The George Washington University School of Business: Engaging the World from the Nation’s Capital
The George Washington University School of Business | the education magazine

The George Washington University School of Business (GWSB) is a world-class global educational institution located in the heart of the U.S. capital of Washington, D.C. GWSB is devoted to putting its students’ interests first and preparing them to be the business leaders of tomorrow.


GWSB was born in a spirit of innovation. Since the school’s founding in 1928, it has stood on the cutting edge of bold new ideas.

GWSB was founded on the idea, new for its time, that business and government might become partners in promoting national prosperity and international development. Beginning with a $1 million endowment from the League of Masonic Clubs, GW President Cloyd H. Marvin established what was known as the School of Government, with degree programs that integrated business and politics on the national and international levels.

In the years following World War II, change came rapidly. In 1960, the school was renamed the School of Government, Business, and International Affairs. Then, in 1966, GW President Lloyd H. Elliott split its faculties into a new School of Government and Business Administration (SGBA) and a School of International Affairs—which today bears President Elliott’s name. The SGBA was renamed the School of Business and Public Management in 1990. In 2004, it became the School of Business.

In January 2006, the GW School of Business opened its new location: the newly constructed Ric and Dawn Duquès Hall and the renovated Norma Lee and Morton Funger Hall. This complex provides students, faculty and staff with a unified center for study and career-development activities.

Throughout its history, GWSB has attracted some of the nation’s most outstanding leaders from academia, government and the business world, including former deans F. David Fowler, a managing partner of KPMG Peat Marwick, and Susan M. Phillips, former member of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System.

Over the course of the years, and through the various stages of its evolution, the GW School of Business has assembled an impressive roster of distinguished alumni, including: U.S. Senators Jean Carnahan, Kent Conrad and Michael Enzi; Missouri Governor Mel Carnahan; Colin Powell, general, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and U.S. secretary of state; Mary-Beth Morgan, director of cyber security, U.S. Department of Defense; Michelle Knox-Zaloom, U.S. Olympian (women’s rowing team, 1992 and 1996); and, Chicago Bulls and White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf, to name just a few.

Unique Location

Offering four-year degrees in accountancy, business administration and finance, GWSB’s undergraduate program fully prepares students for their next step, whether beginning a successful career or continuing their studies in graduate school. At the graduate level, GWSB offers a variety of MBA programs, specialized master’s programs, and doctoral and executive education programs, as well as innovative graduate certificate programs in a wide range of disciplines.

GWSB’s unique location is one of the school’s great strengths. The GWSB Foggy Bottom campus shares the neighborhood with U.S. federal agencies, international organizations, businesses, trade and advocacy associations, and nonprofits. The U.S. Departments of State and the Treasury, as well as the White House, are within walking distance, as are the World Bank and International Monetary Fund headquarters. The world diplomatic community is also nearby, with many of the more than 170 foreign embassies in Washington, D.C., within a mile of campus.

The school takes full advantage of the proximity to so many government agencies, businesses, and international organizations. National and international leaders—from heads of state to captains of industry and visionary entrepreneurs—frequently speak on campus. Students have unmatched access for first-hand observation and study of some of the most important and influential organizations in the world. The relationship between GWSB and Washington, D.C., frequently results in student internships, and after graduation, employment opportunities.

Respected Research Institution

GWSB has earned a well-deserved reputation as a global institution with a global outlook. Its student body is internationally diverse, with students coming to GWSB from all around the world. While GWSB welcomes the world to its campus, it also goes out into the world, with its extensive array of long and short-term study-abroad and consulting programs. GWSB has made the world its classroom. In its commitment to seeking, recruiting and retaining the best teaching talent available, GWSB also has a diverse faculty comprised of top experts in their fields from all around the globe.

In addition to teaching excellence, GWSB is renowned for the cutting-edge research conducted by its faculty. The school is home to more than a dozen research centers, each dedicated to expanding the shared knowledge of a specific aspect of the business world.

The following are just a few of GWSB’s research centers:

  • The Center for Real Estate and Urban Analysis (CREUA) is led by Christopher Leinberger, Charles Bendit Distinguished Scholar and research professor, and is devoted to developing a first-rate real estate curriculum for students at the School of Business, and conducting influential real estate research focusing on walkable urban place development and management, international real estate, and housing finance policy. CREUA’s “Walk-Up” reports on Atlanta, Boston, Michigan metro areas, New York City and Washington, D.C., have revolutionized modern understanding of our urban centers.
  • The Global Financial Literacy Excellence Center (GFLEC), directed by Annamaria Lusardi, Denit Trust Chair of Economics and Accountancy, is known worldwide for its research and advocacy for financial literacy. Founded in 2011 by Dr. Lusardi, GFLEC works with partners in Washington, D.C., throughout the United States, and across the globe to raise the level of financial knowledge, and is widely acknowledged as the leading authority on financial education.
  • The Institute for Corporate Responsibility (ICR), under the direction of John Forrer, associate research professor of strategic management and public policy, focuses on issues of ethics and how businesses — and businesspeople — can be “good citizens.” The ICR has done important work in the areas of corporate governance, conflict-free chocolate, the “better world learning community,” re-imagining sustainable supply chain governance, and issues surrounding sugar, obesity and corporate responsibility.

GWSB’s strengths in classroom instruction and teaching are more than matched in the area of co-curricular programs, especially by the exceptional record of achievement compiled by the school’s F. David Fowler Career Center (FDFCC). Much more than an “employment service,” the FDFCC provides GWSB undergraduate and graduate students with the lifelong career-management skills they will need to succeed in today’s competitive employment market. The FDFCC provides extensive career services, including resume instruction, interview preparation, career fairs and out-of-town “career treks.” The center’s unique Communities of Practice program provides students with access to working professionals through counseling and mentoring relationships. The program supplies students with the up-to-the-minute information they need to be job-ready for a career in their chosen field.

Completing the GWSB Community is an exceptionally loyal and active alumni network. GWSB graduates have made their mark in every aspect of business, as well as in public service. GWSB alumni have demonstrated a remarkable devotion to their alma mater, keeping in close touch to support the school and, especially, its students and their fellow graduates.

The university’s namesake once said, “Knowledge is in every country the surest basis of public happiness.” The George Washington University School of Business is proud to find inspiration in those words and to do its part to prove them true.

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