College of Professional Studies

Dean A. Eskandarian
Associate Deans A. Ashkar, T. Marsh, J. Prostko

The College of Professional Studies offers an expanding range of degree programs leading to associate’s, bachelor’s, and master’s degrees in professional studies, along with a range of certificate programs.

The College’s innovative programs are typically co-developed through collaboration among University content specialists and outside partners – government agencies, professional associations, consulting organizations, and business and industry leaders.

Programs draw from multiple academic disciplines and are delivered in flexible formats: face-to-face, online, or a blend of both.

By combining University faculty experts with accomplished practitioners, the College of Professional Studies is a catalyst for academic innovation, constructing credentials for the workforce that uphold the University’s rigorous standards of academic excellence and respond to the needs of today’s professionals. Professional studies degree and certificate programs are also offered to organizational clients under contract and can be presented in flexible formats, including series of short classroom-based modules and distance learning.

New programs not included in this bulletin may be found at the College of Professional Studies website

CPS manages facilities and services for off-campus programs offered by other schools of the University. The staff of instruction includes members of the full-time faculty of the University and academically qualified adjunct faculty from the professional community. All University off-campus offerings in Maryland are approved by the Maryland State Board for Higher Education; those in Virginia are certified by the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia.

Enrollment Status

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. For fall and spring semesters you must register for one or more credits to maintain enrollment status. A student who must interrupt active pursuit of the degree or certificate may petition the dean, through the 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 a leave of absence in each fall and spring semester, following regular registration procedures. Students who discontinue their studies without being granted a leave of absence and students granted leaves 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.  

Time Limits

A full-time student is allowed a maximum of three calendar years (excluding time spent for taking only English for Academic Purposes courses) to compete all degree requirements from the date of the first registration as a degree student. A part-time student is allowed a maximum of five calendar years. The time limit does not include any period of registration as an unclassified student before admission to degree candidate status or any period spent on approved leave of absence. Students who do not complete degree requirements within the allowed time will have their degree candidate status terminated. They may be readmitted to degree candidate status under conditions specified by the program director and approved by the dean.

Scholarship Requirements 

Undergraduate students must maintain a minimum grade-point average of 2.0 (C), and graduate students must maintain a minimum grade-point average of 3.0 (B). If a student's cumulative GPA falls below the required minimum GPA, he or she will receive an academic warning and will be allowed one semester in which to raise the GPA to the minimum required level or higher, provided that students who would mathematically be unable to raise their grade to the required minimum GPA during such following semester will not receive academic warning and will be asked to leave the program immediately. Students receiving a warning who have not raised their GPA to the minimum required level or higher within a semester following the academic warning will be dismissed from the program.

See University Regulations-Grades for a description of the grades available to undergraduate and graduate students.

Grade of F

A student who receives a grade of F is subject to removal from the program. If the student wishes to remain enrolled, he or she must present cause for consideration by the dean and the program director as to why continued study should be permitted. Once a grade of F is earned it remains a part of the student's permanent record and is calculated into the grade-point average. A student given the grade of F, if permitted to remain in the program, must repeat the course and achieve a passing grade (as well as maintain the required 3.0 GPA). Such a repeat does not expunge the grade of F, which remains part of the student's permanent record. Failure to (i) receive permission to remain in the program and retake the failed course or (ii) achieve a passing grade upon permitted retake of a failed course will result in dismissal from the program.


The symbol I (Incomplete) indicates that a satisfactory explanation has been given to the instructor for the student’s inability to complete the required course work during the semester of enrollment. At the option of the instructor, the symbol may be recorded if a student, for reasons beyond the student’s control, is unable to complete the work of the course, and if the instructor is informed of, and approves, such reasons before the date when grades must be reported. This symbol may be used only if the student’s prior performance and class attendance in the course have 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 in will be graded F, Failure. If acceptable reasons are later presented to the instructor, that instructor may initiate an appropriate grade change. Instructor and student must sign an Incomplete Agreement available through the dean's office which sets forth the requirements and due dates for successful completion of the course. The course work must be completed within the designated time period agreed upon by the instructor and student in the Incomplete contract, but no more than one calendar year from the end of the semester in which the course was taken. All students who receive an Incomplete must maintain active student status during the subsequent semester(s) in which course work is being completed. If not registered in other classes during this period, the student must register for Continuous Enrollment status.

When work for the course is completed, the instructor will submit the final grade to the Office of the Registrar and, beginning with courses taken in the Fall 2014 semester, the final grade will replace the symbol I. If work for the course is not completed within the designated time, the grade will be automatically converted to a grade of F, Failure, 0 quality points, and the grade-point average and academic standing recalculated.

For courses taken through the Summer 2014 term, the grade earned will be indicated in the form of I, followed by the grade. The indication of cannot be removed and remains on the student’s permanent academic record even after the course has been successfully completed.

Transfer of Credit

A maximum of one-quarter of the credits of graduate course work required for a degree may be approved for transfer to a graduate program in the College of Professional Studies from enrollment in nondegree status at GW or from another degree-granting school of this University or another accredited college or university. For a transfer of credit to be approved, all of the following conditions must be met: the course work must be from an accredited institution and must have been taken within the two years prior to matriculation; it 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 post-baccalaureate graduate-level course work; and the student must have received a grade of B or better in each course for which a transfer credit is requested. Requests for transfer credit must be submitted in writing and approved by the program director and the dean during the student’s first year in the program. An official transcript of the course work must be on file before the request can be considered.

Once enrolled in the College of Professional Studies, students are not permitted to transfer course work taken outside the University, except under extraordinary circumstances; permission must be obtained in advance from the dean.

Provisional Admission

Applicants with credentials that are weaker than expected for the program of study, but who nonetheless show promise of successful work, are occasionally granted provisional admission by the program director/admissions committee. While on provisional status, students must meet the requirements set forth in their admission letter. Students who do not meet these requirements are dismissed from the program.


The College of Professional Studies will not review any application for readmission to a program by a student who was dismissed from such program (or any other program at the college or course of study at the university) until at least one (1) year has passed since the dismissal of such student.

Academic Integrity

The University community, in order to fulfill its purposes, must establish and maintain guidelines of academic behavior. All members of the community are expected to exhibit honesty and competence in their academic work. Incoming students have a special responsibility to acquaint themselves with, and make use of, all proper procedures for doing research, writing papers, and taking examinations. Members of the community will be presumed to be familiar with the proper academic procedures and held responsible for applying them. Deliberate failure to act in accordance with such procedures will be considered academic dishonesty. Acts of academic dishonesty are a legal, moral, and intellectual offense against the community and will be prosecuted through the proper University channels, possibly resulting in dismissal from the program together with other university sanctions. The University Code of Academic Integrity can be found at the Office of Academic Integrity.

Master's programs

Admission Requirements

Applicants must hold a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited institution of higher learning or international equivalent. Applicants should have a strong academic background, normally with a B average or better (3.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale). Additional application requirements can be found on the Graduate Programs Finder.

The Graduate School of Political Management, through the College of Professional Studies, offers the following:

Undergraduate certificates

​Graduate certificates

The College of Professional Studies offers the following graduate certificates. Requirements are listed at Note that Strategic Cyber Security Enforcement is available only to students enrolled in the M.P.S. in safety security and leadership online program. In addition to those listed, graduate certificates in political management and strategic governance and in strategic communications campaigns are offered in Spanish to closed cohorts of students in Latin America and in Spain.

Program Directors A. Ashkar, S. Billet, L. Brown, J. Carruthers, A. Grossblatt, N. Houghtby-Haddon, S. Hooshangi, R. Izurieta, F. Lemieux, C. Leonard, T. Marsh,  L. Matos, L. Parnell, D. Rehr, J. Thorpe 

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