General Requirements

A. Application:

  1. Application forms for admission to graduate study and for financial aid are available online at the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences Graduate Admissions website. When completed, the application must be submitted to that office together with college transcript(s) and letters of recommendation. Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores (Verbal, Quantitative, and Analytical; biology test not required) must be submitted with the application.
  2. Applicants must have a bachelors degree in biology or an equivalent field. Their academic programs must have included the equivalent of the following: 24 hours of advanced level biology, one year of organic chemistry or some other advanced chemistry (e.g., Biochemistry), one year of physics, and one semester of calculus or statistics. Students not having completed these requirements prior to enrollment in a graduate program are required to take and pass courses with a grade of "C" or better at the beginning of their graduate career. Credit for these courses is not applicable to graduate degree requirements.
  3. Normally at least a "B" average (or equivalent) from an accredited college is required in order to be accepted into the program. An applicant whose academic record falls below "B" may be accepted if other evidence of academic promise, such as high scores on the Graduate Record Examinations, exists. Students whose native language is not English are required to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language or an equivalent exam. Students who apply in their senior year must have completed their baccalaureate work before registration in the Graduate School, and must present evidence of such completion. Completed applications and requests for fellowship support should be submitted by January 2 for the following academic year.

B. Registration:

  1. A student cannot register for classes until he/she has received a letter of admission to the University issued by the appropriate admitting office. A student may not register concurrently in this University and other institution without the prior permission of the dean of the college, school, or division in which he/she is registered in this University.
  2. The dates, hours, and place of registration will be stated online in the Schedule of Classes, which is available well in advance of each semester.
  3. Registration for Consortium Courses: Students interested in taking courses at any of the other Institutions in the Consortium of Universities of the Washington Metropolitan Area should consult the program announcements of the other institutions. Consortium application forms and instructions are available from the Registrar after a student has obtained his/her admissions packet. In order to participate in the Consortium program, the graduate student must obtain the approval of the Graduate Student Advisor, and should ascertain from the department of the institution where the course is taught whether or not he or she is eligible for the course, and whether there is space in the class. Schools participating in the Consortium are American University, Catholic University, Howard University, Georgetown University, Marymount College, University of District of Columbia, Gallaudet College, Trinity College, George Mason University, the University of Maryland, and the George Washington University.

C. Financial Support:

  1. Graduate Teaching Fellowships normally are granted for the full academic year. Applications must be received by January 2. Usually recipients of awards will be notified during the spring semester preceding the academic year for which the award is made. These fellowships provide tuition plus a salary and stipend. Tuition awards are made only for the minimum number of semester hours of credit (i.e., 9) per semester. All graduate students in good standing as well as new applicants are eligible to apply. Master's students are not eligible for teaching fellowship awards. Ph.D. candidates generally receive five years of support, and one additional year may be considered on a case-by-case basis.
  2. King Research Fellowships and Weintraub Fellowships are cash stipends for the support of Ph.D. students. The King Fellowships are generally given to qualified students in the research phase of their Ph.D. programs. Recipients may not be otherwise employed during the period of these awards.

D. Workload:

Full time students generally must register for 9 semester hours during the Fall and Spring semesters-, part-time students must register for a minimum of 6 semester hours each semester. Registration during the summer sessions is not required unless the student plans to graduate during the summer. These requirements do not apply when a student has fewer than 9 semester hours (full-time) or 6 semester hours (part-time) remaining to complete the program. No more than 15 semester hours may be taken during any one semester.

E. Transfer of Credit:

  1. Master of Sciences - A maximum of one-quarter of the semester hours of graduate course work required for a degree may be approved for transfer to G.W. Graduate School from another accredited college or university under the following conditions: the course work must have been taken prior to admission to the Graduate School; it must be approved as a part of the student's program of studies; it must not have been applied to the completion of requirements for another degree; it must be a graduate-level course work; it must have been taken within the past two years, and the student must have received a grade of 'B' or better. This action must be approved on a 'request form' signed by the Graduate Student Advisor and the Dean. A transcript of the course work must be on file before the request can be considered.
  2. Ph.D. - Up to 24 hours of course work at another institution may be transferred towards a Ph.D. (see the University Bulletin for details).

F. Grades:

Grades for graduate work are: 'A' - Excellent; 'B" - Good; 'C' - Minimum Pass; CR - Credit; 'F' - Fail; 'I' - In Progress; 'P' - Pass; "NP" - No Pass; 'W' - Authorized Withdrawal. A grade of 'I' in an academic course should be removed within one year. The grade "I' cannot be removed by re-registering for the course here, or by taking its equivalent elsewhere. The grade of "IPG' is given for all thesis and dissertation research courses until the thesis or dissertation is complete. Upon the satisfactory completion of the thesis or dissertation, the Grade of "IPG" is changed to "CR" automatically. Letter grades will be assigned for 295 (Research) and 398 (Advanced Reading and Research) courses. A "B" average must be maintained.

G. Research:

Insofar as possible, students must do their research under the direction of a member of the GWU faculty, although such research may be conducted off-campus. If the contingency should arise that the immediate director of the student's research is not affiliated with GWU, special arrangements may be made to allow the off-campus person to serve as co-advisor. The student is required to have an on-campus advisor. This departmental co-advisor shall participate in all aspects of the thesis or dissertation preparation and shall have a voice in all decisions that arise in the preparation of the thesis or dissertation.

H. Advising:

All graduate students are formally advised by the Graduate Student Advisor, who maintains records on all students and administers all graduate programs. The advisor serves as the official liaison to the Columbian College. All registration materials, requests, etc. are signed by the Advisor prior to their submission to the Columbian College. After enrollment in a program, a student may have an informal advisor from the biology faculty, who will assist the student in planning course work and/or conducting research, as appropriate.