the specified concentration, describe how present objectives relate to previous life experiences, identify key long-range professional objectives, and provide department faculty and the Doctoral Committee with any additional information the applicant considers important.

The Letter of Intent must clearly indicate the intended Field (Department) of Study.

The Letter of Intent is about three pages, typed and double-spaced. If deemed necessary by the applicant a longer letter may be submitted but it must be relevant and not ramble. The Letter of Intent, along with a resume, may be submitted online or sent directly to the Ph.D. Program Office.

Applicant Recommendation Forms

Three completed Applicant Recommendation forms are required, preferably from former professors or others who are acquainted with the applicant’s academic abilities and potential. If former professors cannot be contacted, other qualified persons, such as immediate supervisors, may be asked to respond. The letters may address, for example, the applicant’s intellectual potential, work ethic, character, and special achievements, among other things. The author should indicate in what capacity she/he has known the applicant. The three recommendation forms may be submitted online or sent directly to Ph.D. Program Office.


If it is found that the application includes false or misleading statements, documents that are prepared by someone else when they are supposed to be by the applicant, and recommendations that are not genuine, the application will be rejected. If any such dishonesty is discovered after an applicant is admitted, the student will be dismissed from the program at any stage.

Financial Aid & Fellowships

For information on fellowships available through the University, visit:

The Office of Graduate Student Assistantships & Fellowships

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