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Master of Science in Project Management

Frequently Asked Questions

Below are answers to some question we regularly see about the admission process, the program's content, and the distance learning mode. We encourage all students to read through the MSPM Information Packet and all international students to read through the International Student Admissions Guide. If you do not see the answer to your question, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Admissions Questions

What background do students need to qualify for admission to the MSPM program?
How many times a year does the Master of Science in Project Management program (MSPM) accept new students?
Is the GMAT/GRE required for all students?
What is the protocol to send transcripts from a foreign school?
What is Advanced Academic Standing and how do students qualify for it?
How long does it take to reach an admission decision?
Where should I have my transcripts and other application materials sent?

Program Questions

What is the length of program?
How many classes do students need to take each semester?
What is an academic semester?
When do classes meet?
What textbook, software, and other requirements are there for the MSPM program?
What is a leave of absence? What is the protocol for a leave of absence? How many leaves of absence can I take during my masters in project management?
Is there a way to take MSPM courses without applying to the program?
Whom do I contact for questions?

MSPM/MBA Joint Degree Questions

If I am already an MSPM or MBA student, can I still apply?
Are the admissions criteria different for current students?
How many years can I take to complete the MSPM/MBA joint degree program?
Who will be my adviser?
Is the MSPM/MBA joint degree program offered in the distance mode?
How do I qualify for advanced academic standing?

Distance Learning Questions

How do the Distance Learning and the campus modes compare?
How do students complete assignments and tests in the distance mode?
How many times do distance students need to be on campus?
What does the two-day Orientation cover?
Can students switch back and forth between the campus and distance program?
What technology do students need to participate in the distance learning mode?

International Students


Admissions Questions
What background do students need to qualify for admission to the MSPM program?

Our program is an industry independent program that can be applied to projects in any area. While a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited university along with at least 3 years of full-time professional work experience is required, we do not require a specific industry or academic background to apply. Our students come from a variety of backgrounds, including event planning, engineering, IT, construction, academia, healthcare/pharmaceuticals, government, product development, and more.

How many times a year does the Master of Science in Project Management program (MSPM) accept new students?

New students are accepted twice a year: for the Fall semester and for the Spring semester. Please see the admissions page for more details about specific deadlines.

Is the GMAT/GRE required for all students?

Yes, the GMAT or GRE is required for students wishing to apply to the MSPM program. However, the GMAT/GRE requirement is waived for students with more than seven years of full-time, relevant professional work experience. Please note that the admissions committee reserves the right to ask you to submit a GMAT/GRE score if it could increase your chance of admission.

To apply for a GMAT/GRE waiver, a student must submit the GMAT/GRE waiver application along with the documentation to support the application.

What is the protocol to send transcripts from a foreign school?

If your transcripts are from a university outside of the US, you are required to submit formally evaluated transcripts. You can find a list of approved evaluation companies at http://www.naces.org/members.htm. You will need to send your transcripts directly to the evaluation company, where they will undergo translation and evaluation assessment before being sent to the program directly. These evaluations must be received by the program before an application will be considered complete.

What is Advanced Academic Standing and how do students qualify for it?

Advanced Academic Standing (AAS) refers to course credit waivers. In other words, it means that a student is allowed to take fewer than 36 credit hours to complete the MSPM degree program.

There are three ways to qualify for AAS: 1) Students with a current PMP Certification from PMI are eligible to waive 3 elective credits; 2) Students may apply for course waivers for graduate work taken within the past 5 years if the course was not used for another degree. Students waiving courses based on graduate work can waive up to 6 credit hours. Waived courses must be equivalent to courses in the MSPM program; 3) Students who have completed the ESI/George Washington University Master Certificate Program in Project Management within the past five years may apply to waive 9 credit hours. Accepted students will work with the Program Director to determine which courses should be waived.

To receive AAS, students must submit the Application for Advanced Academic Standing no later than three weeks before the first day of class.

How long does it take to reach an admission decision?

Once the application file has been marked complete, it is sent onto the admissions committee for review. Applicants will be notified once their files are complete, and most receive the admissions decision by mail within two to three weeks.

Where should I have my transcripts and other application materials sent?

You should have ALL mail sent to the following address:
GW Project Management Program
2201 G Street, NW
Funger Hall, Suite 415
Washington, DC 20052



Program Questions
What is the length of the program?

The MSPM consists of 36 credit hours. Students have up to five years to complete the program. Most students who enroll in the program on a full-time basis (9 credit hours per semester) complete the degree in two years.

How many classes do students need to take each semester?

Students have the option of participating in the program as a full-time or part-time student. If a student is full-time, s/he must enroll in at least 9 credit hours per academic term (fall and spring). Part-time students, defined as any number of credit hours below nine, normally take 3 to 6 credit hours per academic term though there is no “one size fits all” approach. Part-time students must decide what credit load would be appropriate for his/her professional workload and other professional or personal commitments. Some of our part-time students who experience ‘busier’ times or seasons with their jobs take more courses during the off-peak times in their jobs to balance out their schedules.

There are other specific requirements for international students and students applying for financial aid. International students studying at GW on an F-1 or J-1 visa must be enrolled full-time and take 9 credit hours per semester. Students on financial aid must at least be enrolled half-time (4.5 credit hours per semester) or more depending on the aid package.

What is an academic semester?

An academic semester for the Fall runs from late August through mid-December. For the spring, the academic semester runs from mid-January through early May. The summer terms, of which there are two, are not a required enrollment period to maintain your status as a full-time student or for financial aid purposes.

Since some of our program is completed in modular format, some courses are 1.5 credit hours and run for half of the 14 week semester.These 1.5 credit courses begin the first week of classes and the 8th week of classes. The 3 credits courses run the entire 14 week semester.

When do classes meet?

Because the MSPM program is designed for working individuals, all of our campus classes are held in the evenings during the week and occasionally on Saturday mornings. All classes, campus and distance, are 2.5 hours long. Our distance courses are held virtually so students have flexibility over when they watch the lectures. There are also hour-long virtual classroom sessions scheduled in the evenings, usually between 9pm and 10pm. These sessions are also recorded.

What textbook, software, and other requirements are there for the MSPM program?

The textbook and software requirements change for each individual course. We encourage students to review the Syllabus Book for an idea of what is generally required for each course. While a computer is not required for on-campus students, many classes take advantage of various software packages and therefore it is highly recommended that a student have access to a computer throughout the degree. Through an alliance with Microsoft, many software packages are available for free for MSPM students.

What is a leave of absence? What is the protocol for a leave of absence? How many leaves of absence can I take during my masters in project management?

A leave of absence is taken by students who choose not to enroll in classes for one full semester, either in the Fall or the Spring. Summer semesters are not a part of the leave of absence. You are eligible for 2 leaves of absence during the length of your degree. You must apply for a leave of absence through the Project Management Director. Students who do not apply for a leave of absence and simply do not register for courses during a semester will face financial and academic penalties, including a potential loss of standing at GW.

Is there a way to take MSPM courses without applying to the program?

Students can take MSPM courses as a non-degree student or as a non-MSPM student. Non-degree students must first apply to the Office of University Students (OUS) and then receive approval from the Project Management Director. Students from other GW programs can take the MSPM courses as an elective for their program.

Students who plan on applying to the MSPM program after taking MSPM courses as a non-degree student are limited to the 6 credit hour transfer limit and must obtain at least a B in the course.

Whom do I contact for questions?

If you have questions regarding admissions requirements, or are in the process of applying to the program and would like help regarding your application, you should contact the Project Management Program directly. If you have been admitted to the program, you should contact the MSPM Director, Cambria Happ, CAE, or the MSPM Assistant Director, Dustin Pusch. You may contact the office by phone at (202) 994-6145 or by email at mspminfo@gwu.edu."

If you have questions regarding admissions requirements, or are in the process of applying to the program and would like help regarding your application, you should contact the Project Management Program directly. If you have been admitted to the program, you should contact the MSPM Director, Cambria Happ or the MSPM Assistant Director, Dustin Pusch. You can contact the office by phone at (202) 994-6145 or by email at mspminfo@gwu.edu.



MBA/MSPM Joint Degree Questions
If I am already an MSPM or MBA student, can I still apply?

Yes! If you are an MSPM student, you can apply for the joint degree program with the PMBA no later than 2 years after starting or upon completion of 24 credit hours, whichever comes first.

If you are a PMBA, AMBA, or HCMBA student, you can apply for the MSPM program no later than 2 years after starting or upon completion of 24 credit hours, whichever comes first.

If you are a GMBA student, you can apply for the MSPM program no later than the end of your first year.

Are the admissions criteria different for current students?

Current students can waive the application fee and may be able to request that the programs share copies of university transcripts. Other than that, the process is exactly the same.

How many years can I take to complete the MSPM/MBA joint degree program?

Students have 7 years to complete all requirements for the joint degree program.

Who will be my adviser?

The joint degree program is administered by the Director of the Project Management Program, but all students will have an adviser in the MBA program and an adviser in the MSPM program. Students need to work with both advisers throughout their time here.

Is the MSPM/MBA joint degree program offered in the distance mode?

Unfortunately right now we are only able to offer the MSPM/HCMBA joint degree in the distance mode. The PMBA, AMBA, and GMBA joint degrees are only offered on campus.

How do I qualify for advanced academic standing?

Incoming students can waive up to 6 credit hours, per the set criteria for the MBA programs.



Distance Learning Questions
How do the Distance Learning and the campus modes compare?

For a detailed description of the Distance Learning mode, please visit the Distance Learning page.

Our distance and campus modes are essentially identical with the difference being the way in which students receive the course lecture. Both courses are taught by the same instructor using the same syllabus. Lectures to campus students are captured on video and uploaded on Blackboard within a few hours. Distance students are able to access the lectures through a variety of methods, including streaming video or vodcasts on iTunes University.

Distance students spend one additional hour each week in a live virtual classroom. This supplemental class session provides a weekly opportunity to interact in real time.

How do students complete assignments and tests in the distance mode?

Students complete tests, quizzes, and assignments online using Blackboard technology. Through Blackboard, students are able to submit presentations, projects, and papers, as well as obtain articles and other items shared by the instructor. Email is also used as an alternate means of communication.

How many times do distance students need to be on campus?

Distance students are required to set foot on campus two times during the program. The first is for a mandatory two-day orientation session prior to the start of the program. The second campus requirement is a five day residency week at the conclusion of the Capstone course. All students registered for the distance capstone course, regardless of their campus standing, will be required to participate in the five-day residency week. Students will be responsible for the financial commitments of traveling to Washington, DC for both Orientation and Residency Week.

What does the two-day Orientation cover?

During the orientation, students will be given an overview of the curriculum, introduced to the faculty and technology for the courses, and, most important, given a chance to interact with other distance and campus MSPM students. The Orientation is mandatory to starting the MSPM program.

Can students switch back and forth between the campus and distance program?

Because both the campus and distance courses are part of the same program, students can switch from one mode to another on a course by course basis. There is no designation between campus and distance on any student’s records or degree.

What technology do students need to participate in the distance learning mode?

To participate in the distance courses, students need a computer with internet access. They will also need a headset microphone and webcam to participate in the weekly chat sessions. Many software packages are provided through an alliance with Microsoft.



International Students

For all questions regarding International Students including admissions requirements, admissions deadlines, the student visa process and other issues related specifically to international students, please see the International Student Admissions Guide.

 

MSPM Information Packet


A comprehensive guide about GW's M.S. in Project Management.



MSPM Information Sessions

MSPM Student Webzone

Attend an information session to learn more about GW MSPM.



MSPM International Student Admissions Guide

MSPM International Student Admissions Guide
A complete admissions guide for all international students.



MSPM Student Webzone

MSPM Student Webzone

The webzone is a one-stop-shop for information for current students.



Dean Doug Guthrie's Blog

Dean Doug Guthrie

Dr. Doug Guthrie, Dean, Professor of International Business and Professor of Management at The George Washington University School of Business is an expert in the fields of economic reform in China, leadership and corporate governance, and corporate social responsibility. More