Why is Georgetown University in Qatar?
Georgetown University and the School of Foreign Service are pleased to have been invited by Qatar Foundation to join world-class universities in Education City, where we offer an exceptional liberal arts education for students wishing to study international affairs.
Georgetown University has historic scholarly ties with the Arab and Islamic worlds.
1949 - Established the first and only free-standing Department of Arabic in an American university
1975 - Established the Center for Contemporary Arab Studies
1978 - Established the Master of Arts in Arab Studies program
1989 - Established the McGhee Center for Eastern Mediterranean Studies in Alanya, Turkey
1993 - Established the Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding
1999 - Became the first U.S. university to appoint a full-time Muslim chaplain (Imam Yahya Hendi)
2005 - Opened Georgetown University in Qatar
What can I study at Georgetown University in Qatar (GU-Q)?
Georgetown University in Qatar offers a four-year liberal arts curriculum, with majors in Culture & Politics, International Economics, International History, and International Politics, leading to the Bachelor of Science in Foreign Service degree. Applicants should have a strong interest in the study of international affairs. The four-year curriculum provides students with a solid foundation from which to pursue a wide variety of careers.
Please refer to our Programs section for more information about the programs of study at GU-Q.
What are the requirements for applications to GU-Q?
For the core application requirements, please see the Application Checklist. For additional information, consult the Application Details and thoroughly read these Frequently Asked Questions.
- Testing Requirements
What are the GU-Q institutional codes for TOEFL, SAT, and ACT?
TOEFL - 8750
SAT - 4563
ACT - 0669
I am applying to Georgetown University’s main campus in Washington, DC. May I use the GU-Q institutional codes for TOEFL, SAT, or ACT?
GU-Q institutional codes are sent directly to the GU-Q Office of Admissions and are not received or reviewed by the main campus Office of Undergraduate Admissions. If you are applying to our home campus in Washington, DC, please use the appropriate institutional codes.
My grades in math are weak, but my English scores are quite strong. Do I need high math scores for admission to GU-Q?
The School of Foreign Service core curriculum includes a minimum of four required courses in economics. A strong high school math background and strong SAT/ACT math scores indicate to the admissions committee that a student will do well in the required courses. This is an important consideration.
My first language is English. Do I still need to submit TOEFL or IELTS results?
Please see our English language proficiency test waiver policy. Please note that the granting of the English Language Proficiency Exam requirement is subject to the discretion and approval of the Office of Admissions.
I’d like to have my SAT/ACT test requirement waived based on my academic history. Is this possible?
There is no waiver policy for the SAT/ACT test requirement. All applicants must take either the SAT or ACT to be considered for admission.
How can I prepare for these tests?
There are many different organizations offering test preparation courses. Here are a few free online options:
What is the minimum TOEFL, IELTS, SAT or ACT score?
All courses at Georgetown University in Qatar are taught in English. A very high-level of English is needed. In Georgetown, students must read required course material, write exams and papers, make presentations, and engage in discussion and debate both inside and outside the classroom.
While there is no required minimum TOEFL or IELTS score for admission to GU-Q, the most competitive applicants have scores of 100 or better on the Internet- based TOEFL (600 or better on the paper-based TOEFL exam), or scores of 7 or better on the IELTS. It is generally recommended that individuals with scores below 80 on IBT (550 on PBT) or below 6 on IELTS delay applying and continue to work on their English. We waive the TOEFL/IELTS requirement for applicants who score 630 or better on the Evidence Based Reading and Writing section of the New SAT (600 or better on the Critical Reading & Writing sections on the Old SAT), or 26 or better on the ACT Reading/Writing sections. For more information on TOEFL/IELTS waivers, please see our English Language Proficiency Exam Waiver Policy.
Similarly, there is no fixed minimum SAT or ACT score for admission to GU-Q. The most competitive applicants have strong scores in all test sections, particularly the Math and English sections. Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU) provides a test schedule. For registration and updated information please visit the testing agencies' respective websites: TOEFL, IELTS, SAT, ACT.
I took standardized tests multiple times but I only want to report my best scores, is this allowed?
Georgetown University does not participate in the Score Choice option available through the College Board. Georgetown requires that you submit scores from all test sittings of the SAT, ACT, and SAT II Subject Tests. Georgetown evaluates many competitive applicants each year for admission; access to your full testing profile enables the admissions committee to fully and fairly assess your individual strengths in comparison to the entire applicant pool.
The essay section on the new SAT is now optional. Do I have to take it to apply to Georgetown?
The SAT essay is not required to apply to Georgetown. However, we strongly recommend that applicants complete the essay section. This helps the Admissions Committee better gauge your critical reading and writing abilities. Additionally, students who complete the essay section of the new SAT may have their Controlled Writing Exercise requirement waived.
I have taken both the old SAT and the new SAT. Do I have to submit scores for both?
Georgetown University in Qatar requires that you submit scores from all test sittings of the SAT, ACT, and SAT II Subject tests. We will accept both the new SAT and the old SAT. We will compare your scores using concordance tables provided by the College Board to determine your highest scores on both the new SAT and the old SAT.
How do I find more information about the TOEFL, IELTS, SAT and ACT?
For in-depth information of each of the required examinations, please visit the website of the respective testing agencies:
You may also visit the Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU) Testing Services page for information on testing services offered through the HBKU test center.
I have taken the TOEFL and SAT I exams. Do I have to take the SAT II?
While the Office of Admissions encourages students to submit SAT II (subject test) results, subject tests are not required.
How do I register for TOEFL, IELTS, SAT or ACT exams in Qatar?
How do I register for TOEFL, IELTS, SAT, or ACT exams in my country (if not Qatar)?
- Academic/Curricular Requirements
What combination of IGCSE, AS and A-level subjects should I take to be able to apply to Georgetown University in Qatar?
Georgetown University in Qatar (GU-Q) requires applicants to have completed at least 12 years of formal education or equivalent, through the end of a standard high school curriculum.
The IGCSE is generally completed in the 10th or 11th grade, and is a starting point for the AS- or A-level qualifications. Our top applicants have generally completed 8 or 9 IGCSE subject exams. While we start considering applicants during their AS-level exam year, we recommend that students complete their studies through A-level if possible (not every high school offers instruction through A-level). We recommend this because:
- A-level qualifications make an applicant more competitive for admission;
- A-level qualifications allow an applicant to apply to a wide range of top universities;
- A-level qualifications (given good results) will allow an admitted applicant to complete university up to a year sooner.
GU-Q requires students to take a minimum of four AS subjects in their AS-level year. We recommend students take the most challenging courses available to them. Math and English are both excellent choices. Sciences, history, or geography are also good choices. If students choose to continue through A-level, GU-Q will require three A-level subjects. We recommend math, plus at least one reading/writing intensive course such as literature or history.
I’m an IB Diploma candidate. Which courses should I take?
IB Diploma candidates are required to take subjects from six different subject groups: language and literature; language acquisition; individuals and societies; sciences; mathematics; and the arts (or an additional course from the other subject groups). While we do not have requirements for courses or subjects that applicants must take, here are some recommendations that we have for course selection:
- Studies in language and literature: Strong English language skills, particularly critical reading and writing, are essential for success at Georgetown. IB Language and IB Literature (Language A) are both good choices.
- Language Acquisition: Every student in the BSFS program must graduate with proficiency in a language other than English. Any second language is helpful to students joining GU-Q. Please keep in mind that if you are planning on continuing your language study at Georgetown, only French and Arabic are currently offered at the GU-Q.
- Individuals and Societies: Economics, Geography, Global Politics, History, Philosophy, Social & Cultural Anthropology, and World Religions align best with the BSFS curricular offerings and would make for good preparation for our program.
- Sciences: While the hard sciences do not figure into the current BSFS curriculum in Qatar, good results in courses such as Biology, Chemistry, and Physics demonstrate that a student is well-rounded and prepared for our curriculum.
- Mathematics: As all students must take three economics courses at minimum as part of the BSFS curriculum, math skills are an important part of preparation for our program. We encourage students to challenge themselves and opt for a class that will give them a solid foundation in math in preparation for our rigorous economics courses.
- Arts (or elective): While a number of courses at GU-Q explore film and the arts as a window into history, culture, politics, etc., we ideally would prefer candidates for admission to opt to study an additional individuals and societies or language course, if available at your school.
We also recommend applicants choose the most challenging courses available to them, especially in courses which demonstrate key strengths that we look for, namely critical reading, critical writing, and mathematics.
How important is high school math in the admission decision?
Ultimately, our admissions committee looks for students who will be successful at Georgetown. Georgetown students are required to take a minimum of four courses in economics (macro-economics, micro-economics, international finance, and international trade). A strong math foundation in high school is generally a good indicator of success in economics at university. The admissions committee looks for achievement in math on two fronts: good grades and strong courses. SAT or ACT math test scores should complement the high school math grades.
I am/have enrolled in a Foundation program or alternative program after graduating high school. Do I still need to provide my high school transcripts?
Yes. We will still need to see your official transcripts/grade reports for your final three years of secondary school. Georgetown evaluates many competitive applicants each year for admission; access to your full academic profile enables the admissions committee to fully and fairly assess your individual strengths in comparison to the entire applicant pool.
I took AP Courses/IB Courses/A levels in high school. Can I get university credit for these?
As with transfer credit, The GU-Q Office of Academic Affairs is responsible for reviewing advanced credit for all admitted students. The Office of Admissions will forward transcripts for admitted students to Academic Affairs once our decisions are released in the Spring. Students may be able to get credit for:
- Core courses (such as English, history, economics, etc.);
- Major courses (international relations, politics, etc.);
- Elective courses
Please note that the admissions office does not make this determination. For more information, please see the "Advanced Credit" section of our Undergraduate Bulletin.
Students must complete a minimum of two years' of coursework at Georgetown to earn a Georgetown University degree.
- Personal Statement
I am afraid my personal statement will either be too short or too long. Is there a minimum or maximum word count?
While we do not specify a word-limit for the personal statement, we do ask for essays of "approximately one page each." A long statement is not necessarily a better one. Language correctness, good organization, strong arguments, ingenuity and integrity (among others) are more likely to impress the readers.
How can I submit my personal statement?
Applicants upload the personal statement to their online applications.
I have heard about the Controlled Writing Exercise (CWE). What is it?
All applicants are required to complete a Controlled Writing Exercise (CWE) as part of the GU-Q application process. The exercise is an hour-long session during which you are asked to write a short essay on one of our given topics. We will contact applicants closer to the application deadline to schedule and coordinate the CWE.
The CWE does not require advanced knowledge or preparation on any particular topic. The Admissions Committee reviews the essay for logic, grammar, syntax, sentence structure, etc. We pay particular attention to depth of analysis and written communication skills. The exercise is meant to simulate a routine experience in which students share written work in a class.
- Counselor Report & Teacher Report
How can my report be submitted?
The Counselor and Teacher Report must be submitted to our admissions office electronically, through our application system. Please be sure to input the name and contact information for each reference provider through the designated link on your online application. Please also ensure that you enter your recommender's institutional/professional e-mail address (not Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail, etc.). We do not accept recommendations submitted from personal e-mail addresses.
Exceptions for paper recommendations may be made under extenuating circumstances only (i.e. lack of internet access). Prior approval is required. Please e-mail the GU-Q Office of Admissions for approval. Should a paper submission be approved, you can download a copy of the counselor report and the teacher report. We will not process paper recommendations that do not have the required approval from our office.
My recommenders cannot submit my recommendations in English. What should I do?
We accommodate the diversity of our applicants and understand that some recommenders may not be comfortable writing their recommendations in English. In cases such as these, we need official translations of the recommendation signed and sealed by the recommenders.
How many reports do I need?
A minimum of two reports in support of your application are required:
- One Overall Academic Assessment/Counselor Report
- One Teacher Report
I understand that there is an interview as part of the application process. When should I expect to have an interview?
The Admissions Office of the Georgetown University in Qatar may schedule interviews for some qualified applicants after applications have been reviewed. Expect most interviews to take place in late February or early March. Not every person who submits an application is selected for an interview. Interviews are not an indication of admissibility.
I do not live in Qatar, will I still be interviewed?
The Admissions Office of Georgetown University in Qatar will make every effort to schedule interviews for all qualified applicants. We generally conduct interviews for international applicants via Skype or over the phone. In some cases, applicants will elect to travel to Qatar for their interview.
- Transfer Students & Adult Learners
I am currently a student at another university. Can I transfer to GU-Q?
GU-Q accepts and reviews applications from transfer students during the same application window as first-time, first-year students. Transfer applicants are held to the February 1 application deadline and also are required to submit SAT/ACT and TOEFL/IELTS scores, as necessary. Transfer applicants should submit their most recent university transcript in addition to all the other required elements of of the undergraduate application.
I’m a transfer applicant and need to know whether I will receive credit for courses I completed at my former university.
The GU-Q Office of Academic Affairs is responsible for reviewing transfer and advanced credit for all admitted students. The Office of Admissions will forward transcripts for admitted students to Academic Affairs after admissions decisions have been released. Admitted students may request a review of courses for transfer credit before the enrollment deadline. A complete course syllabus, in addition to the transcript, will be required. Academic Affairs will review the transcript and syllabus to determine course equivalency, if any. These may include any or all of the following:
- Core courses (such as English, history, economics, etc.);
- Major courses (international relations, politics, etc.);
- Elective courses
Please note that the admissions office does not make this determination. For more information on transfer students, please see our undergraduate bulletin.
Students must complete a minimum of two years of coursework at Georgetown to earn a Georgetown University degree.
I am interested in studying Arabic in the Arab world. Can I come to study at GU-Q?
GU-Q offers Arabic language instruction for full-time Georgetown University undergraduates, qualified students at other universities at Education City, and eligible study abroad students enrolled at GU-Q or EC universities.
Someone told me that if I complete the Academic Bridge Program in Education City, I can get into GU-Q. Is that correct?
The Academic Bridge Program (ABP) offers courses that help students strengthen their academic skills, particularly in English, math, and general university preparedness. Qualified ABP students have the additional advantage of being allowed to cross-register for a limited number of university courses for credit. There is no guarantee, however, that a student who complete ABP will be admitted to GU-Q. We encourage all prospective applicants to look carefully at the application requirements and at the GU-Q curriculum before applying.
I have a Bachelor's degree but I still want to study at GU-Q. Is this possible?
Students who have already earned a 4 year bachelors degree at another college or university are not eligible for admission to GU-Q. If you are interested in graduate study, please visit the admissions website of our main campus in Washington D.C.
For some countries and for certain majors, 2 and 3 year bachelors degrees may not be considered equivalent to a full undergraduate program in the USA. In these cases, you may be eligible to apply and study at GU-Q. If you believe your bachelors degree falls under this description, please contact the Office of Admissions to see if you are eligible to apply.
Please note: all students must complete a minimum of two years of coursework at Georgetown to earn a Georgetown University degree.
- Application Deadline
What is the deadline for application?
The deadline for application for fall admission is February 1. All supplementary application materials must also be received by February 1 (SAT/ACT scores, TOEFL/IELTS scores, etc.). We recommend that all material be submitted as early as possible. Please note that Georgetown University in Qatar does not offer admission for the spring semester.
I submitted my complete application before the February 1 deadline. When can I expect to hear back?
The GU-Q admissions office begins contacting applicants in late February regarding interview appointments and other important matters. By May, all applicants should have been notified as to whether or not they have been offered a place in the incoming class.
If I am admitted for Fall 2020, when will the semester begin?
Fall classes begin in August 2020. Mandatory New Student Orientation (NSO) takes place during the preceding week. Hamad Bin Khalifa University's (HBKU) also will hold orientation events for international students. The formal convocation ceremony for new students is held at the end of NSO (August 2020). All entering students must participate in orientation and convocation and must therefore, attend NSO. Parents are encouraged and welcome to attend the convocation ceremony. For more information about the Academic Calendar, please click here.
All admitted students must attend orientation and be present for the first day of classes. All new international students also must attend HBKU's orientation for international students.
I missed the deadline for applying for fall admission. Can I apply for Spring admission?
GU-Q has a single admissions cycle, with fall semester admission only. The next application deadline, for fall 2020 admission, will be February 1, 2020.
- Graduate Degrees
Does Georgetown University in Qatar School of Foreign Service offer Master or Ph.D. programs?
While our campus in Washington, D.C., offers a full range of graduate programs, the Georgetown University in Qatar School of Foreign Service currently only offers coursework leading to the B.S. in Foreign Service degree for fulltime undergraduate students. We are considering offering non-degree graduate level coursework for credit and perhaps a graduate level program in the future.
While we do not offer graduate degree programs or graduate courses for credit, we do have frequent lectures and conferences that are, sponsored by our Center for International and Regional Studies (CIRS) and are open to the public. If you are interested in attending these events, please register on the CIRS website.
- Tuition & Finances
What is the cost of studying at GU-Q?
For 2019-20, tuition at the School of Foreign Service is $55,440 (QR. 202,356.00), and it rises about six percent each year. Books, housing (if necessary) and other fees are extra. For more information on our tuition and fees, please visit the tuition page on our website.
I do not have the money to pay the tuition at GU-Q. Can I get a scholarship?
Georgetown offers need based grants and a limited number of merit scholarships. The College Scholarship Service (CSS) Profile is required to determine eligibility for grant and scholarship assistance. If you would like to be considered, you must complete the CSS Profile by February 1. Students should also apply for for Qatar Foundation need-based financial aid loans. The latter program is managed by Qatar Foundation and based on careful review of family income and expenditures for those students who apply for it. Financial aid awards are in the form of no-interest loans. Repayment of the loan after graduation can take two forms: the student can either commit to paying 15% of net income to Qatar Foundation until the loan is paid off; or they can remain in Qatar and receive debt forgiveness for work at one of the 200+ approved employers. With the debt forgiveness option, graduates keep all salary, and on top of that receive $27,000 of debt forgiveness per year for up to six years, at which point any remaining debt (if any) is completely forgiven. Most students at Georgetown have some combination of scholarship, financial aid loan, and self-funding. See our Financial Aid page for information. Qatari students may apply for full scholarships through the Ministry of Administrative Development, Labor & Social Affairs, and sponsorships through private companies.
Georgetown University practices "need-blind" admissions; an applicant's ability to meet college costs is not a criterion for admission. U.S. citizens and permanent residents (green card holders) may be eligible for federally funded student loans and should submit for consideration a FAFSA form for consideration to Georgetown University (This will be required if applying for Qatar Foundation Financial Aid).
If I study in Qatar and my family does not have a home there, where will I live?
HBKU housing is located within Education City. Male and female students live in separate apartment blocks. Each residence hall floor has community kitchens and laundry rooms, and lounges for study and social space. There are four room options: a residence hall room and three apartment styles. All freshmen are assigned a residence hall room and their rooms are grouped together. For non-freshmen, apartments consist of studio, one- and two-bedroom apartments. Each student has a private bedroom (even in a 2-bedroom apartment), bathroom, TV, and refrigerator. Only apartments have a kitchen in the unit.
What are the costs for on-campus housing?
First time applicants are required to pay a non-refundable deposit of QR 1,000 as a reservation fee, which is applied to the room fee when an assignment is made. The balance is due to Qatar Foundation prior to move-in. Upon submitting the housing application students must provide a QR 2,000 damage deposit, which will be fully refunded upon checkout if there is no damage to the room (or adjacent common areas) or improper checkout.
The costs of each room type are:
- residence hall room QR 8,840 per semester
- 2 bedroom apartment QR 10,240 per semester
- studio apartment QR 11,140 per semester
- 1 bedroom apartment QR 11,940 per semester
What should I do about registering for housing?
If you are planning to live in HBKU housing during the school year, please look for an e-mail from Georgetown after you have confirmed your admission. The e-mail will include instructions about the online housing application system. If you are a local student and want to live on campus then you will need to provide Georgetown with your information to initiate the housing application process.
Can I request a particular roommate?
Only the 2-bedroom apartment has an option for a roommate but keep in mind that freshmen are not eligible for an apartment.
Do I have the option of requesting on-campus housing for one semester?
Yes. Be sure to indicate that on your housing application. You may be contacted by Housing and Residence Life for additional information.
Is there a meal plan?
There is no comprehensive meal plan; students may choose to purchase groceries and prepare meals in the dorm kitchens, eat subsidized meals in the subsidized cafeterias (~$7/meal), or eat at any of a wide range of restaurants in Doha.
I am interested in living on campus year-round. Can you give me details on housing for summer and winter break periods?
A student who requires on-campus housing during the summer will pay a daily rate for housing. If the student has a previously assigned room during the school year then the student will be able to remain in the room during the winter break. Depending on the student’s housing plans for the following academic year, a student may need to change rooms during summer housing. In order to have housing the summer, the student needs to sign up for Summer Housing in advance.
What are laundry facilities like in the HBKU residence halls?
There are self-service laundry facilities in each of the residence halls. There is no laundry service. Students who want laundry service must arrange the service on their own.
Where are most students at GU-Q from?
Admission to GU-Q is open to all qualified students, regardless of background. GU-Q students have come from more than 50 countries and five continents. We maintain a strong commitment to diversity, and we recruit and admit students from all over the world.
Statement of Nondiscrimination: Georgetown University admits qualified students regardless of age, sex, race, handicap, color, national or ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. It does not discriminate on the basis of age, sex, religion, race, sexual orientation, handicap, color, national or ethnic origin in administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs, or athletic and other school administered programs.
Are students of all religious traditions welcome at the Georgetown University in Qatar?
From its founding in 1789 by John Carroll, the first Catholic bishop in the United States, Georgetown University has been open to students from all nations and faiths. In the Jesuit tradition of educating men and women for others, Georgetown students are taught to engage people of all backgrounds and cultures and to understand their responsibility to make a difference in the world. The vision of John Carroll continues to be realized today in a distinctive educational institution -- a University rooted in the Catholic faith and Jesuit tradition, committed to spiritual inquiry, engaged in the public sphere, and invigorated by religious and cultural pluralism.
At the School of Foreign Service, students of different faiths study and learn together, from their professors, and from each other. There are dedicated Muslim prayer spaces throughout the campus, including in the Georgetown Building, the home of GU-Q. In addition, a designated room for prayer and reflection is available to all members of the GU-Q community regardless of religious background.