Skip Navigation

University Bulletin: Graduate Programs The George Washington University  

 
   
 

ELLIOTT SCHOOL OF INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

Dean M.E. Brown

Associate Deans H. Agnew, M. Mochizuki, D. Shaw

The Elliott School of International Affairs offers graduate and undergraduate programs to prepare individuals for understanding and working in an increasingly globalized world. The historical roots of the Elliott School extend back to the establishment of the School of Comparative Jurisprudence and Diplomacy in 1898. In 1966, the School separated from the School of Government, Business, and International Affairs to become an independent unit, the School of Public and International Affairs. In 1987, the name was changed to the School of International Affairs, and in 1988 the School was renamed in honor of Evelyn E. and Lloyd H. Elliott. Lloyd Elliott was the president of The George Washington University from 1965 to 1988.

Master’s Degree Programs

The Elliott School offers the Master of Arts in the fields of international affairs, Asian studies, European and Eurasian studies, global communication, international development studies, international science and technology policy, international trade and investment policy, Latin American and hemispheric studies, Middle East studies, and security policy studies; the Master of International Policy and Practice degree for mid-career professionals; and the Master of International Studies degree for students enrolled in master’s degree programs at international universities with which the Elliott School has a special partnership.

These programs provide advanced academic and professional training in international affairs as preparation for employment in public, private, and nonprofit sectors. Focusing on major historical and contemporary issues in international affairs, the programs are both interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary, combining courses offered through the School with courses offered by other schools and departments of the University.

Admission Requirements

Admission to master’s programs in the Elliott School is highly competitive. To be considered for admission, applicants must present a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university. Scores on the general test of the Graduate Record Examination are required for Master of Arts applicants and encouraged but not required for Master of International Policy and Practice applicants. In addition, the applicant’s motivation, professional experience, and academic preparation in economics and foreign language study will be considered in the selection process. Eight years of professional experience are generally required of Master of International Policy and Practice applicants.

The following additional requirements pertain to all applicants who are not citizens of countries in which English is the official language and who have not graduated from a college or university in which English is the language of instruction. (Specified possible exemptions from this policy can be found at graduate.admissions.gwu.edu/english-language-requirements.)—Applicants are required to submit scores from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the academic International English Language Testing System (IELTS) or the Pearson Test of English–Academic (PTE). To be considered for admission, applicants are normally expected to have a minimum score of 600 (paper-based) or 100 (Internet-based) on the TOEFL, or an overall band score of 7.0 on the IELTS with no individual band score below 6.0, or a score of 68 on the PTE.

Students with the following English language test scores are exempt from taking English for Academic Purposes (EAP) courses: IELTS, overall band score of 7.0 with no individual band score below 6.5; TOEFL, 620 paper-based or 105 Internet-based; PTE, 72. In their first semester at GW, all non-exempted international students are required to register for an EAP course. The EAP course that is required is indicated in the student’s letter of admission. In the first EAP class meeting, the EAP Diagnostic Test is given to confirm the correct EAP placement. Students assigned EAP courses should anticipate additional tuition expenses as well as a possible extended period of time required to complete their degree program.

Readmission—A graduate student who has not been continuously enrolled or on approved leave of absence must file an application for readmission the semester before planning to return to school.

Scholarship Requirements

Information on grades and computing the grade-point average is under University Regulations. Courses taken to satisfy degree requirements cannot be taken on a Credit (CR) basis, with the exception of some capstone courses.

Graduate students are required to maintain a minimum cumulative grade-point average of 3.0. A student whose grade-point average falls below 3.0 or who receives a grade of F in a course at any point after completing 9 credit hours is placed on probation. This probation extends through the period in which the student next attempts up to 12 credits of work, including prescribed courses. The student’s academic advisor will meet with the program director and/or academic dean to review the student’s record. The student’s account will be put on hold until the student has met with the program director and/or academic dean to discuss the terms of probation. A student’s program may be restricted by the program director if deemed necessary.

During the probation period, the student’s performance will be monitored to determine suitability for continued study. The Office of Academic Advising and Student Services will inform the program director and/or academic dean whether the student is no longer on probation or is eligible for dismissal. Incomplete grades are not allowed during the probation period and are grounds for dismissal.

A student who fails to raise the cumulative grade-point average to 3.0 or above by the end of the period of probation or who is subject to probation for a second time at any point during the academic program is eligible for dismissal. If a student is eligible for dismissal, the academic dean in consultation with the program director will decide whether the student is to be dismissed from the Elliott School.

The symbol I (Incomplete) indicates that a satisfactory explanation has been given to the instructor for the student’s failure to complete the required work of the course. When work for the course is complete, the grade earned will be indicated by the letter I followed by the letter grade. An Incomplete cannot be made up after the lapse of one calendar year. An Incomplete that is not made up by the end of one calendar year becomes a grade of IF on the student’s record. An Incomplete cannot be removed by reregistering for the course. If there are more than two Incompletes outstanding on the record, the student is not permitted to register for any courses, including the capstone course.

General Requirements for Master of Arts Degree Programs

Programs leading to the Master of Arts degree require a minimum of 40 credit hours of graduate course work and include a thesis option. Candidates for the degree of Master of Arts are required to submit a plan of study (fields, supporting course work, etc., as approved by the program director or faculty advisor) to the Office of Academic Advising and Student Services by the end of the first semester in residence. Master’s degrees are awarded after the student has completed the required course work and an acceptable thesis (if one is elected) and has satisfied the foreign language requirement (if required).

Students with sufficient academic background may waive a core course with approval of a designated faculty member from the department concerned. A course waiver does not reduce the number of credits required for the degree. Under special circumstances, upper-level undergraduate courses may be counted toward the master’s degree when registration for graduate credit has been approved at the beginning of the course by the program director, the instructor, and the Office of Academic Advising and Student Services. The student who takes an undergraduate course for graduate credit is expected, by arrangement with the instructor, to do work at the graduate level in addition to the regular work of the course. Normally, no more than 9 credits of approved undergraduate course work may be taken for credit toward a graduate degree. Academic credit counted toward a previous degree may not be counted toward the master’s degree.

All master’s degree candidates must complete degree requirements within five years of their admission to the program. Students who are unable temporarily to continue their studies may request a leave of absence not to exceed one year. Extensions beyond the five-year period may be granted in exceptional circumstances, but the student will be required to register and pay for 1 credit of Continuous Enrollment each semester.

Students are encouraged (and in some cases required) to take professional skills-based courses (IAff 65023) and should consult their program guidelines for limits on the number of credits that can count toward their degree program. The maximum allowed by the Elliott School is four credits.

No more than a combined total of 6 graduate credit hours may be transferred from other accredited institutions or from non-degree status, and these may be accepted only under limited conditions of time, grades, and relevance to the student’s program.

Foreign Language Requirements

In most degree programs, a candidate for the degree of Master of Arts must demonstrate reading and speaking proficiency in a modern foreign language. All students in regional programs (including those who are not native speakers of English) must demonstrate proficiency in a language appropriate to the study of the specific region. Students should consult their program guidelines for specific requirements, academic credit, and options for fulfilling the language requirement.

Capstone Course

Every student must successfully complete a capstone course near the conclusion of the master’s program. Most programs offer the capstone course once a year, during the spring semester. The student must have a 3.0 grade-point average and must have completed or registered for 30 credit hours before participating in the course. If there is a lapse of time between completion of other course work and the capstone course, the student must be continuously enrolled during this period. A student who fails to complete successfully the capstone course may repeat it with the permission of the dean. If the student fails a second time, no further opportunity to complete the course will be permitted and the degree will not be conferred. Details concerning the capstone course vary across programs. Students should consult their program guidelines for details.

Thesis Option

Exceptional students may write a thesis if they qualify by having a minimum 3.5 grade-point average for at least 20 credit hours of course work in their program and developing a formal thesis proposal approved by their prospective thesis advisor.

The thesis subject should be selected as early as possible so as to permit effective integration with the course work. A student will not be permitted to register for Thesis Research (IAff 699899) until the thesis subject has been formally submitted to the Office of Academic Advising. Programs may set additional requirements in order to qualify to write a thesis. The subject must be approved by the member of the full-time faculty under whom the thesis is to be written, a second member of the faculty who will serve as a reader, and the student’s program director. The thesis in its final form must have the approval of the thesis director and one other reader. All theses must be submitted electronically and meet the formatting and other requirements set forth at www.gwu.edu/~etds.

Payment of tuition for thesis research entitles the candidate, during the period of registration, to the advice and direction of the thesis director and the other reader. In case a thesis is unfinished, the student must maintain continuous enrollment and is allowed one calendar year to complete it. If the preparation of the thesis extends beyond the additional calendar year, the student must register for the entire 6 hours of thesis again and pay tuition as for a repeated course.

Field Requirements

Asian Studies—Prerequisite: a bachelor’s degree in a related field and at least two years of study of an appropriate Asian language. Required course work includes a core field, a regional specialization, a thematic or professional specialization, a capstone, and electives. The core field consists of three courses in Asian history, politics, business and development, and international relations. Students specialize in East Asia, South Asia, or Southeast Asia. The thematic and professional specialization may include additional course work in areas within the core field or other approved areas such as Asian culture, art, and religions, international security policy, international development, and international health policy. Up to 3 credits of professional skills courses and 6 credits of language study may apply toward degree requirements. Oral and reading proficiency must be demonstrated in Chinese, Japanese, Korean, or another relevant Asian language.

European and Eurasian Studies—Prerequisite: a bachelor’s degree in a related field, including a strong background in European history and political systems and at least two years of an appropriate European or Eurasian language. All students take a foundational colloquium, economics, a core field in European and Eurasian affairs, a second field in a professional specialization, and skills-based courses. Up to 6 credits of language study may be counted toward the degree.

Global Communication—Prerequisite: a bachelor’s degree in a related field, with introductory macro- and microeconomics and at least two years of a modern foreign language. Requirements include a core field constituted of courses in communication theory, political theory, research methods, and economics; a specialization field made up of courses chosen from any one of the international affairs major fields; communication skills courses; and a capstone course. Up to 6 credits of language study may be counted toward the degree.

International Affairs—Prerequisite: a bachelor’s degree in a related field, including introductory micro- and macroeconomics and at least two years of undergraduate study of a modern foreign language. Required course work includes a core field, a major field, skills-based courses, and electives. The core field consists of courses in political, economic, and historical issues in international affairs. The major fields include international security studies; international economic affairs; international affairs and development; global health; technology policy and international affairs; international law and organizations; conflict and conflict resolution; U.S. foreign policy; Asia; Latin America; Middle East; Europe and Eurasia. The academic program must include 3 credits of skills-based courses; up to 6 credits of foreign language study may be counted toward the degree.

International Development Studies—Prerequisite: a bachelor’s degree including introductory microeconomics, a course in statistics, and at least two years of study of a modern foreign language. The program requires core, analytical, and concentration courses and a capstone course abroad in the last semester. Students take a sequence of four core courses together as a cohort. In addition, the program requires courses in policy analysis, research methods, management, and economics. In consultation with the program director, students propose a specialization of 18 credit hours in a selected issue or discipline. Major issues and disciplines that constitute international development studies include culture, society, and development; economic development; conflict and development; humanitarian assistance; international development management; international education; global health; natural resources and the environment; and women and development. (A self-designed specialization may be proposed with approval of the program director.) Language course credit does not apply toward the degree.

International Science and Technology Policy—Prerequisite: a bachelor’s degree in a social, life, or physical science or in engineering. Students take a 9-credit core field comprised of a cornerstone course in international science and technology policy, an independent study, and a research capstone. A 15-credit concentration is chosen in consultation with the program director in a specific issue area, such as space policy, energy and environmental policy, or the economics of technological change. Students must also successfully complete 6 credits of analytical competency, generally in topics such as policy analysis, economics, or statistics, and one Elliott School skills-based course.

International Trade and Investment Policy—Prerequisite: a bachelor’s degree including one semester each of introductory micro- and macroeconomic principles and at least two years of a modern foreign language. Applicants are strongly advised to take an introductory statistics course and an intermediate micro- and macroeconomics sequence before beginning the program. The student must complete a core field consisting of economics, political science, history, and quantitative methods course work. A major field is selected from among international economic policy analysis, international business, and development economics. Up to 6 credits of language study may be counted toward the degree.

Latin American and Hemispheric Studies—Prerequisite: a bachelor’s degree with background course work related to Latin America and at least two years of study of Spanish or Portuguese. The core requirements include an interdisciplinary foundation course and a 9-credit core field that provides a broad overview of the region including courses in three of the following disciplinary fields: anthropology, economics, geography, history, and political science. Students choose two specialized fields, in which they take at least two courses each, drawn from anthropology; geography; art history, literature, and culture; economics; international business; global health; political science; history; sociology; and security. A 3-credit graduate-level research methods course is required. In the final semester students complete an interdisciplinary research capstone. Up to 6 credits of language study may count toward the degree.

Middle East Studies—Prerequisite: a bachelor’s degree in a related field with at least two years of study of an appropriate language of the region. Students take a core field consisting of four courses selected from history, political science, international affairs, and anthropology; the Middle East studies cornerstone course; four approved courses that form a field in a professional specialization; three elective courses related to the Middle East and chosen in consultation with the program director; at least one skills course; and the Middle East capstone course. Only one elective may be an advanced content-based language course.

Security Policy Studies—Prerequisite: a bachelor’s degree with course work in international affairs or other relevant social sciences, including introductory micro- and macroeconomic principles; study of a modern foreign language is preferred. All students take three courses in the required core field of international security issues. A specialized field is chosen from U.S. national security and defense policy; transnational security issues; intelligence; security and development; conflict and conflict resolution; political psychology; homeland security; strategic concepts and military history; science, technology, and weapons of mass destruction; or regional security. A second specialized field is selected from the above or from other M.A. programs in the Elliott School or may be designed in consultation with the program director. Students must successfully complete an economics requirement and skills-based courses. Foreign language credit does not count toward this program.

General Requirements for the Master of International Policy and Practice Degree Program

The Master of International Policy and Practice requires a minimum of 27 credit hours of graduate course work. Students are required to take one course in either international relations theory and policy or comparative politics, one course in international economics, and the M.I.P.P. Seminar and Practicum. For the remainder of the program, students must create a plan of study, approved by the program director, by the end of the first semester in residence.

Under special circumstances, up to 6 credits of upper-level undergraduate courses may be counted toward the master’s degree when registration for graduate credit has been approved at the beginning of the course by the program director, the instructor, and the dean. The student who takes an undergraduate course for graduate credit is expected, by arrangement with the instructor, to do work at the graduate level in addition to the regular work of the course.

M.I.P.P. candidates must complete degree requirements within three years of their admission to the program. Students who are temporarily unable to continue their studies may request a leave of absence not to exceed one year. Extensions beyond the three-year period may be granted in exceptional circumstances, but the student will be required to register and pay for 1 credit of Continuous Enrollment.

No transfer credit is accepted into the M.I.P.P. program. No more than 6 hours of graduate credit taken in any degree or nondegree status within The George Washington University, including the Elliott School, may be included in the M.I.P.P. program.

Special Programs

Joint Master of Arts and Juris Doctor Degree Program

The Elliott School of International Affairs cooperates with the Law School in offering a program of study leading to the degrees of Master of Arts and Juris Doctor. A student must be accepted for admission by both the Elliott School and the Law School. Applications should be made separately to each school, with a notice of interest in the combined program. The Law School stipulates that the first year of course work for the Juris Doctor degree must be taken as a unit; students should consult with the Law School’s Associate Dean for Student Affairs.

As part of this program, each school accepts up to 12 credit hours of course work from the other school in fulfillment of its degree requirements. The Elliott School M.A. portion of the program may not include a thesis. The joint program takes approximately four years of full-time study for completion. Joint degree students must meet all requirements for both programs and apply for graduation from both schools prior to receiving either diploma. All work for this combined degree program must be completed in five years, unless an extension of time is granted by the respective deans.

Joint Master of Arts and Master of Business Administration Degree Program

The Elliott School of International Affairs cooperates with the School of Business in offering a program of study leading to the degrees of Master of Arts and Master of Business Administration with a field of study in international business. The joint degree program is offered in all Elliott School M.A. fields, and the M.B.A. is taken with a focus on international business. The student must be accepted for admission by both the Elliott School and the School of Business. Applications should be made separately to each school, with a notice of interest in the combined program. Students may also apply for the joint degree program after they have begun either program.

As part of this program, each school accepts up to 12 credit hours of course work from the other school in fulfillment of its degree requirements. The joint program takes approximately three years of full-time study for completion. Joint degree students must meet all requirements for each program and apply for graduation from both schools prior to receiving either diploma. All work for this combined degree program must be completed in six years, unless an extension of time is granted by the respective deans.

Dual Master of Arts and Master of Public Health Degree Program

The Elliott School of International Affairs cooperates with the School of Public Health and Health Services in offering a dual degree program leading toward the Master of Arts and the Master of Public Health in global health. The dual degree program is offered in all Elliott School fields. The student must be accepted for admission by both the Elliott School and the School of Public Health and Health Services. Applications should be made separately to each school, with a notice of interest in the combined program. Students may also apply for the dual degree program after they have begun either program.

As part of this program, the Elliott School accepts up to 12 credit hours of course work from the School of Public Health and Health Services in fulfillment of its degree requirements. The program takes approximately three years of full-time study for completion. Dual degree students may complete the requirements for each degree and receive a diploma for each degree after applying for graduation from each school separately. However, all work on each degree must be completed within five years from the student’s entry into that program, unless an extension of time is granted by the respective deans.

Master of International Studies

The Master of International Studies is a special program open only to students who have completed or are currently enrolled in an approved master’s degree program at one of the Elliott School’s international partner schools. Master of International Studies students take core courses in economics, history, and political science, plus three courses in an elective field designed with the approval of the program director and a capstone course. All students must meet the Elliott School language requirement.

Graduate Certificates

The Elliott School of International Affairs offers a program of graduate certificates as listed below. The program is open to all graduate students presently enrolled in the Elliott School, Columbian College of Arts and Science, the Graduate School of Education and Human Development, the School of Business, and the School of Public Health and Health Services at GW, and to graduate students from other universities, persons who have already earned a graduate degree, and persons with a bachelor’s degree and a minimum of eight years of relevant work experience. Transfer credit is not accepted into any graduate certificate program. No more than 6 credits of graduate course work taken in any degree or nondegree status within The George Washington University, including the Elliott School, may be included in any graduate certificate program. Additional information is available in the Elliott School Graduate Admissions office.

International Economic Policy (18 credits)

International Science and Technology Policy (18 credits)

International Security Policy (18 credits)

U.S. Foreign Policy (18 credits)

Political Psychology (18 credits)

Asian Studies (18 credits)

European and Eurasian Studies (18 credits)

Latin American and Hemispheric Studies (18 credits)

Middle East Studies (18 credits)

 

 

The George Washington University

© 2013 University Bulletin
The George Washington University All rights reserved.

Information in this bulletin is generally accurate as of fall 2012. The University reserves the right to change courses, programs, fees, and the academic calendar, or to make other changes deemed necessary or desirable, giving advance notice of change when possible.