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The Elliott School of International Affairs (ESIA) at the George Washington Universitymarker is a professional school in international relations. It is located in the heart of Washington, D.C.marker at the university's Foggy Bottom campus.

As a leading professional school of international affairs, the Elliott School offers undergraduate and graduate degrees with majors covering a range of global issues and world regions. It is a full member of The Association of Professional Schools of International Affairs, a grouping of the world's foremost academic institutions in the field of international relations.

The school is located opposite to the U.S.marker State Departmentmarker's headquarters, the Harry S Truman Buildingmarker. Additionally, it is blocks from the International Monetary Fundmarker, the World Bank, and the White Housemarker. Over 2,100 undergraduates and 700 graduate students attend the Elliott School.

Michael E. Brown has served as the Dean of the Elliott School since June 2005. Brown, who founded and directed the Center for Peace and Security Studies at Georgetown Universitymarker, has a background in international security, conflict and conflict resolution, and U.S. foreign and defense policy.


The Elliott School traces its roots to 1898, when the George Washington University first started instruction in international affairs. The institutional forerunners of the Elliott School began with the School of Comparative Jurisprudence and Diplomacy which lasted only seven years (from 1898 to 1905) and was followed by the School of Politics and Diplomacy, which ran from 1905 to 1907. This school was expanded to include other fields of study and was reconstituted as the College of the Political Sciences, a part of the University that operated from 1907 till 1913. At this point, the College was turned into an academic department within the Columbian Collegemarker and renamed the Department of International Law and Diplomacy. This iteration of the Elliott School functioned from 1913 until 1928.

In 1928, the University once again reorganized its departments. It was in this year that the School of Government was created. This School had the longest run until then, as it remained a part of the University from 1928 till 1960. It was in 1960 that the fields of business and international affairs were added to the school of government, creating thus the School of Government, Business, and International Affairs, working from 1960 until 1966. Then, in 1966, President Lloyd H. Elliott split its faculties into a new School of Government and Business Administration (SGBA) and a new School of Public and International Affairs. Running from 1966 until 1987, it was once again renamed and became the School of International Affairs. It was then in 1988 when, in honor of President Elliott and his wife Evelyn, that the school acquired its present name and became the Elliott School of International affairs. At this point it was it was reorganized to focus exclusively on undergraduate, graduate, and mid-career education in international affairs.

In March 2003, the Elliott School opened its new academic building at 1957 E Street NW. The building was formally opened by then-Secretary of State and GW Alumnus Colin Powell. This building features state-of-the-art lecture halls, classrooms, offices, lounges, and common areas used to host public events. It is diagonally across from the Harry S Truman Buildingmarker, the headquarters of the United States Department of Statemarker through a small park. The school is across the street from the headquarters of the American Red Cross.

Reputation and Rankings

In 2007, the Elliott School’s academic excellence was recognized by a survey of scholars published in Foreign Policy magazine. The survey ranked the school’s undergraduate program as #10 in the United States and its graduate programs #7.

More recently, a study carried out by researchers at the College of William and Marymarker found that the Elliott School had the 9th best terminal master's program in the world for those interested in policy careers in international affairs.

The school is noted for its excellent faculty. Some past and present faculty members include James N Rosenau, Martha Finnemore, Harry Harding, Edward "Skip" Gnehm, Leon Fuerth, Nathan Brown, Cynthia McClintock, Henry Farrell, and Christopher A. Kojm, the new Chairman of the National Intelligence Council. The school's focus on professional education allows noted professionals in the field of international relations to serve in the school's faculty.

Likewise, many of the school's former students have gone on to distinguished careers in international service. Some of its alumni include Admiral John B. Hayes (MA '64), General John M. Shalikashvili (MA '70), and Kurt Volker, the U.S. Ambassador to NATO, and Rose Gottemoeller, the new United States Assistant Secretary of State for Verification, Compliance, and Implementation.

Undergraduate Programs

The Elliott School offers undergraduate degrees in the following majors:
  • Asian Studies
  • Middle Eastern Studies
  • Latin American and Hemispheric Studies
  • International Affairs

International Affairs Major

The International Affairs major is further broken down by Regional and Functional Concentrations.

Regional Concentrations include:
  • Africa
  • Asia
  • Europe and Eurasia
  • Latin America
  • Middle East

Functional Concentrations include:
  • Comparative Political, Economic, and Social Systems
  • Conflict and Security
  • Contemporary Cultures and Societies
  • Global Public Health
  • International Development Studies
  • International Economics
  • International Environmental Resources
  • International Politics

Graduate Programs

The Elliott School of International Affairs Masters of Arts program received 1822 applications for the Fall 2006 semester. A total of 282 students were eventually enrolled in the program. The mean undergraduate GPA (excluding international applicants) for these students was 3.49, while the mean GRE (Graduate_Record_Examination) scores (also excluding international applicants) were 609 verbal, 679 quantitative, and 5.0 analytical writing. In addition, 21% of the enrolled students were non-U.S. citizens, with an average TOEFL score of 271. The Director of Graduate Programs in International Affairs at the Elliott School is Ambassador Karl Inderfurth, who is a former Assistant Secretary of State and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Masters Degrees

The School offers a master of arts degrees in a variety of fields. There are two main categories of fields of study. One category is regional studies, which include Latin American and Hemispheric Studies, Middle East Studies, Asian Studies, and European and Eurasian Studies. The second category is functional studies, which include master's degrees in International Affairs, International Development Studies, International Science and Technology Policy (ISTP), International Trade and Investment Policy (ITIP), and Security Policy Studies.

There are also two special programs beside the master of arts. One for mid-career professionals called a Masters of International Policy and Practice (MIPP) while the other is a Masters of International Studies granted to graduate students attending Elliott School partner academic institutions.

Joint and Dual Degrees

There are also three joint and dual degrees programs. The Elliott School and the School of Business offer a Master of Arts and Master of Business Administration program, while it partners with the Law School to grant a Master of Arts and Juris Doctor. The third program is a Master of Arts and Master of Public Health, in partnership with George Washington's School of Public Health and Health Services.


    • Chinese Studies
    • East Asian Studies
    • Latin American Studies
    • International Science and Technology Policy
    • International Security Policy
    • International Trade Policy
    • U.S. Foreign Policy
    • Political Psychology

Research Centers, Institutes and Policy Programs

As an integral part of its academic focus and mission, the Elliott School runs a large number of research institutes in a variety of issues. All are run by experts in the respective field, who lead each institution's research initiatives, conferences, lectures, discussions and other activities.

Some of these research groups include:
  • Institute for Global and International Studies - Susan Sell, Director
  • Institute for European, Russian, and Eurasian Studies - Henry E. Hale, Director
  • Space Policy Institute - Scott Pace, Director
  • Taiwan Education and Research Program - Edward McCord, Director
  • The Sigur Center for Asian Studies - Shawn McHale, Director
  • Institute for International Economic Policy - Stephen C. Smith, Director
  • Culture in Global Affairs Research and Policy Program - Barbara Miller, Director
  • US-Japan Economic Agenda - Henry Nau, Director
  • China Policy Program - David Shambaugh, Director
  • Center for International Science and Technology Policy - Nicholas S. Vonortas, Director
  • The Program for International Studies in Asia (PISA) - Linda Yarr, Director
  • Memory and Reconciliation in the Asia Pacific - Mike Mochizuki and Daqing Yang, Co-directors
  • GW Diaspora Research Program - Liesl Riddle, Acting Director
  • GW Cold War Group - Hope Harrison, Director

Elliott School International Partners

The school runs an independent study abroad program for its graduate students. As a part of its internationally focused education, it encourages graduate students to add an international component to their studies by living in a foreign country. The school believes that the experience is a key part of an education in international affairs because it increases understanding of the world by providing students with a variety of new and unexpected perspectives. The program functions as bilateral partnerships with a number of schools.

Some of these include the University of Sydney in Australia, the Universidad Torcuato di Tellamarker in Argentina, the Universidade Federal de Santa Catarinamarker in Brazil, Carleton Universitymarker in Canada, Fudan University in China, Sciences Pomarker in France, Freie Universität Berlinmarker in Germany, University of Hong Kongmarker in Hong Kong, Jawaharlal Nehru University in India, Waseda Universitymarker in Japan, Ewha Womans University in South Korea, The American University of Beirutmarker in Lebanon, Universiteit Maastrichtmarker in the Netherlands, European University of Saint Petersburg in Russia, National University of Singaporemarker in Singapore, IHEID (Graduate Institute of International and Development Studiesmarker) in Switzerland, Boğaziçi Universitymarker in Turkey, and the London School of Economicsmarker & Political Science in the United Kingdom. The school constantly looks for new partners and schools are added on a yearly basis.

The undergraduate students also have the option of studying abroad during their time at the Elliott School. However, that program is not run independently by the school but instead undergraduates use the George Washington Universitymarker's study abroad system. Thanks to that, these students have access to nearly 250 study abroad programs..


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