Admission deadlines: Fall - February 1: Priority consideration for admission and funding; April 1: Guaranteed review for admission and consideration for funding, if available. (Applications for admission will continue to be accepted after April 1, when space remains available in the program.)
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.

Supporting documents not submitted online should be mailed to:

Columbian College of Arts and Sciences, Office of Graduate Studies
The George Washington University
801 22nd Street NW, Phillips Hall 107
Washington DC 20052

For additional information about the admissions process visit the Columbian College  of Arts and Sciences Frequently Asked Questions page.

202-994-6210 (phone)

Hours: 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, Monday through Friday

The following requirements must be fulfilled: Thesis option—30 credits, including 15 credits in required courses–which includes 6 credits in thesis research–and 15 credits in elective courses; non-thesis option—36 credits, including 12 credits in required courses–which includes 3 credits in research or a capstone internship–and 24 credits in elective courses.

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

GEOG 6201Geographic Thought
GEOG 6304Geographical Information Systems I
GEOG 6292Qualitative Methods in Geography
or GEOG 6305 Geospatial Statistics
For thesis option only:
GEOG 6999Thesis Research (taken for a total of 6 credits)
For non-thesis option only:
GEOG 6295Research (taken for 3 credits)
or GEOG 6300 Geography Capstone Internship
Thesis option—15 credits in elective courses; non-thesis option—24 credits in elective courses. Any 6000-level geography course can be taken as an elective. *

*Elective courses also can be taken through the University or the Consortium of Universities with the permission of the advisor.