Elliott School of International Affairs

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The Elliott School of International Affairs
Elliott Entrance.JPG
Motto Deus Nobis Fiducia
(In God Our Trust)
Established 1898 as The School of Comparative Jurisprudence and Diplomacy
Type Private
Parent institution
George Washington University
Dean Reuben E. Brigety II
Undergraduates 2,014
Postgraduates 788
Location Washington, D.C., U.S.
Campus UrbanFoggy Bottom
Affiliations APSIA
Website elliott.gwu.edu
Elliott School George Washington University logo.png

The Elliott School of International Affairs at the George Washington University (GWU) is a professional school of international relations founded in 1898 as the School of Comparative Jurisprudence and Diplomacy. It is located in the heart of Washington, D.C., the capital city of the United States, 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. State Department's headquarters, the Harry S Truman Building. Additionally, it is blocks from the International Monetary Fund (which is on GWU's campus), the World Bank, and the White House. More than 2,100 undergraduates and 750 graduate students attend the Elliott School, making it the largest school of international affairs in the United States.

Ambassador Reuben E. Brigety II, former U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs and ambassador to the African Union, serves as the Dean of the Elliott School, formally assuming the position in October 2015.[1] His predecessor, Michael E. Brown had served as the Dean since June 2005. Brown, who founded and directed the Center for Peace and Security Studies at Georgetown University, has a background in international security, conflict and conflict resolution, and U.S. foreign and defense policy.[2]


The Elliott School traces its roots to 1898 when the George Washington University first offered studies in international affairs within the School of Comparative Jurisprudence and Diplomacy.[3] In 1905, the school was replaced with the Department of Politics and Diplomacy, which ran from 1905 to 1907.[3] This department was expanded to include other fields of study and 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 College and renamed the Department of International Law and Diplomacy. This iteration of the Elliott School functioned from 1913 until 1928.

The Elliott School building, at 1957 E St NW, was opened in 2003 with a ceremony featuring then United States Secretary of State and alumnus, Colin Powell.

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 Hartman 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 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 Building, the headquarters of the United States Department of State through a small park. The school is just east of the headquarters of the American Red Cross and across the road from the United States Office of Personnel Management.

Notable alumni, reputation, and rankings

In 2014, the Elliott School's academic excellence was recognized by a survey of scholars published in Foreign Policy magazine.[4] The magazine's Inside the Ivory Tower survey ranked the school's undergraduate program at #8 in the world, its Master's program at #7 and its Ph.D. program at #15.[5] In 2009, a study carried out by researchers at the College of William and Mary found that the Elliott School had the 8th best terminal master's program in the world for those interested in policy careers in international affairs.[6] Some past and present faculty members include Marc Lynch, Stephen Biddle, Charles Glaser, David Shambaugh, Michael Barnett, James N Rosenau, Martha Finnemore, Harry Harding, Edward "Skip" Gnehm Jr., Leon Fuerth, Stephen C. Smith, John Logsdon, Henry Farrell, and Christopher A. Kojm.[7]

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.[8]

Undergraduate programs

The Elliott School offers undergraduate degrees in the following majors:[9]

  • 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 Resolution
  • Contemporary Cultures and Societies
  • Global Public Health
  • International Development Studies
  • International Economics
  • International Environmental Resources
  • International Politics
  • Security Policy

Graduate programs

Master's degrees

The School offers 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 master's degrees in 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, International Trade and Investment Policy, Global Communication, and Security Policy Studies.

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

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.


  • Global Gender Policy
  • International Science and Technology Policy
  • Political Psychology[10]

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 their respective fields, who lead each institution's research initiatives, conferences, lectures, discussions and other activities.

These include:

Centers & Institutes
Research & Policy Programs
  • China Policy Program
  • Culture in Global Affairs
  • GW Diaspora Program
  • George Washington Cold War Group (GWCW)
  • Partnerships for International Strategies in Asia
  • Taiwan Education and Research Program
  • US-Japan Legislative Exchange Program

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 Tella in Argentina, the Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina in Brazil, Norman Paterson School of International Affairs in Canada, Fudan University in China, Sciences Po in France, Freie Universität Berlin in Germany, University of Hong Kong in Hong Kong, Jawaharlal Nehru University in India, Waseda University in Japan, Ewha Womans University in South Korea, The American University of Beirut in Lebanon, Universiteit Maastricht in the Netherlands, European University at Saint Petersburg in Russia, National University of Singapore in Singapore, IHEID (Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies) in Switzerland, Boğaziçi University in Turkey, and the London School of Economics & 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 University's study abroad system. Thanks to that, these students have access to nearly 250 study abroad programs.[11]


  1. "Ambassador Reuben E. Brigety II Named Elliott School Dean | GW Today | The George Washington University". gwtoday.gwu.edu. Retrieved 2015-09-29.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. "Michael E. Brown | Elliott School of International Affairs | The George Washington University". elliott.gwu.edu. Retrieved 2015-09-29.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. 3.0 3.1 "Mission | Elliott School of International Affairs | The George Washington University". elliott.gwu.edu. Retrieved 2015-09-29.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. Avey; et al. (Jan–Feb 2012). "Ivory Tower". Foreign Policy. Retrieved 6 February 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. "TRIP Around the World: Teaching, Research, and Policy Views of International Relations Faculty in 20 Countries". Institute for the Theory and Practice of International Relations. Retrieved 6 February 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. [1] Archived July 11, 2009 at the Wayback Machine
  7. See http://www.gwu.edu/~elliott/faculty/
  8. See http://www.elliottschool.org/alumni/alumninews3.cfm/
  9. See http://www.gwu.edu/~elliott/academics/ugrad//
  10. "Graduate Certificates | Elliott School of International Affairs | The George Washington University". Elliott.gwu.edu. Retrieved 2015-09-29.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. Undergraduate Study Abroad - The Elliott School of International Affairs

External links

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