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School of International Service Admissions

FAQ: Graduate Applications and Admissions

What are the requirements for admission?
The application form, $50 application fee, statement of purpose, resume, two letters of recommendation (three for PhD), all official transcripts (undergraduate and graduate), and official GRE scores (for all students instructed in English and for all PhD candidates).  International applicants whose native language is not English and who do not hold any higher education degree from a U.S.-accredited college or institution are also required to submit results of the TOEFL or the IELTS.  All required materials must be submitted before your file is reviewed.

What does the review committee look at for acceptance and scholarships?
The admissions committee considers all elements of a candidate's application when making admission decisions. No one aspect of an application is more important than another.

Where can I find the application online? Where can I find the recommendation forms online?
The online application is located here. The recommendation forms and the complete application brochure can be downloaded from the forms page.

What do the 24 hours of social science course work entail?
Applicants to SIS should have completed at least 24 hours of coursework relevant to international studies.  These may include courses on economics, political science, history, sociology, anthropology, and philosophy.

Do I need to be proficient in a foreign language prior to applying to SIS?
Second language ability is not required for admission to SIS, though it can certainly improve an applicant's profile. Proficiency in a modern foreign language is required for graduation from most SIS programs. SIS does not offer academic credit towards degree completion for language courses.

Do you offer formal admissions interviews?
We do not require admissions interviews as such, but we are happy to set up an informal information session for you with our admission officers.

Can I submit a writing sample with my application?
You can submit a brief writing sample with your application, although it is not required for admission. The review committee will look primarily at your statement of purpose, your GREs, and your letters of recommendation to gain a sense of your writing and analytical ability.

What are the application procedures for your dual degree programs?
For the MA in International Peace and Conflict Resolution/Master of Theological Studies program, please apply separately to both Wesley Theological Seminary and the School of International Service.

For the MA in International Peace and Conflict Resolution/Master of Arts in Teaching or the MA in Ethics, Peace, and Global Affairs, you can apply to either SIS or the College of Arts and Sciences directly and indicate your interest in the dual degree program. You will be considered and notified separately for each program.

For the JD/MA program, please submit your application to the Washington College of Law (WCL) directly and indicate in the appropriate area that you are interested in JD/MA consideration. WCL will then forward your application to the School of International Service. You will be considered and notified separately for each program. Please note that you must take the LSAT exam in order to be considered for WCL admission.  GRE is not required for your file to be considered for SIS.  Please also note that all JD/MA applicants will be considered for MA in International Affairs with a concentration in International Politics for their program in SIS.

For the MA/MBA, you can apply to either SIS or the Kogod School of Business directly and indicate your interest in the dual degree program. You will be considered and notified separately for each program. If you are applying to Kogod, you must take the GMAT. Indicate on your online application that you are applying for the dual program. Once your file is complete, it will be forwarded to SIS for review. If you are applying to SIS first, you may take the GRE or GMAT exam. Your file will be forwarded to Kogod once it is complete. Work experience may be required for admission to the MBA program. Please check with Kogod individually.

What if I am admitted to SIS but not Kogod School of Business (KSB), Washington College of Law (WCL), or College of Arts and Sciences (CAS)?
The admission decisions of each school are independent. Should you apply to a dual degree program and only be admitted to SIS, our offer of admission still stands and you are eligible to proceed as a student in SIS. Note that admission decisions to one program have no bearing on or leverage with another.

When is the best time to apply for the BA/MA program?
After you have completed 90 credits of your SIS undergraduate program, you are eligible to apply for the BA/MA program. Do consider the value of having taken a significant number of upper-level SIS classes prior to your application. We strongly recommend that you apply during the second semester of your junior year so that you can take full advantage of the program.

How many years of experience do I need to apply to the MIS (mid-career executive) program? Does my experience have to be in the international affairs field?
Most MIS candidates have between seven and nine years of professional experience to be eligible for the program. This experience does not necessarily have to be in the field of international affairs.

Can I apply to two master's degree programs in SIS simultaneously?
Students may not apply for more than one program at any given time.

Are admissions decisions ever reconsidered by the Admissions Committee?
All admission decisions are final. Should you have any questions about how to improve your file for future admissions consideration, please contact the Director of Admissions within one month of the date of your decision letter.

How do I check my application status?
If you have submitted an online application:

  1. Log in to your Prospective Student Portal Account. Your log-in information is the same as the e-mail and password with which you accessed your online application.
  2. Under "Personalized Links," click on "Check My Application Status." Please note that the "Check My Application Status" link does not appear until after your application has been processed, which will be at least 72 hours or three business days from the time of submission.
  3. Under "Check My Application Status," you will see "Application Documents Still Needed" and "Application Documents Received." Due to the high volume of mail received by our office during this period, please allow 7 to 10 business days to process your application materials after they are received. Submitting all of your supplementary documents in together one envelope will greatly speed up the processing of your application.

If you have submitted a paper application:

- Please go here to create a Prospective Student Portal Account.

- Follow steps 2 and 3 listed above to check your status online.

If you have any other questions regarding your application, please contact the Graduate Admissions Office at 202-885-1646 or send e-mail to sisgrad@american.edu.