Professional Studies

Put last night’s lesson into practice at work the next day. Our flexible format allows professionals to “earn as they learn,” applying strategic thinking to develop and manage areas of politics, public affairs, security, advocacy, publishing, and public policy. Students are prepared to either advance within their current careers or transition to other non-profit organizations, government agencies, or private industries.

Programs in Professional Studies at GW

Advocacy in the Global Environment (M.P.S.)

The program provides a hands-on education — not a theoretical exploration — all from experts in the global advocacy field. Our innovative, experiential curriculum is designed for professionals seeking to advance causes or commerce with NGOs, corporations, public affairs/relations firms, and international organizations. Through our global perspective residencies students learns about issues facing companies and organizations directly from top political, governmental, media, non-profit, and business leaders in Beijing, Brussels, Hong Kong, Istanbul, London, São Paulo, Seoul, Tokyo, and Washington, DC.

Homeland Security (M.P.S.)

The Master's of Professional Studies degree in Homeland Security (formerly Security & Safety Leadership) provides a pioneering education on counter-terrorism, intelligence analysis, emerging security threats, and relevant legislation, enhancing the implementation of security practices in both public and private sectors.  This program offers innovative professional development opportunities for individuals involved in public and private safety sectors, have experience in law enforcement, emergency management, corporate security, transportation security, fire service, public safety, public health preparedness, or the military.

Justice and Public Safe Information Management (Graduate Certificate)

For professionals in the law enforcement, public safety, and homeland security fields, this program provides a comprehensive and strategic understanding of policy, best practices, and strategies related to information technology and data management.
 

Legislative Affairs (M.P.S.)

For more than 40 years, this prestigious program has been the only master’s degree exclusively devoted to the study of applied politics in the legislative endeavor. To succeed on the Hill, professionals need a clear understanding of how Congress operates, how procedure shapes outcomes, and how entities like the executive branch, lobbyists, and constituents influence the work of the legislature. The mix of academic rigor and applied skills gives our students an education that sets them up for successful careers in any arena.

Political Management (M.P.S.)

Today’s politics demands professionals. Whether at the ballot box or in the halls of government, adept political management separates winners from losers. We teach students the strategies, tactics, and mechanics that get results in politics. Our political management master’s program offers a cutting-edge, hands-on curriculum that teaches the “how” and not the “what” of politics. Along with a rigorous core curriculum, we offer electives across three clusters: applied proficiencies, electoral politics, and advocacy politics.

Publishing (M.P.S.)

The master’s degree in publishing provides students with expertise in all areas of publishing, enabling a successful career in a rapidly changing industry by integrating traditional print and electronic publishing topics, exploring production and design, copyright law, marketing, and distribution.

Digital Politics (Graduate Certificate)

Online tools such as web advertising, interactive websites, complex social networking, and virtual fundraising have become central to success in politics, particularly in campaigns. The digital politics program teaches students how to master the world of online communications, networking, and fundraising. Courses include online political strategy, managing online communities, videography, targeting, micro-targeting, and analytics.

 

Strategic Public Relations (M.P.S.)

Capturing the public’s attention and earning trust are ambitious, often elusive, goals. As a strategic public relations student, you will gain first-hand insight from leading PR practitioners from all backgrounds in how to meet this challenge. Learn the latest skills, big-picture strategic thinking, and real-world approaches from experts with experience in everything from Fortune 500 companies and non-profits to the highest reaches of journalism and government. You will sharpen your skills in media relations, issues and crisis management, international PR, public affairs and more.

Sustainable Urban Planning (Graduate Certificate, M.P.S.)

This master’s degree is focused on the sustainable urban planning and policy of green technologies. This program is grounded in a core set of courses in urban sustainability and incorporates two graduate certificates that can be pursued independently or applied toward the master’s degree: climate change management and policy (the technical side of sustainability pertaining to building requirements, design demands, and energy technologies); and urban sustainability (the basic principles, history, and development of the planning profession and how to integrate sustainability into community planning, transportation, and land use).

Digital Politics (Graduate Certificate)

Online tools such as web advertising, interactive websites, complex social networking, and virtual fundraising have become central to success in politics, particularly in campaigns. The digital politics program teaches students how to master the world of online communications, networking, and fundraising. Courses include online political strategy, managing online communities, videography, targeting, micro-targeting, and analytics.

PACS & Political Management (Graduate Certificate)

This graduate certificate program is designed to provide PAC managers with the professional training and fundamental skills to successfully tackle the daunting realities of political finance and action. The program’s curriculum, developed in consultation with leading PAC experts, provides the kind of flexibility today’s political professionals want — the ability to tailor coursework to suit their particular goals while addressing their organizations needs.

Public Relations (Graduate Certificate)

Designed for working professionals, the graduate certificate program enables students to learn core public relations skills and the practical application of strategic thinking. While not focused exclusively on preparing individuals for careers in politics, the program does take advantage of GW’s connections in the nation’s capital, providing students with an understanding of how politics and government impacts business, technology, and communication.

Semester in Washington — Applied Politics (Graduate Certificate)

The program is designed for non-GW students who are enrolled in graduate programs at other institutions and want to spend the spring or summer getting an up-close view of Washington, DC. You’ll learn how political decisions are made, how power is wielded and how government is run — because you’ll be right in the center of the process. A guided, hands-on tour of the workings of the U.S. government, the program immerses students in the processes that define our political system through the classroom, professional internships, and opportunities to meet the key decision-makers in U.S. politics and government.

Political Management Programs Offered In Spanish

Communicación Política y Gobernanza

The master’s degree, taught entirely in Spanish, provides an opportunity for Latin American government officials, party leaders, campaign staff, candidates, corporate CEOs, and NGO leaders to develop a professional approach toward securing elective office and governing that embraces values essential to democracy and successful careers. Students acquire the skills and tools to build political viability into their economic and social change initiatives, communicate more effectively with the various constituencies involved in the issues at stake, and transform the public decisionmaking processes into more transparent and participative procedures. The program includes two six-course (18-credit-hour) graduate certificate programs that can be completed separately or applied to the master’s degree: the graduate certificate in Communicación Estratégica y Campanas Electorales that trains students in communications and election campaign management; and the graduate certificate in Gerencia Política y Gobernanza Estratégica that focuses on political management, leadership, strategy, confrontation analysis, and democratic governance.