Application Materials

Information about the Application

You must apply through the online application. The application is continuously open; you can select the semester and year you would like to be admitted.

If you are applying to more than one degree at GW (such as the MPP and MPA), you must submit a separate application for each degree.

You can submit any other materials to the Columbian College prior to submitting your application online.

One transcript is required from each college and university you attended. You may upload an unofficial copy of the transcript, or send an official transcript to:

Office of Graduate Admissions
Columbian College of Arts and Sciences
The George Washington University
801 22nd Street, NW
Phillips Hall, Suite 107
Washington, DC 20052

If your academic records are in a language other than English, a certified English translation must be provided. Translations alone will not be accepted. More on transcripts.


GRE Information

PhD: the GRE is required.  You will need to have your scores sent from ETS.  The George Washington University's ETS reporting code is 5246.

MPA, MPP, Certificates: Submitting GRE or GMAT scores is optional.

Combined Degree: Submitting GRE or GMAT scores is optional.

Since there is no place to report GRE or GMAT scores on the MPA, MPP, certificates and combined degree applications, you will need to have your scores sent from ETS.  The George Washington University's ETS reporting code is 5246. You may also report your scores on your resume. 

See our frequently asked questions about the GRE.


TOEFL and IELTS

All degrees: If you are a citizen of a country in which English is not an official language, you are required to submit your TOEFL scores. Exceptions may be made if you hold a degree from a college or university in a country where English is the official language and the medium of instruction. Relevant transcripts must be submitted for this exception.

The recommended minimum TOEFL score for admission to The Trachtenberg School is 637 on the paper-based test, 270 on the computer-based test, 110 on the internet-based test.

TOEFL scores may not be more than two years old. The ETS reporting code for the George Washington University is 5246.

Learn more about the TOEFL test.

As an alternative to the TOEFL, students may instead submit scores from the academic International English Language Testing System (IELTS). The Trachtenberg School's recommended minimum for the academic IELTS is an overall band score of 8.0, with no individual band score below 6.0.


Letters of Recommendation

MPA and MPP: two letters of recommendation

PhD: three letters of recommendation

Certificate: one letter of recommendation

Recommendations can be submitted electronically through the online application system. Hard copies can also be submitted and these should be submitted in signed, sealed envelopes. Recommendation forms are not required; traditional letters of recommendation are perfectly acceptable. Additional letters are also permitted, but not necessary.

See our frequently asked questions for more information on the letters of recommendation.


Statement of Purpose

This is your opportunity to convey to our admissions committee whatever information about yourself – over and above the information provided elsewhere in your application (including your resume) – that you would like us to consider.

MPA, MPP, Certificate

In an essay of 250 – 500 words, state your purpose in undertaking graduate study in your chosen field. Include your academic objectives, research interests and career plans. Also discuss your related qualifications including collegiate, professional and community activities as well as any other substantial accomplishments not already mentioned on the application or resume/curriculum vita.

PhD

In an essay of 500-750 words, state your purpose in undertaking graduate study in your chosen field. Indicate your desired field of concentration from among those offered within the PhD program, along with your specific research interests within that field and your career plans. Also, discuss your related qualifications, including collegiate, professional and community activities as well as any other substantial accomplishments not already mentioned on the application or resume/curriculum vita.


Resume or Curriculum Vita

Applicants should include their most recent resume or CV.


Interviews

We do not conduct personal interviews as part of our admissions process. However, we are happy to talk with applicants and answer questions.


Application Fees

You must submit the application fee of $80 in order to be considered for admission.

The application fee is waived only for current GW degree candidates, GW alumni, current McNair Scholars, U.S. military personnel who have been on active duty within the past three years, PPIA alumni, students who graduated from an eligible minority-serving institution and alumni and current members of Teach for America, the Peace Corps and AmeriCorps. McNair Scholars seeking a fee waiver must submit a completed fee waiver form. If you would like to apply for a fee waiver, simply select that option within the system when you go to pay the fee.  Explain the reason you believe you qualify and submit.  Your fee waiver application will be processed by the admissions office. You will be emailed the result of your request. If approved, you can then submit your application.

Note for online applicants: You may pay the application fee by credit card. If you wish to pay the fee by check or money order, please follow the instructions provided in the online application process.


Funding Consideration

MPA, MPP, and PhD applicants are reviewed for merit-based Trachtenberg School funding by requesting assistantship/fellowship consideration through the online application and applying by January 5.  Students who may be eligible for funding based on financial need must also submit a Free Application for Student Aid (FAFSA) to the federal government.

AmeriCorps, Peace Corps and Teach for America alumni are eligible to receive a one time award of $5,000 for the MPA or MPP program. (Note: due to the number of applicants we receive with this background, the award cannot be made to all of our successful applicants.) Alumni should upload an additional document with their application stating their alumni status and requesting financial aid consideration.

Students who attended a school from the list of eligible minority-serving institutions (MSI) may receive an application fee waiver and a tuition award of at least 40%.

International graduate students applying to GW from a list of countries that demonstrate the intense global interaction involving rapid technological change and dynamic growth of the 21st century are eligible for up to a $20,000 tuition award per academic year. 

Learn more about additional funding opportunities.

Applicants to Certificate programs are not eligible for Trachtenberg School funding.


Mailing Address

All application materials may be submitted electronically using the online application. However, applicants may choose to mail supporting hard-copy materials such as transcripts and letters of recommendation if the files are too large for uploading to the online system. The application itself should be submitted online.

Please submit large supporting materials by email to askccas@gwu.edu or by postal mail to:

Office of Graduate Admissions
Columbian College of Arts and Sciences
The George Washington University
801 22nd Street, NW
Phillips Hall, Suite 107
Washington, DC 20052

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, and February 1 otherwise. Applications for Certificate programs are due November 1 for spring entry and July 1 for fall entry.