Physical Access Policy

Policy Summary

It is the policy of the George Washington University (“university”) that access to the university’s facilities is controlled to enhance the security, safety and care of the GW Community. Access to the university’s facilities is considered a privilege, and is determined based on the specific needs and requirements of the university and the Authorized User. The safety and security of the university’s personnel, physical space, assets, and private information is a shared responsibility of all members of the university community.

This policy establishes expectations for access to campus facilities by Authorized Users. This policy describes specific responsibilities, conditions and practices designed to address access needs in a manner which minimizes risks and maximizes the protection of personnel, physical assets, and private information within the control and/or ownership of the university.

Who is Governed by this Policy 

  • Students, staff, faculty, and other university constituents and affiliates (“Authorized Users”)


Access to campus facilities is a privilege and should only be used for authorized university related purposes. The university reserves the right to limit physical access at any time including changing building hours, limiting access to certain populations, or locking down facilities.

Physical Access Credentials

Access to university facilities may be granted via a number of different means, including but not limited to, the GWorld Card, physical keys, fobs, or mobile credential (“access credentials”). Certain levels of access may be granted to users based on their role or relationship to the university. Access may also be granted for specific authorized university related purposes such as academic research, participation in a university sanctioned extracurricular activity, physically working in a restricted area, or performing housekeeping or maintenance responsibilities. Individuals will be granted the minimum level of access needed to reasonably meet their academic extracurricular, or professional responsibilities. Your access credential should be carried at all times. Failure to present your GWorld Card or other access credential to a representative of the University Police Department or other university official upon request may result in removal from university premises.

General Physical Access Usage Expectations

Authorized users should always be conscious of personal and community safety when accessing university controlled facilities. The below are expectations of Authorized Users when using a physical access credential.

  1. Your access credentials should not be shared with other individuals for any reason.
  2. Secured doors should not be propped or held open for others to enter, especially individuals you do not know.
  3. GWorld controlled doors should not be unlocked with physical keys.
  4. Only access a space for the intended use of the space and your reason for access authorization.

Accessing Spaces Outside of Your Assigned Workspaces

Individuals may be granted access to spaces outside of their normal workspace to perform specific responsibilities such as housekeeping, repairs, security checks, or responding to an emergency. Authorized Users should apply extra consideration when entering residential rooms, departmental offices, labs and other sensitive spaces. Specific instructions will be provided to applicable individuals based on their role and responsibility at the university.

Policy Violations

Anyone issued a physical access credential agrees to be bound by the requirements set forth in this policy and related policies and procedures. Violations may result in loss of some or all access privileges and disciplinary action.


Access: The ability to physically enter a secured area.

Access Credential: A means of gaining physical access including physical keys, GWorld Cards, fobs, and other access credentials such as the Mobile ID app.

Authorized User: An individual in rightful possession of a physical access credential.                                   

Related Information


Title Phone Number Email Address
GWorld Card Office 202-994-1795 [email protected]


Responsible University Official: Vice President, Division of Safety and Facilities
Responsible Office: GWORLD Card Office

Noncompliance with this policy can be reported through this website.