Combined Bachelor's/Master's Program

Two Elliott School students smile during graduation.

You are a current Elliott School undergraduate student or hoping to become one. You know that you want to pursue a career in International Affairs, Global Security, International Development, or a related field and you know that a Master’s degree can help you get there. You understand the value of the reputation and location of the Elliott School and appreciate that living, working, and studying in the Washington, D.C. community has the power to shape your experience.

An Accelerated Dual Degree Program to Develop Your Expertise and Launch Your Career

Start your career sooner, while saving time and money. The Combined Degree Program allows you to begin work on your Elliott School M.A. degree while completing your undergraduate degree. If you’re ready to start your career in the field of international affairs and know you need to develop the expertise and skill set to make a difference, the Combined Degree offers the advantage you’re looking for.

The Combined Degree Program is right for you if...

  • You are currently an undergraduate student at the Elliott School, interested in enrolling in one of the Elliott School’s 8 M.A. programs, including the M.A. in International Affairs and M.A. in Security Policy Studies
  • You want to take advantage of financial benefits like double-counting courses across two degrees and the Grad2Grad 10% tuition discount in your final year
  • You want to complete your Master’s degree more quickly and begin your career sooner
  • You are looking for a Master’s program that will give you the skills, knowledge, and expertise to jumpstart your career as a public servant, consultant, analyst, international development worker, or a related career


Caitlin Mittrick smiles. She is wearing a blue blazer and white collared shirt. She is outside in front a green wall.

"When I was finishing up my undergraduate studies at the Elliott School, I was confident that I wanted to obtain a career in international development and that pursuing a Master's degree would unlock new opportunities for me. Continuing to study at the Elliott School was the right choice for me. Not only is the Elliott School conveniently located next to prime internship spots, but its name also carries a lot of weight with top employers."

Caitlin Mittrick
B.A. in International Affairs '22, M.A. in International Development Studies '24

Eligibility Requirements

  • You must be a current Third Year* undergraduate student at the Elliott School with at least 60 credits earned
  • You must have a 3.4 cumulative GPA or higher
  • You must meet all standard admissions requirements for the M.A. program

Ready to apply?

Apply Now

How It Works

1.Review the eligibility and curriculum requirements and discuss this opportunity with your academic advisor

Review the curriculum requirements and eligibility requirements. If you have questions, contact your undergraduate academic advisor with any questions about your ability to pursue this program.

2. Review the Elliott School M.A. Program Options

You can choose from any of the Elliott School’s 8 M.A. Programs including the M.A. in International Affairs, M.A. in International Development Studies, and M.A. in Security Policy Studies.

3. Apply to the Master’s Program(s) of your choice by November 1 of your Third Year*

*Students completing undergraduate studies in fewer than four years should apply when they have earned at least 60 credits and have at least 3 semesters remaining in their undergraduate degree. Contact your advisor if you have questions. 

Apply here. Follow the regular process to apply. In response to the question "Have you ever taken a course at the George Washington University either as a degree or non-degree student?" be sure to select "Yes." You will then see a question that reads "Are you currently a GW undergraduate ESIA student in your third year applying for the combined ESIA bachelor's/master's program?" Please select "Yes."

You will receive your admissions decision by the end of the calendar year.

4. Meet with your Advising Team

Upon acceptance to the program, you will be eligible to meet with a Graduate Academic Advisor in addition to your Undergraduate Academic Advisor. Together with your advising team, you will determine which classes you will take during your Senior Year that will count towards both degrees

5. Begin taking Graduate-level courses during your Fourth Year

Courses pre-approved by both advisors will count towards both degrees, up to a maximum of 10 credits.

6. Graduate with your Bachelor's Degree

You will be eligible to graduate with your Bachelor's Degree upon completion of your undergraduate degree requirements. Upon graduation, you will officially become an M.A. student.

7. Graduate with your Master's Degree

You will be eligible to graduate with your Master's degree upon completion of all graduate degree requirements.

A Program Structured with your Success In Mind

While a bachelor’s degree lays a great foundation and entry point to the field of International Affairs, a master’s degree can help you take your skills to the next level and develop your unique focus. Graduate courses at the Elliott School are professionally focused and students have the opportunity to take courses with different faculty members, many of whom bring their years or decades of experience from the field into the classroom. Through Professional Skills Courses, the Global Capstone experience, and resources offered through Graduate Student Services, graduate students at the Elliott School further develop the skills and experience needed for a successful career in International Affairs or a related field. Additionally, graduate classes are offered in the evening after 5 PM, allowing students to work or intern while completing their master’s degree.


One benefit of the combined degree program is the ability to double count credit towards your Bachelor's and Master's program. This reduces the number of credits required once you start the graduate portion and therefore reduces the overall cost of tuition. In addition to this savings, students are also eligible for the Grad2Grad program. This initiative provides eligible students with a 10% tuition reduction in their final year of the combined degree program. To be eligible for undergraduate financial aid, students must be registered in at least 51% of total undergraduate courses taken each semester that they are in the bachelor's degree. Any questions of financial aid eligibility should be directed to the Office of Student Financial Assistance.

Students applying for the Combined Degree Program will be eligible for consideration for Elliott School Fellowships during the semesters that they are pursuing their M.A. degree exclusively. Additional funding resources are available on the Funding Graduate Studies page.

Next Steps

First Year
Second Year
Third Year
Fourth Year

Ready to apply?

Apply Now