Exchange Students from Abroad

The Elliott School of International Affairs welcomes applications from inbound graduate-level exchange students from our current International Exchange Partner Institutions.

Note: Undergraduate-level exchange students who wish to attend GW or the Elliott School should contact the GW Office for Study Abroad for assistance,

The Elliott School is one of the world's leading schools of international affairs. Its superb scholars and institutes conduct cutting-edge research on the complex challenges of the past, present, and future of international affairs. Its innovative, interdisciplinary teaching programs provide students with the education and training they will need for careers in the international arena. The Elliott School's 14,000 alumni can be found in leadership positions in the public, private, and non-profit sectors around the world. The Elliott School is an integral part of The George Washington University, the largest institution of higher education in Washington, D.C Click on the headings below to learn more about study at the Elliott School:

Curriculum: The Elliott School offers a wide variety of graduate-level international affairs courses in policy fields such as conflict and conflict resolution; international security studies; international economic affairs; international affairs and development; international public health; technology and international affairs; international law and organizations; and U.S. Foreign Policy. Courses in regional studies focus on Asia, Europe and Eurasia, the Middle East, and Latin America. In addition, the Elliott School offers a series of unique professional skills courses.

The GW Schedule of Classes for any given semester outlines which courses are offered in that semester. Exchange students are eligible to take most courses numbered 6000 and above in any school or department except those in the School of Medicine and Health Sciences, the Law School, and certain courses that are restricted to degree candidates or any specific prerequisites. Students can verify these criteria by viewing the Schedule of Classes.

Academic Calendar: The Elliott School has two main semesters: Fall and Spring. The Fall semester is early September to mid-December. The Spring semester is mid-January to mid-May.

Most Elliott School courses meet in the evening, after 4 p.m.

Language of Instruction: International applicants from countries in which English is not the official language are required to take the TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE Academic exam. The minimum score for admission to the Elliott School is 250 on the TOEFL computer exam, 600 on the TOEFL paper 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. Students are required to score a 68 on the PTE Academic.

At GW, all courses are conducted in English. GW also offers instruction in over 15 languages, such as Arabic, Hebrew, French, Spanish, Japanese, and more.

Application Information: Students may apply for one of two options for study at the Elliott School:

  1. Traditional exchange program:
    Exchange students spend one fall or spring semester as non-degree students at the Elliott School. Exchange students enroll in regular graduate-level classes, but do not earn a Masters degree from GW. All exchange students must be nominated by their home institutions. Upon receipt of the nomination list from the home school, the Elliott School will open the on-line application system to the nominees. Exchange student nominee must provide all materials no later than October 1 for spring exchange or April 1 for fall exchange.

    Please check with your Exchange Coordinator for policies and procedures related to applying for a graduate student exchange program at your home university.

– OR –

  1. Master of International Studies program:
    The M.I.S. is a one-year accelerated degree program offered exclusively to students from our International Exchange Partner institutions. At the end of this program, students earn the M.I.S. in addition to their home institution's Masters degree. For details on how to apply, costs, and academic details, please visit the Master of International Studies webpage.

Housing Exchange students must make their own housing arrangements. A limited number of rooms are available on the GW campus. See GW Off Campus Housing for more information. Off-campus options include the International House, a private dormitory within walking distance to the Elliott School. Many students prefer International House because of its location, cost, and other programming available.

Location: Located four blocks from the White House, the Elliott School is located in the heart of Washington, D.C. It is just steps away from the World Bank, IMF, the U.S. Department of State, and the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. The George Washington University is the largest institution of higher education in the nation's capital. The University offers comprehensive programs of undergraduate and graduate liberal arts study as well as professional degree programs in international affairs, medicine, law, engineering, education, business, and public administration. GW has a diverse population of over 20,000 undergraduate, graduate, and professional students from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and 120 countries.

Career Development: The Elliott School's Graduate Student Career Development provides career advising services to all students. This full-service center helps students with resumes, interview preparation, and other advising services for preferred careers. The staff maintains relationships with employers and arranges career fairs and networking sessions among employers, students, and alumni. In addition, the office coordinates a series of panels to introduce students to careers in a variety of fields. Finally, the office maintains a members-only, on-line Elliott School Career Connection database that links current students, alumni, and employers from around the globe. Because of restrictions on foreign nationals working in the United States, international students are encouraged to first talk with the GW International Services Office about the employment guidelines for their particular student visa.

Travel and U.S. student visas: Upon acceptance as an international exchange student, GW will provide the appropriate papers for students to apply for a student visa at their local U.S. Embassy or Consulate. The visa application process can be time-consuming. It is essential that students send complete materials at the time of application in order to not delay the visa. Please allow ample time for visa processing by the U.S. Embassy in your home country. For information on travel to Washington, DC, please visit the GW International Services Office.

Other links for inbound exchange students


GW Short-Term Abroad

Apply to Study Abroad

Apply Now

International and Academic Initiatives

Elliott School of International Affairs
1957 E Street, NW, Suite 401
Washington, DC 20052
Phone: 202-994-7678
Fax: 202-994-0335