International Applicants

English Language Requirements

We recommend that international applicants submit their complete application and accompanying paperwork six months in advance of their intended start date. This provides the university with sufficient time to process financial and visa paperwork. In addition:

Submission of the results of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the academic International English Language Testing System (IELTS) or the academic Pearsons Test of English (PTE) for applicants who are not citizens of countries where English is the official language. In addition to the United States, the countries where English is the official language are listed here.

  • Exceptions to this policy may be granted to applicants who::
  • Hold a bachelor's, master’s , or doctoral degree from an institution in which English is the language of instruction and the official language of the country in which the university is located, or
  • Hold a bachelor's, master's, or doctoral degree from an institution that is accredited by a U.S. regional accrediting agency (see list of acceptable schools).

English language test scores (TOEFL, IELTS, and PTE) may not be more than two years old.  To ensure TOEFL scores are sent to GW, please use institutional code 5246.  An institutional code is not required to send IELTS or PTE scores to GW.

  • English Language Minimum Scores: To be considered for admission, the minimum required scores are as follows:
  • Academic IELTS: an overall band score of 6.0 with no individual score below 5.0; for online education, an overall band score of 7.0 is required with no individual score below 6.0.
  • TOEFL: 550 on paper-based or 80 on Internet-based test; for online education, a score of 600 is required on the paper-based test and 100 is required for the internet-based test.
  • PTE Academic: 53; for online education, a score of 68 is required.

GW English for Academic Purposes

  • In their first semester at GW, international students are required to register for an English for Academic Purposes (EAP) course. The EAP course that is required will be indicated in the student’s letter of admission. If you have not received this notification, please contact your school's admission office. In the first EAP class meeting, students will be given the EAP Diagnostic Test in order to confirm their correct EAP placement. Students assigned EAP courses should anticipate additional tuition expenses as well as a possible extended period of time required to complete their degree programs. For more information about EAP, please visit the website.
  • Students are exempt from taking EAP courses if they have attained the following scores:
    • Academic IELTS: an overall band score of 7.0 with no individual band score below 6.0
    • TOEFL: 600 on paper-based or 100 on Internet-based
    • PTE Academic: 68

Visa Requests and Financial Certification

In addition to submtting the application materials, international applicants must also complete a financial certificate stating how they intend to pay for their education and other expenses while studying in the United States.  The form should be filled out to the best of the applicant's ability and include supporting documents, such as bank statements and sponsor letters. For more information, please click hereApplications will be reviewed even if they are missing a Financial Certificate. This will not delay the application review process. If your department wants to admit you, we will contact you to request that you submit the Financial Certificate. However, because the issuance of student visas is often a time-consuming process, the financial certificate should be submitted as soon as possible. Without the certificate, you cannot be formally admitted.

Please note that an international applicant requiring a student visa is not eligible for admission to GSPM's graduate certificate programs.

Full-Time Status

Individuals who are in the United States on a student visa are required to enroll as full-time students. During the fall and spring semesters, international students must register for 9 credit hours or three courses. The University does not require international students to take classes in the summer, so there is no mandatory credit minimum during this term.

Admittance Requirements

Admitted international students are required to enroll in a two-week writing bootcamp course prior to the start of their first semester at GSPM. International students are permitted to arrive thirty days in advance of the first day of classes (e.g., for graduate students starting in Fall 2016, the first day of classes is August 29, 2016). 

The 2016 Writing Bootcamp course will be held from Monday, August 15, 2016 to Friday, August 26, 2016.  This two-week bootcamp course entitled, “The Power of the Written Word: Diplomacy,” will meet from 9am–12pm on GW’s main campus.  International students enrolled for the Fall 2016 semester will need to arrive to GW 3-4 weeks prior to the start of the Fall semester (August 29, 2016) in order to attend this required bootcamp class.  While GSPM does not charge tuition for the bootcamp course (0-credit), a modest program fee of $50 is required.  Students need to register for the course and will need to consider these dates when arranging for housing.

The bootcamp course is designed to help strengthen language proficiency in ways that directly relate to the types of communication assignments that will be expected of students throughout their graduate studies at GSPM. The professor, Cheryl W. Thompson, has over 25 years of journalism experience, most recently at The Washington Post.  She was part of the reporting team that won the 2002 Pulitzer Prize for national reporting, and she is a 2011 recipient of an Emmy Award.

* Exemptions from this requirement include the following: 1) Admitted international students who hold a degree from a college or university in a country where English is the official language and the medium of instruction. Applicants must hold a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution in the United States. No other exceptions are made. 2) International students enrolled in GSPM’s Maestría en Comunicación Política y Gobernanza Estratégica Master’s program, which is taught entirely in Spanish, online. 

Recommended Resources (not required)

1. Welcome Video: This video is specifically designed to assist international students with their transition to GSPM. It outlines the structure of GSPM programs and expected educational performance.

2. Orientation and Welcome Breakfast: International students are encouraged to attend both the orientation program for all new GSPM students, as well as a welcome breakfast intended for international students at GSPM. Students will receive an email with more details on time and location closer to their starting semester. 

3. GSPM Recommended Courses: The below courses are recommended for international students to develop a greater understanding of America’s engagement with domestic and multicultural communities and institutions. If taken, the course(s) would be accepted as electives for any GSPM program (with the exception of the Spanish Language Master’s Program).

  • PSAD 6250: Cultural Aspects of Global Engagement
  • PMGT 6480: Washington Residency (Intro/exposure track; not available until Fall 2015)

4. Career Events: GSPM encourages domestic and international students to attend career events to make connections and to build a better understanding of the steps that lead to job satisfaction. Students will learn about scheduled Career Events from the weekly e-newsletter, which is disseminated to all enrolled GSPM students.

5. University Writing Center: The University Writing Center has trained tutors to help domestic and international students with common communication challenges.

6. Library Session: GSPM recommends that domestic and internationals students attend informational sessions at the library to learn about research tools and capabilities offered at GW’s Gelman Library. GSPM arranges library informational sessions throughout the year, and will learn about scheduled sessions from the weekly e-newsletter, which is disseminated to all enrolled GSPM students.

7. Mentors (2nd year): GSPM encourages all second-year international students to serve as mentors to first-year international students.