Regulations

General Information

Vision

The George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences (GW SMHS) is dedicated to improving the health of local, national, and global communities by:

  • Educating a diverse workforce of tomorrow’s leaders in medicine, science, and health sciences. 
  • Healing through innovative and compassionate care.
  • Advancing biomedical, translational, and health services delivery research with an emphasis on multidisciplinary collaboration. 
  • Promoting a culture of excellence through inclusion, service, and advocacy.

As a globally recognized academic medical center, GW SMHS embraces the challenge of eliminating health disparities and transforming health care to enrich and improve the lives of those we serve.

Health Sciences Campus Locations

GW Health Sciences is a vibrant, diverse community of faculty, staff, and students across 50 academic and research programs, representing 34 fields of study. Our highly ranked academic programs and translational research initiatives are housed within four academic departments: Biomedical Laboratory SciencesClinical Research and LeadershipHealth, Human Function, and Rehabilitation Sciences, and Physician Assistant Studies. Our division is also home to the Office of Integrative Medicine and Health, the GW Biomedical Informatics Center, the GW Collaboratory for Health Research and Education, an Advanced Metrics Lab, and a HRSA-funded Health Careers Opportunity Program. We value strategic partnerships, such as our collaboration with the Alexandria City Public Schools in the Governor’s Health Sciences Academy at T.C. Williams High School.

We offer certificate, associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degree programs on two campuses - Foggy Bottom in Washington, D.C. and the Virginia Science and Technology Campus in Ashburn, Virginia - and in blended and online formats.

Health Sciences Mission and Vision

GW Health Sciences' mission is to drive innovation and quality in health and health care delivery through education, scholarship, and service. We strive to reflect our core values of diversity & inclusion, collaboration, and innovation by investing in people, living our social mission, influencing health professions education, health care policy and practice, and catalyzing innovation and entrepreneurism. Our vision is to be a leader in transforming health and health care delivery – locally, nationally, and globally. This vision aligns with the aspirations of the university: “Framed by our nation’s capital, inspired by our namesake’s vision, we the George Washington University aspire to preeminence as a comprehensive, global, research university.”

Preamble

Students enrolled in GW Health Sciences are required to conform to all rules, regulations, and policies with University-wide applicability, including those contained in this Bulletin, the Code of Student Conduct, and the Code of Academic Integrity

Because of the unique curricular and degree-related requirements of health care professional and clinical research training programs, GW Health Sciences imposes higher standards than the University describes in the aforementioned documents. GW Health Sciences publishes its Bulletin and Regulations (hereinafter "Regulations") on the SMHS Bulletin website.  

Additionally, each department and/or program of study produces supplemental program handbooks (hereinafter "Handbooks") with additional guidance, policies, and resources for students. Handbooks, as applicable, are also published online and can be found within the Student Resources section available from the specified program’s primary website. A full list of program primary websites can be found on the GW Health Sciences programs website

To the extent these Regulations or Handbooks are silent as to a particular right or procedure, such right or procedure is not intended to be afforded under these Regulations or Handbooks. In the case of any inconsistency or ambiguity between these Regulations and University-wide rules, regulations, and policies, including the University Bulletin, Code of Student Conduct, or Code of Academic Integrity, these Regulations shall govern. Students are expected to comply with all University and GW Health Sciences policies and regulations; failure to do so may result in disciplinary action, including dismissal.

Admission

To be considered for admission, applicants must submit a completed application form online, together with all required supporting documentation and a non-refundable application fee. All applicants should review the technical standards and essential functions policies prior to application. Students applying to programs that require completion of clinical rotations or a supervised clinical experience should review the Background Check and Drug Screen policy prior to application.

Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences (BSHS) programs are degree completion programs designed for transfer students who have completed a minimum of 24 credits of college-level coursework from a regionally accredited post-secondary institution prior to entry; first-time students may be considered for hybrid programs if they have completed a minimum of 24 credits of college coursework through a combination of dual enrollment, AP, and IB coursework. Fully online BSHS programs are only available to transfer students. Applicants to the post-baccalaureate and graduate programs must hold a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited college or university, with the exception of the doctoral programs which require a master's degree or entry-level professional doctorate. Official transcripts must be submitted from each academic institution attended, regardless of whether credit was earned or is desired. The transcript(s) must indicate a minimum cumulative grade-point average of 2.5 on a scale of 4.0 for undergraduate and post-baccalaureate applicants, and a 3.0 on a scale of 4.0 for graduate students. The applicant must be in good standing and eligible to return to the academic institution most recently attended. Dual degree applicants may have higher cumulative grade-point average requirements beyond these posted minimums; dual degree applicants should refer to the respective program's website under “Admissions Requirements” for guidance. 

With evidence of special promise, an applicant whose academic record falls short of the minimum GPA may be accepted on a conditional basis; see Conditional Admission, below. Students who have been suspended or dismissed academically from GW will not be considered for admission for at least one year from the date of their last suspension or dismissal.

Applicants should refer to the individual program descriptions for information on prerequisites and supporting documents since these vary by program. It is the responsibility of applicants to ensure that all required application materials are submitted by the designated deadlines. Unofficial copies, facsimiles, or photocopies of transcripts, certificates, or diplomas are not accepted. All records become the property of the University and will not be returned.

Conditional Admission—Admission with conditions to GW Health Sciences may be offered at the discretion of the senior associate dean for health sciences (or delegate) and/or the respective program director. The terms of admission will be outlined in a letter of acceptance from GW. When any conditions of admission have not been satisfied, notification is sent from the Health Sciences Dean's Office regarding the student’s academic standing and eligibility to continue in the program of study, which may include dismissal. Students dismissed for not meeting the conditions of their admission from non-clinical programs must sit out one calendar year before re-applying. Readmission is not guaranteed. Students enrolled in clinical programs should consult their program handbook for program-specific dismissal policies and procedures.

Advance Tuition Deposit—Upon notification of acceptance to GW Health Sciences, an orientation fee and/or advance tuition deposit may be required (including readmission). Programs requiring an orientation fee and/or advance tuition deposit publish this requirement on their website and notify students in writing of this deposit requirement at the time of acceptance.  Advance tuition deposits are credited toward tuition and are non-refundable. An orientation fee, if required by the program, must be submitted along with the tuition deposit and is also non-refundable.

Readmission—Students who were previously registered in GW Health Sciences but who did not register during the immediate preceding semester (summer sessions excluded) and who did not receive an approved leave of absence, must apply for readmission. In some cases, an abbreviated process for applying for readmission is available and students are notified of this option by their advisor.  Otherwise, readmission requires completion of a new application. Students seeking to enroll in a different degree or field of study should complete a new application to the respective program. An abbreviated process for applying for readmission is not available for the following disciplines: clinical microbiology, laboratory medicine, leadership in clinical practice and education, medical laboratory sciences, molecular diagnostic science, physician assistant, physical therapy, pre-medicine, and translational health sciences. Additionally, integrative medicine students admitted prior to the fall 2020 semester are ineligible for the accelerated readmission process. Students who have subsequently earned academic credit from another academic institution while not enrolled at GW must submit complete official transcripts to the Health Sciences Dean’s Office as a requirement for readmission. Readmission is not guaranteed. 

Transfer Credit for Graduate Students—A maximum of one quarter of the credits of graduate coursework required for a degree or certificate may be approved for transfer to a graduate program in GW Health Sciences. These credits may come from enrollment in non-degree coursework at GW, or from another degree-granting school or college of GW, or another regionally accredited college or university. Eligible coursework must: be graduate-level credit, not be applied toward completion of requirements for another degree, and earned with a minimum acceptable grade of a B (grades of B- and below do not transfer). Requests for transfer credit must be submitted in writing and approved by the program director and the Health Sciences Dean’s Office after admission to the program. The University reserves the right to determine course equivalency and degree applicability. Students in the clinical microbiology, laboratory medicine, leadership in clinical practice and education, molecular diagnostic science, occupational therapy, physician assistant, physical therapy, and translational health sciences programs should refer to the respective program handbook for specific transfer credit policies and procedures.

Transfer Credit/Advanced Standing for Undergraduates—Transfer credit may be awarded for appropriate coursework completed at other regionally accredited institutions provided minimum grade requirements have been met. The minimum acceptable grade is C for coursework to be applied toward an undergraduate degree (grades of C- and below do not transfer). Transfer credit may also be considered from Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB) examinations, as well as the College Level Examination Program (CLEP exams). Please refer to GW Undergraduate Admissions for information on maximum credits, minimum scores, and GW course equivalents for AP and IB credits. Advanced standing may also be awarded for non-traditional classroom or clinical experience as determined by the individual programs. The University reserves the right to determine course equivalency and degree applicability. Health Sciences degree programs vary in the amount of advanced standing they award. For bachelor's programs, no more than 60 credits are accepted as advanced standing. Degree candidates who are currently enrolled at the University and plan to take courses at other regionally accredited institutions for transfer credit must first obtain program approval. Students in the medical laboratory sciences and molecular diagnostic science programs should refer to the respective program handbook for specific transfer credit policies and procedures.

Transfer credit that is accepted and applied to a student's GW academic record counts toward the number of credits completed only. The grades from these courses are not used in calculating a student's GW grade-point average.

International Applicants—The following additional requirements pertain to international applicants. Additional guidance is available from the GW International Services Office.  

Required Records—An evaluation of the applicant's official transcripts from institutions attended outside of the United States must be completed by an accredited international evaluation service and must be submitted whether or not the official record is in English. Refer to the program's admissions website for additional information on specific documents to submit and links to accepted accredited evaluation services. 

Language Tests—Applicants whose native language is not English or who are not citizens of countries where English is the official language must submit official test scores for academic IELTS, TOEFL, or PTE. The following are the minimum scores for admission consideration:

  • Academic IELTS: An overall band score of 7.0, with no individual band score below 6.0.
  • TOEFL: 600 paper-based or 100 Internet-based.
  • PTE: Overall score of 68

The IELTS/TOEFL/PTE requirement may be waived for applicants who hold a bachelor's degree or higher from a regionally accredited U.S. college or university; applicants who hold a bachelor's degree or higher from an international higher education institution must demonstrate through transcript evaluation from an accredited international evaluation service that the institution is equivalent to a U.S. regionally accredited college or university, and that English is the language of instruction at the institution where the degree was completed. Waivers may exist for citizens of countries where the official language is English, as determined by the GW International Services Office.

Financial Certificate—A Financial Certificate must be completed and submitted with the application for admission by all international students planning to study at the University under the authorization of either a student (F) or exchange visitor (J) visa. Satisfactory completion and submission of the Financial Certificate is required for the issuance of a Form I-20 or IAP-66. Please note that for online learners the financial certificate is not required.

Unclassified Students—A student who wishes to take individual courses in GW Health Sciences must obtain permission to register as an unclassified student by Health Sciences Dean's Office. If permission is granted, application is made with the Office of Non-Degree Students. Permission to take individual courses, if granted, is generally limited to a total of 6 credits. Credit earned for courses taken as an unclassified student may be transferred to a degree program at the University if the courses are applicable to the program, have been taken for credit, and have been completed with the minimum grade required in the program. This should not exceed 6 credits. Successful completion of coursework taken as an unclassified student does not guarantee admission to a degree program.

Student Progress and Records

Complete Withdrawal from the University—A student who wishes to withdraw from all courses, and the University, must complete the applicable Complete Withdrawal Form - Undergraduate Complete Withdrawal Form, Graduate Complete Withdrawal Form - and submit it to the Office of the Registrar via the student's program advisor. The deadline for complete withdrawal from all courses without academic penalty is the end of the tenth week of classes, with the exception of summer and accelerated courses, which may have different deadlines. Complete withdrawal after the tenth week requires a petition to the appropriate dean. A student who wishes to withdraw from one or all courses, but not the University, should submit a Registration Transaction Form via the student's program advisor. A student who wishes to withdraw from the University upon completion of currently registered courses should notify their program director and the Health Sciences Dean’s Office. It is highly recommended that before doing anything a student should contact their advisor to discuss their options.

All charges for courses from which the student withdraws are subject to the refund policy listed under Fees and Financial Regulations in this Bulletin. Failure to submit a Complete Withdrawal Form can result in an extended financial obligation and the recording of grades of F (Failure) or notations of Z (Unauthorized Withdrawal). There is no automatic drop for non-payment or no show.

Course Withdrawal— GW Health Sciences offers courses in many formats, including those that follow the traditional academic calendar, and those that have an alternative format (e.g. summer term, accelerated course). Course start date and end dates may be found on the Schedule of Classes. For a course following the traditional academic calendar, after the fourth week of classes, a dropped course is considered a withdrawal and a notation of 'W' will appear on the transcript. Students may withdraw through the end of the tenth week. Withdrawals after the tenth week of classes require a petition to the Health Sciences Dean's Office. For courses that do not follow the traditional academic calendar (e.g. summer term, accelerated courses), withdrawal dates vary. Information related to the course withdrawal dates for courses that do not follow the traditional academic calendar may be found on the Health Sciences Student Services Course/Drop Refund Schedule

Leave of Absence—A student who must interrupt active pursuit of the degree or certificate may petition the senior associate dean for health sciences (or delegate) through the respective program director, for a leave of absence for a specified period of time, generally limited to one calendar year. If the petition is approved, the student must register for leave of absence in the specified fall and/or spring semester, following regular registration procedures. The request should be made using the Leave of Absence/Continuous Enrollment form. Students who discontinue their studies without being granted a leave of absence, and students granted leave who do not return to active study at the close of the period of approved absence, must apply for readmission and are subject to the regulations and requirements then in force. The right to use University facilities is suspended while the leave is in effect.

Privacy of Student Records (academic records)—The University and its faculty and staff protect the privacy of students’ academic records as required by federal law and regulations and as set forth in the University’s Privacy of Student Records policy, available in the Office of Ethics, Compliance, and Privacy or the offices of the academic deans.

Privacy of Records (student health and wellness records)—The University is committed to implementing the best practices associated with privacy and security of health information for the protection of its students, faculty, staff, and those served by University  clinics, counseling centers, and other programs or departments that provide health or health-related services. For students enrolled in programs that require completion of clinical rotations or a supervised clinical experience, additional requirements or procedures may apply; refer to the GW Health Sciences Health Screening and Immunization Policy.  

Request for Accommodation for Students with Disabilities—GW is committed to providing an inclusive and welcoming environment that is accessible for everyone, including individuals with disabilities. Accessibility is an essential part of a positive experience and a critical component of the University’s academic environment for students with disabilities, as well as for faculty, staff, and visitors who have disabilities. Refer to Technical Standards and Essential Functions within the Regulations. Refer also to program-specific technical standards and essential functions published within the respective Handbook.  Additional guidance for students is available from GW Disability Support Services.  

Students Called to Active Military Duty – Refer to the Policy Regarding Student Called to Active Military Service published within the University Bulletin

Tuition Refund—It is the policy of the GW Health Sciences to refund student tuition if notified of the class change, or dropped classes, within an appropriate period of time. Courses dropped prior to the first day of the semester will have 100% of the tuition charges cancelled. Courses dropped on or after the first day of the semester are subject to Refund Schedules which govern the prorated cancellation of semester tuition charges in cases of program adjustment or withdrawal. Refer to the Health Sciences Student Services Course/Drop Refund Schedule.

Student Expectations

Student Conduct—In addition to complying with the Code of Student Conduct, students enrolled in GW Health Sciences must adhere to additional Regulations regarding student conduct. Students enrolled in a program which publishes a separate Handbook must also comply with the additional conduct requirements stated in the Handbook. Violation of conduct standards described in the Code of Student Conduct, the Regulations, or the Handbook may result in disciplinary action, including dismissal. All students must be familiar with and abide by published conduct standards. Student orientation for and the assignment of a program advisor to each GW Health Sciences student provide additional means to support student understanding of and compliance with these standards. Additionally, students may contact the SMHS Office of Student Support.  

Computer-Based Exams—Students in GW Health Sciences Programs, either online or on campus, who are required to take computer-based exams must utilize the remote proctoring system Remote Proctor NOW (RPNOW) by Software Secure, unless the student's particular health sciences program requires a different system approved by GW SMHS. Students are expected to follow all remote testing requirements before and during each quiz/exam. Each session conducted via RPNOW is reviewed by Software Secure, Inc. (SSI) and GW Health Sciences program faculty/administration for violations and/or suspicious activity. GW SMHS expects that all students will demonstrate academic honesty in all academic endeavors, including but not limited to computer-based testing, as identified in the Code of Academic Integrity. Refer to the Computer-Based Exam Policy.

Criminal Background Check and Drug Screens—Some criminal offenses preclude students from participating in patient care. In addition, some professional licensure boards prohibit licensure for those convicted of specific offenses. Thus, students from professional programs are subject to the statutory and/or regulatory requirements independently imposed by law, or as required by affiliating entities. Students must meet any and all requirements of the clinical facilities to which they are assigned for clinical rotations or supervised clinical experiences. Such requirements may be more extensive than referenced herein. Inability to participate in patient care or being subject to any other exclusion prescribed by law will preclude successful completion of the requisite curriculum. As such, affected students may not be eligible for matriculation, continuation in the program, or graduation. Refer to the Background Check and Drug Screening Policy.

Dress Code in Patient Care (or Simulated) Settings—All students must dress in a professional manner. Jeans, shorts, cutoffs, t-shirts, recreational clothing, clothing that obstructs movement required to meet training functions, or clothing that exposes areas of the chest, abdomen, or back are unacceptable attire. Only closed toed shoes are allowed in the clinical setting. Avoid wearing perfumes, scented lotions, or colognes in all clinical settings. With the exception of small, non-dangling earrings, no body piercings are acceptable in the clinical setting. For specific dress code requirements related to a program of study, please refer to the respective program's Handbook.

Ethical Behavior and Professionalism—GW Health Sciences expects its faculty, staff, and students to engage in ethical behavior and demonstrate professionalism in all aspects of their academic life. Refer to the Ethical Behavior and Professionalism Policy. This regulation provides expectations that exceed conduct standards published within the Code of Student Conduct
 
Social Media—Refer to the University Social Media Policy. 

Student Documentation in the Medical Record—It is the policy of GW SMHS to permit students in select clinical programs (e.g., physician assistant, physical therapy) to document in the medical record for educational purposes consistent with the policies of clinical facilities in which students rotate. Refer to the Student Documentation in the Medical Record Policy.

Technical Standards and Essential Functions—Regardless of the specific discipline of study, students within GW Health Sciences must demonstrate competency in the intellectual, physical, and social tasks that cumulatively represent the essential functions of professional practice within health science-related careers. Further, GW Health Sciences expects every graduate of its programs of study to demonstrate the capacity and a personal commitment to address the challenge of eliminating health inequities and transforming health care to enrich and improve the lives of those we serve. Refer to Technical Standards and Essential Functions. Students within select clinical programs (e.g., Medical Laboratory Sciences, Physician Assistant, Physical Therapy) must also comply with program-specific technical standards and essential functions, which may be found in the respective Handbook. 

Campus Life and Safety

Diversity and Inclusion—Refer to the University Policy on Equal Opportunity, Nondiscrimination, Anti-Harassment, and Non-Retaliation and the SMHS Policy on Diversity and Inclusion

Exposure to Infectious and Environmental Hazards (Potential Health Risks)— For students in programs of study who are at risk of exposure to Bloodborne Pathogens or Environmental Hazards, GW Health Sciences adopts the Policy and Procedures on Health Sciences Clinical Student Occupational Exposures. The procedures detail the process through which students should seek evaluation and treatment for occupational exposures with blood and other potentially infectious material while training or performing their duties.
 
Right to Change Rules and Programs—The University reserves the right to modify or change requirements, rules, and fees as well as make changes in programs without notice whenever circumstances warrant such changes. Such regulations shall go into force whenever the proper authorities may determine. It is the practice of GW Health Sciences to communicate in writing (e.g. email, digital newsletter) to students should a change occur to the Health Sciences Bulletin and Regulations outside of the routine annual Bulletin revision process.  

SMHS Office of Student Support - The goal of the Office of Student Support (OSS) is to provide all SMHS students with the highest quality support as they navigate the School of Medicine and Health Sciences and the larger GW community. OSS provides student-centered services designed to foster personal, professional, and educational excellence. Services include but are not limited to academic support, mental health support, student life, and SMHS community building. Students are encouraged to contact OSS by phone (202-994-2818) or by email (SMHSStudents@gwu.edu) to utilize these services or learn more.

Student Health Insurance—All on-campus and international students (holding a J1 or F1 visa) enrolled in GW Health Sciences are required to carry student health insurance while they study at GW. Degree-seeking students who meet these criteria are automatically enrolled in the GW Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP) and must submit an opt-out waiver if they have another insurance plan that meets required waiver criteria. Certificate-seeking students who meet these criteria will need to opt-in in order to be enrolled in the GW SHIP. Please see Colonial Health Center for more information, including how to waive and opt into GW student health insurance. 

Substance Use— GW expects its community to support a “drug free” campus and abide by published regulations on the possession and/or use of alcohol and other substances that have the capacity to produce impairment. Refer to the University’s Code of Student Conduct and Alcoholic Beverage Consumption & Distribution Policy, published by the Office of Student Rights & Responsibilities (SRR). The SRR website includes a copy of the most current Drug-Free Schools Disclosure Statement. GW Health Sciences provides additional guidance and student conduct expectations related to substance use which also includes resources for any individual affected by a substance use disorder.

Title IX Sexual Harassment and Related Conduct - Refer to the University’s Title IX Sexual Harassment and Related Conduct Policy

Academic Standing

An enrolled student is considered to be in good academic standing provided that they are not on academic probation or suspension. The information outlined below applies to all GW Health Sciences students. Students are also expected to comply with any program-specific guidelines as detailed in the respective Handbook, including higher standards and additional requirements related to student academic progress and academic standing. 

Evaluation of Academic Performance— Faculty members are responsible for evaluating the performance of students in a meaningful, useful, and timely manner and for assigning grades on a basis that is rational, just, and unbiased. Official grades for coursework may be obtained from the Office of the Registrar. Unofficial grades for coursework are available via the GWeb Information System.

Grades in Undergraduate Degree or Certificate and Post-Baccalaureate Certificate Programs—The following grading system is used: A, Excellent; B, Good; C, Satisfactory; D, Low Pass; F, Fail. At the discretion of the program and individual faculty, “+” or “-” (plus or minus) grades also may be assigned. Except for courses that specifically state that repetition for credit is permitted, a student enrolled in a program for an undergraduate degree or undergraduate-level certificate (including post-baccalaureate certificate) may not repeat a course in which a minimum grade of C was received, unless a petition to do so is approved by the senior associate dean for health sciences (or delegate) upon recommendation of the respective program director. If a course is repeated, the first grade remains on the student's record and is included in the cumulative GPA. GW Health Sciences is excluded from the Academic Forgiveness Policy. Symbols that may appear on the transcript include CR, Credit; AU, Audit; P, Pass; NP, No Pass; I, Incomplete; IPG, In Progress; W, Authorized Withdrawal; Z, Unauthorized Withdrawal. These symbols are not considered in determining the GPA.

Grades in Graduate Degree and Certificate Programs—The following grading system is used: A, Excellent; B, Good; C, Minimum Pass; F, Fail. At the discretion of the program and individual faculty, “+” or “-” (plus or minus) grades also may be assigned. Except for courses that specifically state that repetition is permitted, a student enrolled in a program for a graduate degree or certificate may not repeat a course in which a minimum grade of C was received, unless a petition to do so is approved by the senior associate dean for health sciences (or delegate) upon recommendation of the respective program director. For graduate courses where a grade of C- or below was received, the course must be repeated for credit. If a course is repeated, the first grade remains on the student's record and is included in the cumulative GPA. Symbols that may appear on the transcript include CR, Credit; AU, Audit; P, Pass; NP, No Pass; I, Incomplete; IPG, In Progress; W, Authorized Withdrawal; Z, Unauthorized Withdrawal. These symbols are not considered in determining the GPA.

Incomplete/In Progress—The symbol of I indicates that the instructor has received a satisfactory explanation for the student's inability to complete the required work of the course and an extension has been granted. The grade may be used only if the student's prior performance in the course has been satisfactory. Any failure to complete the work of a course that is not satisfactorily explained to the instructor before the date when grades must be turned will result in the grade of F for the course. Incomplete work must be made up by a date agreed upon by the instructor and the student but no later than the last day of the examination period for the semester immediately following the semester or summer session in which the notation of I is assigned. An extension of one additional semester can be requested by the student and may be approved by the program director. When work for the course is completed, the grade earned replaces the symbol I on the transcript. An Incomplete that is not changed within the allotted time reverts to an F.

The symbol of IPG is reserved for courses (such as special projects) in which the final class date extends beyond the official University deadline for submitting grades. Once the course has been completed, the IPG is removed from the transcript and the earned grade recorded.

Unauthorized Withdrawal—The symbol of Z is assigned when students are registered for a course that they have not attended or have attended only briefly, and in which they have done no graded work. At the end of the academic year, students' records are reviewed; if there is more than one Z per semester, a student's record may be encumbered until released by the student's advisor or academic dean. The symbol Z is not a grade, but an administrative notation.

The Grade-Point Average—Scholarship is computed in terms of the grade-point average, based only on the student's record in this University. The grade-point average is computed from grades as follows: A, 4.0; A-, 3.7; B+, 3.3; B, 3.0; B-, 2.7; C+, 2.3; C, 2.0; C-, 1.7; D+, 1.3; D, 1.0; D-, 0.7; F, 0, for each credit for which the student has registered in a degree program. In undergraduate courses, grades of F will be computed in the grade-point average but will not be considered as fulfilling degree requirements. In graduate programs, final course grades below C- are recorded as F.

Appeal Procedures for Cases of Alleged Improper Academic Evaluation—Students who believe that a grade or evaluation is unjust or inaccurate may use the following appeal procedures:

  • Step 1: Attempt resolution with the relevant faculty member and the student’s program director.
    • The student must complete Section 1 of the Appeal Form for Cases of Alleged Improper Academic Evaluation and submit this written appeal to the relevant faculty member within ten calendar days of the time the grade is posted, with a copy to the program director.
    • The faculty member will review the student’s Appeal and complete Section 2 of the form. Upon completion, the faculty member will submit the form to the program director with the student in copy.
    • A review shall be conducted by the program director, consulting with the student and respective faculty member(s) involved with the grade or evaluation under review as the program director finds appropriate.  If the program director is the faculty member who assigned the grade or evaluation under review, then a senior academic official (e.g., department chair, associate dean) conducts the review process. 
    • Following the program director’s review, the program director’s decision will be input in Section 3 of the Appeal Form. The completed Appeal Form will be provided to the student and the faculty member.
  • Step 2: Escalate the appeal to the senior associate dean for health sciences.
    • If a mutually satisfactory resolution is not achieved in Step 1, the student may, within five calendar days of the decision of the program director (or senior academic official, if applicable) being rendered, appeal to the senior associate dean for health sciences.
    • The student must submit to the senior associate dean for health sciences a written letter of appeal, accompanied by the completed Appeal Form used in Step 1 and any other supporting documentation that the senior associate dean for health sciences permits.
    • Appeal requests are reviewed by the senior associate dean for health sciences, consulting with the student and all respective faculty members involved with the grade or evaluation under review, as the senior associate dean for health sciences finds appropriate, to determine whether the grading procedures employed were fair, equitable, objective, and consistent. Appeal requests may be referred to the Health Sciences Student Evaluation Committee by the senior associate dean for health sciences to provide additional guidance and recommendations.
    • The senior associate dean for health sciences (or delegate) will render a decision in writing to the student with the student’s program director in copy. The decision of the senior associate dean for health sciences is final.

Warning—An undergraduate whose GPA falls at or above 2.5 but below 2.7, and a graduate student whose GPA falls at or above 3.0 but below 3.2 will receive a warning notification. The warning may be delivered to the student the form of an email. A record of warning notifications is maintained by the Health Sciences Dean's Office. 

Academic ProbationUndergraduate Program: A full- or part-time student in an undergraduate degree or certificate program whose cumulative GPA falls below 2.5 will be placed on academic probation, and that status will be noted on the student's transcript. This probation extends over the period during which the student attempts an additional 12 credits of coursework. While on probation, students are allowed to register for no more than 12 credits per semester, unless approved by the program director and the senior associate dean for health sciences (or delegate). Graduate Program: A full- or part-time graduate degree or certificate candidate whose cumulative GPA falls below 3.0 will be placed on academic probation. For full-time students, probation extends for 9 credits or "full-time" as defined by the program; for part-time students, probation during the period in which the student attempts 9 credits of coursework. While on probation, full-time students may register for no more than a total of 9 credits (or "full-time" as defined by the program) unless an exception is approved by the program director and the appropriate dean; part-time students may register for a combination of 9 credits, but may not register for additional credits; e.g., a part-time student who attempts 6 credits in one semester would be restricted to 3 credits in the following semester of enrollment. 

If the program director determines that extenuating and valid circumstances exist, a student may be granted an extension of the probationary period. If granted, the student will be notified by the program director outlining conditions to be met by the student. The student must return a statement to the program director by mail or email confirming that he/she has read, understands, and agrees to the conditions.

If the student fails to attain the conditions in the time specified, the student will be suspended (see Suspension, below). If the student succeeds in raising his/her cumulative GPA to the minimum scholarship requirements, academic probation is lifted. A student who has been placed on probation more than one time will be recommended for dismissal.

Suspension—Students on probation who have not raised their cumulative GPA within the allowed number of credits (12 for undergraduate and 9 for graduate students) may be suspended. A student suspended for poor scholarship may not register for any coursework at the University, even as an auditor. The Health Sciences Dean’s Office mails or emails a Letter of Suspension notifying the student of suspension.

A student who is suspended for failure to raise the cumulative GPA may apply for readmission after one calendar year. Evidence must be presented to the student's program director, demonstrating that the student is better prepared to pursue academic coursework. Any student suspended twice for poor scholarship will not be readmitted. If the student fails to achieve the minimum GPA at the end of the semester following readmission, the program director may recommend that the student be dismissed and further enrollment prohibited; such a recommendation is reviewed by the appropriate dean, whose recommendation is forwarded to the senior associate dean for health sciences.

Dismissal—A dismissal represents a summary determination of program faculty that a student has failed to attain and apply the necessary knowledge, skills and behaviors within a program of study, or that the conduct of the student is inconsistent with published standards of ethical conduct and professionalism. Each program of study designates a faculty coordinator or faculty committee to continuously monitor and evaluate student academic progress and conduct. This coordinator or committee provides recommendations to the program director regarding individual student academic progress, including dismissal. The program director is responsible for making final determinations of student academic progress, including dismissal from a program of study.  
    
The faculty and director of an academic program are responsible for ensuring students meet minimum performance expectations and demonstrate the competencies as defined for the respective program of study. The most common reason for a student dismissal is failure of the student to maintain minimum academic standards. Reasons for a student dismissal include, but are not limited to, the following: 

  •  Academic dishonesty.
  •  Failure to comply with University or Program policies, procedures, or requirements.
  •  Failure to maintain minimum academic standards. 
  •  Failure to make satisfactory progress in completing program requirements.
  •  Failure to support a safe, healthy learning environment.
  •  Inability to meet essential functions or technical standards required for a program of study.
  •  Performance in a patient care setting that threatens the delivery of safe, high quality, patient-centered care.
  •  Unethical or unprofessional behavior.

 A dismissal is generally the final outcome of numerous informal and formal communications with the student regarding their unsatisfactory progress in the program. A program director informs any student subject to dismissal of this action in writing, which includes guidance on exit procedures, and will generally work with the student through the University exit process. A student who is dismissed from a program of study may apply for readmission after the lapse of one calendar year. Readmission is not guaranteed. Students should refer to the respective Handbook, if applicable, for more details on academic progress policies and procedures. 

Dismissal Appeal—If a student believes they have been unfairly or unjustly dismissed from a program of study, an opportunity for appeal exists. A student who wishes to appeal a program dismissal decision must submit a request in writing within ten (10) calendar days of notification of the dismissal to the Senior Associate Dean for Health Sciences. This may be submitted via email to hsp@gwu.edu. The student’s written appeal must clearly state which of the following conditions applies and set forth specific facts and relevant supporting materials to justify the merits of the appeal request: 

  • Procedural error as set forth in policy,
  • Evidence is available now that was not available at the time of the dismissal to warrant an appeal, and/or
  • Other circumstance or condition (describe in detail).

Upon receipt of a dismissal appeal process that demonstrates at least one of the conditions stated above, the Senior Associate Dean for Health Sciences refers the request to the Health Sciences Student Evaluation Committee, which is a SMHS standing committee.  This committee investigates the dismissal decision and applicable policies, in consultation with the student and program faculty. After adequate investigation, the Committee makes a nonbinding recommendation to the senior associate dean, who subsequently renders a decision to uphold or reject the program dismissal decision. The decision of the senior associate dean is final.  

The student may address the Committee and provide information to support the appeal. The Committee may prescribe, in its sole discretion, the manner, time, and form of any such address and/or information. Should the student choose not to meet with the Committee, the student may submit a written statement and any supporting documentation to the committee chair no later than the date the appeal is scheduled to be heard. While the student may have advisors, counsel, or other individuals available to lend support throughout the process, only the student who is appealing the dismissal is permitted to meet with the Health Sciences Student Evaluation Committee. The Committee may seek further information, testimony, or witnesses at their discretion during the appeals process. Students who provide testimony at the request of the committee abide by the Code of Student Conduct and the Ethical Behavior and Professionalism Policy

Programs of Study

Undergraduate Programs and Advisement—Students enrolled in undergraduate degree or undergraduate-level certificate programs (including post-baccalaureate certificates) must meet with their academic advisor (in person or electronically) to review a program of study, listing all coursework required for the degree or certificate, including applicable transfer credit. Changes to the program of study can be made through petition to the program, and changes may require approval by the senior associate dean for health sciences (or delegate).

Transfer within GW Health Sciences—To apply for a transfer from one health sciences program to another, a written request must be submitted to the senior associate dean for health sciences, along with the necessary supporting documentation required by the program. To change from certificate to degree program may require an admissions application.

Transfer outside Health Sciences Programs—No internal transfers are permitted from a program of study within GW Health Sciences to another GW school or college. To transfer outside of GW Health Sciences, a student must follow the full admission processes for the other GW program.

Changes within GW Health Sciences—A student may not substitute one course for another without approval of the program director, the department chair, and the appropriate dean. After the deadlines for adding or dropping courses, a student must obtain the permission of the course instructor, the program director, and the appropriate dean to change status from credit to audit or from audit to credit.

Adding and Dropping Courses— During the registration period (typically before the end of the second week of classes) students may add or drop courses using GWeb. There is no automatic drop for non-payment or no show. After the second week of classes, students who wish to add a course must complete a Registration Transaction Form and submit the form to the senior associate dean for health sciences via their program advisor. Adding a course after the second week requires a signature of the instructor or other authorized member of the department. For accelerated courses, adds may be restricted to the first week of classes given the compressed nature of the course format. Note that courses added after the term has begun will be subject to a late fee.

For courses following the traditional academic calendar, a course dropped during the first four weeks of classes does not appear on the student's transcript. Students may drop a course via GWeb through the end of the fourth week of classes. A course dropped after the fourth week but before the end of the tenth week is assigned a notation of W (Authorized Withdrawal). After the end of the tenth week of classes, dropping a course without academic penalty is only possible after the student presents a petition to the senior associate dean for health sciences (or delegate) and receives written permission. Deadlines for summer or accelerated courses may vary. Refer to the Health Sciences Student Services Course/Drop Refund Schedule.

All charges for courses which the student drops or withdraws from are subject to the refund policy listed under Fees and Financial Regulations in this Bulletin. Students taking summer or accelerated courses should refer to the Health Sciences Student Services Course/Drop Refund Schedule for additional information. Failure to withdraw by these procedures can result in an extended financial obligation and the recording of a grade of F (Failure) or a notation of Z (Unauthorized Withdrawal).

Graduation Requirements

Degrees and certificates are conferred in January, May, and August. Degree-seeking students graduating from GW Health Sciences may participate in the commencement ceremony held each year in May.

To be recommended for graduation by the faculty, students must have met admission requirements; have completed satisfactorily the scholarship, curriculum, residence, and other requirements for the degree; have filed an application for graduation prior to the published deadline; and be free from all indebtedness to the University. Registration, either for coursework or for continuous enrollment, is required for the semester or summer session of which the degree is to be conferred.

Applications for graduation must be filed by November 15 for fall graduation, March 15 for spring graduation, and July 15 for summer graduation.

Undergraduate Residence Requirements— Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences programs follow the Residence Requirement under University Regulations.

Graduate and Doctoral Residence Requirements— Graduate and doctoral programs may set higher residency requirements; students should consult the program office or program handbook, if applicable.

Honors—Bachelor's degrees with honors are awarded to students whose academic records give evidence of particular merit. The student's grade-point average determines the level of honors as follows: cum laude, 3.4 to 3.59; magna cum laude, 3.6 to 3.79; summa cum laude, 3.8 to 4.0. The grade-point average includes all coursework completed at GW and is not rounded off. To be eligible for an honors designation, a student must complete at least 60 credits of coursework at GW.

The grade-point average is calculated by the Office of the Registrar, and the honors designation is entered on the transcript and the diploma of those students who earn an honors designation. If honors are entered in the commencement program, honors status is determined on the basis of work completed by the end of the seventh term and entered only for those students who have completed seven-eighths of the credits required for the degree. Honors indicated on the diploma are calculated on the basis of all coursework completed. The diploma and transcript are the official indication that a degree was conferred and honors awarded.

Certificate Completion—Students planning to complete a certificate by the end of a semester must submit an Application for Certificate Completion by April 1 for spring semester, July 1 for summer sessions, and December 1 for fall semester. Completed applications should be sent to the Heath Sciences Dean's Office via email to hspgrad@gwu.edu. Students completing a certificate are not recognized at the University Commencement and are not issued tickets to the ceremonies.

Financial Aid 

Financial assistance for undergraduate students at GW is described in the Financial Aid Sourcebook from the George Washington University Office of Student Financial Assistance. Undergraduate aid consists of two basic types: awards for academic achievement or talent without reference to financial circumstances (merit scholarships) and scholarships, grants, loans, and employment based on academic achievement and demonstrated financial need. All undergraduate gift aid (institutional scholarships and grants, and federal grants) requires that the recipient be working on the first undergraduate degree and be registered for a full-time workload at GW. Students are limited to ten semesters of institutional aid. Institutional aid is not available for online programs nor graduate programs. Loans and resident assistantships not based on financial need are available.

Several offices on campus provide information on financial assistance for graduate and certificate students. Information about funding opportunities is provided by the Office of Graduate Student Assistantships and Fellowships. Forms and information on federal loans for graduate students can be obtained from the Office of Student Financial Assistance. Information on the Federal Work-Study Program, cooperative education opportunities, and on- and off-campus employment is available from the GW Center for Career Services. Gift aid (scholarships, grants, fellowships, assistantships, etc.) is taxable to the extent that it exceeds the allowable costs of tuition, fees, and required books and supplies or is dedicated to other costs, such as room and board. Federal grants may be taxable if, together with other gift assistance, they exceed the allowable costs. In the case of a student who is awarded tuition scholarships, grants, or awards from more than one source, the combined amount cannot exceed tuition charges; institutional aid is adjusted to this limit.

In general, consideration for financial aid is restricted to students in good academic standing who meet the minimum grade-point average for particular awards and are not financially encumbered by any other University office. Applications for institutional or federal aid cannot be processed if the relevant tax returns have not been filed in accordance with the IRS Code. Documents submitted as part of aid applications become the property of the University and cannot be returned. Federal regulations require that the University report suspected cases of fraud or misrepresentation to the appropriate federal, state, and local authorities.

Any student who is a member of a military reserve unit or the National Guard and is activated or called to active duty early in a semester or summer session is entitled to a full refund of all tuition and fees that they have paid toward the expenses of that academic term. If the notification of the call to active duty comes after the mid-term examinations or after other substantial graded work has been completed, the student has the option of either taking a full refund of tuition and fees or taking an Incomplete in their courses with the privilege of returning to complete all required coursework at some future date without payment of any further tuition and fee charges. It is the responsibility of the student to present evidence of their activation to the Health Sciences Dean’s Office and the Office of Student Accounts and to request the appropriate refund.

All students on active duty are automatically exempted from the request for a $50 voluntary library contribution without requiring any communication from them or their initials on the bill. Students can opt out of the fee with a button click on the Student Accounts bill pay site.

Students not meeting financial aid satisfactory academic progress (SAP) requirements may appeal to the Office of Financial Aid for review. The Office of Financial Aid notifies the student if they must complete the appeal process for reinstatement of aid. The appeal must state the reasons for failing to meet SAP requirements, such as special circumstances that contributed to the student’s failure to make satisfactory academic progress (e.g., the death of a relative, an injury or illness of the student, or other special circumstances).  All appeals must be submitted to the Office of Financial Aid within two weeks of the date of notification that a student has not passed financial aid SAP.

Information on financial aid is accurate at the time each Bulletin is prepared for press. Future changes in federal regulations or institutional policies may alter the application requirements or program guidelines.

Policies and Definitions

Academic Residency—To earn a bachelor’s degree, students must earn at least 60 credits at or through GW, which may include a University-authorized study abroad and study away program. At least 30 of the 60 credits earned at or through GW must be in upper-level courses (numbered 2000 or above); at least 12 credits in upper-level courses must be in the major field, and at least 6 credits in upper-level courses must be in the minor field, if sought.

Attendance—Students may attend only those classes for which they are officially registered. Regular attendance is expected. A student suspended for any cause may not attend classes during the period of suspension. Students are held responsible for all of the work of the courses in which they are registered, and all absences must be excused by the instructor before provision is made to make up the work missed.

Auditing—A student who has been admitted to GW Health Sciences may register as an auditor in a class only with the permission of the instructor, the faculty advisor, and the appropriate dean. An auditor receives no academic credit and is not required to take active part in the class or to pass examinations. A student who takes a course as an auditor may not repeat it later for credit. The regular program tuition rate is charged for audited courses.

Continuous Enrollment—Once entered in a degree or certificate program, a student is expected to be continuously enrolled and actively engaged in fulfilling the requirements each semester of the academic year until such time as the degree is conferred or certificate completed. Students who break continuous enrollment at the University and do not request and receive a leave of absence (see Student Progress and Records above) must apply for readmission and, if granted, are subject to the requirements and regulations then in force. Students who plan to attend other institutions and apply credit earned toward graduation from this University must first obtain written approval from the program director and the appropriate dean.

Credit—Credit is awarded only after registration for a course and satisfactory completion of the required work, or upon assignment of advanced standing.

Transcripts of Record—Official transcripts of student records are issued by the Office of the Registrar and may be requested through GWeb or TranscriptsPlus by any student or former student who has paid all charges, including any outstanding student loan installments, due to the University at the time of the request. A fee is charged for each transcript. Partial transcripts are not issued. Unofficial transcripts can be obtained via the Office of the Registrar and through the GWeb Information System.

Bachelor's programs

Combined programs

Minors

Master's programs

Joint degree programs

Military contract program

Explanation of Course Numbers

  • Courses in the 1000s are primarily introductory undergraduate courses
  • Those in the 2000s to 4000s are upper-division undergraduate courses that also may be taken for graduate credit with permission and additional work assigned
  • Those in the 6000s and 8000s are for master’s, doctoral, and professional-level students
  • The 6000s are open to advanced undergraduate students with approval of the instructor and the dean or advising office