Seeking out new challenges

George Washington University

Political management

GW’s Graduate School of Political Management (GSPM) seeks to improve politics by educating students and professionals in the tools, principles and values of participatory democracy.

Students are prepared for careers as ethical and effective advocates and leaders at the international, national and local levels (all in a nonpartisan environment, of course).

“In any economic environment, graduate degrees are always one of the best investments,” said Kristin Williams, assistant provost for Graduate Enrollment Management. Williams said someone with an advanced degree earns 31 percent more than someone with just a bachelor’s.

“We attract faculty and students who are ambitious, enthusiastic and committed to making a difference in their professions and the world,” Williams said.

Education and security

At the Elliott School of International Affairs, students can earn a M.A. in security policy studies. The program focuses on policy responses to issues overseas, including on emerging transnational threats, according to GW’s website.

There is also the Graduate School of Education and Human Development, perfect for those who are already on Capitol Hill but wish to get more into teaching opportunities.

Johns Hopkins University

JHU’s Advanced Academic Programs, a division of the Krieger School that offers part-time graduate education in D.C., offers multiple degree options including a M.S. in applied economics, various M.S. degrees in biotechnology, an M.A. in communications and more.

“The Advanced Academic Programs has on-site courses offered in the evening and on Saturdays to fit students’ busy schedules,” said Brian Reil of Johns Hopkins. “The AAP is spread across four sites: Homewood campus in Baltimore, D.C. near Dupont, Montgomery County near Rockville and online.”

Reil said that of the Krieger School’s nearly 7,000 students, about 2,700 study in a program within the AAP.

There are also multiple certificate programs in liberal arts, GIS, national security studies, public management and joint M.A./M.B.A. programs with the Carey Business School for biotechnology, communication and government programs.

The University of Phoenix

You’ve seen the commercials on TV, but you haven’t had a chance to check it out. Everything you need to know about the University of Phoenix can be found at

The programs are all based entirely online and offer degrees in business, advanced studies, education, nursing, criminal justice and more.

Catholic University

Catholic University’s Department of Politics provides a liberal arts education for students. Those interested in furthering their education can look for off-campus M.A. programs on Capitol Hill in congressional and presidential studies and international affairs. Those students who qualify can also complete a joint J.D./M.A. at Catholic’s law school.

“At Catholic, we view all learning as central to a person’s journey to the fullness of human potential,” said James F. Brennan, Catholic University provost. “Our measures of success are affirmed by the success of our students.”

Georgetown University

Perhaps you’ve read the stories online — there is a huge need for nurses. Georgetown University’s School of Nursing and Health Studies offers programs in health and healthcare — two things that are essential for every human being.

And you can look into a certificate program with the School of Continuing and Professional Education.

Also worth checking out is the Georgetown University Mini Medical School. For eight Tuesdays from Sept. 13 through Nov. 1, those interested in all things medicine can check out courses like gross anatomy, mind-body medicine, pharmacology and more.

Finally, the McDonough School of Business is a great place to begin a budding business career.

Georgetown, like many of the schools on this list, is not without its famous alumni. Geoff Tracy, owner of the various Chef Geoff’s restaurants around town as well as Lia’s, attended Georgetown for his undergraduate education.

“I loved it. I met my wife there. I had a lot of fun,” he said. “I studied hard and it was an amazing period in my life, albeit one that I wouldn’t want to return to — I love the current period too much.”

American University

AU’s Graduate School of Communication is an intriguing program to consider for the press secretaries and communication directors out there who wish to perfect their craft.

The Washington College of Law is one of the best law schools in the country, with an impressive list of alumni. New to the School of International Service is the master of arts in social enterprise. The program is designed for working professionals and assists them in acquiring the knowledge, skills and mindset necessary to succeed as a social entrepreneur, said Wes Hickman, who works for University Communications.

Also worth checking out are AU’s security programs and an interactive website that helps you choose the master’s degree best suited for you (

“American University offers a wide array of full and part-time graduate programs to meet the needs of Capitol Hill professionals as they seek to advance their careers or move into new industries,” Hickman said.

Princeton, Harvard and Columbia

Visit, and for Ivy League approaches to your graduate education.


UDC offers master’s degrees at its College of Arts and Sciences, School of Business and Public Administration, School of Engineering and Applied Sciences and David A. Clarke School of Law.

University of Virginia

UVA’s Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy presents itself as a new kind of policy leader. According to its website, the school focuses on how leadership works and what actions lead to tangible results.

The school offers plenty of field experiences as well.

The Darden School of Business, a roughly three-hour ride from the hustle and bustle of the city, offers full-time M.B.A. programs with a global perspective and strives to accomplish a diverse atmosphere.

Howard University

From African studies to philosophy to education, Howard University offers multiple graduate programs to suit varying passions.

Also worth noting are the school’s certificates, which include college and university faculty preparation, computer security, international studies and women’s studies.

University of Maryland

UMD has an extensive graduate program list that can be found at


“We are the biggest public research university in the area,” said Neil Tickner of the University of Maryland. 

Maryland students benefit from classes and other interaction with top-ranked graduate programs in economics, government and politics, education, criminology, business, engineering and the environmental sciences.

The school is also one of the few policy schools and the only school in the Washington area to combine domestic and international policy study under one roof.

Other programs include American studies, journalism and public health.

Mary Washington

Mary Washington’s Office of Career Services offers a large number of career-oriented materials in the resource library. If you’re interested in Mary Washington but confused about what career to choose, try leafing through the Peterson’s Guides to Graduate Programs, available at the career services office.

More info on Mary Washington can be found at


A co-ed, Catholic university located in Arlington, Marymount offers graduate programs in criminal justice administration and policy, clinical mental health counseling, forensic psychology, pastoral counseling and spiritual care and more.

There are certificates available in administration and supervision, counseling and pastoral counseling.

George Mason

The school offers more than a hundred graduate degree and certificate programs for the working professional. Evening classes start at 4:30 and 7, perfect for stressed-out Washingtonians who still want to have a full-time job in addition to their coursework.

Course locations include Arlington, Fairfax, Prince William and Loudoun counties. Doctoral programs are available.


If you’re interested in pursuing a fellowship, here are a few to consider:

Cultural Vistas (formerly CDS International) — CDS International Inc. is committed to the advancement of international career training opportunities customized to provide students with knowledge of other nations’ business procedures and cultures. Fellowships include the Alfa and Bosch fellowships.

Bryce Harlow — The nonprofit Bryce Harlow Foundation has worked for over 30 years to promote high standards within lobbying and government relations.

The Foundation’s activities include fellowships and mentoring, seminars and workshops.


Other schools that offer graduate programs, some online, include Central Michigan University, the University of San Francisco’s Master of Public Affairs, University of Denver’s Institute of Public Policy Studies, Carnegie Mellon University’s Heinz College, NYU’s Graduate School of Public Service, Regent University’s Robertson School of Government, Kaplan University Graduate School, Marquette University School of Law, Rutgers Center for Public Security, Washington Theological Union and Catholic Leadership in Government, the Institute of World Politics, American Friends of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, Duke’s Environmental Leadership Program and Graduate School, the Intelligence and Security Academy and the American Academy of Political and Social Sciences.


The American Academy of Political and Social Sciences

American Academy Fellows are recognized for their outstanding contribution to the use of social science evidence and informed judgment in the public policy process.

Each fellowship is named after a distinguished scholar or civic leader who has written over the past century for The Annals.

Fellows include sociologists, political scientists, psychologists, economists and other various scholars.


Potomac Massage Training Institute

The Potomac Massage Training Institute, located near the Friendship Heights Metro, houses one of the national leaders in massage therapy education. For more information, visit

Kaplan Test Prep

Ready to take the GRE, LSAT or GMAT? Exam titles alone have enough acronyms to drive you crazy. Kaplan Test Prep helps those who want to achieve high scores on their higher education entrance exams. For more information, visit

Princeton Review

The Princeton Review also offers test prep, through either classroom or private tutoring. For more information, try

Reiki with Marciela Noble

Reiki is a Japanese-Tibetan holistic technique. It was discovered and developed by a Japanese Buddhist named Mikao Usui in the early 20th century. Reiki is a spiritual and healing energy.

Marciela Noble practices Reiki in Old Town and can be reached at 202-425-4505 or She offers multiple classes and workshops.


The Smithsonian offers classes for you to explore interests that you’ve either kept secret or just didn’t have time for. The institution offers hundreds of classes, lectures and programs to further expand your thinking.