Along with courses in feminist theory and empirical knowledge about women, gender, and sexuality in the United States and around the world, students take at least four policy courses in the GW Trachtenberg School of Public Policy and Public Administration. Through the program’s interdisciplinary curriculum, students learn to analyze policies and structures of power, particularly as they are grounded in gender, race, sexuality, ethnicity, and nationality.

Graduates of the program apply their knowledge and skills to careers in government and as teachers, researchers, lobbyists, public affairs specialists, and advocacy organizations staff members; approximately one-third of program graduates go on to earn doctoral or other professional degrees. Credits earned in this program may be applied toward the doctor of philosophy (PhD) in public policy and public administration degree program.

Visit the program website for additional information.

Admission deadlines:

Fall -  February 1: Priority consideration for admission and funding;   April 1: Guaranteed review for admission and consideration for funding, if available. (Applications for admission will continue to be accepted after April 1, when space remains available in the program.)

Standardized test scores: 

The GRE general is not required, however, if you feel as though submitting scores will strengthen your application, you are welcome to submit them. (Institutional Code: 5246)

The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), the academic International English Language Testing System (IELTS), or the PTE Academic is required of all applicants except those who hold a bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degree from a college or university in the United States or from an institution located in a country in which English is the official language, provided English was the language of instruction. 

Minimum scores for the program are:

  • Academic IELTS: an overall band score of 7.0 with no individual score below 6.0; or
  • TOEFL: 600 on paper-based or 100 on Internet-based;  or
  • PTE Academic: 68

Recommendations required:

Two (2) recommendations. Three (3) recommendations are welcome for those applying for fellowships.

Prior academic records:

Transcripts are required from all colleges and universities attended, whether or not credit was earned, the program was completed, or the credit appears as transfer credit on another transcript. Unofficial transcripts from all colleges and universities attended must be uploaded to your online application. Official transcripts are required only of applicants who are offered admission.

If transcripts are in a language other than English, English language translations must be provided. The English translation alone should be uploaded into your application.

Statement of purpose:

In an essay of 250 – 500 words, state your purpose in undertaking graduate study in your chosen field. Include your academic objectives, research interests, and career plans. Please discuss your readiness to undertake  rigorous graduate coursework, including basic courses in quantitative methods and economics. Also discuss your related qualifications, including collegiate, professional, and community activities, and any other substantial accomplishments not already mentioned on the application. If you are applying for a teaching assistantship or fellowship, also describe an teaching experience you have had.

Writing Sample: A 10-15 page writing sample is required.

International applicants only: 

Please review International Applicant Information carefully for details on required documents, earlier deadlines for applicants requiring an I-20 or DS-2019 from GW, and English language requirements.

Supporting documents not submitted online should be mailed to:

Columbian College of Arts and Sciences - Office of Graduate Studies
The George Washington University
801 22nd Street NW, Phillips Hall 107
Washington DC 20052

For additional information about the admissions process visit the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences Frequently Asked Questions page.

202-994-6210 (phone)

Hours: 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, Monday through Friday

The following requirements must be fulfilled:

The general requirements stated under Columbian College of Arts and Sciences, Graduate Programs.

36 credits, including 24 credits in required courses, 9 credits in electives, and 3 credits of practicum or thesis research. 

WGSS 6220Fundamentals of Feminist Theory
WGSS 6240Gender and Public Policy
WGSS 6221Research Issues in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies
WGSS 6299Capstone Research Seminar
Public Policy Core
PPPA 6002Research Methods and Applied Statistics
PPPA 6003Economics for Public Decision Making
PPPA 6006Policy Analysis
And one of the following: an additional PPPA course, PHIL 6230, PHIL 6242, WGSS 6265, or SOC 6265.
Practicum or Thesis (3 credits)
WGSS 6283Practicum in Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies
or WGSS 6999 Thesis Research
9 credits in electives that may be chosen from policy, WGSS, or other approved courses

This program is affiliated with the Trachtenberg School of Public Policy and Public Administration