International Studies

Elliott School of International Affairs

Master of International Studies (M.I.S.)
Location(s): Foggy Bottom - Main Campus

Program Overview

The Master of International Studies Program creates an opportunity for students at our international partner institutions to spend a year at the Elliott School.

To thrive in today's international arena, successful professionals must possess knowledge of global and regional issues and a keen ability to communicate, negotiate, and lead in a multicultural environment. For many international affairs professionals, experience in Washington, DC, is an invaluable opportunity that strengthens and enhances their academic, professional, and cultural understanding of our globalized world.    

The Master of International Studies (M.I.S) is a unique program open to current students and recent alumni from M.A. programs at Elliott School partner institutions around the globe. M.I.S. students complete an additional academic year of full-time study in Washington, DC. Students pursue expanded study of a complementary global issue or world region, building upon the foundation of coursework completed at the partner school.

Whether one’s interests are in global trade, the development world, international public health, security and conflict resolution, or other global and regional issues, the Elliott School's M.I.S. program prepares students for careers in diplomacy, public service, international and non-governmental organizations, and multi-national organizations.

Admission Requirements

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

Standardized test scores: GRE/GMAT test-optional

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.

High intermediate coursework in a modern foreign language is required at the time of application.

Two (2) semesters of Introductory Economics (one semester each of Micro- and Macroeconomics) or one (1) semester of Principles of Economics is required at the time of enrollment*.

*Spring applicants are required to have completed this prerequisite at the time of application.



International 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:
[email protected] ~ 202.994.7050 ~ 202.994.9537 (fax)
9:00 am – 5:00 pm, Monday through Friday