Admission deadlines: Fall - February 1
Spring - November 1 (October 1 for applicants requiring a student visa)
Applications received after the above dates will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
Standardized test scores: GRE General test recommended but not required (institutional code 5246).
The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), the academic International English Language Testing System (IELTS), or the PTE Academic is required of all applicants except those who hold a bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degree from a college or university in the United States or from an institution located in a country in which English is the official language, provided English was the language of instruction.
Minimum scores for the program are:
- Academic IELTS: an overall band score of 7.0 with no individual score below 6.0; or
- TOEFL: 600 on paper-based or 100 on Internet-based; or
- PTE Academic: 68
Recommendations required: Two (2) academic letters of recommendation; maximum three letters total. Letters should address the quality of your performance on items required for graduate study such as critical thinking skills, writing skills, organizational aptitude, interest in the field, eagerness, and the ability to carry tasks through to completion. While the Department will accept letters from employers, recommendations from professors who are familiar with applicants’ academic abilities are strongly preferred.
Prerequisite requirements: A bachelor’s degree with a major in geography or in a related field in the social or natural sciences.
Prior academic records: Transcripts are required from all colleges and universities attended, whether or not credit was earned, the program was completed, or the credit appears as transfer credit on another transcript. Unofficial transcripts from all colleges and universities attended must be uploaded to your online application. Official transcripts are required only of applicants who are offered admission.
If transcripts are in a language other than English, English language translations must be provided. The English translation alone should be uploaded into your application.
Statement of purpose: In an essay of 250 – 500 words, state your purpose in undertaking graduate study in your chosen field. Include your academic objectives, research interests, and career plans. Also discuss your related qualifications, including collegiate, professional, and community activities, and any other substantial accomplishments not already mentioned on the application. If you are applying for an assistantship or fellowship, you should also describe any teaching experience you have had.
Writing Sample: All applicants must submit a recent writing sample (research paper preferred) of 10-20 pages in length. The content and form of the sample are not as important as the quality of the writing. Course papers are appropriate, as are other genres.
International applicants only: Please follow this link - - to review the International Applicant Information carefully for details on required documents, earlier deadlines for applicants requiring an I-20 or DS-2019 from GW, and English language requirements.

For more information on the admission process, please visit the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences Frequently Asked Questions page.

Supporting documents not submitted online should be mailed to:
Columbian College of Arts and Sciences – Graduate Admissions Office
The George Washington University
801 22nd Street NW, Phillips Hall 215
Washington DC 20052

Contact for questions: ~ 202-994-6210 (phone) ~ 202-994-6213 (fax)
8:30 am – 5:30 pm, Monday through Friday

The following requirements must be fulfilled:

The general requirements stated under Columbian College of Arts and Sciences, Graduate Programs.

GEOG 6201Geographic Thought
GEOG 6304Geographical Information Systems I
Thesis option
GEOG 6292Qualitative Methods in Geography
or GEOG 6305 Geospatial Statistics
GEOG 6998Thesis Research
GEOG 6999Thesis Research
Non-thesis option
Degree candidates selecting the non-thesis option must take 3 credits of directed research.
GEOG 6292Qualitative Methods in Geography
or GEOG 6305 Geospatial Statistics
GEOG 6295Research
or GEOG 6300 Geography Capstone Internship
18 credits of electives courses to include at least one of the following:
GEOG 6226Water Resources Policy and Management
GEOG 6232Migration and Development
GEOG 6250Geographical Perspectives on Development
GEOG 6306Geographical Information Systems II
GEOG 6307Digital Image Processing
GEOG 6308Programming for Geospatial Applications
GEOG 6309GIS for Emergency Management
GEOG 6310Geovisualization and Cartography
GEOG 6311Open Source Solutions for Geospatial Project Management
GEOG 6300Geography Capstone Internship
Depending upon the chosen field of specialization, each student will select electives from appropriate courses within the department or from related programs and departments within the University or the Consortium of Universities.

The student’s program of study is developed in consultation with the advisor and graduate committee.

 Visit the program website for additional information.