U.S. Foreign Policy Summer Program

About the Seminar Program


At the Elliott School’s U.S. Foreign Policy Summer Program, participants from the United States and the world study the complex factors that shape U.S. foreign policy.

Taking full advantage of its location in downtown Washington D.C, the program features briefings at key institutions that influence U.S. foreign policy, as well as lectures and seminars led by leading scholars and experts from government offices, think tanks, international organizations, nonprofit organizations, the media and foreign embassies.

  • Session 1: June 8th to June 19th

  • Session 2: June 29th to July 10th

  • Session 3: July 20th to July 31st

Applications will open soon!



Photo: US Foreign Policy students stand in front of country flags

Open to graduate students, professionals and select advanced undergraduate students

Admission to the summer program at the Elliott School is competitive. The program encourages applications from people with backgrounds in any field related to international affairs.

International participants contribute an important dimension to the study of foreign policy and the program welcomes applications from abroad.

  • Graduates and professionals should have at least a bachelor's degree and some work experience.
  • Undergraduates must have at least sophomore standing (30 credits of college-level course work complete) as well as some experience in the field. The program does not accept college students starting their first year or high school students.

"The summer program was an excellent deep dive into the roles of various actors in formulating U.S. foreign policy and promoting the U.S.'s national interest. The class comprised a good mix of young students and more experienced practitioners of public policy. A key strength of the program was the quality of guest speakers who were all intimately involved in shaping U.S. foreign policy, be they from the public or private sector. The main lecturer for the program was a seasoned former U.S. diplomat who was an excellent facilitator and instructor on the fine points of diplomacy and how this is carried out in the U.S. context. I highly recommend this program to future students from Singapore and in particular, students from my institution."

Mitchel Lee

The Rajaratnam School of International Studies in
NTU (Nanyang Technological University)



Photo: US Foreign Policy students stand in empty room in front of seal



This program includes a two-week, three-credit course called "U.S. Foreign Policy in a Global Era" held in the heart of Washington, D.C. The course features core lectures by Instructor Jillian Burns, GW faculty, guest speakers from a variety of organizations and site visits to key institutions in the field of foreign policy.

Understanding the United States' role in the world requires knowledge of not just the substance of U.S. foreign policy, but also how U.S. foreign policy is made, the history that informs it, the political culture that sustains it and the ideas and interests that drive it. It requires an understanding of how Americans see their role in the world and how others interpret that role.

In this course, participants from the United States and around the world will study the complex factors that shape U.S. foreign policy. Taking full advantage of its location at The George Washington University in downtown Washington, D.C., the program features visits to key institutions that influence U.S. foreign policy as well as lectures and seminars by leading scholars and experts from the government, think tanks, interest groups, international organizations, non-profit organizations, the media and foreign embassies.

Upon successful completion of the program, participants earn academic credit from The George Washington University, which will provide each participant one (1) official transcript that reflects credit awarded for non-degree, visiting student status. Additional transcripts may be purchased from the GW Office of the Registrar. Please check with your home institution for details on transfer credit.

In addition to attending lectures by GW faculty, students in the U.S. Foreign Policy Summer Program participate in briefs at institutions that shape U.S. foreign policy, such as foreign embassies, the Pentagon, the U.S. Department of State, the U.S. Agency for International Development, the World Bank, etc. 

Participants will have access to the libraries at The George Washington University, the National Security Archive, the Library of Congress and other research libraries in Washington, D.C.


Housing and Fees


Participants may opt to reside in GW dormitories on our downtown campus; the program arranges a discounted rate. Participants who choose not to reside on GW's campus will be responsible for securing accommodations for the duration of the program. Below are some suggestions of hotels located near our campus:

When calling the two hotels mentioned above to make a reservation, please mention that you are enrolled in a GW program in order to get a discount rate.

  • The Baron Hotel is located near the Elliott School and presents affordable rates.

If you need assistance with finding off-campus accommodation OR if you are interested in residing in GW campus, please email us.

Costs for the Summer 2020 program will be listed here in the future. 

How to Apply

  1. Go to the application homepage.
  2. You will first be prompted to create a username, confirm your email address and then create a password.
  3. Once these steps are completed, you will be able to log in and start a new application. Even if you are a current GW or Elliott School student, you must apply to the program through this portal. If you are a current student, you should be able to login and look to the bottom right for 'start new application'.
  4. On the first page of the application, choose the following in order to apply for U.S. Foreign Policy Summer Program (each field must be selected before the following fields options will populate).
  5. What type of program are you applying to? Non-Degree
  6. School: Summer & Non-Degree Programs
  7. Field of Study: U.S. Foreign Policy in a Global Era
  8. Degree: Non-Degree
  9. Concentration: Not Applicable
  10. Term: Summer 2019

All accepted participants are admitted for visiting, non-degree status at The George Washington University. Please be advised that academic success in the program requires a high level of English language proficiency in reading, writing and speaking.

To demonstrate this proficiency, non-native English speakers must provide TOEFL or IELTS scores at the time of the application. The minimum scores required are:

  • TOEFL: 100 Internet/ 250 computer/ 600 paper-based
  • IELTS: 7.0 overall band score. No individual band score below 6.0
  • Coursework: If you have studied in the U.S. during the past year, a 3.0 GPA and a writing class is sufficient proof of English proficiency

Contact us: [email protected] or 202-994-7232