Academic and Conduct Policies

You should familiarize yourself with the important policies linked below governing your academic and personal responsibilities while at the law school. Failing to read or familiarize yourself with these policies will not excuse failure to abide by their requirements.

Exam Policies and Procedures

The Spring 2018 exam period begins Monday, April 23 and ends on Friday, May 4. Student misunderstanding about the date or time of an exam is not a valid excuse for missing an exam.

The Records Office and Dean of Students Office administer exams.  During the exam period, the Records Office is open from 9:00 a.m. until evening exams conclude Monday through Thursday, and 9:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. on Fridays.  A dean is available to students at all times when exams are administered.  The Records Office telephone number is (202) 994-6261; the Dean of Students Office telephone number is (202) 994-8320. Exam locations are posted on the law school display monitors and student portal one hour before the scheduled start time of each exam.

Electronic reading devices in lieu of text books are not allowed. Devices enabling access to the internet are prohibited, including additional computers and cell phones.

Do not contact your professor. In the event an emergency (such as hospitalization or a death in the family) prevents you from taking an exam, to be excused from the exam you must immediately contact the Dean of Students Office by telephone at (202) 994-8320, email at [email protected], or in person. Documentation will be required to support any request for excusal. Students who are absent from an exam and are not officially excused may receive a grade of F.  Misunderstanding about the date or time of an exam is not a valid excuse for missing an exam.

Immediately inform the proctor if an emergency, such as a severe illness, occurs during an exam. The proctor will contact the appropriate law school officials. Students who leave an exam without contacting the proper law school officials will not be eligible to finish or otherwise retake the exam at a later time.

Professors cannot reschedule exams for individual students under any circumstances.  All questions regarding exam scheduling must be addressed to the Dean of Students Office. 

Students who are absent from an exam and are not officially excused may receive a grade of F. Misunderstanding about the date or time of an exam is not a valid excuse for missing an exam.

Exams are graded anonymously. Do not convey your name or identity anywhere on your exam.  Use your GWID number (G12345678, e.g.) as your identifier.

Students are permitted one laptop computer for exam taking purposes.  Additional laptop computers or any other electronic data storage devices are not allowed in an exam room under any circumstance.  No electronic reading devices (including to access e-books) of any kind are permitted; accordingly, if you want to consult any book, notes, or outline during the exam, you must bring a hard copy.  Devices enabling access to the internet are prohibited, including cell phones and “smart” watches.  Cell phones must be turned off, stored away from the desk, and under no circumstances may be used during an exam. No headphones are permitted; if noise minimization is sought, please use earplugs.  Please sit in every other seat in the exam room to the extent possible.

If you need to leave the exam room, you may not take any materials with you and you may not bring any new materials back into the exam room. You may not confer with anyone about the exam or consult materials while you are outside the exam room.

Proctors will contact the professor, via the Records Office, to ask any questions about the content of an exam question. Under no circumstances should you ask for assistance from another student taking the exam or from deans or other officials.

Each student is responsible for monitoring the time during the exam.  Proctors are not required to remind students of elapsed time. At the conclusion of the exam, as announced by the proctor, all keyboarding and writing must stop immediately.  Students may not continue to keyboard or write after time has been announced except to exit the Exam4 program. Specifically, do not finish a sentence, write on the outside of the exam books, or continue to mark any Scantron sheet. Numbering books or adding your GWID number can only be done in the presence of the proctor.

In addition, students must ensure that all items for collection are turned into the proctor.  Proctors are not responsible for checking materials that students submit.  Do not contact your professor to express difficulties regarding the exam for reasons including, but not limited to, illness or equipment failure.  Students may raise such concerns with the Dean of Students Office.  

“Controlled” exams are number stamped and MUST be returned to the proctor at the end of the exam. Students who fail to return controlled exams risk receiving a F. You are responsible for returning all required materials to the proctor at the end of the exam. If you are contacted regarding a controlled exam you must respond immediately to any inquiry and will be required to return to campus, regardless of the time.

To use the exam software for your exams, please download Exam4 from  All downloads of Exam4 will take students through a simple installer. When beginning your exam, make sure your laptop is connected to the wireless network (GWLAW1X) before launching Exam4.

Please complete a practice exam to be sure that your computer passes the security check and to become familiar with the interface. There is no practice exam question, just a blank page on which you type your exam answer. Please run a practice exam for at least five minutes.

Exam4 is available for Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1, Windows 10, and for Apple Macintosh (El-Capitan, Mavericks and Yosemite). If it is installed on a student laptop, a Chinese translation program called YoudaoDict has caused problems with the Exam4 interface and should be uninstalled before exams.

A video tutorial on Exam4 is available. If you have difficulties with Exam4, please address them immediately with Records and/or the Burns Help Desk to assess the problem.

Do not delete any files from your laptop computer until after your grade has posted, so that the Records Office can complete any necessary followup in exam processing.

At the end of your exam, you will be asked to submit your answers through the law school wireless network. The auto save on Exam4 saves your exam every 10 seconds, with an additional five minute backup.  If you do not have wireless access, you will save your exam on a USB drive provided by the proctor.

Laptop exams are the default. Students handwriting their exams in booklets will be in the same exam room as laptop users.

GW Law is not responsible for any equipment failure during an exam, will not permit a back-up laptop, and will not allot extra time to enable students to address equipment failure. Students who experience equipment failure will simply continue by writing in exam booklets.

Additional Policies

Due to Covid-19 and the requirements of remote instruction, all classes are currently being recorded.  Please check back for updates in Fall 2020.

Class Recording

You may request that the Dean of Students Office arrange for recordings in one of seven situations "pre-approved" by the faculty, as listed below:

  1. Death in the family or family emergency.  The term “family” is interpreted to include close family members and others with a close, family-like relationship to the student.
  2. Observance of religious holidays (as determined annually and published by The George Washington University), including reasonable travel as may be necessary).
  3. Class conflicts caused by makeup classes necessitated by the instructor’s absence, or cancellation of classes due to inclement weather or other emergency.
  4. Jury duty or other required court appearance.
  5. Military obligations.
  6. When recording is determined by the Dean of Students Office to be an advisable means of accommodating a student’s ongoing medical condition or disability.
  7. Any medical emergency, illness or medical issue that would prevent the student from attending class, as long as the student can provide medical documentation specifying the nature of the issue and the necessity of their absence.

Individual instructors retain the discretion to grant recording access for situations not falling within the pre-approved reasons (for example: work conflicts, non-emergency family obligations, temporary illnesses for which you do not have documentation).  If you wish to arrange recordings in these situations, you must contact the instructor and, if permission is granted, arrange for recording through the law school’s Office of Instructional Technology.  If you ask your professor to record your class for a situation not falling within the pre-approved reasons, we recommend copying the Office of Instructional Technology on the email to your professor to simplify the request process.

Finally, please note that an instructor may not allow any of his or her classes to be recorded. For more information, please see the Class Recording Policy.

After completion of the first year of study, a student may petition the Dean of Students for a leave of absence from the law school. A leave of absence will be granted only when the request is sufficiently compelling, and no leave of absence will be granted in excess of one academic year. A leave of absence during the first year of study may be granted in the case of a student's medically certified disability requiring absence from classes due to a student's hospitalization and medically certified subsequent period of recovery. A student who has been granted a leave of absence must comply with the University's registration procedures of maintaining continuous enrollment. Any student who does not maintain continuous enrollment while on a leave of absence will be required to petition the Academic Scholarship Committee for readmission.

The George Washington University Law School's posting policy applies to all who utilize the bulletin boards located within the law school. Bulletin boards are for the use of law student organizations sanctioned by the Student Bar Association, law faculty members, law school offices, and other individuals or entities by permission from the Dean's Office. Flyers should clearly state the individuals or entity responsible for the flyer and their contact information. Flyers must be deemed appropriate under university policy and regulations. 

All flyers shall be posted on bulletin boards throughout the law school. No posting on the following:

  • official bulletin boards (e.g. Career Center, SBA-only, and Administration bulletin boards
  • doors
  • wooden surfaces
  • painted surfaces
  • windows
  • around/above student mailboxes
  • elevators
  • classrooms

Please post only one poster/flyer per bulletin board.  Do not cover other flyers. Flyers must be taken down once the event is over. 

Flyers not in compliance with this policy are subject to removal.

Applications for withdrawal from the University must be made in person or in writing to the Dean of Students Office. After the first two weeks of class, applications for changes in class schedule must have the written approval of the instructor, the Dean of Students Office, and the director of the Records Office. Under no circumstances may a student withdraw from a course after the last day of classes in a semester.

In authorized withdrawals and changes in schedule, cancellations of semester tuition charges and fees will be made in accordance with the following schedule for the fall and spring semesters:

1. Complete withdrawal from the University

  • Withdrawal dated on or before the end of the first week of the semester = 90%
  • Withdrawal dated on or before the end of the second week of the semester = 60%
  • Withdrawal dated on or before the end of the third week of the semester = 40%
  • Withdrawal dated on or before the end of the fourth week of the semester = 25%
  • Withdrawal dated after the fourth week of the semester = 0%

2. Partial withdrawal

If the change in program results in a lower charge, the refund schedule above applies to the difference.

3. Regulations governing student withdrawals as they relate to residence hall and food service charges are contained in the specific lease arrangements.

4. Summer Sessions

In cases of authorized withdrawals from courses, refunds of 85% of tuition and fees will be made for courses dropped within the first seven calendar days of the start of a session. No refund will be made if dropped thereafter.

5. For First Year Law Program (not including nonrefundable deposits)

  • Withdrawal prior to the last Friday in July = 100%
  • Withdrawal prior to the first day of the student’s scheduled orientation = 90%
  • Withdrawal from the first day of the student’s scheduled orientation through the first week of the first year law student classes of the semester = 75%
  • Withdrawal from the start of the second week of the semester through October 5 = 50%
  • Withdrawal after October 5 = 0%

Courses that do not follow the traditional semester may have different refund policies.

Refund policies of the University are in conformity with guidelines for refunds as adopted by the American Council on Education. Federal regulations require that financial aid recipients use such refunds to repay financial aid received for that semester’s attendance. This policy applies to institutional aid as well.

In no case will tuition be reduced or refunded because of absence from classes. Authorization to withdraw and certification for work done will not be given to a student who does not have a clear financial record.


Helpful Documents