Proficiency in English and at least one other language is essential for a successful career in international affairs and thus a requirement for graduation from the MSFS program. The MSFS program assesses language proficiency in the following ways:

  • Language Placement Exam
    Prior to the start of classes, MSFS students take language placement exams. This exam serves a dual purpose. First, it is used to determine which level of language study they should pursue at Georgetown, if at all. Second, it determines eligibility to sit for the language proficiency exam that takes place later in the academic calendar. Students whose native language is not English may declare English as their proficiency language, or may select a different non-native language for their proficiency requirement.
  • Language Courses
    Students who are advised to take English or other foreign language course(s) before proceeding to the Language Proficiency Exam should enroll for an additional (fifth) course during their first semester. Language courses offered include: Arabic, Chinese, English, French, German, Modern Greek, Hebrew, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Persian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Turkish, and Ukrainian. Additional language study in South and Southeast Asian languages are available to MSFS students through a consortium agreement with Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. Note: Language courses do not count for course credit toward the MSFS degree; grades received in language courses do not count in determining the student’s GPA.

Oral Language Proficiency Exam

Either after completing the Language Placement Exam or after taking language courses, each student must pass an Oral Language Proficiency Exam in their second language with a grade of “good” or better. MSFS strongly encourages all students to take and pass the Oral Language Proficiency Exam as soon as possible after enrolling in the program.