Application Requirements

Elliott School Application

Please complete this online at GW's Graduate Application Center and review our step-by-step application instructions. There is a $80 dollar application fee, which may be waived (see tab below).

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.

Application Fee

The $80 application fee must be paid by credit card (Visa or MasterCard) online or via wire transfer. Please note you may not change the method of payment once you submit your application and application fees are non-refundable.

Paying the applicaiton fee does not mean you have submitted an application. Once you pay your application fee, you must go back to your application and click the blue 'Submit' button, otherwise, we will not receive your application and you may not be considered for fellowships.

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 must be scanned and submitted directly to us via email at esiagrad@gwu.edu before submitting your application)
  • Special fellowships (i.e. Pickering, Rangel, Fulbright, Payne, PPIA; an award/participation letter must be scanned and submitted directly to us via email at esiagrad@gwu.edu before submitting your application
  • AmeriCorps*, Peace Corps*, Teach for America* or Teach for China* volunteers (an award/participation letter must be scanned and and submitted directly to us via email at esiagrad@gwu.edu before submitting your application)
  • Alumni Referral recipients (Please indicate name of Alumni, email, and graduation year in Application Fee Notes)
  • Received a Bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited minority serving institution in the United States

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.

Application fee waiver requests must be received at least 1 business day before the application deadline.

**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.


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.

Statement of Purpose

All Applicants:

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 are required to 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 title- Statement of Purpose and MIPP essay.


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.

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 demonstrated, students will be required to provide a credential evaluation from a NACES approved organization, that certifies the coursework as meeting our requirement. 

You should upload unofficial transcripts in PDF format and in the correct, upright orientation to your application. Fall semester applications submited after December 31 must also include grades from the applicant's most recent fall semester.

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:

  1. The name of the institution,
  2. All coursework (name of courses),
  3. Grades for each course,
  4. Transcript legend/grading scale, and
  5. 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. Required transcripts/documents to submit with your application include:

  • Bachelor institution
  • Other institutions
  • Community College
  • Study Abroad
  • Language immersion programs
  • Certifications
  • Military trainings

Please note that in the application, some schools may appear as "Unknown School."

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. Check our blog to see what distinguishes official from unofficial transcripts.

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

Transcripts sent to our office via post must be sent to 1957 E. St. NW, Suite 301, Washington, DC 20052. Transcripts mailed to a different address may not reach out office.

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

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. "@gwu.edu" and not a personal account, i.e. "@yahoo.com", "@gmail.com".

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 Recomendation". DO NOT type over pre-existing recommender information.

Required Tests

Asian Studies

As of Fall 2018, applicants can select to take either the GRE/GMAT exam or submit an Initial View interview and writing sample. 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).

Global Communication

Global Communications M.A. applicants are required to submit GRE/GMAT exam scores from exams taken within the past five years. Scores should be sent directly to the university (GRE institution code: 5246; GMAT institution code: QK4-4F-40).

Test Optional Programs

As of the Fall 2018 application cycle, the Elliott School will not require applicants to submit Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores or GMAT scores for the following programs:

  • European and Eurasian Studies
  • International Affairs
  • International Development Studies
  • International Science and Technology Policy
  • International Trade and Investment Policy
  • Latin American and Hemispheric Studies
  • Middle East Studies
  • Security Policy Studies
  • Certificate in Global Gender Policy
  • Certificate in International Science & Technology Polocy
  • Certificate in Nuclear Policy Studies

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 esiagrad@gwu.edu 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.

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.

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 TOEFL, IELTS, and PTE only. Scores must not be more than 2 years old. We do not accept any other English Language Test Scores.

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 & Undocumented Applicants

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 design 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

7.0 Overall Score
No band score below 6.0

100 (Internet test)
600 (Paper test)


Eligible for Admission &
Exempt from EAP Courses**

7.0 Overall Score
No band score below 6.5

105 (Internet test)
650 (Paper test)


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

Undocumented Applicants

Apply to GW as an Undocumented Individual

Tips for Uploading Documents

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 uploaded document(s) are accurate and legible. Transcripts that are illegible will delay the application, and additional copies may be required.


GRE Test Optional

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
Email: esiagrad@gwu.edu

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