Ph.D. Admissions Requirements

All applicants to a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) program at SEAS must meet the following admissions requirements.

You may also refer to a list of responses to Frequently Asked Questions for additional information.

At any time, you may send an e-mail to with specific questions regarding your application.

Please note: The application must be completed by the applicant. Any application found to have been completed or submitted by someone other than the applicant will be withdrawn from consideration. All documents and materials must be the applicant's own; forgeries and plagiarization will be not be accepted.

For current SEAS graduate students

Current SEAS graduate students who are already enrolled in a degree program may request to have their application materials transferred from their original application to their Ph.D. degree application. Please contact with a clear description of your request.

Application Deadlines

To apply for Fall semester entry, the deadline to submit the application is January 15

To apply for Spring semester entry, the deadline is September 1.

To apply for Summer semester entry, the deadline is March 1. (U.S. citizens only)

Application Checklist

Applicants must provide the following materials to be considered for any graduate program at SEAS:

  1. Complete online application form
  2. Transcripts
  3. GRE exam scores
    • International applicants: TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE Academic scores
  4. Letters of Recommendation
  5. Statement of Purpose
  6. Resume/CV
  7. Application Fee ($75)

1. Online Application Form

Applicants must create an account and submit their application online through

Applicants can submit multiple applications through one account; however, an application fee will apply to each application submitted.

Create Application Account

If you are experiencing difficulty accessing the application, please contact us at

2. Transcripts

Applicants must provide scanned copies of unofficial transcripts from each college or university attended (regardless of whether credit or degree was obtained) with the online application form.

  • Please scan the front and back of each page of the transcript.
  • Please scan clearly in the highest resolution possible. 
  • Please upload documents in .pdf or .docx format.
  • Plese do not mail official transcripts to our office.

For international applicants, please see additional requirements for foreign transcripts.

3. Exams


The Graduate Records Examination (GRE) is required of all applicants, except for current SEAS undergraduates applying for a Five-Year Program.

There is no minimum score required on the GRE.

Scores must be sent to institution code 5246 through the Educational Testing Service (ETS). Do not include a department code.


The GMAT exam is not accepted as a replacement for the GRE.

TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE Academic

Required for international applicants only. See details and minimum scores:

International Admissions Requirements



4. Letters of Recommendation

A minimum of three (3) letters of recommendation are required to be submitted with your online application form.

On the online application form, you must provide the full name and email address for each of your recommenders. The system will automatically send them an email with a link to submit the letter online.

The letters should be from a professor, work supervisor, or colleague who is able to speak to your research experience and potential to succeed in a doctoral program.

5. Statement of Purpose

Applicants must upload a statement of purpose in at least 500 words that clearly states their purpose in undertaking graduate study at the George Washington University; academic objectives, research interests, and career plans; and related qualifications including collegiate, professional, and community activities.

The statement of purpose must be written by the applicant. Any essay found to be plagiarized, copied, or written by someone else, will result in the immediate termination of their application's review and denied admission.

6. Resume/CV

A current résumé or curriculum vitae (CV) should be uploaded with the online application form in .pdf or .docx format.

If you have published articles in peer-reviewed publications, please include them as a hyperlink.

International Student Requirements

If you are a citizen or resident of a foreign country, you must also adhere to the International Admissions requirements when applying to any graduate program at SEAS.

View International Admissions Requirements

7. Application Fee

The application fee is $75. This must be paid by credit card online at the end of the online application form. Applications will not be processed without payment. 

The application fee may be waived for applicants in the following categories:

For questions, contact

Track Your Application Status

Once you have submitted your application and paid the application fee, please use the following steps to track your application's progress: 

  • Check the status of your application online at any time by logging back into the application system. The user ID and password is the same one you used to create the application.


  • Continue monitoring your email inbox. You will receive emails with frequent updates of your application's status during the review process.
  • PLEASE NOTE: Once you have submitted your application and paid the application fee, you may no longer make any changes to your application. 
  • Still have questions? Check out the list of Frequently Asked Questions for answers to common application questions or contact us by email at or by phone at (+1) 202-994-1802.