Policies & Procedures – Master’s Programs

Students enrolled in online engineering programs must conform to University, School, and Program requirements and regulations. Major links to GW and Online Engineering academic policies appear below.

Academic Integrity

All students — undergraduate, graduate, professional full time, part time, etc. — must be familiar with and abide by the provisions of the GW Code of Student Conduct and the Code of Academic Integrity.


Admission to Online Engineering programs is selective. Meeting minimum requirements does not guarantee admission. No more than two admission decisions will be rendered for any one person, whether the application for readmission is submitted because an applicant does not enroll in the semester admitted, or a student interrupts continuous enrollment, or a student is placed repeatedly on financial hold preventing registration. Students denied admission may reapply; unless circumstances have changed considerably, denials of admission are generally upheld on reapplication. When offered admission, it is only valid to start in that semester. Admission deferrals are not permitted. If you cannot begin in the semester you were admitted, you must reapply for admission.


Live class sessions are recorded for further review and posted within a few hours of the class meeting. Attendance is optional.

Book Policy for Online Engineering Programs

Digital textbooks are provided at no additional cost to students who are in good academic and financial standing within the University each semester. Please note, we strive to provide digital textbooks that can be read online in their entirety. Some eBooks have restrictions such as access only while online, limitations to downloading and printing, etc. Students always have the option to purchase their own book.

Communicating with the Office

Online Engineering faculty, advisors and staff guide and support distance students primarily by email. This is the most effective technology, and it is critical to distance advising. There are several reasons for this:

  • Written communication ensures that we are clear, thorough, efficient, consistent and effective so students derive the most from their educational experience.
  • Just as online study allows students to schedule school around their work and family responsibilities, email gives them the same flexibility over time and distance.
  • Email quickly and efficiently provides a record of staff and faculty communications with individual students to foster growth and understanding.
  • The office can respond most quickly in writing: Students should expect that a communication will be answered within 1 business day.
  • We can take the time needed to advise online students with the same process and methodology that we would in a face-to-face setting.

You can always reach us about our programs at: cohort@gwu.edu

Should you require immediate technical assistance from our staff, contact Technical Support:

Course Assignment and Registration

Our program is designed with a fixed curriculum based on input from academic and industry experts. Our faculty committee meets at the beginning of every semester to review student progress and grades to determine the best course for each student based on their individual circumstances.

To provide our students the best experience possible, the Online Engineering Programs Office manages the registration process and interfaces with the University Administration on behalf of our students. This allows students to move through the program smoothly and complete their degree in a timely manner.

Students may request that they be registered for an additional course during any session, referred to as a “double-up course.” These requests are handled on a first come, first served basis (provided space is available in any given course) and double-up courses are assigned utilizing the same procedure as stated above. The double-up course cannot be used to change a student’s originally assigned course.

  • Approximately 60 days prior to the start of each session, students will receive a registration notice. Registration notices include information on the next course in their program as well as the exact date registrations are entered.
  • On the registration date, approximately 2-3 weeks before classes begin, students in good standing are registered for classes.

Grade Grievance

All grade disputes must be submitted in writing to the office within 30 days following the conclusion of the course whose grade is being contested.

GW Bulletin

The GW Bulletin provides, in one place, University and School academic regulations. Any Online Engineering Programs academic regulations that vary from those in the Bulletin or on the School of Engineering and Applied Science web site will be published on this page.

Leave of Absence

Students in an online degree program are expected to be continuously enrolled in the program until a degree is conferred. A degree student who is in good academic and financial standing but finds it necessary to interrupt active pursuit of the degree may request a Leave of Absence by emailing cohort@gwu.edu.

Master’s degree seeking students are generally permitted no more than two 9-week session leaves of absence.

Reviewing Your Account for Holds

At least one week prior to your registration time, and again just before, you should check to make certain that you do not have any holds on your record that will prevent registration. You can find more information online at the GWU Registrars Office


The standard schedule for online classes is:

  • Spring-1 (Jan-Mar)
  • Spring-2 (Mar-May)
  • Fall-1 (Aug-Oct)
  • Fall-2 (Oct-Dec)
    Summer sessions are optional accelerated sessions (Five weeks; two nights per week).
    Summer schedules will be communicated to all students via email. A reply is required to reserve space in a Summer course.


Students usually take 1 course per nine-week session. Students may choose to double up and take up to 2 courses in any of the standard nine week sessions. Effective Fall 2019: Students with a GPA below 3.0 will not be approved to take more than 1 course per session.

Course order is determined by advisors based on what is available each session and previous course completions. Deviation from the course recommendations is generally not permitted.

Requests to double up or for exceptions to course selection must be received by the deadline in the registration notice for that session.

Time Limits

Students in the Online Engineering Master’s Programs are allowed a maximum of three calendar years (for programs that require 30 credit hours for completion) and four calendar years (for programs that require 36 credit hours for completion) from the date of first registration as a degree candidate. Students who do not complete degree requirements within the allowed time will have their degree candidate status terminated. Courses taken outside the time limit will not be applied toward the degree.

Transfer of Credit

Academic credit earned at another institution will not be transferred into any graduate program offered through the SEAS Online Programs office.

Withdrawals and Refunds

All drop or withdrawal requests must come to the Online Engineering programs office.  Please email your request to cohort@gwu.edu.

Students may drop from courses through the day after the second class meeting without any academic or financial penalty. After that time, students may withdraw through the day after the eighth class meeting and will receive a designation of “W” and are responsible for full tuition.


Students who cannot complete a course due to deployment overseas/called to active military duty, death in the immediate family, or debilitating illness may seek an incomplete with proper documentation.

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