Prerequisites & Materials

Admission Prerequisites

Foreign Language

Academic coursework in an approved Asian language, which will prepare students to complete the program’s language requirement*, must be shown at the time of application. This can be demonstrated by:

  • Study that is equal to four semesters of university-level coursework or equivalent.
  • Completion of formal language training as part of employment (ex. Peace Corps, JET, etc.).
  • Growing up in a household where the language is spoken.

Approved languages for the M.A. in Asian Studies are: Chinese, Japanese and Korean.

*Students need to have a strong foundation in a foreign language before enrolling to be successful in completing the language requirement during the program.

Foreign Language

Academic coursework in a major European language, including Russian, which will prepare students to complete the program’s language requirement*, is required at the time of application. This can be demonstrated by:

  • Study that is equal to four semesters of university-level coursework or equivalent.
  • Completion of formal language training as part of employment (ex. Peace Corps, JET, etc.).
  • Growing up in a household where the language is spoken.

*Students need to have a strong foundation in a foreign language before enrolling to be successful in completing the language requirement during the program.

Economics

Course background in economics (micro- and macroeconomics) is a prerequisite to help prepare students to complete the graduate-level economics course required within the M.A. in European and Eurasian Studies curriculum. Coursework must be successfully completed through an accredited institution in:

  • Introductory Microeconomics
  • Introductory Macroeconomics

-OR-

  • Principles in Economics

In some cases, a student may be admitted who has not fulfilled the economics requirement*; in which case, the student is required to take coursework at an accredited college/university prior to enrollment at the Elliott School. 

*Spring applicants are required to have completed this prerequisite at the time of application. 

Foreign Language

Academic coursework in a foreign language, which will prepare students to complete the program’s language requirement*, is required at the time of application. This can be demonstrated by:

  • Study that is equal to four semesters of university level coursework or equivalent.
  • Completion of formal language training as part of employment (ex. Peace Corps, JET, etc.).
  • Growing up in a household where the language is spoken.

*Students need to have a strong foundation in a foreign language before enrolling to be successful in completing the language requirement during the program.

Economics

Course background in economics (micro- and macroeconomics) is a prerequisite to help prepare students to complete the graduate- level economics course(s) required within the M.A. in Global Communication curriculum. Course(s) must be successfully completed through an accredited institution in:

  • Introductory Microeconomics
  • Introductory Macroeconomics 

-OR-

  • Principles of Economics

In some cases, a student may be admitted who has not fulfilled the economics requirement*; in which case, the student is required to take course(s) at an accredited college/university prior to enrollment at the Elliott School.

*Spring applicants are required to have fulfilled this prerequisite at the time of application. 

Foreign Language

Academic coursework in a foreign language, which will prepare students to complete the program’s language requirement*, is required at the time of application. This can be demonstrated by:

  • Study that is equal to four semesters of university-level coursework or equivalent.
  • Completion of formal language training as part of employment (ex. Peace Corps, JET, etc.).
  • Growing up in a household where the language is spoken.

*Students need to have a strong foundation in a foreign language before enrolling to be successful in completing the language requirement during the program.

Economics

Course background in economics (micro- and macroeconomics) is a prerequisite to help prepare students to complete the graduate-level economics course(s) required within the M.A. in International Affairs curriculum. Course(s) must be successfully completed through an accredited institution in:

  • Introductory Microeconomics
  • Introductory Macroeconomics

-OR-

  • Principles of Economics

In some cases, a student may be admitted who has not fulfilled the economics requirement*; in which case, the student is required to take course(s) at an accredited college/university prior to enrollment at the Elliott School.

*Spring applicants are expected to have fulfilled this prerequisite at the time of application. 

Foreign Language

Academic coursework in a foreign language, which will prepare students to complete the program’s language requirement*, is required at the time of application. This can be demonstrated by:

  • Study that is equal to four semesters of university-level coursework or equivalent.
  • Completion of formal language training as part of employment (ex. Peace Corps, JET, etc.).
  • Growing up in a household where the language is spoken.

*Students need to have a strong foundation in a foreign language before enrolling to be successful in completing the language requirement during the program.

Economics

Course background in economics (micro- and macroeconomics) is a prerequisite to help prepare students to complete the graduate-level economics course(s) required within the M.A. in International Development Studies curriculum. Course(s) must be successfully completed through an accredited institution in:

  • Introductory Microeconomics
  • Introductory Macroeconomics

In some cases, a student may be admitted who has not fulfilled the economics requirement*; in which case, the student is required to take course(s) at an accredited college/university prior to enrollment at the Elliott School.

*Spring applicants are expected to have fulfilled this prerequisite at the time of application.

Science

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

Economics

Applicants must have completed one of the following before applying to the MIEP program:

(a) an introductory microeconomics and introductory macroeconomics course, or

b) a principles of economics course that has micro- and macroeconomics included in the content.

In addition to the above introductory economics coursework requirement, intermediate micro- and macroeconomics courses are highly recommended preparation for the MIEP program but are not required for admission. Students without these intermediate courses will be able to take an online program during the summer prior to enrollment that is administered by the Elliott School's Institute for International Economic Policy.

Foreign Language

Academic coursework in Spanish, which will prepare students to complete the program’s language requirement*, is required at the time of application. This can be demonstrated by:

  • Study that is equal to four semesters of university-level coursework or equivalent.
  • Completion of formal language training as part of employment (ex. Peace Corps, JET, etc.) .
  • Growing up in a household where the language is spoken.

Other foreign languages spoken in Latin America will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

*Students need to have a strong foundation in a foreign language before enrolling to be successful in completing the language requirement during the program.

Foreign Language

Academic coursework in an approved Middle Eastern language, which will prepare students to complete the program’s language requirement*, is required at the time of application. This can be demonstrated by:

  • Study that is equal to four semesters of university-level coursework or equivalent.
  • Completion of formal language training as part of employment (ex. Peace Corps, JET, etc.).
  • Growing up in a household where the language is spoken.


Approved languages for the M.A. in Middle East Studies are: Arabic (Modern Standard Arabic), Persian, Hebrew, Kurdish and Turkish.

*Students need to have a strong foundation in a foreign language before enrolling to be successful in completing the language requirement during the program.

There are no prerequisite requirements for the M.A. Security Policy Studies program.

Experience

Applicants must possess eight or more years of full-time professional experience or already possess an advanced degree (e.g. M.A., M.S., J.D., L.L.M., Ph.D.) to qualify for the MIPP program.

Economics

Course background in economics (micro- and macroeconomics) is a prerequisite for admission to the MIPP program. Course(s) must be successfully completed through an accredited college or university in:

  • Introductory Microeconomics
  • Introductory Macroeconomics

-OR-

  • Principles of Economics

In some cases, a student who has not fulfilled the economics requirement may be admitted to the MIPP program on a conditional basis**, in which case the student is required to take course(s) at an accredited college/university prior to enrollment at the Elliott School.

**Spring applicants are expected to have fulfilled this prerequisite at the time of application.

International Partnership

Applicants must be current students and recent alumni (within 3 years) of Masters' programs at Elliott School International Partners.

  • American University in Cairo
  • European University at St. Petersburg
  • Ewha Woman's University
  • Free University of Berlin
  • Fudan University
  • Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies
  • Institut d'Etudes Politiques de Paris
  • Jawaharlal Nehru University
  • London School of Economics
  • Maastricht University
  • Nanyang Technological University
  • Pontificia Universidade Catolica do Rio de Janeiro
  • Universidad Torcuata di Tella
  • The University of Hong Kong
  • University of Sydney
  • University of Witwatersrand
  • Waseda University

In some cases, students may have credits transferred from the partner institution to the Elliott School. In determining transfer credits, the MIS program director will work closely with a student to determine the most appropriate use of transfer credits towards the degree requirements.

More information can be found on the GW University Bulletin.

Foreign Language

Upper-intermediate, college-level language coursework (4 semesters of university-level coursework) in a modern foreign language is required at the time of application to the M.I.S. program. Applicants who are native speakers of English may explain their language experience within the application.

Economics

Course background in economics (micro- and macroeconomics) is a prerequisite to help prepare students to complete the graduate-level economics course(s) required within the M.I.S. curriculum. Course(s) must be successfully completed through an accredited institution in:

  • Introductory Microeconomics
  • Introductory Macroeconomics

-OR-

  • Principles of Economics

In some cases, a student may be admitted who has not fulfilled the economics requirement**; in which case, the student is required to take course(s) at an accredited college/university prior to enrollment at the Elliott School.

**Spring applicants are expected to have fulfilled this prerequisite at the time of application.

There are no prerequisite requirements for the Graduate Certificates in Global Gender Policy, International Science and Technology Policy or Nuclear Policy Studies.

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Application Materials

The application can be found online at GW's Graduate Application Center. There is an $80 dollar application fee, which may be waived.

Please note that you must click on the "Submit Your Application" button after you have completed your application. Online payment confirmation for your application does not submit your application for review.

The $80 application fee must be paid by credit card (Visa or MasterCard) online, or by mailing a check or money order. International applicants may pay via credit card online or international money order only. Checks and money orders must be received by the application due date for the semester in which you are applying.

Checks should be made out to "George Washington University," have your name as it appears in your application on the subject line, and be mailed to:

The Office of Graduate Admissions
1957 E. St NW, Suite 301
Washington DC 20052

Please note you may not change the method of payment once you submit your application and application fees are non-refundable.

Fee Waiver

If you are eligible for a fee waiver, select "Fee Waiver" as the option after you have completed your application. The application fee is waived for the following applicants:

  • GW alumni (those holding a GW degree or certificate) and current GW degree or certificate students

  • U.S. military personnel (veterans or active duty)

  • Current McNair Program Scholars: submit a completed Certification of McNair Program Participation form to us via email at [email protected] before submitting your application

  • Special fellowships, i.e. Fulbright, Payne, Pickering, PPIA, Rangel: submit an award/participation letter to us via email at [email protected] before submitting your application

  • AmeriCorps, Peace Corps, Teach for America or Teach for China volunteers: submit an award/participation letter directly to us via email at [email protected] before submitting your application

  • Alumni Referral recipients: please indicate the name of Alumni, School, Year of Graduation, and E-mail in Application Fee Notes

  • Received a Bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited minority-serving institution in the United States

  • First Generation College Students: students whose parents did not complete a baccalaureate degree

If you are eligible for this application fee waiver, please be sure to choose "Application Fee Waiver" as the payment method. Do not pay the application fee prior to submitting your fee waiver request. The application fee waiver takes 1-2 business days to be reviewed.

Fee Waiver requests can only be approved at the time of application. If an applicant submits an application and pays the fee, the fee cannot be refunded.

Please note the same fee waiver cannot be used for multiple applications. There is a limit of one fee waiver type per person per semester.

Applicants must submit a resume or curriculum vitae (CV) with their application. There is no page limit for these documents.

Resumes/CV's must include dates of employment (if applicable) and date of degree conferral or expected degree conferral. A minimum of a US Bachelor's degree or equivalent is required to be eligible to apply to any of the Elliott School graduate programs or certificates. Please save as a PDF and upload to your application.

Statements should be saved in PDF format before being uploaded to your application. All applicants are required to submit an essay of approximately 500 words that answers one of the two questions below:

State your purpose in undertaking graduate study at the Elliott School. As part of your statement of purpose, describe your academic and research interests, career objectives, how a degree from the Elliott School will enable you to achieve your goals, and what unique skills, talents and/or perspectives you will bring to your program. Please be specific.

- OR -

Please discuss an issue of international importance you wish to address in your professional career. Please include how the Elliott School and the academic program to which you have applied will prepare you to address this global issue.

International Policy and Practice (MIPP) Applicants

ONLY MIPP applicants must submit a second essay. MIPP applicants should include this essay in the same PDF document as their Statement of Purpose, separating both documents by the title- Statement of Purpose and MIPP essay.

The MIPP essay should be approximately 500 words addressing one of the two following topics:

Identify a specific leadership challenge that you personally would like to tackle within the next five years. How will your education in the MIPP program help you succeed in this task?

- OR -

Assess the impact of globalization on your organization, indicating both the challenges and opportunities that globalization produces.

Two (2) letters are required for any of the master's programs and graduate certificates. Applicants must submit at least one academic letter from a professor. Applicants should plan to submit either: one (1) academic reference and one (1) professional reference or two (2) academic references.

Letters should come from faculty, supervisors, and others who know you well in an academic or professional setting. At least one letter should come from a faculty member who taught you in a class and can speak to your potential for rigorous graduate study. Recommenders must use their professional email address, i.e. "@gwu.edu" and not a personal account, i.e. "@yahoo.com", "@gmail.com".

Once you save a recommender's contact information in the appropriate section of the online application, the system will prompt an auto-email with a formal request to submit a recommendation. Please note that these automatic emails may appear in spam/trash folders. Letters may be uploaded any time before or after you have submitted your application. You may also manually re-notify recommenders at any time.

NOTE: If you need to change ANY recommender information in an application, click "Remove Recommendation". DO NOT type over pre-existing recommender information.

Transcript Policy

Transcripts must be true and accurate. Inaccurate records may result in application denial or dismissal from The George Washington University.

Transcript Requirements for Applicants

To be eligible for admission, applicants must hold a Bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited college or university. Applicants who have earned their degrees outside of the US must hold a degree equivalent a U.S., 4-year Bachelor's degree.*

Please upload unofficial transcripts in PDF format and in the correct, upright orientation to your application. Do not submit certified, encrypted, or password protected files. Fall semester applications submitted after December 31 must also include grades from the applicant's most recent fall semester.

NOTE: All documents uploaded to the application portal (or sent via e-mail) by the applicant are considered unofficial.

Please see "Tips for Uploading Documents" below to ensure that documents will upload correctly and are in the correct format. You must submit a transcript, detailed marks certificate or comparable document in English (or with a certified English translation**) that shows:

  • Name of applicant
  • Name of the institution
  • All coursework (name of courses)
  • Grades for each course
  • Transcript legend/grading scale
  • Proof of degree conferral from each institution where degree earned

This is required for all institutions that you’ve taken courses at, regardless of whether or not you earned credit, the program was completed, or the credit appears as transfer credit on another transcript. This includes:

  • All institutions where a degree or certificate was conferred (i.e. Bachelor institution)
  • Community College
  • Study Abroad
  • Language immersion programs
  • Joint Services Transcript (JST) for all U.S. military applicants 
  • Other institutions where coursework was completed

Transcript Requirements for Enrolling Students

If you are admitted and choose to enroll at the Elliott School, official copies of all transcripts must be sent directly from the institution (and certified English translations** sent by the translation service provider, where applicable).

For each institution that a degree was earned, transcripts must also demonstrate that the degree was awarded and include the date of degree conferral.

Please review our blog to see what distinguishes official from unofficial transcripts.

Transcripts sent to our office via email must be sent to [email protected] directly by the institution.

Transcripts sent to our office via post must be sent to:

Office of Graduate Admissions
1957 E. St. NW, Suite 301
Washington, DC 20052

Transcripts sent to a different address may not reach our office. If documents are sent to an incorrect address, applicants will be responsible for re-sending these documents to the correct address.

Hand-delivered transcripts must be received by our office in a sealed, unopened, stamped envelopes issued by the institution to be considered official. Any transcripts received by our office that have been opened are considered unofficial. Check our blog to see what distinguishes official from unofficial transcripts.

Please note that all official transcripts become the property of the George Washington University once they have been submitted and will not be returned to the student or the issuing institution.

*Most 3-year degrees outside of the Bologna process are not equivalent to a US 4-year Bachelor Degree. Please note, if a US 4-year Bachelor degree equivalency is not demonstrated, students will be required to provide a credential evaluation from a NACES or AICE member organization that certifies the coursework as meeting our requirement.

**If academic records are in a language other than English, a certified English language translation must be provided. Translations uploaded or e-mailed by the applicant are considered unofficial. If an applicant submits an unofficial transcript for translation, that translation is considered unofficial. This includes official transcripts that have been opened by the student.

For a translation to be considered official, the official transcript in its original language must be sent directly to the translation service provider, who must then send the transcript in its original language and the English translation, directly to our office.

GRE/GMAT Test Optional

The Elliott School does not require applicants to submit Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or GMAT scores for any of the graduate programs.

**Test optional means GRE/GMAT scores are not required as part of the application to any of the Elliott School programs.**

Scores from exams taken within the past five years can be sent directly to the university (GRE institution code: 5246; GMAT institution code: QK4-4F-40) if you would like them to be considered in your application to these programs.

If you have submitted GRE scores for one of the test-optional programs, but do not wish for them to be considered in your application, please notify us at [email protected] within 48 hours of submitting your application requesting in writing that your GRE scores be removed from your application.

If the GRE or GMAT Test is taken more than once, the highest score from each test will be considered. Test scores may take 10-15 business days after you have submitted your application to appear in your application checklist.

English Language Tests

All international and Permanent Resident applicants are required to submit official English Language Test Scores.

You may be waived from submitting English Language Test Scores if you meet one of 3 criteria, found on our English Language Requirements Page.

We accept official English Language Test Scores from Academic IELTS, TOEFL, and PTE only.

Please send official TOEFL scores to institutional code 5246. An institutional code is not required to send IELTS or PTE scores to GW.

Please send official IELTS/PTE scores via post to:
Office of Graduate Admissions
Elliott School of International Affairs
1957 E. St NW, Suite 301
Washington DC 20052

International Applicants

International Applicants may be required to submit official English Language tests scores with their application. Please see the Elliott School's English Language Requirements for guidance on whether you need to take the TOEFL/IELTS/PTE. Please sent official TOEFL scores to institution code 5246.

GW English for Academic Purposes (EAP) courses: Admitted applicants may be required to take one or two English for Academic Purposes (EAP) course(s) at The George Washington University. 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.

The minimum English Language Test Requirements can be found below:

Eligible for Admission & requires EAP Courses: 

IELTS- 7.0 overall score, no band score below 6.0

TOEFL- 100 (internet test) 600 (paper test)

PTE- 68

Eligible for Admission & Exempt from EAP Courses**:

IETLS: 7.0 overall score; no band score below 6.5

TOEFL: 105 (Internet test); 650 (paper test)

PTE: 72

**Spring applicants must receive at least these scores to be considered for admission.

Apply to GW as an Undocumented Individual

Please follow the directions below when uploading documents to your application:

  • Save as PDF
  • Do not upload certified, encrypted, or password-protected files
  • Do not upload .png, .jpeg, .html files
  • Upload documents in their correct orientation (Rotate documents uploaded sideways or upside-down)
  • Include one copy of the transcript legend or grading scale for each university
  • Ensure the copy is printable on letter size (8.5” x 11”) or A4 paper and the size of your uploaded document does not exceed 1,000 kb.
  • Select “view document” on your applications once you’ve uploaded to make sure it is legible; illegible documents are not acceptable and will delay the processing of your application; please use a high-quality scanner.
  • Make certain to scan all pages of the transcript, including the reverse side if necessary.

It is imperative that all uploaded document(s) are accurate and legible. Transcripts that are illegible will delay the application, and additional copies may be required.

Inaccurate records may result in application denial or dismissal from The George Washington University.

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Contact Graduate Admissions

The George Washington University 1957 E Street, NW, Suite 301, Washington, DC 20052

Phone: (202) 994-7050

Email: [email protected]

Join us for Online Office Hours on Gmail Chat! Tuesdays & Thursdays 9 a.m.-12 p.m. & 1-5 p.m

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