Seven of the certificate programs offered by the School of Foreign Service are open to students in the College. See below for requirements of each:

African Studies
Arab Studies
Asian Studies
European Studies
Latin American Studies
Muslim-Christian Relations
Eurasian, Russian, and East European Studies


African Studies Certificate

The African Studies Certificate requires a total of 6 courses (18 credit hours) and proficiency in one of the following foreign languages: Arabic, French, Portuguese, Spanish, or Swahili. Students may also fulfill the language requirement by completing at least beginner’s level in any language and one year of study of an indigenous African language. Study abroad in Africa is strongly encouraged, but not required. There is an optional senior thesis.

The Program offers competitive fellowships that support participation in the African Studies Alternative Spring Break in Rwanda program as well as summer study abroad programs.

Required Courses
  • HIST-111 or HIST-112: History of Africa I or II
  • ANTH-240: African Cultural Modernities
  • INAF-357: African Politics and Government
  • INAF-348: African Studies Capstone Course or Senior Thesis Seminar
  • Two approved electives (see African Studies website for list and details)

Arab Studies Certificate

The certificate in Arab Studies requires 6 courses (18 credits) plus language and a research paper, as follows:

  • 4 semesters of Modern Standard Arabic or equivalent
  • 1 Islamic history or culture of the classical period, e.g.:
    • ARAB-201 Intro to Islamic Civilization
    • HIST-160 Middle East Civilization I
    • HIST-361 History of the Ottomans
  • 1 Arab history of the 19th or 20th century, e.g.:
    • HIST-161 Middle East Civilization II
    • HIST-266 History of the Arab-Israeli Conflict
    • HIST-464 Modern North Africa
  • 1 Arab politics or international relations, e.g.:
    • INAF-243 The U.S. and the Middle East
  • 1 Anthropology/Economics/Sociology, e.g.:
    • INAF-418 Anthropology of the Arab World
    • INAF-366 Economics of the Middle East
  • 2 electives
  • Research Paper (with mandatory presentation at the spring colloquium in the final year of classes)

Fore more information, see the Center for Contemporary Arab Studies website

Asian Studies Certificate

(6 courses [18 credits] plus language study or equivalent)

Language: Candidates for the Asian Studies Certificate must demonstrate facility in a language indigenous to Asia in one of the following ways:

  • Complete two years (four semesters) of university language coursework with an average of B or better; or
  • Pass the Faculty of Languages and Linguistics placement examination at the level of second year or above; or
  • Pass the School of Foreign Service Oral Proficiency Exam with a grade of “fair” or above.

Coursework: 6 courses are required:

  • 3 courses from at least three different disciplines (government, history, sociology, anthropology, economics, political economy, theology, humanities, culture)
  • One required seminar capstone course: GOVT-247/INAF-347 Senior Research Seminar on Asia. 
  • 2 electives (in any discipline except language)

Candidates for the certificate should achieve a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better in the six courses. Coursework shoudl reflect a diverse study of Asia.

Thesis: Candidates must complete a thesis requirement in consultation with the Director of Asian Studies

  • Candidates are required to take the Senior Research Seminar (GOVT-347/INAF-347) during the fall semester of their senior year. Candidates will prepare their thesis in this course.
  • Candidates must receive B+ or better on their thesis.

For more information, see the Asian Studies website.

European Studies Certificate

(7 courses plus language study or equivalent)

  • Coursework in a major European language (other than English) through the advanced level
  • 2 upper-level European History courses
  • 1 Economics course
  • 1 Government course
  • 1 ideological/cultural elective
  • 1 regional/international elective
  • 1 European Studies Research colloquium

Admission to the certificate program is based on an application which reflects a directed, purposeful selection of courses. The application must be turned in by the end of the sophomore year or during the junior year with permission. No applications will be accepted from students with senior standing.

Students must earn a grade of “B” or better in the Senior Colloquium.

For more information and a list of approvecd courses in the certificate program, see the BMW Center for German and European Studies website.

Latin American Studies Certificate

For the undergraduate certificate in Latin American Studies, students must satisfy a language requirement and complete four core courses, one elective, and a senior honors thesis.

Certificate students must demonstrate proficiency in Spanish or Portuguese in one of the following ways: completion of language coursework through Advanced II, successful completion of one 300- or 400-level course taught in either Spanish or Portuguese, or achievement of "pass" or better on Georgetown’s language proficiency exam (administered by the Department of Spanish and Portuguese.)

  • LASP-341: Latin American Government and Politics
  • HIST-158 or HIST-159: Latin American Civilization I or II
  • LASP-316: Economic Development of Latin America (note prerequisites: ECON-001 and 002)
  • SPAN-261, SPAN-262, SPAN-267, or a 400-level survey course in Latin American literature or culture
  • Additional elective (to be chosen from Culture and Politics, Economics, Government, History, International Affairs, Latin American Studies, Sociology, Spanish, Portuguese, or Theology)
  • LASP-494 (1 credit, fall) and 495 (3 credits, spring): Senior Thesis Seminar. See below for details.
Thesis Tutorial

The sixth required course for the certificate is the thesis tutorial (LASP-495 Proseminar), in which students research, write, and present a substantial thesis. Students enroll in a one-credit course in the fall in which they do all the preparatory work for the writing of their thesis. The students meet a few times to decide on a topic, choose a mentor, prepare the bibliography and work towards the thesis proposal. In the spring students enroll in the Proseminar and continue working on their thesis.

Students must achieve at least a B+ in the proseminar and thesis in order to receive the certificate. Failure to meet these requirements and deadlines is grounds for dismissal from the certificate program.

Certificate Rules and Regulations

No more than one of the six required certificate courses may be taken at a university other than Georgetown. This includes coursework completed as part of a Georgetown study abroad program.

Substitutions for any requirement must be preapproved by the certificate director. It is much more likely that certificate substitutions will be approved for the elective course than for the core courses. It is the student’s responsibility to ensure that written approval for any substitutions becomes a part of his or her file at CLAS.

Students should declare interest in the certificate during the second semester of junior year in order to ensure that all requirements will be met prior to graduation. Students will meet during the fall semester with the director to plan and start the thesis. They are also required to meet with the Certificate Director during either preregistration or the add/drop period for the second semester of their senior year to indicate the topic of their thesis and the name of their adviser, take inventory of the classes taken toward the certificate, and make sure that all paperwork is in order. A formal certificate application (available in the Center for Latin American Studies (CLAS) office) must be submitted at this time.

College students who are pursuing the certificate may not double count courses for their major and the certificate. The student and his or her advising dean in the College bear all responsibility for ensuring that courses are counted properly. 

Students must maintain at least a B average in the five courses and must receive a B+ or higher in the thesis seminar in order to receive the certificate. Failure to do so will result in a student being dropped from the certificate program.

For more information, see the Latin American Studies Program website.


Overview. We live in a globally interdependent world in which Islam and Muslim-Christian relations are becoming more and more important and prominent. More than half the world's population is Muslim or Christian. The two religious communities share religious roots and share issues of faith in the modern world, religious pluralism, and tolerance. Relations between Muslims and Christians are an important part of contemporary global affairs and world history and professionals in every field of work can benefit from a better understanding of Muslim-Christian relations.

To assist students interested in focusing a part of their undergraduate education on this significant subject, the Prince Alwaleed Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding offers a Certificate in Islam and Muslim-Christian Understanding. The goal of the certificate program is to provide a way in which students can receive guidance in the study of Islam and Muslim-Christian relations through a defined but flexible academic program. The broader goal for the Center is to promote peaceful and productive Muslim-Christian relations through educating students who will be international leaders of the future.

The certificate program is similar to many at Georgetown University in its general structure. To obtain the certificate, students must complete a total of 6 classes (18 or more credit hours) to include: two semesters of basic foundational courses, at least three elective courses related to the subject, and a final capstone course.

Each participant is expected to develop a program of study in consultation with the director of the program and the Assistant Director in the Prince Alwaleed Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding. Students in the program are encouraged to utilize the variety of resources available, including overseas study. There is no formal language requirement, but students are encouraged to study languages that are appropriate to their particular interests in Islamic studies.

Foundational Courses. The Program assumes that undergraduates will be taking or will have completed the basic core program for their degree. As a result, they will already have had a solid introduction to Christian and Western traditions. The certificate foundation course requirement is to provide a similar introduction to Islam. Students in the program are required to take two courses that provide a basic foundation for the study of Islam and Muslim-Christian relations. These courses will normally be from the following list (note: the two courses do not have to be in a sequence):

  • HIST-109 The Islamic World
  • HIST-160 and 161 Middle East Civilization I & II
  • ARAB-201 Intro to Islamic Civilization
  • THEO-042 Exploring the Quran
  • THEO-050 Islamic Religious Thought and Practice

Elective Courses. Students are required to take at least three elective courses, to be approved by the director of the certificate program. These courses should have some common theme or focus of interest.  There is no list of elective courses that have been formally approved for the Certificate Program. Any relevant course may, subject to the approval of the program director, be used to satisfy this requirement. Normally at least two of these courses will be numbered 300 or above.

The Capstone Course. As a final part of the certificate program, students are required to undertake study at an advanced level that involves a research project dealing with the subject of Islam and Muslim-Christian relations. A capstone course can be any course above the basic survey level that is taught by members of the faculty of the Prince Alwaleed Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding. It is the responsibility of the student to notify the professor at the beginning of the semester that the student plans to use that course to fulfill the capstone requirement. The professor will then provide the student with the guidelines and expectations for the research paper to fulfill the capstone requirement. The student also needs to notify the director of the program regarding the Capstone Course.

In special cases, students may petition to present a major paper dealing with a topic in the area of Islam and Muslim-Christian relations rather than taking a specific course. The paper topic must be approved by the certificate program director, and the resulting paper should represent significant research and analysis (at least 20-25 pages in length). The paper may, under special circumstances, be a revised version of work that has been presented as a part of work for a course or project, subject to the approval of the program director. The paper must be read and approved by at least two members of the faculty of the Prince Alwaleed Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding to be named by the program director.

For more information about application to to the program, visit the Prince Alwaleed bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding website.

eurasian, russian, and east european studies Certificate

The certificate in Eurasian, Russian, and East European Studies requires seven courses, distributed by the outline below, plus language study or equivalent.

  • LANGUAGE: 4 semesters (minimum) Intensive Russian, Polish, Ukrainian, Persian or Turkish Language; or native speaker of these or another language of the region
  • 1 course in ECONOMICS
  • 1 course in POLITICS
  • 2 courses in HISTORY
  • SENIOR COLLOQUIUM in Russian and East European Studies (REES-398), which includes preparation of a substantial research project

For more information, see the Center for Eurasian, Russian, and East European (CERES) website.