Submitting Your Application: Reasons Not to Panic!

We understand that this week is stressful for many of you that are submitting applications to graduate school! Don’t worry- the Elliott School’s got your back! Based on phone calls and emails that we’ve received, we wanted to address some common concerns.

Application Processing:

Due to the high volume of applications we receive, it typically takes one to two weeks to process an application. Each item of your application is checked by a member of our team, and the process is entirely manual. If your status hasn’t changed, or your checklist appears incorrect, be sure to give it a little bit of time, as a member of team is probably getting to it soon. Oh how we wish it was instantaneous! 🙂


Once you submit your application, a checklist will appear in your application portal that updates you on the receipt of application items. A few quick tips:

  1. Unknow School is listed in your checklist (how mysterious of us!):
    • This is listed for a reason. It’s because you have transfer credits listed on your transcript, that do not include a grade. We require transcripts for each grade/credit you have received, regardless of when the course(s) was taken.
    • Yes, it’s relevant. Yes, it’s required. 🙂
    • Transfer credits may include the following: Community college coursework, study abroad coursework, language coursework, etc.
    • If you list any additional education in your resume, these will also be added to your checklist and require transcripts or letters of attendance.
    • If you participated in a program that did not give you credits or grades, please plan to provide official documentation from the organization stating your participation.
    • If you believe a mistake has been made, call us, and we’ll explore it together.

Letters of Recommendation:

Once you add your recommender information, and submit your application, your recommenders will receive a link that allows them to upload their letters. Once you submit your application, you can view your Checklist to see who has, or has not, uploaded their letters. Please be aware your checklist may not be updated right away.

If you’re experiencing problems, please try these first prior to emailing or calling:

  1. Your Recommender did not get the upload link:
    • Log back into your application portal and resend them the upload link from your checklist- “send reminder”. Please be aware, this can only be done once your application is submitted.
    • Ask them to check their spam folder, and verify the email account with them
  2. You want to edit/change your recommender information:
    • Log back into your application portal and edit/change/delete this information in your checklist. If a recommender has not been able to submit a letter on your behalf, there are options to “send reminder” or “change recommender”, next to their names in your checklist. If a recommender has already submitted a letter, this information cannot be edited.
  3. If these do not work, please have your recommender email their letters directly from their email address to, and we will upload the letter for them.

**Please note, having your recommender upload their letters via the link is the fastest way for the letter to appear in your application. If we upload the letter, it may take up to a week for it to appear in your application.

Test Scores:

If you have sent your test scores to our institution code (5246) prior to submitting your application, please be aware that this is also not an instantaneous sync (trust us, we wish it was!). Your application and test scores begin their journey to “find♥” each other. Imagine that your application and test scores are both on Tinder. They just need to swipe right. This can take a couple days. A few important things to note:

  1. After you take the test and use our code at the testing center, scores can take up to 15 days to reach our institution.
  2. Once you request a test score to be sent to us via an online portal, it can also take 10-15 days to reach us.
  3. We cannot accept unofficial score reports emailed or uploaded by an applicant.
  4. If after 15 days, you still don’t see your test scores in your checklist, be sure the name you used on your test and the name you used on your application are the same. If they are not, please email us to explain the discrepancy so we can sort it out.

Fellowship Deadline:

You have until 11:59 PM EST to submit your application to be automatically considered for fellowships. That being said, there is a tiny window of wiggle room to have remaining items reach your application after this deadline. Plan to have all of your application materials submitted within one week of this deadline (test scores, letters of rec, transcripts, etc.).

Email Response Time:

Guys. We have like, a billion (∞ not really) emails. We’re happy to have so many emails, and we’re working overtime to get them answered, attach materials to your applications, etc. We REALLY appreciate your questions and your patience. So just know, you’ll get an answer, it just may take a few days! If you have a question that needs an immediate answer, please call us at 202-994-7050 so we can address it right away.


We can’t wait to review your applications!


The ESIA Graduate Admissions Team

Join us tonight for a Facebook LIVE Q&A!

Tonight we’ll have current students and alumni host a Facebook Live Q&A! Like our page to join:


Current Student Highlight: Kira Li


My name is Kira Li and I’m a first year graduate student for the IA program. Prior to coming to Elliott, I studied international development studies at McGill University in Canada and my undergraduate experience had taught me a great deal about developmental issues and the significance they play in making our world a better place. Later on, I had an opportunity to work at the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada as an intern for a short while. This experience further fueled my passion toward international affairs as I learned about how we as individuals can contribute to promoting global interactions and bridging the world together. Thus I decided to pursue a master’s degree in international affairs during my last year in undergrad.

The Elliott School was definitely one of my top choices for the excellent program and incredible opportunities it offers. Being located in the center of DC grants the school access to government agencies, international organizations and tons of awesome opportunities pertaining to the field. Although I’ve only finished my first semester here, I already see the improvement in myself. From the theoretic based cornerstone course to having high profile guest speakers over to share their professional experiences, I managed to get valuable insights on international affairs related issues. After graduation, I would like to work at NGOs and probably private firms as well.

Next semester, I will be doing an internship at the Canadian Embassy in DC. I’m very excited for this opportunity and also what my next semester at the Elliott can offer me. It has been a wonderful experience at GWU and I’m learning stuff everyday J

So, as the end of semester is drawing near (can you believe 2016 is almost over?), I just wish everyone enjoy the last month of the year. And most importantly, hope finals treat us all well :’)


Join us for a Facebook Live Q&A!

Join us on Tuesday, December 20th for a Facebook Live Q&A with current Elliott graduate students and alumni!

Be sure to like our Facebook page so you can join us:

Elliott School Fellowship Deadlines Approaching!

Hello Prospective Elliott Students!

Our Fall 2017 application deadline to be considered for tuition scholarships is approaching quickly!  Be sure to submit all required application materials no later than 11:59 PM EST on January 7th to be considered for these merit-based opportunities.

It’s a great idea to begin researching additional GWU Fellowship opportunities that you can make separate applications for. Be sure to check out our Funding Your Education Page for additional opportunities.

The Office of Graduate Student Assistantships and Scholarships posts opportunities for both international students and U.S. citizens/ permanent residents!

Be sure to pay attention to any deadlines, as many additional fellowship opportunities have deadlines in early winter.