Frequently Asked Questions

What makes IWP unique from other graduate schools of international affairs or national security?
What are the backgrounds of IWP’s students?

How long will it take me to earn my Master’s degree?
How will studying at IWP benefit my career?
What do IWP alumni do?
When and where do IWP classes meet? 
What are the benefits of going to IWP?
Is IWP accredited?
Does IWP have a particular political ideology or religious viewpoint?
Can I change between programs?
What is IWP's application process? Is the process different for each program?
Can I transfer credit or life experience toward my program at IWP?
Do I have to know any foreign languages to attend IWP?
How important is the GRE?
What are IWP's TOEFL requirements?
How long will it take for me to hear whether or not I was accepted?
How long are IWP's semesters?
Can I defer enrollment after I am admitted?
Does IWP accept international students?
How much does it cost to get an M.A. at IWP?
Is financial assistance available at IWP?
What other fees does IWP charge?
Will IWP help me find an internship or career position?
Does IWP have student housing?
Does IWP offer health insurance to students?
Is there a dress code at IWP?
Is parking available for students at IWP?

 

What makes IWP unique from other graduate schools of international affairs or national security?

  • The curriculum is designed to prepare students to be effective leaders in statecraft, national security, and foreign policy – particularly in detecting, preventing, managing, mitigating and resolving international conflicts, and effectively matching the ends and means of policy.
  • IWP teaches all the instruments of power – including those that are systematically neglected elsewhere – and how these instruments are integrated at the level of grand strategy. These include: diplomacy, military strategy, opinion formation, public diplomacy, intelligence, counterintelligence, economic strategy, and the principles of leadership.
  • The curriculum emphasizes the strategic role of ideas, values and belief systems in world politics and the role of American founding principles in U.S. foreign policy.
  • IWP courses examine the actual practices of foreign powers that go beyond diplomatic norms.
  • Almost all IWP professors are scholar-practitioners with both academic credentials and high-level experience in the subjects they teach. Being in Washington, the Institute has established a vast network of current and former senior officials in all branches of government who are included as guest lecturers in all its courses.
  • The Institute's student body includes recent college and university graduates and a mix of mid-career professionals from government, the armed forces, industry and foreign embassies and governments whose various perspectives enrich the classroom experience.
  • The student-professor ratio is a low 13:1.
  • The approachability and availability of the staff and faculty make the educational experience here a personal one.

What are the backgrounds of IWP’s students?

While many of our students have studied political science, international relations, or history at the undergraduate level, we welcome students from other academic backgrounds who have a definitive interest in pursuing a professional career in the fields of intelligence, national security, and foreign affairs. Currently, the average age of IWP’s students is 29, but there has been a noticeable increase in the number of students who are recent graduates or have only a couple of years of professional experience.

To learn more about students who chose IWP, please click here.

How long will it take me to earn my Master’s degree?

The IWP Master’s degree consists of 52 credit hours (12 four-credit courses plus 2 two-credit courses), which can be easily completed in two academic years for full-time students (3-4 courses per semester).  Many of our students prefer to study part-time or alternate between full-time and part-time status; the Institute's registration and tuition procedures make this an extremely easy transition.

How will studying at IWP benefit my career?

Students who demonstrate academic and professional excellence in IWP classrooms will soon discover that their professors are often willing to aid promising students with career counseling, letters of recommendation and introduction, and even job placements.  Moreover, IWP students are encouraged to work with our Director of Career Services immediately upon their matriculation in writing their resumes, preparing their job search strategically, and learning other tips for working in national security, intelligence, and international affairs.

What do IWP alumni do?

Alumni of IWP have found important work or career promotions in a wide variety of government agencies, congressional offices, private companies, foreign governments, and non-governmental organizations.  Their IWP education has given these alumni a competitive edge in achieving influential positions in foreign affairs, defense, intelligence, and law enforcement agencies as well as in strategic foreign military and diplomatic postings.  IWP alumni may be found in every branch of the US Armed Forces, nearly every member of the US intelligence community, and in 35 other governments around the world.  For more information, please click here.

When and where do IWP classes meet?  What are the benefits of going to IWP?

During the fall and spring semesters, nearly all IWP courses meet once per week, typically in the evening from 6:30-9:30 p.m. Some classes are held early to mid afternoon.  Classes meet twice per week during the summer session (evening and afternoon). 

All IWP classes meet at the Institute's campus on 16th Street in northwest Washington, DC.  For more information about our facilities and to get directions, please click here.

IWP is situated in the heart of Washington, D.C., offering unparalleled exposure to the substance and process of politics and policymaking. Students learn from our professors, most of whom are scholar-practitioners, carrying both academic credentials and high-level governmental and nongovernmental experience in the subjects they teach. IWP's small classes provide many opportunities for direct interaction with professors.

Is IWP accredited?

Yes, on June 22, 2006, the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, or MSCHE (3624 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104, 215-662-5606), granted accreditation to the school. IWP is accredited through the 2021-2022 academic year. The Institute is a 501(c)(3) non-profit, tax-exempt educational institution, and is licensed by the District of Columbia Education Licensure Commission.

Does IWP have a particular political ideology or religious viewpoint?

No, The Institute of World Politics does not hold or promote any ideology, partisan political view, or religious affiliation apart from philosophical values. The Institute rejects limits on expression and protects unpopular facts or uncommon viewpoints. We encourage a free and open atmosphere to support the search for truth, the heart of the academic enterprise.

Can I change between programs?

Certificate-enrolled and current or prior continuing education students are not guaranteed admission into the degree program. Students wishing to apply to the M.A. program must follow the M.A. application instructions, which require the submission of additional and updated materials by certain deadlines. No more than five courses taken prior to the granting of degree status may be credited toward the degree, and only if the grades received are B or higher. An exception will be made for students who have taken courses prior to January 2001: all of their courses -- with a B or better grade -- may be credited toward the degree.

What is IWP's application process? Is the process different for each program?

Students are welcome to apply for admission to any of IWP's programs in any semester. In general, students should have at least a 3.20 cumulative GPA at the undergraduate level and introductory studies in history, political science, international affairs, economics, humanities, and social sciences or experience in foreign affairs, national security, or related areas. Students who do not meet these minimum requirements, if otherwise admissible, are assigned additional coursework in excess of degree requirements specified at the time of admission. Applicants displaying a deficiency in writing may be required to enroll in a research and writing seminar.

Can I transfer credit or life experience toward my program at IWP?

Graduate level courses from appropriately accredited graduate schools may be transferred only into the Institute's Master's degree programs. Certificate program students may not transfer any courses from other institutions. Normally, no more than two courses are eligible for transfer, although exceptions may be considered on a case-by-case basis.

IWP does not currently grant life-experience credit.

Do I have to know any foreign languages to attend IWP?

Students are not required to know any foreign languages to attend, but those pursuing a degree in Statecraft and International Affairs must demonstrate a proficiency in a strategically-important foreign language for comprehensive exams. Students in other programs are also strongly encouraged to learn a foreign language. IWP currently offers three strategic languages at the beginning, intermediate and advanced levels: Arabic, Chinese, and Russian. Language proficiency exams are adminstered at IWP. For more information, please contact the Office of Student Affairs (studentaffairs@iwp.edu).

How important is the GRE?

Applicants for the Institute's M.A. program must submit GRE scores. Scores must be no more than five years old. LSAT scores may be substituted. GRE scores are not required for an applicant whose baccalaureate degree is from a non-English language institution. IWP's institutional code is 5474. See the GRE website for more information about the exam. In general, applicants should have received the following scores: 4.0 (out of 6.0) for the analytical writing section of the exam and 150 on the verbal and quantitative portions of the exam.

What are IWP's TOEFL requirements?

The results of the Test of English as a Foreign Language are required from students whose native language is not English, except for those who have completed a baccalaureate degree at an accredited English language institution of higher learning or are serving as foreign diplomat in an embassy. For those taking the TOEFL, a minimum score of 600 for the paper-based exam or 95 for the Internet-based exam is required; scores can be no more than two years old.

How long will it take for me to hear whether or not I was accepted?

Generally, once a completed application has been received, the applicant will receive a decision from the Admissions Committee within two weeks. Students will first receive an e-mail notification, followed by an official letter/admissions package in the mail.

How long are IWP's semesters?

The Institute's fall and spring semesters are each 14 weeks long (not allowing for breaks, holidays, etc.). Typically, the fall semester begins the day following Labor Day and concludes in mid December; the spring semester begins in mid January and concludes in early May. The summer semester is eight weeks long beginning in June and finishing near the end of July.

Can I defer enrollment after I am admitted?

Students admitted into the M.A. and Certificate programs may defer matriculation for up to one year immediately following acceptance, provided that a deferment request is submitted to and approved by the Chairman of the Admissions Committee. If more than one year passes, the student must submit a reactivation letter with a $100 fee. If more than three years pass, the student must submit a new application package.

Does IWP accept international students?

The Institute provides information and assistance to admitted international students in need of student visas (provided they meet eligibility requirements). International students should contact the Registrar’s Office at 202-462-2101 for information on visa requirements. You may also want to peruse the website for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.  “International students in need of a Social Security card may apply online, but will need to visit a local Social Security Administration office to complete the process. The Washington, D.C. office is located at 2100 M Street, NW, Washington, D.C. 20037. Phone: 800-772-1213.

How much does it cost to get an M.A. at IWP?

The cost per credit hour for the 2014-2015 academic year is $1100. (For a 52-credit-hour M.A. degree, the total cost - exclusive of other fees and scholarships - would be $57,200. There is also a $200 student services fee each fall and spring semester; the summer student services fee is $100. Please see our Tuition and Fees page for current costs.

Is financial assistance available at IWP?

Yes, in addition to merit-based scholarships, IWP participates in the federal Title IV lending program. Although only M.A. students are eligible for institutional scholarships, both M.A. and certificate students (in qualified programs) are eligible for federal student loans. IWP is also eligible to receive VA educational benefits.  More information can be found on the financial aid section of the website or consulting with the Director of Financial Aid (financialaid@iwp.edu).

What other fees does IWP charge?

There is a Student Services Fee of $200 per semester ($100 in the summer semester), application fee of $100, and an M.A. graduation fee of $250. For other miscellaneous fees, please see the Catalog and Student Handbook and the Tuition and Fees page.

Will IWP help me find an internship or career position?

IWP professors and senior staff are extraordinarily well-connected in the fields of national security, intelligence, and world politics.  They are often willing to assist promising students with career counseling, letters of introduction and reference, and networking. IWP retains a Career Services Director, Mr. Derrick Dortch (ddortch@iwp.edu), who works one-on-one with students to develop their career options. Mr. Dortch also frequently arranges career seminars featuring recruiters from major employers in the national security and intelligence fields.  Please click here for the Career Services page.

Does IWP have student housing?

The Institute does not provide student housing, and students are responsible for making their own housing arrangements. It is relatively easy to find accommodations to suit a variety of needs and tastes. Things you might want to consider as you look for a place: 

Several options are available in the vicinity of IWP. Neighborhoods in northwest D.C. near the Institute include Dupont Circle, Adams Morgan, Woodley Park, Cleveland Park, and Embassy Row; Capitol Hill, Georgetown, and Foggy Bottom. Finding a roommate will often expand your options in terms of affordability, size, and quality. There are many online resources to help find apartments for rent or townhouses to share. Click here to see those options.

The Metro rail and bus system is the common means of transportation in the District. You may want to consider how close an apartment or house is to a Metro station or bus stop. Students living in the District tend to live in the Northwest quadrant and sometimes Northeast. Some students also commute from Virginia or Maryland. If you live in Virginia, you can take the Orange Line to Farragut West; the walk to IWP is less than one mile. From Arlington, the Metro ride is ten to fifteen minutes. If you live in Maryland, you would take the Red Line to Dupont Circle and walk about half a mile to IWP. Keep in mind that if you live in the District and have a car, you may have to pay for parking at your apartment complex.

Does IWP offer health insurance to students?

There is no student health center at the Institute, so any emergency cases are referred to the George Washington University Hospital's Ronald Reagan Institute for Emergency Medicine, located approximately one mile away. The District of Columbia requires that all full-time students under the age of 26 be immunized against Poliomyelitis, Measles, Mumps, Rubella, Diphtheria, and Tetanus. Students may not register for classes until compliance is documented. Proof of Immunization forms will be mailed to each new student upon acceptance. The forms must be filled out by the student's physician or local Health Department.

Is there a dress code at IWP?

The Institute’s dress code requires attire appropriate for a professional setting. This helps to ensure a positive learning environment and a climate conducive to respectful interaction.

Is parking available for students at IWP?

Limited free parking is available in a lot near the Institute after 6:00 p.m., and free on-street parking is available after 6:30 p.m.  Please click here for a parking map.