Undergraduate Research Opportunities
Research is a core part of the School of Foreign Service experience from the beginning of your time on campus. During your first semester at the SFS, you’ll enroll in a Proseminar, where classes are kept small — no more than 15 students — so that you can develop a close working relationship with your professor.
Each Proseminar covers a research topic unique to the professor teaching the class. In recent years, these topics have included “Islam and the West,” “The Rise of Global Capitalism,” and “Water.” These small seminars allow first years to work closely with their professors and classmates, and they provide an opportunity to delve deeply into a topic of global significance.
Beyond the Proseminar, undergraduate students engage in a variety of research options:
- The ISD Fellowship in Diplomacy program provides academic credit and tuition stipend to selected undergraduate and graduate SFS students who wish to pursue independent research projects that focus on ongoing and emerging diplomatic issues. The Institute pairs students with advisers drawn from ISD senior staff, Georgetown University faculty and Washington-based practitioners.
- The Mortara Undergraduate Research Fellows is a four-year research apprenticeship program. Five first-year SFS students are selected in the spring semester and paired with a faculty mentor to gain hands on experience working on advanced research methods and projects. By supporting faculty research initiatives, students gain the necessary skills to carry-out their own independent research in their third and fourth year.
Students can showcase their research through various undergraduate research conferences, including two conferences organized by SFS students and hosted on campus. The Walsh Exchange focuses on international institutions, international politics and security, and area studies, while the Carroll Round focuses on international economics. Both conferences afford top students the ability to present their research to other young scholars in a formal conference setting.
Each academic major offers its best students the opportunity to write a senior thesis. Writing a thesis requires extensive independent research and close work with a faculty mentor, culminating in a unique piece of scholarship that contributes to its discipline.