Students at the Institute attend small, seminar-style classes, where the student/faculty ratio is 10:1. They learn from a distinguished faculty of scholar-practitioners with significant, high-level experience in policymaking. Many classes also feature guest lecturers, many of whom are current and former senior government officials who impart their practical knowledge. Discussion and lectures are enriched by insightful anecdotes and lessons learned by participants in recent historical events.
Because of its location in Washington, D.C., students are offered direct access to the heart of the U.S. foreign policy community and interaction with many of its leaders. Speakers at the Institute, whether faculty, guest lecturers, or speakers at extracurricular functions to which students are invited, are drawn from the highest ranks of the U.S. government, as well as from embassies, other governments, and domestic and international organizations specializing in national security affairs.
The Institute's unique courses offer specialized professional education not available elsewhere. All courses enhance students' capacity to understand and address major current issues. Students frequently learn from their classmates, some of whom are officials in agencies of the U.S. and foreign governments. They often receive career advice from, and establish valuable contacts with, fellow students, their professors, and the guest faculty.
Finally, the Institute has a program to help place students in professional positions in government service, government contracting companies (many of which perform work that used to be done within government but is now "outsourced"), and other relevant private or international organizations. IWP students have enjoyed consistent success in competing for selective jobs in all these various institutions.