Eligibility requirement: Applicants must be currently enrolled or a recent alumni (within three years) of one of The Elliott School’s International Exchange Partners.
Admissions deadline: Fall: January 7th - Fellowship & Application Deadline
Spring: October 1st - Fellowship & Application Deadline
Applications for admission will continue to be accepted on a rolling basis after the fellowship deadlines have passed, but students will not be considered for fellowships.
Standardized test scores: GRE and GMAT scores are not accepted and will not be considered in the review process. Please do not submit scores.
Recommendations required: Two (2) letters are required. Applicants should submit one (1) academic letter from a professor and one (1) professional reference.
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 should be uploaded to your online application. Official transcripts are required only of applicants who are offered admission and choose to enroll.
If academic records are in a language other than English, English language translations must be provided. The English translations alone should be uploaded into the online application. Official transcripts and certified English translations will be required of applicants who are offered admission and choose to enroll.
Statement of purpose: 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.
Additional requirements: A resumé or curriculum vitae is required. Resumés/CVs must include dates of employment (if applicable) and date of degree conferral or expected degree conferral.
Prerequisites: Applicants must be current students or recent alumni (within 3 years) of Master's programs at one of Elliott School International Partners (https://elliott.gwu.edu/exchange-partners).
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.
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
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.
International applicants only: 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 send official TOEFL scores to institution code 5246.
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.
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:
Office of Graduate Admissions
The Elliott School of International Affairs
The George Washington University
1957 E Street, NW, Suite 301
Washington, DC 20052

Contact for questions:
esiagrad@gwu.edu ~ 202.994.7050 ~ 202.994.9537 (fax)
9:00 am – 5:00 pm, Monday through Friday

The following requirements must be fulfilled: 28 credits, including 9 to 12 credits in core field courses, a 4-credit capstone sequence, 12 credits in a specialization, and 0 to 3 credits in elective courses. In addition, all students are required to fulfill a foreign language proficiency requirement.*

See notes regarding special topics, skills, and LAW courses**

Core field (9-12 credits)
Three or four required courses in economics, history, and international affairs/political science, as described below. If the MIS candidate has taken an equivalent course at the partner institution, the student may transfer credit to satisfy that core field requirement with approval of the Program Director.
3 credits in international affairs
IAFF 6101International Affairs Cornerstone (Fall)
3 credits in history
HIST 6030History and Its Uses in International Affairs
3-6 credits in economics using one of the following options:
ECON 6280Survey of International Economics
ECON 6283
ECON 6284
Survey of International Trade Theory and Policy
and Survey of International Macroeconomics and Finance Theory and Policy
ECON 6280 is designed for students who have little background in economics. Those with a stronger prior background in economics may wish to substitute ECON 6280 with the ECON 6283 and ECON 6284 sequence for 6 credits. The ECON 6283 and ECON 6284 sequence is required for the international economic affairs concentration.
Capstone (4 credits)
Students complete a two-course capstone sequence that most closely matches the thematic area of their project. The capstone sequence includes a 2-credit capstone workshop taken before the 2-credit capstone seminar. The two 2-credit capstone courses must be taken consecutively.
IAFF 6898Capstone Workshop
IAFF 6899Capstone Course
Specialization (12 credits)
Specializations in the MIS program consist of four courses (12 credits) selected from one of the global issues or regional areas listed below. Students should choose courses from more than one academic discipline to complete their specialization and are encouraged to discuss these choices with the MIS Program Director. Subject matter covered in special topics courses may vary each semester. If the student has taken a related course at the partner institution, this may be transferred to satisfy as a specialization course, with approval of the MIS Program Director. Requirements for the specialization are outlined below. Note that the focus of special topics courses vary by semester. Consult the Schedule of Classes for each semester’s offerings. With permission of the Program Director, other topics courses not listed here may be used to fulfill program requirements.
Electives (0 to 3 credits)
Students who take ECON 6280 to fulfill the core requirement must take 3 credits in elective courses, which may be selected from disciplines including anthropology; business, economics, education, history, public administration, political sciences, among others. Up to 3 credits may be taken in skills courses.

Thematic specializations

Regional specializations

*Language proficiency requirement

Students in the master of international studies program are required to demonstrate proficiency in a modern language other than English. Students may fulfill this requirement in one of the following ways:

  • Having earned a minimum grade of B in a sixth-semester university-level advanced language course completed no more than three years prior to matriculation in the Elliott School's master's degree program.
  • Having earned a minimum grade of B in a sixth-semester university-level advanced language course at GW, or in an approved course taken at another institution of higher learning, including Elliott School exchange partner institutions, while enrolled in the Elliott School master's program. 
  • Passing the Elliott School-administered language proficiency reading and speaking examination at the currently-required level of proficiency. The Elliott School administers language proficiency examinations once in the fall and once in the spring semesters. Students should plan to take the language proficiency examination as soon as possible following their matriculation in the program. Students have three opportunities to pass the examination. Failure to pass the examination for a third time results in dismissal from the program.
  • Achieving the required proficiency level in a reading and speaking examination administered by an Elliott School-approved language assessment institution, at the student's expense, while enrolled in the Elliott School's Master's Degree Program.
  • Demonstrating the required foreign language proficiency level in a language professional skills course offered through the Elliott School. The instructor tests the student during the course to determine if the required proficiency level has been achieved. 

As of fall 2018, the above policy applies to new and current students in the Elliott School’s non-regional studies master’s programs with a language requirement. Consult the Program Director for more information.

**Specific subject matter covered in special/selected topics courses varies by semester. Consult the Schedule of Classes for each semester's offerings. Topics courses not listed here may be used to fulfill program requirements if approved by the Program Director.

Additional information regarding skills courses is available on the Elliott School website. 

Students may, with permission of their advisor, include courses offered by the Law School in their major field. Enrolling in a LAW course also requires permission of the Law School dean of students. Students should consult the Elliott School's Office of Academic Advising and Student Service before enrolling in LAW courses.