Science, Mathematics & Statistics

GW’s breadth of science programs helps students engage in the study and advancement of current and emerging fields. Our interdisciplinary approach, fostered through the collective expertise of top scholars and industry professionals, has served to pioneer new discoveries, launch new innovations, and create unique scenarios for further research. Courses combine theory with practice, and are designed to maximize distinctive opportunities offered within the Washington metropolitan area and the world beyond.

Programs in Biomedical & Physical Sciences at GW

Anatomical & Translational Sciences (Graduate Certificate, M.S.)

The program provides students in translational sciences with an understanding of human gross anatomy, embryology, functional histology, neuroanatomy, modern stem cell and developmental biology, and technology for biomedical molecular imaging. Studies are designed to maximize career opportunities in the health fields, enhance competitiveness of applications to medical school or physician assistant programs, and help students transition into an advanced graduate degree program in the biomedical sciences.

Bioinformatics & Biotechnology (M.P.S.)

This 30-credit master’s degree prepares students to excel through a cross-disciplinary approach, delivering both academic knowledge and practice experience (within wet labs and computational labs). The curriculum integrates components of molecular biology, genetics, bioinformatics, computer programming, and molecular modeling with the business and entrepreneurship skills necessary to bring new discoveries to the marketplace. Graduates will be prepared with in-demand skills, including data analysis, programming, new product commercialization, and data generation, as well as career skills in the bioinformatics and biotechnology fields.

Biological Sciences (M.S., Ph.D.)

Designed to be highly interactive, the doctoral program focuses on one of three areas of concentration: cell, molecular, and developmental biology; systematics and evolution; or ecology. The master’s program includes both a thesis and a non-thesis option, allowing students to pursue laboratory or classwork-only research in one of the three areas offered in the doctoral program.

Biomedical Sciences: Biochemistry & Systems Biology (Ph.D.)

Biochemistry is the study of living systems on the molecular level. These fields have led to our greater understanding of both normal and abnormal physiological processes, enabling us to explain many diseases and the molecular mechanisms underlying many human diseases.  The Biomedical Sciences: Biochemistry and Systems Biology program prepares students for research careers in this dynamic field. Multidisciplinary in nature, the programs consist of faculty not only from GW, but from other renowned academic institutions such as Children’s National Medical Center and the National Institutes of Health.

Biomedical Sciences: Microbiolgy & Immunology (Ph.D.)

The Microbiology and Immunology Ph.D. program provides a flexible, rigorous training program to prepare students to become independent research scientists in the areas of molecular virology, molecular parasitology, and immunology.

Biomedical Sciences: Molecular Medicine (Ph.D.)

Modern biomedical research uses a variety of approaches to achieve a better understanding of human health and disease. These include systems analysis of physiological studies, microscopic anatomical techniques and powerful methods that expand our knowledge at a molecular level.

Bloodstain Pattern Analysis (Graduate Certificate)

The bloodstain pattern analysis (BPA) program prepares students to document, analyze and testify to observations and challenges related to bloodstained evidence. Through hands-on laboratory experience and a rigorous curriculum based on the industry standards outlined by the Scientific Working Group on BPA, graduates are prepared for certification as BPA subject matter experts. The bloodstain pattern analysis graduate certificate is one of the first degree programs of its kind offered by an institution of higher education.

Chemistry (M.S., Ph.D.)

The chemistry program’s research-based curriculum fosters active learning through cutting-edge research in areas of proteomics, synthetic medicinal chemistry and drug design, combustion, battery chemistry and renewable energy sources, laser and molecular spectroscopies, nano- and biomaterials, modeling, and novel inorganic framework structures. The doctoral program involves original research in analytical, inorganic materials and organic or physical chemistry; the master’s program offers thesis and non-thesis tracks to prepare individuals for distinctive career or professional paths.

Crime Scene Investigation (M.S.)

The Master of Science in Crime Scene Investigation teaches the scientific knowledge, skills, and abilities essential to investigative work.  Designed for investigators, detectives, lawyers, special agents, medicolegal death investigators, crime scene technicians, and aspiring forensic investigators, the program trains students in techniques used to document crime scenes and to collect evidence. Students emerge from the program with skills in homicide investigation, forensic pathology, trace evidence analysis, crime scene photography, and examination of questioned documents, among other areas.

Environmental & Green Chemistry (M.S.)

The environmental and green chemistry master’s program trains in-demand experts who can understand the science underlying environmental challenges and then develop innovative, greener solutions to address them. With a unique, interdisciplinary curriculum that fosters proficiency in both environmental chemistry and green chemistry, graduates are well-positioned to obtain employment in this burgeoning field or continue their education in chemistry, sustainability, or other related fields.

Forensic Chemistry (M.F.S.)

Forensic Chemistry teaches students to be lab analysts in drug chemistry and trace evidence analysis to include analysis of hairs and fibers, glass and soil, ignitable liquids and explosive residues. With five full-time faculty members, GW now boasts the world’s largest group of forensic chemists located at a university. The department has also acquired mass spectrometers and a new laboratory to support chemistry and toxicology.

Forensic Investigation (Graduate Certificate)

Students in the Forensic Investigation program learn from a faculty comprised of experts and experienced forensic sciences practitioners. Students also have access to the department’s state-of-the-art laboratories, and are in close proximity to federal crime labs and investigatory agencies in the Washington, DC area.  Coursework for the graduate certificate can also be applied toward the M.S. in Crime Scene Investigation.

Forensic Molecular Biology (M.F.S.)

The molecular biology concentration prepares students to work in crime laboratories as DNA analysts and technical leaders. Students learn chemical, physical, immunological and microscopic methods using state-of-the-art lab facilities, and the theoretical and practical aspects of advanced methods, such as DNA extraction and data interpretation. The program is particularly strong in population genetics and human genetic variation. 

Forensic Sciences (M.F.S.)

GW’s Department of Forensic Sciences is one of the oldest, largest, and most prestigious forensic sciences programs in the world. With state-of-the-art laboratories and close proximity to federal crime labs and investigatory agencies, students master the identification and analysis of evidence, as well as the interpretation and reporting of the results. As part of the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences’ natural, mathematical and biomedical sciences programs, the forensic sciences program provides an understanding of the integration of forensic disciplines with the investigation of criminal activity, along with an overview of the analytical methods, procedures, equipment and data used by forensic specialists. Coursework emphasizes the identification and analysis of evidence as well as the interpretation and reporting of the results.

Forensic Toxicology (M.F.S.)

Forensic Toxicology prepares analysts to work in crime laboratories, private laboratories and medical examiner or coroner offices. The program has a close working relationship with the toxicology laboratories of the metro D.C. Office of the Chief Medical Examiner and the D.C. Pretrial Services Laboratory. Students use new mass spectrometry equipment and learn to analyze biological samples, interpret their findings and determine the presence of drugs. 

Friction Ridge Analysis (M.F.S., M.S.)

The M.S. and M.F.S degrees in Friction Ridge Analysis prepare experienced and aspiring forensic scientists, as well as law enforcement officials, for careers as expert latent print examiners. They are among the first graduate degrees in fingerprinting offered in the nation. Students learn the principles underlying latent print development methods, recording, classification and methodology of comparison of fingerprints and palm prints. They also learn the chemistry behind processing fingerprints and the skills to apply it. Students are required to demonstrate their ability to develop latent prints on items of evidence and compare them using the ACE-V process.

Molecular Biochemistry & Bioinoformatics (M.S.)

The curriculum is designed to provide students with advanced skills in either Molecular Biochemistry or Bioinformatics. Since the complete sequencing of the human genome, the health science discipline of genomics/proteomics has unfolded and evolved, increasingly improving the diagnosis and treatment of human diseases. Emerging in tandem with genomics is the field of bioinformatics, associated with massive databases of gene and protein sequences and other biological information. Modern science utilizes bioinformatics not only to process and mine the data, but also to generate new testable hypotheses.

Physics (M.S., Ph.D.)

The Department of Physics is part of the natural, mathematical and biomedical sciences discipline in the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences. The department offers undergraduate degrees in physics and biophysics and graduate physics degrees, both an M.S. and Ph.D.  Graduate students in physics gain knowledge of advanced physics concepts, including advanced mechanics, electromagnetic theory, advanced quantum mechanics and statistical mechanics, along with mathematical methods in physics and computational physics. Additional courses in quantum field theory, solid-state physics, nuclear physics, astrophysics and biophysics are offered. An integral part of the program involves students in active and frontier research.

Programs in Mathematics and Statistics at GW

Applied Economics (M.A.)

Applied economics uses economic theories and models to solve real-world issues. Students develop skills in macro and microeconomics, and learn to analyze and forecast economic trends in areas including budgetary and fiscal policy, international trade, labor, and urban economics. Graduates are prepared for positions as economic analysts in government agencies, private consulting firms, financial institutions, and applied policy research institutions.

Assessment, Testing, & Measurement in Education (Graduate Certificate, M.A.Ed.&H.D.)

Assessment, testing, and measurement (ATM) in education combines statistical analysis,testing theory, the study of human behavior, educational measurement, and evaluation into the science of measuring educational/behavioral factors such as learning, preference, aptitude, and personality. The program is designed for individuals who are seeking to enter or advance in positions associated with psychometric and statistical methods.

Biostatistics (M.P.H., M.S., Ph.D.)

Students receive intensive training in applied and theoretical biostatistics, statistical inference, probability theory, and statistical genetics — allowing them to apply these skills to the design and analysis of epidemiological investigations, evaluation studies, and other public health challenges. Graduates exist in academia and research centers, private consulting firms, and federal agencies.

Data Science (Graduate Certificate, M.S.)

Data science is an emerging field that involves analyzing big data to find answers to some of the most complex problems facing government, private industry, and society. The program in data science prepares students for data-related careers in roles ranging from financial consulting and policy advising to disaster relief management and computational biology. Developed through a collaborative effort among six departments, the program equips students with the latest tools for analysis and data visualization — tools needed to confront today’s most complex issues.

Financial Mathematics (Graduate Certificate)

Students studying financial mathematics learn sophisticated mathematical techniques that allow them to analyze problems in financial economics. The program teaches the use of stochastic processes and partial differential equations to study stock markets and price financial derivatives. Graduates are well-positioned to advance their finance careers in government agencies, private companies, and other institutions that require expertise in analytic methods and quantitative skills.

Mathematics (Graduate Certificate, M.A.Ph.D.)

Students benefit from a wide range of research topics, including analysis, applied math, combinatorics, dynamical systems, knot theory, logic, and topology. The excellent faculty-student ratio fosters close mentorships and creates a community of innovative thought-leaders in the field of mathematics. Graduates go on to a wide variety of mathematical careers across the public, private, and non-profit sectors, in addition to further academic studies.

Mathematics: Applied Mathematics (M.S.)

Students benefit from a wide range of research topics, including analysis, applied math, combinatorics, dynamical systems, knot theory, logic, and topology. The excellent faculty-student ratio fosters close mentorships and creates a community of innovative thought-leaders in the field of mathematics. Graduates go on to a wide variety of mathematical careers across the public, private, and non-profit sectors, in addition to further academic studies.

Statistics (M.S., Ph.D.)

Statistics play an important role throughout society, providing methodologies for advances in medicine, genetics, and other research arenas, and informing crucial decisions in business and public policy. The master’s program offers a combination of mathematical statistics, applied statistics, and statistical computing tailored to each student. The doctoral program is supported by faculty expertise in statistical genetics, inference, Bayesian statistics, robust inference, computational statistics, reliability, statistics in law and regulatory policy, and probabilistic analysis of algorithms. Students must enter the program having completed courses in multivariate calculus, matrix theory, and at least two undergraduate statistics courses.

Survey Design & Data Analysis (Graduate Certificate)

The certificate focus on designing and pretesting questionnaires, sampling cases, collecting and compiling data, computing estimates and margins of error, writing reports, and managing the survey process. Upon completion, professionals from the public and private sectors are prepared to manage the phases of the process for survey research in corporate, association, or government agency settings.