International Applicants

Each year, the Elliott School graduate programs are proud to enroll a diverse class of international and domestic students. We aim to assist all prospective students through the application process, recognizing that international students may have different challenges and concerns than their domestic counterparts. We hope the following resources are helpful as you complete your application. In addition to general application requirements, international students may need to provide supporting documents and test scores to be considered for admission.


Elliott School Graduate Program English Language Requirements

Academic DuolingoIELTSPTE, or TOEFL, scores are required from all applicants who have not completed a post-secondary degree from a U.S. institution, unless they meet an exemption indicated in the list below (English Language Test Exemptions). Official DuolingoIELTSPTE, or TOEFL scores may not be more than 2 years old. 

We do not accept any document(s) other than official Duolingo, IELTS, PTE, or TOEFL English Language Test scores as proof of English Language proficiency. The George Washington University reserves the right to request proof of English proficiency from any applicant.

Please refer to the table below for the minimum test scores required for admission consideration and/or English for Academic Purposes (EAP) course exemption:






Eligible for Admission &
Requires EAP Course


7.0 Overall score
No band score below 6.0


100 (Internet test)
600 (Paper test)

Eligible for Admission &
Exempt from EAP Course**


7.0 Overall score
No band score below 6.5


105 (Internet test)
650 (Paper test)

**Spring Applicants must receive these scores to be considered for admission.

English for Academic Purposes (EAP)

Applicants to a Fall semester who receive the following scores may be considered for admission but will be required to take an English for Academic Purposes (EAP) the summer semester before they begin graduate study. 

  • Duolingo: 120
  • IELTS: 7.0 overall score, with a band score of 6.0 - 6.4
  • PTE: 68
  • TOEFL: 100 - 104

Admitted students will be notified via email in the case that an EAP course is required. Failure to complete the EAP course during the summer semester will prevent the student from beginning their graduate program. EAP courses are unavailable to Elliott School graduate students during fall or spring semesters. Students assigned an EAP course should anticipate additional tuition expenses to pay for the course.

Submitting Official English Language Test Scores

Duolingo test scores should be sent through the Duolingo portal.

Please send official IELTS scores via the IELTS portal.

PTE scores may be sent via the PTE Portal.

Please send official TOEFL scores to institutional code 5246. 

Academic Duolingo, IELTS, PTE, or TOEFL scores are required from all applicants who have not completed a post-secondary degree from a U.S. institution unless you hold a Bachelor's, Masters or doctoral degree from a country or institution in the lists below. This means you would not be required to submit Duolingo, IELTS, PTE, or TOEFL test scores. Degrees must be completed in the country where the degree-granting institution is based in order to meet the exemption requirement.

No exceptions will be made if you do not meet one of the following exemptions. 

Test Exemption by Degree Country and Institution

Countries Institutions
If you hold (or will by the time you begin studies at GW) a Bachelor's, Master's or doctoral degree from one of the following countries listed below, you are not required to submit the Duolingo/IELTS/PTE/TOEFL exam. If you hold (or will by the time you begin studies at GW) a Bachelor's, Master's or doctoral degree from one of the following institutions listed below, you are not required to submit the Duolingo/IELTS/PTE/TOEFL exam.
Anguilla American College of Thessaloniki, Greece
Antigua & Barbuda

American College of Greece, Greece


American University in Bulgaria, Bulgaria


American University in Cairo, Egypt


American University in Dubai, United Arab Emirates


American University in Paris, France


American University of Beirut, Lebanon


American University of Central Asia, Kyrgyzstan

British Virgin Islands

American University of Rome, Italy


American University of Sharja, United Arab Emirates

Canada* Athabasca University, Canada
Cayman Islands Bermuda College, Bermuda
Dominica Central European University, Hungary
Gambia Franklin College,  Switzerland
Ghana Gilion Institue of Higher Education, Switzerland
Grenada Hellenic American University, Greece
Guyana John Cabot University, Italy
Ireland Lebanese American University, Lebanon
Jamaica Les Roches School of Hotel Management, Switzerland
Kiribati United States International University, Kenya
Lesotho Zayed University, United Arab Emirates
New Zealand  
Saint Kitts and Nevis  
Saint Lucia  
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines  
Sierra Leone  
South Africa  
Trinidad and Tobago  
Turks and Caicos Islands  
United Kingdom  
*Applies to applicants whose post-secondary degree is from a university in which English is the language of instruction.  


Further Information on English Language Tests

Please follow the below links for more official information regarding each test.

Requesting a Visa

Applicants are not required to submit any visa request documents with the applications.

When requesting an I-20 (for F-1 Visas) or DS-2019 (for J-1 Visas), all applicants who are admitted and choose to enroll must submit: 

  • Visa Request Form (VRF) (pdf) with a handwritten signature of the applicant (and sponsor[s], if applicable),
  • Financial documents showing liquid funding for your program,
  • Biographical page of your passport (the passport page with your life details) with an expiration date at least six months beyond the start of your program.

If you previously had a visa, or are currently on a visa and/or at a US institution, you will also need to submit:

  • A legible copy of all current and previous visas, I-20s and DS-2019s,
  • A copy of your most recent I-94
  • A SEVIS Transfer form, if applicable.
  • An OPT Forfeit letter, if applicable.
  • A legible copy of the front and back of your Employment Authorization Card, if applicable.

Note: The Elliott School does not send copies of official I-20s via email. Only hard copies are available to an admitted student and sent upon completion.

Required Funding Documents

When requesting an I-20 or DS-2019 from GW, applicants must submit Financial Support Documents showing proof of sufficient funding to cover all educational costs and living expenses for the full length of your program.

Review Acceptable Bank Documents here.

  • Students who plan to have at least one sponsor or more must show proof of funding for the first year of their program.
  • Students who plan to self-fund must show proof of funding for both years of their program.

Funding documents must:

  • Be a bank statement in English or accompanied by an official English translation
  • Indicate the specific amount and currency of the funds (USD is preferred but not required)
  • Show funds in approved loans or cash only (i.e. checking or savings) and not subject to withdrawal restrictions*
  • Show the bank's address and phone number, indicating the date the account was opened and the current account balance
  • Show the full legal name of the applicant, as listed on their passport and application
  • Have an issue date that is no more than 12 months from the time you plan to begin study.

*Funding in stocks and other long-term investments will not be accepted.

Refer to the table below for funding requirements for students starting in the Fall 2020-21 academic year (in USD).

Please keep in mind that funding requirements for students in the International Development Studies and Middle East Studies programs starting in a spring semester must show additional funding to account for the required fifth semester.

Program Tuition and Fees Living Expenses, Books and Insurance Total
M.A. $37,324.00 $28,103.00 $65,427.00
M.I.S. $41,087.00 $28,103.00 $69,190.00
M.I.P.P. $39,124.00 $28,103.00 $67,227.00
Fees Explained

M.A. Program

Cost reflects 18 credit hours, 9 per semester to maintain full-time status for an F-1/J-1 visa. Please note that 40 credits are required to complete the program.

M.I.S. Program

Cost reflects all 19 credit hours.

M.I.P.P. Program

Cost reflects 18 credit hours, 9 per semester to maintain full-time status for an F-1/J-1 visa. Please note that 27 credits are required to complete the program.

Costs Listed

All tuition/fees/expenses/totals are subject to change by academic year. Fees include Student Association Fee, Matriculation Fee, Elliott School Fee and International Student Fee. 

If you have a disability and will require attendant care, you must certify the availability of additional funds to pay for this service. For more information, please contact Disability Support Services at  [email protected] or +1-202-994-8250.

Spring Applicants

Early to mid-November 

Spring admissions decisions released.

Students in or outside of the US must submit visa request documents.

Fall Applicants

January 7

Applicants who submit an application by the deadline can expect to receive an admissions decision by mid-March. Turning in an application before the deadline will not result in receiving an admissions decision sooner than mid-March.


Fall admissions decisions released.

Early May

Students outside of the US who are required to take an EAP course must submit visa request documents.


Students outside of the US who are exempt from EAP course(s) and have met program prerequisites must submit visa request documents.


Students in the US who are transferring their visa/SEVIS number from a US institution to the Elliott School must submit visa requests and transfer documents.


Contact Graduate Admissions
Office of Graduate Admissions
1957 E Street NW, Suite 301
Washington, D.C. 20052
Phone: (202) 994-7050

Find a program for you!

photo: text reads Learn all that the Elliott School graduate programs have to offer. Get started. Create your custom view book

Request Info