Undergraduate Advising FAQs

Academic Advising

How do I meet with an advisor?

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.

What is DegreeMAP and why should I use it?

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.

What is the GW Bulletin?

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.

When and how do I declare my concentration/major/minor?

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.

How do I know which classes I should take each semester?

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.

How many credits should I take each semester?

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

How do I find a tutor?
  • 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.
What are the requirements for making the Dean’s List?

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.

What are the requirements to stay in good academic standing?

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

What happens if you’re not in good academic standing?

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

What are GWSB’s grade distribution guidelines?

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

How can I find classes to take?

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. 

How do I interpret the Schedule of Classes?

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
What is a linked 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. 
How do I audit a class?
  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.
How do I take a class pass/no pass?

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.
How do waitlists work?

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. 

How long do I have to decide about adding, dropping, or withdrawing from a class?

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.

What is the difference between Drop and Withdrawal?
  • 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.
What is the difference between an RTF and an RTF-EZ?

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

How much time should I leave between classes?

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.

What does a balanced schedule look like?

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. 

Which UW 1020 section should I register for?

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

What happens if I have a hold on my account?

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. 

Where is the Mount Vernon Campus?

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

Can I complete summer coursework internationally?

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.

How do I find GW Study Abroad summer programs?

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.

What is the process to take a course internationally away from GW?

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 

How do I order an official transcript?

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

How do I register for continuous enrollment?

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].

How do I register for a leave of absence?

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].

When and how do I apply for graduation?

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

Can AP/IB/A-Level credits be used to fulfill degree requirements?

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.
Can I take summer courses somewhere else after I enroll at GW?

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.