Graduate Student Resources

Three women leaning over a screen and wearing lab gloves

Whether students are looking to gain teaching and research experience or guidance on theses and grading, the Department of Biological Sciences can help.

Find the information, forms and support students need to be successful in the graduate program and beyond.

Graduate Student Guidelines and Forms

All current departmental guidelines, forms, and other documents for the graduate program are available for download on GW Box.

Visit the Columbian College current graduate student webpage for help with topics such as:

  • DegreeMAP, the university’s advising tool, to help plan a program of study
  • Deadlines for degree requirements
  • Details on thesis and dissertation format guidelines
  • Specifics on final PhD oral examinations

Teaching Assistantships and Fellowships

Biology PhD students may apply for one of 10 available Graduate Teaching Assistantships (GTAs) and 10 research fellowships, which provide tuition as well as salary or stipend. Grants to individual faculty members may also provide support for students working toward the research goals of the grant.

PhD students in good standing may apply for GTA positions as part of the application form for admittance. Graduate teaching fellowships generally run for the full academic year and are not available to MS students. Graduate students also apply for other fellowships during the general program application process.

Find Assistantships and Fellowships


Professional Development 


biology presentations

Conferences and Poster Presentations

Limited funds (no more than $600) for attending one scientific meeting per year are available from the Columbian College. A student must be presenting a talk or poster at the meeting in order to be eligible for funding. Students must request funding at least one month before the meeting occurs. Interested students should contact the Biology Department.


5 students in a Harlan biology classrooms

Consortium Classes

GW belongs to the Consortium of the Universities of the Washington Metropolitan Area. This means students are invited to take graduate-level courses at fellow consortium member schools: American University, George Mason University, Georgetown University, Howard University and the University of Maryland. Approval for consortium classes must be submitted through a form from the Office of the Registrar.



A letter-grade scale applies to all graduate students in biology:

  • A: Excellent
  • B: Good
  • C: Minimum Pass
  • CR: Credit
  • F: Fail
  • I: In Progress (must be removed within one year)
  • IPG: Given for all thesis and dissertation research courses until complete
  • P: Pass
  • NP: No Pass
  • W: Authorized Withdrawal

The “In Progress” grade cannot be removed by re-registering for the course at GW, or by taking its equivalent elsewhere. Upon the satisfactory completion of the thesis or dissertation, the “IPG” grade changes to “CR” automatically.

Academic and Financial Resources