Degree Requirements and Academic Regulations (NHS)

Fountain in front of Dahlgren Chapel
  1. Degree Requirements
  2. School of Nursing & Health Studies Core Requirements
  3. Student Advisement
  4. Academic Regulations
  5. International Experiences Abroad
  6. Honors Programs and R.O.T.C.
  7. Application for the Degree

1. 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 120 or more credits (depending on major);
  2. Completion of the Georgetown Core Curriculum;
  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.

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2. School of Nursing & Health Studies Core Requirements

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.

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3. 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.

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4. 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 course of study should maintain at least a 3.0 GPA in their course work.
  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, suspension or dismissal. 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 Appeals Committee

The members of the Appeals Committee shall consist of:

  1. Members of the faculty, one from each department. The Associate Dean will chair the Appeals Committee.
  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 Appeals Committee 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 Appeals Committee

The responsibilities of the Appeals Committee are to:

  1. Receive any appeal forwarded by the Associate Dean 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 request via email to the Associate Dean and the student’s Academic Advising Dean within 48 hours 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 Appeals Committee, 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 Appeals Committee.

The Appeals Committee 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 Appeals Committee’s recommendation may give explanations or comments and is signed by the members of the Appeals Committee. The Chair of the Appeals Committee communicates to the student the final disposition of the matter in writing.

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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 must achieve a C (70) in each required science, health studies, and nursing courses in order to progress to the next level. Students must achieve a Pass in HEST 001. Students who do not receive a C (70) in these courses must repeat the course, including any applicable clinical component, and achieve a C (70) 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 (70) requires that students achieve a minimum grade of C (70) in both the clinical and didactic portions of each required nursing 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 C (70). 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 C (70) 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 of C (70) in two different clinical nursing or science courses, or who fail (below C (70) 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. All clinical nursing courses must be repeated at the Georgetown University School of Nursing and Health Studies. Microbiology, Pathophysiology, and Pharmacology must be completed at Georgetown University School of Nursing and 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.

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

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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 generally limited to students with an overall GPA of 3.0. 

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 first day of the upcoming semester. 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 Absence 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.

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5. 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) (new window). 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.

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6. Honors Programs & ROTC

Nursing Science Honors Program

The purpose of this Honors Program is to allow traditional undergraduate nursing students with academic potential to be challenged at the highest level. Participants in the Honors Program in Nursing Science will address, through scholarly inquiry, a contemporary issue related to clinical nursing practice. The Honors Program in Nursing Science requires the completion of an independent project involving research, policy analysis, or health/illness education. Each student will summarize their final project in a formal oral presentation and submit a senior Honors thesis. Prior to graduation, participants in the Honors Program are expected to disseminate the results of the senior honors project.

Participants in the Honors Program are expected to complete all requirements for the nursing major, maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.5, and successfully complete the Honors Seminars (NURS 340, 341, 342 — 6 credits total).

Traditional nursing students with a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or higher are eligible to apply; a mid-October application deadline will be posted for students in their junior year. Each applicant must submit a personal statement, a letter or recommendation, and a copy of their transcript. Eligible candidates will be interviewed by the Council on the Advancement of Nursing Science (CANS). The applicant’s personal statement should include an overview of the proposed topic.

Students who successfully complete the requirements of the Honors Program will graduate with the notation: Bachelor of Science in Nursing (Honors).

Human Science Honors Program

Honors in Human Science recognizes those Human Science students who pursue a high level of independent research (i.e., laboratory, archival, community) during their undergraduate years culminating in a senior thesis concurrent with the pursuit of a Human Science major.

The purpose of this program is to permit students of high academic achievement to enjoy greater responsibility and initiative in their major work. The honors program in Human Science requires a significant mentored research experience in a topic of the student’s choosing.

Students in the honors program are required to maintain at least a B average both in their major and overall GPA. Students in the honors program still complete the requirements of the Human Science major; they also register for at least one semester of independent research, and register in the final semester for the honors thesis.

Eligibility for Human Science Honors: Full-time human science students with at least a 3.0 science GPA at the end of their first year may apply.

Students with a B average may apply for the Human Science honors program any time after the end of their first year. Students who successfully complete the requirements for the honors program will graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Human Science (Honors). 

Application for Human Science Honors: Prior to completing an application, the student should identify a thesis mentor. If a student chooses to work with someone other than one of the Human Science faculty mentors, then the student must identify a Human Science faculty member who will serve as the co-mentor for the thesis. The application from the student to the Human Science Faculty will include:

  1. a proposed curriculum plan including Independent Research courses for at least one term, and the final Honors Thesis class
  2. a description of the idea and general methodology of the proposed thesis work
  3. the signature of the Human Science Faculty thesis adviser

The proposal should include a hypothesis, a research plan to answer the hypothesis, and the time frame in which the project will be completed. Proposals should be submitted to the Chair of the Human Science department.

Note: An honors proposal being submitted by a rising senior for the first time is due no later than August 15th prior to his/her senior year. The proposal will be considered and voted upon during the first faculty meeting of the academic year. All other (non-rising senior) students may submit their honors proposal at any time during the year, to be considered by the faculty at the next regularly scheduled faculty meeting.

Approval for Human Science Honors: The Chair will circulate the application to the Human Science Faculty, who will vote on the proposal.

Human Science Honors Curriculum: Human Science Honors students will meet all Human Science major curriculum requirements in addition to the research course sequence. A student working on an Honors project will enroll in a minimum of one Independent Study research course, either prior to or following approval of the honors project. Human Science students may not accumulate more than 9 credits of independent study. Enrollment in Honors Thesis (HSCI-370) the final term of the project is required.

Health Care Management and Policy Honors Program

The Health Care Management and Policy honors program is designed to recognize students of Health Care Management and Policy with a proven record of achievement and to give them the opportunity to deepen their analytical skills. Students in the honors program will work under the guidance of a faculty member to analyze an issue of importance to contemporary health policy or management.


Students with a 3.5 overall GPA at the end of their junior year may apply for entry into the Health Care Management and Policy Honors Program. Application requires submitting a proposal for an honors thesis to the HCMP Program Director indicating the approval of a faculty advisor of the student’s choosing who is willing to supervise the honors thesis. The proposal must delineate the question to be researched and summarize how the question will be addressed in the student’s research, indicate any coursework that will be addressed in the student’s research, and indicate any coursework that will be required during the senior year to complete the honor’s thesis. For policy track students, this will be, at a minimum, HESY-472 Analytical Tools for Health Policy Evaluation. Management track students should identify comparable coursework appropriate for their thesis topics. The proposal should not exceed 8 pages. A panel of faculty will review the proposal and recommend whether or not the student can be admitted to the Honors Program. Proposals must be submitted by the last day of classes of the student’s junior year and finalized by May 31 of that year.

Requirements for Successful Completion of the Honors Program

Graduating with Honors in Health Care Management and Policy requires completion of an honors thesis in addition to meeting all other requirements of the program and the university.  Students in the Honors Program must enroll in Honor’s Research I and II for 0-2 credits per semester (HESY 311/312) and the Honors Research Seminar for 1 credit per semester (HESY 309/310).  Students in the Honors Program are not required to take the internship course, but if they choose not to take their respective internship course (HESY 376 or HESY 377), then they must enroll in Honors Research I and II for 2 credits each.

A thesis submitted to fulfill the requirements for Health Care Management and Policy must be approved by the student’s honors thesis advisor, who will judge the thesis in terms of whether it (1) clearly articulates a research question or health policy or management issue, (2) uses appropriate methods to answer the question, (3) provides a rigorous and comprehensive analysis of the issue, and (4) discusses the significance of the thesis findings for policy and/or practice. Students must present their research at the Georgetown University Undergraduate Research Conference and orally defend it before the Honors Program Committee.

Thesis Requirements

The HCMP honors thesis must be a thorough analysis of an important issue in contemporary health or healthcare policy or management. This analysis may use quantitative, qualitative, ethical, or other analytical approaches appropriative to the topic. Theses will differ depending on the policy or management issue, but a successful thesis will always consist of a rigorous application of the appropriate research and analytical methods. Moreover, given the variation in methods, theses will likely vary in length, but must be appropriate to address the research questions.


Qualified applicants may be admitted to the Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC) of the United States Army, which supports a unit on the Georgetown Campus. Students complete the nursing major as well as required courses in military science. Graduates serve as commissioned officers in the U.S. Army Nurse Corps for their obligation period, with consideration of choice of location and clinical assignment. Air Force and Naval units are available at neighboring institutions. For further information, please visit here:

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7. Application for the Degree

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, providing that they have no more than 6 remaining credits to complete. 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.

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