About the Students

Student Life at the Trachtenberg School

The Trachtenberg School is a community of people who want to do good and do it well.  Classes are an important part of the experience, but the community also provides abundant extracurricular activities including volunteer projects and social, recreational and cultural events.

Student Associations

The Trachtenberg Student Organization (TSO) fosters social, academic, and professional development and interaction among the George Washington University public policy and administration students. This association provides an opportunity for social interaction and intellectual exchange among students, sponsoring social events, career development workshops, speakers, and a means of providing structured communication with program directors and faculty.

Students are invited by their peers to attend Fall Ball, volunteer on MLK Day or participate in a local walk to support a charity, serve as mentors to students at Anacostia High School and join school-wide happy hours. Each spring, students plan and execute a policy forum in which they invite members of the community, students and alumni to campus to engage civic leaders on a topical issue.

Policy Perspectives

Policy Perspectives is a scholarly journal published by graduate students in the Trachtenberg School of Public Policy and Public Administration at the George Washington University. The journal provides an opportunity for Trachtenberg School students and alumni to publish research based on their studies and to offer their perspectives on public policy and its management. Since its inception in 1994, the journal has been issued annually or semiannually and has included articles on everything from campaign finance to immigration to telecommunications. Many of these articles have been downloaded thousands of times. Notable policymakers have also contributed to Policy Perspectives over the years. For example, Senator Harry Reid and former Wisconsin Governor Tommy Thompson each wrote about the dynamic relationship between state and local governments and the federal government in Volume 3, and Volume 12 included an interview with then-Virginia Governor Mark Warner. Policy Perspectives is distributed nationwide in print and electronic form to libraries, policy institutions, researchers and alumni.

Brief Policy Perspectives is the blog of Policy Perspectives.  The blog began in Fall 2015 and provides an opportunity for members of the Trachtenberg School community to publish peer-edited short form policy articles and opinion pieces.  The blog is published every two weeks during the academic year.  Since its inception the blog has been viewed in more than 60 countries. 

Pi Alpha Alpha Honor Society

Pi Alpha Alpha is the national honor society for graduate students in public affairs. Students with a 3.70 gpa and higher are invited to apply to join this distinguished body of graduates.

Additional Opportunities for Trachtenberg School Students

The American Society for Public Administration (ASPA) is a membership organization for both public administration professional and students. ASPA offers reduced membership rates for students.

The Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management is dedicated to improving public policy and management by fostering excellence in research, analysis, and education. This membership organization also offers reduced membership rates, which vary by income.

Net Impact's mission is to improve the world by growing and strengthening a network of new leaders who are using the power of business to make a positive net social, environmental, and economic impact. With over 120 chapters across the world, a central office in San Francisco, and partnerships with leading for and nonprofit organizations, New Impact enables members to use business for social good in their graduate education, careers, and communities. They believe business can both earn a profit and create positive social change. Net Impact enables members to transform this ideal into measurable results. Graduate students from all on-campus departments are welcomed and encouraged to join their mission.

The International City/County Management Association (ICMA)'s student chapter was founded in order to connect MPA and MPP students to professionals and resources in city/county management. ICMA's mission is to increase the proficiency of city managers, county managers, and other local government administrators, and to strengthen the quality of local government through professional management. Students have the opportunity to connect with ICMA's headquarters, located in Washington, DC, as well as many other local area governments.

Housing and Transportation

Many students live off-campus as GW offers limited graduate housing. There are options.  These collected resources will help you learn about and find housing and transportation options in the area.

Graduate Life

The GW Office of Grad Life (OGL) provides GW graduate and professional students consolidated information and resources through various electronic media (web site, listserv, and email), advocacy through meeting with students and receiving feedback relative to the University's services for graduate students, learning opportunities through various co-curricular initiatives, and community development supporting your social, recreational, and cultural events.

George Washington University's Center for Student Engagement organizes volunteer projects and maintains service programs which serve as a bridge between the curricular and co-curricular goals of the University.

Housing and Transportation

One common concern for incoming students, particularly those living outside the DC area, is where to live. The further away from the city, typically the less expensive the rent; likewise, the further away from a Metro station, typically the less expensive the rent. Because of the expense of living in Foggy Bottom, most students live in surrounding areas. Other nearby neighborhoods include Dupont Circle and Adams Morgan in DC, and Ballston, Clarendon, Rosslyn, Crystal City, and Pentagon City in Arlington, Virginia. There are also areas in Maryland near the Metro you could consider including Bethesda and Silver Spring. Due to limited and costly parking on campus and in the District, the majority of students walk or take public transportation to school.

Apply Now ButtonApplications for Spring entry into the MPA, MPP, or MA-ENRP programs are due on October 1.  Applications for Summer or Fall entry are due on January 5 for those seeking fellowships or visas, and February 1 otherwise. Applications for Certificate programs are due November 1 for spring entry and July 1 for fall entry.