M.S. & Ph.D. Admissions Instructions

The Sam Nunn School of International Affairs offers a three specialized master of science degrees in International Affairs (MS INTA), International Security (MS ISEC), and International Affairs, Science, and Technology (MS IAST) as well as one Ph.D. in International Affairs, Science, and Technology (DR IAST). Admission is offered to those applicants who appear to have the highest potential for successful graduate-level study and are the most likely to contribute substantially to their academic fields through professional practice, research, or teaching.

Although most students who are accepted into the program hold a degree in a field of the social sciences or humanities, applicants with degrees in engineering disciplines, computer science, or the sciences are eligible and encouraged to apply. Applicants to the Nunn School’s graduate program must have completed a four-year baccalaureate degree at an accredited university or college.

Entrance to the graduate program is extremely competitive and meeting the minimum requirements outlined below does not guarantee acceptance.

How to Apply

Start the application process by going to the Georgia Tech Graduate Application (http://grad.gatech.edu/apply-now)

You will be asked to select a major. When you enter International Affairs, you will be routed to detailed instructions for completing and submitting the application, online letters of recommendation, and required documents. You should print these instructions so you can refer to them anytime.

1. Complete the online application on CollegeNet

The online application includes:

  • The general Georgia Tech application. On this form, you will enter general information about yourself, your contact information, and your academic qualifications. You will also enter your statement of purpose and résumé while completing the online application. You must submit these online. Do not mail the statement of purpose or résumé a separate document.
     

    Note: It is critical that you accurately enter your personal contact information in the online application in case we need to contact you.

  • Georgia Residency Application

  • Information from Non-Citizens Form (International applicants only)

  • Submission and application fee payment.

2. Letters of Recommendation

Three letters of recommendation are required, and it is recommended that at least two of your recommendations come from faculty who are familiar with your academic performance. The letters of recommendation are submitted online. Information regarding the submission of the letters is given in the directions for submitting your online application. The Nunn School requires online letters of recommendation except in very rare circumstances. By not using the online system, you could cause delay in your application’s consideration.

As part of our online application process, you can electronically request recommenders to submit your letter (or letters) of recommendation. You will be asked for the following information:

  • Names of recommenders
  • Organization affiliation, position/title of each person.
  • Relationship with recommender
  • Email addresses
  • Waiver (most applicants choose to waive their right to review the recommendations)

Your recommenders will receive an email, inviting them to complete an online recommendation. If you have any difficulty with the system, contact grad.ask@gatech.edu. Include your application ID number in the email and a description of your problem.

3. Submitting supporting documents

Instructions for submitting required documents are included in the directions you are given at the beginning of the online application process.

For all applicants:  Transcripts

We accept unofficial transcripts at the time of application – an unofficial transcript is simply an official transcript that has been opened. We do not accept screen shots of your grades and courses. If you are admitted, we will then require that you submit your official transcripts.

If you completed your education outside of the United States, go to our International Student Admission page for information on submitting your required documents.

Georgia Tech requires evidence of award of a bachelor's degree, its equivalent, or higher degree (prior to matriculation) from a regionally accredited institution. Regional accreditation is the educational accreditation of schools, colleges, and universities in the United States by one of seven regional accrediting agencies. You can go to Council for Higher Education Accreditation (link is external) for more information.

An unofficial transcript can be either an official electronic transcript or an official paper transcript that you have scanned and uploaded. The document must be printed on the institution's official paper and should include:

  • The institution’s name, as well as your first and last name

  • Institution's official seal/signature – such as the registrar’s seal, registrar's signature, and/or watermark of the institution.

  • All completed courses, including the grade earned and a list of any in-progress courses.

  • Proof of degree – if a degree was awarded, the name of the degree and the date it was awarded. For international applicants, proof of degree can also be satisfied with a degree certificate.

  • Transcripts should be issued in English by the institution. If transcripts are not issued in English, a copy of a certified English translation must be included.

You can submit your official transcript(s) one of the following ways:

  • Preferred Method:  Electronic official transcripts can be emailed directly from the issuing school to transcripts@grad.gatech.edu or sent via Parchment, eScrip-SAFE, National Student Clearing House, or Digitary.

  • If you cannot send your transcripts electronically, you can mail the official hard copy to the address listed below. Be sure to include your full name as it appears on your application.

    Documents to be mailed should be sent to:

    Graduate Admissions Office
    631 Cherry Street
    Savant Building, Room 318
    Atlanta, GA 30332-0321

For international applicants only:

  • TOEFL or IELTS scores are mandatory for international students. The Nunn School requires a minimum TOEFL score of 100 for the iBT TOEFL or the equivalent in the paper or computer-based formats. The minimum requirements for the IELTS are 6.5 for reading, 6.5 for listening, 6.5 for speaking, 6.5 for writing with an overall score of 7. The TOEFL or IELTS requirements are waived for international students who have received a bachelor’s degree from an accredited school in the United States or have completed one year of graduate studies in the United States. International students need to review this additional important information regarding your admissions process and financial aid.

    The TOEFL institution code for Georgia Tech is 5248. The department code is 88.

  • Proof of financial support.

For lawful presence:

Please visit the graduate admissions page for a table and detailed information on documents required.

Program-Specific Instructions

MS INTA

The GRE is recommended but not required for MS INTA applicants. All applicants wanting their GRE test scores to be considered, must submit the following three parts: Verbal, Quantitative, and Analytical Writing. The Nunn School will count the highest scores from each section when calculating an applicant’s score.

For applicants submitting GRE test scores:

  • Official transcripts from all schools attended after high school are required. If mailed transcripts are requested by Graduate Admissions, they must be in envelopes sealed by the issuing office in order to be considered official when mailed.

  • Official GRE scores sent directly to us by ETS for the basic skill GRE exam consisting of verbal, quantitative, and analytical writing tests. Only official score reports will be accepted, no photocopies. The GRE subject examination is not required. GRE test scores that are more than 5 years old will not be accepted. If your GRE scores are more than 5 years old, you will be required to retake the GRE test. Do not send photo copies of your GRE test scores; we will only accept official GRE scores received from ETS.

  • The GRE institution code for Georgia Tech is 5248 The GRE department code for the Nunn School is 1901.

DR INTA

All qualified persons are equally welcome to seek admission to DR IAST Program at the Sam Nunn School of International Affairs. The School admits approximately three to five doctoral students each year. Since the number of eligible applicants generally far exceeds the number of admission spots available, satisfying minimum admissions standards does not guarantee admission. Many well-qualified applicants cannot be accommodated. The Graduate Review Committee will examine each applicant and determine the admissions decision. Notification of admission will be sent to all applicants via e-mail. Please include a functional e-mail address on your admission application. The School does not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, sex, or national origin. The criteria used in determining each applicant’s eligibility for consideration shall include:

Pre-Master’s Level

  • Completion of a B.A. or B.S. degree in any discipline from an accredited institution

  • Official Graduate Record Exam (GRE) test scores (GRE test scores are valid for five years)

  • Completion of introductory courses in general economics, political science, and science or engineering

  • Demonstrated capability with information technology through coursework in computer programming, web design, human-computer interaction, Geographic Information Systems, or other acceptable coursework or work experience

  • Demonstrated proficiency in foreign language through two years study in a single language or, if English is not the applicant’s native language, a paper-TOEFL score of 550, computer score of 213, or Internet-based score of 100

  • A twenty- to thirty-page writing sample (solo authorship) that demonstrates research and writing ability on an advanced level

Post-Master's Level

  • Completion of a M.A. or M.S. degree in any discipline from an accredited institution

  • Official Graduate Record Exam (GRE) test scores (GRE test scores are valid for five years)

  • Completion of introductory courses in general economics, political science, and science or engineering

  • Demonstrated capability with information technology through coursework in computer programming, web design, human-computer interaction, Geographic Information Systems, or other acceptable coursework or work experience

  • Demonstrated proficiency in foreign language through two years study in a single language or, if English is not the applicant’s native language, a paper-TOEFL score of 550, computer score of 213, or Internet based score of 100

  • A twenty- to thirty-page writing sample (solo authorship) that demonstrates research and writing ability on an advanced level

The Graduate Review Committee makes its final admission decisions based on a combination of factors, including academic degrees and records, the statement of purpose, letters of recommendation, test scores, and relevant work experience. Additional information about tuition, GRE and TOEFL scores, the application process, financial aid, and international student information is available via the graduate admissions website.

Graduate Record Examination (GRE)

The GRE is required of all applicants (other exams are not accepted). All applicants must submit scores for the following three parts: Verbal, Quantitative, and Analytical Writing.  Applicants should understand that GRE test scores are an important part of the application, and it is essential to submit the best possible scores. The Nunn School will count the highest scores from each section when calculating an applicant’s score.

The median GRE scores for applicants accepted into our graduate program for the Fall 2015 semester are:

Ph.D.:

  • Verbal: 164
  • Quantitative: 156
  • Analytical Writing: 4.0

NOTE: GRE test scores that are more than 5 years old will not be accepted. If your GRE scores are more than 5 years old, you will be required to retake the GRE test.

The admission committee considers several factors when making admission decisions, including academic performance at prior institutions (GPAs), GRE test scores, statement of purpose, and letters of recommendation. All of these factors are important. An applicant’s chances of gaining admission are improved with above average GRE scores.  Similarly, an applicant’s chances of gaining admission are reduced in the event that GRE scores are below average.  If an applicant’s GRE scores are low — i.e., below 150V, 150Q, and 3.0AW — admission is unlikely. Furthermore, meeting or exceeding these average numbers for GRE scores does not guarantee admission.

GRE instructions for applicants submitting GRE test scores:

  • Official transcripts from all schools attended after high school are required. If mailed transcripts are requested by Graduate Admissions, they must be in envelopes sealed by the issuing office in order to be considered official when mailed.

  • Official GRE scores sent directly to us by ETS for the basic skill GRE exam consisting of verbal, quantitative, and analytical writing tests. Only official score reports will be accepted, no photocopies. The GRE subject examination is not required. GRE test scores that are more than 5 years old will not be accepted. If your GRE scores are more than 5 years old, you will be required to retake the GRE test. Do not send photo copies of your GRE test scores; we will only accept official GRE scores received from ETS.

  • The GRE institution code for Georgia Tech is R5248 The GRE department code for the Nunn School is 1901.

Application Status

PLEASE NOTE: For the spring 2021 application term, we had two different application systems overlap for a period of time. Depending on which application system you accessed for your application, the status page link will vary. Please read the following information to determine which application system you need to access.

  • If your application was submitted via applyweb, you can check your application status here
    • You have to use the same user ID and password created when you applied. Any notes from Graduate Studies pertaining to your application will also be available in this area. For a complete list of what each status type means, visit the Help Desk page.
  • If your application was submitted via gradapp, you can check your application status here
    • You have to use the same email and password created when you applied. You can also upload application materials via this application status page. You can submit application/admission questions via our Help Desk page.

Admission Decisions

Online applications must be completed and submitted and the application fee paid by the dates shown below to be considered. An admission decision will not be made on an incomplete application.

A Note to International Applicants: The deadline dates listed below are the latest that we will accept applications. However, it is strongly recommended that international students residing in and outside the United States submit their applications as early as possible.

Deadlines for Applications

Master of Science

  • United States Citizens and Permanent Residents

    Priority Deadline / Consideration for Fellowships/Assistantships: January 15th
    Space Available: April 1st

  • International Applicants (includes those residing in the United States)

    All applicants: January 15th

Doctor of Philosophy

  • All applicants: January 15th