Admissions Process

The Institute of World Politics seeks a student body with diverse backgrounds, including: recent graduates from colleges and universities with a career interest in international affairs, intelligence, or national security; personnel from foreign affairs, intelligence, defense and commercial agencies of the U.S. government; journalists, business executives, lawyers and others with professional interests in foreign affairs; and foreign diplomats, government officials and students.

With this kind of diversity, students in the Institute's programs enrich their education by exposure to the practical concerns and experiences of members of the student body itself.

A significant part of the student body has studied international relations, history, or political science at the undergraduate and graduate level. Many students enroll in our programs while working in U.S. government agencies. The Institute also welcomes students with backgrounds in other disciplines who desire to advance their knowledge of statecraft and international affairs and to pursue a career in these fields.

The following policies, procedures and regulations apply to all applicants, except where otherwise noted.

Qualifications and Requirements for Admission

Students may apply for admission to any semester (fall, spring, or summer). In general, any well-qualified applicant may apply for admission to the Institute. Applicants for the MA program should have at least a 3.20 cumulative GPA at the undergraduate level and have majored in political science, international affairs, history, economics, or other related humanities fields; or have experience in foreign affairs, national security, intelligence, or related areas. Students who do not meet these standards may be admitted and assigned additional coursework.

For M.A. applicants, the Institute's Admissions Committee also evaluates the following: a current resumé, two essays, three recommendation forms, and GRE/TOEFL scores.

Deadlines for Admissions and Registration

Application deadlines for upcoming semesters are as follows:

Spring 2015: December 1 (For scholarship consideration: October 1, 2014)
Summer 2015: May 1 (For scholarship consideration: February 1, 2015)
Fall 2015: August 1 (For scholarship consideration: February 1, 2015)

The registration deadline is approximately one month prior to the start of the semester. For specific deadlines, please see the Academic Calendar.

Matriculation Fee

All students admitted to the Institute (regardless of program) must pay a non-refundable $500 matriculation fee to secure their admission. This fee is due upon acceptance of admission and is credited toward the first semester's tuition balance.

Re-application Procedure

Applicants who are not accepted for admission may re-apply after two semesters if they believe that they have improved a deficient segment of their application. Applications are retained by the Admissions Office for three years. Those candidates re-applying within three years must submit the following: 1) a letter requesting reactivation of their file; 2) an updated letter of recommendation; 3) an updated Personal Statement; 4) any item that improves the application from the previous submission; and 5) a reactivation fee of $50.

Statement of Non-Discriminatory Admissions Policy

The Institute does not discriminate against qualified individuals on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, physical disability, age, marital status, personal appearance, sexual orientation, family responsibilities, political affiliation, source of income, or national origin in its admissions policies, in its scholarship programs, or in permitting access to its educational facilities, services and the rights, privileges, and activities generally accorded or made available to its students.


Application Instructions by Program

Master of Arts Program

Admission into the Master's degree program is competitive. Well-qualified applicants possess a strong academic record—and often have work experience—in the field of national security and foreign affairs. Applicants without significant undergraduate coursework in international relations or related fields—such as government, history, political science, economics and philosophy—may be required to complete additional specific courses and/or additional reading. A student currently or previously enrolled at the Institute in any of its programs is not guaranteed admission to the Master's program.  For more information on admissions into this program, please click here.

Executive and Professional M.A. Programs

The Master of Arts in Strategic and International Studies (Professional) is designed for professionals with five to seven years of relevant work experience, and the Executive Master of Arts in National Security Affairs is designed for professionals with seven to ten years of relevant work experience. For more information on admissions to this program, please click here.

Certificate Program

The Certificate Program is designed for students who wish to pursue graduate studies but do not need a degree, and those students who already have an advanced degree yet need additional graduate credentials. It is intended to encourage students’ continued professional growth, and to serve as a valuable indicator of achievement and knowledge for current and prospective employers and professional colleagues.  For information about admissions into the Certificate Program, please click here.

Continuing Education Program and Auditors

The Institute also welcomes applicants who demonstrate a serious interest in the study of statecraft and international affairs, but do not need a degree or certificate. Students have the option of enrolling in courses for credit or as auditors (non-credit). For more information about how to apply for the Continuing Education Program or to take classes as an auditor, please click here.