Since 1904, GW has offered coursework in the field of education. With fewer than a dozen faculty at first, the education division became the Teachers' College in 1909, and then eventually the School of Education in 1928, with departments of education, educational psychology and home economics. In 1933, the School of Education started to offer doctoral programs.
After World War II, many returning G.I.'s and retired military officers, some of whom were already trained in mathematics and science, attended GW to earn degrees in education, giving them entry to second careers. Many of these graduates quickly rose to become principals and superintendents to the generation of baby-boomers, thus providing a ready-made network for placing subsequent generations of GW teacher-trainees.
In the late '60s the school sought and received government funding for its new special education program, and later reached out to the community by training counselors as well as teachers. In 1977 the name was again changed to the School of Education and Human Development.
In 1994, the school became Graduate School of Education and Human Development (GSEHD) when it transitioned to a more focused mission on graduate education. Today, GSEHD's programs are organized within five departments: Counseling and Human Development, Curriculum and Pedagogy, Educational Leadership, Human and Organizational Learning, and Special Education and Disability Studies. These departments house master's, education specialist, doctoral, and graduate certificate programs.