MSFS students are required to complete sixteen three-credit courses—four courses in each of four semesters—with a cumulative grade point average of B (3.0) or higher. 

These courses include:

Students can be granted waivers, based on previous academic work and experience, from three core courses: International Trade, International Finance and Analytical and Statistical Skills.

Language: MSFS students must pass a language proficiency examination, for which course work may or may not be required, depending upon the student's level of proficiency. 

Internship: Students pursuing the Master of Science in Foreign Service (MSFS) are required to have successfully completed at least one internship for an internationally-oriented organization in the public, private or non-profit sector during their course of study.

Oral Examination: The capstone of two years at MSFS is a one-hour oral examination taken in the spring of the second year.

Dual Degrees: Students in the MSFS Program may pursue solely the MSFS degree or combine the MSFS with a second degree.

Library Resources: The Georgetown University Library system provides abundant resources for education and research in international affairs. MSFS students also have access to other Washington area libraries and collections that meet more specialized needs.

Transfer Credits: With the approval of the director of the MSFS Program, students may transfer up to three (3) credits for graduate-level course(s) completed at another institution. Credits applied to a previously completed master's degree may not be applied toward the MSFS degree.

Sample Curriculum 

First year

Fall semester

Spring semester

Second year

Fall semester

  • Workshop
  • Concentration Course
  • Elective
  • Elective

Spring semester

  • Concentration Course
  • Concentration Course
  • Elective
  • Elective


Minimum Grade Requirement and Grading Standard

Students must maintain a 3.0 grade point average (GPA) on a 4.0 scale.

Beginning in the fall semester of 2011, the Master of Science in Foreign Service (MSFS) instituted a grading standard for all courses carrying the “MSFS” course prefix. Prior to the fall of 2011, courses taught in the Master of Science in Foreign Service were not subject to any specific grading standard.

In an effort to provide for greater consistency in grades across the MSFS curriculum and to combat grade inflation, a standard has been imposed on all MSFS courses, whereby faculty assessment of student performance will result in final course grades distributed as follows.

MSFS Grade Distribution

20% A
30% A-
30% B+
20% B and below

Whereby an (A) is Outstanding; (A-) is Excellent; (B+) is Very Good; (B) is Good; (B-) is Acceptable; and a (C) is Minimally Passing.

The Master of Science in Foreign Service is a select graduate program that consistently attracts exceptional students from around the world. Please view transcripts of students enrolled in MSFS courses with the understanding that the above standard has been established as of the fall of 2011.

Please click the following for a notice of the grading standard.