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 academic prerequisites for the program of your choice.

All application materials, listed below, must be received by the appropriate application deadline.  You can also view all of the application requirements on our "Application Checklist."


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. Please choose one topic from the choices below:

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.


In an essay of approximately 500 words, 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.


Mid-career MIPP applicants must also submit a second essay addressing one of the 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?


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 title- Statement of Purpose and MIPP essay


Academic Records

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 degere. Most 3-year degree's outside of the Bologna process do not meet this requirement. Please note, if a US 4-year Bachelor degree equivalency is not demostrated, students may be required to provide a credential evaluation from a NACES approved organization, that certifies the coursework as meeting our requirement. 
You must submit a transcript, detailed marks certificate or comparable document that shows all course work, grades and proof of earned degrees from each institution you’ve attended. This is required for all colleges and universities 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.  
You should upload unofficial transcripts to your online account. 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.
When uploading your transcripts, we recommend that you:
  • 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
  • Do not upload certified, encrypted or password-protected files.
  • 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 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


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.

Transcripts sent to our office via email must  be emailed to Transcripts emailed to a different address may not reach our office.

Letters of Recommendation

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. 

Once an applicant enters their recommender's email address in our online application, recommenders will receive an email and link to upload their letter of recommendation. If for any reason a recommender is unable to do so, they may email their letter directly from their professional email account.

Required Tests

All applicants to the Elliott School's M.A. programs are required to submit Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores or GMAT scores. Official GRE scores should be reported using GW's institution code: 5246.  You are advised to take the test 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. If the GRE or GMAT Test is taken more than once, the highest score from each test will be considered.

Applicants to the mid-career M.I.P.P. program, the M.I.S. program, and applicants who already hold a U.S. master's degree (or equivalent) are not required to submit the GRE. 

Applicants for graduate certificate programs who have more than eight years of professional work experience or an advanced degree are strongly recommended, but not required, to submit GRE/GMAT scores.


International Applicants

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

The minimum score for admission to the Elliott School is 600 on the TOEFL paper-based exam, 100 on the TOEFL internet exam, 68 on the PTE, 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 may be required to take the English for Academic Purposes (EAP) course at The George Washington University. 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
    – or –
  • PTE test score is 72 or higher

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 " FeeWaiver" 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 (veterans or active duty)
  • Current McNair Program Scholars* (a completed Certification of McNair Program Participation must be scanned and attached to your online application or submitted directly to us via email) and for current Pickering Fellows (an award letter must be scanned and attached to your online application or submitted directly to us via email)
  • Current Charles B. Rangel Fellows (please email award letter/proof of participation to
  • AmeriCorps*, Peace Corps*, Teach for America* or Teach for China* volunteers
  • Alumni Referral recipients (Please indicate name of Alumni in Application Fee Notes)
  • PPIA Program Scholars* (Please submit a certification of PPIA Fellow participation in your online application or submit to us directly via email) 

*If you qualify 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.

**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.