Graduate Admissions

Students are at the heart of the Elliott School mission. As we educate and train the next generation of international leaders, we also strive to provide opportunities for scholarship and knowledge-building within the field. Our location in the center of Washington, D.C., offers incomparable benefits, and our powerful network of connections spans both the academic and policy community. Our students enhance their professional education through jobs and internships in the public, private and nonprofit sectors as they equip themselves to make the world a better place.


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Admission Prerequisites

Please check your intended program for a list of prerequisites. 


Application Materials

The application can be found online at GW's Graduate Application Center. There is an $80 dollar application fee, which may be waived.

Please note that you must click on the "Submit Your Application" button after you have completed your application. Online payment confirmation for your application does not submit your application for review.

The $80 application fee must be paid by credit card (Visa or MasterCard) online, or by mailing a check or money order. International applicants may pay via credit card online or international money order only. Checks and money orders must be received by the application due date for the semester in which you are applying.

Checks should be made out to "George Washington University," have your name as it appears in your application on the subject line, and be mailed to:

The Office of Graduate Admissions
1957 E. St NW, Suite 301
Washington DC 20052

Please note you may not change the method of payment once you submit your application and application fees are non-refundable.

If you are eligible for a fee waiver, select "Fee Waiver" as the option after you have completed 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 (veterans or active duty)

  • Current McNair Program Scholars* (a completed Certification of McNair Program Participation (pdf) must be scanned and submitted directly to us via email at [email protected] before submitting your application)

  • Special fellowships (i.e. Fulbright, Payne, Pickering, PPIA, Rangel) with an award/participation letter scanned and submitted directly to us via email at [email protected] before submitting your application

  • AmeriCorps*, Peace Corps*, Teach for America* or Teach for China* volunteers (an award/participation letter must be scanned and submitted directly to us via email at [email protected] before submitting your application)

  • Alumni Referral recipients (Please indicate the name of Alumni, School, Year of Graduation, and E-mail in Application Fee Notes)

  • Received a Bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited minority-serving institution in the United States

  • First Generation College Students (students whose parents did not complete a baccalaureate degree)

If you are eligible for this application fee waiver, please be sure to choose "Application Fee Waiver" as the payment method, do not pay the application fee prior to submitting your fee waiver request. The application fee waiver takes 1-2 business days to be reviewed.

**Fee Waiver requests can only be approved at the time of application. If an applicant submits an application and pays the fee, without selecting the fee waiver payment method, the fee cannot be refunded.

Please note the same fee waiver cannot be used for multiple applications. There is a limit of one fee waiver type per person per semester.

Applicants must submit a resume or curriculum vitae (CV) with their application. There is no page limit for these documents.

Resumes/CV's must include dates of employment (if applicable) and date of degree conferral or expected degree conferral. A minimum of a US Bachelor's degree or equivalent is required to be eligible to apply to any of the Elliott School graduate programs or certificates. Please save as a PDF and upload to your application.

All applicants are required to submit an essay of approximately 500 words that answers one of the two questions below:

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, how a degree from the Elliott School will enable you to achieve your goals, and what unique skills, talents and/or perspectives you will bring to your program. Please be specific.

- OR -

Please discuss an issue of international importance you wish to address in your professional career. Please include how the Elliott School and the academic program to which you have applied will prepare you to address this global issue.


International Policy and Practice (MIPP) Applicants:

ONLY MIPP applicants must submit a second essay of approximately 500 words addressing one of the two following topics*:

Identify a specific leadership challenge that you personally would like to tackle within the next five years. How will your education in the MIPP program help you succeed in this task?

- OR -

Assess the impact of globalization on your organization, indicating both the challenges and opportunities that globalization produces.

*MIPP applicants should include this essay in the same word/PDF document as their Statement of Purpose, separating both documents by the title- Statement of Purpose and MIPP essay.

Two (2) letters are required for any of the master's programs and graduate certificates. Applicants must submit at least one academic letter from a professor. Applicants should plan to submit either: one (1) academic reference and one (1) professional reference or two (2) academic references.

Letters should come from faculty, supervisors, and others who know you well in an academic or professional setting. At least one letter should come from a faculty member who taught you in a class and can speak to your potential for rigorous graduate study. Recommenders must use their professional email address, i.e. "" and not a personal account, i.e. "", "".

Once you save a recommender's contact information in the appropriate section of the online application, the system will prompt an auto-email with a formal request to submit a recommendation. Please note that these automatic emails may appear in spam/trash folders. Letters may be uploaded any time before or after you have submitted your application. You may also manually re-notify recommenders at any time.

NOTE: If you need to change ANY recommender information in an application, click "Remove Recommendation". DO NOT type over pre-existing recommender information.

Transcript Policy

Transcripts must be true and accurate. Inaccurate records may result in application denial or dismissal from The George Washington University.

Transcript Requirements for Applicants

To be eligible for admission, applicants must hold a Bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited college or university. Applicants who have earned their degrees outside of the US must hold a degree equivalent a U.S., 4-year Bachelor's degree.*

Please upload unofficial transcripts in PDF format and in the correct, upright orientation to your application. Do not submit certified, encrypted, or password protected files. Fall semester applications submitted after December 31 must also include grades from the applicant's most recent fall semester.

NOTE: All documents uploaded to the application portal (or sent via e-mail) by the applicant are considered unofficial.

Please see "Tips for Uploading Documents" below to ensure that documents will upload correctly and are in the correct format. You must submit a transcript, detailed marks certificate or comparable document in English (or with a certified English translation**) that shows:

  • Name of applicant
  • Name of the institution
  • All coursework (name of courses)
  • Grades for each course
  • Transcript legend/grading scale
  • Proof of degree conferral from each institution where degree earned

This is required for all institutions that you’ve taken courses at, regardless of whether or not you earned credit, the program was completed, or the credit appears as transfer credit on another transcript. This includes:

  • All institutions where a degree or certificate was conferred (i.e. Bachelor institution)
  • Community College
  • Study Abroad
  • Language immersion programs
  • Military coursework
  • Other institutions where coursework was completed

Transcript Requirements for Enrolling Students

If you are admitted and choose to enroll at the Elliott School, official copies of all transcripts must be sent directly from the institution (and certified English translations** sent by the translation service provider, where applicable).

For each institution that a degree was earned, transcripts must also demonstrate that the degree was awarded and include the date of degree conferral.

Please review our blog to see what distinguishes official from unofficial transcripts.

Transcripts sent to our office via email must be sent to [email protected] directly by the institution.

Transcripts sent to our office via post must be sent to:

Office of Graduate Admissions
1957 E. St. NW, Suite 301
Washington, DC 20052

Transcripts sent to a different address may not reach our office. If documents are sent to an incorrect address, applicants will be responsible for re-sending these documents to the correct address.

Hand-delivered transcripts must be received by our office in a sealed, unopened, stamped envelopes issued by the institution to be considered official. Any transcripts received by our office that have been opened are considered unofficial. Check our blog to see what distinguishes official from unofficial transcripts.

Please note that all official transcripts become the property of the George Washington University once they have been submitted and will not be returned to the student or the issuing institution.

*Most 3-year degrees outside of the Bologna process are not equivalent to a US 4-year Bachelor Degree. Please note, if a US 4-year Bachelor degree equivalency is not demonstrated, students will be required to provide a credential evaluation from a NACES or AICE member organization that certifies the coursework as meeting our requirement.

**If academic records are in a language other than English, a certified English language translation must be provided. Translations uploaded or e-mailed by the applicant are considered unofficial. If an applicant submits an unofficial transcript for translation, that translation is considered unofficial. This includes official transcripts that have been opened by the student.

For a translation to be considered official, the official transcript in its original language must be sent directly to the translation service provider, who must then send the transcript in its original language and the English translation, directly to our office.

GRE/GMAT Test Optional

The Elliott School does not require applicants to submit Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or GMAT scores for any of the graduate programs.

**Test optional means GRE/GMAT scores are not required as part of the application to any of the Elliott School programs.**

Scores from exams taken within the past five years can be sent directly to the university (GRE institution code: 5246; GMAT institution code: QK4-4F-40) if you would like them to be considered in your application to these programs.

If you have submitted GRE scores for one of the test-optional programs, but do not wish for them to be considered in your application, please notify us at [email protected] within 48 hours of submitting your application requesting in writing that your GRE scores be removed from your application.

If the GRE or GMAT Test is taken more than once, the highest score from each test will be considered. Test scores may take 10-15 business days after you have submitted your application to appear in your application checklist.

English Language Tests

All international and Permanent Resident applicants are required to submit official English Language Test Scores.

You may be waived from submitting English Language Test Scores if you meet one of 3 criteria, found on our English Language Requirements Page.

We accept official English Language Test Scores from Academic IELTS, TOEFL, and PTE only.

Please send official TOEFL scores to institutional code 5246. An institutional code is not required to send IELTS or PTE scores to GW.

Please send official IELTS/PTE scores via post to:
Office of Graduate Admissions
Elliott School of International Affairs
1957 E. St NW, Suite 301
Washington DC 20052

International Applicants

International Applicants may be required to submit official English Language tests scores with their application. Please see the Elliott School's English Language Requirements for guidance on whether you need to take the TOEFL/IELTS/PTE. Please sent official TOEFL scores to institution code 5246.

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

The minimum English Language Test Requirements can be found below:

Eligible for Admission & requires EAP Courses: 

IELTS- 7.0 overall score, no band score below 6.0

TOEFL- 100 (internet test) 600 (paper test)

PTE- 68

Eligible for Admission & Exempt from EAP Courses**:

IETLS- 7.0 overall score, no band score below 6.5

TOEFL- 105 (internet test) 650 (paper test)

PTE- 72

**Spring applicants must receive at least these scores to be considered for admission.

Apply to GW as an Undocumented Individual

When uploading documents your application, we recommend that you:

  • Save as PDF
  • Do not upload certified, encrypted, or password-protected files
  • Do not upload .png, .jpeg, .html files
  • Upload documents in their correct orientation (Rotate documents uploaded sideways or upside-down)
  • Scan it in black and white.
  • Scan it at the lowest possible resolution that produces a legible copy; we recommend under 200 dpi.
  • Include one copy of the transcript legend or grading scale for each university
  • Ensure the copy is printable on letter size (8.5” x 11”) or A4 paper and the size of your uploaded document does not exceed 1,000 kb.
  • Select “view document” on your applications once you’ve uploaded to make sure it is legible; illegible documents are not acceptable and will delay the processing of your 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 all uploaded document(s) are accurate and legible. Transcripts that are illegible will delay the application, and additional copies may be required.

"I chose the Elliott School because the school's missions of creating knowledge, sharing wisdom and inspiring action to make a difference in the world resonated strongly with me. I was equally impressed with the school's commitment to develop the next generation of global leaders." 

Chomba Chocho

MA International Affairs


All Elliott School programs (M.A., M.I.P.P., M.I.S., and Graduate Certificates) offer fall and spring admission. *Please note that Spring applicants to the M.A. in International Development Studies and M.A. in Middle East Studies programs must agree to complete the program over 5 semesters instead of 4. This excludes summer sessions.

  Spring Applications Due Fall Applications Due
Fellowship and Admission Consideration October 1st January 7th
Admission Consideration October 1st February 1st


Infographic: The Elliott School by the numbers, GW Elliott. 13 Graduate Programs, 3 Certificate Programs, 39+ Professional Skills Courses, 23,500+ Alumni in 113 Countries, 11 Research Institutes, 330+ Annual Events, 15 International Partner Schools, 2017 Incoming Class Profile, 16% Non-US Citizens, 1,549 Applicants, 324 Enrolling Students, 7% Military Population, 3.44 Avg. GPA (Undergraduate) 26 Avg. Age (M.A.) 24% Students of Color (US Citizens & Residents). The Elliott School Office of Graduate Admissions, 1957 E St. NW, Suite 301 Washington, DC 20052. The George Washington University does not unlawfully discriminate in its admissions programs against any person based on that person's race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation or gender identity or expression. 

Contact Graduate Admissions

The George Washington University 1957 E Street, NW, Suite 301, Washington, DC 20052

Phone: (202) 994-7050

Email: [email protected]

Join us for Online Office Hours on Gmail Chat! Tuesdays & Thursdays 9 a.m.-12 p.m. & 1-5 p.m

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