Undergraduate Advising FAQs

Fall 2020 and Spring 2021 Pass / No Pass Policy 

Please visit the Office of the Provost's webpage to learn more information on the Spring 2021 Pass / No Pass Policies. 

You are allowed to take only one course as pass / no pass per semester during the 2020 - 2021 academic year (Fall 2020 and Spring 2021). 

The deadline to change a course to pass / no pass was Friday, November 13, 2020 at 5:00 p.m. (ET). Late forms will not be accepted. 

Once you have changed your course to pass / no pass, you will not be able to change it back to a letter grade or exchange your one pass / no pass to another course. 

For other considerations on pass / no pass, please review the Spring 2020 Pass / No Pass Policy FAQs below.

Below is the current Pass / No Pass option (from the GW Bulletin) for juniors and seniors in GWSB. If you have already gotten approval to take one elective or fallthrough course as pass / no pass with instructor approval and it has been processed, you may not take any additional courses as pass / no pass this semester. 

Pass/No Pass Option - School of Business Regulations

To take a course as P (Pass) or NP (No Pass) the following must be true:

  1. Student has junior or senior standing with a cumulative grade-point average of 2.5 or better

  2. Student has approval from both the instructor and the GWSB academic advisor prior to the end of the eighth week for full-term fall and spring courses, prior to the end of the fourth week for half term fall and spring courses, or prior to the end of the fourth week for summer courses  

  3. Course is applying only as an elective requirement and does not share with any other degree requirements

Under no circumstances may a student change from P/NP status to graded status in a course, or vice versa, after the eighth week for full term courses or after the fourth week for half term and summer courses. A transfer student may not choose this option until their second semester at GW.

Pass/No Pass (P/NP) is a grade mode designated when a course is taken for credit but not for a letter grade. A grade of D- or higher is considered a Pass for undergraduate courses.
During the Fall 2020 semester only, all students may request to switch one course to the P/NP grade mode. This includes a course that applies towards your major, minor, WIDs, or general education requirements.

Spring 2020 Pass/No Pass Policy

GW announced that we are adjusting the option for most courses to be taken as pass/no pass during the Spring 2020 term. The following policies apply to the Spring 2020 term only.

  • 4+1 Programs: Students pursuing the 4+1 Programs at GWSB, may opt to take one or more of their courses as pass / no pass. 

  • Academic Standing: Academic standing for the Spring 2020 semester is being held in abeyance. Students will not be placed on academic probation or be academically suspended based on their Spring 2020 academic performance. For students who were on academic probation in the Spring 2020 semester they will continue their probation to the Fall 2020 semester unless they meet the minimum GPA requirements after earning at least 9 graded credit hours and no NP grades. 

  • Athletes: The NCAA will accept a P as credits that count toward their Progress Toward Degree requirements, however, student-athletes are also required to achieve a minimum GPA for eligibility AND must be in good standing in their school. Students need to earn a letter grade in at least 6 credits during the 2019-2020 academic year. If a student is not in good academic standing or has a border-line GPA, they should speak with their athletics advisors before changing their grade mode.

  • Bachelor of Science in Finance/Second Major in Finance: Students interested in declaring the BSF must continue to meet the requirements posted online. If a student chooses to take one of the qualifying courses to declare the BSF as P/NP, it will count towards degree requirements, but may not be used to determine eligibility for the BSF program. 

  • CPA Certification: If you plan on taking the CPA Exam after graduating, it is your responsibility to reach out to the state board where you plan to sit for the exam to see if they will accept P/NP credit. It varies from state to state as to whether they accept P/NP credit for CPA exam eligibility. 

  • Dean’s List: Students who wish to be considered for Dean’s List in Spring 2020 must earn 9 letter-graded (A, B, C, D, F only) credits or more and attain a minimum grade point average of 3.75 in coursework, pass all non-graded credit courses, and do not have any Unauthorized Withdrawals (Z) or Incompletes (I), are placed on the Dean’s List for that semester. Pass/no pass grades are not considered letter-grades.

  • Graduate School: Some graduate school programs will require specific minimum grades for courses completed as an undergraduate to be eligible for admission. Students should consult the admissions requirements for programs of interest. 

  • International Students: As long as an international student maintains full-time credit (unless approved for a Reduced Course Load), taking a course a P/NP does not have an impact on visa status. Please reach out directly to ISO for any questions regarding your visa status. 

  • Internal Transfer: In order to be eligible for internal transfer, students must meet the prerequisite requirements listed on the Internal Transfer website. Should you opt to take one of the listed quantitative prerequisite courses as P/NP, it will not count as meeting the prerequisite requirements, even if you earn the grade of P. 

  • Military/Veteran Benefits: Students receiving military or benefits from the U.S. government should contact the Military and Veteran Services Office as taking a course P/NP may prohibit the course from being eligible for benefits. Although VA does not typically make payments for classes resulting in nonpunitive grades, if COVID 19 is reported as mitigating circumstances for the student’s receipt of a nonpunitive grade (i.e., Fail in a Pass/No Pass class) VA will pay for the class. Refer to the SCO handbook for more information about reporting nonpunitive grades and mitigating circumstances.

  • SAP: A No Pass could impact Satisfactory Academic Progress if you pass less the 75% of your course work for the term.

  • Scholarships: Students are encouraged to reach out directly to the department or office that awarded them their scholarship to see if there might be any implications with taking course(s) as pass / no pass. Students can also contact the Office of Student Financial Assistance for guidance.

  • Study Abroad: Students currently studying abroad on GW Study Programs are eligible to change their grade mode to P/NP. Students studying abroad on Provider Programs must still complete their courses as graded coursework, but are reminded that study abroad courses will apply on their transcripts as transfer courses, with no letter grade posted or calculated into their GPA.

Pass/No Pass (P/NP) is a grade mode designated when a course is taken for credit but not for a letter grade. A grade of D- or higher is considered a Pass for undergraduate courses.

If you earn a “P” in a course, you will receive credit for that course. The credit earned from P/NP courses will count toward the 120 credits required to graduate (unless it is an LSPA course or any other course that is ineligible to count toward this requirement).

If you earn an “NP” in a course, you will not receive the credit for that course. If you receive an “NP” in a course that is a degree requirement, you will have to repeat the requirement to earn credit.

A course that is taken P/NP does not impact GPA, no matter if the student earns a “P” or an “NP.” This means if you earn points equivalent to an “A” in the course, the grade will be listed as “P” and your GPA will not go up. If you earn points equivalent to an “F” in the course, the grade will be listed as “NP” and your GPA will not go down.

If you opt to take a class as P/NP and it is a prerequisite for another course, you may be required to submit an RTF at the time of registration.

GWSB students will submit their request to update grade mode to the GWSB Advising Center, even if the course in question is within another school. Please follow the process described in the question above.

Courses taken as P/NP will still appear on your transcript. They will be designated with a “P” or “NP” next to the course number.

As long as you receive a “P” in these courses, they will fulfill your degree requirements.

During the Spring 2020 semester only, all students may request to switch any courses to the P/NP grade mode. This includes courses for your major, minor, WIDs, or general education requirements.

During the Spring 2020 semester only, students may choose any or all of their courses to be switched to the P/NP grade mode. If you choose to switch, you do not have to switch all of your courses.

Yes, students that switch their course grade mode from letter grade to P/NP are still expected to attend all virtual classes.

Yes, students that switch their course grade mode from letter grade to P/NP are still expected to complete the assignments for their class.

Fall 2020 Information for Undergraduate Students and FAQs

The Office of Undergraduate Programs has compiled the following FAQs regarding the Fall 2020 semester. For the latest information on GW's response to COVID-19, please visit the FAQ page on the GW Fall 2020 website

No. Because of health and safety concerns, GW has decided to move to online learning. A few students who have extenuating personal or academic circumstances will be allowed to live on campus.

Please visit the Campus Advisories website for information about the GW Campus Plans.

Yes. Students will be tested upon arrival on campus, and will be tested throughout the semester. This testing program will be led by our own public health experts in accordance with all appropriate health regulations. Regular testing will continue throughout the fall semester and will be immediately available to anyone on campus who is experiencing COVID-19 symptoms or has been exposed.

The Colonial Health Center will serve as the main health care resource for on campus students. A new occupational health and wellness unit in the Medical Faculty Associates will provide employee health surveillance and health promotion.

We anticipate that students who are able to do remote coursework in the fall will be able to continue some or all of their coursework remotely in the spring, but no official decisions have been made for Spring 2021.

Please visit ISO's FAQ page for an important list of questions and answers that are relevant for our international students for the Fall 2020 semester.  

All classes will be recorded so you can view them at another time. We will also be as flexible as we can during these unprecedented times.

No. Students may not take more than 3 courses (not to exceed 12 credits in total), post- matriculation, at another institution during their entire academic career at GW. This cap on post-matriculation credits include any requests to “Study Away” overseas. Exceptions will not be made to this policy.

You may request to take a Leave of Absence or go on Continuous Enrollment status during the fall semester. However, before you make that decision, it is critical that you meet with your academic advisor - particularly if you wish to take classes away from GW and transfer those credits back towards your degree requirements.

It is up to the student as to whether they defer for a semester or an entire year. During their deferral period, students may not take courses at another institution. Doing so will invalidate their offer of admission as the Office of Undergraduate Admissions reserves the right to review all academic coursework completed prior to enrollment to determine admissibility.

Students wishing to take advantage of online course offerings at GW this fall should not submit an application for deferred admission because their student records are deactivated during deferral. As such they would be unable to register for fall courses.

Students should check with the appropriate office to determine if taking a semester or year off will affect their financial situations. Contact [email protected] or visit the Office of Student Financial Assistance website.

GW provides counseling and psychological services to all enrolled students. More information is available on the Counseling and Psychological Services website.

Please keep in mind that academic policies and information are dynamic (as is the virus). When there are major updates, we will alert you, but you should stay in contact with this document. You also may email [email protected] with specific questions regarding your Fall 2020 course schedule or academic planning.

Academic Advising

The GWSB Advising Center offers two ways to meet with advisors: scheduled appointments and drop-in advising. Students can schedule an appointment with their preferred GWSB advisor or the first available, while drop-in hours are a great way to get answers to quick questions. During certain times in the semester when the Advising Center experiences increased traffic, such as add/drop period at the start of the semester and the weeks leading up to registration, the Advising Center will hold extended drop-in hours to accommodate more students. We encourage you to utilize the extended drop-in hours as appointments may be limited.

DegreeMAP is GW’s online advising tool for use by students and their advisors to track progress toward degree completion. Information on the DegreeMAP tool can be found here.

The GW Bulletin covers GW's undergraduate and graduate degree programs and courses for all the schools at GW, with the regulations that pertain to academic programs. It also contains institutional information as well as updated and expanded information on all GW schools, departments, and programs. 

You can find a complete list of courses offered at GW in the Bulletin, including a brief description of the course, the number of credit hours earned for completing the course, and course prerequisites. Only courses listed in the Schedule of Classes are offered in the upcoming semester, and some courses may not be offered every semester or even year.

Students are encouraged to declare a concentration or major and minor by the spring semester of sophomore year, so that they have a full understanding of their degree requirements. Students are welcome to declare these during their first-year at GW if they know what they want to study.

GWSB students can declare their major or concentration by emailing a GWSB Advisor. To declare a minor or second major outside of GWSB, students will work with the faculty advisor in the corresponding department to complete a Minor/Second Major Declaration Form to be uploaded to the Academic Forms page.

If you have questions or concerns about your curriculum, speak to an advisor.

This answer varies by student, depending on your degree plans and the credit you have earned so far at GW. Students are responsible for utilizing academic advising and other available resources to map out their course registration plans. Read our Student Responsibilities page for more about how to take advantage of the resources available to you in order to optimize each semester of academic study.

Full-time tuition covers 12 - 18 credits in the fall and spring semesters. Full-time students generally take five classes per semester (roughly 15-16 credits) in order to stay on track to graduate in four years.

Taking fewer than 12 credits makes you a part-time student, which carries various implications. Please discuss this with an advisor ahead of time.

Taking more than 18 credits means you will pay extra tuition, and you would be shouldering a very heavy course load. Students should consider such a decision carefully. Taking more than 18 credits requires special permission (requested by submitting a Policy Exception Request to the Advising Center).  Decisions are based on a student’s academic performance; those who do not have a high GPA will most likely not receive approval to take more than 18 credits.

Academic Success

  • Tutoring services are available in a variety of settings on campus. (Hourly fees may apply.)
  • Request a tutor through GW Academic Commons.
  • Visit the Language Center for foreign language tutoring.
  • The Writing Center provides support and guidance in facilitating the overall improvement of your writing skills.
  • Your professors may recommend specific tutors in their disciplines.
  • Graduate students in some departments sometimes offer supplemental tutoring services.
  • Consult the relevant department/s for more information.
  • GW Housing Programs may provide information about tutoring services in the dorms.
  • Your fraternity or sorority may sponsor in-house tutoring during the academic year.
  • Student athletes may have access to additional educational support services and can speak to their athletics advisor for more information.

The qualifications for Dean’s List are included in the University Bulletin in the School of Business section. Students who qualify will have a Dean’s List notation added to their official academic transcript.

Requirements for good standing are outlined in the University Bulletin in the School of Business section.

Information regarding students who do not stay in good academic standing are outlined in the University Bulletin in the School of Business section.

GW School of Business faculty approved the below grade distribution guidelines for undergraduate and graduate courses. For undergraduate courses, the average GPA for the course should fall between the recommended ranges listed. For graduate courses, the total number of A and A-‘s for a course should not be over the recommended maximum percentage listed.

Undergraduate Courses

Average GPA Range

  • BADM Courses: 2.9-3.3
  • Non-BADM Courses: 3.0-3.4

Graduate Courses

Maximum percentage of A and A- combined

  • MBAD: 40%
  • Non-MBAD: 50%

Course Registration

The Schedule of Classes is where all classes are listed for each semester with course information. When you access the Schedule of Classes, select the semester you will be registering (click on the Main Campus link). You can then view all of the classes offered that semester by department on the Foggy Bottom campus. 

When you select a department (such as Business Administration), the course offerings are listed and below is information that will help you better understand the way in which courses are listed: 

  • STATUS: seat availability 
  • CRN: the five-digit number code for each course section; this number is required for registration in GWeb
  • SUBJECT: departmental abbreviation and course number; course number is linked to the course’s GW Bulletin course description, which includes any pre- or co-requisite registration requirements 
  • SECT: the section number designates a specific meeting day and time
  • COURSE: title 
  • CREDIT: credit hours earned for the class; generally, 1 credit = 1 classroom hour per week 
  • INSTR: name of instructor 
  • BLDG/RM: building and classroom where the course meets; see Campus Map for building locations 
  • DAY/TIME: class meeting days and times; the following designations are used: M = Monday, T = Tuesday, W = Wednesday, R = Thursday, F= Friday, S = Saturday, and U = Sunday
  • FROM/TO: first and last days of the semester; these dates do not necessarily correspond to the first and last class meeting times 
  • LINKED: notification that you must also register for a discussion/lab; two CRNs are required for registration (one for the lecture and one for the discussion/lab); not all courses are "linked" 
  • COMMENTS: this section may contain special registration instruction; provide additional information about the course's subject; or outline restrictions on which students can enroll in the course
  • If a course is marked as "LINKED," you will need two separate CRNs in order to register for the course. For example, if you are registering for BADM 1004 you will need the CRN for the Lecture and a CRN for the Discussion. 
  • IMPORTANT: Refer to the Schedule of Classes to ensure that the lecture "links" with the corresponding discussion, lab, or recitation. If the lecture and discussion, lab, or recitation do not "link" with each other, you will get an error message and will not be able to register for either. 
  1. Register for the class in GWeb.
  2. You must receive permission from the instructor to be registered as an auditor in a class (no academic credit).
  3. Obtain a Registration Transaction Form from Registrar’s website.
  4. Even if you are enrolled in the course already, add the same class, filling out the “Grade Mode” field with an “A” to indicate audit. The form must be approved and signed by your instructor.
  5. Submit your RTF to the Advising Center before the end of the eighth week of the semester.
  6. Auditing a class does not award academic credit. Regular tuition rates apply. The University policy on auditing can be found in the Bulletin.

The School of Business pass/no pass policy is listed in the University Bulletin. Only electives may be taken under the pass/no pass grading option; WIDs cannot be taken for pass/no pass credit.

  1. Register for the class in GWeb.
  2. Obtain a Registration Transaction Form from Registrar’s website.
  3. Even if you are enrolled in the course already, add the same class, filling out the “Grade Mode” field with a “P” to indicate pass/no pass.. The form must be approved and signed by your instructor.
  4. Submit your RTF to the Advising Center before the end of the eighth week of the semester.

Most courses throughout GW utilize a Waitlist. This means that if a course is closed, students may place themselves on the waitlist. When a student drops the course, that seat becomes available to the student at the top of the waitlist. If you are offered a seat, you will receive an email from the Registrar Office. You must claim your seat within 24 hours, or your seat will be offered to the next person on the waitlist and you will be dropped from the waitlist.

Complete information on how waitlists for courses work can be found on the Registrar’s website here. Professors cannot override the waitlist.  If a course is waitlisted, students’ only option is to register for a spot on the waitlist; talking with the professor will not by-pass the list.

You may only be enrolled in one section of a course at a time. This applies to both open and waitlisted sections. If you would like to switch sections of a course, you must first drop yourself from the section in which you are currently enrolled or waitlisted, and then add the CRN of the other section. 

For example: If you are registered for BADM 3501 Section 10, but would prefer to be on the waitlist of BADM 3501 Section 11, you must first drop BADM 3501 Section 10, then add to the waitlist for BADM 3501 Section 11. 

Receiving a spot off the waitlist is not guaranteed and we recommend you enroll in an open section of a course. If adding yourself to the waitlist for a course be sure to register for an open course as a backup. 

Complete information about these deadlines can be found on the Registrar’s website here. Students are responsible for being aware of these deadlines during each academic term.

Courses dropped beginning the first day of classes are subject to the university refund schedule, which governs the prorated cancellation of semester tuition charges in cases of program adjustment or withdrawal. The full refund schedule can be found here.

  • Drop: Courses may be dropped with no record on a student’s transcript between the registration period and the end of the 4th week of the spring or fall semester.  Students only have the 1st week of summer classes to drop a class. In both cases, students will be subject to the Refund schedule.
  • Withdrawal: After the 4th week of the semester, students may withdraw from a course. This occurs starting the 2nd week for summer courses. 
    • Students will earn a “W” on their transcript after removing themselves from a class, which does not have an impact on the student's GPA.  
    • Students can withdraw from a course via GWeb until the end of the 10th week.
    • Undergraduate students in CCAS, GWSB, SEAS, ESIA and GWSPH may withdraw from an undergraduate course through the last day of classes in the semester in which the student is enrolled in the course. Students who wish to withdraw must complete an RTF and submit it to their advising office. No supporting documentation is required for this action to be considered. This policy does not apply to undergraduates who are taking courses in any school other than the ones listed above, nor does it apply to students taking any graduate course.

Please refer to The Office of the Registrar to find out which would be the most appropriate registration form for you to use.

You should allow a minimum of 10 minutes between classes on the Foggy Bottom campus and a minimum of 40 minutes between classes if you will be traveling between the Foggy Bottom and Mt. Vernon campuses. 

Full-time tuition covers 12-18 credits in the fall and spring semesters. Full-time students generally take five 3-credit courses per semester (roughly 15-17 credits) in order to stay on track to graduate within four years. Anything over 18 credits will incur additional tuition expenses.

Taking fewer than 12 credits makes you a part-time student. 

Select a balanced set of courses. Be sure to balance your schedule so that it includes both qualitative (humanities/electives/science/etc.) and quantitative (math/economics/accounting/etc.) courses. We recommend that you take no more than two quantitative courses during your first semester at GW. 

UW 1020 has a number of sections that focus on different topic areas. Choose a section where the topic sounds interesting to you, but be flexible as your top choice section may be closed. You can see the topics for each UW 1020 section in the comments section of the Schedule of Classes

Before each registration, you should check to make certain that you do not have any holds on your record. You can do this on GWeb by clicking "Student Records & Registration" - "Student Records Information"- "View Administrative Holds." Holds will prevent you from registering, adding or dropping classes, ordering transcripts, obtaining grades, or graduating. They are placed on student accounts for various reasons, such as: money due to the university; the need to meet with an advisor; unmet immunization requirements; etc. A hold can only be lifted by the office that placed it. The hold screen will tell you the office that placed the hold and many will include the contact number. You must contact that office for assistance. 

All freshmen will have a hold placed on their account by the GWSB Advising Center prior to their first spring registration. To have your hold removed, simply meet with an advisor in the fall semester to plan your spring semester courses. 

Students may consider taking a course on the Mount Vernon Campus. Courses on the "Vern" tend to have smaller class enrollment sizes. To register for a course on the Vern, look for the section number of the course that has either a MV or M in it. ALL UW 1020 courses are located on the Vern. 

Please be aware that there is a shuttle bus that runs every 5 minutes from the Foggy Bottom Campus to the Mount Vernon Campus during the day and you will want to factor in the travel time when scheduling your courses. You should leave at least 40 minutes between classes if you will need to move from one campus to the other. The full schedule for the Vern Express to Mount Vernon Campus can be found here.

International Summer Coursework

Students can complete summer coursework internationally in one of two ways. First, students can explore approved Study Abroad programs offered by GW through GW Passport. Courses constituting summer Study Abroad must meet the following qualities:

  • Admission to the program is via GW Passport

  • Program costs and tuition are billed through GW and appear on the student’s account

All other coursework completed internationally over the summer is considered international study, and is subject to the same restrictions and approval process as domestic transfer credit.

To better understand the difference between Study Abroad and International Study Away, please visit the GW Global Study page.

GW Passport lists all approved summer Study Abroad programs available to GW students. GWSB students may be particularly interested in the short-term abroad programs offered by the Office of Global and Experiential Education in GWSB.

International Study courses (non-Study Abroad international courses) go through the same approval process as domestic transfer credit. For complete information on the University’s policies regarding transfer credit, refer to the information provided on the Registrar’s website. Please note that approval of transfer credit by GWSB is contingent upon the University regulations and all residency requirements as outlined in the University Bulletin. Approval is NOT guaranteed and should be obtained prior to enrolling in a course elsewhere.

Courses taken through approved GW Study Abroad programs will be submitted through the GW CATS system. Please visit the Office for Study Abroad to learn how to transfer credit back to GW.

Records and Student Status 

Official transcripts are issued by the Registrar’s Office. Instructions for ordering transcripts are available on the Registrar’s website.

The status of “continuous enrollment” is defined in the University Bulletin. If you wish to register for continuous enrollment or have questions about this status, contact [email protected].

A “leave of absence” is defined in the University Bulletin. If you wish to register for a leave of absence or have questions about this status, contact [email protected].

Complete information regarding graduation and the application can be found on the Registrar’s website. Students are responsible for being aware of this information in order to avoid late fees, to receive information about Commencement, and to be reviewed for degree clearance.

Transfer Credit

The University’s policy on AP/IB/A-Level credits is available on the Undergraduate Admissions page here.  Some key items to note:

  • The University reserves the right to change policy regarding AP/IB/A-Level credit without advance notice.
  • A maximum of 24 AP/IB/A-Level credits may be applied towards your degree.
  • Credit is granted only for higher level IB exams.
  • Credits may not be duplicated or double-counted towards more than one course requirement. In some cases, credits may not apply at all.
  • Be sure to reference your DegreeMap and consult with an academic advisor on a regular basis.

For complete information on the University’s policies regarding transfer credit, refer to the information provided on the Registrar’s website, which addresses the following topics:

  • How many credits you can transfer after enrolling at GW
  • The approval process for courses taken at other universities
  • The minimum grade needed to transfer credit
  • Taking courses outside of the US (this information applies to both domestic & international students)

Please note that approval of transfer credit by GWSB is contingent upon the University regulations and all residency requirements as outlined in the University Bulletin. Approval is NOT guaranteed and should be obtained prior to enrolling in a course elsewhere.