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School of Engineering and Applied Science

The School of Engineering and Applied Science (SEAS) at The George Washington University was organized on October 1, 1884, as the Corcoran Scientific School of Columbian University, the school, and was situated in the University Building at 15th and H Streets, N.W. The School was named for William W. Corcoran, Trustee and President of the Corporation (as the Board of Trustees was referred to at the time) from 1869-88. Day and evening courses in science and technology were offered, which led to the degrees of Bachelor of Science, Civil Engineer, Mechanical Engineer, and Mining Engineer. Although the school lacked the national distinction that was to come, it was among the first to accept women for degree candidacy in engineering.

In 1903 a single Department of Arts and Sciences was authorized to offer graduate engineering degrees. Administrative changes led to the creation of the Washington College of Engineering in 1905, as one of the several semi-independent undergraduate colleges of the University.

Name changes

In 1909, the name of the College was changed to the College of Engineering and Mechanic Arts, and the curricula were revised to give a through understanding of the theory underlying engineering practice. Emphasis was placed on the development of a knowledge of scientific principles upon which the student could build and by which he or she might solve new problems as they were met in practice.

The name of the School was changed in 1914 to the College of Engineering, and later to the School of Engineering. Architecture was dropped from the curriculum and degrees were limited to the field of engineering. However, the primary emphasis upon principles rather than technology, which had characterized the School since 1903, was continued and remains to this day as one of the important distinguishing features of the School.

The School of Engineering and Applied Science’s history has been marked by distinguished service to the nation. In 1940, with the nation on the edge of war, the school created seven special courses to prepare the country for the stresses that war would put on America’s productive capacity. Topics included concrete testing and map making. By 1944, these courses had evolved into 15-week war-training courses covering such topics as the elements of interior ballistics.

In 1962, the name of the School became the School of Engineering and Applied Science. Through its five departments - 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 undergraduate study leading to the degrees of Bachelor of Science (with majors in biomedical engineering, civil engineering, computer engineering, computer science, electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, and systems engineering), and Bachelor of Arts (with majors in applied science and technology and in computer science). Five-year bachelor’s/master’s degree programs are available for selected majors.

Degrees with other Departments

In cooperation with the Law School, an integrated engineering and law program leading to the degrees of Bachelor of Science or Arts and Juris Doctor is offered. An integrated engineering and medicine program leading to the degrees of Bachelor of Science or Arts and Doctor of Medicine is offered in cooperation with the School of Medicine and Health Sciences. The School offers graduate study leading to the degrees of Master of Science, Master of Engineering Management, and Doctor of Science and to the professional degrees of Engineer and Applied Scientist. The Dean of the School reports to the Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs.

From 1942-1971 and 1980-1991 the School published the journal Mecheleciv, and since the early 1960’s has sponsored the annual Frank Howard lecture given by the alumni association.


Prior to 1906 there were no Deans

Howard Lincoln Hodgkins 1906-1923

Hugh Miller 1923-1927

John Raymond Lapham 1927-1940

Frederick Morris Feiker 1940-1952

Martin Alexander Mason 1952-1968

Harold Liebowitz 1968-1991

Donald Gross (Acting) 1991-1992

Charles M. Gilmore (Acting) 1992-1993

Gideon Frieder 1993-1996

Thomas A Mazzuchi (Interim) 1996-2000

Timothy Tong 2000 - 2008

David Dolling 2008 - Present