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.

Admission deadline:

Fall – February 1 (M.A. applicants: to be considered for fellowship support, applications must be submitted by January 7.)
Spring – October 1

Standardized test scores:

GRE/GMAT test- optional

Recommendations required:

Two (2) 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:

For your Statement of Purpose, choose one of these options:

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.


In an essay of approximately 500 words, 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; four (4) semesters (or the equivalent) of a modern foreign language prior to admission; and two (2) semesters of introductory economics (one semester each of micro- and macroeconomics). For additional information on language requirements, please visit

International applicants only:

Please review International Application 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 6.0; or
  • TOEFL: 600 on paper-based, or 100 on Internet-based

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