As the application deadline approaches, we know you have many questions regarding the admissions process, fellowships, and many other topics. To help answer your questions, our office will be hosting a variety of online programs throughout December and January.
Online information sessions will include a short presentation regarding the topic noted and additional time to ask take questions from the audience.
Online Office Hours allow you to chat with an admissions director and ask questions you would have asked via email or a phone call. It is a quick and easy way to receive an immediate response.
If you would like to attend any of the sessions below, please complete the RSVP form at go.gwu.edu/esia14online. Soon after you RSVP, we will send instruction on how to join the session.
OID: Hello from OID and thanks for talking to us today! Let's start with the basics: Who are you, where do you come from, and why did you pursue development at GWU?
My name is Kerry White, and I’m originally from the suburbs of New York. I ended up in development in kind of a circuitous way. I started my career in international journalism in Northern Ireland, then did Teach for America and taught for a few years.
Yesterday we held our second and last Prospective Graduate Student Open House for the Fall 2013. Thank you to all of those who attended!
For those of you who were unable to attend, don’t fret! You can watch the entire recording of the October Open House through the Web Video Initiative. You will hear from the Office of Graduate Admissions, Graduate Student Career Development, International Education and Programs, Academic Programs (skills courses), and Associate Dean Doug Shaw. There is also a Q&A session at the end that covers the majority of our frequently asked questions. Enjoy!
We recently posted a blog about resources available to help you choose the correct program for you. Now check out Allison’s advice on the same topic!!
After deciding to go to graduate school, the next step is to figure out which schools to apply to, and specifically which program to choose. Some graduate student applicants know exactly which program they want to apply to, and what they want to do with that degree. But for others, it can be very difficult to narrow down your interests and figure out your post-graduation plans.
When I was applying for graduate school, I was very torn between two different programs. I wasn’t quite sure which one to apply for, but after talking to students in both programs and researching each extensively, I realized one would be a better fit over the other. If you are in the same boat, I encourage you to do the same.
Some things to do are:
- Talk to current students. They can be one of the best resources around. If you’re not sure how to get in contact with a current student, email the program you are interested in to see if they could put you in contact with a current student.
- Talk to professors. If you are really interested in a certain class, see if you can sit in on a taster lecture.
- Check out the curriculum for each program and fill out a sample plan of study for the programs you are interested in to see what your schedule would look like.
- Have a career in mind? The Elliott School provides a breakdown of employment data from the past 5 years. Having an idea of where alumni go after graduating can be a great tool in deciding on a program.
- Attend an open house. This gives you a chance to mingle with current students, professors, and alumni, each of whom can give you some insight into different programs.
Don’t forget to choose a program you are passionate about. Applying for a program just because you think it would look good on a resume, will reflect on your admissions package and will probably leave you miserable in graduate school. Graduate school is a time to actively pursue your interests and passions and begin to think how you can translate that into a career. If you are still undecided, don’t forget that you can usually combine your interests through your program specializations. One of the great things about the Elliott School is its flexibility; you have the opportunity to study a broad range of topics in your chosen field.
Best of luck!
MA Candidate ‘15
Our Open House is just 3 days away! Don’t forget to register at go.gwu.edu/October.
Our Open Houses are a great way to meet with faculty, students, and alumni of our programs and ask any questions you may have as you prepare to submit your application. You will also hear from admissions, international programs and education, career development, and academic programs about the GW Advantages.
We hope you are able to join us!
Stay tuned to read a post about what to expect and how to prepare for the open house later this week!
After travelling to the first graduate school fair of the fall, I was reminded of one of the most frequently asked questions: “How do I decide between the _______________ program and the _______________ program?” While the decision is ultimately up to the applicant, I have laid out some helpful resources as you weigh the decision.
1) Review the curriculum of the programs. This will give you a good incite into how the core requirements and concentrations/specializations vary. From our website, follow the below steps. You can also access the full bulletin of GW courses or the course descriptions for the Fall 2013 semester.
2) Review the programs’ Plans of Study. These forms will give you a visual representation of how the programs are structured. You can also view the Plans of Study for the dual/joint programs.
3) Talk with students in the program. Reach out to your network or email the program assistant (most of which are students in the program) and ask about the academic experience. You can also meet with faculty, students and alumni at one of our Prospective Student Open Houses.
Be sure to use the resources on our website and you will be sure to pick the best program for you! If you have any additional questions, please do not hesitate to contact us as firstname.lastname@example.org.
With the fall semester hitting full speed, we wanted to check in with Joe Martin from our Summer Series. To recap, Joe was planning on spending part of the summer in Oman studying Arabic and the later half of the summer near the Turkish/Syrian border implementing a project with the Syrian Emergency Task Force (SETF).
Joe described his time in Oman as “a wonderful experience.” This was the second summer he spent in the country but this year her traveled to Nizwa instead of Muscat. When writing about his experience, Joe said the following:
I love studying Arabic in Oman because it is one of the few places in the Middle East where one can truly be immersed in the language. Many Arab countries are heavily influenced by English and other European countries… However, Omani’s are a patient people who enjoy speaking Arabic with foreigners. Many haven’t interacted very much with Westerners, providing a more traditional experience and fun cross-cultural exchanges.
Joe’s studying did not go to waste. Upon returning to the Elliott School for the fall semester, he passed his Arabic exit examination for the M.A. in Middle East Studies! Congratulations Joe!
Unfortunately, Joe’s second half of the summer did not go as planned. Due to budget concerns the SETF project was unable to be implemented. However, Joe and the rest of the team plan to continue to search for funding partners and hope to implement the program as soon as possible.
We wish you the best of luck Joe!
The Elliott School’s International Affairs Review (IAR), a student-run publication, provides an engaging online forum for various topics in global affairs. Students have the opportunity to share perspectives on critical issues in short, op-ed style articles released weekly.
Published works cover regional developments like, “The risk of French military involvement in North Africa,” while book reviews spotlight suggested readings on a range of topics in international affairs.
Students may also contribute long-form academic articles, in the IAR’s biannual, peer-reviewed print journal. Now celebrating its 22nd year in print and 7th year on the web, the IAR provides graduate students from the world’s top international affairs schools a platform for unique policy discourse.
While anyone can submit their work, Elliott School students have the opportunity to serve on the editorial and writing staff, shaping the vision of the academic journal.
For more information visit: http://www.iar-gwu.org/
Every year we host on-campus open houses for prospective students. We are excited to announce the dates for this year’s events. Attendees will hear from faculty and staff about Elliott School graduate programs, study abroad opportunities, and career development. They will also have an opportunity to speak with current students and alumni of the Elliott School.
You are cordially invited to attend one of our Open House events for prospective students.
Please click on one of the dates below to R.S.V.P.
Thursday, October 10, 2013
6:00-8:00 p.m. EDT (Online and in-person)
For the first time, this open house will be webcast live so that anyone around the world can learn more about graduate degrees from GW’s Elliott School of International Affairs. Using the Livestream chat feature, Twitter (@elliottschoolgw), or Facebook, you can submit your questions and participate no matter where you are.
Tuesday, November 5, 2013
6:00-8:00 p.m. EDT (In-person only)
Information on visiting the school, as well as other recruiting events can be found on our website.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office at
email@example.com or 202-994-7050.
We look forward to meeting you!
The Office of Graduate Admissions is frequently asked about students working and taking classes. While we can talk about working and attending the Elliott School, why not hear it from two students who are working and enrolled in the M.A. in International Development Studies? Check out the post below from the Organization of International Development blog.
September means the Elliott School Office of Graduate Admissions is hitting the road! Check out where we will be traveling and come and see us!
Can’t make it to an event? Join us for an online information throughout the fall to learn about the Elliott School programs, opportunities, and experiences. This year we will also be livestreaming our October Open House online.
|Date & Time||Event||Location||Address|
|Monday, September 16 5:00-8:00 p.m. EST||New York City Idealist.org Graduate Degree Fair||New York University||125 W 18th Street, New York, NY 10011|
|Wednesday, September 18 10:00 a.m. EST||Online Information Session|
|Monday, September 23 3:00 p.m. EST||Online Information Session|
|Tuesday, October 1 5:00-8:00 p.m.||Washington, DC Idealist.org Graduate Degree Fair||Washington Convention Center||801 Mr. Vernon Plac NW, Washington, DC 20001|
|Thursday, October 3 12:00 p.m. EST||Online Information Session|
|Thursday, October 10 6:00-8:00 p.m.||Elliott School Open House
(Online and In-Person)
|The George Washington University Elliott School of International Affairs||Lindner Commons (6th Floor) 1957 E Street, NW Washington, DC 20052|
|Tuesday, October 15 TBA||New York City APSIA Fair||New York University||NYU Center for Global Affairs 15 Barclay St, New York, NY 10007|
|Wednesday, October 16 5:30-8:30 p.m.||Washington, DC APSIA Fair||The George Washington University Marvin Center||Grand Ballroom (3rd Floor) 800 21st Street NW, Washington, DC 20052|
|Monday, October 21 TBA||San Diego APSIA Fair||University of California, San Diego||TBA|
|Tuesday, Ocotber 22 1:00 p.m. EST||Online Information Session|
|Tuesday, Ocotber 22 5:30-7:30 p.m.||Los Angeles APSIA Fair||University of California, Los Angeles||UCLA James West Alumni Center 325 Westwood Plaza, Los Angeles, CA 90095|
|Wednesday October 23 6:00-8:30 p.m.||San Francisco APSIA Fair||Courtyard Marriott San Francisco – Downtown||Courtyard Marriott San Francisco – Downtown 299 2nd Street, San Francisco, CA 94105|
|Monday, October 28 5:00-8:00 p.m.||Seattle Idealist.org Graduate Degree Fair||Seattle University||914 E Jefferson Street, Seattle, WA 98122|
|Wednesday, October 30 9:00 a.m.||Online Information Session|
|Tuesday, November 5 6:00-8:00 p.m.||Elliott School Open House||The George Washington University Elliott School of International Affairs||Lindner Commons (6th Floor) 1957 E Street, NW Washington, DC 20052|
|Thursday, November 14 1:00 p.m.||Online Information Session|
As mentioned in our sixth installment of the Summer Series, the Sigur Center for Asian Studies awards fellowships for undergraduate and graduate students to travel abroad. Rising second year student, Deep Pal, recently posted on Asia on E Street a blog regarding his observations of Taiwan and the political and cultural future of the “country” as he studies at the National Taiwan Normal University in Taipei. Check out his post below!
As you can easily see through our previous Summer Series posts, Elliott School students travel around the world during the summer months. Incoming students are no different. Shirley Hsieh is an incoming M.A. student in the International Trade and Investment Policy program. Shirley recently graduated from the Elliott School with her B.A. and is spending part of the summer in Taiwan. Shirley received one of the many grants coordinated or advertised by the Sigur Center for Asian Studies.
The post below was originally submitted to Asia on E Street, a blog overseen by the Sigur Center, featuring student experiences, research, and other relevant information. It was published on June 26, 2013.
Shirley in Taiwan
During my first 2 weeks in Taipei studying at National Taiwan Normal University, I find myself mainly commuting around the city with Taipei’s Mass Rapid Transit System or simply known as ‘MRT’. The MRT system is a cheap, convenient and efficient way of transportation throughout Taipei and New Taipei city. It is similar to DC’s metro system (albeit cleaner and more frequent trips) consisting of 97 stations and 70 miles of track. The MRT is my main mode of transportation to and fro classes, city explorations and safely back home.
Another significant attribute of Taipei’s MRT is the use of each station space and passageway to support the works of local artists and the city’s creative aesthetics. In many busy stations, art works are exhibited within the station’s infrastructure to educate and aesthetically please commuters and travelers alike.
My first stop takes me to Zhongxiao Fuxing station. Two art exhibitions are displayed on either sides of the station’s passageway with one exhibition on traditional Chinese ink painting and the other mirroring a gospel oil painting exhibition by a local, deaf artist. These two art exhibitions juxtapose each other in many ways— the traditional technique of calligraphy against the Western oil painting technique – capturing both the traditional and modern spirit of this city.
My second MRT art exhibition stop is at the Nangang station which features the works of Taiwanese illustrator, Jimmy Liao. Liao’s work comes from his best-selling illustrated book, “The Subway” with six of his pieces incorporated into the station’s entrance, exits of escalators, passageways and on platform walls. The exhibition portrays former industries in Nangang and takes the audience on a nostalgic journey either to a childlike fantasy or back to their childhood memories of living in the local community.
Not only does Taipei’s MRT system provide a convenient and efficient mode of transportation to take me to my Chinese class and safely back home, but the use of these public spaces to support the works of local artists is creatively ingenious. I will continue riding the MRT and exploring this beautiful city through my linguistic journey through Taiwan.
Shirley Hsieh, M.A. International Trade and Investment Policy 2015,
Sigur Center 2013 Chinese Language Fellow,
National Taiwan Normal University, Taiwan.
We recently checked in with Alejandro who is working with the International Federation of Red Cross (IFRC) in Africa. Alejandro was originally planning to spend the summer in South Africa, but due to a last-minute change, he is actually spending it in Nairobi, Kenya. He explained that his “assignments have mainly involved research regarding bilateral donor operations with the 49 Red Cross/Red Crescent National Societies in Sub-Saharan Africa…it has been a great learning experience to understand the intricate workings of such a diverse entity as the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement.”
Alejandro is bringing what he has learned in the classroom to the field of international development. He explained:
“Eastern Africa has one of the greatest concentrations of international humanitarian and development actors in the world. Understanding the scope of the work of these organizations, the way they relate, and the international policy frameworks that guide many of their operations has been of great value. But at a more day to day level, there are certain skills derived from my studies, which have proven to be extremely valuable. These include many of the research and technical writing skills, as well as the range of activities in the project and program management cycle. One particular skill that has come in very handy has been SPSS knowledge gained from my quantitative research methods class last semester, which has allowed me to assist in data analysis processes of field surveys coming from refugee camp operations in the region.”
He has even formed an extensive network of development professionals in and outside of the IFRC.
“I believe this has been one of the most important and valuable aspects of being here. It’s very different to attempt to file endless applications for field positions, rather than actually being here and creating a professional network that can facilitate this process. In my time here I have had the chance to meet with multiple organizations for informational interviews, which have proven to be very valuable for a possible opportunity here after finishing my degree. Also, I have been able to target multiple potential clients for our Capstone project.”
Alejandro is hoping to spend the rest of the summer finishing his initial assignment. However, he is also working on being assigned to upcoming field missions. This opportunity will allow him to “learn more about on-the-ground implementation” of IFRC’s numerous programs.
We will be sure to check in with Alejandro again once the fall semester begins!
Julia Collins is a Research/Program Assistant for the Women and Water, South and Central Asia Project at the Elliott School of International Affairs. Julia is a first-year Master’s Candidate in the International Affairs program, focusing on Conflict Resolution and Security Policy Studies. Her particular areas of academic interest include Post-conflict reconstruction, memory politics and dealing with the past, and promoting good governance in transitional democracies – specifically, Myanmar.
An anonymous donor has pledged $500,000 to support the creation of a Brazil Initiative at the George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs. The initiative will advance understanding of Brazil by enhancing GW’s teaching and research on the country.
“The Brazil Initiative will give a tremendous boost to the Elliott School’s research, teaching, student programs, and outreach on one of the world’s most important countries,” said Elliott School Dean Michael E. Brown. “It will strengthen our Latin American and Hemispheric Studies Program and Rising Powers Initiative, in particular, but it will also enhance the capacities and raise the profile of the Elliott School and GW as a whole. I am very grateful to our anonymous donor for helping GW to take this great step forward.”
The initiative will expand GW’s academic offerings – both at the undergraduate and graduate levels – on Brazil; support student and faculty research projects; provide financial backing for student study abroad opportunities; and fund public lectures, special seminars, colloquia and conferences that examine different aspects of Brazilian politics, economics and society.
The George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs is one of the world’s leading schools of international affairs and the largest school of international affairs in the United States. Located in the heart of Washington, D.C., its mission is to educate the next generation of international leaders, conduct research that advances understanding of important global issues and engage the policy community in the United States and around the world.
Christina Walrond, a second-year graduate student in the Elliott School’s International Science and Technology Policy (ISTP) program, has found a niche for herself in the nuclear security field.
“I bridge the gap between the scientific and [non-scientific] policy communities,” Christina explains.
“When I began working at the Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS) after college, they asked if I wanted to learn about the technical aspects of the nuclear field. I did not have a science background — my undergraduate degree was in political science — but I found that I was able to understand the science and become both scientifically literate and policy relevant.”
Christina’s work and research enables her to see both technical and policy concerns in the nuclear arena and involves assessing the technical aspects of centrifuge programs in Iran, Pakistan, and North Korea, as well as global stocks of fissile material. Her work has been referenced or cited in New York Review of Books, The Washington Quarterly, PBS Frontline, The Washington Post, The New York Times, The Guardian, The Atlantic, The Economist, TIME Magazine, Newsweek, Foreign Policy, Reuters, and Associated Press.
While working at ISIS, she co-authored a December 2010 paper looking at the Stuxnet virus that attacked Iran’s nuclear facilities. This paper was referenced widely in the media, including in a front-page article in The New York Times.
“ISIS’s work on Stuxnet found that the malware likely led to the failure of approximately 1,000 centrifuges at Iran’s largest enrichment facility,” said Christina. “The report assessed that the highly sophisticated worm manipulated the rotor speed of the centrifuges to cause this damage.”
Christina’s research also leads her to believe that the greatest challenge in the post-Cold War nuclear world will be managing ambiguity inherent to the proliferation of the nuclear fuel cycle.
“Iran is a good example of this challenge,” Christina says. “The Iranians claim that their enrichment facilities are for civilian use. However, they could readily be used to make nuclear weapons components. This ambiguity changes the way you have to look at deterrence within the international community.”
Her nuanced work and in-depth study of nuclear security is what makes the Elliott School’s ISTP program ideal for Christina.
“Not only is the Elliott School second to none on nuclear technology course offerings, but the flexible curriculum allows me to take bench science courses that include nuclear-relevant chemistry and physics to complement the technical knowledge that I already have,” Christina said.
Alex Golden is an M.A. candidate in Asian Studies at The George Washington University. Alex first studied Japanese at Colgate University and developed a passionate interest in Japan and its culture. While at Colgate, Alex was a reporter for the student newspaper and a volunteer classroom assistant at the local elementary school. Alex participated in the Colgate Japanese Study Group, Colgate's semester abroad program, which solidified Alex's passion for East Asia.
10 M.A. Programs
The Elliott School of International Affairs offers ten, rigorous M.A. programs.
International Development Studies
International Trade and Investment Policy
International Science and Technology Policy
Security Policy Studies
European and Eurasian Studies
Middle East Studies
Latin American and Hemispheric Studies
All of the programs allow students to tailor the degree to their needs and
interests. All of the programs include 3-4 core requirements that are the
foundation of the subsequent course electives. Students also enroll in skills courses to
learn some of the most necessary skills for any international affairs professional.
This courses range in topics from “Writing for the International Affairs
Policymaker” to “Public Speaking” and “The Red Team Approach.”
Comprised of 40 credits, most students complete the M.A. within two years full-
time or part-time (including summer courses).
To learn more about all of our programs, please visit our website!