Degree Requirements and Academic Regulations (SOH)

Fountain in front of Dahlgren Chapel
  1. Degree Requirements
  2. School of Health 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 Health must complete the following graduation requirements:

  1. Successful completion of 120 credits;
  2. Completion of the Georgetown Core Curriculum;
  3. Completion of the School of Health 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 Health Core Requirements

The SOH 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 statistics 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 Health 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 SOH 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 Health requires of its students the standards set forth under Academic Regulations in this Bulletin.

Regulations particular to SOH are as follows:

  1. Students are expected to be full-time and in residence for four years. Seniors may petition for part-time status for their final semester. Transfer students must have a minimum of two years of residency and 60 credits at this University. Course withdrawals that would result in part-time status (fewer than 12 credits) may be approved in exceptional circumstances. Requests to withdraw to below half-time status (6 credits) cannot be approved; if unable to perform at this level, students must initiate a leave of absence with their advising dean.
  2. Any course that fulfills major, minor, or a Georgetown core requirement must be taken for a letter grade.
  3. SOH 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. A single course may not fulfill two different core requirements, except in the case of the Engaging Diversity requirement, designed as an “overlay” requirement.
  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 SOH Office of Student Academic Affairs. Students are eligible to transfer a maximum of 12 college credits taken prior to matriculation at Georgetown (i.e., while in high school) provided that they meet the SOH Dual Enrollment criteria.
  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 SOH 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 SOH Office of Student Academic Affairs.
  7. The SOH does not recognize courses for audit.
  8. Students can receive academic credit for an internship only if the internship is a component of a Georgetown course. Student cannot be monetarily compensated for a for-credit internship.

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 SOH Office of Student Academic Affairs.

Academic Standards and Procedures

The SOH 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 SOH. 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 SOH Council on Studies Appeals Committee within a time frame specified by the Council on Studies.

The members of the Appeals Committee shall consist of:

Members of the Appeals Committee

  1. Members of the faculty, one from each department. The Associate Dean for Academic Affairs will chair the Appeals Committee.
  2. There will be a total of three 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 by the deadline specified in the suspension/dismissal notification. Grade appeals are addressed under Academic Regulations: Grade Appeals in this Bulletin.

The student must appear for the hearing, in-person or via Zoom. 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.

Letter of Concern: When the Council on Studies detects difficulty in a given semester, often represented by grades that are passing but low (D or D+), they may communicate their concern in a letter to the student. The letter is a reminder of both available support and the formal academic standards of the School of Health. The letter does not constitute a change of one’s standing and does not appear on any formal record.

Academic Requirements for Progression

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Department of Health Management and Policy
Department of Human Science
Department of Global Health

All students in the Departments of Health Management and Policy, Human Science, and Global 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 SOH 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. SOH 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.

SOH students interested in studying abroad should begin planning early. They should review options open to SOH 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 SOH Office of Student Academic Affairs.

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6. Honors Programs & ROTC

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-4005 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 4998/4999 and the Honors Research Seminar for 1 credit per semester (HESY 4980/310).  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 4950 or HESY 4951), 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.

Global Health Honors Program

Honors in Global Health recognizes those Global Health students who pursue a high level of independent research (i.e., archival, community, epidemiological) during their undergraduate years culminating in a senior honors thesis concurrent with the pursuit of a Global Health 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 Global Health requires a significant mentored research experience in a global health topic of the student’s choosing.


Full-time Global Health students with at least a 3.5 GPA at the end of their second year may apply during the fall semester of their junior year. Joining the honors program requires an application (due November 1st of junior year) indicating the approval of a faculty advisor of the student’s choosing who is willing to supervise the honors thesis, and a detailed proposal for an honors thesis (6-8 pages; due mid-March of junior year). Once the application has been approved by the Chair of the Global Health Department, the student will begin working on a detailed thesis proposal in coordination with their faculty thesis advisor. A panel of faculty will review the proposal and recommend whether the student should be allowed to proceed in the Honors Program.

Requirements for Successful Completion of the Honors Program

The thesis topic should be broad enough to support a comprehensive thesis and can address any area of Global Health (such as infectious diseases, reproductive, maternal, neonatal and child health, epidemiology, health in emergencies and disasters, health economics, health systems, environmental health, etc.). Theses may use quantitative, qualitative, ethical, or other analytical approaches appropriate to the topic. Methods and lengths will differ depending on the research question, but a successful thesis will always consist of a rigorous application of the appropriate method.

Throughout the program, the student will work independently on the thesis in collaboration with the faculty advisor. During the spring of junior year, the student will enroll in a 3-credit independent study course (Thesis Research). During the spring of senior year, the student will enroll in a 0-credit Honors Thesis course.

Students who complete an honors thesis must make a formal presentation summarizing the main findings of their research and demonstrate their deep understanding of their topic before a faculty committee at the end of senior year. If the thesis and the presentation are deemed acceptable, a notation will be placed on the student’s transcript.

Graduating with Honors in Global Health requires completion of the Global Health curriculum with the addition of the thesis. Students who complete an acceptable Honors Thesis and all other requirements for the Global Health major will graduate with a B.S. in Global Health with Honors.


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 their SOH 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.

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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 SOH Office of Student Academic Affairs by the appropriate deadline. Failure to apply for the degree may necessitate the postponement of graduation.

Diplomas are sent in the mail to students following Commencement. 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.

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