Graduate Admissions & Funding

The application process for the M.A. in Media and Strategic Communication is facilitated by GW's Columbian College of Arts and Sciences (CCAS). All application materials should be sent directly to CCAS, and questions can be answered by the CCAS Admissions Office.

The GRE is not required; however, if you feel as though submitting scores will strengthen your application, you are welcome to submit them.  

The accelerated combined degree program for current SMPA undergraduates has a separate admissions process.

Application Deadlines

Spring Semester

  • International students requiring a student visa: September 15
  • Regular admission: October 1

Fall Semester

  • To be considered for fellowships and financial aid: February 1
  • Admission without consideration for financial aid: April 1

Grace Martinez

"Being a SMPA student while ascending in my career has allowed me the opportunity to put the skills we learn in class into practice. It’s reassuring to not just know what makes an effective message, but why the materials or resources you are responsible for will appeal to your audience—and that’s what my time in SMPA has taught me. "

Grace Martinez
SMPA Graduate Student

Funding Opportunities 

The Media and Strategic Communication program offers competitive funding packages to admitted students. All application materials should be uploaded directly to your online application. Prospective students may also explore funding opportunities through the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences and the Office of Graduate Student Assistantships and Fellowships.

Funding for Admitted Students

Applicants applying for the fall semester must submit their Media & Strategic Communication application by February 1 in order to be considered for funding. Please check off the Fellowship, Scholarship, Teaching Assistantship box on the application form. No additional applications are necessary in order to be considered for merit scholarships.

Graduate Assistant Packages

These competitive packages cover the cost of full-time tuition each semester (up to 9 credits) plus a stipend and salary. Graduate assistants work 20 hours per week for a faculty member as a teaching and/or research assistant. This award is merit-based and priority is given to applicants who apply by the February 1 application deadline. Graduate assistant packages are renewable for one additional year, contingent upon good academic standing. These packages are only available to those applying to start the program in the fall.

Dean's Awards

These merit-based scholarships provide partial tuition assistance for students with an exceptional academic record. The deadline to be considered for this funding opportunity is February 1.

Fischer Family Fund

This merit-based scholarship provides tuition assistance for students who are returning to school after working for a significant amount of time. Up to $5,000 is awarded toward tuition costs over the course of an academic year.

National Council Graduate Scholarship

The National Council Scholar receives funding for one school year. This award is generously funded by the National Council for Media and Public Affairs, distinguished alumni and friends who advise the SMPA director.

Exclusive Internship: Finn Partners-Widmeyer Communications Scholarship and Internship

The first of its kind at SMPA, this scholarship offers tuition assistance (3 credits per semester) and a paid, part-time internship at the Finn Partners D.C. office — just a short walk from campus. The scholarship provides students hands-on experience in a fast-paced global PR firm where they can apply the skills they are learning in the classroom. Students apply each summer, and the strongest applicants are nominated and recommended for interviews by SMPA and move on to the final selection process at Finn Partners.

Funding for Current Students

There are a number of funding opportunities available to SMPA M.A. students, including the Eaton Foundation Scholarship, SMPA Career Access Network Internship Fund Prizes, and Larry King Scholarships. To learn more about these opportunities, click here.