Governing Documents


Charter of the George Washington University (PDF)


Bylaws of the George Washington University (PDF)



Mission Statement

The George Washington University, an independent academic institution chartered by an Act of Congress of the United States in 1821, dedicates itself to furthering human well-being. The University values a dynamic, student-focused community stimulated by cultural and intellectual diversity and built upon a foundation of integrity, creativity and openness to the exploration of new ideas.

GW, centered in the national and international crossroads of Washington, D.C., commits itself to excellence in the creation, dissemination and application of knowledge.

To promote the process of lifelong learning from both global and integrative perspectives, the University provides a stimulating intellectual environment for its diverse students and faculty. By fostering excellence in teaching, the University offers outstanding learning experiences for full-time and part-time students in undergraduate, graduate and professional programs in Washington, D.C., the nation, and abroad. As a center for intellectual inquiry and research, the University emphasizes the linkage between basic and applied scholarship, insisting that the practical be grounded in knowledge and theory.  The University acts as a catalyst for creativity in the arts, the sciences and the professions by encouraging interaction among its students, faculty, staff, alumni and the communities it serves.

GW draws upon the rich array of resources from the National Capital Area to enhance its educational endeavors. In return, the University, through its students, faculty, staff and alumni, contributes talent and knowledge to improve the quality of life in metropolitan Washington, D.C.


The University Seal

Image of University Seal



The seal of the George Washington University identifies and endorses diplomas and other official documents.  The current university seal was instituted in 1905 with a design and inscription adopted from the original seal of Columbian College. Two inches in diameter, it bears an image of George Washington based on a well-known portrait by Gilbert Stuart. An open Bible shows a verse in Greek from the Gospel of St. John, chapter I, verses 1-4. The inscription on the left-hand page reads, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." The right-hand page reads, "In Him was life, and the life was the light of men." The words inscribed on the background are in Latin, “Deus Nobis Fiducia,” or, "God is our trust." The seal is encircled with a double ring, in azure, carrying the words, “THE GEORGE WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY - 1821.”