• When are applications due and when does the application committee meet to determine acceptance decisions?
    Applications are due January 5th for enrollment to begin in the fall of that year.  The admissions committee will meet in late February or early March.

  • Do I need to retake the GRE?  
    If it is older than 5 years, then yes.  This is a Columbian College rule; we cannot override it.

  • What is the departmental culture on reaching out to prospective faculty advisors?
    Feel free to contact faculty to talk about your application and their areas of research, however it is not necessary to identify a faculty sponsor to be admitted to the program. Faculty contact information is available in the Doctoral Student Handbook.

  • How competitive is the admission process? 
    We typically have around 200 applications for approximately 15 positions in the program.  We look at the full application in making decisions.  The essay is particularly important in helping us understand if there is a fit between your interests and our program focus and faculty strengths.  Average GRE scores have generally been around the 85th percentile (verbal and quantitative) among admitted students.

  • How does the program work for part-time students? 
    All required classes are available in the evening at least once a year.  Evening classes normally start at 6:10 and most meet once per week.  A few may have a lab session that is sometimes on a different evening from the class.

  • Is it possible for me to design my own specific field of concentration within the PhD?
    No. It is required that a PhD application be for one of the school's existing fields of concentration; we do not allow individually-designed fields.

  • Do students who are accepted to the PhD program receive full funding? What does a full funding scheme look like? Does the George Washington Univeristy and/or the Trachtenberg School offer scholarship opportunities? Is it advisable to apply for outside funding?
    About half of Trachtenberg School admitted students are employed full-time and as part-time students are not eligible for funding.  Of the full-time students, the Trachtenberg School typically has 1-2 funded packages (usually $22,000 per year plus full tuition and requiring 20 hours per week of research work during the academic year).  Admitted students who we do not offer funding often find support through other parts of the university including the GW Institute of Public Policy, and others. Once students are admitted, the school sends them links to information about these options. Keep in mind, this funding is not guaranteed.

  • Are credits from a previous masters degree transferable? If yes, what is the process of evaluation?
    Up to 24 credits are granted for a previous masters degree. Students must complete the required core and field courses. Unless the courses previously taken replace the two core courses that are masters-level courses, it is possible that the full 24 might not be granted.

  • Do students earn an MPA as part of the process of earning their PhD?
    No, the MPA is not granted as part of the PhD process.

  • Can I pursue international interests in the PhD in Public Policy and Administration?
    The PhD in Public Policy and Administration is rooted in the U.S. policy environment and draws primarily on U.S.-based literature and case examples.  However, the analytical skills and theoretical underpinnings covered in core courses are often transferrable to research in other countries. 

    The fields vary in the extent to which faculty incorporate international perspectives in their research and in their courses.  Students often write course papers and/or dissertations on international or comparative research topics; however, in most cases those students have previous academic preparation in areas such as international development or international affairs to provide necessary background for such undertakings.  Thus, while many of our students conduct international research, that research is necessarily grounded in one of the fields of concentration offered by the Trachtenberg School.

  • How can I find additional information about the program?  
    There are two information sessions held each fall.  In addition, detail is available in the Doctoral Student Handbook.