Majors, Certificates/Minors and Accelerated Degree programs

Entrance to the Edward B. Bunn S.J Intercultural Center
  1. Fields of Study
  2. Electives, certificates and minors
  3. Accelerated Bachelor’s/Master’s Degree Programs

All majors build on The Core and allow students to specialize in an approach to the study of international affairs, an area of international affairs, or a region.

Each of the eight BSFS majors and the joint SFS-MSB Bachelor of Science in Business and Global Affairs (BSBGA) is designed around 24-36 credits of required and elective classes. Some majors have additional pre- or co-requisites. The nine majors are:

Business and Global Affairs         International Political Economy

Culture and Politics                       International Politics

Global Business                            Regional and Comparative Studies

International Economics               Science, Technology and International Affairs

International History             

All BSFS students are enrolled as an “International Affairs” major until they declare formally into one of the above majors.        


1. Fields of Study

Culture and Politics
Global Business
International Economics
International History
International Political Economy
International Politics
Regional and Comparative Studies
Science, Technology, and International Affairs
Bachelor of Science in Business and Global Affairs

A Note on Modifications to the Majors

It is possible for students who wish to pursue a modified version of one of the eight major fields to petition for permission to do so.  Usually the modifications involve substituting one or two courses for those included on the current course lists.  Students should consult the curricular dean responsible for their major for details on this process of “major substitution.”  The faculty chair of the appropriate field committee must endorse the modifications.

Independent Majors

There are rare cases in which a student has received permission to pursue an independent major that does not fall under the jurisdiction of one of the eight major field committees.  Such cases require a detailed description of the plan of study and approval by at least two faculty members and the Director of the Undergraduate Program before they may be considered by the Standards Committee, which makes the final decision on the proposal.

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2. Electives, certificates or minors for a minimum of 120 credits

Graduating from the SFS requires a minimum of 120 credits. A typical student needs to earn 73-85 credits to meet the Core (49 credits) and major (24-36 credits) requirements, leaving 35-47 credit hours for electives, minors and certificates. However, the majority of students use some of those elective credits to take classes needed to develop second language proficiency. Students are able to meet some core requirements through Advanced Placement or other course work done outside of Georgetown, allowing additional flexibility.

Students can earn up to two minors and certificates.

Certificates typically require 18 credit hours including a significant project. Some certificates also have specific language requirements. The 9 certificates currently offered by SFS are:

Fellows Programs offer students an opportunity to further engage with faculty or conduct research:

Of special note: Up to 6 credits (typically two courses) may double-count for both a certificate and a major.

Minors typically require 18 credit hours of course work. More than 50 minors are currently available to School of Foreign Service students on topics including languages, sciences, preforming arts, and many more.

Of special note:

  • Students may double-count up to 6 credits (typically 2 classes) from the SFS-specific core requirements other than the Freshman Proseminar towards any minor.
  • There can be no double counting of courses between or among programs (major and minor, minor and certificate, minor and minor, or certificate and certificate), except in cases of 21 credit (7-course) certificates or minors that explicitly allow for double counting.
  • For transfer credit within a minor (e.g. AP, study abroad, or non-GU credit) please consult the Bulletin. In general, a student may count no more than 9 credits (typically 3 courses) from outside Georgetown towards the minor and generally only 3 credits (typically 1 course) from study abroad.
  • Oral proficiency courses in Spanish and French do not count towards a minor. Please consult the Bulletin for more details.

For SFS students pursuing an Economics, Government, History, or Science minor, the following notes apply:

Economics Minor

At most 6 credits (typically two courses) can be double-counted between the SFS Economics Core and the Economics Minor, i.e. students who take ECON 001 and 002 (or fulfill either or both by AP or other credits) will double-count these with the Minor and will not be able to double-count ECON 242/243/244. Students who take ECON 003 will double-count it with the Minor and additionally double-count one course among ECON 242/243/244. No courses may double-count between a major and a minor. Students who take a statistics courses to fulfill a major requirement will be required to take another additional economics elective for the Minor.

Government Minor

SFS students who choose to minor in Government are strongly encouraged to take GOVT courses rooted in Political Science subfields and topics that SFS major courses do not cover. 

History Minor

The History Minor consists of 18 credits.  At least three credits (one course) must be numbered 300+ and no more than six credits (two courses) may be from the 001-099 level.  Students may double-count no more than six credits with core history requirements.  

Science Minors

For Science, Technology and International Affairs (STIA) majors, science requirements can be co-requisites to the major and may be used to meet minor requirements. Courses cannot count for both the major and minor. Any other science courses taken as part of the major cannot be applied to a minor. 

SFS minors

College and NHS minors open to SFS students

*These minors are by application only. Please see the minor specific websites for more details on how to apply.

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3. Accelerated Bachelor’s/Master’s Degree Programs

The School of Foreign Service and the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences sponsor several accelerated bachelor’s/master’s programs for those qualified students who plan to continue their professional education in international affairs at the graduate level and desire to complete the two degrees in approximately five years.  Students with appropriate undergraduate course work may count graduate level courses toward the undergraduate degree.  Some of the graduate programs may permit appropriate courses beyond those required for the undergraduate degree to be applied toward the master’s degree within limits set by policy and with explicit approval of the particular master’s program, the BSFS Program, and the Graduate School.

Third year students in the School of Foreign Service who have maintained an honors average (3.500 or better) are eligible to apply to one of the below multidisciplinary master’s degree programs within the university:  

  • Master of Arts in Arab Studies
  • Master of Arts in Asian Studies
  • Master of Arts in Communication, Culture, and Technology
  • Master of Arts in German and European Studies
  • Master of Arts in Global, International, and Comparative History
  • Master of Arts in Latin American Studies
  • Master of Arts in Russian, Eurasian, and East European Studies
  • Master of Arts in Security Studies
  • Master of Science in Data Analytics
  • Master of Science in Global Infectious Disease
  • Master of Science in Foreign Service

Admission to the accelerated degree programs is highly competitive. Applicants must satisfy all application procedures as outlined by the Graduate Admissions Office.  Successful applicants matriculate fully into the graduate program in the fourth year and graduate with the Bachelor’s Degree upon completion of all undergraduate degree requirements.  Please see the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences Graduate Bulletin for information and requirements of the master’s programs.  Applicants must contact their advising dean in the in the Undergraduate Program Office prior to submitting an application to the Accelerated Programs.

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