The Elizabeth J. Somers Women’s Leadership Program is a yearlong, residential and academic program for freshmen women true to the legacy of Elizabeth J. Somers. This program explores issues related to women’s leadership in various intellectual, artistic, social, political, and technological contexts, while meeting GW curriculum requirements and prerequisite courses for many majors. Students also experience the political, economic, and cultural resources of Washington as an integral part of their courses and program activities. The intimacy of the program and the campus provide first-year students with a small, close-knit community within a larger university and city.

The program is divided into four cohorts:

Students in each cohort, approximately 20 each year, take two courses and one symposium together each semester. One course, taught by the cohort director, focuses on the given field of study, while the other class centers on writing and the humanities. The unifying experience that makes WLP much more than a set of courses is the weekly symposium, which is designed to provide knowledge about, and experience in, leadership as it relates to women. This program offers guest speakers, special events, and field experiences, bringing students together with women of achievement from many areas.