Majors and Certificates

Entrance to the Edward B. Bunn S.J Intercultural Center
  1. Fields of Study
  2. Minors
  3. Certificates and Fellows Program
  4. Accelerated Bachelor’s/Master’s Degree Programs

The School of Foreign Service offers a Bachelor of Science in Foreign Service (BSFS) with majors in 8 fields and Bachelor of Science in Business and Global Affairs (BSBGA), all of which have significant international and interdisciplinary elements.  Please note that credits awarded for Advanced Placement classes taken in high school may not under any circumstances be counted towards a major in the School of Foreign Service. Students studying at the Georgetown University in Qatar campus in Doha, Qatar, can refer to the Georgetown University in Qatar section for major, minor, certificate and fellows information.

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. Minors

BSFS students are eligible to complete most minors offered by the University. BSFS students are encouraged to select minors that will be distinctive from their major or certificate. Minors are optional and not required in the School of Foreign Service. Several minors are by application only, typically in the spring of sophomore year. Minors that are not by application may be declared at the same time as or any time after declaring a major, but not before. 

Administration of minors in the School of Foreign Service will follow the same process as the College.  Students should first consult the Georgetown College minors section of this bulletin for specific information about the minor they wish to pursue.

Guidelines for the minors in the School of Foreign Service:

For all other questions please consult with your dean or the Director of Undergraduate Studies in the appropriate department.

Of special note:

  • At most two among minors and certificates may be pursued (2 minors, 1 minor and 1 certificate, or 2 certificates).
  • Students may double-count up to 2 SFS-specific core requirements towards any minor, excluding the Freshman Proseminar.
  • 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 7-course certificates or minors that explicitly allow for the double counting of one course between two programs. Up to two courses may double-count between a certificate and a major.
  • 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 3 courses from outside Georgetown towards the minor and generally only 1 study abroad course.
  • 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 to SFS-student only:

Economics Minor

At most 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 this 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 one of the 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 two courses 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. 

Minors available to SFS students include:


Public Health Minor (NHS) – to declare a Public Health minor, students should plan to meet with the Director.

Georgetown College:

(See the Georgetown College Minors page for more information on each minor)

African American Studies
Art History
Catholic Studies
Classical Studies
Cognitive Science
Computer Science
Creative Writing*
Disability Studies*
Education, Inquiry, and Justice*
Environmental Studies
Film and Media Studies*
Justice and Peace Studies*
Medieval Studies
Performing Arts
Philosophy and Bioethics
Religion, Ethics, and World Affairs*
Russian Literature and Culture (in Translation)
Theater and Performance Studies
Women’s and Gender Studies

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

SFS Minors:

International Development


  • 1 introductory course: INAF 252: Introduction to Economic & Political Development
  • 1 introductory methods course (choose 1 from the following list):
  • ECON 121: Economic Statistics
  • INAF 320: Quantitative Methods for International Affairs
  • IPOL 320: Quantitative Methods for International Politics
  • MATH 140: Intro to Mathematical Statistics
  • Some students are required to take ECON 121 or INAF 320 for their majors.  Since the university does not allow courses to be double counted for a major and also for a minor, those students have the following options available to them:
  • Take INAF 221: Data Science for International Affairs as their IDEV introductory methods requirement.
  • Take two advanced methods requirements, rather than just one
  • 1 advanced methods course (choose 1 from the following list)
  • INAF 383: Applied Econometrics for Development
  • ECON 452: Behavioral Economics
  • ECON 491: Development Impact Evaluation
  • STIA 441: Geographic Info Systems
  • 3 electives from pre-approved list (new window) 
Jewish Civilization

A minor in Jewish civilization allows undergraduates to obtain an interdisciplinary perspective on Judaism and the Jewish people with a special emphasis on Jewish civilization and its interrelationship with other cultures.


  • INAF-199, Introduction to Jewish Civilization: This course provides a foundation for the study of Jewish civilization, and is required for all minor candidates.
  • INAF-443, Jewish Civilization Colloquium Certificate candidates are required to complete an independent research project or paper on a topic related to Jewish civilization. Upon completion, the students will present their papers in a video colloquium.
  • Electives: Minor candidates must take a minimum of four electives offered by the Center for Jewish Civilization**. 

**Hebrew Language (not required): Students who study Hebrew language may count a maximum of two courses toward the JCIV minor.

For more information and approved courses for this minor, please visit the Center for Jewish Civilization (CJC) website (new window).

Latin American Studies 

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

Minor 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 minor is the thesis tutorial (LASP-494 and 495 Proseminar), in which students research, write, and present a substantial thesis. Students enroll in a one-credit course in the fall of their last full academic year 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 minor. Failure to meet these requirements and deadlines is grounds for dismissal from the minor.

Minor Rules and Regulations

No more than one of the six required minor 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 Center for Latin American Studies (CLAS) Director. It is much more likely that minor 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 minor during the second semester of sophomore year in order to ensure that all requirements will be met prior to graduation. Students are required to meet with the CLAS Associate Director during either early registration or the add/drop period for the second semester of their sophomore year to take inventory of the classes taken toward the minor  and make sure that all paperwork is in order. A formal minor application (available in the CLAS office) must be submitted by April 1 of the student’s sophomore year. College students who are pursuing the minor may not double count courses for their major and the minor. 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 minor. Failure to do so will result in a student being dropped from the minor program.

For more information, see the Center for Latin American Studies website.

Religion, Ethics, and World Affairs


Students must take a total of 6 courses for the certificate from the following:

  • 1 Course in Area 1:  Faith and Ethics in International Relations
  • 1 Course in Area 2:  Religion and Politics in Comparative Perspective
  • 1 Course in Area 3: Religion in History and Culture
  • Capstone GOVT-313
  • 2 Electives from any of the above areas

For more information about how to apply for the certificate and approved courses, please visit the Berkley Center for Religion, Peace & World Affairs (new window) website.

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3. Certificates and Fellows Program

Certificate Programs mark secondary levels of concentration within the bachelor’s degree. They are strictly optional and are awarded only in conjunction with the undergraduate degree.  Certificate programs should be viewed as a means for focusing interests and structuring elective course work.  Interested students should discuss the certificate and its role within the general bachelor’s program with his or her advising dean.  

A list of certificates and programs recognized by the School is given below. Please see the Certificates Page or the links below for details.

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

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4. 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 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 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 should contact Dean Murphy ( in the Bachelor of Science in Foreign Service Dean’s Office prior to submitting an application to the Accelerated Programs.

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