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Executive and Professional M.A. Programs

Admission into the Executive and Professional Master’s degree programs is competitive. Well-qualified applicants possess a strong academic record and have work experience in the field of national security and foreign affairs. 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.  A student currently or previously enrolled at the Institute in any of its programs is not guaranteed admission to the Executive or Professional Master’s program.

Application Requirements for the Executive or Professional M.A. Program

1. A completed application.

2. Current Resume (which is to be uploaded to the application). Your educational background (colleges and universities attended), work experience, and any special skills that may enhance your application credentials should be included in this resume.

3. Official academic transcripts from all institutions attended. Transcripts must be mailed or emailed directly to the IWP Admissions Office ( from your home institution(s). A minimum of a baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution is required.

International Applicants: International transcripts must be official copies. Transcripts that are not in English must be translated into English using a professional service. Also, international transcripts must be certified by a transcript evaluation service approved by NACES (National Association of Credential Evaluation Services). View the full list of approved members:

4. Two recommendations. For the Executive and Professional Master of Arts programs, two Professional Recommendations from recent supervisors verifying candidacy requirements and qualifying credentials are required. Recommenders must send letters directly to Individuals writing letters on your behalf should have known you for at least one year.

5. Personal Statement. Please describe (1) your reasons for applying to IWP and (2) your short and long-term career goals. Also, please describe how, in your professional career, you have applied one or more of the various tools of statecraft. Include how your understanding of intelligence, national security, or international affairs at an integrated, strategic level has been enhanced by your experience. The successful candidate must show at least 7-10 years of relevant experience for the Executive M.A. program and 5-7 years for the Professional M.A. program. Finally, please also provide any additional relevant information about your background or experience that you wish the Admissions Committee to know about (500-750 words)

6. Writing sample. Submit a writing sample/essay on a relevant topic (recommended but not required).

7. TOEFL scores (for international applicants only). The results of the Test of English as a Foreign Language are required from students whose first language is not English, except for those who have completed a bachelor’s degree at an accredited English language institution of higher learning or have demonstrated fluency in English in an interview at the Institute. For those taking the TOEFL, a minimum score of 600 (paper-based exam) or 95 (Internet-based exam) is required. TOEFL scores should not be more than two years old. The institutional code for The Institute of World Politics is 9022. Go to for more information. IWP may also accept results from the IELTS exam.

The Application for Admission and supporting documents must be in English and received no later than the posted deadlines. As a general rule, incomplete applications will not be processed (rare exceptions may be made depending on which element of the application is missing). Late applications may be processed according to the ability of the Admissions Committee.

Matriculation Deposit

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

Application Deadlines

View the application deadlines.

For more information, please contact:

Mr. Jason Johnsrud, Dean of Students, Senior Vice President and Dean of Students
E-mail:; Phone: 202-462-2101

Learn more about the admissions process and requirements