Co-Curricular Programs

GW Co-Curricular Programs help first-year students connect with peers around a shared identity, specialized topic, or common area of interest. These programs incorporate both in-person and online participation and are designed and hosted by a variety of offices across campus, including The Office of Student Life, GW Hillel, The Women’s Leadership Program, the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Community Engagement, and more. GW Co-Curricular Programs provide meaningful connections through immersive cohort-based experiences and allow students to explore and discover more about themselves, their new peers, and their new home in Washington, D.C.

Program Overview 

The Student Life team offers three exciting pre-orientation, co-curricular programs for incoming, first-year undergraduates. These programs help students connect with classmates, discover campus resources, and ease the transition to college life. Incoming students are paired with upper-class guides who mentor, share GW knowledge, and provide personal insights into life at GW and in D.C. For general questions about the programs, please email Student Life.

Students whitewater rafting down a river.

Adventure Bound

This unique experience offers students the opportunity to participate in a range of activities such as hiking, kayaking, biking, and paddleboarding.

Students enjoying conversation at tables at the Founding Scholars welcome session

Founding Scholars

Founding Scholars welcomes incoming first-generation college students to GW through activities on-campus and around D.C.

The cohort of Lead GW participants posing for a photo in front of Gelman Library steps


LEAD GW is a dynamic co-curricular program that encourages students to learn more about themselves, socially responsible leadership, and their new home.

Additional Pre-Orientation Programs for New Students

SEAS New Student Getaway (School of Engineering and Applied Science first-year students)

All SEAS first year students are required to attend the SEAS New Student Experience and The Getaway which is part of the SEAS First Year Pre-Orientation program. Hosted by the School of Engineering and Applied Science Student Peer Advisory Network (SEASSPAN) and SEAS Office of Undergraduate Programs this is an opportunity for you to get to know your classmates, mentors, faculty, and advisors prior to the start of the semester while learning about resources and how to navigate your first year at GW! Registration is required to attend and must be completed by Sunday, July 9, 2023: REGISTER HERE. For questions, email [email protected].

The University Honors Program offers a distinctive academic experience. Join your fellow UHP peers and learn more about what to expect in your first year, connect with faculty and staff who support the program, and get to know other members of your cohort. For questions, email [email protected].

The Women’s Leadership Program brings together women of four different cohorts to learn more about program offerings, connect with faculty and staff who support the program, and provide space and opportunity for relationships to form. For questions, email [email protected].

LaunchPad D.C. offers incoming first-year students a unique opportunity to start their experience with Jewish life at GW. Fees are associated. Registration has closed, but we are happy to accomodate students who still wish to join us. With questions or to register please email Sara Evangelista, [email protected].

Upon your arrival to GW, the International Services Office (ISO) offers events to help you get familiar with GW, explore DC, and make friends. Learn more and sign-up for events you’re interested in attending! For questions, email [email protected].


of students would recommend their co-curricular program to another incoming student


of students felt prepared to start college after their co-curricular program


of students agreed they feel connected to their fellow incoming students after their co-curricular program

Frequently Asked Questions

All pre-orientation programs will take place prior to New Student Orientation, up to Saturday August 19th, 2023 depending on the program. Please see each of the program pages for details.

Students in the University Honors Program, Women’s Leadership Program, and School of Engineering and Applied Science are automatically “enrolled” in a pre-orientation program. If this applies to you, then you will receive more information via email from your program managers over the summer.

If you are a student in one of the Admissions scholar cohorts, then you must register and attend the Institute for Citizen Leaders.


Chicago Scholars

Cisneros Hispanic Leadership Institute

Civic House

District Scholars


Politics and Values


Say Yes to Education

Stephen Joel Trachtenberg

The size of each program varies, ranging from 20 - 300. Student Life co-curricular programs, LEAD GW, Adventure Bound, and Founding Scholars, utilize peer guides and break participants into small groups of about 10-25 first-year students.

All first-year students will participate in a variety of opportunities and welcome events during New Student Orientation from August 20th - August 23rd. By registering for a co-curricular program prior to New Student Orientation, you are maximizing your opportunities to get involved in the community and meet new friends.

When applying to participate in a pre-orientation program, rank your preferences to maximize chances of participation. Since spots are limited, some students may not be selected to participate Some of our pre-orientation programs may maintain a waitlist once the program has reached capacity. If you are on the waitlist, you will be contacted as space becomes available.

Programs that list “fees are associated” do require a fee for participation. For these details, visit the specific program’s webpage or email the contact provided.

Some programs may have a fee waiver available, for more information contact the program you are interested in.

Once you have applied for a program and rank preferences through your GW eServices portal, your request will be reviewed. All applications received by June 16th for Adventure Bound, LEADGW, and Founding Scholars will be confirmed by Friday, June 23rd. Additional communication and any ongoing enrollment after June 23rd. date will also come directly from the program contact.