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Graduate Application Guide

IWP’s application guide concisely outlines steps for prospective graduate students, ensuring a clear path to a successful application.

Qualifications for Admission

IWP’s student body includes recent graduates of colleges and universities from the United States and around the world 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.

Many of our enrolled students have majored in political science, international affairs, history, economics, 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.

In general, any well-qualified applicant (3.2 GPA) may apply for admission.

Deadlines for Admissions and Registration

M.A. Programs, Certificate Programs, Online & Continuing Education
Spring 2024 SemesterDecember 15, 2023
Summer 2024 Semester, Session 1May 1, 2024
Summer 2024 Semester, Session 2June 15, 2024
Fall 2024 SemesterAugust 1, 2024
Doctoral Program
Fall 2024 SemesterAugust 1, 2024

Application Requirements

M.A. Application Requirements

1. Application 
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.

2. Resume
To be uploaded to your 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. Academic Transcripts
Transcripts must be mailed or emailed directly to the IWP Admissions Office (admissions@iwp.edu) 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: naces.org/members.

4. Personal Statement
For the M.A. and Online M.A. Programs: Please describe (1) your reasons for applying to the MA program at IWP and (2) your short and long-term academic and career goals. Also, please also provide any additional relevant information about your background or experience that you wish the Admissions Committee to know about. 500-750 words.

For the Professional/Executive/Online Professional M.A. Programs: 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.

5. Optional: Writing Sample or Essay
A writing sample or essay is not required. However, applicants may submit a writing sample with their application on a topic related to national security, intelligence, or international affairs. Or, they may write a response to the following question: “In your opinion, what are the top three national security threats and/or foreign policy challenges that the U.S. currently faces?” Citations may be used but are not required. 500-1,000 words. 

6. Recommendations
Two recommendations are required. Recommenders must send letters directly to admissions@iwp.edu. Individuals writing letters on your behalf should have known you for at least one year. 

MA Program and Online MA in Statecraft and Strategy:
One of the recommendation letters should be an academic recommendation from one of your current or former professors (if possible).

Executive and Professional and Online Professional MA:
Please submit two professional recommendations from recent supervisors verifying candidacy requirements and qualifying credentials.

7. Optional: Graduate Record Examination (GRE)
GRE scores are not required. However, applicants may submit the results of the GRE if they believe their scores will help improve their application and scholarship chances. LSAT scores may also be submitted. IWP’s GRE institutional code is 5474. See the GRE website more information about the exam.

8. 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 IWP. 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 www.toefl.org for more information. IWP may also accept results from the IELTS exam.

9. Government-Issued ID or Passport (for online applicants only)
Online programs only: A copy of your government-issued ID (such as a driver’s license) or passport is required and must be uploaded in your application. PDF or JPEG formats are preferred.

10. Immunization Form (for applicants to in-person programs only)
If you are under the age of 26, you must submit the DC required immunization form before registering for classes.  

11. Matriculation Deposit
All students admitted to IWP (regardless of program) must submit a non-refundable $600 matriculation deposit to secure their admission. This deposit is due upon acceptance of admission and is credited toward the first semester’s tuition balance. (*Active duty or reserve military do not need to pay the matriculation deposit.)

Doctoral Application Requirements

1. Application
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.

2. Resume
To be uploaded to your 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. Personal Statement
Please describe (1) your reasons for applying to the Doctoral program at IWP and (2) your short and long-term academic and career goals. Also, please also provide any additional relevant information about your background or experience that you wish the Admissions Committee to know about. 500-750 words.

4. Writing Sample or Essay
Please provide a writing sample on a relevant topic that you have previously submitted or published (academically or professionally). Or, you may write an essay to the following question (2,000-2,500 words): “The goals of U.S. foreign policy have remained constant since the foundation of the Republic: to ensure the safety, prosperity, and liberty of the American people. But the means of achieving these ends have changed according to the circumstances. How effective has U.S. foreign policy been over the past 20 years? How competently has the United States wielded the instruments of national power? What are the main threats and challenges facing the United States today, in the near future, and in the more distant future? If you were advising U.S. policy makers, what steps would you take to improve the likelihood that the United States will achieve its goals? Describe the steps you would take and assess the associated costs and risks.”

5. Academic Transcripts
Transcripts from all institutions attended (undergraduate and graduate) must be mailed or emailed directly to the IWP Admissions Office (admissions@iwp.edu) from your home institution(s). A minimum of a Master’s degree (or its equivalent) from an accredited institution is required for admission.

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: https://www.naces.org/members.

6. Two Recommendations
Academic Recommendation and Academic or Professional Recommendation. Recommenders must send letters directly to admissions@iwp.edu. Individuals writing letters on your behalf should have known you for at least one year. The academic recommendation should be one of your current or former professors (if possible).

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 IWP. 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 www.toefl.org for more information. IWP may also accept results from the IELTS exam.

8. Interview
Upon review of the application, the IWP Admissions Committee will invite top applicants to an admissions interview.

9. Immunization Form (for applicants to in-person programs only)
If you are under the age of 26, you must submit the DC required immunization form before registering for classes.  

10. Matriculation Deposit 
All students admitted to IWP (regardless of program) must submit a non-refundable $600 matriculation deposit to secure their admission. This deposit is due upon acceptance of admission and is credited toward the first semester’s tuition balance.

Certificate Application Requirements

1. Application
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.

2. Resume
To be uploaded to your 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. Academic Transcripts
Transcripts must be mailed or emailed directly to the IWP Admissions Office (admissions@iwp.edu) 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: https://www.naces.org/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 IWP. 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 www.toefl.org for more information. IWP may also accept results from the IELTS exam.

5. Government-Issued ID or Passport (for Online Certificate only)
A copy of your government-issued ID (such as a driver’s license) or passport is required and must be uploaded in your application. PDF or JPEG formats are preferred.

6. Immunization Form (for applicants to in-person programs only)
If you are under the age of 26, you must submit the DC required immunization form before registering for classes.  

7. Matriculation Deposit
All students admitted to IWP (regardless of program) must submit a non-refundable $600 matriculation deposit to secure their admission. This deposit is due upon acceptance of admission and is credited toward the first semester’s tuition balance.

8. Applying for Degree Status
Students enrolled in the certificate program are not guaranteed admission into the degree program. Students wishing to apply to the M.A. program must follow the M.A. Application Requirements which require the submission of additional materials. 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.

Continuing Education Application Requirements

1. Application
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.

2. Resume
To be uploaded to your 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. 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 IWP. 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 www.toefl.org for more information. IWP may also accept results from the IELTS exam.

4. Government-Issued ID or Passport (for online students only)
A copy of your government-issued ID (such as a driver’s license) or passport is required and must be uploaded in your application. PDF or JPEG formats are preferred.

5. Immunization Form (for applicants to in-person programs only)
If you are under the age of 26, you must submit the DC required immunization form before registering for classes.  

6. Matriculation Deposit
All students admitted to IWP (regardless of program) must pay a non-refundable $600 matriculation deposit to secure their admission. This deposit is due upon acceptance of admission and is credited toward the first semester’s tuition balance.

7. Applying for Degree or Certificate Status
Current or prior continuing education students are not guaranteed admission into the certificate or degree programs. Students wishing to apply to these programs must follow the relevant application instructions which require the submission of additional and updated materials. No more than five courses taken prior to the granting of degree candidacy status may be credited toward the degree, and only if the grades received are B or higher. No more than two courses taken prior to admission into the certificate program may be credited toward any certificate, and only if the grades received are B or higher.

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Re-application Procedure

Applicants who are not accepted for admission may re-apply after one year if they believe that they have improved a deficient segment of their application. Applications are retained by the Admissions Office for one year. Those candidates re-applying must submit the following:

  1. A letter requesting reactivation of their file.
  2. An updated letter of recommendation.
  3. An updated resume and personal statement.
  4. Any item that improves the application from the previous submission.

Statement of Non-Discriminatory Admissions Policy

IWP 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.

Federal Student Loans

If you are applying for federal student loans, please remember to complete the FASFA documents for each academic school year. For questions regarding financial aid, please email TJ Snowden (financialaid@iwp.edu).

Questions: Mr. Jason Johnsrud, Dean of Students, Senior Vice President, and Admissions Coordinator. E-mail: admissions@iwp.edu; Phone: 202-462-2101.

FAQs

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 2029-2030 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. In addition, IWP is certified to operate from the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV). IWP has been approved to participate in the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.