Degree Requirements and Academic Regulations

School of Nursing and Health Studies (NHS)

I. Degree Requirements
II. Core Requirements
III. Student Advisement
IV. Academic Regulations
V. International Experiences Abroad
VI. Application for the Degree


Degree Requirements

Candidates for the bachelor’s degree in the School of Nursing & Health Studies must complete the following graduation requirements:

  1. Successful completion of 37–43 or more courses (depending on major);
  2. Completion of the Georgetown Core;
  3. Completion of the School of Nursing & Health Studies Core requirements;
  4. Completion of the major's listed requirements;
  5. Achieve a final cumulative grade point average of 2.00 or better.

[back to top]

Georgetown Core Requirements

The core requirements are ordinarily fulfilled in the student’s first and second years. 


Every Georgetown student will take WRIT-015: Writing and Culture Seminar, which provides students with opportunities to connect their writing with critical reading and thinking, inquiry, and analysis. The Writing and Culture Seminar approaches writing through three interrelated frameworks: writing as a tool for inquiry, writing as a process, and practice writing in different rhetorical situations. Each section focuses on a cultural theme, with readings and assignments that engage students with compelling questions and problems. Seminar readings provide texts for analysis as well as models and motives for student writing. Students are encouraged to complete this course during their first year at Georgetown. Every Georgetown student is required to take a second writing course. This course, integrated writing in the major, is designed to help students think critically and communicate effectively in their respective discipline. These courses are identified by each Department and can be found on the NHS website.

Humanities: Arts, Literatures, and Culture (HALC)

Every student will take one course in the Humanities: Arts, Literatures, and Cultures (HALC). Literature and visual and performing arts deepen our understanding of many kinds of expressive media, past and present, and the realities they aim to present. Through reading, writing and creative practice, students acquire the intellectual and practical tools to interpret and critique the world. Courses fulfilling this requirement use historical, critical, and/or experiential methods. Students explore ancient and modern civilizations, gain insight into the value of other cultures and critically examine their own. They learn to see, evaluate, interpret and communicate human experience through literary texts, artistic creations, material objects, and critical concepts. Those who create or perform works of art experience directly the discipline and revelatory impact of artistic expression. Courses fulfilling this requirement are identified with the HALC attribute in the Schedule of Classes. The HALC requirement must be taken at Georgetown University.

Philosophy Requirement

Through the core requirement, the Philosophy Department is committed to providing courses that promote students’ personal growth as human beings in search of meaningful lives, foster their development as responsible citizens, and offer effective introductions to the discipline of philosophy.

Georgetown, with its commitment to the Jesuit tradition, believes that modern men and women should consider reflectively their relationship with the world, their fellow humans, and God. All students take a year of Philosophy and a year of Theology.

To fulfill the philosophy requirement, NHS students must take two courses in philosophy, normally one in the first year and one in the second year. One course must be in ethics and one in philosophy (an area other than ethics). Health Care Management & Policy students should see their "Degree Progression Plan" for major-specific nuances.

Theology Requirement

Through the core requirement, the Theology Department is committed to fostering in students a critically appreciative awareness of the religious dimension of human existence, and to assisting students in reflecting upon their own experience and understanding in that enlarged context. The goal of the second course is to allow students to develop their critical awareness by applying it to a particular area of interest in religion or theology.

Problem of God (THEO-001) and one intermediate level theology elective fulfill the theology requirement. Introduction to Biblical Literature (THEO-011) may be substituted for Problem of God or may be used as an intermediate level elective. A Catholic Studies course cross-listed with Theology may be used for intermediate THEO course. 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.

Engaging Diversity Requirement

The Engaging Diversity Requirement will prepare students to be responsible, reflective, self-aware and respectful global citizens through recognizing the plurality of human experience and engaging with different cultures, beliefs, and ideas. By fulfilling the requirement, students will become better able to appreciate and reflect upon how human diversity and human identities shape our experience and understanding of the world.

Many courses that meet the Diversity requirement also meet other curriculum requirements including core curricular, major, etc. in each school, department, major and minor. All Georgetown students are required to take two Engaging Diversity courses to ensure the opportunity to engage with diversity issues in two different contexts: one domestic and one global. Courses fulfilling this requirement are indicated with the DIVG (global) and DIVD (domestic) attributes in Georgetown’s Schedule of Classes. Students are encouraged to discuss the Engaging Diversity Requirement, and how it overlays other curricular requirements, with their academic advisor. 

NHS Core

The NHS core provides the framework for a career in health by using the scientific method of inquiry.  It requires all students to be conversant with medical terminology, general understanding of how the body’s systems work, the global issues affecting health, how to use data to inform research, and involvement in scholarship and research through in the field studies.  The core consists of colloquium, human biology/ language of health and disease/ epidemiology, health promotion/disease prevention, probability and statistics, research, and internship.

The colloquium goals are to develop critical approaches to the study of a health issue, gain the skills necessary for academic and personal success, promote interaction and camaraderie among students and professors, examine the characteristics of a Jesuit education, and develop reflection as a way to put meaning to learning.

The goal of human biology/ language of health and disease/or epidemiology is to understand the scientific underpinning of health and disease. Students become conversant with the medical terminology essential in understanding health and disease, the feedback mechanisms that govern health and disease, and what interventions are possible to promote wellness for individuals and populations.

Health promotion, disease prevention looks at the global and domestic health agendas from the World Health Organization and Healthy People 2020.  It looks at the leading causes of preventable diseases such as obesity and tobacco abuse from an environmental and cultural perspective.

Probability and statistic is foundational to understanding data generated in research.  This allows students to draw the appropriate conclusions from their field studies and generate scholarship that advances health and well being.

Research develops a framework for students to ask and answer a question based on literature review, data collection, and critical thinking.  This course demonstrates that research can be done in a variety of settings including the clinic, the laboratory, international arenas, and health systems.

The internship allows the student to apply their learning in a hands on approach and culminates in an oral and written communication that summarizes their skills and modes of thinking and their dispositions and values.

[back to top of page]

Student Advisement

In addition to the general counseling services provided by the University, the School of Nursing & Health Studies maintains an academic advisement program. It is designed to facilitate the student’s adjustment to academic life and to succeed in his/her program of study.

Upon arrival to campus, each student is assigned a faculty advisor in his or her major and an academic advisor in the NHS Office of Student Academic Affairs. Student advisement is rooted in the Jesuit philosophy of “cura personalis,” which encourages the development of the complete person with respect for human dignity. The relationship between faculty, staff, and students should be viewed as reciprocal, with rewards and responsibilities for both parties. The faculty member and staff person advise students regarding academic, professional, and other matters that may affect academic success.

Through the academic advisement program, students are assisted in orienting themselves to the University, in resolving problems which may interfere with the academic experience, and in making decisions concerning educational goals. Students requiring help beyond the scope of the advisor’s practice are referred to appropriate University support services. All first-year students will meet with their advisors during Orientation Week and are expected to maintain close contact throughout each semester.

[back to top of page]

Academic Regulations

The School of Nursing & Health Studies requires of its students the standards set forth under Academic Regulations in this Bulletin.

Regulations particular to NHS are as follows:

  1. Students must be full-time and in residence for four years. Transfer students must have a minimum of two years of residency and 60 credits at this University. Ordinarily, any course that fulfills major, minor, or a Georgetown core requirement must be taken for a letter grade.
  2. NHS major courses may not be used for a minor program. Courses that are corollary to the major may be used for a minor program if approved by the faculty and the academic advisor.
  3. Students pursuing a pre-medical concentration should have a 3.0 GPA in their course work in order to continue the concentration.
  4. No more than four courses or 12 credits may be taken in summer school away from Georgetown over the four year period. Prior approval for such courses must be obtained from the NHS Office of Student Academic Affairs.
  5. Students on leave of absence should not expect to transfer credits for courses taken elsewhere during their leave. In rare circumstances and with expressed written approval of the NHS Office of Student Academic Affairs prior to the leave, students may be allowed to transfer a limited number of courses. In no instance will more than four courses be transferred to the Georgetown record, and all transfers will count against the “summer school” limit noted above.
  6. Any student with more than one incomplete in a given term who is unable to complete his or her work by the start of the next term may not begin new courses without formal review and consent of the NHS Office of Student Academic Affairs.
Emergency Contact

When an emergency arises and a student anticipates being away from the university and unable to attend classes, the student should contact their academic advisor in the NHS Office of Student Academic Affairs, St. Mary’s Hall 2nd floor.

Academic Procedures

The NHS Council on Studies, composed of the Associate Dean and Academic Affairs staff, convenes at the conclusion of the fall, spring, and summer semesters to review the grades of each student in the NHS. If a student on probation from the previous term is found to be in good academic standing, they may be removed from probation. In instances where a student has incurred an academic deficiency, the Council discusses how to advise the student and may take one of three courses of action: probation, dismissal, or suspension. The Council notifies the student in writing of its decision and informs the student's academic dean and faculty advisor of the decision. Students who are either dismissed or suspended may appeal the decision to the Chair of the Council on Studies Appeals Committee within a time frame specified by the Council on Studies.

Members of the Board

The members of the Board shall consist of:

  1. Members of the faculty, one from each department. The Associate Dean will chair the Board.
  2. Two ad hoc members of the faculty will be available to serve in case the aforementioned faculty members are unable to participate.
  3. There will be a total of five members of faculty at every appeal to ensure that there is no split decision. No member of the faculty may sit on the Board if:
    • He or she has at any time failed the student who is appealing.
    • He or she has at any time acted as a counselor to the student.
Responsibilities of the Board

The responsibilities of the Board are to:

  1. Receive any appeal of the Council’s decision to suspend or dismiss a student or a grade appeal; and
  2. Conduct appeal hearings.

A student wishing to appeal a suspension or dismissal must submit a written request to the Associate Dean within 15 days of receiving notice of such a decision. Grade appeals are addressed under Academic Regulations: Grade Appeals in this Bulletin.

Normally the student must appear for the hearing; however, if because of extraordinary circumstances the student is unable to be present, he or she may present a written summary of the grounds for his or her appeal. When presenting his or her appeal to the Board, the student may appear alone or may bring a member of the University community or family member for support. The student may be present for all stages of the hearing except for the final deliberation of the Board.

The Board may recommend upholding the Council’s decision or it may recommend a mitigation of that decision, eg., instead of dismissal, a suspension; instead of suspension, a strict probation. It cannot recommend a harsher decision or completely abrogate the original decision. The Board’s recommendation may give explanations or comments and is signed by the members of the Board. The Chair of the Board communicates to the student the final disposition of the matter in writing.

[Back to Academic Regulations]

Academic Requirements for Progression
Department of Professional Nursing Practice

In addition to the requirements outlined in the Academic Regulations section of the Undergraduate Bulletin, students enrolled in the department much achieve a C (73) in each required science, health studies, and nursing courses in order to progress to the next level. Students must achieve a Pass in  Colloquium (HEST 001). Students who do not receive a C (73.00) in these courses must repeat the course, including any applicable clinical component, and achieve a C or better in the course before they can qualify for progression to the next level. Students who do not achieve the minimum passing grade may be placed on academic probation and/or suspended.

A course grade of C (73.00) requires that students achieve a minimum grade of C (73.00) in both the clinical/laboratory and didactic portions of each required nursing and science course(s). The didactic grade is calculated based only on theory exam grades, meaning that a student must achieve a weighted exam average of at least 73.00. Graded assignments and papers may be calculated into the final course grade as defined by the course syllabus. Clinical grades are based both on written assignments and skill/behaviors performed in the clinical setting. Clinical failure will be considered in any one of the following circumstances: one, when written assignments are not at or above the 73.00 average; two, when there are two or more undocumented absences; three, for unsatisfactory skill/behavior performance; and four, for any unethical or unsafe behavior in the clinical setting. 

In most cases, failure in these courses delays graduation by up to one academic year. Students who fail to achieve the minimum passing grade (i.e., who receive a 72.99 C- or below) in two different clinical nursing or science courses, or who fail (72.99 C- or below) the same nursing or science course twice, will be permanently dismissed from the Department, and may be dismissed from the School of Nursing & Health Studies.

A nursing student incurring a failure/deficiency in any required course during any academic year must repeat the failed course as soon as possible before they will be permitted to proceed in the program. Students may be permitted to continue if the failed course is not a prerequisite or parallel (co-requisite) course. Non-nursing courses, except Health Assessment, Microbiology, Pathophysiology, and Pharmacology, may be taken elsewhere with permission of the advising dean in consultation with the BSN program director. All clinical courses must be repeated at the Georgetown University School of Nursing & Health Studies.

Admission to the Department does not guarantee progression in the nursing program. Additionally, successful completion of the nursing program does not guarantee licensure as a registered nurse.

[Back to Academic Regulations]

Department of Health Systems Administration
Department of Human Science
Department of International Health

All students in the Departments of Health Systems Administration, Human Science, and International Health must achieve the Quality Point Index at the level required by the University in each of their courses, whether major or non-major courses, in order to be promoted.

Any grade below D is considered a failing grade. If a student enrolled in any of the above listed programs receives a failing grade in a required course, the student must repeat the course. Failed courses may be repeated at Georgetown University, or, with the approval of the appropriate department chair, at some other comparable accredited institution of higher education. Since repetition of a course may interfere with a student’s planned sequence, graduation may be delayed if it is necessary to repeat a course.

Transfer to Health Care Management and Policy is selective and limited to students with an overall GPA of 3.0. Students with less than a 3.0 GPA may apply but must show current and planned course work that underscores why s/he thinks they will be successful in the program.

Transfer to the Human Science major is selective and will vary from year to year, based on availability.

Transfer to the Global Health major is selective and will vary from year to year due to international placements.

Probationary Status and Suspension/Dismissal

See the Academic Regulations: Probation, Suspension or Dismissal section of this Bulletin.


A student who has withdrawn or has been suspended from the University must apply in writing to the Associate Dean, requesting readmission six weeks before the date of registration. Requests from students who have been suspended should include the reasons for past poor academic performance, interim activities, and the reasons the student believes s/he will be academically successful upon readmission. The Associate Dean will consult with the Council on Studies for consideration on readmission. The Associate Dean will notify the student if the request is granted and the conditions of readmission. If the applicant is readmitted, a plan for matriculation and progression will be outlined, which specifically addresses the circumstances and deficiencies that resulted in the student’s withdrawal or suspension.

Leaves of Absence

The regulations pertaining to leaves of absences, including leaves for personal, medical and military reasons, are described in the Academic Regulations: Leave of Absense section of this Bulletin.

Academic Integrity

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

[back to top of page]

International Experiences Abroad

There are multiple options for NHS students to study abroad. The options, however, depend on the student’s major, academic background, and placement in the curriculum. All Georgetown University students participating in Georgetown study abroad programs pay full Georgetown tuition for the semester. Some need-based scholarships are available. NHS students may also choose from over 130 programs approved by Georgetown University in every region of the world. Admissions standards vary by program, but students should maintain at least a 3.0 to be considered for most programs.

NHS students interested in studying abroad should begin planning early. They should review options open to NHS students and then visit the Office of Global Education (OGE). In their research, students should take into consideration such things as the course offerings for specific sites, curricular needs, academic background, and language of instruction. Once students have narrowed their options, they should meet with the regional advisor in OGE as well as their advisor in the NHS Office of Student Academic Affairs.

[back to top of page]


Degrees are awarded three times a year: in May, August, and December. Seniors must file an application for the degree in the NHS Office of Student Academic Affairs. The last day to file for a May degree is February 1; for an August degree, August 1; for a December degree, November 1. Failure to apply for the degree may necessitate the postponement of graduation.

Diplomas are distributed at Commencement in May. Those students who graduate in August may participate in the previous May Commencement. Those who graduate in December may participate in the following May Commencement. Student may elect to have their diplomas mailed to their homes in the summer following the completion of the degree.

[back to top of page]