Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service conferred the first graduate degree in international affairs in 1922, pre-dating the U.S. State Department's adoption of the term "foreign service." Since that initial class, over 3,000 students have completed the Master of Science in Foreign Service (MSFS) program. Graduates have attained notable success in careers with national governments, international organizations, private businesses and civil society groups.

Today MSFS is recognized as one of the most selective programs in the world. As reported in the February 3, 2015 issue of Foreign Policy, a recent survey of international relations faculty ranked Georgetown among the field's top professionally oriented master's degrees.

Attention to the individual student is a hallmark of the MSFS program, with small classes, faculty-student interaction and life-long friendships cited regularly in post-graduation surveys. Other attractions include the program's distinguished faculty, the Washington, D.C. location and a curriculum that integrates multidisciplinary core requirements with skills training, internships and field experience.

Curriculum and Faculty

International careers increasingly require knowledge and skills that transcend the confines of traditional academic disciplines. The MSFS program addresses this with a multidisciplinary course of study that integrates theory and practice. The curriculum offers:

  • a full-time, two-year, 48-credit program
  • small classes with interactive teaching and learning
  • required core courses that provide cross-disciplinary insights into the dynamic international system
  • advanced courses in economics, history, politics and business as well as quantitative methods, analytical skills and foreign languages
  • a choice of three professional concentration areas: global politics and security, international development, global business and finance
  • specializations that integrate classes, skills training, internship opportunities and unique, practitioner-taught workshops

The MSFS faculty encompasses scholar-teachers and practitioners. Faculty teaching MSFS students include Charles Kupchan, Victor Cha, Kathleen McNamara, John McNeill, and Theodore Moran. Among the more notable practitioners are Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and Ambassador Robert Gallucci. Adjunct faculty include executives from the World Bank, Citigroup, Exxon, ITT, McKinsey, Sidley Austin, FINCA and Knight Ridder Newspapers.

Practitioners serve as Concentration Coordinators for each field of study. Their applied professional insights complement the full-time faculty's role in advising on course selection, internships, career preparation and employment opportunities. Practitioners also offer optional one or two-day skills clinics; recent examples include global strategy concepts and approaches, international development project design and evaluation and business risk assessment and management techniques.