Next Stop GW - Welcome to our community! Spring 2021

November 12, 2020

Congratulations to the newest member of our community! We hope you are staying safe and finding creative ways to occupy your time and connect with family and friends. This email newsletter serves as a primary resource for communication from GW to you as you begin your GW journey. The newsletters will provide timely and relevant information, deadlines, and reminders required to complete before you begin your semester.

Here's what is included in this edition:

  • New student checklist
  • Spring Orientation preview
  • Class registration, resources and other reminders!

Continue to monitor GW's Coronavirus Response website for the latest university updates on how we are responding to the ongoing pandemic.

If you are no longer planning to attend GW this upcoming semester, please fill out this brief survey to let us know. We need to hear from you in writing to process this change in status. Questions or concerns can be emailed to [email protected]

New Student Checklist

  • Claim and activiate your GW NetID/ email address in order to access your GW email, Blackboard and other university technology services.
  • Register for Virtual Spring New Student Orientation in your admitted student portal located under Next Steps.
    • Note: if you are a deffered student, please login to your admitted student portal ( and register for the Spring New Student Orientation located in Next Steps. We need a new registration from you!
  • Complete the Spring New Student Online Orientation by January 3
    • This is a useful tool when preparing for class registration, which begins the week of November 16 for continuing and deffered students. Details are provided in the Class Registration section of this edition. You can access the module via single-sign-on using this link: https//
  • Sign-up for a virtual advising appointment or webinar & register for spring semester classes
    • Details available in your admitted student portal in Preparing for Your Spring Semester (after registering for Spring New Student Orientation). Advising teams will be in communication via email. More details also provided in the online orientation module. Class registration begins the week of November 16. Visit the Registrar's website for details. 
  • Immunization Forms due January 1. Optional: waive Student Health Insurance Plan (Ship) by February 1.
  • Talk to your family members about the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and who is authorized to access your Student Account to complete tasks such as paying your tuition bill.

Spring Orientation

Mark Your Calendars: Virtual Spring New Student Orientation

WHEN: Monday, January 4 from 11 a.m. - 5 p.m. ET​​​​​​​

ABOUT: Hear from staff and current students, learn more about our community and expectations for one another, and how to get involved. Schedule information will be available on our website in December.

REGISTER: Registration is required and attendance for the day of virtual events is mandatory. We have built in breaks! Additional opportunities for optional, but encouraged virtual engagement and learning will be available the week of January 4 and continue into February.

If you are a deferred student and registered for the August 2020 program, you should still register and plan to attend the Spring 2021 program.

PREPARE: Don't forget to complete the Spring New Student Online Orientation module by January 3. We will be using Cisco's Webex platform for our virtual program.

WHAT'S NEXT: Continue to check your GW email and our website for details. Follow us on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram for updates.

For questions or concerns, email [email protected].

We look forward to engaging with you soon!

GW Orientation Team

Note: Deferred and new students can also access the link for the Spring New Student Orientation event from the GW admitted student portal. Login using your personal email at Once logged in, scroll until you see Next Steps then click Register for Spring New Student Orientation.

Class Registration

To prepare for class registration:

Registering for classes:
General registration is November 23, 2020 - January 10, 2021.

  • Deferred first-year students can register for classes on November 20 and during the general registration period.

  • Deferred and new transfer students can begin registering for classes as early as November 16 (depending on the amount of transferred credits - consult the Registrar's website to identify your date for registration) and during the general registration period.

  • You will use the GWeb Information System to register for classes. Learn more about navigating this system before class registration. Review page 11 of the Buff & Blue Student Book for more information.

You should also be hearing from your academic school's advising team soon (if you haven't already), so keep an eye on your email for regular correspondence moving forward.

Reminders & Resources


Review the Buff & Blue Student Book

The fall 2020 Buff & Blue Book has relevant and helpful information about navigating GW systems, understanding campus resources and how to get in touch with them, GW jargon, and more. Download the PDF version to review. Search the Table of Contents to find what you're looking for!

Register with Disability Support Services

Are you interested in receiving accommodations for the spring 2021 semester? Disability Support Services (DSS) offers an array of accommodations and services to students who need it. Visit the DSS website to learn more about the documentation and registration processes. Information can also be found on page 11 of the student Buff & Blue Book. For questions, please email [email protected].


Academic Commons

Academic Commons is a one-stop shop for academic resources, services, and questions. You can get personalized help from student navigators who will connect you with the right resources for your specific need.

Campus Libraries

GW has five libraries, but most new students will use Gelman Library on the Foggy Bottom campus and Eckles Library (currently closed for in-person visits) on the Mount Vernon campus. Library resources are available 24-hours online. We offer a Top Textbooks program, so you don't have to buy your books, but instead, can borrow them! You also have access to a virtual computer lab! Find tips and a video to help you make the most of virtual learning.


Get an overview of GW technology, including suggestions for what you will need, how to get started, common academic software, and how to get help. All GW students can download the following software for FREE! Some of the software available is:

  • Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, etc.)
  • Adobe Creative Cloud (Photoshop, Illustrator, etc.)
  • Symantec anti-virus software
  • ...and more!

Explore from Home

Take a video tour of GW's Foggy Bottom campus. Before they departed campus in March, our tour guides covered the highlights so you can see what life is like at GW.

Explore our virtual tour. This interactive map will show you our Foggy Bottom campus in downtown D.C. and our Mount Vernon campus in northwest D.C.