The Science, Technology, and International Affairs (STIA) major equips students with the knowledge, skills, and confidence to engage with these challenges and opportunities. STIA students follow the regular SFS core curriculum, complete a science fundamentals sequence, and develop an in-depth understanding of a technical area as a concentration. The STIA major can also facilitate pre-medicine and pre-engineering programs.

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 STIA 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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Joanna Lewis

Joanna Lewis

Field Chair and Director, STIA Program

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Curricular Requirements

The curricular requirements for the STIA major are as follows:

  • STIA-3005: Science & Technology in the Global Arena  (usually taken in sophomore year)
  • Science Fundamentals Sequence
    • Biology: BIOL-1203 and BIOL-1204 with BIOL-1213 & BIOL-1214 (labs)
    • Chemistry:
      • CHEM-1100 and CHEM-1200 with CHEM-1105 & CHEM-1205 (labs); or
      • CHEM-1300 & CHEM-1400 with CHEM-1305 & CHEM-1405 (labs)
    • Physics:
      • PHYS-2101 and PHYS-2102; or
      • PHYS-2151 and PHYS-2152 including labs
    • Computer Science: COSC-1020, COSC-1030 and COSC-1110
  • One (1) approved methods course (minimum 3 credits)
  • Four (4) courses from an area of concentration chosen in consultation with the STIA faculty advisor and STIA Curricular Dean (at least two of these courses must have STIA prefixes)
  • Choice of completing either:
    • STIA Senior Seminar Course (minimum of 3 credits); or
    • Senior Honors Thesis course sequence (STIA-4998 and STIA-4999)
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Science Fundamentals

STIA majors are required to develop a grounding in at least one field of science. The STIA major science fundamentals requirement can be met before or after declaring STIA as a major. This requirement can be minimally met by taking a foundation sequence of laboratory-based, natural or computer science. STIA majors are also required to take one course in research or analytic methods related to STIA disciplines.

Enrolling in courses that meet the STIA science requirement in freshman and sophomore year is recommended for students with an interest in the STIA major.

Note: Science classes that meet the SFS (INAF-100s) and main campus core science requirements do not meet the STIA major science requirement. However, natural science classes (e.g. classes other than computer science) that meet the STIA major science requirement do meet the SFS and main campus core requirements.

Concentrations in the Major

STIA majors may select one of the following concentrations:

  • Energy and Environment
  • Business, Growth, and Development
  • Biotechnology and Global Health
  • Science, Technology, and Security

In special cases where a student has a particular interest not reflected in the current STIA concentrations, students may apply to the STIA Director to create their own concentration that aligns with their academic goals and interests. Please refer to the STIA program website for more information on the STIA concentrations.

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 Science, Technology and International Affairs
  • Scroll down and click the Class Search button

Writing in the Major

A core part of the STIA major is learning how to translate science to non-science decision-making. Students must 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.

STIA students are expected to gain experience in discussion and debate, oral presentation, and advanced level writing. The STIA major seeks to help students build these communication competencies throughout the curriculum. There are three primary components of the major that focus specifically on writing:

  • All STIA majors are required to take STIA-3005: Intro to Science and Technology in the Global Arena. By taking this gateway course, students move beyond the fundamentals of academic writing gained in SFS core courses and make progress in evaluating primary and secondary sources and communicating science to non-scientists.
  • All STIA elective classes are expected to have at least one written assignment. Most classes have multiple writing assignments ranging from literature reviews to research proposals and full research papers to policy briefs, professional blogs and opinion pieces.
  • All STIA majors are required to complete either a STIA Senior Seminar or the STIA Honors Thesis Seminar. By completing this course, students are expected to generate original research questions, devise plans to test and prove their findings and present a convincing hypothesis to a diverse audience through a significant writing assignment or the equivalent.

Honors in the Major

The selection of honors candidates is based on the evaluation of proposals submitted during the spring semester of junior year. In order to graduate with honors in STIA, a student must:

  • Earn a cumulative grade point average of 3.50 and a grade point average in the major of 3.67 by the date of graduation.
  • Successfully complete the two (2) semester Honors seminar series.
  • Present the senior thesis before a committee of faculty members and peers during the spring semester.

Information for current and prospective honors students is available on the STIA program website.

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Complementary Programs

STIA students are strongly encouraged to develop a deeper background in science and technology through additional coursework related to foundational sequence of science courses. One option is the completion of the courses equivalent to a science minor or other structured sets of course work such as Pre-Engineering, Pre-Medicine, or CyberCorps. Students who wish to combine a STIA major with any complementary program with structured course requirements should discuss their plans with the STIA Curricular Dean for assistance in course planning. These programs complement the STIA experience but require careful planning.

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Engineering Program

Georgetown University offers a 3-2 Combined Plan joint degree in partnership with the Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science at Columbia University. Columbia’s program, the first dual-degree engineering program instituted in the United States, is designed to provide students with the opportunity to receive both a B.A. (or other bachelor’s) degree from Georgetown and a B.S. degree from Columbia Engineering in five years.

Science Minors

For STIA majors who decide to concurrently pursue a science minor in Georgetown College, up to two of the required STIA science fundamentals courses can count as co-requirements for the STIA major and instead count towards the science minor. Only minors in biology, chemistry, computer science, mathematics, physics, and statistics are eligible. For more information see the associated minor web pages administered through Georgetown College.

Accelerated Master’s Programs in SFS

Several SFS master’s programs offer an accelerated master’s degree option for currently enrolled undergraduate students. Please contact the programs for more details.

Study Abroad

STIA students are strongly encouraged to spend meaningful time abroad. STIA requirements mean that coursework should be carefully planned so students are encouraged to speak early and often with their STIA faculty adviser and the STIA Curricular Dean to plan coursework and discuss the most relevant opportunities to spend time abroad.