2020 Graduate Student Orientation Events

Below you will find the various orientations and welcome events for Graduate School of Foreign Service (GSFS) students. All welcome events will be virtual this year; times are shown Washington DC local (Eastern Daylight) time.

Remember that the events on this page are in addition to any orientation activities your individual program is hosting. Reach out to your program for details on those events.


GSFS Orientation: Wednesday, August 19

Join us for a GSFS-wide virtual orientation on Wednesday, August 19, from 1 PM to 3 PM EDT, with additional optional sessions taking place from 3 PM to 5 PM EDT. This event will offer an introduction to the GSFS community, provide you with critical resources, and give you a chance to meet your peers beyond your own program. This event is mandatory for all GSFS students.

For disability- or medical-related accommodation requests (such as live captioning) for the August 19 GSFS Orientation event, contact the SFS Interim Director of Events, Jordan Moeny, at jrm296@georgetown.edu no later than August 13.

Check your email on Monday, August 17 for links to join each session. Below is the schedule for the day:

  • 1:00 – 1:30 PM: Welcome from Dr. Victor Cha, GCC Director Anne Steen, and Dean Joel Hellman
  • 1:30 – 2:20 PM: Panel Discussion: Diversity, Equity & Inclusion at Georgetown & SFS: Looking Back, Looking Forward
  • 2:20 – 2:30 PM: Break
  • 2:30 – 3:30 PM: Breakout Sessions (optional)
  • 3:30 – 5:00 PM: Virtual Reception with GSFS Student Leaders (optional)

Breakout sessions will give you the opportunity to ask questions of the following people and groups:

  • Dr. Scott Taylor, SFS Vice Dean for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
  • SFS Graduate Career Center
  • University Information Services
  • Certificate in Diplomatic Studies
  • Honors Certificate in International Business Diplomacy
Certificate in Global Human Development
  • Certificate in Social Innovation and Global Development
  • Certificate in Refugees and Humanitarian Emergencies
  • Certificate in Gender, Peace & Security
  • Certificate in African Studies
  • Certificate in Arab Studies
Certificate in Asian Studies
  • Certificate in Eurasian, Russian, and Eastern European Studies
Certificate in Latin American Studies

About GSFS Certificates

The School of Foreign Service offers a variety of graduate certificates that allow students to focus on a particular region or topic throughout their studies. These certificates are offered by departments and centers across the SFS and have applications or interest forms for students to complete. The certificates have their own course requirements, which must be completed in conjunction with, not in addition to, your program’s degree requirements. Students work with the academic advising staff in both their degree program and the department offering the certificate to map out their course plans. This approach helps students understand how to accommodate the requirements of a certificate program within their GSFS degree.

As noted above, you will have the opportunity to meet academic staff from each of the graduate certificates offered at SFS. Please know that these are Q&A sessions, not full information sessions. Interested students should come to the session already knowing the basic details about the certificate. You can see an overview of the certificate options here and learn more about each certificate on that department’s website.

Start Talking About Race

All incoming SFS graduate students are strongly encouraged to attend a session of Start Talking About Race (STAR), an initiative started by Whitney M. Maddox of Georgetown University’s Center for Social Justice Research, Teaching and Service (CSJ). CSJ has organized several sessions of this program specifically for GSFS students the week of orientation. Learn more about STAR and register here.

GSFS Virtual Mixers

In addition to the formal orientation activities that will prepare you to succeed academically, we’re offering the opportunity for you to socialize with students across all eight graduate programs who share your interests. We invite you to participate in one or more of the virtual mixers below.

These mixers will not have formal presentations and are intended for you to chat informally and make connections across SFS. Participation is completely optional, and you can join as many or as few as you’d like.

Please RSVP for mixers by August 7 and indicate your availability, as most mixers will be scheduled based on participant availability. The host will follow up with the time for the event and the Zoom link to join. Then grab a snack and a beverage, and make some friends!

For questions about these mixers, contact the GSFS staff member listed in the RSVP form or email zoe.michel@georgetown.edu.


Affinity/Identity-Based Mixers


Topic-Based Mixers


Non-SFS Events

The below events are not hosted by SFS, but are open to GSFS students and are helpful to keep in mind.

International Student Orientation
The Office of Global Services requires all incoming international graduate students to attend an orientation. They also offer a number of optional activities. This orientation will be virtual for Fall 2020 and will take place Sunday, August 16 through Tuesday, August 18. The mandatory portion will take place Monday, Monday, August 17, from 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM EDT. For more information, visit the OGS website.

Graduate School of Arts and Sciences Induction
The Graduate School of Arts and Sciences provides an introduction to numerous Georgetown resources available to graduate students, including financial aid, information technology, health coverage, fitness, meal plans, and housing and transportation. This event will take place virtually on Tuesday, August 25, 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM EDT. More details, including the link to join, will be sent to all Georgetown graduate students via email.