School of Business

Dean D.C. Kayes (Interim)  /  L.A. Livingstone (as of August 2014)
Vice Deans J. Spencer, P.W. Wirtz
Associate Deans R. Achrol (Interim), I.G. Bajeux-Besnainou, G. Jabbour, V. Perry (Interim)

First organized as the School of Government in 1928, the School of Business has been responsible for more than 85 years for the professional development of individuals assuming leadership roles in society. The School has eight departments—Accountancy, Decision Sciences, Finance, Information Systems and Technology Management, International Business, Management, Marketing, and Strategic Management and Public Policy. The use of a multidisciplinary approach in educational programming helps prepare both the generalist and specialist for professional careers in today’s complex, organizational society.

The School of Business is a member of AACSB International–The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, and the undergraduate and graduate programs in business administration and accounting are accredited by the Association.

Mission Statement

The mission of The George Washington University School of Business is to have a lasting intellectual impact by offering quality education through innovative programs that provide theoretical frameworks and real-world learning experiences; engaging in rigorous scholarship that advances knowledge in the management of organizations in the global environment; and contributing as a local, national, and global citizen. We do this within a community built upon respect, integrity, and active engagement.

Vision

The George Washington University School of Business will set itself apart as a thought leader at the intersection of the private, public, and not-for-profit sectors. We will be recognized for advancing knowledge on the role of organizations in the global arena. Our graduates will possess the multidisciplinary knowledge, critical-thinking skills, and ethical standards to make a positive impact on economies and societies.

Strategic Goals

The School of Business’ strategic goals address three areas that translate the School’s mission into specific strategies, programs, and initiatives. We aspire to enhance the School’s reputation and prestige among internal and external stakeholders through recognition, accreditation, and rankings.

Educational Goal

We offer a distinctive educational experience to prepare global business leaders through a portfolio of niche programs that emphasize academic rigor, learning outcomes, and teaching excellence in both delivery and content.

Intellectual Contribution Goal

We engage in scholarly research that contributes to the creation of knowledge for improving the management and performance of organizations.

Service and Outreach Goal

We engage as citizen-leaders in the communities of which we are a part.

Undergraduate Programs

The School offers programs leading to the degrees of Bachelor of Accountancy, Bachelor of Business Administration, and Bachelor of Science. The programs include foundation knowledge for business in accounting, economics, mathematics, and statistics. Curricula are designed to provide perspectives on ethical and global issues, the influence of political, social, legal and regulatory, environmental, and technological issues, and the impact of demographic diversity on organizations. A Bachelor of Business Administration student selects a field of concentration from among business economics and public policy; finance; information systems; international business; marketing; sport, event, and hospitality management; or, with faculty approval, may structure an individualized field of concentration reflecting a specific interest in management. Additionally, a minor in non-business field is required. The Bachelor of Science integrates the University’s emphasis on interdisciplinary study at the undergraduate level by requiring one major in the School of Business and a second major in a non-business field.

Advising

Students entering the School of Business are assigned a professional academic advisor who advises them through graduation. The GWSB Advising Center staff empower students to take ownership of, and responsibility for, their educational experiences. Students partner with advisors to successfully navigate their academic careers through conversations that range from understanding University requirements, to exploring degree possibilities, to finding appropriate campus resources. Specialized advising is provided for the following areas: academic success, individualized fields, external transfers, five-year dual degree programs, and study abroad.  Students should meet with their GWSB advisor each semester in order to insure that they remain on track for fulfilling all degree requirements.

Residence

Of the 120 credit hours required for graduation, at least 60 credits must be completed at GW and at least 30 credits, including 27 credits in required business or accountancy courses, must be completed while registered in the School of Business. This requirement applies to students transferring within the University as well as to students transferring from other institutions. Unless special permission is granted by the director of the Advising Center to pursue work elsewhere, the work of the final semester (15 credits) must be completed in the School of Business. Students who have successfully completed 60 credit hours at GW may not take courses at a community college. Excluding study abroad, students matriculated at GW may have a maximum of 9 credit hours transferred into the B.B.A., B.Accy., or B.S. or program.

Assignment of Credit for Transfer Students

Certain courses taken at a two-year college (one per area up to a maximum of three courses) comparable to this School’s lower-level undergraduate courses may be accepted for credit only after BADM 4801 Strategy Formulation and Implementation is successfully completed with a grade of C or better in the senior year.

An international student who is required to take the English for Academic Purposes writing course (EAP 1015 American Multicultural Perspectives in Washington, D.C.) will be required to complete the course successfully, and assignment of credit for any previously completed courses at another institution will be held pending completion of this requirement.

To be considered for transfer to the School of Business from another division of the University, students must have a cumulative grade-point average of 2.8 or above. Performance in quantitative courses will also be reviewed.

Scholarship Requirements

A student must have the following to graduate:

  1. a minimum of 120 credit hours;
  2. an overall grade-point average of at least 2.0; and
  3. a grade-point average of at least 2.0 in all required upper-division B.B.A., B.Accy., or B.S. courses and concentration-related courses (the major field grade-point average).

All courses taken at GW are included in the overall grade-point average calculation. Elective courses in or out of the School of Business cannot be used as substitutes for required courses in the calculation of the major field grade-point average.

Probation

A student whose grade-point average (either overall or in the major field) falls below 2.0 after completing a minimum of 12 credit hours will be placed on probation. Probation by overall grade-point average normally extends over the period in which the student attempts a maximum of 12 credit hours, which may include remedial studies as prescribed. Performance will be reviewed at the end of the next semester, and the student may be suspended at that time. Incompletes and course withdrawals are not allowed during the probation period. Probation by major field normally extends over the period in which the student attempts 6 credit hours in major field course work. Students on probation are required to meet regularly with an assigned advisor during the probationary period.

Suspension

A student whose grade-point average (either overall or in the major field) is 1.5 or below in any semester or remains below 2.0 at the end of the probationary period will be suspended. Any outstanding Incomplete at the time of suspension must be completed or will become an IF. A student suspended for poor scholarship may apply for readmission after the end of the fall or spring semester following the term of suspension. To be considered for readmission, the student must submit acceptable evidence of renewed potential ability to successfully complete college-level work during the suspension period. No advanced standing will be assigned for academic work completed while the student is suspended, but the student may petition the director of the Advising Center for consideration of advanced standing after completing a minimum of 12 credit hours of course work here and achieving a cumulative and major field GPA of at least 2.0.

A student readmitted after suspension is on probation and must maintain a current grade-point average determined by the director of the Advising Center until the cumulative and major field grade-point averages are at least 2.0. In no case will the overall probationary period after readmission exceed 24 credit hours or the major field probationary period exceed 12 credit hours. A student suspended twice for poor scholarship will not be readmitted.

Mid-Semester Warning

If a professor files an evaluation showing that a student performs unsatisfactory academic work (C− or below), the director of the Advising Center will inform the student of his or her status. This notice constitutes an official direction to consult with the professor and advisor immediately.

Semester Warning

Any student whose overall or major grade-point average falls between 2.0 and 2.2 will be placed on warning. Though the student’s courses will not be restricted, progress during the semester will be monitored. It is the student’s responsibility to meet with the assigned advisor every two weeks during the semester.

Undergraduate Policies

Academic Work Load—Full-time students in good standing (2.0 overall grade-point average or higher) may register for a maximum of 17 credit hours each semester and 6 credits each summer session. A student employed more than 20 hours a week, who is in good standing, may not take more than 9 credits each semester and 3 credits each summer session. A full-time student on probation may take no more than 12 credit hours of course work; it is strongly recommended that a student on probation not be employed. Full-time students whose overall grade-point average is 3.0 or higher may take up to 18 credits each semester, with the understanding that additional tuition applies in this situation. A student employed more than 20 hours a week, whose grade-point average is 3.0 or higher, may take up to 12 credits.

Pass/No Pass Option—A junior or senior student who has a cumulative grade-point average of 2.5 or better may, with approval of the instructor, the advisor, and the director of the Advising Center, take one upper-level non-business or unrestricted elective a semester and receive a grade of P, Pass, or NP, No Pass, which will be recorded on the student’s transcript but will not be reflected in the grade-point average. No student will be allowed to take more than four pass/no pass courses, with a limit of one per semester. Under no circumstances may a student change from pass/no pass status to graded status, or vice versa, after the last date to withdraw from a course. Required courses (including WID courses) may not be taken on the pass/no pass basis. A transfer student may not choose this option until the second semester of enrollment in the University.

Incompletes—Conditions under which the notation of I (Incomplete) is assigned are described under University Regulations. The I must be changed by a date agreed on by the instructor and the student but no later than the last day of the examination period for the fall or spring semester immediately following the semester or summer session in which the I is assigned. An Incomplete that is not changed within this period automatically becomes an IF. In cases of well-documented extenuating circumstances, an instructor and a student may jointly petition the director of the Advising Center for additional time in which to complete the work of the course. Such petitions should be submitted within the same period. The I cannot be changed by reregistering for the course here or by taking its equivalent elsewhere. The I notation remains on the student’s permanent record even after the course has been successfully completed.

Dean’s Honor List—The names of students who achieve a grade-point average of 3.75 or higher are placed on the Dean’s Honor List for that semester. Appearance on the list is limited to (1) full-time students registered for a minimum of 12 credit hours (provided that the 12 credits are taken for a grade) and (2) part-time students registered for a minimum of 12 credit hours over a period of two consecutive semesters, which may include a summer term.

Independent Research Plan—A junior or senior of demonstrated capacity, with a special interest in the subject matter of a course, may be permitted to undertake study under the personal direction of a regular, full-time member of the faculty, in accordance with the rules of the appropriate department. Credit under this plan is limited to the specific credit hours normally allowed when a course is taken on a class basis. A petition outlining the student’s specific study plan must be submitted to the director of the Advising Center prior to beginning any independent study. Generally, a maximum of two independent studies in two separate semesters is permitted.

Secondary Fields of Study—A secondary field of study in business administration is available in the School of Business to students in other schools of GW. School of Business students may pursue a secondary field in other GW schools.

Students from Other Schools Within the University—Degree candidates from other schools of the University cannot register for more than 21 credits in courses from the B.B.A. program. Typically, a maximum of 6 credits is permitted in courses from the B.Accy. program, unless an advisor recommends an additional 3 credits.


Graduate Programs

Entrance Requirements

To be considered for admission, applicants must present a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university. Admission to master’s programs is highly competitive. Previous academic history, performance on the applicable entrance examination, letters of recommendation, motivation and aptitude to do graduate-level work, and professional experience are all taken into consideration.

Applicants for admission to programs leading to the Master of Business Administration, Master of Accountancy, Master of Science in Finance, and Master of Tourism Administration must submit scores on the Graduate Management Admission Test or the Graduate Record Examination. Test scores that are more than five years old are not accepted for admissions review.

English Language Requirements for International Students

Applicants who are not citizens of countries where English is the official language or who do not hold a degree from a regionally accredited U.S. institution of higher learning are required to submit scores from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), the academic International English Language Testing System (IELTS), or the Pearson Test of English–Academic (PTE). Specified possible exemptions from this policy can be found at graduate.admissions.gwu.edu/english-language-requirements.

The Master of Science in Finance program requires a minimum score of 550 paper-based or 80 Internet-based on the TOEFL, or an overall band score of 6.5 on the IELTS with no individual band score below 5.5. All other School of Business graduate degree programs require a minimum TOEFL score of 600 paper-based or 100 Internet-based, or an overall band score of 7.0 on the IELTS with no individual band score below 6.0, or a score of 68 on the PTE. In some instances, an interview will be required of applicants.

Applicants for graduate teaching assistantships must have a minimum score of 600 paper-based or 100 Internet-based on the TOEFL, an overall band score of 7.0 on the IELTS with no individual band score below 6.0, or a score of 68 on the PTE.

Students with the following English language test scores are exempt from taking English for Academic Purposes (EAP) courses: TOEFL, 600 paper-based or 100 Internet-based; IELTS, overall band score of 7.0 with no individual band score below 6.0; PTE, 68. Students with test scores below these minimums must register for an EAP course during their first semester. Students assigned EAP courses should anticipate additional tuition expenses as well as a possible extended period of time required to complete their degree program. EAP courses do not count toward degree requirements.

Transfer Within the School

Currently enrolled students wishing to transfer from one graduate degree program to another within the School must complete a new application for admission through the appropriate degree program office. Applicants for transfer are subject to requirements in effect at the time of transfer. In addition, students must submit all required credentials no later than the established completion dates for the term for which the transfer is requested. Students must be in good academic standing (3.0 grade-point average) for transfer consideration.

Readmission

A student who withdraws, is suspended, or is otherwise absent without authorization from the University for one semester or more must make formal application for readmission to the director of the student’s degree program and resubmit all supporting credentials including transcripts from previous schools attended, including George Washington University, and entrance examination scores. If readmitted, the student is subject to the rules and regulations in force at the time of return. If the student has attended one or more regionally accredited colleges or universities during absence from the University, complete official transcripts must accompany the application for readmission.

The application fee is waived for a student applying for readmission who was registered as a degree candidate at the time of last registration at the University and has not since registered at another college or university.

General Requirements

All students must complete the prescribed minimum number of credit hours of graduate course work. A maximum of 6 credit hours of graduate course work may be approved for transfer to the School of Business from enrollment at GW in nondegree status or from another degree-granting school of this University, or another regionally accredited college or university under the following conditions: The course work must be approved as 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 at the graduate level, it must have been taken within the two years prior to acceptance into the program, and the student must have received a grade of or better. A transcript and description of the course work must be on file before the petition can be considered. Should advanced standing be granted, the credit will count but not the grade.

Students who enroll in course work at a School of Business exchange partner institution while enrolled in a GWSB degree program may transfer a maximum of 12 credits from the partner institution after participation in an official exchange program. Such credits do not count toward the 6-credit maximum transfer restriction. Exchange partners must have an established Memorandum of Understanding with the School of Business. Course work must be approved as part of the student’s program of study; it must be at the graduate level and must meet the GWSB program’s grade requirements for transfer credit. For additional information, contact the Office for Global and Experiential Education.

Master’s degrees are awarded by vote of the Faculty on completion of the required course work and completion of an acceptable thesis (if one is elected) in the chosen degree or field of concentration.

Although work counted toward a bachelor’s degree may not be counted toward a master’s degree, a student who has completed the equivalent of a Master of Accountancy or Master of Business Administration core prerequisite course with a grade of B or better as part of the bachelor’s degree program may request a waiver of that course at the master’s level. A grade of B or better is required to waive remaining core prerequisite courses on the basis of equivalent graduate-level courses completed at GW or another AACSB-accredited college or university prior to admission to the program. All courses presented for waiver consideration must have been taken within five years prior to the first semester of enrollment into the program. Students should contact their degree program director for specific waiver criteria and deadlines for requesting waivers.

A full-time student may register for a minimum of 9 to a maximum of 15 credit hours each semester and 6 credit hours each summer session (the maximum is 18 for full-time M.B.A. students). Excluding those enrolled in the Professional Master of Business Administration, a graduate student who is employed more than 20 hours a week may not take more than 9 credit hours each semester and 3 credit hours each summer session. All work for a master’s degree must be completed in five years.

Students who expect to continue studies for a doctoral degree after receiving the master’s degree should ask for assistance in planning their programs of study.

No credit is granted for work done in absentia or without formal instruction, except for supervised field experience, independent study, and the thesis, which may be completed in absentia with the permission of the department, designated faculty advisor, or committee concerned.

Independent Study Plan

A graduate student of demonstrated capacity, with a special interest in the subject matter of a course, may be permitted to undertake study under the personal direction of an instructor, in accordance with the rules of the appropriate department. Credit under this plan is limited to the specific credit hours normally allowed when a course is taken on a class basis. A petition outlining the student’s specific study plan must be submitted to the student’s degree program director prior to beginning any independent study. The student may petition to complete a maximum of two independent studies in two separate semesters.

Students from Other Schools Within the University

Degree candidates from other schools of the University cannot register for more than 12 hours of credit from the Master of Accountancy, Master of Science in Finance, or Master of Business Administration degree programs.

Scholarship Requirements

The University’s general scholarship requirements, including information on grades and computing the grade-point average, appear under University Regulations in this Bulletin. A minimum grade-point average of 3.0 must be maintained and is required for award of a graduate degree. All graduate courses and undergraduate courses taken for graduate credit after matriculation as a degree candidate (except those audited or taken for the grade of CR) will be used in the calculation of the grade-point average.

Probation

A student whose grade-point average falls below 3.0 at any point after completing 9 credit hours will be placed on probation. This probation extends through the period in which the student next attempts up to 12 credit hours of work, including prescribed courses. A student’s program may be restricted by the program director if deemed necessary. During this period, the student’s performance will be monitored to determine suitability for continued study. A student who fails to raise the cumulative grade-point average to 3.0 or better during the period of probation will be suspended. Incomplete grades are not allowed during the probation period and are grounds for automatic suspension. A student who is subject to probation for a second time at any point during the program is automatically suspended.

Grade of F

A master’s degree candidate who receives a grade of is required to present cause, for consideration by the director of the student’s degree program, as to why continued study should be permitted. Once a grade of F is earned in a core, required, or elective course, it remains a part of the student’s permanent record and is calculated into the grade-point average. A master’s degree candidate given the grade of in a core or other required course, and permitted to continue in graduate studies, must repeat the course and achieve at least the grade of B. If the grade earned is below B, the student will be denied further registration as a degree candidate.

Suspension

A graduate student who does not meet the conditions of probation (see above) will be suspended. A student who is suspended or withdraws under these conditions may apply for readmission after the lapse of one semester. An outstanding Incomplete grade at the time of suspension will become an F.  To be readmitted the student must submit evidence that indicates academic success if readmitted. A student so readmitted will continue on academic probation and must achieve a minimum grade-point average of 3.5 in the next 12 credit hours of graduate study. Should the student fail to achieve this minimum grade-point average, a second suspension will result and subsequent readmission will be denied.

Incompletes

Conditions under which the symbol (Incomplete) may be assigned and changed are described under University Regulations. The symbol I must be changed by a date agreed on by the instructor and the student but usually no later than the last day of the examination period within one calendar year for the fall, spring or summer semester in which the symbol I is assigned. An Incomplete that is not changed within this period automatically becomes an IF, at which time a student is placed on F-Probation (see Grade of F above). In cases of well-documented extenuating circumstances, an instructor and a student may jointly petition the director of the student’s degree program for additional time in which to complete the work of the course. Such petitions should be submitted within the same period. The symbol of I cannot be changed by reregistering for the course here or by taking its equivalent elsewhere.  Upon submission of the assigned grade, the I is removed from the transcript. 

Thesis

Students contemplating doctoral study are strongly urged to include the thesis as an elective in their master’s program. The thesis subject should be selected as early as possible to permit effective integration with the course work.

The subject must be approved by the professor in charge of the student’s field. The thesis in its final form must have the approval of the professor in charge. All theses must be submitted electronically and meet the formatting and other requirements set forth on line at GW's Electronic Theses and Dissertations Submission website

Payment of tuition for the thesis entitles the candidate, during the semesters in which registered for thesis seminar and/or thesis research, to the advice and direction of the member of the faculty under whom the thesis is to be written. In case a thesis is unfinished, additional time is granted. The student must, however, be enrolled continuously in the program. If the preparation of the thesis extends more than three semesters beyond the date registered for thesis research, the student must register for the entire required hours of thesis again and pay additional tuition.

Master's programs

Doctoral program

  • Post-Master’s Graduate Certificate
  • Walkable Urban Development

The School of Business Post-Master’s Graduate Certificate is designed to provide School of Business master’s degree alumni an opportunity to build upon their previous graduate study to keep pace with today’s business climate. Participants may undertake a 12-credit program of study in an existing School of Business field or from a series of specially designed program offerings. Further information is available from the Office of the Dean.

A 12-credit graduate certificate in responsible management is available to current M.B.A. students. 

A 16.5-credit graduate certificate in walkable urban development is available to current School of Business students and to non-degree students.

Explanation of Course Numbers

  • Courses in the 1000s are primarily introductory undergraduate courses
  • Those in the 2000–4000s are upper-division undergraduate courses that can also be taken for graduate credit with permission and additional work
  • 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