Certificate Program Admissions Requirements

Application Checklist

Applications must be submitted online. There is no paper version of the application available.

Create an Application Account


You may submit multiple applications through the same account.

You can check the status of your application online at any time by logging back into the application system. The user ID and password is the same one you used to create the application.

If you are experiencing difficulty accessing the application, please contact [email protected].

One transcript is required from each college and university you attended. You may upload an unofficial copy of the transcript, or send an official transcript to:

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

Optional GRE

As of Fall 2016, the Graduate Records Examination (GRE) is no longer required for applicants to the Trachtenberg School, so there is currently no space on the application to input your GRE scores. However, if you are happy with your scores and you think they will supplement your application, you can have them sent to GW and they will be added to your file (Code 5246).

In the online application, you must provide the names, titles, and emails of your 2 recommenders. The next time your application is saved, the system will automatically send an email to your recommenders. You can submit your application even before your recommenders have submitted their letters.  

This is your opportunity to convey to the admissions committee whatever information about yourself – over and above the information provided elsewhere in your application (including your resume) – that you would like them to consider.

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 as well as any other substantial accomplishments not already mentioned on the application or resume/curriculum vita.

You should include your most recent resume or CV.

You must submit the application fee of $80 in order to be considered for admission.

You will have to pay the $80 application fee for each application you submit.

The application fee is waived only for

  1. current GW degree candidates;

  2. GW alumni;

  3. current McNair Scholars (McNair Scholars seeking a fee waiver must submit a completed fee waiver form);  

  4. U.S. military personnel who have been on active duty within the past three years;

  5. PPIA alumni;

  6. students who graduated from an eligible minority-serving institution;

  7. and, alumni and current members of Teach for America, the Peace Corps and AmeriCorps.

If you would like to apply for a fee waiver, simply select that option within the system when you go to pay the fee.  Explain the reason you believe you qualify and submit. Your fee waiver application will be processed by the admissions office. You will be emailed the result of your request. If approved, you can then submit your application.

Due to credit constraints, International students requesting a student visa from GW are not eligible to apply for in-person certificate programs.


If your academic records are in a language other than English, a certified English translation must be provided. Translations alone will not be accepted. More on transcripts.


If you are a citizen of a country in which English is not an official language, you are required to submit your TOEFL scores. Exceptions may be made if you hold a degree from a college or university in a country where English is the official language and the medium of instruction. Relevant transcripts must be submitted for this exception.

The recommended minimum TOEFL score for admission to The Trachtenberg School is 637 on the paper-based test, 270 on the computer-based test, 110 on the internet-based test. TOEFL scores may not be more than two years old. The ETS reporting code for the George Washington University is 5246.

Learn more about the TOEFL test.

As an alternative to the TOEFL, students may instead submit scores from the academic International English Language Testing System (IELTS). The Trachtenberg School's recommended minimum for the academic IELTS is an overall band score of 8.0, with no individual band score below 6.0.

From Certificate to Master's Degree

If you begin a Trachtenberg School graduate certificate program and decide to apply to GW's MPA, MPP or MA-ENRP degree programs, you must apply by the posted deadline and meet the admissions requirements of the program. Up to nine credits of your certificate coursework taken prior to admission to a degree program will be accepted in the master’s program within two years of completing the course and if a grade of B or better has been earned in the course. If you’d like to have all 12 credits apply toward a degree, you need to apply and gain admission to the degree before registering for your fourth course.