Guide to Graduate Education in Science, Engineering and Public Policy
Guide to Graduate Education in Science, Engineering and Public Policy
Elliot School of International Affairs
Science, Technology and Public Policy Program
The George Washington University
Nicholas S. Vonortas, Director, Center for International Science and Technology Policy; Director, International Science & Technology Policy Program.
The George Washington University (GW) is one of the world's leading centers for graduate study of science, technology, and public policy issues. The Center for International Science and Technology Policy, which is part of GW's Elliott School of International Affairs, is the University's focal point for these activities. Since 1970, the university has offered a Master of Arts degree in Science, Technology, and Public Policy, and over the past three decades a number of doctoral students in Ph.D. programs such as public policy, political science, engineering administration, and other disciplines have chosen science, technology, and public policy as a focus for coursework and dissertation research.
The Center carries out a variety of research projects, many of which are sponsored by government and nongovernment organizations, and students in the masters program often work as research assistants on these projects. The Center also hosts visitors from other parts of the United States and from overseas, and organizes colloquia, seminars, and symposia on significant science and technology policy issues. These diverse activities provide frequent opportunities for students to interact with professionals engaged in both the study and the practice of science and technology policy. The Center takes full advantage of GW's Washington location; students work as interns in government and nongovernmnet organizations, and there are other frequent opportunities to interact with those already professionally engaged in the practice of science, technology, and space policy.
The Space Policy Institute, a separately chartered research and policy program, is an integral element of the Center. The Space Policy Institute concentrates its research and teaching efforts on issues related to the U.S. and global space programs. Many students in the Masters program, as well as others at GW, focus their course work and research interests on space policy issues. The Space Policy Institute maintains its own library containing a collection of books, documents, and reports related to aerospace policies and programs. Additionally, the library contains many science and technology policy related books and publications.
M.A.-- The Center offers a Master of Arts in International Science and Technology Policy through the Elliott School of International Affairs. For information on applying, visit the program web site at www.gwu.edu/~cistp.
Ph.D.-- Over the past two decades a number of doctoral students in Ph.D. programs such as public policy, political science, engineering management, and other disciplines have chosen science, technology, and public policy as a focus for course work and dissertation research. The Center offers coursework and dissertation guidance in support of doctoral programs in several GW schools, particularly the Ph.D. in Public Policy offered by the Columbian School of Arts and Sciences.
While most students pursue the M.A. degree as a stepping stone to a professional career in science and technology policy, others have continued with additional academic work in related fields. Full-time students usually complete their M.A. degree in two years. Part-time students average three years; most classes are in the evening.
Applicants to the M.A. program must have a minimum of a bachelor's degree with a B average or better. Backgrounds in the humanities, in the social, life, and physical sciences, and in engineering are all appropriate preparations for graduate study.
All graduate school applicants must submit an application, resume, three letters of recommendation, transcripts from previous schools attended, and scores for the GRE/TOEFL.
The multidisciplinary 40-credit M.A. program in International Science and Technology Policy includes:
- A core field in science, technology, and international affairs, which allows students to concentrate on areas of particular interest, such as space policy, the environment, or information technology;
- An analytical competency requirement, which provides career-enhancing, marketable skills in policy analysis, economic theory or statistics;
- An elective field which reflects individual academic interests and career goals.
The elective field consists of a minimum of 9-credit hours, and is selected to complement the background and interests of the individual student. Courses composing the elective field may be offered through a different Elliott School program, a department in another college within the University, or a combination of the two. Examples of representative fields include:
- Environmental Policy
- International Business
- International Development
- International Economics
- International Finance
- International Health Policy
- Intellectual Property Protection
- Science Ethics
- Security Policy
- Space Policy
- Technology Management
- Regional Fields of Study
- East Asia
- Western Europe
- Central and Eastern Europe
- Russia/Commonwealth of Independent States
- Middle East
- Latin America
Space Policy:The Space Policy Institute offers graduate courses on U.S. space policy. The basic course in the fall term, "International Affairs 246, "U.S. Space Policy", is an overview of U.S. space activities in their international context; the spring course, "International Affairs 248, "Issues in U.S. Space Policy", each year focuses on an in-depth examination of one or more current issues in space policy. Other courses, offered under the general course number International Affairs 258, focus on topics such as space and national security and space law. Many students pursue a Master of Arts degree in International Science and Technology Policy with a focus on space issues, under the auspices of GW's Elliott School of International Affairs; space policy also serves as a course and dissertation focus for several Ph.D. candidates in public policy, political science, and history. Full-time study prepares students for exciting career opportunities in the space policy field. Part-time graduate study is also possible, and many of those who enroll in the Institute's courses already are working professionally in the space field. Their exposure to space policy issues provides a broader context for their current work as well as expands their future career choices.
At any given time 25-35 students are candidates for the M.A. in Science, Technology, and Public Policy. The Elliott School enrolls top students from the best undergraduate institutions around the country and throughout the world. Students entering the Science, Technology, and Public Policy program have prior training and experience in areas as diverse as the social sciences, natural or life sciences, engineering, or the humanities. All students in the program have excellent academic credentials, strong analytical skills, and an interest in policy issues with significant science or technology dimensions.
The degree program focuses on the intersection of science, technology,
industrial strategy and structure, and government policy. The Center
emphasizes a comparative approach to science and technology policy,
and is founded on the twin poles of the in-depth understanding of domestic
policies, on the one hand, and continuous coverage of policy developments
around the world, on the other. Within the program, students can concentrate
on areas of particular interest, such as space policy, environmental
policy, or the politics and economics of research, development and technological
The Elliott School faculty includes prominent scholars and internationally recognized specialists in the area of science and technology policy who publish frequently, speak to professional and general audiences around the world, and are often contacted by the news media for their expertise. The faculty for the International Science and Technology Policy program includes:
Nicholas S. Vonortas (Ph.D., New York University) Professor of Economics and International Affairs, Director of the Center for International Science and Technology Policy and Director of the Science, Technology, and Public Policy program. International science and technology policy, scientific and technological cooperation, economics of research, development and innovation.
John M. Logsdon (Ph.D., New York University) Professor of Political Science and International Affairs and Director of the Space Policy Institute. Space policy, national and international science and technology policy.
Robert W. Rycroft (Ph.D., University of Oklahoma) Professor of International Science and Technology Policy and International Affairs. International science and technology policy, complexity and technological innovation, environmental policy.
David Grier (Ph.D., University of Washington) Associate Professor of International Science and Technology Policy and International Affairs.
Ray Williamson (Ph.D., University of Maryland) Research Professor of Space Policy and International Affairs.
Recent graduates often work in research, analysis, or management positions with titles such as research analyst, program or policy analyst, legislative analyst, or environmental protection specialist (in more specialized areas). Analysts are often employed with government agencies, advocacy groups (such as environmental), think tanks, science and technology-oriented publications and other organizations concerned with scientific and technological policy as well as activities and impacts of those activities in this field.
Students are highly encouraged to obtain practical experience and determine the type of work they want to pursue upon graduation. Beginning salaries range from $32,000 to $42,000 and increase substantially for candidates who have technical or scientific degrees, exposure to economics and management, significant work experience in the field and/or experience on Capitol Hill or in federal agencies.
Career paths in policy making, policy analysis, and policy research require different kinds of skills and capabilities as well as different kinds of training and orientation. Career paths leading to senior positions may differ. For example, senior executive-level policy making positions in federal agencies usually require scientific or technical credentials, whereas senior congressional committee policy making positions are more demanding of political skills.
Tuition for the 1999-2000 academic year is $701.50 per credit hour, plus a university fee of $34.50 per credit hour, and a $625 per semester Elliott School of International Affairs fee.
Applicants to the Science, Technology, And Public Policy program are eligible for the same fellowships and assistantships that are available to all applicants to the Elliott School of International Affairs. In addition, the program has financial support specifically available for its applicants as well as opportunities to work on Center for International Science and Technology Policy and Space Policy Institute research projects. The Center receives requests for graduate students to fill part-time employment opportunities and paid and unpaid internships in Washington area research groups, professional and scientific associations, businesses, and government agencies, which can also provide a valuable complement to formal graduate study. Individuals interested in financial support from the Science, Technology, And Public Policy program should so indicate when they submit their application for admission.
As a result of generous corporate sponsorship the George Washington University Space Policy Institute currently awards up to two fellowships at the beginning of each academic term to full-time master’s policy students. The awards consist of a stipend of $16,000 and 10 – 20 hours of tuition credit each year (Elliott School fees are not included). These fellowships are renewable and may be held for a maximum of two years. As it is expected that students intern or work in industry, government, or at not for profits in the Washington, D.C. space community at minimum on a part-time basis while pursuing their degree, these fellowships reduce the financial burden of attendance.
The Elliott School of International Affairs also offers a Graduate Certificate Program in International Science and Technology Policy. The program is designed to train professionals in specialized areas of international affairs. Certificate candidates must complete 18 credit hours of course work consisting of six courses. To be eligible, students must be either enrolled in a graduate degree program, already possess an advanced degree, or have a B.A. plus eight years of professional experience.
Students must complete a core course in International Science and Technology Policy (IAFF 241). Students must take at least two courses taught by the faculty of the Center for International Science and Technology Policy (CISTP) and at least one course from the analytical competency area. Students may take other courses not on the list of suggested courses with the approval of the Office of Student Services.
The Elliott School International Exchange Partners in Maastricht, Tokyo, and Seoul offer courses taught in English that especially complement the science and technology curriculum. To see how study abroad can fit into your plan of study, check out this sample schedule below.