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, field work, 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.


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.

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]

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

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 login to Blackboard using your NetID and password and select GW First Class from your course list.

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.

Follow the instructions below to begin registering for first semester courses.

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!

Spring 2021 New Student Orientation Events

Modules in GW First Class

These recorded sessions will provide you with information and guidance for the live orientation sessions on Jan. 7-8. Once you have set up your GW Net ID, it will be added to the tutorial in Blackboard. Then login to Blackboard using your NetID and password and select GW First Class from your course list. 

Be sure to review these recorded sessions BEFORE live orientation on Jan. 7-8 so that you are prepared to ask questions and make the most of the live sesssions!

academic briefing

Academic Briefing 

Hear from your academic advisor about essential academic resources, requirements and information. Select the video for your program.

grad orientation career development image

Career Development

Introduction to professional development resources and services, like coaching, job and internship listings, and how to find them.

Grad orientation international education image

International Education and Study Abroad

Hear about opportunities to study and intern abroad, including virtual options and current policies under COVID-19.


Live Virtual Sessions

The Office of Graduate Student Services hopes you will join us for live sessions where you can meet staff and students, and have your questions answered. The recorded sessions are pre-work for several of the live sessions, and should be reviewed in advance of the live sessions on Jan 7 & 8! All sessions are virtual and in Eastern Time (ET). Links for live sessions will be posted in Blackboard.

pre-orientation sessions

Wednesday, January 6

3:00 p.m. Site Visit Preparation *Site Visit registration required*
Mandatory for attendance at Site Visit events on Jan. 7-8.

4:30 p.mWe Are Elliott: Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in International Affairs
Join the Elliott School's Office of Diversity and Inclusion to examine issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion and the ways in which they impact the field of International Affairs. Participants will be able to begin thinking critically about how these issues will impact their personal and professional journeys. 

5:30 p.m. Leadership, Ethics, and Practice (LEAP) Initiative
Leadership in confronting ethical challenges is a critical component of professional success at each stage of a career in international affairs. The Elliott School’s LEAP initiative aims to prepare students for those challenges. 

orientation day 1

Thursday, January 7

10:00 a.m. Meet the GSS Team  (Prerequisites: Academic Briefing Recording, Career Development Recording)

12:00 p.m. Current Student Panel

1:00 p.m. Program Director Meetings 

5:00 p.m. Winter Networking Night *Separate registration required*
Meet other incoming graduate students, current students, and Elliott School alumni at this informal reception!

orientation day 2

Friday, January 8

11:00 a.m. Capstone

2:00 p.m. Globalizing Your Education and Career (Prerequisite: International Education Recording)

3:00 p.m. Faculty Panel