New Student Orientation

New Student Orientation aims to aid new undergraduate students and their families in the academic, personal, social, and cultural transition to the George Washington University and D.C. community. Our goal is to introduce you to the academic culture, community expectations and resources, and involvement opportunities both on-campus and around the city. We hope you take advantage of all that GW has to offer and that you utilize the people around you for support and guidance as you begin your journey here at GW.

We are excited to announce our plans for Orientation 2020! Starting August 1, we will launch a comprehensive month-long virtual Orientation experience that will consist of an online module with interactive content and virtual live events. Your Orientation schedule will be based on your move-in schedule. Visit the Before Your Arrive, Schedule, and Families & Guests pages for more information.

Next Steps for New Students

After you make your deposit:

  • Bookmark your student portal to access important and relevant information before classes start
    • Check your admitted student portal regularly and often
  • Claim your netID and password (create your GW email), and get in the habit of checking that email throughout the summer
    • All official communication will be sent to students' GW email
  • Send your final high school transcript and, if applicable, AP or IB scores, to GW Undergraduate Admissions
  • Register for First-Year Student Orientation in your admitted student portal (under next steps)
    • As we monitor COVID-19 we will continue to make adjustments to the schedule, and we ask that you please do not book travel or other accomodations until the University provides an official update on fall 2020 plans
  • Apply for first-year housing
    • The application open May 14 and closes on June 8
  • If you are a student with a documented disability, register with Disability Support Services
    • It is best to provide documentation as soon as possible to avoid any delays in the availability of accommodations. Accommodations are not retroactive

Orientation Communication

Students and families will receive communication from GW over the summer via our Next Stop GW email newsletter. Next Stop GW is a comprehensive electronic newsletter providing timely and relevant information, and serves as an introduction to student life and living at GW. Be on the lookout for this newsletter every other week for both students and family members. 

Read Next Stop GW #1 (May 14)  Read Next Stop GW #2 (May 21)

Read Next Stop GW #3 (June 3)  Read Next Stop GW #4 (June 18)

Buff & Blue Book

A guide to GW jargon, systems, processes, and campus resources for new students and families.

Summertime Communication

Here's what else you can expect for communication between May and August:

  • Introduction to academic school and undergraduate advising team via email from respective advising offices to student email in May
  • Request to submit photo for GWorld card, the GW student ID, via email from GWorld Card Office to student email in May
  • Information about student health insurance will be included in Next Stop GW communication and emails starting in May
  • Tuesday Talks Webinar Series covering topics such as paying your bill, living on-campus, GWorld card usage and perks, and more scheduled topics throughout the summer
  • Preliminary invoices issued by Student Accounts in June
    • Note: Email will be sent to students' GW email
  • First-year group advising webinars and class registration communication
    • Note: Timeline for webinars varies by individual school. Check your admitted student portal beginning in June and ongoing throughout the summer.
  • Orientation information
  • Next Stop GW‘s Move-In Guide containing information, tips, and other details emailed to both students (official GW email) and families in August


George the mascot cheering at the Orientation welcome event


Students and families attending the 2019 Orientation welcome event in the Smith Center


Dean Petty speaking to the crowd on stage at the Orientation welcome event


Frequently Asked Questions

As an incoming student you should plan to attend Orientation sessions offered in your schedule. We want you to be as prepared as possible before you begin classes and Orientation programming is designed to do just that.

There is an equal distribution of courses and class seating availability among all registration times. Select a date and time that works best for your schedule - there is no advantage for signing up for an earlier date and time.

A reminder that registration for sessions will close 3 days prior to the date (or until filled). Links to register for a session are available in your admitted student portal.

GW’s Foggy Bottom campus is located conveniently to three major airports (DCA: Ronald Reagan Washington National, IAD: Washington Dulles International, and BWI: Baltimore/Washington International) and D.C.’s Union Station (for Amtrak, MARC, and VRE rail services, as well as local Metro service). Public transit is available from each airport and train station. The Foggy Bottom/GWU Metro Stop is located right on campus, with service to the Orange, Blue, and Silver Metro lines.

Program formats and structure are subject to change based on the development of GW policies and D.C. regulations in relation to COVID-19. Please continue to check our website and your email for updates.

More information can be found under Familes & Guests.

First-year, first-time students will register for classes online in early August. After May 1, you will sign-up for a class registration window in your admitted student portal. Then, in August, on your selected and confirmed registration date & time, you will login to Banweb and register.

You will have the opportunity to sign-up for a First-Year Group Advising Webinar with your academic school, as well as complete a module called GW 101 located in Blackboard. You will receive communication to your GW email in May about this process.

GW offers special rates to a number of local hotels. If you use another website to find accomodation, GW is near the following DC neighborhoods: Foggy Bottom, West End, Georgetown, Dupont Circle and Downtown. 


Please note: we advise not to book travel or other accomodations until a final announcement is provided by the university about fall 2020.

You will fill out a profile as part of your Housing application, which inculdes ranking residence halls by preference. The Campus Living & Residential Education team works hard to place students in one of their preferenced choices (unless you are already assigned to a living-learning community with a designated residence hall).

Housing assignments will be released over the summer. Updates will be communicated via email to all students. The Housing application opens on May 14 and closes on June 8. 

Undergraduate students living in GW residence halls will be assigned a dining plan based upon the availability of a kitchen in a student's housing assignment. All undergraduate students living in GW residence halls are required to participate in a dining plan. Rates for 2020-2021 plans are online. 

preliminary bills will be issued in June and are due on the first day of classes (August 31). Learn more about paying your bill, payment plans, and how to update authorized users online through Student Accounts.

In addition to reviewing & completing the Authorized User eBill Access & FERPA waiver (if applicable), you will need to submit an Immunization Form by August 1 and review and waive (or be automatically enrolled) the Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP) by September 30. The waiver period begins on August 1.

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) is a federal law that protects the privacy of student education records. Once a student enrolled at GW, they have the right to inspect and review their own education records, as well as designate who has access to view their student records. You can access the Student Consent form online.