Degree Requirements

Students who successfully complete all of the following requirements will earn a Bachelor of Science in Foreign Service (BSFS) upon graduation:

  • Completion of at least 40 courses worth three or more credit hours
  • Completion of at least 120 credit hours
  • Completion of the SFS-Q Core Curriculum
  • Completion of one of the major programs
  • Achievement of Foreign Language Proficiency
  • Attainment of a final cumulative GPA of 2.0 or better
  • Completion of the university's two year residency requirement

The core curriculum (see tab below) is designed to be completed in the first two years of study at Georgetown.  The core exposes students to, and develops knowledge across, a range of disciplines relevant to the study of international affairs.  Students then select a major in which to focus their studies.  Please review the graduation strategy guide for Year 1 and Year 2 which shows students what good progress toward the core curriculum in the first two years looks like.  Students will be held accountable to these "good progress" benchmarks in Academic Standards review, which is conducted twice a year.  Students who are not making good progress toward the degree may find themselves on academic probation.

Diversity Requirement
Georgetown University has instituted a new two-course diversity requirement effective with the Class of 2020. Students in the Class of 2020 and subsequent years will now take two courses that explore concepts of difference and diversity. The goal of these courses, as noted on the
College website, is to "prepare students to be responsible, reflective, self-aware and respectful global citizens through recognizing the plurality of human experience and engaging with different cultures, beliefs, and ideas."


One course looks at domestic issues of diversity, which for the Qatar campus is defined as pertaining to the Arab World. The second course looks at global issues of diversity, which for the Qatar campus means looking at any region other than the Arab World.


These two diversity courses will double-count toward all other curriculum requirements, so they do not add to your total course and credit requirements for graduation. For example, a core history class or proseminar may also count as a diversity course. Major courses, certificate courses and free electives may also count as diversity courses. Courses that satisfy the diversity requirement will be attributed each semester in the schedule of classes. You can take these courses at any time before your graduation. You do not need to complete them in the first two years of study.


If you search the Spring 2017 course schedule, and any subsequent course schedules, you will see the diversity-attributed courses identified as follows:

  • Diversity-Domestic: SFS-Q
  • Diversity-Global: SFS-Q.

The Diversity attributes are included in your degree audit within MyAccess, so you can also check your progress toward completing these requirements there.


  • Core Curriculum

    The School of Foreign Service's interdisciplinary core curriculum consists of the following requirements:

    Proseminar (INAF 100)

    Two Philosophy Courses

    Political & Social Thought (PHIL 099)
    A second course offered by the Philosophy Department

    Two Theology Courses

    The Problem of God (THEO 001) or Introduction to Biblical Literature (THEO 011)

    A second course offered by the Theology Department

    Two Humanities and Writing courses

    Critical Reading and Writing Seminar (WRIT 014) or Writing and Culture Seminar (WRIT 015)
    Writing and Culture Seminar (WRIT 015) for students who took WRIT 014 or a Humanities: Art, Literature, Culture (HALC) course for students who took WRIT015 (offerings will vary by semester).

    Two Government Courses

    Introduction to International Relations (GOVT 060)
    Comparative Political Systems (GOVT 040)

    Three History Courses

    Introductory History – Early (HIST 007 or 106) or Late (HIST 008 or 107)
    An approved Regional History I
    An approved Regional History II

    Note: Students who have not taken American History in secondary school may take US History to 1865 (HIST180) or US History since 1865 (HIST 181) for the Regional History I and/or II requirement.

    Four Economics Courses

    Principles of Microeconomic (ECON 001)
    Principles of Macroeconomic (ECON 002)
    International Trade (ECON 243)
    International Finance (ECON 244)

    Map of the Modern World (INAF 008)

    Proficiency in a Modern Foreign Language

    Students may track their progress towards their degree using MyDegree, an online degree audit system that is available through MyAccess, or by completing a core curriculum worksheet.

  • (IPOL) Specific Requirement

    IPOL majors must take:

    Quantitative Methods for International Politics (IPOL 320).
    And any 10 courses that have been approved for the International Politics major program.

    Students may select IPOL courses that focus on:

    International law
    International institutions
    Ethics and human rights
    Diplomacy and statecraft
    International security
    Trans-national actors and forces
    Diplomatic history
    International political economy

  • (CULP) Specific Requirement

    CULP majors must take:

    CULP 045: Theories of Culture and Politics
    3 courses designated as CULP Humanities
    3 courses designated as CULP Social Science
    5 courses from relevant departments selected by students in consultation with the CULP field chair and curricular dean to reflect the student’s topical interest.

  • (IECO) Specific Requirement

    IECO majors must take:

    MATH 035: Differential Calculus
    ECON 101: Microeconomic Theory
    ECON 102: Macroeconomic Theory
    ECON 121: Economic Statistics
    ECON 122: Introduction to Econometrics
    IECO 400: Research Project Design
    IECO 401: IECO Senior Seminar (400 level courses may be substituted with permission)

    In addition, IECO majors may choose four electives, at least one of which must be an applied economics courses at the 400 level.

  • (IHIS) Specific Requirements

    IHIS majors must take:

    HIST 305, Global Perspectives on International History
    Four courses that have been approved for the International History major
    Five courses within the student’s self-designated concentration within the major. Concentrations may be thematic, regional, or periodic in character and must be developed in consultation with a faculty mentor

    Note: at least 2, but no more than 3, of the courses applied to your major must be non-history courses. Of these non-history courses, at least 1 must be in your self-designed concentration.

  • Foreign Language Proficiency

    In order to earn the BSFS degree, every student in the School of Foreign Service must demonstrate that he or she has the minimum skills necessary to complete academic or professional work in a modern language other than English.

    SFS-Q students must plan carefully in advance to complete the proficiency requirement. For students beginning language instruction, preparation for language proficiency will take seven semesters. Students should review the language proficiency guidelines published by the School of Foreign Service and meet with their advisory dean in order to formulate a comprehensive plan of study.

    SFS-Q students must pass a language proficiency examination administered by Georgetown University faculty. Students need the equivalent of seven semesters of university study in a foreign language in order to qualify for the examination (this includes six semesters of language instruction plus a post-advanced course).

    The proficiency exam is evaluated on a pass/fail basis. Students who pass the proficiency exam are able to sustain a discussion dealing with current events and demonstrate familiarity with relevant historical, cultural, political, and economic information. Students are also able to satisfy routine social needs and to discuss themselves, their studies, and their plans for the future.

    A “pass” on the proficiency exam is comparable to achieving, depending on the language, an Intermediate high to Advanced mid on the American Council for the Teaching of Foreign Languages Proficiency Guidelines (ACTFL) rating, or a B1/low B2 in the Common European Framework of Reference.

  • Residency Requirement

    Students who transfer to the School of Foreign Service in Qatar must complete a minimum of half of the degree program (20 courses and 60 credit hours) at Georgetown University.