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Global Communication

Columbian College of Arts and Sciences

Elliott School of International Affairs

Master of Arts (M.A.)
Location(s): Foggy Bottom - Main Campus

Program Overview

Offered jointly by GW’s Elliott School of International Affairs and Columbian College of Arts and Sciences’ School of Media and Public Affairs (SMPA), the M.A. in Global Communication combines the Elliott School's globally recognized academic excellence in international affairs with SMPA’s strengths as a leading school of communication and journalism.

Students in the Global Communication program learn about the fascinating and rapidly evolving global information environment. As future or advancing professionals in the field, they learn how to work in this environment and communicate effectively with audiences worldwide.

Students take a rigorous academic program that prepares them both intellectually and professionally for exciting careers in the public, private, and non-profit sectors. A core curriculum focuses on communication, international politics, international economics, and research methods. Required skills courses on topics such as developing communication strategies, cross-cultural communication, public speaking, and editing prepare students for careers in global communication. Students also choose one of twelve specializations to build expertise on a major world region or global issue. In the final year, a capstone course tests students' ability to address a real-world problem using the skills and knowledge acquired during their course of study.

Admission Requirements

Admission deadline:

Fall – February 1 (M.A. applicants:  to be considered for fellowship support, applications must be submitted by January 15. )

Standardized test scores:

GRE general test (institutional code 5246)

Recommendations required: 

Three (3) letters of recommendation, preferably from professors. Applicants who have been out of school for several years may send recommendations from supervisors or employers.

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.

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.

Statement of purpose:

In an essay of approximately 500 words, state your purpose in undertaking graduate study at the Elliott School of International Affairs. As part of your statement of purpose, describe your academic and research interests, career objectives, and how a degree from the Elliott School will enable you to achieve your goals. Please be specific.

Additional requirements:

A resumé or curriculum vitae is required. Because students must demonstrate proficiency in a modern foreign language within two years, previous language training, typically a minimum of two (2) years, is expected. For additional information on language requirements, please visit http://elliott.gwu.edu/global-communication/foreign-language.

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.

PLEASE NOTE that Elliott School programs require the following minimum English language test scores for admission:

  • Academic IELTS: an overall band score of 7.0 with no individual band score below 6.5; or
  • TOEFL: 600 on paper-based, or 100 on Internet-based

Additionally, non-native speakers of English must pass an additional English proficiency exam (the TOOL exam).


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