Below are commonly asked questions about the BMW Center for German and European Studies (CGES) and the Master of Arts in German and European Studies (MAGES) program. Please feel free to contact us directly with any questions about our MA program or the admissions process.
The M.A. in German and European Studies
What is the difference between the MAGES program and other programs in the Walsh School of Foreign Service?
The MAGES program offers a Master’s from the School of Foreign Service with a focus on European affairs. MAGES is smaller than many other programs, with a student body of about 35-50 M.A. students, allowing for a high degree of personal attention in terms of both academic and career advising. The student population itself is also unique, and 20-30% of each class is made up of international students. MAGES students have diverse backgrounds due to the interdisciplinary nature of the program; their previous fields of study range from international relations to language to business.
MAGES graduates are uniquely qualified for a broad range of careers due to their interdisciplinary backgrounds. They develop skills in the program that employers in all sectors seek: solid writing and analytical skills, an understanding of current international issues, cultural insight, adaptability, and the ability to step outside of one narrow discipline and see the relationships between different facets of a changing global environment. Additionally, the BMW Center organizes an extensive program of events that aim to sustain the transatlantic dialogue. MAGES students have regular contact with prominent international dignitaries, government officials, and scholars.
The Admissions Process
Does MAGES admit undergraduates who apply directly from school?
Yes. The MAGES student body is made up of students with professional experience as well as those coming directly from college. If you apply directly from your undergraduate institution, it is especially important that your application demonstrates a strong academic background, study abroad experience, language proficiency, and a variety of extracurricular pursuits, including internships, volunteer experience, and/or leadership activities.
Is there a minimum GRE score requirement for admission into the MAGES program?
No. Average scores for a typical incoming MAGES student are in the mid-100s and 5.0 for the writing section. If you take the GRE more than once, the admissions committee will consider your highest scores.
What degree of language proficiency do I need when applying to MAGES?
A high level of proficiency in a European language other than English, equivalent to three years of college-level instruction, is expected for admission; exposure to a second European language is strongly encouraged.
May I submit a language certificate in lieu of the language evaluation form?
Professional, widely-recognized language certificates may be submitted in lieu of the evaluation form. There is no advantage to submitting a professional certificate over an evaluation or vice versa.
What if I don’t speak German?
Students do not need to be proficient in German to participate in MAGES. Applicants must be proficient in one European language of their choice when applying, and students must prove proficiency in two European languages to graduate. MAGES students may take a fifth course in a foreign language, paying no extra tuition, during their time in the program in order to attain proficiency; and Washington, D.C., also offers an array of language-learning opportunities.
Do I need to submit transcripts from every college and university I’ve attended?
Yes. At the time of application, you are required to upload to the application system unofficial transcripts from all undergraduate and graduate institutions attended, even if you did not receive a degree from the institution. Do not send electronic or paper copies of your official transcripts before receiving an offer of admission. Review the unofficial transcript requirements for additional details and FAQs.
Who should write my letters of recommendation?
If you are a recent college graduate or still in school, three letters should be from a professor or adviser who is familiar with your academic work. You may also submit two recommendations from professors and one from an employer who can address your ability to do graduate work. If you have been out of school for a few years, you may submit letters from professional references, but it would benefit you to find at least one academic to write a letter on your behalf.
Is an interview required for admission into the MAGES program?
Evaluative interviews are not a component of the application process for the MAGES program. However, applicants may choose to schedule informational interviews with the Supervisor of Academic Programs to assess their fit for and interest in the program. Visits may include sitting in on a core class, meeting a current student, and speaking with the MAGES Director.
What if I cannot afford the application fee?
The Graduate School cannot grant application fee waivers. The BMW Center only grants fee waivers for certain qualified fellowship holders and those who submit their complete applications by December 1. If you believe you qualify for a fee waiver because you are part of a fellowship program, please email Christina Ruby, Assistant Director of Finance and Administration.
What are the basics on tuition and financial aid?
MAGES applicants with U.S. citizenship who are interested in need-based aid should contact the Georgetown University Office of Student Financial Services (OSFS) to fill out the FAFSA and supplemental graduate school financial aid application form. International students should contact that office to inquire about need-based aid as well. International students should also refer to the website InternationalStudentLoan.com to find out about various financial aid options that may be available to them.
The BMW Center automatically considers all applicants for merit-based financial aid; there is no separate application. Aid packages from the BMW Center typically come in the form of partial tuition grants for the two years of M.A. study. Dual degree MAGES/Ph.D. students sometimes receive joint packages from the center and their Ph.D. departments. Because the aid from the Center is not enough to support students without supplemental funds, applicants should plan to pursue outside sources of funding. All BMW Center scholarships are awarded on a competitive basis. The BMW Center website contains lists of fellowships, scholarships, and grants for MAGES applicants.
Where can I find more information on tuition and financial aid?
Most questions can be answered on our tuition and financial aid pages, or on the website for the Office of Student Financial Services (OSFS). Please contact either the BMW Center or the OSFS with questions if the websites do not contain the information you are seeking.
Will I be notified when the admissions office receives my application materials?
No, you will not receive notification. You may check if your materials have been received by logging into the application portal to view your personal online application checklist.
When will I be notified about the decision?
All decisions will be emailed by mid- to late March.
Does the BMW Center grant deferrals to admitted applicants?
Under certain circumstances, the BMW Center does grant deferrals. Each case is handled individually. Accepted reasons for deferral have included personal/family issues, fellowship offers, financial difficulty, and professional opportunities related to the MAGES degree. However, it is not guaranteed that applicants will be granted deferrals even for the reasons listed above.
Can I reapply if I am not accepted into the MAGES program?
Yes. Applicants who were not successful in their first application often pursue additional training or professional experience relevant to the MAGES degree and reapply to the program in a subsequent admissions cycle.
What is different for international applicants?
International applicants must submit everything that U.S. citizens submit, plus TOEFL or IELTS scores if they have an undergraduate degree from a non-native English speaking institution. International students also have different financial aid considerations than U.S. citizens. Please see the section above on tuition/financial aid, and note that the BMW Center has resources for its international applicants and students.
Do I need to take the GRE?
Yes, GRE scores are required for international as well as domestic applicants.
Do I need to take the TOEFL or IELTS?
If you received your undergraduate degree from an institution where English was not the primary language, you must take one of these two tests in addition to the GRE.
What are the minimum TOEFL/IELTS scores for admission?
The minimum TOEFL score for admission to the MAGES program is 100 on the internet-based test. The minimum IELTS score for admission is 7.5. Click here for more information on the TOEFL; and click here for more information about IELTS.
If I am a native speaker of a European language other than English, how can I certify my language status?
If you are a native speaker of a European language, you may certify your status in one of two ways: (1) by providing a high school or college transcript that indicates you were instructed in a European language; (2) by taking an Oral Language Examination that attests to your ability as a native speaker. Your Written Language Exam must be taken in another European language other than English.
If I have grades from international institutions, how do I submit them?
You should submit grades from foreign institutions in their official form with notarized translations attached.
Is it acceptable to submit letters of recommendation from non-English speaking professors?
Yes, but the letters must be translated. The professor should attach the translation to the original letter before submitting it to the Office of Graduate Admissions.
How do I secure a student visa for study in the U.S.? What should I do if I have a visa already?
Information on applying for a visa will be sent to you upon admission to your desired program. You will receive a Visa Student Questionnaire Form to complete and return to the Graduate Admissions Office. This form will explain the types of documentation required to show proof of funding for your study at Georgetown. Once the Visa Questionnaire is received by the Graduate Admissions Office, the form and corresponding documentation is delivered to the Office of International Programs on campus. OIP will process your paperwork and will issue the appropriate I-20 or other government form needed to apply for your visa.
Dual Degree Applicants
Should dual degree applicants submit separate applications to each degree program?
Dual degree applicants must submit two separate online applications, one for each program. All materials should be sent to the Office of Graduate Admissions, indicating that you are a dual degree applicant. In each of the two statements of purpose, applicants should be sure to indicate why they would like to pursue a dual degree and a degree from that particular department. More information on dual degree application requirements is available here.
Does the admissions decision of one program affect the other?
Each admissions decision is reached independently, so one decision will not affect the other. Once initial decisions are made, the BMW Center and the other department will meet to discuss admissions offers and financial aid awards. It is possible to be admitted to one program and not the other. If you are admitted to MAGES and not the corresponding program, you may enroll in MAGES and then consider re-applying to the dual degree during your first year of study at Georgetown. If you are admitted to the corresponding program but not admitted to MAGES, each case will be treated individually in determining a candidate’s eligibility for re-application the following year.
Can I apply for a dual degree after I am accepted into MAGES?
You can apply for some dual degree programs during your first year in MAGES. You are not guaranteed special admissions consideration because you are already affiliated with Georgetown.
Does the Walsh School of Foreign Service offer Ph.D. programs?
No. Any dual MAGES/Ph.D. program indicates a partnership with another section of Georgetown University. The Walsh School of Foreign Service does not offer Ph.D. degrees.