Graduate School of Education and Human Development

Dean M.J. Feuer
Senior Associate Dean C.A. Kochhar-Bryant
Associate Dean for Research and External Relations M.B. Freund
Administrative Dean and Chief of Operations P.H. Stevenson

The Graduate School of Education and Human Development prepares leaders for research, policy, and practice in the fields of teaching, counseling, administration, human and organizational learning, and education policy. The School also offers opportunities for experienced professionals to advance and enrich their education. The programs are designed to meet the broad needs of persons who seek knowledge and skills necessary to provide effective learning and teaching, research, services, and leadership in a variety of settings that cover the entire life span.

The Graduate School of Education and Human Development is accredited by the District of Columbia Office of the State Superintendent of Education (DC–OSSE) and the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education/Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (NCATE/CAEP). Programs that prepare students to become eligible for licensure/certification as teachers and other school personnel are state-approved by the DC–OSSE.

The Graduate School of Education and Human Development is the administrative unit for the departments of Counseling and Human Development, Curriculum and Pedagogy, Educational Leadership, Human and Organizational Learning, and Special Education and Disability Studies. In addition to programs of study leading to its degrees, the School offers certificate programs as well as credit and noncredit workshops designed to meet the unique needs of metropolitan area school systems and other clientele in industry and government.

Special curricula are individually tailored for liberal arts graduates and graduates of other professional schools who are interested in teaching or in other human services areas. The School also offers a wide range of courses for teachers who wish to pursue advanced studies and additional endorsements and for provisional teachers who wish to prepare for teaching certificates.

Laboratory and clinical facilities are provided by the Community Counseling Service Center and Office of Laboratory Experiences, which are responsible for internship placements in related educational programs in the community. Field experiences are provided in cooperation with public and private schools, social and health agencies, museums, institutions in the business community, institutions of higher education, nonprofit and professional associations, and the federal government. Some programs and courses are also offered at off-campus locations or via distance learning.

Mission Statement

The Graduate School of Education and Human Development, strategically based in the nation’s capital and serving the global community, develops informed and skilled leaders through innovative teaching and learning. Students engage in scholarly inquiry that links policy, research, and practice across the lifespan and fosters continuous self-examination and critical analysis towards excellence.

Bridging Concepts

The following bridging concepts are central to the unified conceptual framework of the School and weave through the mission, goals, and initiatives of its strategic plan.

  • Research and scholarship are prerequisite to the improvement of educational practice.
  • Leadership is critical in the transformation of education and human service at all levels.
  • Building reflective practitioners through integration of theory and practice must be a focus of all programs.
  • A community of diverse learners is prerequisite to success in the education and human service professions.


Information on grades and computing the grade-point average is found under University Regulations.

The symbol (Incomplete) indicates that a satisfactory explanation has been given to the instructor for the student’s failure to complete the required work of the course. The I remains on a student’s record for one calendar year; if work for the course is not completed within the calendar year, the grade converts to IF. If the work is completed within the designated time period and a grade is assigned, the grade is indicated in the form of I, followed by the grade. The indication of I cannot be removed from the transcript. See University Regulations.


A grade-point average of 3.0 is required for graduation. Students who receive a grade of in more than 6 credit hours are subject to suspension. Students who receive a grade of must confer with the dean’s office before enrollment for further course work is allowed. More detailed information for doctoral students can be found in the Doctoral Student Handbook.

Continuous Enrollment and Maintaining Residence

Students must be continuously enrolled in GSEHD unless the dean grants a leave of absence. Failure to register each semester of the academic year will result in lapse of candidacy. Subsequent readmission is subject to whatever new conditions and regulations have been established by the School. See Continuous Enrollment Status under University Regulations.

When master’s degree candidates are sitting for a comprehensive examination and are not otherwise enrolled in course work, they may prepare for and sit for the exam in continuous enrollment status. All doctoral and education specialist students and those master’s students who elect to take an additional semester to prepare for the examination or who must retake the examination are required to sign up for the examination preparation course, which carries a fee equivalent to 1 credit hour of tuition. See Master’s Comprehensive Examination, below.

Leave of Absence

Students who, for personal reasons, are temporarily unable to continue their program of studies may request a leave of absence for a specific period of time not to exceed one calendar year during the total period of degree candidacy. If the request is approved, the student must register for leave of absence each semester. If a student fails to register, degree candidacy is terminated. After reaching the one calendar year limit, students who are requesting to register in leave of absence status for additional semesters must seek approval for further time in this status from the appropriate appeals committee.

Class Attendance Policy

Attending regularly scheduled and scheduled make-up classes, discussions, and other course meetings is a fundamental student responsibility. Faculty may use class attendance and participation as factors in determining course grades.

PRAXIS® Teacher Assessments

All degree programs preparing students for initial teacher licensure require completion of the Educational Testing Service PRAXIS® teacher assessments as specified by the Office of the State Superintendent of Education of the District of Columbia.

Teacher Certification Preparation Programs

Programs are available to prepare students for teacher licensure in elementary, secondary, and special education through the Master of Arts in Education and Human Development, Master of Education, and Education Specialist degree programs. Students who plan to prepare for licensure must apply to the appropriate degree program. These degree programs are also available to credentialed teachers seeking additional endorsements.

In accordance with the 2008 Higher Education Opportunity Act, Title II, Section 205, The George Washington University Graduate School of Education and Human Development provides required information in response to any request by potential applicants, guidance counselors, and prospective employers. An information sheet can be viewed at

Master of Arts in Teaching 

Master of Education

Master of Arts in Education and Human Development

The Degree of Education Specialist

The program of advanced study leading to the degree of Education Specialist is for students with master’s degrees in education who seek further professional preparation for specific objectives. The program is available in the fields of educational leadership and administration, counseling, curriculum and instruction, higher education administration, human and organizational learning, and special education.

Admission Requirements

The following are required for entrance to an Education Specialist program: an undergraduate degree and a Master of Arts in Education and Human Development or its equivalent from a regionally accredited institution, two years of pertinent experience in an education or human development field, and a graduate scholastic average of at least 3.3 and an acceptable score on either the Graduate Record Examination or Miller Analogies Test. In the field of human and organizational learning, the Graduate Management Admission Test is acceptable as well. Two letters of recommendation, one from a professional supervisor and one from the most recent graduate faculty advisor, are required, along with a statement of professional goals. Each applicant must be interviewed and recommended by a faculty advisor in the major field.

Programs of Study and Degree Requirements

Individual programs are developed, through a plan of study worked out with a faculty advisor, to fit the candidate’s skills, interests, and career goals. A minimum of 30 credit hours beyond the requirements of the degree of Master of Arts in Education and Human Development is required. At least 21 hours of this work must be taken in residence at GW. A maximum of five calendar years is allowed for completion of the program.

At least 12 of the required 30 hours must be in appropriate graduate courses in education selected from the following areas: (1) foundations and cognate study, (2) background and general principles of the field of study, and (3) an area of specialization. A graduate-level research methods course must be included in the program if it was not completed in previous graduate work.

The Comprehensive Examination

Successful completion of a six-hour written examination and/or an oral examination, at the option of the major field advisor, is required. Candidates taking the examination must be registered for at least 1 credit hour in the semester it is to be taken and must file a written application in the dean’s office by the published deadline.

The Graduate School of Education and Human Development offers the following graduate certificate programs. Graduate certificates do not constitute eligibility for an initial license or assure admission to a subsequent degree program. Courses taken as part of a certificate program may be applied toward advanced credentials or endorsements added to an initial license. Note that Counseling, School Counseling, and Educational Leadership and Administration are post-master’s certificate programs.

  • Autism Spectrum Disorders
  • Brain Injury: Educational and Transition Services
  • Counseling and Life Transitions
  • Design and Assessment of Adult Learning 
  • Educational Leadership and Administration
  • E-Learning
  • Essentials of Human Resource Development 
  • Forensic Rehabilitation Counseling
  • Global Leadership in Teams and Organizations
  • Incorporating International Perspectives in Education
  • Instructional Design
  • Integrating Technology into Education
  • Job Development and Placement 
  • Leadership Development 
  • Leadership in Educational Technology
  • Multimedia Development 
  • Organizational Learning and Change 
  • Professional Teaching Standards 
  • Reading and Literacy
  • Secondary Special Education and Transition Services
  • Special Education for Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Learners
  • Teaching English Language Learners
  • Training and Educational Technology

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