Application Requirements

Admission to the Elliott School is highly selective; please follow application requirements closely and submit your materials by the deadline for your chosen semester. Select one specific Elliott School program for admission consideration, and verify that you have completed the background preparation for the program of your choice.

Application Materials

All application materials, listed below, must be received by the appropriate application deadline.

Elliott School application

Please complete this online at GW's Graduate Application Center. Be sure to include:

  • A Resume or curriculum vitae.
  • A Statement of Purpose.
    In an essay of approximately 500 words, state your purpose in undertaking graduate study at the Elliott School. As part of your statement of purpose, describe your academic and research interests, career objectives, and how a degree from the Elliott School will enable you to achieve your goals. Please be specific.
  • MIPP Essay (for applicants to the Master of International Policy and Practice program only)
    Mid-career MIPP applicants must also submit a second essay addressing one of the following topics:
      What is your country's greatest foreign policy challenge and how should it respond?
      Assess the impact of globalization on your organization, indicating both the challenges and opportunities that globalization produces.
  • Alumni Referral Program (optional)


Transcripts from all colleges, universities, and other post-secondary institutions that the student has attended (including The George Washington University) are required even if credits are listed as transfer credits on another transcript. Transcripts issued by the institution's Registrar office (not a grade report printed from the web), whichclearly identify the student's name and the institutions' name should be uploaded to the online application.

Please use a high quality scanner. Make certain to scan all pages of the transcript, including the reverse side if necessary. It is imperative that uploaded document(s) are accurate and legible. Transcripts that are illegible will delay the application, and additional copies may be required.
» Additional tips regarding scanning and uploading transcripts

If academic records are in a language other than English, a certified English language translation must be provided. The English translation alone can be uploaded into the online application.

Official copies of each transcript sent directly from the institution (and certified English translations if applicable) will be required only if you enroll at GW.

Uploaded transcripts must be true and accurate versions of the original documents. Uploading inaccurate records may result in application denial or dismissal from The George Washington University.

Letters of recommendation.

Three (3) letters are required for any of the master's programs and two (2) letters for graduate certificates. Applicants must submit at least one academic letter from a professor.

Required Tests

All applicants to the Elliott School's M.A. programs are required to take the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). Official scores should be reported using GW's institution code: 5246. You are advised to take the GRE no later than December 1 (or August 1 if applying for spring admission) to ensure your scores are received by the application deadline. We cannot review your application until official scores are received from the testing agency.

Applicants to the mid-career M.I.P.P. program and the M.I.S. program are strongly encouraged but not required to take the GRE.

Applicants who already holds a master's degree (or higher) are strongly encouraged but not required to take the GRE.

Please note: We cannot accept LSAT or GMAT scores in place of the GRE.

International applicants

Please see the University's English Language Requirements for guidance on whether you need to take the TOEFL/IELTS.

The minimum score for admission to the Elliott School is 600 on the TOEFL paper-based exam, 100 on the TOEFL internet exam, or an overall band score of 7.0 on the academic IELTS (with no individual band score below 6.0). The Test of Written English (TWE) on the TOEFL is strongly recommended.

GW English for Academic Purposes course: Admitted applicants are required to take the English for Academic Purposes (EAP) course at The George Washington University during their first semester. The course is design to facilitate the successful completion of their degree program. If you are required to enroll in this course, there will be additional costs involved, and these courses may not count toward your degree.

Students are exempt from taking the EAP course only if their

  • TOEFL test score is 105 or higher
    – or –
  • IELTS overall band score is 7.0 or higher, with no individual
    band score below 6.5

Elliott School's ETS codes:
GRE institution code 5246
TOEFL institution code 5246

Application Fee

You can choose to pay the $75 application fee by credit card or check. Please note you may not change the method of payment once you submit your application. If you are eligible for a fee waiver, select Check as the option and submit your application. The application fee is waived for the following applicants:

  • GW alumni (those holding a GW degree or certificate) and current GW degree or certificate students
  • U.S. military personnel who have been on active duty within three years of submitting their application for admission.
  • Current McNair Program Scholars (a completed Certification of McNair Program Participation and Application Fee Waiver form must be scanned and attached to your online application or submitted directly to us) and current Pickering Fellows (an award letter must be scanned and attached to your online application or submitted directly to us)
  • AmeriCorps, Peace Corps, Teach for America or Teach for China volunteers
  • Alumni Referral recipients

Graduate Programs Brochure

brochure cover: Elliott School Graduate Programs

If you are looking for a vibrant academic community — one with a global perspective and a commitment to the public good — then look no further than Washington, DC, and GW’s Elliott School of International Affairs.

Elliott School Video

Elliott School Dean Michael Brown discusses some of the things that make the Elliott School of International Affairs so unique.

Contact Graduate Admissions

Office of Graduate Admissions

The Elliott School of International Affairs
The George Washington University
1957 E Street, NW, Suite 301
Washington, DC 20052

Phone: (202) 994-7050
Fax: (202) 994-9537