Frequently Asked Questions

See below for answers to the most frequently asked questions (FAQ) among applicants and incoming students:

Admissions Decisions

What are my chances of being admitted?

Until your completed application package has been reviewed by SEAS faculty members, it is unlikely that your chances of admission can be accurately determined. However, you may view the Graduate Student Profile to get a sense of test scores from the most recent entering class.

How long does it take to receive my admissions decision?

Once you have submitted the online application form, all required materials, and paid the application fee, it takes approximately 6-8 weeks to receive your admissions decision.

How do I view my admissions decision?

Please log back into the Application System using the same login combination you used to create the application. There will be a link for you to View Admissions Decision.

Who do I contact if I have questions regarding my admissions decision?

Please contact our office at During application season, we do our best to respond to inquiries within 24 hours. Please do NOT contact the faculty or department.

My admissions letter is available online for me to print out, but I am concerned that the electronic letter will not be suitable for my visa interview.

SEAS has been reassured by the U.S. Department of State that electronic admission letters are acceptable documentation for visa interviews.

May I defer my admission decision?

If admitted, you may request to defer your admission for up to one year. Requests for deferrals may be made through the Intent to Enroll form. If you decide not to attend after one year, you may be required to reapply for admission. Admitted Ph.D. students will need to receive permission from the department and their academic advisor in order to defer admission. They should also check with their advisors to inquire about how a deferral will affect any funding offers.

Application Documents

Which support documents can be submitted online?

All applicants should submit their Statement of Purpose, resume or CV, and unofficial transcripts online via the application system. When required, Letters of Recommendation should be also be submitted online. Applicants should avoid sending transcripts or letters of recommendation by mail.

I was advised to send an admissions packet with copies of work certificates, awards, etc. How should I send this?

Please do not send us this extra documentation. Instead, use your resume to highlight work experience and awards received. If you authored or co-authored an article, please feel free to send us an abstract as a PDF attachment to at the time of your application submission. You may also upload the documentation below the statement of purpose section in the online application. Be sure to include your full name and applicant ID in the body of the email.

I have not graduated college yet. Which transcripts should I send?

Send your most recent transcripts and keep in mind that if you are admitted, you will be required to provide updated transcripts demonstrating that your degree has been conferred. Applicants from universities in India should provide marks sheets from all completed semesters.

Application Fee

How much is the application fee and why am I being charged?

The current application fee is $75. This fee covers the administrative cost of processing your application. 

How do I pay the application fee?

The application fee can be paid by credit card upon submitting the application online. You may also pay your application fee by check; however, please note that your application will not be considered complete or processed until the check has been received.

If I am a current student or alumni of GW, do I have to pay the application fee?

Application fees are waived for current GW students and alumni. Please request the fee waiver through the online application form and email to notify our office.

If I am in the U.S. military or a McNair Scholar, do I have to pay the application fee?

Members of the U.S. Armed Forces, McNair Scholars, and others under contract-fee waivers should scan and electronically send supporting documentation to to waive the application fee.

Is it possible to defer payment of the application fee until after I am admitted?

No. The application fee is required in order for us to process your application and therefore cannot be deferred.

Area of Focus

Am I required to select an Area of Focus on the application?

Yes. You will have the option to change your area of focus once admitted, but you must select one from your field of study on the online application form. 

Doctor of Science degree

I thought SEAS offered a Doctor of Science (D.Sc.) Why is that degree not listed on the application?

As of Spring 2009, SEAS began offering a Ph.D. at the doctoral level. We no longer offer a D. Sc.

Off-campus programs

Where can I find more information about online engineering programs?

Select engineering disciplines at GW offer degree programs online. These are administered through the Engineering Management and Systems Engineering Off-Campus Programs office.

If I am studying Engineering Management or Systems Engineering, can I take classes at the off-campus facility?

Generally, students are advised to take all of their courses on campus. Please check with your graduate professional advisor to ensure that courses offered at the off-campus facility count toward your degree requirements.

Test scores

What are the institution codes SEAS uses for submitting the GRE, TOEFL, and IELTS?

The code for the GRE and TOEFL is 5246. There is no code required for the IELTS.

What are the minimum TOEFL scores required for admission?

A minimum score of 550 on the paper-based exam, 213 on the computer-based exam, or 80 on the Internet-based exam are required for admission. For applicants to the Engineering Management, Systems Engineering, or Data Analytics programs, applicants must have a 600 on the paper-based exam, 250 on the computer-based exam, or 100 on the Internet-based exam.

How recent do my TOEFL or IELTS scores have to be?

TOEFL and IELTS scores may not be older than two years old.

How recent do my GRE scores have to be?

GRE scores may not be older than five years old.

Am I required to take the English for Academic Purposes (EAP) course?

Admitted international students who received a TOEFL score below 100 or IELTS score below 7.0 will be required to take EAP during their first semester at GW. Your admissions decision letter will indicate whether you are required to take EAP and instructions on enrolling in the course.

I am a U.S. citizen/resident, but I completed my education outside of the country. Do I still need to provide TOEFL or IELTS scores?

If you did not receive a degree from a university located in one of the countries on this list, you must submit TOEFL and/or IELTS scores with your application. Please note that degree programs affiliated with a university in an English-speaking country, but not physically located in that country, are ineligible for TOEFL/IELTS exception.

I am an international student, but I speak English fluently. Do I really have to submit a TOEFL or IELTS score?

Applicants exempt from this requirement must hold a post-secondary degree (bachelor's or master's) from a college or university situated  in the United State or in one of these countries. Applicants from the American University in Cairo, American University in Beirut, or Bogazici University in Istanbul are exempt from the TOEFL/IELTS requirements. If you have a question about your specific university, please contact us as

Tuition & Financial Aid

How much does it cost to attend SEAS?

Please visit the Student Accounts Office for the latest tuition rates and fees.

How do I apply for financial aid?

Applicants may request consideration for financial aid in the form of an assistantship or fellowship when they complete the online application for admission. Please see the Financial Aid section of the online application. Please note that M.S. applicants for financial consideration must submit three letters of recommendation, regardless of the program applied for. Please note there are several forms of financial aid; most graduate students do not receive all of their aid from a single source.

What are the chances of receiving financial aid?

Decisions to award assistantships and fellowships are made at the department level by a faculty review committee. The staff in the Office of Graduate Admissions does not determine financial aid criteria and are not involved in financial aid decisions. Your chances of receiving financial aid cannot be determined prior to the faculty review of your completed application package.

If I have requested consideration for an assistantship or fellowship, how will I find out if one is offered to me?

Assistantships and fellowship awards are generally made around the time admissions decisions are made; however, award announcements may be announced later by email.