Policies & Procedures – Doctoral Programs


Students enrolled in the Online Engineering programs of study must conform to University, School, and Program requirements and regulations. Links to GW and Online Engineering academic policies appear below.

Academic Integrity

All online engineering students must be familiar with and abide by the following provisions: GW Code of Student Conduct, Code of Academic Integrity, and Online Engineering Student Code of Conduct 


Admission to Online Engineering programs is selective. Meeting minimum requirements does not guarantee admission. When offered admission, it is only valid to start in that session. Admission deferrals are not permitted. If you cannot begin in the session you were admitted, you must reapply for 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 session admitted, a student interrupts continuous enrollment, or a student is placed repeatedly on financial hold preventing registration. Students denied admission should not reapply unless circumstances have changed considerably. Denials of admission are generally upheld on reapplication.


Live class sessions are held once a week through Zoom. Attendance is required at all sessions. However, if an absence from a class meeting is needed (due to family/medical or work-related emergency), students must contact the instructor in advance. Live class sessions are recorded for further review and posted within a few hours of the class meeting. Recorded class meetings remain available until the end of the session.

Book Policy

Digital textbooks are provided at no additional cost to students. As long as the students 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. 

Communication with the Office

Online Engineering faculty, advisors, and staff support our students primarily by email. This is the most effective form of communication. There are several reasons for this:

  • Written communication ensures that we are clear, thorough, efficient, and consistent.
  • 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.
  • Students should expect a written response within one business day.

You can always reach us about our programs at: [email protected]

Should you require immediate technical assistance, contact Technical Support:


Course Assignment and Registration

Our programs are designed with fixed curricula based on input from academic and industry experts.

To provide our students with the best experience possible, the Online Engineering Programs Office registers every student in their assigned courses.

Approximately 60 days prior to the start of each semester, students will receive a registration notice. Registration notices include information on the next course in their program as well as the exact date registration dates.

On the registration date, approximately one month before classes begin, students in good academic and financial standing are registered for classes.

Doctoral Student Guidelines

Student Guidelines for:

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.

Academic and Graduation Requirements 

To meet graduation requirements, Doctoral students can have no grades below B-. Students also must complete the classroom phase of the program with a GPA of 3.2 or higher in the Doctor of Engineering and 3.4 for the Ph.D. program. If a doctoral student receives any grade below B-, graduate study is terminated and further enrollment is prohibited.

GW Bulletin

The GW Bulletin provides University and School academic regulations. Any Online Engineering Programs academic regulations that supplement those in the Bulletin will be published on this website.

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 finds it necessary to interrupt active pursuit of the degree may petition the Online Engineering Programs office for a leave of absence. Petitions are submitted by emailing a full explanation and any supporting documentation to [email protected]. Petitions are usually answered within two work weeks.

Since courses are taken in lockstep Ph.D. and D.Eng. students are generally not permitted leaves of absence. A petition may be granted however for an immediate family emergency (spouse, significant other, minor children) (up to six months), physical or mental health treatment (up to six months), or deployment to active military duty (up to one year).

Reviewing Your Student Account for Holds

At least once per semester, students should check to make sure that they do not have any holds on their record that will prevent registration. For more information contact the Office of the Registrar.


The schedule for online classes is:

  • Spring 1 (Mid Jan—Mid Mar)
  • Spring 2 (Late Mar—Mid May)
  • Summer (Late May—Late June)
  • Fall 1 (Mid Aug—Mid Oct)
  • Fall 2 (Late Oct—Mid Jan)

Students take two courses per ten-week session during the classroom phase. Due to the cohort format of the program, students take all courses in lockstep. Classes cannot be taken out of sequence and students must remain continuously enrolled.

Time Limits
  • The Doctor of Engineering degree programs are designed to be completed in two years and must be completed within three years.
  • The Doctor of Philosophy degree program is designed to be completed in three years and must be completed within five years.
Timeline for Doctoral Defenses

GW has deadlines for submission of praxes/dissertations to the library:

  • In order to defend your praxis in any semester, Academic Integrity Review (AIR ) approval must be obtained two (2) weeks prior to the Electronic Theses & Dissertations (ETD) upload deadline.
  • ETD Upload Deadline: Please see this website
Transfer of Credit

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

Withdrawals, Refunds, and Incomplete

All drop or withdrawal requests must come to the Online Engineering Programs office. Please email your request to [email protected]

  • Classroom Phase: Students may drop from courses during the classroom phase through the day after the second class meeting without any academic or financial penalty. After that date, students may withdraw through the day after the eighth class meeting. After withdrawal, the student will receive a designation of “W” and is responsible for full tuition.
  • Research Phase: Students may drop from research courses during the research phase up to 15 calendar days after the start of the session without any academic or financial penalty. After 15 calendar days, students may withdraw and will receive a designation of “W” and are responsible for full tuition.
  • Students who cannot complete a course due to extenuating circumstances (i.e. personal or immediate family medical emergency or deployment to active combat) during a session may seek an incomplete. Proper documentation before the start of the final exam period in that session is required.