The Global Business (GBUS) major provides SFS students with a unique opportunity to combine a basic business education with their political and economic coursework, as well as their advanced language, research, and cross-cultural proficiencies. The major offers SFS students access to courses in accounting, international marketing, corporate finance, and business operations. Students are enabled to use the tools from the business disciplines to understand and analyze the firm and the private sector.

The Undergraduate Bulletin

It is the responsibility of each student to keep well-informed with respect to the policies and requirements in the Undergraduate Bulletin and all other policies of the University, school, and program in which they are enrolled. Any updates made to the Undergraduate Bulletin will be communicated to students.

Read more about the GBUS major on the Georgetown Undergraduate Bulletin.

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Dean & Field Chair

Curricular Deans provide guidance tailored to each student by connecting their interests with academic backgrounds, academic and non-academic opportunities, and faculty expertise, while guiding academic and personal development.

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Rodney D Ludema

Field Chair for GBUS

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Curricular Requirements

Courses in the SFS core requirement serve as foundational requisites of this major.

The GBUS major requires a minimum of eight (8) courses in addition to the calculus prerequisite, dependent on the Business Core Sequence selected.

  • One (1) Prerequisite (MATH-135: Calculus I or AP Credit or equivalent)
  • Two (2) Corequisites*
    • ECON-2543: International Trade
    • ECON-2544: International Finance
  • One (1) Statistics Course (ECON-2110, GOVT-2201, INAF-3200, MATH-1040, or MATH-2140)
  • One (1) Marketing Course (MARK-1101)
  • Business Core Sequence**
    • Standard Track (GBUS-4400: Business, Accounting, and Finance); or
    • Finance Track  (ACCT-1101: Accounting I,  ACCT-2101: Accounting II, and FINC-2101: Business Financial Management)
  • One (1) International Business Course (from a prepared list)
  • Three (3) Supporting SFS Courses (from a prepared list)
  • One (1) Supporting MSB course (from a prepared list)

*GBUS majors are required to complete both ECON-2543 and ECON-2544 as corequisites. If you are considering GBUS, you should plan to select either ECON-2543: International Trade or ECON-2544: International Finance to fulfill one of your SFS core economics requirements. It is important to note that ECON-2542: International Economics will not count towards your major so we advise against selecting it if you plan to pursue the GBUS major. Should you opt to complete ECON-2542 and then at a later date decide to major in GBUS, you will be required to complete one higher-level economics course to fulfill the stated co-requisites.

**Students interested in pursuing advanced education in business, or employment in sectors which require training in both managerial and financial accounting, should pursue the Finance Track for the Business Core Sequence.

Note: Study abroad courses may be petitioned to fulfill GBUS requirements, subject to meeting criteria as to content and rigor.

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Courses in the Major

To find the most up to date list of classes, as well as past semester course lists, visit MyAccess and take the following steps:

  • MyAccess > Student Services > Registration > Schedule of Classes > Select Term >
  • In the subject menu, select Global Business
  • Scroll down and click the Class Search button

Writing in the Major

The Global Business (GBUS) major explores the intersection of the private sector (especially the multinational corporation) with international affairs. The economic, political, and financial institutions of today are all global and interconnected. Working within these organizations, and understanding these organizations, requires exceptional communication skills. 

Large multinational corporations, entrepreneurs, government agencies, and other non-state actors communicate primarily through writing, and GBUS students are expected to graduate ready to participate in these conversations. Students must thus learn to think critically and communicate what they learn effectively. This requires being able to formulate meaningful questions, find information that will inform questions, evaluate information sources, effectively synthesize and analyze information, and present findings to varied audiences.

GBUS students are expected to master discussion and debate, oral presentation, and advanced level writing. The GBUS major seeks to help students build these communication competencies throughout the curriculum. Written assignments include memoranda, policy briefs, annotated bibliographies, literature reviews, argumentative and persuasive essays, case study analyses and research papers. Formal presentations include leading seminars, formal lectures, and poster presentations.

All GBUS students will participate in an International Business Core class. In these courses, students learn to develop well-researched academic essays in which they explore complex ideas and present written arguments supporting their position. In their business core and quantitative classes students learn to summarize information from various data sources, critique published research findings, and present complex industry-specific material.

In upper-level courses, students deepen their analytical writing producing written material in which they compare and contrast two or more ideas, further developing their skills in making succinct and cogent written arguments. These courses all include advanced industry-specific writing components, ranging from one-page policy briefs and executive memos to extensive reviews of the literature and research papers.

Students in the Honors Program have the option to write and defend a senior thesis, conduct extensive literature reviews and complete a formal research paper.

Honors in the Major

The Global Business Honors Program recognizes students with a proven record of achievement and gives them the opportunity to deepen their analytical skills. Students in the Honors Program work under the guidance of a faculty member to analyze an issue of importance to contemporary international business policy or management.

Eligibility and Proposal

Students with an overall GPA of 3.5 at the end of the Fall Semester of their Junior year, as well as a major GPA of 3.67, may apply for entry into the Honors Program. The application requires submitting a proposal for Honors to the Global Business Field Committee indicating the approval of a faculty advisor of the student’s choosing who is willing to supervise the experience. The student must first identify and secure the consent of a member of the Georgetown University faculty to act as a mentor/advisor. The faculty member must possess appropriate content area expertise and credentials to both guide the student and evaluate outcomes.

  • The proposal must delineate the question to be researched and summarize how the question will be addressed in the student’s research (either through a thesis or capstone project).
  • The proposal should not exceed three pages. The Field Committee will review the proposal and recommend whether or not the student can be admitted to the Honors Program.
  • A cover sheet (which is not included in the page count) should include the proposed project title, the student’s name and GUID number, the faculty mentor’s name, and the year in which the thesis is to be written.
  • The proposal must be signed by the student and countersigned by the faculty mentor.
  • Written proposals must be submitted to Dean Billingslea via email by April 1st of the student’s junior year, and finalized by May 1st of that year.

The Finished Product

Choices might include a traditional research paper, a business plan, an industry analysis, a detailed case study of an investment, or of a business investment negotiation or dispute, or of a business trade negotiation or dispute.

Another option may be a capstone project where students analyze a relevant organization, identify a need, propose outcomes, and design the implementation of those proposals.

FAQs Anchor


Q: What are the criteria for declaring the GBUS major?
A: Like all majors, students declare the Global Business Major during their sophomore year. While there are no set criteria, it is helpful if students can demonstrate an interest in the study of business as it relates to international affairs. It is also helpful to have some background and knowledge in math, statistics, and/or economics. While this is not a requirement to declare, it will be helpful.

Q: Why should I pursue the Global Business Major in the SFS when I could transfer to the MSB?
A: The Global Business Major is not a business degree. The aim is to teach students to think critically about the role of the firm in terms of its effect on international affairs – not only in the economic realm but also introducing philosophically grounded questions of international development and social responsibility. The Global Business Major educates students with a combination of MSB and SFS courses to prepare them to ask critical questions and allow them to examine these issues from multiple perspectives.

Q: Am I really going to get a strong business education from the classes I take in the MSB and still have elective space for classes in the SFS?
A: Like any SFS major, choosing to be a Global Business Major will require you to make choices in how you wish to utilize your elective space. In general, most SFS students have at least 12-13 courses for elective space (some of those being language study) and many times even more (depending on an individual student’s advanced credit). Each student’s record should be evaluated individually with their dean. The Global Business Major is meant to offer SFS students more options.

Q: What sort of jobs is this major supposed to prepare its students for?
A: Many SFS students already take jobs in the business world when they graduate. The Global Business Major distinguishes itself from other majors, not in its outcomes (we expect that GBUS majors might work at corporations, not-for-profits, the government or move into academia, etc.) but rather by providing students with a basic fluency in the language of business and how it relates to politics, economics, and culture. The major also includes an analytical capacity in its math, economics, statistics, and accounting requirements that are unique to the major. The curriculum Father Edmund A. Walsh designed in 1919 was to combine the practical dimensions of diplomacy, commerce, and language, with a liberal education and moral values. As with the other BSFS majors, the GBUS major roots itself firmly in this tradition.

Q: How does study abroad fit with this major?
A: Students are able to study abroad as GBUS majors. Depending on when a student starts the GBUS major, how many advanced credits they have, their language ability, and where they want to study abroad, it may be very compatible with the major. Like any BSFS major, each student should work in close consultation with their advising dean to map out a study abroad program that fits with his/her individual program.

Q: Who determines if my study abroad credits will transfer to the Global Business Major?
A: The Global Business Major is housed within the SFS and is run by BSFS faculty and deans. Any questions regarding accommodations for course registration, approval for study abroad, and transfer credits should be addressed to the BSFS dean that a student is assigned to work with.

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