Mission | History | Facilities

Mission of the Department

Computers are changing the world profoundly. Although this is a global phenomenon, it is particularly evident in a rapidly growing technology center such as the Washington D.C. metropolitan area. In this context, the Department of Computer Science serves as the focal point for computer science education and research within The George Washington University. The department provides opportunities for an outstanding multidisciplinary Computer Science education at the Bachelor’s degree, Master’s degree, and Doctoral degree levels, and provides collaborative research opportunities with other departments in the University and with our partners in industry and government.

Department History

The Department of Computer Science

Academic Center, 801 22nd St., Washington, DC 20052 The Department of Computer Science is a dynamic member of the George Washington University community, offering accredited undergraduate programs in Computer Science (alone or with Premedical option), and graduate degrees at the Masters, Professional, and Ph.D. level in a number of areas of concentration. The Department prepares its students for exciting careers in medicine, films, business, government, and engineering.

In 2002, the US government designated the GW School of Engineering and Applied Science as a Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education - one of only 36 universities in the US to share that designation. Since then, the Department of Computer Science has established one of the nation's best computer security and information assurance programs. Among the Departments achievements in the burgeoning area of computer security and information assurance:

  • The Department's new high-performance computing laboratory is a member of one of the five teams across the country to earn a slot on a US Department of Defense project to conceive and produce the next generation of supercomputers.
  • The Portable Education Network (PEN), developed by the Department of Computer Science and built with support from the US Department of Defense, simulates the Internet but is not connected to the Internet, allowing students to get hands-on experience learning how to better defend computer systems and programs on the Internet from various kinds of attacks.

The Department of Computer Science is chaired by Professor Abdou Youssef, and has 19 full-time faculty and approximately 50 adjunct faculty. Among the CS faculty, are two Fellows of the ACM. The Department has an undergraduate enrollment of 140, MS enrollment of 240, and Ph.D. enrollment of 100. Most of the classes have fewer than 15 students. The Department enjoys a research expenditure of over $3.5 million per year.

The School of Engineering and Applied Science

The School of Engineering and Applied Science (SEAS) was organized in 1884 as the Corcoran Scientific School of Columbian University. It was named in honor of William W. Corcoran, president of the University's Board of Trustees from 1869 to 1888. The school was among the first to accept women for degree candidacy in engineering. The organization and offerings of the school have evolved over the years, but throughout most of its history the program has been characterized by its emphasis on the principles guiding the advancement of technology. The current name was adopted in 1962.

Tompkins Hall, 725 23rd St., Washington, DC 20052
Through its six departments - Biomedical Engineering; and Civil and Environmental Engineering; Computer Science; Electrical and Computer Engineering; Engineering Management and Systems Engineering; and Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering; - the School of Engineering and Applied Science offers the bachelor of science and bachelor of arts degrees, graduate study leading to the degrees of Master of Science, Master of Engineering Management, and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.), and to the professional degrees of Engineer and Applied Scientist. The School also offers many graduate-level certificate programs through its departments.

Engineering at SEAS encompasses a broad range of disciplines, with a strategic focus on biomedical engineering, transportation/safety and security, high performance computing, and information technology/telecommunications. SEAS maintains several state-of-the-art research facilities where faculty and students work in partnership with public and private sector organizations. Among these is the GW earthquake simulator - or "shake table" - the only one of its kind, created with a grant from the National Science Foundation.

Located in Washington, DC and the northern Virginia Technology Corridor, SEAS gives its students access to the people who shape technological change - from world-class scientists to cutting-edge policymakers - and the organizations that support it, from the National Science Foundation and the NASA-Goddard Space Flight Center to the Naval Research Laboratory and the Library of Congress.

The University

The George Washington University, which celebrated its 175th anniversary in 1996, grew out of the desire of our country's first President to establish a national institution of higher learning. When GW opened its doors in 1821 as Columbian College in the District of Columbia, it boasted three faculty members, one tutor, and 30 students. The name of the institution was changed in 1873 to Columbian University and in 1904 to The George Washington University. By 1918, the University had moved to the Foggy Bottom neighborhood in the heart of Washington, DC. The more than 90 buildings, including 14 residence halls, are situated on 43 acres bordered by the White House, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the State Department, and the World Bank, as well as numerous federal agencies, national galleries, and museums.

GW's Virginia Campus, opened in 1991 for graduate studies, research projects, and professional development programs, is located along the high-tech corridor in Loudoun County. In 1998, GW established The George Washington University at Mount Vernon College in Northwest Washington.

Currently, the University's enrollments total more than 24,000, of which 10,400 are undergraduates, over 12,000 are graduate and professional students, and more than 1,000 are nondegree students. The students come from all 50 states and about 125 different countries.

GW is a vibrant and diverse community of scholars that utilizes the full resources of academia, while drawing from and contributing to government, industry, and the City. George Washington University's standing is solidified as a top-ranked institution.


The Science & Engineering Hall

The Science & Engineering Hall is a new building which opened in 2015 that houses all of the departments of the School of Engineering & Applied Science as well as the Dean's Offices. The Computer Science Department is located on the 4th floor in Suite 4000.

Foggy Bottom Campus

Academic Center

800 22nd Street NW
Washington, DC 20052

Built by Edward M. Crough, Inc., the Academic Center is a major classroom building and houses a computer center, television station, language labs, art department, and music department. The Center is a composite of buildings that include Smith, Phillips and Rome Halls. The glass-enclosed staircase, balconies and bridges make it a unique setting for creative minds. The center walkway has benches and trees to afford even the most hectic of schedules the opportunity to catch their breath.

The Academic Center houses the main offices of the Department of Computer Science, which are located on the 7th floor.

Computer Laboratories

There are multiple computer laboratories and classrooms.

Tompkins Hall

725 23rd St. NW
Washington, DC 20052

The building was named in honor of Charles H. Tompkins, a local builder and University Trustee (1952-1956).

Computer Laboratories

There are multiple computer laboratories and classrooms.

  • Senior Design Lab
    Located in Tompkins Hall room 205, the Lab supports a Windows XP based systems based engineering design tools and applications software. The Lab is equipped with Dell Pentium IV PCs configured to meet students need to complete the most important project for their graduation which includes conception, planning, design and construction of a one-year project.
  • General Operating System and Networking Lab
    Located in Tompkins Hall room 211, the Lab supports a wide range of Linux and Mac OS X system based computers for kernel and network development.
  • Engineering Design Lab
    Located in Tompkins Hall room 410, the Lab supports a wide range of Windows XP system based engineering design tools and applications software. The Lab is equipped with Dell Pentium IV PCs configured to meet engineering applications software resource requirements, an InFocus LP650 projector and Smart Board (Interactive whiteboard).
  • Instructional Lab
    The Instructional Lab, located in Tompkins Hall Room 405, provides for hands-on computer instruction for larger sized classes. The lab's many ergonomic and human engineering features, including the use of sound deadening and flat screen monitors that hold ultra-small form factor computer system units, provide an effective teaching environment. The Instructional Lab is also equipped with an InFocus LP650 projector, Smart Board (Interactive whiteboard), JBL audio system and an instructor's workstation.
  • Software Development Lab
    The Software Development Lab, located in Tompkins Hall Room 402, provides current development tools for computer graphics, animation, multimedia, database, Internet, and programming languages. The Lab utilizes Dell Precision Model 530 workstations specifically configured to support these technologies.
  • Unix Workstation Lab
    The Lab is located in Tompkins Hall Room 411 and is equipped with Sun Unix workstations configured to support high-level software and tools for advanced engineering applications, an InFocus LP650 projector and a automated projector screen.

Staughton Hall

707 22nd Street NW
Washington, DC 20052

The building was formerly the Staughton Residence Hall for Women. It was named in honor of William Staughton, the first President of the University (1821-1827).

Computer Laboratories

There is one computer laboratory/classroom.

  • General Linux Lab
    Located in Staughton Hall room 307, the Lab supports Linux based computer systems used for various class projects.

Mt. Vernon Campus

Mount Vernon Campus
2100 Foxhall Road, NW
Washington, DC 20007
tel. (202) 242-6673
fax (202) 242-6687

Virginia Campus

20101 Academic Way
Ashburn, Virginia 20147-2604

Situated on 95 acres in the heart of the Northern Virginia technology region, The George Washington Virginia Campus is GW's flagship research and technology campus. Committing the very best that GW has to offer in engineering, management and technology, the University established the campus in 1991 with a charter to become an integral participant in the development and growth of the technology sector in the Washington, DC region and beyond.

Today, the Virginia Campus has become a world-class center for collaboration with a robust cluster of market-driven academic programs and distinctive centers of research in transportation safety and security, information technology and telecommunications and public health and medicine. Through its Advisory Board, the Virginia Campus forges partnerships with industry and government that lead to cutting-edge research and educational programs. Programs that are building strong leaders and companies, creating new knowledge and ideas, and sparking innovation and inventive solutions.