About MSFS

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.

MSFS Mission: Leadership in Service to the Global Community

The Master of Science in Foreign Service (MSFS) is a professional master’s degree in the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University. Its goal is to prepare women and men to be creative leaders in the public, private and non-profit sectors of international affairs. In keeping with the vision of the School’s founder, Father Edmund A. Walsh, S.J., MSFS seeks to instill in its students a commitment to service in the international community and an appreciation for the ethical dimension of international affairs.

For more about the School of Foreign Service see The Aims of the School of Foreign Service, November 25, 1919, by Father Edmund A. Walsh, S.J.

MSFS Core Values: Leadership, Creativity, Ethics and Service

To achieve our mission, and flowing from Georgetown’s Jesuit tradition, MSFS is animated by four core values: Leadership, Creativity, Ethics, and Service.

At MSFS, we define leadership as the ability to work cooperatively with others to develop a vision, articulate concrete goals and strategies, and implement positive change. We are committed to providing opportunities for our students to develop and strengthen these skills both inside and outside the classroom, preparing them for the challenges they will confront in their careers. As practitioners in the field of international affairs, our graduates are equipped with the tools to lead effectively in today’s complex and diverse global society.

Creativity is the ability to think outside established paradigms and to solve problems innovatively. With new technologies, new actors, and new patterns of behavior on the international scene, MSFS graduates must be able to exercise their imagination. Our curriculum and co-curricular programming is designed to encourage and inspire students to approach every undertaking with creativity in both their personal and professional lives. 

Ethics is the foundation for all of our coursework, programming, and professional development. We believe every student must have an understanding and appreciation of different moral frameworks and an ability to articulate competing goods, balance their merits, and choose among them. With this background in ethical reasoning, MSFS graduates are prepared to navigate the challenging multi-dimensional decisions that are the hallmark of a career in international affairs.

Service is a commitment to help others, especially the most vulnerable and disadvantaged populations, both in the local community and abroad. MSFS seeks to foster a passion for civic engagement and the pursuit of social justice in all its students, encouraging a life-long dedication to serving the greater, global community.