International Science and Technology Policy Master of Arts

The Elliott School of International Affairs’ International Science and Technology Policy Program (ISTP) offers students the opportunity to gain foundational knowledge across a range of science and technology policy issues while also specializing in a distinct, and highly customizable, field of concentration—all within a global context. Science, technology and innovation issues are critical to our quality of life, environmental health, international competitiveness, and national security. Developments in information technology, biotechnology, material sciences, space exploration, energy and the environment, and beyond are governed and shaped by institutions that set science and technology policy. ISTP students receive more than just a classroom education in policy analysis, research and quantitative methods, and issues in science and technology; they also learn about the global impacts of these policies and, through internships and job opportunities, can put them into practice. Program graduates are equipped to work at the forefront of S&T&I policy in a variety of private, public, and non-profit positions.



graphic: a globe with an arrow wrapped diagonally around it, with the tip of the arrow feeding into itself to indicate a continuous cycle



What You'll Study 

Our M.A. in International Science and Technology Policy curriculum combines required and elective courses that provide professional training in innovation and economic growth, technology management, technology and development, space policy, and national security. The IISTP website features a list of commonly offered courses. For more information on course requirements, check out the Program of Study below.


Program of Study




Concentration Field

Students will select a concentration field which allows them to focus on areas of particular interest, such as space policy, the environment, or technology management. In consultation with the program director, students may also design their own concentrations.


Analytical Competency

Students will take six credits of analytical competency courses designed to impart background and analytical tools used in policy evaluation. Students will choose courses among the following categories: policy analysis and public administration; economic theory and concepts; and research methods.



graphic: an open laptop with a list on the screen. Beside each item on the list is a check mark, indicating steps that have been completed in a process.



How to Apply 


When you're ready to apply to the program, you will need to follow the graduate admissions process, including completing and submitting the online application with all of the required materials 


There are also certain prerequisites that applicants must meet to be able to apply to the program. 



Students are encouraged to have strong analytical skills and a demonstrated interest in policy issues with significant science or technology dimensions. 


Affiliated Research Institutes

photo: text, The George Washington University, The Elliott School of International Affairs, Institute for International Science and Technology Policy, Space Policy Institute, a photo of the Institute's door


The Institute for International Science and Technology Policy (IISTP) and the Space Policy Institute are world leaders in international public policy research and education in science, technology, space policy, and innovation. IISTP and SPI faculty manage the ISTP MA program, the graduate certificate programs in both International Science and Technology Policy and Nuclear Policy Studies, as well as the S&T track of the Trachtenberg School of Public Policy & Public Administration's PhD program in Public Policy & Administration.



Where You'll Go 

ISTP sector breakdown pie chart, 23% US government, 7% Nonprofit/trade associations, 8% non-profit other, 23% Private Aerospace/Tech/Telecom, 15% Private consulting, 8% private media/public relations, 8% private other, 8% Public Multilateral Organizations



Our International Science and Technology Policy graduates continue to pursue a wide variety of exciting careers in diplomacy and public service, business, security, conflict resolution, development and public health. The 2019-2020 Elliott School Graduate Employment Survey Report (PDF) shows that recent ISTP graduates continue to excel with 100% employment! For recent graduates, employers included: 


  • Virgin Orbit
  • Booz Allen Hamilton
  • NASA
  • Science Application International Corporation
  • Astroscale
  • US Department of Health and Human Services
  • US National Space Council


While you study with us and even once you leave, we'll provide you with resources and support to help you get the job you've always wanted post-graduation. From career counseling, workshops, site visits and information sessions, The Graduate Student Career Development Center has a variety of tools and tips to get you to where you want to be. 


Find Career Resources



Chris Beauregard

Chris Beauregard 


"The true value of the ISTP master's program lies in the quality of its faculty and access to opportunities, both local and international."

What's International Science and Technology Policy All About? 

Who can better speak to the question than former Assistant Director for Federal Research and Development and Senior Advisor to the Director for the National Science and Technology Council at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (and International Science and Technology Policy program alum) Kei Koizumi. Watch his Bromley Event keynote lecture and Q&A to discover more.


Looking for Additional Information?

The International Science and Technology graduate program collaborates with two partner research institutes: the Institute for International Science and Technology Policy (IISTP) and the Space Policy Institute (SPI).  Please visit the IISTP Academics webpage for information relevant to current and incoming students. The site also hosts a list of commonly offered courses.