The George Washington University (GW) will enter its third century in 2021. Vision 2021, the university’s Strategic Plan, reflects GW’s aspirations to provide a unique, rigorous education to every one of our students and to secure our position as one of the world’s premier research universities. By identifying trends in society in general and higher education in particular and understanding the university’s current strengths and limitations, the plan recommends a number of objectives and actions that intersect with the plan’s four themes.

GW’s exceptional strengths include a number of world-class academic programs, a unique location at the heart of the nation’s capital, and close ties to public and private institutions in the District of Columbia and the wider capital region. Many of the objectives and actions recommended by the plan have been enacted by various initiatives through the Office of the Provost.

These initiatives seize upon the academic opportunities afforded by GW’s location, diverse and accomplished expertise, and advancing research, as well as the unique cocurricular experiences and passionate interests of GW community.

Featured Initiatives

Provost Forrest Maltzman presenting GW's new budget model at an October 2016 faculty senate meeting

GW's New Budget Model

GW is in its second year of the new budget model. The new budget model is an alternative way to distribute resources to the university’s seven “open schools.” Previously, the budget model was complex and highly centralized. Under the new, decentralized budget model each "open school" receives an allocation that is based upon undergraduate credit hours taught, the school’s ability to attract and enroll graduate students, the amount of research dollars brought in, and a centralized allocated subsidy based upon the differential in teaching costs.

View the Faculty Senate budget presentation
Engineering students writing on the wall at SEH

Science and Engineering Hall

Science and Engineering Hall stands at the intersection of the university’s commitment to cross-disciplinary collaboration, investment in STEM, and research objectives. The largest academic building dedicated to the fields of science and engineering in the nation’s capital meets the needs of the GW’s growing research portfolio and serves as a hub for discovery, providing new opportunities for cross-disciplinary collaboration.

Learn more about Science and Engineering Hall
Ziauddin Yousafzai speaking at Global Women's Institute event

Global Women's Institute

The university is distinguished by its deep engagement in real-world problems. Because of our unique location in the heart of Washington, D.C., our faculty are linked to international and national organizations that make policies directed to resolving fundamental societal problems, including limitations on the rights of women. The Global Women’s Institute launched in fall 2012 to advance gender equality through interdisciplinary research, education, and policy and outreach.

Learn more about the Global Women's Institute
CBI director conducts field research

The Computational Biology Institute

Cross-disciplinary institutes draw on the university’s areas of strength to advance GW’s research goals. Building on strengths in life sciences and computational science and unique research partnerships in the nation’s capital, leading faculty of the Computational Biology Institute harness large datasets to open new doors of discovery that have the potential to influence policymaking and benefit millions.

Learn more about the Computational Biology Institute
President Knapp at opening of GW's Confucius Institute

International Strategy

GW's international strategy is to leverage Washington for global impact in three steps. First, GW works to connect with powerful global institutions in Washington and those with important representation in Washington (like the 177 foreign governments who operate embassies here). Second, GW seeks opportunities to partner with these institutions to respond to global human problems including poverty and sustainability. Third, GW uses these partnerships to extend its research, teaching, service, convening, and brand globally.

Capitol Buliding

The George Washington Institute of Public Policy

The university has a great strength in public policy in virtually all our schools and colleges. The George Washington Institute of Public Policy (GWIPP) serves as a university-wide nexus for faculty and graduate students engaging in research on public policy issues. Our focus on cross-disciplinary collaboration may lead to ways of translating ideas into fresh approaches to problems of public policy.

Learn more about the GW Institute of Public Policy
Installing solar panels


We are committed to being a model of sustainability through efforts in operations, teaching, research, and outreach. We seek to engage the world by exploring sustainability policy and governance with a vision to create resource systems that are healthy and thriving for all. Initiatives through the Office of Sustainability and Sustainability Collaborative are implemented in partnership with stakeholders across the organization.

Learn more about Sustainability
Photo of military graduates at commencement

Operation GW VALOR

Our university is committed to reflecting the nation’s diversity, and we are finding new ways to focus on building an inclusive culture, including educating and supporting veterans and active-duty military personnel. Operation GW VALOR, or Veterans Accelerate Learning Opportunities & Rewards, was launched to offer accelerated learning opportunities to student military members, veterans, and their families.

Learn more about Operation GW VALOR