To help new graduate students prepare before they begin their program of study, we have developed an easy-to-follow list of suggestions.  Although we recommend that you follow them in order, it is not absolutely necessary unless otherwise noted.

1. Review your offer of admission.
2. Respond to the offer of admission.

3. Finalize student loans.
4Access the GWeb Information System.
5. Create a GW e-mail account.
Review appropriate sections of the University Bulletin and Schedules of Classes.
Contact your academic adviser.
Register for classes.
9. Settle your student account.
Get your GWorld card.
Plan to attend orientation activities.
Plan your housing.
Take a tour of the campus.

  1. Review your offer of admission.

    Your admissions or dean's office will have sent you information concerning your admit status, including any prerequisites or conditions of admission, who to contact for academic advising and any school-specific orientation activities.  Your academic department or program may have also contacted you about their advising processes and orientation.  If you have any questions regarding your offer of admission or other information provided by your school or department, please contact them directly.

  2. Respond to the offer of admission.

    This MUST be done prior to registration and must be accompanied by an admissions deposit, if required by your school or program.  Instructions for paying your deposit are available online.

  3. Finalize Your Student Loans.
    For our U.S. graduate students, GW offers financial aid in the form of Federal Direct Stafford, Federal Direct Graduate PLUS, and private alternative loans to students who have been admitted to one of our graduate degree or approved graduate certificate programs. Learn more about how to apply for financial aid.  

  4. Access the GWeb Information System.

    Go to and select the “GWeb Information System” link from the top left menu of the page. To log in, you will need to enter your GWid and Personal Identification Number (PIN). By default, your PIN is your date of birth in one of the following formats: MMDDYY or MMYY99. The system will list the personal information we have for you, such as billing address and contact information.

    The GW Student Portal, my, carries a "My Action Items" feature that serves to make members of the GW community aware of all important business service messages, including special University procedures for registration, financial aid and housing, as well as student account notices of holds on your record that could prevent you from registering.

  5. Create a GW e-mail account.

    After accepting the offer of admission and paying your deposit, you can claim your GW e-mail account through the Virtual Help Desk's Account Center.  See the Help Desk Account Center for detailed instructions and online assistance.

  6. Review appropriate sections of the University Bulletin and Schedules of Classes.

    Academic policies, course descriptions, degree requirements, fee information and financial regulations are provided in the University Bulletin.  For the upcoming semesters, Schedules of Classes are also provided online.

  7. Contact your academic adviser.

    Following the instructions provided by your admissions or dean's office, contact the appropriate faculty member in your academic program to discuss your course selection for the upcoming semester.

  8. Register for classes.

    You may register for classes on the GWeb Information System at unless your academic program or dean's office has provided you with other specific instructions for registration. Registration instructions are available through the Office of the Registrar.

    Please review the information carefully if registering for variable credit hour courses. Also, note that students who register on or after the first week of classes are charged a late registration fee.

    If you have any questions about registration, call 202-994-4900 or e-mail

  9. Settle your student account.

    The University employs an electronic billing system, the Student Account eBill, which you may access through GWeb.  Once you have registered for courses and your Statement of Account is available, you will receive notification through your GW e-mail account.  Using the Student Account eBill system, you can view your account balance, make payments, and arrange for third-party notifications.  Please note: Payment for the semester is due on the first day of the semester, on the main campus, not the first day of your session or the first day of the semester for an off-campus course. Your billing statement will include the billing due date.  

    Be sure to check the Graduate Student Checklist on the Colonial Central site for more step by step instructions to assist you with financial matters.

  10. Get your GWorld card.

    The GWorld card is the official identification card of The George Washington University.  To obtain a GWorld card, you must go to the GWorld Card Office after you have (a) received or retrieved your GWid number and (b) are officially registered for at least one course.  Please note that the earliest date the GWorld card can be issued is one month prior to the first day of classes.  Don't forget to bring a government-issued picture ID (e.g., a driver's license or passport).  The office location and hours of operation as well as detailed information about the GWorld Card are provided through the GWorld Office.

    This card is required for access to some University buildings (e.g., libraries, residence halls) and to obtain University services, including checking out library materials, requesting a transcript, cashing checks and obtaining a parking permit. You can deposit funds to a pre-paid non-refundable debit account (Colonial Cash) that allows you to use your GWorld card to make purchases in select locations on and off campus in place of cash, checks or credit cards.  Some services offered on campus, such as parking and paying for printing and copying materials in the library, require the use of Colonial Cash.

  11. Plan to attend orientation activities.

    The University’s schools and departments offer a variety of orientation activities for new graduate students.  If you have not yet received information about these activities, please contact your academic department for details about any scheduled events.  Additionally, each fall, the University holds a Graduate Student Services Fair during the week before classes. The fair provides you with an opportunity to talk with representatives from GW organizations and offices and pick up materials on student resources. Students starting graduate studies in the spring or summer session are encouraged to come to the subsequent fall fair.  If you have any questions, please contact us at

  12. Plan your housing.

    On-campus housing for graduate students is limited but, as the University is easily accessible to public transportation, a wide variety of convenient off-campus options is available.  Information for on-campus housing is available online at GW Living, and there is also an excellent resource for off-campus housing.

  13. Take a tour of the campus.

    Tours of GW’s Foggy Bottom Campus are offered for prospective graduate and professional students three times a week (Monday, Wednesday and Friday) at 12:30 p.m. Led by a current graduate student, tours last approximately one hour and begin at the Admissions Welcome Center in the Marvin Center, 800 21st Street, NW, Washington, DC, 202-994-6602. Register for a campus tour by visiting our event search page and selecting "Campus tours" as the type of event.


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