U.S. Foreign Policy Summer Program

3 students laughing on the balcony of the Elliott School

Study the complex factors that shape U.S. foreign policy

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. This program features lectures led by GW Faculty, leading scholars and experts from government offices, think tanks, international organizations, nonprofit organizations, and the media.

In addition, students in the U.S. Foreign Policy Summer Program participate in briefs and visit 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. 

"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. 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."

Mitchel Lee
Singapore Foreign Affairs Officer & visiting student from The Rajaratnam School of International Studies in NTU (Nanyang Technological University)


Program Information

Course Overview

This U.S. Foreign Policy Summer Program examines the substance and process of U.S. foreign policy. It delves into the process of formulating and conducting U.S. foreign policy, the history that informs it, the political culture that sustains it, the ideas and interests that drive it, and the people and institutions responsible for it.

Contact [email protected] for questions or join us for an info session.

In this course, students will:

  • interact with leading scholars, officials, and members of advocacy groups to gain an understanding of the many influences and perspectives that influence U.S. foreign policy
  • acquire an appreciation of the institutional context in which policy is made and implemented
  • work on developing the skills needed for policy-related careers, particularly analytical skills and oral and written communication skills.
  • apply the information from class discussions, guest lectures, and outside readings to their participation in simulation exercises and drafting of policy memos.

Course Schedule

This course is formatted as a seminar. The schedule will combine guest lectures by experts and lectures by the instructor, class discussions, possible site visits, a simulation, and conclude with a final paper.

Session I - May 28 - June 7, 2024
2 week Intensive

Classes and site visits will be held Mondays - Saturdays from 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM.

Session II - July 29 - August 9, 2024
2 week Intensive

Classes and site visits will be held Monday - Saturdays from 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM.

Session III - June 6 - July 26, 2024
8 week Evening

Classes will be held on Thursdays from 5:10 PM - 7:00 PM. Site visits will be held biweekly on Friday afternoons.

Academic Credit

This program, in either the two-week or eight-week format, is a three-credit course called “IAFF 6521: U.S. Foreign Policy in a Global Era”. Upon successful completion of the program, participants earn academic credit from The George Washington University and will be able to order official transcripts that reflect credit awarded for non-degree, visiting student status through Parchment.


Admission to the U.S. Foreign Policy Summer Program at the Elliott School is competitive. Every year, the program welcomes mid-career professionals and foreign service officers from abroad.

For this reason, only graduate students and advanced undergraduate students are eligible to apply. See below for additional eligibility requirements:

  • Graduate students, graduates, and professionals should have at least a bachelor’s degree and some work experience,
  • Undergraduates must have at least junior standing (60 credits of college-level course work complete) as well as some experience in the field. The program does not accept first or second-year college students, nor high school students.

The program encourages applications from people with backgrounds in fields related to international affairs. International participants contribute an important dimension to the study of foreign policy and the program welcomes applications from abroad. 

Program Cost

Program Cost and Tuition

In addition to tuition costs, each student will be responsible for a $385 program fee. Tuition and fees can be found on the Student Accounts website.

Non-GW students should navigate to the Non-Degree Tuition Rates page, while undergraduate and graduate students at GW will pay the per-credit tuition rate for your primary school and level.

Please note that students are not allowed to audit the course, they have to take it for credit.

In addition, the above costs do not cover lodging (if applicable), health insurance, travel expenses, meals, the I-20 (for international students), or transcript mailing. Students will be responsible for covering these costs and fees, in addition to incidentals (laundry, internet fees, parking, metro card for personal transportation, etc).


The U.S. Foreign Policy Summer program does not offer housing to program participants.

Participants may use the GW Off-Campus Housing website as a reference for off-campus housing options around the GW Foggy Bottom Campus


All undergraduate, graduate, law, medical, and doctoral students and all international students holding a J-1 or F-1 visa are required to carry student health insurance while they study at GW. These students will be automatically enrolled in the GW SHIP health insurance and must submit an opt-out waiver if they have another insurance plan that meets the required criteria. Please visit the Student Health Center website for more information.

International Applicants

English Language Requirements for Applicants

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.

Academic DuolingoIELTSPTE, or TOEFL, scores are required from all applicants who have not completed a post-secondary degree from a U.S. institution, unless they meet an exemption indicated on this list of English Language Test Exemptions. Official DuolingoIELTSPTE, or TOEFL scores may not be more than 2 years old. 

We do not accept any document(s) other than official Duolingo, IELTS, PTE, or TOEFL English Language Test scores as proof of English Language proficiency. The George Washington University reserves the right to request proof of English proficiency from any applicant.

Please refer to the list below for the minimum test scores required for admission consideration.

Minimum Score Requirement

  • Duolingo: 120
  • IELTS: 7.0 Overall score, no band score below 6.0
  • PTE: 68
  • TOEFL (internet test): 100
  • TOEFL (paper test): 600
How to Apply

Required Documents

Applicants will need to fill out an online application in addition to:

  • Submit a copy of their resume/CV (no page limit); must include dates of employment (if applicable) and date of degree conferral or expected degree conferral. Please save as a PDF and upload to your application.
  • Transcripts from all completed and in progress degrees
  • Personal statement 

Because applications are reviewed on a rolling basis, sessions might entirely fill up before the deadline. Students are encouraged to submit their applications as early as possible.

Online Application

To apply, go to the application portal. You will first be prompted to create a username, confirm your email address, and then create a password. Once these steps are completed, you will be able to log in and start a new application.

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).

  • What type of program are you applying to? Non-Degree
  • School: Summer & Non-Degree Programs
  • Field of Study: U.S. Foreign Policy
  • Degree: Non-Degree
  • Concentration: Not Applicable
  • Term: Summer 2024


The final application deadline for Session 2 is July 1st, 2024. The USFP application is closed for Session 1 and Session 3.

Earn Academic Credit

Earn 3 credits in as little as 2 weeks

Learn alongside other emerging leaders while earning academic credit in one of the leading schools of international affairs in the U.S!

This program features lectures by GW faculty, prominent guest speakers, and site visits to the capital’s most influential organizations.

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