Overview

The MIS program attracts outstanding students from renowned institutions around the world and offers them advanced study in global and regional issues from a Washington, DC, perspective. The MIS program is designed to build upon the students' previous Master's coursework and prepare them for leadership roles.

The 28-credit Master of International Studies requires a minimum of 19 credit hours in residence at the Elliott School. Students typically already have a foundation in political science, economics and history from their previous Master's degree programs; at the Elliott School, MIS students combine key theories and practical applications from those disciplines with specialized study of a global issue or in regional studies. The coursework of the program is described on our curriculum page.

Below are testimonials from former MIS students about the value of the program, in their own words:

"I got my master of international politics from Fudan University Shanghai, China before I came to GW; the MIS program gave me a chance to earn another master degree in one academic year other than normally two years…" The reputation of GW and MIS really do matter. People can easily recognize those names and therefore give me credit I could not have otherwise received. The faculty and staff of the Elliott School are nice and always ready to help. My best memory of GW is that I had substantial freedom to choose courses that really interested me and I met a lot of great teachers in the campus! I got support and advice long before I stepped on the soil of America. I am so proud I can be a part of this premium community. BTW, never forget you can get free food and beer on Thursday night parties!"
Y. Chen (Fudan University),
Class of 2006

"The MIS program was a valuable addition to my degree from The London School of Economics. Not only did the coursework supplement what I had learned abroad, but it allowed me to specialize in areas I had been interested in exploring further during my first degree. While the entire year was a great experience, I valued the diversity of the program and its students the most during my time at The Elliott School."
N. Aronzon (LSE),
Class of 2006

"The professionally-oriented Master of International Studies program at the Elliott School adds a great credential to my previous academic training in Asia. In the classroom, the Elliott School's world-class faculty members offer crucial alternative perspectives to understand many of the forefront issues in today's world. Outside the classroom, I find the Elliott School's design in encouraging students to explore the numerous academic and professional opportunities in Washington DC particularly rewarding. During my study period, I am able to work with some of the most well-known China policy experts in DC. What else can you expect from graduate education?"
L. Wang (HKU/MIPA),
Class of 2007

"GW has a great location. I was attracted by the Dean's message "adding the international element to your study" on the MIS brochure when I was in Shanghai. After I came here, I found Washington is really a hub of international politics. I have attended many conferences or seminars in international organizations such as Word Bank and IMF, US government, for example, State Department, and also other prestigious think tanks (The Brookings Institute, Stanley Foundations). I found the curriculum is really amazing. It is very flexible for us to choose our concentration because the Elliott School offers so many different courses every semester. I chose International Economic Affairs as my concentration. In order to learn more about the international economics, I joined Washington International Trade Associations and often attended their seminars and lectures. Finally, D.C. is a historic and cultural city. When I feel tired of studying, I just take a walk around the town or along the Potomac River, sometimes to a museum to enjoy arts and knowledge or to the Kennedy Center to watch a free, world-class performance. D.C. is a good place for making friends. For Chinese New Year Eve, I invited my MIS classmates who live on campus to my hall (Hall on Virginia Ave — which is used as a lookout spot for the Watergate break-in ) to enjoy Chinese food that I made in our small community kitchen."
Z. Chen, (Fudan),
Class of 2007

"The MIS has added the truly 'international' to my studies. Coming from a European background it has been fascinating to look at global issues from the other side of the Atlantic, in particular following and participating in debates on security and international law. The diverse student body as well as the broad range of professors have helped me gain a better understanding of and deeper insight into different perceptions and various perspectives. I truly believe that these are two essential prerequisites for global cooperation and effective internationalism. I felt welcomed and part of the community from the first day of orientation. The Elliott School in general and the MIS staff has been amazingly helpful."
A.K. Otto, (FU Berlin),
Class of 2007

"My home school degree (LSE) was quite theoretical, so the MIS program complemented it well, making my grad school experience well rounded. The program gave me access to scholar-practitioners that teach the courses at GW, as opposed to pure academics that have fewer contacts in the workplace. Also, the MIS has core components that ensure a certain breadth to my appreciation of international affairs. Overall, I felt that, living in DC, I was learning about international relations while physically being near the epicentre of global politics.
N. Pal (LSE),
Class of 2004