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GW’s history was jumpstarted in 1821 through an Act of Congress, fulfilling George Washington’s vision of an institution in the nation’s capital dedicated to educating and preparing future leaders. Today, the university is the largest institution of higher education in the District of Columbia with more than 25,000 students from across the nation and around the world studying a wide range of disciplines.
The university boasts three campuses—Foggy Bottom and Mount Vernon in Washington, D.C., and the GW Virginia Science and Technology Campus in Ashburn, VA—as well as nearly 100 research centers and three centers that focus on graduate education of professionals.
The GW academic experience is firmly rooted in each of our ten undergraduate and graduate colleges and schools. Each school has a distinct identity, yet all work together to create a dynamic and interdisciplinary learning environment. They are listed below in the order of their founding:
- Columbian College of Arts and Sciences (CCAS)
- School of Medicine and Health Sciences (SMHS)
- GW Law
- School of Engineering and Applied Science (SEAS)
- Graduate School of Education and Human Development (GSEHD)
- School of Business (GWSB)
- Elliott School of International Affairs (ESIA)
- College of Professional Studies (CPS)
- Milken Institute School of Public Health
- School of Nursing (SON)
To read more about the university’s tradition of excellence, visit the university's About GW page.
The George Washington University, an independent academic institution chartered by the Congress of the United States in 1821, dedicates itself to furthering human well-being. The University values a dynamic, student-focused community stimulated by cultural and intellectual diversity and built upon a foundation of integrity, creativity, and openness to the exploration of new ideas.
The George Washington University, centered in the national and international crossroads of Washington, D.C., commits itself to excellence in the creation, dissemination, and application of knowledge.
To promote the process of lifelong learning from both global and integrative perspectives, the University provides a stimulating intellectual environment for its diverse students and faculty. By fostering excellence in teaching, the University offers outstanding learning experiences for full-time and part-time students in undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs in Washington, D.C., the nation, and abroad. As a center for intellectual inquiry and research, the University emphasizes the linkage between basic and applied scholarship, insisting that the practical be grounded in knowledge and theory. The University acts as a catalyst for creativity in the arts, the sciences, and professions by encouraging interaction among its students, faculty, staff, alumni, and the communities it serves.
The George Washington University draws upon the rich array of resources from the National Capital Area to enhance its educational endeavors. In return, the University, through its students, faculty, staff, and alumni, contributes talent and knowledge to improve the quality of life in metropolitan Washington, D.C.
The university has established a framework of organizational values, which affirm areas of focus that better position the university to thrive and to support a positive work environment.
The university has also identified strategies for dealing with ethical issues, including those of integrity and respect, responsibility and accountability, conflict of interest and commitment, harassment and abuse of power, stewardship, and reporting, within its Statement of Ethical Principles. These standards provide a summary of considerations that should be included in decision-making, especially those where the “right” answer is not always clear.
The What Would George Say brochure is a resource that further expands on ethics, provides related departmental contact information by topic, and highlights the university’s toll-free 24 hours-a-day, 7 days-a-week telephone Ethics and Compliance Hotline. The Ethics and Compliance Hotline can be contacted at (888) 508-5275. This line is available to staff to report compliance concerns or to ask questions about compliance issues.
The university’s policy on Non-Retaliation supports members of the university community who make good faith reports regarding potential university-related laws, regulations or university policies.
Comprised of the president, provost, vice presidents, deans, and department chairs, GW’s leadership team manages day-to-day operations at the university and is firmly committed to ensuring a top-quality educational experience for GW students.
The university’s leadership provides direction for in excess of 10,000 dedicated faculty, staff and student employees whose presence contributes to making it one of the largest private and preeminent employers in the District of Columbia.
The Office of the General Counsel (OGC) provides legal guidance and helps resolve legal disputes on a broad range of matters affecting the university. General guidelines on how to respond to a variety of legal situations, including subpoenas and other legal notices as well as contact from various regulatory officials, can be found on their website. Information on the site is not intended as a substitute for legal advice. If you have questions regarding legal matters that affect or involve the university, please contact the OGC directly.
A conflict of interest exists when employees acting on behalf of the university obtain improper personal gain for themselves or for another party, or when a particular action has an adverse effect on the university's interests. All members of the university community are expected to exercise good faith and judgment in all activities that relate to their responsibilities at the university. In accordance with university policy, some staff members may be required to complete a Conflict of Interest Questionnaire.
If you are in doubt about the proper application of the university's Conflict of Interest for Non-Faculty Policy to particular situations, you should immediately make all the facts known to your supervisor and act according to his/her guidance.
University officers, senior management, and researchers have some special responsibilities in avoiding conflict of interest. These responsibilities are more clearly detailed in the Manager's Toolkit, the Handbook for Sponsored Programs, and other documents.
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