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.

English Language Requirements

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 TOEFL Best Score.

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 Master's and Graduate Certificate program admission consideration and/or English for Academic Purposes (EAP) course exemption:
 

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

 

Duolingo

IELTS

PTE

TOEFL

Eligible for Admission &
Requires EAP Course

120

7.0 Overall score
No band score below 6.0

68

100 (Internet test)
600 (Paper test)

Eligible for Admission &
Exempt from EAP Course**

125

7.0 Overall score
No band score below 6.5

72

105 (Internet test)
650 (Paper test)

Please refer to the table below for the minimum test scores required for US Foreign Policy Summer Program admission consideration:

 

Duolingo

IELTS

PTE

TOEFL

Eligible for Admission

120

7.0 Overall score
No band score below 6.0

68

100 (Internet test)
600 (Paper test)

 

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. We do not accept the IELTS Indicator.

If you do not have access to the IELTS portal, please have the testing center send the official scores to us via e-delivery, by providing them with the following account information:
Account Name: George Washington University
Address: 2121 I Street NW
City: Washington
State: DC
Zip Code: 20052

Please send official TOEFL scores to institutional code 5246. We do not accept TOEFL Best Scores.

English for Academic Purposes (EAP)

Applicants to the 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. 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.

Failure to complete the EAP course during the summer semester will prevent the student from beginning their graduate program.  Please note that EAP courses are unavailable to Elliott School graduate students during the fall or spring semesters.

For more information about EAP coursework, please visit the Summer & Non-Degree Programs website.

Students assigned an EAP course should anticipate additional tuition expenses to pay for the course.

English Language Test Exemptions

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

*Applies to applicants whose post-secondary degree is from a university in which English is the language of instruction.
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

Australia

American University in Bulgaria, Bulgaria

Bahamas

American University in Cairo, Egypt

Barbados

American University in Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Belize

American University in Paris, France

Bermuda 

American University of Beirut, Lebanon

Botswana

American University of Central Asia, Kyrgyzstan

British Virgin Islands

American University of Rome, Italy

Cameroon*

American University of Sharjah, United Arab Emirates

Canada* Athabasca University, Canada
Cayman Islands Bermuda College, Bermuda
Dominica Central European University, Hungary
Gambia Franklin University, 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
Liberia  
Micronesia  
Montserrat  
Namibia  
New Zealand  
Nigeria  
Saint Kitts and Nevis  
Saint Lucia  
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines  
Seychelles  
Sierra Leone  
Singapore  
South Africa  
Trinidad and Tobago  
Turks and Caicos Islands  
Uganda  
United Kingdom  
Zimbabwe*  

Further Information on English Language Tests

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

Visa Document Requirements

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), all applicants who are admitted and choose to enroll must submit: 

  • A Visa Request Form (VRF) 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: We do not issue DS-2019s (for J-1 visas). For applicants needing a J-1 visa, the DS-2019 will need to be issued by your sponsor.

Required Funding Documents

When requesting an I-20 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 2022-23 academic year (in USD).

Please keep in mind that funding requirements for students in the International Development Studies, Middle East Studies, and International Science and Technology Policy 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. $37,954.00 $28,103.00 $66,057.00
M.I.S. $41,752.00 $28,103.00 $69,855.00
M.I.P.P. $39,754.00 $28,103.00 $67,857.00
Fees Explained

M.A. Program

Costs reflect 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

Costs reflect all 19 credit hours.

M.I.P.P. Program

Costs reflect 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.

Visa Timeline

If you have been admitted to a graduate program at the Elliott School of International Affairs and require a F-1 visa to study in the United States, our office will work with you and the GW International Services Office (ISO) to obtain the I-20 forms necessary to request an F-1 from the U.S. government.

Note: We do not issue DS-2019s (for J-1 visas). For applicants needing a J-1 visa, the DS-2019 will need to be issued by your sponsor.

Please do not attempt to begin the visa process until you are admitted and have been contacted by our office. 

Spring Applicants

October 1

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

Early to mid-November 

Spring admissions decisions released.

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

Early December

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.

Early January

Spring Semester begins.

Note: The spring visa timeline for admitted International Students is short.  Any delay on the student's part will cause a delay in the overall process and may result in the student being unable to enroll in time for the Spring.  Please submit your documents in a timely manner once we have reached out to you.

Fall Applicants

November 1

Applicants who submit an application by the early notification deadline can expect to receive an admissions decision by January 1. Turning in an application before the deadline will not result in receiving an admissions decision sooner than January 1.

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 unless you submitted your application by the early notification deadline (November 1).

Mid-March

Fall admissions decisions released.

Early May

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

Mid-June

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

Mid-July

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

Late August

Fall Semester begins.