Degree Requirements and Academic Policies (MSB)


Degree Requirements


The Core Requirements


Guide to Course Scheduling


Transfer Credit Policy


Academic Advising and Policies


Special Interest Organizations



Graduation and the awarding of the BSBA degree is dependent upon satisfactory completion of the following:

  1. A minimum of 120 semester hours; 60 credits must be completed at Gerogetown University with at least four semesters in residence in McDonough excluding summer terms;
  2. Successful completion of 40 courses of three or four credits (6-credit language courses count as two courses);
  3. A final cumulative grade point average of 2.00 or higher;
  4. Completion of the Liberal Arts and University Core requirements;
  5. Completion of McDonough’s Core requirements;
  6. Selection and completion of a major and its listed requirements;
  7. Completion of free electives as needed to satisfy the 40 course requirement.

The final transcript of graduates includes the listing of all majors and minors, as well as final GPA. Once a degree is conferred, additional coursework taken as a special student at Georgetown or elsewhere may not be applied to an incomplete major or minor.


The First Year Seminar (FYS) is an exciting way for first-year business students to explore the nature of scholarship, think about important ideas in business, and foster intellectual and personal growth while adapting to the rigor of college-level courses. The program offers small seminars (approximately 20 students) that create a supportive learning and service community. Throughout the program, students strengthen critical academic reading and writing skills necessary for success in college and explore intellectual links to a variety of business disciplines, including global public policy.

An integral part of the FYS is the case competition, which challenges students organized as teams to develop a business solution for strategic problems and issues facing a nonprofit organization in Washington, D.C. Faculty and advanced undergraduates coach each team, and the finalists present their strategic recommendations to executives at the client organization.

Students in FYS meet several times during the semester to hear lectures by external experts and members of the world-class faculty at Georgetown’s McDonough School of Business, who will illustrate how scholarly research in the different fields can inform important questions in international business, public policy, and society. At least one of these lectures will be delivered by the head of the client organization of the program’s case competition.

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The Liberal Arts Core and the McDonough School of Business Core requirements are as follows:

University Core (7 courses)
Writing 3 courses
Philosophy/Ethics 2 courses
Theology 2 courses
Diversity - Global and Domestic 2 courses (over-lay requirement)
Liberal Arts Core (12 courses)
Economics 2 courses
Mathematics (Calculus) 1 course
History/Government/Classics 2 courses
Liberal Arts Electives 7 courses
Business Core (11 courses)
Accounting I and II 2 courses
Business Statistics 1 course
Business Law I or Business Government Relations 1 course
Computational Business Modeling (1 credit)
Management Science 1 course
Management and Organizational Behavior 1 course
Principles of Marketing 1 course
Business Financial Management 1 course
Production and Operations Management 1 course
Strategic Management 1 course
Social Responsibility of Business 1 course
The university core

The writing requirement is fulfilled by completing WRIT-015: Writing and Culture Seminar, a Humanities: Arts, Literatures and Cultures (HALC) course and an Integrated Writing (IW) course. Writing is the primary basis upon which your work, learning, and intellectual ability will be judged. Through this writing requirement, each student will be challenged to enhance their oral and written skills. 

The HALC course will provide an interdisciplinary backdrop for exploring literary works, as well as artistic and cultural expressions.

The Integrated Writing requirement is completed as part of the major. Integrated Writing courses focuse on writing styles that are specific to the discipline, including, in many cases, translating expert knowledge for non-expert audiences.  Students in the McDonough School of Business may satisfy this requirement by enrolling in a First Year Seminar or business communication courses.  Students taking a business communicaitons course majoring in MGMT or International Buisness may be able to use this course towards their major as well as the integrated writing requirement.


To fulfill the philosophy requirement, all students must take two courses: one in general philosophy and one in ethics. The first course must be an introductory course and the second may be an introductory or “bridge” course in philosophy. See department course listing for further details.  Please note that senoirs are not permitted to take an intro level philosophy or ethics course.


Two semesters of theology are required of all students for graduation. To fulfill this requirement, students may complete any courses offered by the Theology Department. “The Problem of God” (THEO-001) or “Introduction to Biblical Literature” (THEO-011) should be the first theology course taken. Transfer students are exempt from Problem of God and may select any two intermediate level courses, including Introduction to Biblical Literature, to fulfill this requirement.


The core requirement in diversity consists of two courses exploring diversity. Students take one course on diversity within the domestic context and the other on diversity on a global scale. Both of these courses typically overlap with other core requirements, which means that students are able to satisfy this requirement while fulfilling other core courses as well. Courses that satisfy the diversity requirement are marked in the Class Schedule search page ( with the attribute “Diversity.” Note that not all sections of a course will satisfy the core diversity requirement since various sections of the same course will have different emphases.

Economics Requirement

The economics requirement is fulfilled by completing Principles of Microeconomics and Principles of Macroeconomics (ECON-001, ECON-002). McDonough students with a score of 4 on both exams (Macro and Micro) are encouraged to take ECON-003 and one additional ECON course (either ECON-101, 102, 103, or 104), instead of ECON-001 and 002, to complete their one year of required economics. These courses must be completed by the end of the second year.

For a score of 5 on the Microeconomics exam, the student will receive three credits for ECON-001 (Principles of Microeconomics). For a score of 5 on the Macroeconomics exam, the student will receive three credits for ECON-002 (Principles of Macroeconomics). Students with a score of 5 on both of the AP exams may proceed to upper level courses and cannot take any of the principle courses (ECON-001, 002 and 003). Students with a score of 5 on only one of the AP exams normally take the opposite principles course. If the student takes ECON-003 (Principles of Economics: Macro and Micro), they will forfeit the AP credit in economics.

Mathematics Requirement

The mathematics requirement is four hours at the calculus level or above and must be completed by the end of the first year. This requirement is satisfied by completing Calculus I (MATH-035). Adequate preparation for a calculus course normally requires four years of high school mathematics, including one-half year of trigonometry.  A placement exam is required before registered for this requirement.  If a student places into Calculus with Review (MATH-029), they would complete this course in the fall and register for  Calculus I (MATH-035) in the spring. Calculus with Review will fulfill one liberal arts elective requirement. 

History/Government/Classics/INAF Requirement

Students may choose any two introductory courses from the Departments of Government, History or choose from among certain history-based classics (offered by the Classics Department) or International Affairs (INAF) courses. Any classics or INAF course taken to fulfill this requirement must be approved by the Undergraduate Program Office prior to registration for the course. The course must have sufficient historical content to meet this requirement.

Liberal Arts Electives

The seven electives required to complete the liberal arts core may be taken in any liberal arts area offered by the University.  Please note: You may apply up to two ECON courses towards your seven liberal arts electives.  STIA courses do not count as liberal arts electives.

Free Electives

Free electives may be completed in either liberal arts fields or in business studies. Only free electives may be taken pass/fail.

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The normal course load in The McDonough School of Business is five courses per semester. Special permission is required to take fewer than four or more than five courses per semester; students should discuss program implications with the Undergraduate Program Office.

To satisfy the twelve-course business core requirement, all students should complete Accounting I, Computational Business Modeling, and Business Statistics the first year. During the second and third years, all students must complete the following: Accounting II, Business Law I (or Business Government Relations), Management and Organizational Behavior, Principles of Marketing, Management Science and Business Financial Management. During the third year, students should complete both Strategic Management and Productions and Operations Management. Finally, during the fourth year, students must complete the capstone course, Social Responsibility of Business. In addition to all core requirements, students must complete discipline-specific courses in one or two of the undergraduate business majors (see below).


Should a student withdraw from a 1.5 credit course and drop below 12 credits, credit for tuition will be calculated from the date the Senior Associate Dean is notified according to the following percentages:

1st week: 100%
2nd week: 80%
3rd week: 70%
4th week: 50%
5th week: 40%


To withdraw from a course a student must submit an official request to the Undergraduate Program Office. If a student does not complete a course for which the student is registered and from which the student has not officially withdrawn, a failure will be recorded for that course. The withdrawal period for 1.5-credit courses will last 5 weeks into the course (one-half the length of a withdrawal period for a 3-credit course). Courses dropped through this withdrawal period will be shown on a student's record with a 'W' grade. No student at any time may withdraw from courses to the point of becoming a part-time student (i.e., registered for eleven or fewer credits) without the permission of the Senior Associate Dean.


We recommend the following guidelines for students enrolling in 1.5-credit courses:

Students should take the equivalent of five 3-credit courses, if they want to enroll in one 1.5-credit course.  (This will allow them to remain as a full-time student if they drop or withdraw from a course.)
Students should take the equivalent of four 3-credit courses, if they want to enroll in two 1.5-credit courses.  (This will allow them to remain as a full-time student if they drop or withdraw from a course.)
The add/drop period for 1.5-credit courses is the first week of class (two class sessions) for both halves of the semester to allow students to make changes to their schedule without academic or financial penalty.

Given that two 1.5-credit courses are needed to count as one, 3-credit course, students are encouraged to enroll in two 1.5-credit courses within one academic year.

In addition, students are not permitted to take more than two 200-level 1.5 credit courses each semester. Students who take two such courses in a semester must take one in each quarter.

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IV.Transfer Credit Policy

Validation of Business Courses

When a transfer student requests transfer credit for a business course that has been taken at another institution, the student may be asked to validate the course by passing an examination on the subject material covered in the equivalent course(s) at Georgetown.

All validation processes are administered through the Undergraduate Program Office.

With the exception of summer school courses listed in the usual departments of the four undergraduate schools on campus (College, SFS, MSB and NHS), McDonough students may not enroll in courses offered through the School of Continuing Studies for its various degrees, certificates and special programs.

Transfer Admissions

External applicants for transfer admission must have completed one semester of at least 12 credit hours prior to being accepted to McDonough. Internal candidates for transfer must have completed one year of study at Georgetown prior to being accepted to McDonough and should have achieved a minimum GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale. Students currently enrolled in another school within the University who are interested in transferring should contact the Undergraduate Program Office.

Transfer Credit for College Courses Taken Prior to Matriculation

Incoming students who have taken a course(s) at another college or university during high school may request Georgetown credit (at most 12 credits) provided all of the following guidelines are met:

  • the course was taught at a four year accredited college (community college is not transferrable) or university, not at your high school;
  • the course was taught by a regular member of the college or university faculty, not a high school instructor given associate status by the college or university;
  • the course was open to regular college or university students and was not designed specifically for high school students;
  • the course was recorded by the college or university on an official transcript, and would be credited toward that college's or university's degree;
  • the course did not count toward fulfillment of a high school graduation requirement;
  • the course was taken during junior year in high school or later;
  • a grade of “C” or above was earned; 
  • the course is not a foreign language (Georgetown only accepts pre-matriculation language credit through AP/IB exams paired with either a SAT II score or NSO placement exam results); and
  • the course is not a business course including Introduction to Business.

In addition to meeting all of these guidelines, a copy of the course syllabus and an official transcript should be forwarded to the Undergraduate Program Office (along with a letter from the student's high school guidance office verifying the above criteria were met), for review and determination of whether credit will be awarded. The total number of courses taken away from Georgetown after matriculation cannot exceed 12 credit hours (generally four courses).

Transfer Credit for Summer Courses Taken Away from Georgetown University

The McDonough School of Business adheres to the following guidelines regarding study away from Georgetown University:

  • Students are expected to fulfill required business courses at Georgetown.  Summer courses should be liberal arts requirements, electives, or enrichment offerings.
  • Summer courses may be taken at a four-year accredited institution or a community college for transfer credit.  
  • Only one course may be taken away at a community college, and it must adhere to the following guidelines: 
    a) the course must be either a free or liberal arts elective course.
    b) the course may not be a required course (i.e., ECON-001/002, MATH-035, WRIT-015, HIST/GOVT, PHIL, or THEO). 
  • Students may transfer credit for a total of 12 credits completed at non-Georgetown programs. Students may not take more than four courses in one summer without approval.
  • Students must receive a grade of a “C” or above to transfer credit from another institution (Remember—courses taken as pass-fail will not transfer nor will a "C-").
  • Classes must meet for a minimum of 35 classroom hours or more (typically over 4 weeks). Four credit courses will require additional classroom hours.
  • Students attending a university that meets on a quarter system are advised that a five-unit class normally equates to a three-credit course at Georgetown University.
  • Up to two on-line summer courses may be accepted for credit from an accredited institution. The course and syllabus requires approval from the Undergraduate Program Office.

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Academic advising

The The McDonough School of Business’ advising system is designed to inform students of the many curricular options and programs available to them and to help them in making responsible choices that nurture their intellectual interests.  All McDonough undergraduate advising takes place in the Undergraduate Program Office in the Rafik B. Hariri Building, Suite 120. The student’s advisor provides specific information about the proper sequencing of courses required for their majors, discusses and gives formal approval to students’ proposed course selection during preregistration for each upcoming semester, and serves as a sounding board for exploring various academic options. 

During their first year, students are encouraged to schedule a meeting with their assigned advisor to discuss their intellectual interests and academic goals and to construct a four year road map. The purpose of the road map is for the student and advisor to get to know one another, to discuss how to use the degree audit advising tool, and for the student to learn how to navigate the curriculum.  Although the four year road map is designed to ensure the timely completion of all degree requirements, it is in no way binding, and it is expected that students will revise their plans as their intellectual interests evolve. 

Students who enter the McDonough School of Business declare their majors at the end of their sophomore year. Once a student declares their major, they will choose a faculty advisor in their chosen area for more detailed information on the major and course sequencing.  

During the junior and senior years, students are advised about changes of their academic program, study abroad and transfer credit, tutorial courses, degree completion and commencement, and post-graduation plans. 

The Undergraduate Program Office is open Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. and is the central source of information for students regarding academic and administrative affairs. Students should check the McDonough website ( for announcements, information and forms. Students are responsible for checking their e-mail regularly for important academic information.


Degrees are conferred three times a year: in May, August, and December. Seniors are prompted to file an electronic application for the degree by the Dean’s Office, and failure to do so in a timely fashion may delay the conferral of the degree.

Commencement Exercises take place once a year, in May. Students graduating in August may participate in the May Commencement exercises preceding or following the conferral of the degree. Students graduating in December may participate in the following May Commencement exercises. Note that for purposes of computing class rank and determining graduation honors, both August and December graduates are included with the following class of May graduates.

Academic Regulations

The McDonough School of Business standards are set forth under University Academic Regulations.

Additionally, the McDonough School of Business regulations include the following:

  • Students must complete a minimum of six semesters of university study, four of which must be full-time and in residence in the McDonough School of Business. A minimum of 60 credits must be completed in residence.  
  • Students are required to complete at least half of the coursework for a major or minor at Georgetown. Transfer credits in excess of half of a major or minor will be counted as free electives toward the degree. Additionally, some departments may set stricter limits on transfer credit and how it may be applied.  
  • Once matriculated, a student may transfer no more than four summer school courses taken elsewhere to the Georgetown degree. Prior approval for such courses must be obtained from the McDonough Dean’s Office. Students may not transfer coursework taken in a fall or spring semester at another institution, other than coursework taken in an approved study abroad program.
  • Semesters are defined as fall and spring semesters (not summer).
  • Study abroad, SFS-Qatar, Villa le Balze, or McGhee Center counts toward the residency requirement.
  • Courses that fulfill requirements for Liberal Arts and University Core Curriculum, Business Core, Major Minor, Certificate or Fellows programs must be taken for a letter grade.
  • Audited courses do not count toward the undergraduate degree.
  • Undergraduate students are required to be full-time. Seniors who have met all residency requirements may petition to be part-time in their final semester of the senior year only.
  • With the exception of summer school courses listed in the usual departments of the four undergraduate schools on campus (College, SFS, MSB and NHS), McDonough students may not enroll in courses offered through the School of Continuing Studies for its various degrees, certificates and special programs.
  • Students may not take more than four courses in any one summer at Georgetown.    
  • Any student with more than one incomplete in a given term who is unable to complete his or her work by the first day of class of the next term may not begin new courses without formal review and consent of the Dean’s Office, and may be directed to take a leave of absence.
  • Students who have been placed on probation normally are ineligible to receive an incomplete grade.
  • Students on elective leave of absence may not transfer credit for courses taken elsewhere during their leave.  In rare circumstances, such as medical leaves of absence, and with written approval of the Dean’s Office prior to the leave, students may be allowed to transfer a limited number of courses.
  • All seniors are required to complete a Senior Review during the penultimate semester to obtain confirmation of final degree requirements and to apply for the degree. Failure to apply for the degree by the designated deadline may necessitate the postponement of graduation.
Academic Procedures

The Academic Standards Committee is composed of the professional staff in the Undergraduate Program Office and is chaired by the Director of Student Advising and Enrollment. It convenes at the conclusion of the fall and spring semesters to review the academic records of all of the undergraduates in the School. In instances where a student has incurred an academic deficiency, the committee may recommend one of three courses of action: probation, suspension, or dismissal. The chair of the committee notifies the student in writing in the case of probation and the Senior Associate Dean notifies the student in the case of suspension or dismissal. All suspensions and dismissals must be approved by the Senior Associate Dean of Undergraduate Programs.

Students who are either dismissed or suspended may appeal the decision of the Standards Committee to the Senior Associate Dean of Undergraduate Programs, who will refer the student to the Board of Academic Appeals.

The Board of Academic Appeals shall be appointed by the Senior Associate Dean in consultation with the Deputy Dean and consists of three faculty members. No member of the faculty may sit on a board as a voting member if the member:

  1. has at any time taught the student who is appealing;
  2. has at any time acted as an advisor to or employer of the student; or
  3. was a member of the McDonough Academic Standards Committee which made the initial recommendation.

It should be emphasized that the Board of Academic Appeals is an educational hearing board and not a court of law, and an attorney may not appear on behalf of a student during the hearing or appeals process.  The Board's purpose is twofold:

  1. It considers the student’s record in light of the initial decision and accepts any evidence of extenuating circumstances which would warrant the Board to recommend a change in the decision.
  2. It assures the student an opportunity to appear before an impartial board composed of members of the faculty.

The student should submit to the Senior Associate Dean a written request for an appeal of the initial decision within the time limit of two weeks from the time of notification. The student may then present to the Board evidence which would indicate reasons for the Board to recommend to the Senior Associate Dean a change in the initial decision.

The student may be present for the hearing or if because of extraordinary circumstances the student is unable to be present, he or she may present a written summary of the grounds for the appeal. When presenting the appeal to the Board, the student may bring someone for the purpose of moral support.

The student may be present for all stages of the hearing except for the final deliberation by the Board.

The Board may recommend upholding the initial decision or it may recommend a mitigation of that decision. It cannot recommend a harsher decision or completely abrogate the original decision.

The Board’s recommendation is sent in writing to the Senior Associate Dean of Undergraduate Programs. It may give explanations or comments and is signed by the members of the Board.

The Senior Associate Dean communicates in writing to the student the final disposition of the matter.

Academic Integrity

See the description of the Georgetown University Undergraduate Honor System in the Academic Regulations section of this Bulletin.

Duplicate Submission of Papers

Any student who wishes to submit a paper, or substantially the same paper, in two (or more) classes must discuss that plan with the concerned faculty members and obtain written approval so that no questions of deficiency might arise at a later time.

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Numerous professional student organizations within the McDonough School of Business offer students the chance to network with peers and faculty, take on leadership roles, add depth to their studies, and prepare for careers in business.

The Academic Council for the McDonough School of Business represents the undergraduate student body to the administration and faculty. One elected representative of the Council is a voting member of the School’s Executive Council. The Academic Council’s objectives include 1) providing input on co-curricular activities within the School; 2) developing professional awareness through coordination and assistance to business clubs and organizations; 3) encouraging students and faculty to cooperate in conferences, seminars, and programs designed to challenge student thought; 4) and providing course critiques, surveys, and newsletters to alumni and students.

The Georgetown Accounting Society encourages scholarship among its members, provides accounting and auditing services to the University community, provides student assistance in accounting instruction, and develops a professional attitude toward accounting. Membership in the Society is open to academically qualified students.

The Georgetown Advertising & Marketing Association provides supplemental education and business opportunities for students interested in marketing and related trends in business by hosting speakers and obtaining important contacts with professionals both in business and in government. Also, the Society cultivates job opportunities and possibilities for research through its affiliation with the American Marketing Association and the American Advertising Federation.

Georgetown Aspiring Minority Business Leaders and Entrepreneurs (GAMBLE) provides minority undergraduates with a holistic approach to career planning and employment opportunities. The ultimate goal is to broker a conversation about diversity and inclusion both on campus and in the workplace. GAMBLE supports this vision by helping minority scholars become tomorrow’s business leaders and entrepreneurs with the support of a strong community and alumni mentoring network. GAMBLE is completely student run.

The Financial Management Association provides a network of contacts for students interested in finance positions or internships. The FMA brings finance professionals to Georgetown to talk about their work and to supply information about job opportunities. The FMA also provides opportunities for students to place their résumé in a résumé book to be sent to potential employers, and to do some investing as a group. Members receive subscriptions to various financial management publications, as well as other materials and benefits designed to improve future employment potential.

The Georgetown University Student Investment Fund, organized as a partnershp, provides its members with a working knowledge of the stock market through its investment and research activities.  Student investors present new investment proposals and review the current portfolio at each meeting.  This forum provides students with a good introduction to the stock market and the investment decision-making process.  

Innovo Solutions is a student-run nonprofit organization incorporated in the District of Columbia. Innovo Solutions teams up to help nonprofit leaders and social entrepreneurs solve their most urgent challenges. This way, Innovo helps these nonprofits reach their goals so that these organizations can better live out their missions and generate greater social impact. Innovo Solutions also aims to develop social entrepreneurship and a commitment to serving nonprofits in the Georgetown community by fostering interaction among students, social entrepreneurs, and nonprofit leaders. 

The McDonough Alliance is an organization that helps to foster an inclusive, pre-professional community for LGBTQ+ undergraduates at Georgetown. Through mentorship, targeted recruiting and social events, McDonough Alliance aims to connect students to the business world while creating enduring relationships.

McDonough Women is a program to empower females in the McDonough School of Business to achieve their leadership potential. A hybrid initiative between the MSB Undergraduate Dean’s Office and Undergraduate Women in MSB, McDonough Women seeks to provide opportunities for leadership development, mentorship, and personal growth to undergraduate women.

StartupHoyas is an organization that inspires innovation and fosters student involvement in the entrepreneurial programs at Georgetown. It is comprised of two parts. StartupHoyas Club connects students from all four undergraduate schools to the Georgetown Entrepreneurship Initiative, while the Hoya Challenge brings entrepreneurially minded students together by fostering the creation of businesses through involvement in competitions and by providing educational resources.

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