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 online application:

Executive M.A. Application
Professional M.A. Application

2. Current Resume (which is to be uploaded to the on-line 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 that do not use the standard U.S. GPA and credit format must be certified by a transcript evaluation service approved by NACES (Nat’l Association of Credential Evaluation Services). View the full list of approved members:

4. 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.

5. Three recommendation forms.  For the Executive and Professional Master of Arts programs, two professional recommendations from recent supervisors verifying candidacy requirements and qualifying credentials and one character recommendation are required. These forms are sent automatically to your recommenders upon completion of your on-line application. Individuals writing letters on your behalf should have known you for at least one year. The Character Recommendation cannot be from a family member.

6. Personal Statement (which is to be uploaded to the on-line application): Please describe (1) your reasons for applying to the Institute and what you hope to accomplish with your studies here, and (2) your short and long-term career goals. (250-500 words)

7. Admissions Essay (which is to be uploaded to the on-line application): Please describe how, in your professional career, you have applied one or more of the various tools of statecraft. Also, please explain how your understanding of intelligence, national security, or international affairs at an integrated, strategic level has been enhanced by your experience. (500-750 words) 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.

8. $100 non-refundable application fee. The application fee must be paid when completing the on-line application (credit card). It is waived for those attending open houses, making scheduled private or virtual visits, or meeting with IWP personnel at graduate school fairs.

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 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.

International Student Admissions

All international students who have been admitted to the Institute’s Executive or Professional M.A. program must complete the International Student Information Form. This form must be submitted with the admission application. The form is available from the Admissions Office.

Conditional Acceptance

Students applying to the Executive or Professional M.A. program who do not meet the Institute’s standard admissions criteria but who show potential for high academic performance may be admitted on a conditional basis. Requirements of the conditions are determined by the Admissions Committee. Normally, conditionally-admitted students must receive at least a 3.33 GPA in their first semester at IWP in order to continue their studies.

Application Deadlines

Please click here to visit our application deadlines page.

For more information, please contact:

Mr. Jason Johnsrud, Vice President of Student Affairs and Admissions Coordinator
E-mail:; Phone: 202-462-2101

Learn more about the admissions process and requirements