Doctoral Program Admissions

The doctoral program at the George Washington University School of Business (GWSB) is a full-time program of studies. Admission is competitive; admitted students typically score above the 90th percentile on the GMAT or GRE aptitude tests, and are proficient in the English language. Although graduate degrees are strongly encouraged, they are not required. Work experience in the applicant’s field may also be considered.

Applications are initially reviewed by faculty in the student’s field of study (department). After an initial screening, department faculty select applicants to interview either in-person or through distance media. Campus visits are encouraged, but not required.

Admissions Standards

Please note: This program will not be accepting doctoral candidate applications for Fall 2022.

The accountancy Ph.D. program prepares students for academic research careers at leading business schools. Applicants are expected to have completed a bachelor’s or master’s degree at a four-year accredited college or university in the U.S. and possess fluent command of English. A prior business degree is not a requirement. Students with backgrounds in fields such as accounting, finance, economics, and statistics typically have good foundations for a Ph.D. concentration in accountancy, but we seek the best applicants without regard for specific academic background. Although prior work experience in accounting is not required, it is considered a strong plus. However, if a student has no prior accounting coursework, they must consult with the program coordinator about additional coursework that may be necessary; decisions will be made on case-by-case basis.

The department admissions committee considers the quality of the applicant’s academic record, work experience, research interests, motivation, and understanding of an academic career in accounting. The department considers the strongest applicants to be those with scores in the 90th percentile in verbal and quantitative. However, we may consider students with somewhat lower scores who demonstrate a strong understanding of the research process and possess prior graduate training or experience that indicates they are likely to be successful in a Ph.D. program.

Please note: This program will not be accepting doctoral candidate applications for Fall 2022.

Admission to the program is competitive. All applicants are required to have a bachelor’s degree or the equivalent, representing a four-year course of study in an accredited college or university. Superior academic performance is expected, and a strong background and ability in mathematics are essential for successful completion of the program. The program is expected to be completed in four to five years.

Please note: This program will not be accepting doctoral candidate applications for Fall 2022.

Admission is highly selective. Typically, two doctoral students in finance are admitted every other year. The following criteria are considered when evaluating candidates for admission:

  • High test scores
  • Performance in previous degree programs
  • Letters of recommendation attesting to the applicant’s potential for success in a competitive doctoral program
  • Consistency between the candidate’s research interests and those of the faculty
  • Congruence between the applicant’s professional and educational goals and the requirements and objectives of the Ph.D. program

Please note: This program is now accepting doctoral candidate applications for Fall 2022. Completed applications and all required credentials (including official entrance examination scores) must be received by January 15, 2022.

Admission is highly selective. Typically, no more than two doctoral students in international business are admitted each year. The following criteria are considered when evaluating candidates for admission:

  • Performance in previous degree programs
  • Standardized test results
  • Letters of recommendation attesting to the applicant’s potential for success in a competitive doctoral program
  • Consistency between the candidate’s research interests and those of the faculty
  • Congruence between the applicant’s professional and educational goals and the requirements and objectives of the Ph.D. program

Please note: This degree program is designed as a joint program between Management and Strategic Management & Public Policy, so the coursework consists of core courses as well as courses that are specific to one of those two fields.

Both portions of this program — Management, and Strategic Management & Public Policy — are now accepting doctoral candidate applications for Fall 2022. Completed applications and all required credentials (including official entrance examination scores) must be received by January 15, 2022.

Admission is highly selective. Typically, no more than three doctoral students are admitted each year. The following criteria are considered when evaluating candidates for admission:

  • Performance in previous degree programs, with a preference given to candidates with GPA of 3.5 or above
  • High test scores (typically, a GMAT or GRE Score in the 90th percentile or above)
  • Three letters of recommendation attesting to the applicant’s potential for success in a competitive doctoral program
  • Fit between the candidate’s and faculty members’ research interests
  • Congruence between the applicant’s professional and educational goals and the requirements and objectives of the Ph.D. program

Application Process

Please carefully review the detailed application instructions below prior to beginning the online application process for our Ph.D. programs.

In order to review your application, it must be considered complete. Complete applications include 1) copies of transcripts, 2) graduate entrance examination scores, 3) a current resume, 4) a Statement of Purpose, 5) three recommendation forms, and a non-refundable application fee.* In addition, international applicants are required to demonstrate English language proficiency.

Applications are accepted for the fall term only. Completed applications must be received by January 15.

*The $80 application fee is waived for current GW degree candidates, GW graduates, McNair Program Scholars, Ph.D. Project participants, and active duty military personnel.

Transcripts

Applicants should submit copies of transcripts from each institution of higher education attended, whether or not the program was completed or the credit appears as a transfer credit on another transcript. Official transcripts should be submitted directly by the universities to:

The George Washington University
School of Business, Graduate Admissions Office
2025 F St NW L-101
Washington, D.C. 20052

Please note: Graduates of foreign universities must also submit notarized English translations of all transcripts if they are not in English. Graduates of foreign universities must also submit a course-by-course credential evaluation; this is required to consider your application complete. Evaluation services that are members of the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES) will be accepted.

Graduate Entrance Examinations

Applicants are required to take either the Graduate Record Examination (GRE–5246) or the Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT–QK4-4F-40). Submitted scores must be for an exam taken within the prior five years.

Statement of Purpose

The Statement of Purpose should be approximately 1,000 words, and 1) discuss the reasons for seeking a Ph.D. in the specified concentration; 2) describe the academic, professional, and personal experiences that prepared the applicant for the Ph.D. program; and 3) provide any additional information that the applicant deems important.

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 appropriate. The letters may address the applicant’s intellectual potential, work ethic, character, and special achievements, among other things. The three recommendation forms may be submitted online or sent directly to Ph.D. program office.

Tuition and Financial Support

Admitted students automatically qualify for tuition waivers and a graduate stipend/fellowship for a period up to five years. No separate application is needed.

The Ph.D. in Business Administration is a full-time program of studies. All incoming admitted students are supported by financial aid packages offered by GWSB for five years, contingent upon satisfactory progress.

GWSB fellowship and financial support includes:

  • Tuition waiver. Fellowships pay full tuition for the fall and spring semesters of each academic year.
  • Salary/stipend. Fellowships pay a combination of salary and stipend of approximately $30,000 each academic year.
  • Travel support. GWSB provides funding for students presenting papers at many leading academic conferences.
  • Office space. Each department provides students with shared office space.

Fellowships are for five years, subject to satisfactory performance and progress in the program. As part of the fellowship package, students serve as graduate assistants for twenty hours per week, which includes work as a teaching assistant, research assistant, or as an instructor. Students are required to teach one course prior to graduation as part of the program and fellowship requirements.

Individual departments may provide additional resources to doctoral students, such as summer research grants, additional travel support, computer purchases, and software.  Please contact the department representative for more information. 

Income Taxes

Historically, tuition awards are not generally subject to income taxes, while fellowship stipends and salaries are generally subject to income taxes. For details or further assistance, please refer to the policy on stipend and tuition payments to students and their taxability.

The university does not offer individual tax advice. Information regarding student tax issues is available from the George Washington University Tax Department.

One-page summaries of “Tax Implications and Reporting Requirements of Payments to Students” can be located by clicking on the links below:

 


International Applicants

English Language Requirement

Students residing in countries where English is not an official language, or non-native English speakers, are required to take either the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) (Institutional Code 5246, Department Code 02), academic International English Language Testing System (IELTS), PTE Academic Test or the Duolingo English Test. 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 English 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**
  • PTE Academic Score of at least 68**
  • Duolingo English Test: Score of 110 or higher; scores should be sent to GW School of Business**

**Scores may not be more than two years old.

 


Begin the Application Process

In order to apply, students must first obtain a user name and password through the university’s online application system. Go to the “Sign Up” tab on the following page: 

GW Online Application System

Next, applicants must fill out an online application form. On that form, the “type of program” is Graduate, the “school” is Business, the “major” is Business Administration, the “degree” is Ph.D., and the “field” is one of the following: Accountancy, Decision Sciences, Finance, International Business, or Management & Strategy. Applicants are required to pay the non-refundable application fee at the time the online application form is submitted.

Questions? Please contact:

The Doctoral Program Office
Duquès Hall, suite 550
The GW School of Business
2201 G St. NW
Washington, D.C. 20052
(202) 994-6298
[email protected]