GWSPH Graduate Student Handbook

The Graduate Student Handbook serves as a repository for policies and procedures that govern The Milken Institute School of Public Health (GWSPH) and students’ academic rights and responsibilities. This handbook applies to all of the Doctoral, Masters and Graduate Certificate Programs in the School. Students are expected to be knowledgeable about these policies and procedures. The Handbook also provides information and references about the Milken Institute SPH and its academic programs.

The Graduate Student Handbook is secondary to the University’s Bulletin which is a complete source of University-wide information. Information in this Handbook is accurate as of August 2018. The University and the GWSPH reserve the right to change courses, programs, and fees, or to make other administrative and policy/procedure changes deemed necessary or desirable, giving advance notice of these changes when possible.

This Handbook is updated on an annual basis, can be found on the Milken Institute School of Public Health Website.

The George Washington University does not unlawfully discriminate against any person on any basis
prohibited by federal law, the District of Columbia Human Rights Act, or other applicable law, including
without limitation, race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, veteran status, sexual
orientation, or gender identity or expression.  This policy covers all programs, services, policies, and
procedures of the university, including admission to education programs and employment.

Table of Contents

Academic Calendars


The Milken Institute School of Public Health (Milken Institute SPH)


Leadership: Office of the Dean

Administrative Offices

  1. Office of Student Affairs (OSA)
  2. Office of Admissions
  3. GWSPH Student Financial Services
  4. Career Services Center
  5. Student Records
  6. Online Programs
  7. Academic Advising

Policies & Procedures

  1. Student Rights and Responsibilities
  2. Maintaining Enrollment Status
  3. Filing a Petition Form & Transferring Credits
  4. Adding and Dropping Courses
  5. Maintaining Good Academic Standing
  6. Student Grades Appeals Process
  7. Applying For Readmission
  8. Residential International Students: Less than Full-Time Status
  9. Grades of Incomplete (I) and In-Progress (IPG)
  10. Independent Study
  11. Enrolling For a Course at another School or Institution
  12. Flexible Programming
  13. Religious Holidays
  14. Progress Towards Degree

Post-Enrollment Guide

Initial Steps

  1. GWSPH Source (The Source)
  2. DegreeMap
  3. Register for Classes
  4. Read the Weekly Student Newsletter

In The First Two Weeks

  1. Complete Academic Integrity Requirements
  2. Complete Human Subjects Research Training Requirements

After The First Term

  1. Participate In Professional Enhancement (PE) Activities
  2. MPH Students - Prepare For Practicum & Culminating Experience 


Academic Calendars




The Milken Institute School of Public Health (GWSPH)

Milken Institute School of Public Health is committed to excellence in scholarship to advance the health of the populations of our local, national, and global communities:  Our mission is to provide the best public health educational experience incorporating our core values of scholarship and leadership, scientific rigor and policy analysis, and training to foster the next generation of thought leaders, practitioners, policy makers, and scientists who will transform public health worldwide especially for underserved populations. To learn about the school’s history, mission and vision visit the school’s website.

Academic Departments & Online Programs

The Milken Institute School of Public Health offers the following graduate degrees: Master of Public Health, Master of Science, Master of Health Administration, Doctor of Public Health,* Doctor of Philosophy,* and Graduate Certificates. The aforementioned academic degrees and programs are offered through the following:


Online Programs


  1. Environmental & Occupational Health
  2. Epidemiology & Biostatistics
  3. Exercise & Nutrition Sciences
  4. Global Health
  5. Health Policy & Management
  6. Prevention & Community Health
  1. MPH@GW
  2. MHA@GW
  3. HealthInformatics@GW


SPH Faculty Bios & Contact Information

MPH@GW Faculty Directory

MHA@GW Faculty Directory Administrative Offices Information

GW Directory (look up any GW student or employee by name)

*Doctoral students in these programs may also refer to the DrPH Handbook, and PhD Social & Behavioral Science in Public Health Handbook



In 2018, the George Washington University received reaffirmation of our full accreditation status by our regional accreditor, the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. The public health programs of the School are accredited every seven years by the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH) and all programs successfully completed the re-accreditation review in late 2015.  GWSPH has been given full accreditation through June 2023. The Masters of Health Administration programs are also fully accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education (CAHME).

The Milken Institute School of Public Health is a member of the Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health (ASPPH). For more information please visit the school’s website.


Leadership: Office of the Dean

950 New Hampshire Avenue NW ◊ 7th Floor ◊ Washington, DC 20052

Phone: 202.994. 5179 ◊ Fax: 202.994.3773


Leadership Positions

Lynn R. Goldman, MD, MS, MPH
Michael & Lori Milken Dean of Public Health

Monique Turner, PhD, MA
Associate Dean for MPH Programs

Adnan A. Hyder, MD, MPH, PhD
Senior Associate Dean for Research

Pierre Vigilance, MD, MPH
Associate Dean for Public Health Practice

Gordon Taylor
Executive Dean for Finance & Administration

Heather Renault
Interim Assistant Dean for Student Services 

Stacey DiLorenzo
Executive Dean for External Affairs

Monica Partsch
Assistant Dean for Faculty Affairs & Program Development

Natasha Kazeem
Assistant Dean for Strategic Initiatives & Senior Advisor to the Dean

Michael C. Lu, MD, MS, MPH
Senior Associate Dean for Academic, Student, & Faculty Affairs

 Ellen Beck
Assistant Dean of Development & Alumni Relations




Refer to the Leadership Section of the school website for information on the GWSPH Deans.

Graduation & Beyond

  1. Preparing to Graduate
  2. Alumni Associations
  3. Alumni Communication
  4. Alumni Course Audit Program
  5. Certifying Examinations

Student Life & Other Resources

  1. Counseling Center
  2. Safety, Security, & University Operating Status
  3. University Student Services Offices


Administrative Offices

1.Student Affairs (OSA)

950 New Hampshire Avenue NW ◊ 2nd floor ◊ Washington, DC 20052

Phone: 202.994.7400 ◊ Fax: 202.994.3601 ◊ Email:

Office Hours: 9:00 am – 6:00 pm

The Office of Student Affairs (OSA) provides information and services to Milken Institute SPH students. The OSA staff strives to promote quality services by being available, resourceful, respectful of students’ needs, fair and consistent with Milken Institute SPH policies and procedures, culturally competent, and responsive to faculty and student feedback. Official petitions and other administrative activities are finalized in the OSA (any student administrative action indicating the need for “Dean’s office” sign-off). The OSA is the first stop for students needing support, assistance, and advice on Milken Institute SPH matters. The Office of Student Affairs includes Admissions, Career Development, Student Financial Services, and Student Records Services. Although email documentation is preferred, there is a physical OSA Mailbox located on the second floor reception area of OSA.

All student inquiries for the Office of Student Affairs are to be directed to and/or 202.994.7400.

The OSA handles a variety of administrative functions for students including:

  • Student Services and advisement on GWSPH Policies and Procedures
  • GWSPH Forms and Publications
  • GWSPH International Student Forms/Requirements
  • Registration for Restricted Courses
  • Course Evaluations
  • Questions regarding GWSPH Special Events, i.e. Orientations, GWSPH Multicultural Celebrations, Public Health Week, Career Fair, Commencement, and School Celebration Ceremony
  • Student Organization Classroom Reservations
  • GWSPH Course Schedules, Course Caps, Rooms, etc.
  • GWSPH Listserv Subscriptions and Questions
  • Student Organizations


2.Admissions & Recruitment

950 New Hampshire Avenue NW ◊ 2nd floor ◊ Washington, DC 20052

Phone: 202.994.2160 ◊ Email:

The Office of Admissions & Recruitment manages enrollment into the residential graduate programs for the GWSPH.  In addition, the office works with the university undergraduate admissions team who is responsible for the admissions process for the undergraduate programs- please see the Undergraduate Student Handbook.  The Admissions & Recruitment department also works closely with out online partner for the MPH@GW, MHA@GW and HealthInformatics@GW programs. The policies to which the Office of Admissions adheres are set by the Admissions Committee, a faculty committee made up of one voting representative from each department and the online programs.

Student inquiries for the Office of Admissions for:

For a complete listing of admissions and recruitment staff, please see the GWSPH Staff Directory.

The Office of Admissions can assist undergraduate and graduate students with the following:

  • Admissions and matriculation
  • International student questions and preliminary Visa processing
  • General scholarship process and external funding information
  • New student clearance for registration
  • Petitioning for readmission or changing programs


3.GWSPH Student Financial Services

950 New Hampshire Avenue NW ◊ 2nd floor ◊ Washington, DC 20052

Phone: 202.994.4075 ◊ Fax: 202.994.3601 ◊ Email: to

Student Financial Services at GWSPH is committed to assisting students in creating a financial plan to achieve their educational goals and in resolving emergent issues that pertain to federal student aid, institutional resources such as scholarships and assistantships, and managing their student accounts. Staff within the office serve as a liaison for GWSPH students and the GW Office of Student Financial Assistance and student accounts at GW and can assist students when functions require direct contact with these offices. Additional information about the processes managed by the primary offices of student financial assistance and student accounts at GW is available at: and

All student inquiries for Financial Services are to be directed to and/or 202.994.4705.

GWSPH Student Financial Services can assist students with the following:

  • Counseling on Federal Student Aid eligibility and the application process.
  • Management of institutionally funded grants and scholarships
  • Identifying and applying for Graduate Assistantship and Graduate Research Assistant positions.
  • Identification of external scholarship resources
  • Assistance in managing services through the primary Office of Student Financial Assistance and Student Accounts at GW.

The GW Office of Student Financial Assistance maintains policies related to financial assistance at

Emergency Loan Funding: The Milken Institute SPH Student Emergency Loan Fund (SELF) is available to qualified students managing unexpected expenses. Funding from the Milken Institute SELF has a zero percent interest rate if repaid within 45 days. Students may borrow only once per semester. Please contact the financial aid representative for the Milken Institute SPH for more information on qualifications and how to apply.


4.Career Services Center

950 New Hampshire Avenue NW ◊ 2nd floor ◊ Washington, DC 20052

Phone: 202.994.5485 ◊ Fax: 202.994.3601 ◊ Email:

GWSPH Career Services is dedicated to providing the tools, resources and recommendations needed to help students and alumni confidently navigate the career management life cycle. To make a graduate student or alumni Career Counseling appointment, please see the Career Counseling page for more information. Meetings can be scheduled via by phone, in person, or in an online classroom.

Handshake is the online database used to post jobs, internships and career services events. This service is available to all GWSPH students and alumni.

All student inquiries for Career Services Center are to be directed to and/or 202.994.5485.

Career Services assist students and alumni with the following:

  • Immediate and Long-Term Career Goal Setting
  • Resume; Cover Letter Revisions
  • Job Search and Networking Strategies
  • Mock Interviews; Interview Preparations
  • Offer and Salary Negotiations


5.Student Records

950 New Hampshire Avenue NW ◊ 2nd floor ◊ Washington, DC 20052

Phone: 202. 994.0822 ◊ Fax: 202.994.3601 ◊ Email:

The essential role of the Office of Student Records is to provide all GWSPH Students and Faculty with administrative support, as it pertains to the student’s academic record.

All student inquiries for Student Records should be to be directed to and/or 202.994.0822.

Student Records can assist students with the following:


6.Online Programs

950 New Hampshire Avenue NW ◊ 6th floor ◊ Washington, DC 20052 ◊ Phone: 855.494.6740

Email: MPH@GW: ◊ MHA@GW:

In addition to our on campus offerings, our online program staff offers services to GWSPH students enrolled in the MPH@GW, MHA@GW, HealthInformatics@GW and other distance learning programs in conjunction with our Office of Student Affairs (OSA). Student Support is the first stop when needing assistance, guidance and support on GWSPH matters. The staff includes team members from Recruitment and Admissions, Student Support, Advising, and Career Development Services.

All student inquiries for the online programs should be directed to 855.494.6740 or to their respective email addresses: or

The Online Programs Student Support Team works with students enrolled in the MPH@GW, MHA@GW, & HealthInformatics@GW programs, assisting students with a number of issues, including:

  • Curriculum Guide review and referral to your Academic Advisor
  • Registering for courses
  • Technical support on the 2GW platform
  • Updating student records including contact information
  • Time and program management
  • Practicum planning and administration


7.Academic Advising

Upon admission to the GWSPH, students are assigned an academic advisor. (Contact information can be found in the acceptance packet). A complete list of advisors is available on this website.

It is important for students to communicate with their advisor for many reasons. Such as:

  • curriculum changes;
  • selection of electives;
  • academic progress;
  • preparation for graduation.

Students should seek advice from their advisor about when to start planning for the Practicum and Culminating Experience in the MPH programs. It is important to note that activities such as these may require substantial lead time. Planning should begin at least one term in advance of the term you plan to begin the Practicum and Culminating Experience.


Policies & Procedures

This section summarizes many important policies and procedures that will help students successfully navigate the way while enrolled in a GWSPH program.

1.Student Rights and Responsibilities

All students, upon enrolling in and while attending The George Washington University, are subject to the provisions of the Guide to Student Rights and Responsibilities. That documentation typically addresses instances of significant or recidivistic non-academic student misconduct, which may result in a disciplinary record and sanctions that include, but are not limited to: cancellation of a student’s housing license agreement, suspension or expulsion from the university, or other educational sanctions. For more information please visit The Office of Students Rights & Responsibilities Website.


2.Maintaining Enrollment Status

Once enrolled in a degree program, students are expected to be continuously registered for at least one credit during all fall and spring terms and actively engaged in fulfilling the requirements of the degree.

  • For fall and spring terms, students must register for one or more credit hours to maintain enrollment status. For students that fail to do so, they will fall out of status; students who fall out of status must reapply for admission to the applicable program.
  • Requests for a Leave of Absence (LOA) are possible and will be managed on a case by case basis. See below for clarification.
  • During the summer session, students do not have to be enrolled unless they are completing degree requirements and graduating during the summer.
  • Some additional activities, such as study abroad programs, qualify as continuous enrollment. For questions, contact a student advisor or OSA staff.
  • Federal and Institutional financial aid resources may have separate enrollment requirements.

If a degree-seeking student finds it necessary to interrupt active pursuit of a degree program, it is permissible to petition to take a Leave of Absence for a specific period of time, limited to a total of one calendar year during the student’s program. If a student discontinues active enrollment in degree studies without being granted a leave of absence, or if they are granted a leave but do not return to active study at the close of the period of approved absence, the student is no longer in status. The student must apply for readmission and be subject to the regulations and program requirements in effect at that time of reenrollment. Please note: readmission to any program is not guaranteed. Students registering for a Leave of Absence will incur the prevailing registration fee (currently $35), per University policy.


3.Filing Petition Form & Transferring Credits

When a student wishes to make a request that requires an exception to GW or GWSPH policies and procedures, or one representing a change in program of study, a petition must be filed and approved. Petitions can be found on the Academic Forms Webpage. See Table below for a description of when to use the petition form.

Submit to:  SPH Student Records Office via
Used to: 
  • Waive a required course
  • Substitute a course for a required course
  • Register for continuous enrollment instead of continuous research
  • Transfer credits to the GW transcript (get approval prior to enrolling in outside course)
  • Extend the time limit for graduation
  • Request a leave of absence
  • Withdraw from a course after the deadline
  • Transfer Credits to GW Transcript Before Matriculating (you must have taken course within 3 years; grade of B or better; course cannot have counted toward another degree)
  • Transfer Credits from Non-Degree to Transcript
Other Notes:   Complete the petition with any necessary documentation. The petition will be processed electronically referring it to the appropriate faculty member(s) and then will be returned to the student with a decision.

Note: Transfer approval is not guaranteed; advance approval from your advisor is highly recommended, particularly prior to registering for any coursework outside of your program.

Transfer Credits Earned Before to Matriculation to GWSPH Program - Completed at another University:

Submit a separate petition for each course you wish to transfer with the course name and number, institution and semester/year [OSA to obtain necessary signatures]

  • Submit course syllabus(s) for course(s) (Note: Syllabi will be reviewed by the GW course instructor to determine the equivalency for the substitution).
  • If the course is included in your SOPHAS verified coursework (graduate students only), no transcript is required.  If not, an official sealed transcript must be submitted.
  • Grade earned for the transferred course must be a “B” grade or better, completed within the past three years, and not used to satisfy requirements for a prior degree.
  • Indicate the proposed GWSPH course equivalent course in the petition.
  • Submit all documentation to

Transfer Credits earned after Matriculation to GWSPH Program - Completed at another University:

Submit a separate petition for each course you wish to transfer with the course name and number, institution and semester/year [OSA to obtain necessary signatures]

  • Submit course syllabus(s) for course(s) (Note: Syllabi will be reviewed by the GW course instructor to determine the equivalency for the substitution).
  • Obtain an official sealed transcript(s) (Note: Transfer approval is not guaranteed; consult your advisor prior to registering at the other institution.
  • Grade earned for the transferred course must be a “B” grade or better, and not used to satisfy requirements for another degree.
  • Indicate the proposed GWSPH course equivalent course in the petition.
  • Submit to

Transfer or Apply Non-Degree Credits earned after Matriculation – Completed at another GWU Program

Submit a separate form for each course you wish to transfer with the course name and number, institution and semester/year [Student to obtain necessary signatures]

  • If you are applying graduate credits from within GWSPH, you do not need to request an official transcript.
  • Submit course syllabus(s) for course(s) (Note: Syllabi will be reviewed by the GW course instructor to determine the equivalency for the substitution).
  • Obtain an official, sealed transcript(s)
  • Grade earned for the transferred course must be a “B” or better for each course, completed within the past three years, and not used to satisfy requirements for a prior degree.
  • Submit to

Waive & Replace a Required GW Class with Elective Credits.

In particular circumstances, a GW student may waive a required course and replace that waived course with elective credits. If the GW professor teaching the required course that the student seeks to waive agrees the student already possesses the requisite knowledge that the course provides (by having taken a similar course in another degree program, for example), then the student may be granted permission to “waive & replace” the required GW course with an equivalent amount of elective credits.


4.Adding and Dropping Courses

Students may add and drop courses before the first day of class without penalty. A late registration fee of $80 is applied to a student’s account when registering for classes on/or beyond the first day of classes. The following schedule of fees applies to dropped classes on/or beyond the first day of classes

On Campus Courses (fall & spring semesters)

Online Courses (every term)

Drop Date Tuition Reimbursement
On or before the end of the first week of the semester 90%
On or before the end of the second week of the semester 60%
On or before the end of the third week of the semeste 40%
On or before the end of the fourth week of the semester 25%
After the fourth week of the semester *   None
Drop Date Tuition Reimbursement
On or before the end of the first week of the semester     85%
After the first week of the semester None
Please Note: MHA@GW and HealthInformatics@GW Immersion courses add/drop dates may vary from the above policy. The dates will be clearly communicated prior to the registration period. Students should reach out to Student Support with any questions.

On Campus Courses- Summer Sessions: In cases of authorized withdrawals from courses, refunds of 85% of tuition and fees will be made for courses dropped within the first seven calendar days of the start of a session. No refund will be made for courses dropped thereafter.

*After the 4th week of classes, students who wish to add or withdraw from a course must complete a Registration Transaction Form (RTF) and submit it to Between the end of the 4th week and before the end of the 8th week, dropping a class will result in a notation of W (Authorized Withdrawal) on the transcript.  After the 8th week of classes, students who wish to withdraw must submit a petition along with supporting documentation to their academic advisor for consideration.

Students receiving financial assistance should consult with a financial aid representative to understand potential consequences of adjusting their enrollment. 


5.Maintaining Good Academic Standing

A graduate student who is not suspended, on academic probation, or on provisional admission status is considered to be in good standing. At the graduate level, a minimum grade-point average of 3.0 (B) must be maintained to be awarded a graduate degree. All courses taken for graduate credit after matriculation as a degree candidate (but excluding those audited or taken for the grade of CR/NC) will be used to calculate the grade point average (GPA).

** Students receiving Federal Student Aid are subject to Federal Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) requirements. This is a separate GW policy, which can be found on the Office of Student Financial Assistance Webpage.**

The Milken Institute School of Public Health takes academic integrity issues seriously.  It is the student’s responsibility to review, understand, and comply with the George Washington University’s Code of Academic Integrity.  Students should also be familiar with Student Rights & Responsibilities.

Below are descriptions for the academic standing categories:

  • Provisional Admission. Provisional admissions are used for applicants who are just shy of numerical standards for admission, but show promise of successfully completing graduate work. During the provisional admission period (the first 9 credits), students are required to meet with academic advisors each term prior to registration and to maintain a GPA of at least 3.0. During this time period, students must not receive a grade of Incomplete (I) or a grade lower than a B. Provisionally admitted students who do not meet these requirements are subject to suspension (see below) and cannot apply for readmission for at least one calendar year.
  • Term Warning. A graduate student whose cumulative GPA is less than 3.0 after attempting a minimum of one credit hour and a maximum of eight credit hours will be issued a warning notice at the end of the term and will be required to take corrective measures (e.g., meet with academic advisor to outline steps to raise GPA). After receipt of the term warning letter, incomplete grades and grades of B- or lower are not permitted during remainder of the first 8 credits and are grounds for automatic suspension, probation, or continued warning status.
  • Probation. A graduate student whose GPA falls below 3.0 at any point after completing nine credit hours will be placed on academic probation. This probation extends through the period in which the student next attempts 12 credit hours of work, including required courses. A student’s program may be restricted by the program director if deemed necessary. A student who fails to raise the cumulative GPA to 3.0 or better during the period of probation is subject to suspension. Incomplete grades and grades of B- or lower are not permitted during the probationary period and are grounds for automatic suspension or continued probation. Students on academic probation are not eligible to apply for graduation. The GWSPH Dean’s Office, in consultation with the student’s academic advisor, may continue a student on probation (in lieu of suspension) if satisfactory progress is demonstrated during the probationary period as determined by the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs.
  • Grade of F. A graduate student who receives a grade of F is subject to suspension. If the student wishes to remain enrolled, s/he must present cause, for consideration by the Dean of Academic Affairs and the director of the degree program, as to why continued study should be permitted. Once a grade of F is earned it remains a part of the student’s permanent record and is calculated into the GPA. A graduate student who earns the grade of F in a core or other required course and is permitted to continue in graduate studies must repeat the course and achieve at least the grade of B; such a repeat does not expunge the grade of F, which remains as part of the student’s record.
  • Suspension. A graduate student who receives an F or does not meet the conditions of probation (see above) is subject to suspension. Suspended students may not register for or complete any courses at the George Washington University. An outstanding Incomplete (I) grade at the time of suspension will become an F.

Suspended students may reapply to a program, using SOPHAS Express, after one full calendar year from the time of suspension. To be readmitted, the student must submit evidence that suggests the probability of academic success. A student who is readmitted will continue on academic probation and must achieve a minimum grade-point average of 3.0 in the next 12 credit hours of graduate study. Should the student fail to achieve this grade-point average, the student will again be suspended and will not be readmitted.

  • Dismissal.  A student who has been suspended twice is not permitted to reapply to Milken Institute School of Public Health and will be dismissed from the school.
  • Timely Progress toward a Degree. A graduate student who fails to make adequate and timely progress toward the degree, through repeated leaves or repeated failure to complete an appropriate number of credit hours per module/semester, may be suspended. Students suspended on these grounds may apply for readmission after providing sufficient evidence of academic promise through SOPHAS Express.
  • Notification of Academic Status. Students who are not in good academic standing will be notified by mail and email. Letters are sent out at the end of each academic term. Any student seeking to appeal academic decisions with respect to maintenance of good academic standing may do so through the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs on a case by case basis.

Summary of Warnings to Academic Standing for Graduate Students



Provisional Admission

A student who receives a grade of I or below a B while on provisional admission status may be suspended. Students may reapply after one full calendar year.

Term Warning (< 9 credits completed)

A student with a cumulative GPA less than 3.0 (with less than 9 credits completed).

Academic Probation

A student with a cumulative GPA less than 3.0 (with 9 or more credits completed) is placed on academic probation. A student on academic probation who receives a grade below a B, an I, or a Z, or fails to raise the cumulative GPA to 3.0 within the next 12 credits completed, is subject to suspension.

Grade of F

A student who receives a grade of F is subject to suspension. If the student wishes to remain enrolled s/he must present cause as to why continued study should be permitted. If permitted to continue in graduate studies, student must repeat the course (if core or required) and achieve at least the grade of B.


A student who is suspended may not register for, or complete, any courses at GW. A student who is suspended or withdraws under these conditions may apply for readmission after one full calendar year. A student who is readmitted will continue on academic probation and must achieve a minimum grade-point average of 3.0 in the next 12 credit hours of graduate study.


A student who has been suspended twice is not permitted to reapply to Milken Institute School of Public health and will be dismissed from the school.  


6.Student Grades Appeals Process

All students have the right to appeal an academic decision.

Grounds for Appeal

Dissatisfaction with a grade is not grounds for an appeal. Acceptable reasons for an appeal include only an error in grading procedures or inequity in the application of policies stated in the course syllabus. (Students may grieve at any time when they feel that they have been discriminated against on the basis of race/ethnicity, color, religion, gender, national origin, age, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, or gender identity).

Informal Resolution

Prior to filing a formal grade appeal, the student should first discuss the grade on an informal basis with the Instructor/Course Director and Session Leader (if applicable). This discussion must occur within the first 30 calendar days of the start of the next term (faculty may have limited availability between terms). After discussing the grade with the Instructor/Course Director, if still not satisfied, the student should consult with the Program Director. After having discussed the grade with the Program Director, the student should consult with the Chair of the Department or the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs. When the Course Instructor is the Program Director, the student may contact the Chair or Dean. If no resolution is reached as a result of these informal attempts, the student may consider filing a formal appeal with the Dean.

It should be noted that a grade appeal will trigger a thorough review and could result in the grade remaining the same, the grade being raised or the grade being lowered in the event the review determines that an error benefited the student.

Initiating an Appeal

If the student believes that there is reason for an appeal of the instructor’s assigned grade, the student may submit a formal appeal letter to the Dean of the School, who will convene a group of three impartial faculty members from the Milken Institute School Student Academic Appeals Committee to review the student’s appeal. This group should not include Committee members from the instructor’s department.

To initiate the appeal process, the student must submit in writing the following information to the Dean within the first 60 calendar days from the start of the next term:

  1. Description of the reason(s) for requesting an appeal
  2. Detailed description of the timeline of events
  3. Statement explaining the resolution sought by the student
  4. The course syllabus and any documents relevant to the appeal

The Dean must then notify the instructor of the appeal and provide a copy of the formal request. The Committee will have two weeks to review the materials before meeting separately with the instructor and the student to make additional comments and to answer questions.

After hearing from the faculty member and the student, and taking whatever other steps deemed necessary, the Committee shall deliberate and communicate its decision to the Dean in a written report. The Dean will convey the outcome to the student and the faculty member. The Committee’s decision is final. If the Committee finds in favor of the Instructor’s initial decision, there is no further appeal of the academic evaluation, except on procedural grounds. The student may request the Dean to review the procedural aspects of the case if applicable. Requests for review must be submitted in writing, including an explanation of the basis for the appeal, within 10 days after the review committee report has been provided to the student. If the Dean concludes that procedural violations have occurred, the Dean may remand the case to the department or program for a re-hearing or may take other steps to afford the student an appropriate remedy.

All appeals must be resolved no later than the end of the term following the term in which the course was taken and the original grade was awarded. If the Committee has not reported the outcome of the appeal process by the end of the semester, then the appeal will go directly to the Dean to settle the dispute.


7.Applying For Readmission

  • Deadline for readmission petitions is no later than three (3) weeks prior to the first day of class.
  • Earlier submissions will ensure processing before registration to avoid complications. It is advised students seeking readmission identify when course registration begins each semester to plan accordingly.  Check academic calendar here.
  • Students should not apply until all account holds have been rectified.


GWSPH graduate degree or certificate students who were previously registered in the university but did not register during the immediate preceding semester/module (excluding summer sessions) are out of status and must apply for readmission by completing an admissions petition.


Students who have not taken any courses at GW in over a year must apply for readmission using SOPHAS Express. See the chart below for readmission requirements.


Students who were suspended from Milken Institute SPH must apply for readmission through SOPHAS Express. Students may only apply for readmission after at least one academic year has passed. See the chart one the next page for readmission requirements.



Students wishing to return post- suspension

Students wishing to return after falling out of status


Official transcripts showing any grades for courses taken at another institution while suspended from GW

Unofficial transcript from GW coursework

Standardized Tests

New Official GRE Scores (if old scores are no longer valid)

New GRE scores may be requested on a case-by-case basis

Letters of Recommendation

At least one letter of recommendation

None required

Statement of Purpose

Statement should address the issues that led to suspension and steps the student has taken to a) prove that s/he will be successful after being readmitted and b) avoid the same issues that caused suspension

Statement should address why the student has been out of status, the goals for readmission, and plan to graduate




8.Residential International Students: Less than Full-Time Status

If you are an international student on an F-1 or J-1 Visa, it is your responsibility to enroll as a full time student (minimum 9 credit hours for graduate students; 12 credits for undergraduates) for spring and fall semesters according to the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization rules governing registration requirements for international students with F-1/J-1 visa status. In certain situations, a reduced course load may be allowed. To request approval for this, complete the F-1/J-1 Request for Reduced Course Load Form and submit it to the International Services Office (ISO). You can obtain more information from the ISO on their website or by contacting the office at or (202) 994-4477.


9.Grades of Incomplete (I) and In-Progress (IPG)

Conditions under which an Incomplete (I) grade may be assigned are described in the University Bulletin. The student must work directly with the Instructor to document how the student will complete the course work and earn a grade using the Incomplete Course Grade Contract. The completed contract must be signed by the student, Instructor, and Dean and sent to or to the OSA mailbox, which is physically located in the self-service area of OSA. Incomplete work must be completed by a date agreed upon by the student and the instructor, but no more than 6 calendar months from the end of the term in which the student registered for the course. The final grade earned will replace the symbol of “I” on the official transcript. An Incomplete that is not changed by the deadline noted in the contract will convert to an “F” (Failure) and the GPA and academic standing recalculated accordingly.

The grade In Progress (IPG) is given for all thesis, residency, advanced reading, independent study, internship/practicum, and dissertation research courses until the coursework is completed. Upon satisfactory completion, the grade is entered by the Instructor and ‘IPG’ no longer remains on the transcript. ‘IPG’ cannot be given for regular, semester-length courses.


10.Independent Study

Graduate students may choose to complete up to six credits of Independent Study coursework during the student’s degree program. Before registering for an independent study, the student must first complete an independent study project plan and submit to the Student Records department with an Independent Study Form. The form must be approved by the student, the project faculty supervisor, and the student’s academic Program Director. Independent studies must be approved prior to registration for the course. Students submit the completed forms and a Registration Transaction Form (RTF) to the student advisor during open registration for the semester that the independent study is taking place. All forms and a detailed description can be found on the website.

*Please note: Independent study projects may not be used as a substitute for an available required course and may not substantially cover the same subject matter that is available in a required or elective course.*


11. Enrolling For a Course at another School or Institution

Once enrolled at GWSPH, graduate students are expected to complete course requirements at GWSPH. However, under limited circumstances, it is permissible to transfer in no more than 12 credits for coursework completed at another institution. If a student wishes to register concurrently at GW and another institution from which they wish to apply credit toward their GW degree, they must request written permission in advance. To request such permission, please follow these steps:

  • Download a Petition.
  • Complete the petition and attach the syllabus of the course desired to take.
  • Obtain student advisor’s signature. If the course will substitute for a required Milken Institute SPH course, also get approval from the instructor of that course and attach the syllabus.
  • Following completion of the course, request that a transcript be sent to Students must earn a grade of B or better to transfer credit, however the grade from another institution will not be considered in computing your GW grade-point average.
  • Consortium of Universities of the Washington Metropolitan Area: website

If a student wishes to register for a course offered by a GW school other than the GWSPH, and count this course toward degree requirements, they must similarly obtain prior written permission by filing a petition and follow the steps above (although students do not have to have a transcript sent).


12. Flexible Programming

GWSPH provides flexible academic program options for all Master-level students. Master’s-level students will be able to take courses in either online or on-campus formats. On-campus students may take up to 15 credits online, and online students may take up to 15 credits on-campus without requiring a petition. By offering these options, students will be able to customize their education to meet both professional and personal needs. Please see The Source (GWSPH intranet—see more on page 18) for more details about Flexible Programming. 


13. Religious Holidays

Students must notify faculty during the first week of the semester of their intention to be absent from class on their day(s) of religious observance. Instructors will extend to these students the courtesy of absence without penalty on such occasions, including permission to make up examinations, as long as there was advance notice as indicated above. Faculty who intend to observe a religious holiday will arrange at the beginning of the semester to reschedule missed classes or to make other provisions for their course-related activities.


14. Progress toward Degree

The chart below outlines the maximum time in program for each degree.


Maximum time in Program

Bachelor’s Degree

6 years


2 years

Master’s Degree (not MHA)

4 years

MHA (includes residential and online)

5 years

DrPH &  PhD, Social & Behavioral Sciences

7 years

PhD, Epidemiology

8 years


Post Enrollment Guide

Initial Steps

Students are responsible for a number of pre-and post-enrollment activities. The following items require action on the part of the student and should be considered essential in the orientation and acclimation process.  Once a student has returned the Declaration of Intent documents and has made a deposit, the student should set up their NetID.

On campus Students

Online Students



For details visit the New Student Orientation Website



Course Offering Website


Here, you will find helpful information such as:

  • Academic calendar
  • Graduate course descriptions
  • Graduate program-at-a-glance
  • How to register
  • Course schedule





  • Websites





  • Academic information: course descriptions, curriculum guide
  • Cross-university courses
  • Practicum information for MPH@GW
  • Academic calendar
  • Program policies, student handbook


1. The GWSPH Source

"The Source" is home to all resources for students, faculty and staff.

Currently, The Source can be utilized one of two ways.  First, if you know the name of the resource for which you are looking, simply type it (or part of it) into the search bar and click the icon. You can also use the category filters under "Resources" to help you locate the resource.

Secondly, under the "Faculty," "Researchers" and "Staff" tabs, you will find navigation that will help you locate information and resources similar to those available on the school's website.

Net ID and Password is needed to log into the GWSPH Source.


2. DegreeMap

  • DegreeMAP is GW’s online advising tool for use by students and advisors.
  • To use the planner, log in to DegreeMAP:
    • Log in to the GWeb Infosystem
    • Click on the Records and Registration link
    • Click on the Student Records Information link
    • Click on the DegreeMAP link
    • Click the “Launch DegreeMAP” button

Please note that students are responsible for meeting all degree requirements and that DegreeMAP should be used for planning purposes.


3. Register for Classes

On Campus Students

Online Students

  • Visit the Registration Tutorial
  • After the student has met with an advisor, they may register online through BanWeb.
  • There may be late changes in the schedule that are not reflected in those documents found on the Milken Institute SPH website. Always check the University Schedule of Classes. If a student has difficulty contacting their advisor or has other questions prior to enrollment, they may also contact the Office of Student Affairs.
  • The Practicum and Culminating Experience courses, as well as thesis and dissertation, require advisor approval and a Registration Transaction Form to register.
  • After speaking with a Student Support Advisor, students will register online through BanWeb.
  • Contact Student Support for details and instructions on how to register. Information regarding registration periods, dates, etc. will be sent via email from Student Support - be sure to carefully read these important communications!
  • The schedule is subject to change, and students should always check with Student Support or a student advisor for the latest schedule information.



4. Read the Weekly Student Newsletter

All enrolled Milken Institute SPH students receive the weekly newsletter, sent to their email address. The Monday newsletter compiles all the important deadlines, events and announcements for the coming weeks. It is advised that all students read the student newsletter each week to be aware of current events, activities, and updates.

Students are also welcome to join the opt-in Milken Institute SPH listserv that includes students, alumni, faculty, staff, and members of the community. The list is used to distribute information on seminars, internships, fellowships, and professional conferences. Once a member of the list, you can send public health related announcements to fellow list members.

If you are interested in subscribing to the GWSPH listserv, please:

  1. Use your GWU email address to send an email to Robin Delk (
  2. Write "Subscribe to Listserv" in the subject field of the email
  3. Simply include "Please add me to the student listserv" in the body.


In The First Two Weeks

1.Complete Academic Integrity Requirements

All Milken Institute School of Public Health Students are required to complete the following online activity regarding academic integrity:

This must be completed within 2 weeks of starting your coursework at Milken Institute School of Public Health. Email confirmation of your completion of the integrity quiz to the Student Records Office at For more information please visit the school’s website.


2.Complete Human Subjects Research Training Requirements

All students in the GWSPH are required to complete training regarding human subject protection regulation and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA). To fulfill this requirement, a student must complete the Collaborative IRB Training Initiative (CITI) Course in The Protection of Human Research Subjects. All GWSPH students are required to complete the CITI module Social and Behavioral Researchers or the Biomedical track which can be found under Human Subjects Research Training. CITI coursework must be completed before the end of their first semester/two modules.

Furthermore, students must complete the CITI course before they are approved to begin Practicum (MPH students) or any other field or research-related activities. This course is available online. Be sure to print out the certificate of completion for the CITI course and keep a copy for your records. Students will need this documentation for any IRB submission package. Documentation of completion is also required for graduation clearance.  Students will submit these documents to the Office of Student Records, . Additional training requirements exist for students who plan to conduct some types of research (e.g., clinical research).

To get started:

  1. Go to
  2. Click: Register for the CITI course
  3. Select Institution (GWU is under All Others, a drop-down list)
  4. Create a new username and password.
  5. Enter contact information


After The First Term

1.Participate In Professional Enhancement (PE) Activities

All degree seeking students in the Milken Institute School of Public Health are required to attend a minimum of 8 hours of professional enhancement activities during their program (some programs require more). These activities supplement the academic curriculum and help prepare students to participate actively in the professional community. They enhance practical knowledge and awareness of public health issues – either in general or in a student’s specific area of study. Students can fulfill this requirement by attending workshops, seminars, live webinars (recorded webinars or meetings do not fulfill this requirement), or other relevant professional meetings. Download the form at:

How to complete the Professional Enhancement Requirement: submit to Student Records

If unsure of whether the activity is appropriate for the PE or not, students should reach out to an advisor to obtain approval prior to attending the PE activity. Include information (name of a conference/objective of the activity), so the advisor can determine if the activity is valid for PE credit. Note that if advanced approval is not secured, PE activity may or may not be eligible to count toward PE requirements.


2.MPH Students - Prepare For Practicum & Culminating Experience

A.Complete the Practicum Training

For more information regarding the Practicum, please visit the Practicum website.

B.Requesting a Waiver of the Practicum

  • MPH students with substantial public health experience may request to waive the Practicum and substitute with two elective credits. Prior to matriculation, applicants must have completed more than three years of relevant, full-time, public health experience in which they can demonstrate clear relevance to at least one program competency.
  • This application to waive the Practicum MUST BE SUBMITTED within a student’s first semester of enrollment if in a resident program and within the first two terms of enrollment if in an online program.
  • To request a waiver, complete the Practicum Equivalent Experience (PEE) Application, available on the Milken Institute School of Public Health Academic Forms Website. Completed forms should be sent to an Academic Advisor for approval.

C.Registering For Practicum and Culminating Experience

  • Students should register for their practicum during the term they expect to start the practicum. Prerequisites vary among departments, please check with the respective department or program for details.
  • Culminating Experience (see table below)

On Campus Students

Online Students

Students should register for the Culminating Experience (CE) in the semester in which they expect to finish. Each department manages the CE differently, so be sure to follow the correct process.

Students should register for the Culminating Experience (CE) Part 1 (PUBH 6060) in their second to last term and Part 2 (PUBH 6061) in the final term of their program.


Prerequisite: all Core MPH Courses and Program- Specific Courses

Co-requisite: Practicum

  • If unusual circumstances arise and a student cannot complete the graduation requirements before the end of that term, they may petition one time to register for Continuous Enrollment. In these circumstances students will not be expected to pay the Continuous Research credit fee. Petitions to register for Continuous Enrollment rather than Continuous Research must include an explanation of why the student did not finish the project in a timely manner along with documentation sufficient to support the explanation. Documentation must include a detailed timeline and summary of progress to date and a timeline for finishing the project. Submission of this documentation does not guarantee the petition will be granted. Such petitions will be considered by the Academic Advisor on a case-by-case basis, and for one term only. Work issues and financial reasons are not considered as meeting the threshold of “unusual circumstances.”
  • Under normal circumstances, if the student does not complete the practicum or culminating experience in the term in which they are registered, they are required to register for one credit of “Continuing Research” (if they have no other course work to complete) in order to maintain their status during the following semester. This credit is charged at the prevailing tuition rate at the time of registration.
  • During summer session, a student only needs to register for Continuous Enrollment if planning to complete the practicum or the culminating experience to meet graduation requirements. Continuing students are not required to maintain enrollment during the summer session.


Graduation & Beyond

  1. Preparing to Graduate

There a few administrative tasks that must be completed by students in order to ensure a smooth graduation process. In an effort to make the process simplified, a Frequently Asked Questions document has been created. Please note there are important dates and deadlines to adhere to that are specific to online and on campus programs. Please see Appendix II for the Graduation FAQ document.

 The GWSPH Graduation Website is another resource with graduation information.

Graduation Requirements and Deadlines for Degree Completion: While degrees are awarded at the end of each semester, three times per year,  formal commencement ceremonies occur only in May. Students are eligible to graduate only after they have completed all degree requirements (see your advisor or Student Records) and have no financial obligations to the University. The degree designation (BS, MS, MPH, MHA, DrPH, or PhD) may be used after the student’s name only when all degree requirements are completed.

Application for Graduation: Information and Deadlines: Instructions for the online application as well as instructions for late applications can be found here on the University Website.

  1. Alumni  Associations
  • Milken Institute SPH Health Services Management & Leadership Alumni Association

For more information, visit the Milken Institute School Alumni Website.

  • GWU Alumni Association

The many benefits that can be enjoyed by all GWU alumni are summarized on the University’s Alumni Website.

  1. Alumni Communication

Stay up to date on Milken Institute SPH events, job opportunities, featured alumni, and other information through the Alumni Newsletter and GW Public Health LinkedIn page. To subscribe to the Alumni Newsletter, please make sure your preferred email address is up to date. You will automatically start receiving the Alumni Newsletter after graduation to your listed preferred email address.

  1. Alumni Course Audit Program

The Alumni Course Audit Program allows GW alumni as well as DC residents 60 years of age and older who reside in the neighborhoods surrounding GW’s Foggy Bottom and Mount Vernon campuses the opportunity to attend a wide selection of GW courses on a not- for-credit basis. For more information visit the Alumni Course Audit Website. Note: Only residential courses are available for alumni audit.

  1. Certifying  Examinations

The table below highlights some of the accrediting bodies and recommended certifications for various public health fields that may compliment the academic degree. Students interested in becoming members or certified are encouraged to speak with an academic advisor.


Certifying Examinations

National Board of Public Health Examiners

Certified Public Health (CPH)

National Commission for Health Education Credentialing Inc.

Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES)

Master Certified Health Education Specialist (MCHES)

American College of Health Care Administrators


American College of Healthcare Executives


National Strength & Conditioning Association

Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist (CSCS)

Certified Special Population Specialist (CSPS)

Certified Personal Trainer (NSCA-CPT)

Tactical Strength & Conditioning (TSAC-F)

American Council On Exercise

See website:

International Society of Sports Nutrition

Certified Sports Nutritionist From the International Society of Sports Nutrition (CISSN)

American College of Sports Medicine

See website:

National Environmental Health Association

See website:

Board of Certified Safety Professionals

See website:


Student Life & Other Resources

  1. Counseling  Center

The GW University Counseling Center offers a wide variety of counseling services to students including individual counseling, group counseling, academic support, career counseling, referral information, and alcohol/drug services. The Counseling Center is available to both undergraduate and graduate students.

For more information:

Marvin Center, Ground Floor • 800 21st Street, NW • Washington, DC 20052 Phone: 202-994-5300 • Fax: 202-994-5267 • counsel@gwu.eduWebsite


  1. Safety, Security, & University Operating Status

For up to date safety, security, and university operating status please visit: Important Phone Numbers:

GW Security Desk: 202-994-8800

GW University Police 202-994-6111

Note: due to the nature of the online programs, classes will generally not be affected by inclement weather.


  1. University Student Services Offices

Student Service


Academic Technologies


Dean of Students

Disability Support Services

Himmelfarb  Library

Grad Life Rice Hall 401

GW Bookstore

GWorld Card Services

Information Technology Services

International Services Office

Multicultural Services

Printing Services

Student Activities Center


Student Financial Assistance

Colonial Central,  Marvin Center, Ground Floor


Student Health Services

2150 Pennsylvania Ave, NW G402

Student Organizations

Center For Career Services (University)

Writing Center

Office of Military and Veteran Student Services