GW Community

Collaboration: We achieve more by engaging others in shared processes and decision-making.



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)


To read more about the university’s tradition of excellence, visit the university's About GW page.

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.

Values and Statement of Ethical Principles

As a world-renowned institution of higher learning bearing the name of one of America’s Founding Fathers, members of the GW community have a duty to uphold the highest levels of ethical conduct, and are expected to comply with university policies as well as external laws and regulations in support of our community’s welfare. We must acknowledge our positions as mentors, teachers and caretakers, and pay homage to the far-reaching and interdependent nature of our work. As such, even the smallest cracks to the foundation of the institution’s health and wellbeing can threaten the integrity of the university as a whole. Accordingly, GW expects all trustees, senior officials, faculty, principal investigators, staff, student employees, and others acting on behalf of the university to promptly report any known or alleged violations of laws, regulations or university policies  to appropriate university officials. Failure to promptly report known or alleged violations may result in disciplinary action or precipitate continued harm to the university. As caretakers of this institution, we rely on your integrity and good judgment to ensure that GW remains a healthy, respectful and safe place to work and learn.

The university has a framework of organizational values and 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 Ethics Matter brochure is a resource that helps in understanding what a compliance issue is, how to make ethical choices, and who to contact for additional information or help. It highlights several reporting and resource avenues: the university’s toll-free 24 hours-a-day, 7 days-a-week telephone Ethics and Compliance Hotline at 888-508-5275; an online confidential reporting tool through EthicsPoint; and direct communication to the Office of Ethics, Compliance and Privacy through [email protected], or by calling 202-994-3386. Any of these options are available to staff to report ethics or compliance concerns or to ask questions.

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. 

Legal Matters

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.

Conflict of Interest

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.