Newly Admitted Graduate Students

Welcome to the Elliott School of International Affairs! You are about to join a vibrant community of scholars and practitioners working on some of the most pressing international affairs issues around the world. And that's just our students. Our faculty members also bring deep and rich expertise in public policy, fieldwork, and research to the classroom.

Whether you are joining us for a Master's degree or Graduate Certificate, academic advisors in the Office of Graduate Student Services (GSS) can assist you with the transition to graduate school, course planning, and monitoring your academic progress.

 

Who is my Advisor?

Graduate students in the Elliott School of International Affairs benefit from the guidance of two different advising resources (pdf).

One resource will be your program director. Your program director will guide the content of your degree, ensure that the courses you choose make sense together, and will help you achieve the academic and career goals you have set.

The second source of guidance will be your academic advisor. Your academic advisor will lead you through your course requirements ensuring that you follow the procedures and policies necessary to successfully complete your degree. Students are assigned an academic advisor by program.

 

Appointments & Drop-in Hours

Graduate students are assigned to an advisor by program, and meet with students via appointment or during drop-in hours. Newly admitted students may begin making appointments after completing the deposit process with Graduate Admissions. Drop-in hours are also available and can change semester to semester, so please see the current drop-in schedule posted on the Graduate Academic Advising page.

Contact us:

1957 E Street, NW, Suite 603
Washington, DC 20052
Phone: 202-994-3788
Email: [email protected]

 

Getting Started

Once you have created your GW e-mail, please complete the GW First Class (online orientation) in Blackboard.

 

GW First Class

This online tutorial is a self-paced learning experience designed to provide you with information and guidance as you prepare for orientation and your graduate career at the Elliott School. Once you have set up your GW Net ID, it will be added to the tutorial in Blackboard. Then log in to Blackboard using your NetID and password and select GW First Class from your course list.

  Planning Your Studies

Before registering for your first semester courses, take some time to look at your degree requirements and other academic opportunities. Reviewing the schedule of classes and your program curriculum is a great way to begin.

Take a look at the Plan of Study for your program to get a sense of your requirements and how your curriculum is structured.

  Registering for Classes

Use the instructions below regarding the process for registering, and review the first semester recommendations from your advisor in the Choosing Your First Semester Courses section.

  Choosing Your First Semester Courses

How many credits should I take? Nine hours is considered a full-time course load for graduate students. It is suggested students take 9 or 10 hours during their first semester at the Elliott School.

International students are required to maintain full-time enrollment through the completion of their academic program.

If you have received an Elliott School fellowship that requires full-time enrollment, please contact your academic advisor if you have any questions or concerns regarding flexibility.

Completing your program:

  • Full-time MA students take between nine and twelve hours to complete the 40-hour program in four semesters. 
  • Students employed in full-time positions might consider enrolling in 6 or 7 credits.
    • The minimum enrollment allowed for financial assistance eligibility is 4.5 credits.
  • Full-time MIPP students take between 9-12 credits per semester to complete the 27-credit program in one year including summer.

Graduate-level courses at GW are numbered 6000 and higher (e.g. IAFF 6118). Elliott School Professional Skills Courses are one-credit courses numbered IAFF 6502-6504 (please note: a maximum of 4 skills are permitted to be used toward all Master’s degrees).

Register for at least two core courses, if your program includes a core field or core courses within a concentration/specialized field.

  • Note core courses that are offered fall and spring terms versus those that are only offered in a fall or spring term so that you may plan accordingly.

If you need to fulfill prerequisites or plan to continue language study, register for those courses first. The space remaining in your schedule can be devoted to courses in the core field/s.

General first semester course recommendations are included here for consideration. Apart from some required courses you will see, keep in mind there are many course combinations that may be appropriate for your first semester. The options presented here reflect the most common of those combinations.

These suggestions assume the student is starting in the fall semester. Please use the following as a guide and always refer to your program's website for more detailed information on curriculum requirements and course sequencing.

MA – Asian Studies:

Core Field Course (3 credits)*

Core Field Course (3 credits)

Thematic OR Specialization Course OR Research Methods Course (3 credits)

*Please note that not every Core Field Course is offered every semester, so it is important to plan in advance how you intend to complete the Core Field.

Please be aware that this program permits up to six credits of language study towards the electives category. Not all language courses count towards this credit allotment, so please make sure to discuss courses with GSS and your Program Director. 

MA – European and Eurasian Studies:  

IAFF 6321 – Colloquium on Europe and Eurasia (3 credits – Required)

Core Field Course (3 credits)*

Core Field Course OR Research Methods/Economics Course (3 credits)

Skills Course (1 credit)

*Please schedule an appointment with the European and Eurasian Studies Program Director when deciding on Core Field Courses.

Please be aware that this program permits up to six credits of language study towards the electives category. Not all language courses count towards this credit allotment, so please make sure to discuss courses with GSS and your Program Director. 

MA – Global Communication:

Core Field Course (3 credits) SMPA 6241 Research Methods

Core Field Course (3 credits) IAFF 6101 International Affairs Cornerstone

  • Please note, this course has a corresponding discussion section (see the "linked" button on the right side of the Schedule of Classes). Be sure to register for both the course and a discussion section.

Core Field Course or Specialization Course (3 credits) Strongly recommend, SMPA 6210 Media and Foreign Policy

  • If you do wish to take a specialization course, the GW Bulletin lists some of the pre-approved options for the listed specializations. Students may also work with their Program Director to create a custom specialization. 

Skills Course (1 credit)

  • You also have the option to take SMPA skills courses worth 1.5 credits.  These are only available to Global Communication students in spring semesters and taking two SMPA skills courses will meet your 3 credits of skills courses requirement.

MA – International Affairs:

The majority of full-time International Affairs students take three core courses in their first semester:

IAFF 6101 – IA Cornerstone (3 credits)

  • Please note, this course has a corresponding discussion section (see the "linked" button on the right side of the Schedule of Classes).  You will need to register for both the course and a discussion section.

Core Field Course (3 credits)

  • ECON option* or HIST 6030

Core Field Course or Concentration Course** (3 credits)

Skills Course (1 credit) (IAFF 6502-6503)

*A note about your Economics course choice: most students take ECON 6280, but if you would like a deeper dive into international economics foundations you can take ECON 6283 & 6284; or if you are considering the International Economic Affairs concentration, then the sequence is required.

**If you would prefer to take a concentration course or elective, the program is flexible, so you have that option. Just plan to take the IAFF Cornerstone in the fall, as that course is only offered in the fall.

MA – International Development Studies:  

IAFF 6121 – IDS Cornerstone (3 credits – Required)

ECON 6250 – Survey of Economic Development (3 credits)

Research Methods Course or Concentration Course (3 credits)

  • A research methods course is strongly recommended in your first semester, as it provides a great foundation for the rest of your classes, but it is not required. If you choose to take a research methods course, please see the bulletin for a list of approved courses.
  • You should plan to meet with your academic advisor as well as your program director, Dr. Sean Roberts, or Dr. Christina Fink sometime in your first semester to discuss your area of specialization.

MA – International Economic Policy:

International Economic Policy students who have fulfilled the intermediate microeconomics and macroeconomics requirements will be enrolled in the two core Economic courses listed below by the MIEP department and academic advisor.

  • ECON 6283 – Survey of International Trade Theory & Policy (3 credits – Required
  • ECON 6284 – Survey of International Macroeconomic/Financial Theory (3 credits – Required)

It is also highly encouraged to complete the Quantitative Methods (3 credits) requirement in the first semester.  Review the options in the GW Bulletin.

MA – International Science and Technology Policy:  

IAFF 6141 – ISTP Cornerstone Course (3 credits)

Analytical Policy Course (3 credits)

  • Please see the GW Bulletin for a list of pre-approved options of courses that meet the analytical policy requirement.

Concentration Course (3 credits)

  • The GW Bulletin lists some of the pre-approved options for the stated concentrations.  Students may also work with their Program Director to create a custom concentration. 

MA – Latin American and Hemispheric Studies:  

IAFF 6341 – LAHSP Cornerstone (3 credits)

Core Field Course (3 credits)*

Core Field OR Research Methods OR Specialized Field Course (3 credits)

*Please schedule an appointment with the Latin American and Hemispheric Studies Program Director when selecting Core Field Courses. Please plan to discuss any Core Field Courses you may take abroad if you intend to study abroad in either Brazil or Argentina.

Please be aware that this program permits up to six credits of language study toward the electives category. Not all language courses count towards this credit allotment, so please confirm course eligibility with your academic advisor and Program Director. 

MA – Middle East Studies:  

IAFF 6361 – MES Cornerstone (3 credits)

Core Field Course (3 credits)

Core Field Course or Professional Specialization Field Course (3 credits)

Skills Course (1 credit)

Please also discuss language tutoring with the Middle East Studies program as soon as possible. It is common for students to take language coursework each semester and only some language courses can count towards degree requirements.

Please be aware that this program permits up to six credits of language study towards the electives category. Not all language courses count towards this credit allotment, so please make sure to discuss courses with your academic advisor and Program Director. 

MA – Security Policy Studies:  

Core Field Course – IAFF 6161 International Security (3 credits)

  • Please note, this course has a corresponding discussion section (see the "linked" button on the right side of the Schedule of Classes).  You will need to register for both the course and a discussion section.

Concentration Field Course (3 credits)

  • It is highly recommended, but not required, to take the required course for your concentration first or concurrently with another concentration course.  Please see the GW Bulletin for the required course and the pre-approved options under each concentration.

Concentration Field Course or Tool Course (3 credits)

  • If choosing the statistics option to fulfill your Tool Requirement, we recommend IAFF 6501 Quantitative Analysis for IA Professionals.  Other courses may be taken with the Program Director's approval.

Skills Course (1 credit)

Master of International Policy and Practice:  

IAFF 6212 – MIPP Leadership Practicum (3 credits)

Core Economics Course - please see the bulletin for a list of approved Econ courses (3 credits)

Specialization/Elective Course (3 credits)

  • You should plan to meet with your academic advisor, as well as the program director, Dr. Matthew Levinger, ideally before the start of the semester, to discuss your self-designed specialization.

Master of International Policy and Practice ONLINE:  

IAFF 6212 - Strategy and Leadership (3 credits)

IAFF 6216 Economic Tools for Global Policy (3 credits)

Specialization/Elective Course - please choose from one of the courses on the bulletin (3 credits)

  • You should plan to meet with your academic advisor, as well as the program director, Dr. Sorurbakhsh, ideally before the start of the semester, to discuss your self-designed specialization.

Master of International Studies:  

Core Field Course (3 credits)

Core Field Course or Major Field Course (3 credits)

Core Field Course or Major Field Course (3 credits)

 *Courses are chosen in conjunction with an advisor and Program Director after determining which courses can transfer into the MIS program. Students are permitted to transfer up to nine credit hours into the curriculum for MIS after review by the Program Director and GSS.

Graduate Certificate:

Core Field Course (3 credits – if part of the curriculum)

Supporting/Specialization Course (3 credits)

Supporting/Specialization Course (3 credits)

New Student Orientation

Elliott School Graduate Student Orientation is designed to help new graduate students become acclimated to the Elliott School and GW. Students will also have the opportunity to meet faculty, staff, administrators, and other students while discovering the many resources and opportunities available at the Elliott School.

These sessions will provide new students with important information about the program curricula, academic policies and procedures, career development, and navigating campus resources. Sessions include meetings with program directors, academic and study abroad advisors, career coaches, and more!

Fall 2021 New Student Orientation Information

Save the Date for New Student Welcome Week and Orientation: August 23-27

More information coming soon!