International Students

If you're an international student, you are eligible to apply for non-degree status at GW. However, the university cannot provide you with an I-20 or DS-2019 visa form unless you have been admitted to a degree program. 


If you have been suspended from any educational institution for poor scholarship or are not in good standing at your current or prior institution you will not be eligible to enroll as a non-degree student for one calendar year after the last effective date of the sanction. An applicant who has been denied admission within this university will not be eligible to enroll as a non-degree student for the same semester for which the application was denied. Please review the University Bulletin for all university policies regarding non-degree students.

Test Scores

If your native language is not English or you are not a citizen of a country where English is the official language, you must submit official scores from either the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the academic International English Language Testing System (IELTS).

Minimum test scores include:

  • 600 on the paper-based TOEFL, or
  • 100 on the Internet-based TOEFL, or
  • an overall band score of 7.0 on IELTS, with no individual score below 6.0
  • English language test scores (TOEFL and IELTS) may not be more than two years old.

Exceptions may be made if you hold a degree from a high school or university located in a country in which English is the official language and also the language of instruction at the school or university.

How to Apply

Please thoroughly review the application instructions before submitting an application.

Deadline: Potential Non-Degree students can apply starting one month before registration opens for any given semester (see the Office of the Registrar's website for exact dates) up to the start of the semester. Applications typically take 2-3 business days to process. Please note that if you are admitted and register after the first day of classes, you will receive a late registration fee. These dates and more can be found on the university’s Academic Calendar.

Apply & Register for Courses

Submit an Application

Submit an application to apply for non-degree status. You will first be prompted to create a username, confirm your email address, then create a password. Once these steps are completed, you will be able to log in and start a new application. On the first page of the application, choose the following in order to apply as a non-degree student (each field must be selected before the following fields options will populate):

  • What type of program are you applying to? Non-Degree
  • School: Summer & Non-Degree Programs
  • Field of Study: General Study
  • Degree: Non-Degree
  • Concentration: Not Applicable
  • Term: Semester that you wish to apply for

The application will then guide you through the rest of the parts until your application is complete. Please review your application before submitting to make sure the information you've given us is complete and accurate. References, standardized test scores and transcripts are not required for non-degree applicants for General Study.

Application Fee

A non-refundable application fee of $25, payable by check or credit card, is required. If you choose to pay by check your application will not be processed for enrollment until the check arrives. This fee is waived for:

  • GW alumni (those holding a GW degree or graduate certificate)
  • Current GW faculty and staff
  • U.S. military personnel who have been on active duty within three years of submitting their application for admission

Create a GW UserID and GW Email Account

Once your confirmation email arrives use the GW student ID, or GWID, provided to create your GW UserID and GW e-mail account. The UserID is required to access GW systems, and the GW e-mail will be the address to which the GW sends all official communications, including your student e-bill.

Register for Courses

Basic registration steps will be listed in your confirmation email. For additional details about registration, review the Office of the Registrar’s step-by-step instructions. For registration questions, contact the Office of the Registrar at 202-994-4900.

Consortium Student Registration

If you are a consortium student enrolled at one of the member institutions of the Consortium of Universities of the Washington Metropolitan Area and you are interested in registering for courses at GW, your registration process is handled through the consortium coordinator at your home university.

The consortium agreement cannot be used to take courses that are the equivalent of a course being offered in the same semester at your home institution. Additionally, the following GW courses are not available to consortium students: off-campus courses, independent study, study abroad, medicine and nursing.

Law students are excluded from participation, except for candidates for the degree of Master of Law at Georgetown University. Check with your consortium coordinator for any further restrictions on enrollment.

Choose a Course

Search for a Course

Before you apply to become a non-degree student, search for a course by the location and time of year you’d like to take a class. The Office of the Registrar and the University Bulletin present information about courses, including location, day, time and course-related fees.

Eligible Courses

Students are eligible to take courses in any school, except those in the Law School and the M.D. program in the School of Medicine & Health Sciences. Additionally, the Graduate School of Education and Human Development allows non-degree students to register for no more than one semester. School departments may have additional policies related to non-degree enrollment. Please visit the department website for more details.

Course Prerequisites

Please note that some courses have prerequisite coursework, and some are open only to GW degree candidates. Non-degree students who do not hold a bachelor’s degree are discouraged from registering for graduate-level coursework (6000 to 8999).

Audit a Course

Faculty permission is required to take courses on a credit/no credit or audit basis. Normal tuition rates apply to audited classes. Students who audit a class are not allowed to take the class at a later date for credit.

Credit Limits

You may enroll in up to 12 credit hours of graduate courses or 18 credit hours of undergraduate courses per fall or spring semester. Only 6 credit hours may be taken per 6-week summer session.

University Policies

If you’re a prospective or registered non-degree student, you are responsible for reviewing the University’s policies provided in the University Bulletin, and in particular the University Regulations, Code of Academic Integrity, and Guide to Student Rights and Responsibilities.


The Student Accounts Office communicates GW’s tuition rates. Review the tuition rates for non-degree students before applying to take a course.

Transferring Credits

Applying for a Degree or Certificate Program

If you are considering applying for a GW degree or certificate program, please carefully review the transfer credit policies for the school and program in which you’re interested. Most programs will transfer only a limited number of credits taken as a non-degree student into a degree or certificate program. If you successfully complete non-degree coursework, there is no guarantee that you will be accepted to a program or, if accepted, that the coursework will apply toward the degree or certificate.

Visiting from Another College or University

If you are visiting from another college or university we recommend that you review your home institutions policies to ensure that the course will be eligible for transfer before applying for non-degree status.

Pay Your Bill & Prepare for Class

Get Your Student ID Card

To use on-campus facilities, including the library, acquire a GW student ID card (GWorld) from the GWorld Office.

Submit a Mandatory Health Form

If you are under the age of 26, D.C. law requires that you submit a Mandatory Health Form to Student Health Services, prior to the first day of class.

Pay Your Bill

Once you register for courses, an electronic bill will be generated. No paper bill will be sent. All bills are due prior to the first day of the semester. The Student Accounts Office can help you understand and pay your bill.

View Course Information

Log in to Blackboard, GW’s online course management system, to view information about your course.

Purchase Course Materials

Check the GW Bookstore to see if course materials are available.

Find Your Class Location

Use our virtual tour to become familiar with the location for your class.

Grade Mode Changes, Dropping/Changing a Course, Withdrawals

All GW policies apply to non-degree students, including those on registration, withdrawal, course changes, and other registration issues. The Office of the Registrar has complete details on those processes and policies.


Semester tuition charges and fees for authorized withdrawals and changes in schedules will be refunded based upon the University Refund Policy. This includes withdrawals and changes made due to business travel, minor illness or injury and workload increases. In no case will tuition be reduced or refunded because of absence from classes.


Exceptions to University policies may be petitioned under the following circumstances:

  1. Medical emergency (hospitalization or major medical condition). Written documentation from a physician will be required (i.e. Date originally seen, diagnosis, prognosis). Mental Health withdrawal and refund requests follow a process outlined by Mental Health Services.
  2. Death of a "close family" member. "Close family" is limited to the student's parents; spouse; same-sex domestic partner; children of the student; grandparents and grandchildren of the student. Official written documentation will be required.
  3. A call to military duty. Written documentation will be required.

Repeating Courses

Except for courses that specifically state that repetition for credit is permitted, non-degree students may not repeat a course in which a grade of C−  or better was received, unless required to do so by the department. A written statement, indicating that the student is required to repeat the course, must be submitted to the Office of Non-Degree Students by the appropriate department chair. In the case of a student who is allowed to repeat a course, the first grade received remains on the student’s record and is included in the grade-point average.