For information about the admission process, including deadlines, visit the Office of Undergraduate Admissions website. Applications can be submitted via the Common Application.

Supporting documents not submitted online should be mailed to:

Office of Undergraduate Admissions
The George Washington University
800 21st St NW Suite 100
Washington, DC 20052

For questions visit

The following requirements must be fulfilled:

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

Program-specific curriculum:

BISC 1111Introductory Biology: Cells and Molecules
BISC 1112Introductory Biology: The Biology of Organisms
BISC 2202Cell Biology
BISC 2207Genetics
BISC 2450Organic Evolution
BISC 2454General Ecology
or BISC 2452 Animal Behavior
or BISC 3460 Conservation Biology
CHEM 1111
CHEM 1112
General Chemistry I
and General Chemistry II
CHEM 2151
CHEM 2152
Organic Chemistry I
and Organic Chemistry II
CHEM 2153
CHEM 2154
Organic Chemistry Laboratory I
and Organic Chemistry Laboratory II
CHEM 3165Biochemistry I
or BISC 3261 Introductory Medical Biochemistry

Laboratory and elective course requirements

At least three courses must be a laboratory or have a laboratory component. These laboratory courses must numbered at the 2000 level or above. Students who complete 1 credit of BISC 4171 or BISC 4171W may count this experience as one of their required laboratory courses. A maximum of 6 credits of BISC 4171 or BISC 4171W may count towards degree requirements.

At least one 3-credit additional course from each of the four elective categories below:

Biology electives

Systems category
BISC 2208Genetics Laboratory 1
BISC 2213Biology of Cancer
BISC 2220Developmental Neurobiology
BISC 2320Neural Circuits and Behavior
BISC 3122Human Physiology
BISC 3123Human Physiology Lab 1
BISC 3165Biochemistry I
BISC 3167Biochemistry Laboratory
or BISC 3262 Biochemistry Laboratory
BISC 3208Molecular Biology Laboratory 1
BISC 3209Molecular Biology
BISC 3210Nanobiotechnology
BISC 3211Nanobiotechnology Laboratory 1
BISC 3212Immunology
BISC 3214Developmental Biology
BISC 3215Genome Editing Laboratory
BISC 3263Special Topics in Biochemistry
BISC 3320Human Neurobiology
BISC 4132Advanced Cellular-Molecular Biology
BISC 4212Virology and Antiviral Immunity
BISC 6205Foundations in Cell and Molecular Biology
BISC 6218Innate Immunity
BISC 6219Host-Microbe Interactions
PUBH 3202Introduction to Genomics
Organisms category
BISC 2000Biodiversity Studies in a Changing Planet
BISC 2305Plant Biology
BISC 2331Insect Biology
BISC 2335Insect Biology Lab 1
BISC 2332Comparative Vertebrate Anatomy 1
BISC 2333Evolution and Extinction of Dinosaurs
BISC 2334WIntegrative Biology of Fishes
BISC 2336Introductory Microbiology
BISC 2337Introductory Microbiology Laboratory 1
BISC 2339Parasitology 1
BISC 2401Biodiversity in A Changing World
BISC 6215Vertebrate Phylogeny 1
Evolution, ecology, and environment category
BISC 2010Global Change Biology
BISC 2224Biology of Horticulture
BISC 2451History of Life
BISC 2452Animal Behavior
BISC 2453Animal Behavior Laboratory 1
BISC 2454General Ecology
BISC 2456General Ecology Laboratory 1,2
BISC 3450Evolutionary Medicine
or BISC 3450W Evolutionary Medicine
BISC 3453Plant Comparative Structure and Function Lab 1,2
BISC 3454Marine Ecology
BISC 3455Marine Ecology Laboratory 2
BISC 3458Plant Comparative Structure and Function
BISC 3458Plant Comparative Structure and Function
BISC 3459Field Biology 1,2
BISC 3460Conservation Biology 3
or BISC 3460W Conservation Biology
BISC 3461Plant-Animal Interactions
BISC 3462Plant-Animal Interactions Laboratory 1,2
BISC 3464Ecology and Evolution of Societies
BISC 6210Methods of Study of Evolution
BISC 6211Biogeography and Speciation
BISC 6243Seminar: Ecology
Quantitative category
BISC 2585Biometry
MATH 1231Single-Variable Calculus I
or MATH 1220
MATH 1221
Calculus with Precalculus I
and Calculus with Precalculus II
MATH 1232Single-Variable Calculus II
PUBH 3201Introduction to Bioinformatics
or BISC 2584 Introduction to Bioinformatics
STAT 1127Statistics for the Biological Sciences

1Laboratory course.

2Field component.

3If not taken as a required course option.

Laboratory Courses
BISC 2208Genetics Laboratory
BISC 2216Scanning Electron Microscopy Laboratory
BISC 2224Biology of Horticulture
BISC 2332Comparative Vertebrate Anatomy
BISC 2335Insect Biology Lab
BISC 2337Introductory Microbiology Laboratory
BISC 2339Parasitology
BISC 2453Animal Behavior Laboratory
BISC 2456General Ecology Laboratory
BISC 3123Human Physiology Lab
BISC 3208Molecular Biology Laboratory
BISC 3211Nanobiotechnology Laboratory
BISC 3215Genome Editing Laboratory
BISC 3453Plant Comparative Structure and Function Lab
BISC 3455Marine Ecology Laboratory
BISC 3459Field Biology
BISC 3462Plant-Animal Interactions Laboratory
BISC 4171Undergraduate Research
or BISC 4171W Undergraduate Research
BISC 4234Microbial Genomics Laboratory

In addition to the University General Education Requirement, undergraduate students in Columbian College must complete a further, College-specific general education curriculum—Perspective, Analysis, Communication (G-PAC) as well as the course CCAS 1001 First-Year Experience. Together with the University General Education Requirement, G-PAC engages students in active intellectual inquiry across the liberal arts. Students achieve a set of learning outcomes that enhance their analytical skills, develop their communication competencies, and invite them to participate as responsible citizens who are attentive to issues of culture, diversity, and privilege.

Coursework for the University General Education Requirement is distributed as follows:

  • One course in critical thinking in the humanities.

  • Two courses in critical thinking, quantitative reasoning, or scientific reasoning in the social sciences.

  • One course that has an approved oral communication component.

  • One course in quantitative reasoning (must be in mathematics or statistics).
  • One course in scientific reasoning (must be in natural and/or physical laboratory sciences).
  • UW 1020 University Writing (4 credits).
  • After successful completion of UW 1020, 6 credits distributed over at least two writing in the discipline (WID) courses taken in separate semesters. WID courses are designated by a "W" appended to the course number. 

Coursework for the CCAS G-PAC requirement is distributed as follows:

  • Arts—one approved arts course that involves the study or creation of artwork based on an understanding or interpretation of artistic traditions or knowledge of art in a contemporary context.
  • Global or cross-cultural perspective—one approved course that analyzes the ways in which institutions, practices, and problems transcend national and regional boundaries.
  • Local or civic engagement—one approved course that develops the values, ethics, disciplines, and commitment to pursue responsible public action.
  • Natural or physical science—one additional approved laboratory course that employs the process of scientific inquiry (in addition to the one course in this category required by the University General Education Requirement).
  • Humanities—one additional approved humanities course that involves critical thinking skills (in addition to the one course in this category required by the University General Education Requirement).
  • CCAS 1001 First-Year Experience

Certain courses are approved to fulfill GPAC requirements in more than one category.

Courses taken in fulfillment of G-PAC requirements may also be counted toward majors or minors. Transfer courses taken prior to, but not after, admission to George Washington University may count toward the University General Education Requirement and G-PAC, if those transfer courses are equivalent to GW courses that have been approved by the University and the College.

Lists of approved courses in the above categories are included on each undergraduate major's page in this Bulletin.

In addition to the general requirements stated under University Regulations, in order to be considered for graduation with Special Honors, students must maintain a cumulative 3.5 grade-point average in biological sciences courses and at least a 3.0 cumulative overall grade-point average. Students who meet these criteria and wish to pursue special honors must complete an approved research project under faculty direction.