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+ What is the IFC-Milken Institute Capital Markets Program at The George Washington University?

The IFC-Milken Institute Capital Markets Program at The George Washington University is a for-credit, graduate-level certificate program focusing specifically on capital markets. The 8-month program consists of two contiguous parts:

Semester 1 (4 months): Core courses through classroom sessions, complemented by a weekly IFC-Milken Institute Seminar Series.

Semester 2 (4 months): Practical training through placements and internships on the East Coast of the United States, in close proximity to or in New York City and Washington, D.C.

+ What size is a typical cohort?

The cohort will consist of approximately 26 participants collectively called "IFC-Milken Institute Scholars."

+ How long is the program?

The total duration of this full-time program is eight months, to be undertaken in-person in the United States. The program is structured as follows:

Boot Camp: Second half of August 2016

Semester 1: September-December 2016 (inclusive)

Semester 2: January-April 2017 (inclusive)

+ Can I attend courses part-time or online from my home country?

The entire program requires full-time engagement and will be delivered in-person in the United States. We do not offer the program part-time or online.

+ What are the credit hours?

Each core course offered in the first semester carries 3 credit hours. Successful completion of the academic portion of the program requires participants to undertake all four core courses and earn a total of 12 credit hours.

+ What does successful completion of the program entail?

Participants will be continuously assessed during the first semester of the program through written tests, presentations, class participation and periodic assignments. During the second part of the program (the work placement), participants will be required to prepare a placement completion report and presentation, so as to share their experiences with the rest of the cohort as well as employers in their home countries. Successful completion of the program is conditional upon the participant's performance in all areas throughout the two semesters.

+ Can I waive one or more courses based on experience or previous academic records?

All courses offered in the program are core courses, and cannot be waived. Participants can audit elective courses (for no credits) in addition to the core courses, based on the discretion of the program director and the professor offering the course.

+ What is the IFC-Milken Institute Seminar Series?

The IFC-Milken Institute Seminar Series is a co-curricular component in the program, to be held on a weekly basis, drawing speakers from IFC’s and Milken Institute’s wide network of collaborators. The seminar series is assigned no credit hours but attendance is mandatory for completion of the program.

+ Is the work placement mandatory?

Yes. The work placement component carries no credit hours but is mandatory. The work placement completion report and presentation are required for the completion of the program.

+ Am I allowed to work as an employee for my placement client after the completion of the program?

No. Scholarship funding is contingent on the fellow returning to his or her home country to work in domestic capital markets for a minimum of two years. Funding is subject to claw-back conditions if this does not take place. Participants are strongly encouraged to maintain regular communication with their home country employers, and employers are expected to prepare a clear career path for the participant’s return.


+ What is the IFC-Milken Institute Scholars Alumni Network?

All participants in the program, upon completion, become part of the IFC-Milken Institute Scholars Alumni Network. Scholars include IFC-Milken Institute Fellows (for whom tuition is covered) as well as all other program participants who cover their own tuition. Alumni will be a part of the network that stands to grow larger as the program is offered every year, and will engage in workshops and networking events. The network will serve as a career-long resource for alumni as they go on to play pivotal roles of advancing development, management and integration of domestic capital markets.

+ Who are the IFC-Milken Institute Fellows?

IFC-Milken Institute Fellows are participants, predominantly from sub-Saharan Africa but also including a few participants from developing and emerging economies, whose tuition costs will be completely covered by IFC and Milken Institute. Please note that all living expenses in the first semester will still be covered by the participant and/or the current employer. Expenses in the second semester will be covered by the internship stipend. In addition, throughout the program, all participants are still expected to continue receiving their regular salaries from their home country employer.

+ Can I apply to be an IFC-Milken Institute Fellow if I am not currently employed by the government or private sector of a developing or emerging economy, but have worked in the region?

If you are not currently employed by the government or private sector of a developing or emerging economy, you must clearly indicate to the admissions panel during the application process as to why you should be considered for an IFC-Milken Institute Fellowship. The final decision will rest with the admissions panel.

+ What is the difference between IFC-Milken Institute Fellows and IFC-Milken Institute Scholars?

All participants in the program are IFC-Milken Institute Scholars. Twenty high-caliber applicants (drawn predominantly from sub-Saharan Africa, but also including a few participants from developing or emerging economies) will be selected to be IFC-Milken Institute Fellows, and their tuition expenses will be covered by IFC and Milken Institute. All participants, other than the Fellows, are responsible for covering their tuition and non-tuition expenses together with their employers. For visa purposes, it is required that for non-Fellows, employers cover at least $27,300 of these combined expenses.

Through the course of the program, there will be no differential treatment between the fellows and other participants. All scholars will be subject to equal standards and exposed to equal opportunities while participating in the program.

+ Is it mandatory for my employer to nominate me in order for me to be considered for an IFC-Milken Institute Fellowship?

This is not mandatory, but for the first cohort of applicants, strong preference for IFC-Milken Institute Fellowships is given to candidates who have been nominated by their current employers.


+ When can I apply?

Applications for the class of 2017-2018 are now open: Under the "Certificate Programs" option, please select "Capital Markets."

+ What should I include in my application package?

Your application package must include the following:

Required English Language tests (TOEFLs, IELTS) mandatory for ALL candidates who do NOT hold a university degree from an academic institution in the U.S. or the UK.

  • International applicants must submit one of the following: an official TOEFL score of at least 100 (internet-based test) or 600 (paper-based test), an official IELTS score of 7.0 with no individual band score below 6.0, or a PTE Academic Score of at least 68.
  • Test date must be within the past two years.
  • The TOEFL code number to use for The George Washington University School of Business is 5246.

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2-3 letters of reference from current/previous employers and/or professors. Note that these letters should be submitted directly to the admissions committee by each referee, and not by the candidate.

Statement of Purpose (maximum 500 words)

Analytical essay (maximum 800 words)–choose one of the following questions to answer:

Question 1: You are an advisor to the Minister of Finance. Write a memo advocating one or two policy options to advance capital-market development in your country. Your Minister will be looking for an honest treatment of the issues and a concise, persuasive argument.

Question 2: Financial openness to global capital flows: what are the risks and opportunities seen from your country's perspective, and how would different stakeholders be affected?

Question 3: Some claim that capital-market development requires economies of scale and that for smaller economies, regional integration is the only way to develop deep, liquid and efficient capital markets. Others claim that regional integration is not feasible due to difficulties of policy coordination and politics, and can moreover lead to unevenly shared gains and financial market instability in the region. What is your view? Please discuss.

Academic transcripts from all past universities

Resume/CV (including education and employment history)

+ How will you evaluate my application?

Once all required documents have been received, the IFC-Milken Institute-GW University Joint Admissions Panel will review the files considering a wide range of criteria, including the depth and breadth of professional work experience, academic performance, references and TOEFL scores.

+ If my transcripts and/or letters of recommendation are not originally in English, do I have them translated?

Yes, all transcripts and/or letters of recommendation that are not in English must be translated by an official translation agency. You must submit both the original and translated copies of the application materials.

+ Is the GMAT or GRE required?

GRE and GMAT scores are not required.

+ What should I write in my Statement of Purpose?

The admissions panel wants to understand why you think this program is right for you. The statement must clearly indicate your motivation for undertaking the program, and how it will contribute to your future goals.

+ When will I know the outcome of my application?

Shortlisted candidates will be contacted via phone and email to schedule Skype interviews in January and February 2017 in order to assess knowledge and interest in capital-market development, communication skills and interest in the program among others. The final list of candidates will be announced in April 2017. Visa and enrollment paperwork will be generated immediately for the selected candidates.

+ What is the cost of the program?

Tuition costs (covered for IFC-Milken Institute Fellows): $22,000 (Note: this does not include broader program costs which are separately covered by IFC and Milken Institute for all students)

Non-tuition costs (including health insurance, local transportation, books and supplies and VISA fees):

Semester 1: (covered by the participant and employer in a cost-sharing arrangement) $15,500

Semester 2: (covered by the placement stipend) $10,000

Total out-of-pocket cost for participants and their employers:

$15,500 for IFC-Milken Institute Fellows

$37,500 for other participants (of which at least $28,200 must be externally funded, whether by employer or other institution)

+ What portion of these costs am I responsible for?

IFC-Milken Institute Fellows and their employers are responsible for covering the non-tuition expenses for the program during the fall semester, i.e. $15,500 for the entire program, since the tuition costs will be covered by IFC and Milken Institute. This includes a lump-sum payment of approximately $12,600 for housing, to be paid by employer to The George Washington University before June 1, 2016. This amount covers health insurance, books and local transportation; it does NOT include cost of meals and groceries, to be covered by each student.

If you are not an IFC-Milken Institute Fellow, you and your employer are responsible for covering both tuition and non-tuition expenses, i.e. a total of $37,500 for the entire program. Note that this does not include broader program and alumni network costs, which IFC and Milken Institute will cover for all students. We strongly recommend that you speak with your employer and reach a cost-sharing arrangement to cover the costs of attending the program, whereby at least 51% of the total program cost is covered by the employer. For visa reasons, participants cannot be entirely self-financed.

Please note that all participants in the program will receive a stipend during the work placement period, which can be used to cover part of the living expenses for the second half of the program (corresponding to approximate housing and health insurance expenses).

+ Does the program offer other kinds of scholarships?

The program currently does not offer any additional scholarships. In order to explore options, you can independently apply for scholarships that are publicly available.

+ What is required to begin processing my visa?

International applicants will need to complete the “Visa Request and Financial Certificate Required for International Applicants” form. IFC-Milken Institute Fellows must show a total of $15,500 in the source of Funds Chart, and all other participants must show $37,500 in the Source of Funds chart. Any cost-sharing agreement must also be provided, on official letterhead from the participant’s employer.

Necessary verification documents requested for each funding category must accompany the form. If applicants are bringing dependents, the bank statements must indicate additional funds for them. This information is necessary to obtain a visa.

+ Will the program sponsor visas for my family members to accompany me during my stay in the United States?

The program will sponsor visas only for the individual participant. Visas for family members will be the participant’s sole responsibility, and the program will assume no role in the process.


+ When do my classes begin?

Boot camp and classes are scheduled to begin in mid-August 2017.

+ Where will I find housing?

All participants have the option of being jointly housed in living units pre-selected by IFC, Milken Institute and GWU. Please note that all housing costs will accrue directly to the participants.

+ Will I be provided a laptop as a part of the program?

All participants are personally responsible for bringing their own laptops, mobile phones and other equipment.