Undergraduate Admissions FAQs
What degree will I receive from the Walsh School of Foreign Service?
Students who graduate as undergraduates from SFS receive a Bachelor of Science in Foreign Service (B.S.F.S.) degree—a unique, interdisciplinary degree that prepares students to tackle important global issues through training in critical thinking, analytic and communication skills within an international context. SFS undergraduates undertake a rigorous curriculum that includes courses in international affairs, government, economics, philosophy, theology, history, literature, language training, and geography. Upper class students choose classes to fulfill the requirements of their Major and free electives related to their personal interests.
What makes SFS unique?
Georgetown University is the only school in the world to offer a Bachelor of Science in Foreign Service degree. SFS undergraduates enter a prestigious program with a legacy of academic excellence combined with devotion to humanitarian service. Our location in Washington, D.C. provides students with unparalleled research and internship opportunities. And our Jesuit identity means that we are dedicated to producing students who work assiduously to make the world a better place for all.
Am I a good fit for the Walsh School of Foreign Service?
SFS students are bright, hard-working, engaged, and curious about the world in which they live. Our students have their eyes on the international stage and are interested in the complex mechanics behind world events. Our students come from around the world and bring with them a variety of perspectives and experiences. Perhaps most important, our students are interested in making the world a better place and are constantly thinking of ways to use their Georgetown education to serve and improve the world around them.
Will an undergraduate degree in Foreign Service be too limiting?
Not at all. The SFS curriculum is deeply rooted in Georgetown’s commitment to the liberal arts and Cura Personalis, care for the whole person. SFS offers eight Majors and many more Certificate programs, which complement the robust academic core by allowing deeper exploration of one or more areas of interest. Our SFS alumni community is full of Hoyas who have taken their B.S.F.S. degree on many different career paths from business and law to government, journalism, non-profit work and education.
What is the difference between SFS and Georgetown College?
SFS and Georgetown College are two of the four undergraduate schools at Georgetown University’s main campus, along with the McDonough School of Business (MSB) and the School of Nursing and Health Studies (NHS). SFS is separate from Georgetown College, MSB, and NHS. Prospective students apply to one of the four schools when they apply to Georgetown University through the Office of Undergraduate Admissions. Each school has its own deans, majors, and academic requirements. The undergraduate programs at the distinct schools do overlap with respect to many professors and courses, though some courses are restricted to students of a particular school. (For instance, only SFS students are eligible to take the SFS Proseminar.) As far as other areas of student life—housing, dining, activities, athletics—there is no division or discrimination based on academic program or school.
Can I receive financial aid to attend SFS?
Yes. Admission to Georgetown University is need-blind: We admit and enroll students without regard to their financial circumstances and are committed to meeting the demonstrated financial need of eligible students through a combination of aid programs that include grants, scholarships, employment and loans from federal, state, private, and University resources. Please learn more about scholarship and financial aid opportunities from the Office of Student Financial Services.
What is the SFS language proficiency requirement?
SFS students are required to be proficient in at least one modern language besides English prior to graduating. Typically, a student learning a new language needs about four years of training at Georgetown to reach this level. Students who already know a language, either through personal or previous school experience, may place into advanced language study or pass the language proficiency test during their first year.
What do SFS students major in?
There are eight major areas of study available to SFS undergraduates. Students declare a major in their second year and receive advising from faculty and academic deans to help guide them in this process. Current SFS Majors:
- Culture and Politics
- Global Business
- International Economics
- International History
- International Political Economy
- International Politics
- Regional and Comparative Studies
- Science, Technology & International Affairs
What opportunities exist for students interested in studying abroad?
Georgetown University is a leader in study abroad programs. Nearly 75% of SFS students study abroad during their undergraduate careers. Most programs are immersion programs, in which students study in the local language. Other opportunities include summer programs and English-speaking programs at Georgetown’s campuses in Italy, Turkey and Qatar.
What kinds of internship opportunities will I have at SFS?
Washington, DC is filled with opportunities for students. In the past, SFS students have had internships at the White House, the State Department, Congress, investment banks, media companies, and various non-profits and NGOs, among others.
Does SFS accept advanced credits?
Yes. SFS offers incoming students credit for certain Advanced Placement (AP), International Baccalaureate (IB), 13th Year Degrees, and prior college coursework. Please see our advanced credits page for more information.
What does a typical first year schedule look like?
During the first year, students typically study economics, theology, philosophy, history, literature, geography, and a language. First year students also take a Proseminar that introduces them to Georgetown’s academic life.
What is the SFS Core Curriculum?
The Core Curriculum forms the basis of academic study at Georgetown. These are required courses for all SFS undergraduate students that hone critical thinking, analytic, and quantitive skills, providing students with the intellectual background from which they can pursue their academic interests in depth.
What are some classes unique to SFS?
All SFS undergraduates are required during their first year to take a Proseminar, which is unique to the professor teaching the course. In past years, Proseminars have covered topics such as Islam and the West, Intelligence Law, International Institutions and Human Rights and the City of Washington. The SFS faculty include some of the most prestigious and accomplished leaders in international affairs and government, including, among others, former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, former Senator and Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel.
Do students receive any kind of advising?
All SFS students are assigned to an academic dean, initially by alphabet, and then by major area of study. Deans work closely with students to provide academic and personal support throughout their time at Georgetown.
Are there part-time students at SFS?
Undergraduate students are expected to be full-time. Seniors who have met all residency and credit requirements may be part-time in their final semester. Students with compelling academic reasons or serious personal circumstances prior to the final semester may seek a special exceptions.
Does SFS offer dual, joint or accelerated degree programs?
SFS undergraduates must complete a major through the School of Foreign Service and are not able to complete a double major or a dual degree with another Georgetown undergraduate program. SFS does offer several competitive accelerated bachelor’s/master’s degree programs.
Can SFS students double major or minor?
SFS encourages students to delve deeply into their major area of interest, and therefore allows students to choose only one major area of study. The SFS offers both minors in foreign language and interdisciplinary certificate programs, which allow students to build expertise on a particular subject or geographic area of the world.
Where do SFS undergraduates go after school?
In recent years, about half of graduating SFS undergraduates have gone directly into business, most commonly into careers in finance or consulting. About a quarter have gone directly to graduate school, most commonly law school, but also into top graduate programs in government, economics and history. And about a quarter have gone into non-profit, military or government service. Our alumni have served as ambassadors, CEOs, judges, bankers, prime ministers, heads of states, and presidents.
How do I apply?
For nearly a century, SFS has trained global leaders. We are happy that you are considering joining us. Please visit the Admissions page for more information.