How to Apply

When is the application deadline?
The application deadline for Fall Semester is January 15th. The deadline for Spring Semester is October 1st.

Is it possible to apply for summer admission?
No. SSP admits students for the fall and spring semesters only.

How do I apply?
SSP uses ApplyYourself, an online application system which is managed by Georgetown’s Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. View more information on our How to Apply page.

Does the SSP waive the application fee?
Not in most cases. The only exception is for applicants participating in pre-approved fellowship programs such as the Rangel Fellowship, Pickering Fellowship, or the McNair Scholars Program. To inquire about a fee waiver, please email securitystudies@georgetown.edu.

Should I submit a writing sample?
No. The 500-word personal statement serves as a writing sample. Additional materials submitted as writing samples will be discarded without being read.

Should I submit more than three letters of recommendation?
No. Three letters of recommendation are sufficient. If more than three letters of recommendation are submitted a process of random selection will be used obtain the required three letters. Additional letters will be discarded without being read.

Can I submit a paper application?
No. SSP only accepts online applications.

Can I meet with someone from the admissions team?
Prospective students are welcome to visit SSP. SSP conducts informational interviews on Wednesdays from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. and Fridays from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., from May through December, and hosts frequent online and in-person events for students to learn more about the program. To learn more about scheduling an informational interview and other ways to get in touch with the admissions team, visit our Connect With SSP page.

After You Apply

Will I be notified if my application is incomplete?
No. Applicants are responsible for ensuring all materials are uploaded and/or received prior to published deadlines. Only complete files are reviewed for admission; it is therefore imperative to monitor your ApplyYourself application checklist to confirm all documents have been received. To inquire about missing materials, please email the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences at gradmail@georgetown.edu.

Is admission rolling? Is it possible to receive an early decision on my application?
No, SSP admission is not rolling. In the interest of fairness to all applicants, we do not review any applications prior to the posted application deadlines. Additionally, once decisions have been rendered, all applicants will be notified at the same time; we cannot provide an early decision to any individual applicant.

How will I be notified of my admissions decision?
All applicants, whether admitted, waitlisted, or denied, will receive a formal admissions notification from the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences through a letter posted to their ApplyYourself account. SSP will follow up via email to all admitted and waitlisted students.

Can I defer my admission once I have been accepted?
SSP does have a deferral request policy in place. However, deferrals are not automatically granted. Admitted students considering requesting a deferral should review SSP’s deferral policy.

Can I appeal the admissions decision?
No. However, applicants are welcome to reapply to the program for a future term once additional steps have been taken to strengthen their application.

GPAs, Standardized Tests, and Transcripts

Is there a minimum GPA required to be considered for admission?
Yes. A minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0 is required for admission.

What is the average GPA/GRE score of admitted students?
You can view the average scores of admitted students on our Student Profile page.

What tests are required?
Information regarding SSP’s policy concerning required standardized test scores can be found on our How to Apply page, under “Standardized Testing.” All applicants must submit either the GRE or a TOEFL/IELTS score.

Is there a minimum score required on the GRE to be considered for admission?
No.

I am an international applicant. What standardized tests are required?
Information regarding SSP’s policy concerning required standardized test scores can be found on our How to Apply page, under “Standardized Testing.” All applicants must submit either the GRE or a TOEFL/IELTS score.

Is there a minimum score required on the TOEFL and/or IELTS to be considered for admission?
Yes. SSP requires a minimum score of 100 on the Internet Based Test (iBT), 250 on the Computer-Based Test, 600 on the paper-based exam, or 7.5 on the IELTS.

As long as I take the GRE/IELTS/TOEFL before the application deadline, is it OK if my scores arrive after the deadline?
Yes. The admissions committee will review scores that have been taken prior to the program deadlines: January 15 for Fall 2019 and October 1 for Spring 2019. Please upload unofficial scores in your online application while we wait to receive and process your official scores.

Can I apply with an unofficial transcript?
Yes. Unofficial transcripts can be used by the admissions committee to conduct a preliminary review of an application. However, an official decision will not be released until the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences receives official transcripts. Applicants are therefore encouraged to use official transcripts when applying. Applicants currently enrolled in an academic program should submit an official report of mid-year grades as soon as one is available.

I sent my transcripts/test scores more than two weeks ago but my application still shows them as incomplete. What is wrong?
The Graduate School of Arts and Sciences cannot begin matching transcripts/test scores to a candidate’s application until the application has been formally submitted. If you have submitted your online application and it has been more than two weeks since materials were sent, please contact the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences at gradmail@georgetown.edu.

I studied abroad. Do I have to get an official transcript from the university in the country where I studied?
Generally speaking, no. As long as your overseas coursework was completed as part of a study abroad program, appears on your U.S. transcript for a U.S. letter grade, and was applied towards the satisfaction of your undergraduate degree requirements, submitting the transcripts from your undergraduate degree-granting institution should be sufficient. However, if your overseas coursework was completed independently and accepted by your undergraduate institution as transfer credit then yes, you must submit official transcripts from the university in question.

I am an international applicant. How should my transcripts be submitted?
International applicants must provide a certified English translation of their official transcript from their undergraduate (and, if applicable, graduate) university. Certified translations must be accompanied by the original documentation. International applicants are not required to use World Education Services (WES) or similar services, since all international grades are evaluated based on the scale upon which the applicant was graded.

Admissions Requirements and Applicant Background

Is foreign language proficiency required for admission?
No.

Is professional experience required for admission?
No. However, professional experience is certainly an asset. Volunteer positions, internships, extracurricular activities, and undergraduate research, in addition to full and part time employment, are all considered a part of an applicant’s professional experience. Students with little professional experience are welcome to apply; however, in such instances, the competitiveness of a candidate’s academic profile (GPA, GRE scores, etc.) will be a more significant factor in determining the likelihood of admission.

How much professional experience does the average student have?
Please view the average amount of work experience for our admitted students on our Student Profile page.

I have professional experience, but not in a field that is directly related to security studies. Will this affect my chances of being admitted?
SSP admits students from a wide variety of professional backgrounds and previous experience in the field of security is not required for admission.

Is international experience required for admission?
No. However, it is an asset. International experience includes time spent living, studying, volunteering, or working outside of an applicant’s home country.

Are there any prerequisite courses in order to be considered for admission?
No.

I did not major in political science/international relations. Does this affect my chances of being admitted?
SSP accepts students from a wide variety of academic backgrounds, including the social sciences, the humanities, and the hard sciences. Generally speaking, how a candidate has performed academically in the past is of greater importance than their major. However, for students who majored in subjects with a limited relationship to security studies (theater, biology, etc.), being able to show some background related to security studies, either through coursework or professional experience, may be an asset.

If I take an SSP summer course, will I be able to apply this credit to the Security Studies degree in the future?
No. You would not be able to apply the credit to the Security Studies Program if you decide to apply in the future. Coursework taken before matriculation into the program cannot be applied to the degree.