Degree Requirements

I.   Degree Requirements
II.  Core Curriculum
III. Language Proficiency
IV. Majors & Certificates
V.  Honors in the Major
VI. Advanced/Transfer Credit
VII. International Affairs Internship at Brookings Doha Centre
VIII. Accelerated BSFS/Master's Degrees



I. Degree Requirements

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

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, in addition to meeting the residency requirement.

Students may track their progress towards their degree using the online degree audit.

II. 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 Writing for International Affairs (ENFL 114) or Humanities and Writing I (HUMW 011)
    • Writing & Culture Seminar (WRIT 015) for students who took ENFL 114 , or English Gateway (ENGL 043) for students who took HUMW 011
      Note 1: Students are expected to complete both Humanities and Writing courses during their first year of study at SFS-Qatar.
  • Two Government courses
    • Introduction to International Relations (GOVT 006)
    • Comparative Political Systems (GOVT 121)
  • Three History courses
    • Introductory History - Early or Modern (HIST 007 or HIST 008)
      Note: These courses have recently been renumbered. Previously the following courses met this requirement: World History I (HIST 001), World History II (HIST 002), European Civilization I (HIST 033), European Civilization II (HIST 034).
    • An approved Regional History I
    • An approved Regional History II
      Note: Students who have not taken American History in secondary school may petition the Deans to substitute US History to 1865 (HIST 180) 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. 

III. 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.

Normally, SFS-Qatar students demonstrate proficiency in a foreign language in one of two ways:

1) Certification of Native Speaker Status:

A student who has graduated from a secondary school in which the language of instruction was a modern language other than English may have already fulfilled the language proficiency requirement. Students must provide relevant documentation to their dean during their first semester at Georgetown. At the dean’s discretion, students may still be required to take a language proficiency or placement test during the first semester to verify whether further coursework is needed to obtain language proficiency.

2) Passing a Language Proficiency Examination:

Students who are not native speakers of a modern foreign language 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.