Georgetown University School of Foreign Service in Qatar

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Georgetown University School of Foreign Service in Qatar
جامعة جورجتاون كلية الشؤون الدولية في قطر
Georgetown University Seal.svg
Seal of Georgetown University
Motto Utraque Unum
("Both into One")[1]
Type Private
Established August 31, 2005
Affiliation Roman Catholic (Jesuit)
President John J. DeGioia
Dean Gerd Nonneman[2]
Academic staff
Administrative staff
Undergraduates 230[5]
Location Doha, Qatar
25°18′56″N 51°26′5″E / 25.31556°N 51.43472°E / 25.31556; 51.43472Coordinates: 25°18′56″N 51°26′5″E / 25.31556°N 51.43472°E / 25.31556; 51.43472
Campus Education City, 2,400 acres (9.7 km2)

Blue and Gray

Sports 6 club teams
Nickname Hoyas
Georgetown University School of Foreign Service logo

Georgetown University School of Foreign Service in Qatar, also known as SFSQ, is a branch campus of the Georgetown University Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service situated in Doha, Qatar. The satellite campus, which joined Education City in 2005, is a joint venture between Qatar Foundation and Georgetown University.[7] Currently SFSQ offers a Bachelor of Science in Foreign Service degree with the ability to major in one of three fields: International Politics, Culture and Politics, and International Economics.[8] The curriculum of these majors is identical to that offered in Georgetown's main campus.


In 2005 the SFS joined four other U.S. universities in opening a campus in Education City. The initiative came from Qatar Foundation, who wanted a top-notch institution here which would focus on liberal arts with a specialization in global affairs.[9] All costs for the development of this campus are paid for by the non-profit Qatar Foundation. The requirements for the Bachelor of Science in Foreign Service degree are the same as those of the Washington campus. Classes started in August 2005 with 25 students. By August 2007, the student body had grown to 110 students, and by 2011 to approximately 200.[10] As of January 2013, one third of students are Qatari, one third are non-Qataris residents in Qatar, and one third are international students. Currently, there are students from 44 nationalities.[9]

Georgetown University began studying the feasibility of opening a campus of the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service in Qatar in October 2002, when the Qatar Foundation, which funded the entire enterprise, first proposed the idea. They came to Georgetown after meetings with U.S. Ambassador to Qatar, Patrick N. Theros. Theros was himself a School of Foreign Service alumnus, and suggested Georgetown be included.[11]



Georgetown University School of Foreign Service in Qatar only offers four year undergraduate degrees. Contrary to some belief, apart from language courses, including Arabic and French, all courses in SFSQ are taught in English and the curriculum in the specified majors are identical to those offered in Georgetown's main campus in Washington D.C. Currently, Georgetown University School of Foreign Service in Qatar only offers a Bachelor of Science in Foreign Service degree.[12] However, in their second year of study, students are given the chance to focus their studies and choose one of three available majors:[8]

  • International Politics: A multidisciplinary program that allows students to explore the structure of the international system and study how state and non-state actors interact with one another.
  • Culture and Politics: a multidisciplinary program that enables students to understand the connections between culture, society and politics in international affairs.
  • International Economics: a multidisciplinary program that enables students to acquire the skills required to understand markets and economic relationships among countries, and to evaluate the effects of policy on the economic welfare of individuals, firms, and countries.

In their first two years of study, students are expected to complete a set of core courses including economics, theology, philosophy, government, and English language courses. In their second two years they are allowed to customize their study in choosing to focus on particular electives or areas of study. In total, students require 120 credit hours and 40 courses in order to graduate from the university, including passing a proficiency in a second language.[13]


Apart from the three majors, Georgetown University School of Foreign Service in Qatar offers two certificates:

  • The Certificate in American Studies is a program that focuses on the American experience and how it informs political decision making. The program provides students with a solid understanding of the historical development of the American people, providing the necessary context for the exploration of cultural and social themes across a variety of disciplines, as well as the advanced study of American political processes and institutions.
  • The Certificate in Arab and Regional Studies provides students with an interdisciplinary understanding of the Arab and Islamic worlds. The program capitalizes on the unique geographical, cultural and academic situation of SFS-Qatar to highlight the connection of regional history with current issues, as well as to stress the impact of culture on the self-understanding of the Arab and Islamic world and its relationship with the West.

Honors system[edit]

Georgetown University School of Foreign Service in Qatar offers two types of honors: Latin Honors and Honors in Major.

  • Latin Honors: If at graduation, the cumulative grade point average (GPA) of a student is between 3.5 and 3.699 then a student will graduate with distinction cum laude. If a student's cumulative GPA falls between 3.7 and 3.899 the student will graduate with High Distinction, magna cum laude. Finally if a student graduates with a cumulative GPA higher than a 3.9 then that student will graduate with the highest distinction, summa cum laude.[14]
  • Honors in Major: Apart from Latin honors, students have the ability to graduate with honors in their selected major. Students in each of the fields who have a cumulative GPA above a 3.3 are eligible to partake in the two-part Honors Seminar. The seminar spans two semesters. The first part focuses on research skills and topic selection while the second part is an intensive thesis-writing workshop. At the end of the semester, students are expected to submit a 50 – 80 page thesis that will be judged by a panel of selected professors. If the thesis grade is an A (94%) or A- (90%), then the student achieves honors in major and receives an honorable mention in the annual university awards ceremony. A line will appear on the student's transcript indicating his success in the course.[15][16]

Scholarships and financial aid[edit]

Studying at Georgetown University SFSQ is quite expensive. The annual tuition is averaged at around 40 000 USD with living expenses estimated at 10 000 USD/year including food, housing, and personal spending.[17][18] However students at Georgetown University School of Foreign Service in Qatar have access to ample scholarship and financial aid opportunities.

  • Hamad bin Khalifa Financial Aid Program: Qatar Foundation provides need-based financial aid in the form of zero interest loans. QF loans may cover expenses such as tuition and fees, housing, travel expenses and study abroad. Applications are submitted on a yearly basis. Qatar Foundation considers all scholarship amounts as ‘income’ in making financial aid (loan) awards. There are two options for repayment of QF loans after graduation: standard repayment or loan forgiveness. Under standard repayment, students can choose to commit to paying 15% of their monthly salary until the total of their loan has been repaid. With loan forgiveness, students can choose to stay in Qatar and work in an approved job related to their field of study for a period of one to six years, depending on the amount of loan borrowed.
  • Ministry or Other Sponsorship: Qatari citizens may qualify for tuition sponsorship through the assistance of the Higher Education Institute.
  • Merit Scholarship: Students admitted to Georgetown University-Qatar are eligible for merit-based partial scholarships (generally 1/3 to 1/2 the cost of tuition and awarded based on the strength of the application). There is no separate application process for merit scholarship consideration. Scholarship recipients are notified when they are informed of their admissions status. A review of the each student’s academic standing will take place every semester. This scholarship may be awarded to students in any year (freshman, sophomore, junior, senior) of university.
  • Qatar Foundation Student Fund Scholarship: This is offered to all students who after spending their first year at Georgetown University SFSQ achieve a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.6. This scholarship is reexamined on a yearly basis and the recipient must maintain his cumulative GPA in order to continue receiving the aid.[19]

Transfer credits[edit]

In an effort to supplement theoretical learning, Georgetown University encourages students to study abroad during their junior year. SFSQ students have the ability to study in hundreds of universities abroad as long as they are pre-approved by Georgetown's office of international programs.[20]

Finally, students can transfer in and out of Georgetown from other universities. They must go through the application process but Georgetown recognizes credit from other universities on a course by course bases. A minimum of two years course work needs to be done at Georgetown University in order to earn the degree.[21]


Georgetown University SFSQ launched a journal on political science in September 2014 called The Journal of Georgetown University-Qatar Middle Eastern Studies Student Association. Georgetown University's oldest newspaper The Hoya claimed that it would become "the first academic political science journal published by students in the Middle East". It is published by Bloomsbury Qatar Foundation Journals.[22]

Faculty list[edit]

Dr. Ibrahim Oweiss in his classroom at SFS-Qatar

In addition to semestral visits of faculty members from the main campus. As of June 2011, Georgetown SFSQ employs 36 full-time faculty members.[3]


Main article: Education City

The School of Foreign Service in Qatar shares the Education City facilities with other universities but has a building of its own which was inaugurated in February 2011. The new 360,000-square-foot (33,000 m2) building features a three-story high atrium, an auditorium with a seating capacity for 350 people and 14 classroom and lecture halls.[23] It includes offices, classrooms, a library and other facilities for more than 200 undergraduate and graduate students.[24] The facility was designed by renowned architect Ricardo Legorreta of Mexico City.[25]

The new student center opened in 2009 and offers students recreational facilities.[26] It includes a fitness room, bowling alley, arcade room, and indoor basketball court, as well as a bookstore, a coffee shop, and some other commercial outlets.[27]

Other future Education City projects include new dormitories and a student center. The new 850,000-square-foot (79,000 m2) housing complex opened in Spring 2011, and is the first ever LEED platinum residential hall.[28]

Student housing[edit]

Student housing is managed by Qatar Foundation and shared among the Education City campuses. As of 2011, the per semester cost of student housing is 7800QAR or approximately 2100 USD. Dormitories are either male-only or female-only, with no co-ed housing available.[29]


Georgetown University School of Foreign Service in Qatar manages one of the most extensive libraries in Qatar and the region. The three-story library houses over 30,000 books and 1500 DVDs, as well as access to more than 500 online databases. The library subscribes to many daily newspapers and contains up-to-date journals and periodicals which are available for guests and users.

The library is equipped with many state-of-the-art facilities including group study rooms, private study cubicles, computers, wireless internet, scanners, printers, and photocopy machines.

The library staff provides users many services including book loan privileges, research assistance, and intercampus loans from Georgetown's main campus library as well as other Education City Libraries. The Writing Center has recently been established within the library and offers users advice on writing skills and strategies.[30]

Student life[edit]

Seeking well-rounded individuals who strive for education and knowledge, the school's student body represents twenty-eight different countries and five continents.[24] Forty percent of students are Qatari, and sixty percent of students are female.[5] A total of twelve student groups exist on the school's campus.[10]

Student activities include:

  • Brainfood: Brainfood arranges discussions over dinner between SFS-Q students and professors. Past guests have included visiting theologians and the US Ambassador to Qatar.
  • Debate Club: The SFS-Q Debate Club participates in regular debating competitions throughout Qatar, often receiving local honors. In January 2011, a group of six students traveled to Botswana for the World Debating Championships.
  • Diwan Literary Magazine: The students behind Diwan took advantage of local enthusiasm during the "Arab Spring" to launch their inaugural issue in 2011. Adopting the theme of "Revolution!" the magazine included stories in English and Arabic on such diverse subjects as the role of women in Islam, colonialism in the Arab world, and economic development in Bangladesh. The group plans to put out one issue every semester.
  • Hope Club: In the spirit of "Women and Men for Others," the Hoya Hope Club organizes community-based research and service projects. The club strives to gain a better understanding of the needs of communities in Qatar. Past projects include making lunches for workers and sponsoring a Ramadan food and clothing drive.
  • Hoya English Learning Program: HELP is a volunteer outreach program, in which students organize and teach weekly English language courses for Education City workers. In 2009-2010, members taught more than 60 English classes to 180 workers.
  • International Relations Club: The IRC promotes the study and discussion of international issues. Members engage in debates of current issues, travel to collegiate MUN conferences abroad, and help to plan SFS-Q's annual Model United Nations conference for high school students.
  • Photography Club: This group brings together students with a passion for photography and creates a forum for the exchange of ideas, improvement of skills and the effectual display of their work. The Photography Club assisted in the creation of the Jordan Refugee Project Photo exhibition in 2007. In 2009, the club executed photographic shoots at the newly opened Museum of Islamic Art where they took hundreds of shots, followed by a group critiquing session to analyze and fine-tune their work.
  • Senior Class Committee: The Senior Class Committee organizes fun events for members of the senior class, aimed at promoting group bonding and school spirit. In 2010-2011, the SCC planned a senior dhow cruise, a Halloween party, a women's spa day, go-carting, and a "Last Chance Lecture" with the class of 2011's favorite professors. SCC members also provide vital input into the planning of commencement and other senior events.
  • Theater Club: Tackling all things from Monty Python to Shakespeare, the Theater Club invites any and all to perform, observe, and enjoy all that the club has to offer. In their inaugural performance in 2009, the group tackled Samuel Beckett's Waiting for Godot. This highly respected and difficult work was met with great fanfare by students, faculty, and staff. In 2010, senior Madhoorya Mantha directed and starred in Scenes from an Execution.
  • Student Government Association: This democratic government includes representatives from each class, as well as three elected officials who oversee the entire group. The SGA is responsible for planning annual events such as Georgetown Day, held on the last day of classes every spring semester, as well as voicing student concerns to administrators of Georgetown and Qatar Foundation.[31]

The university also has a wide range of health services that it provides to all of its students.[32]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ From the Epistle to the Ephesians 2:14. See official explanation. Other translations available.
  2. ^ "New Dean Named at School of Foreign Service in Qatar" (Press release). University of Georgetown. May 25, 2011. Retrieved June 18, 2011. 
  3. ^ a b
  4. ^
  5. ^ a b Buckley, Erin (October 21, 2008). "SFS-Q Boasts Increasingly Global Student Body". The Hoya. Retrieved October 21, 2008. 
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^ a b
  9. ^ a b "Interview with the Dean Gerd Nonneman". 2013-01-12. Retrieved 2013-02-03. 
  10. ^ a b Blazey, Elizabeth (October 3, 2008). "Student Life Begins to Boom in SFS-Q's Infant Years". The Hoya. Retrieved October 4, 2008. 
  11. ^ "SFS-Q: Georgetown’s Intercultural Initiative". The Hoya. December 8, 2009. Retrieved December 8, 2009. 
  12. ^
  13. ^
  14. ^
  15. ^
  16. ^
  17. ^
  18. ^
  19. ^
  20. ^
  21. ^
  22. ^ Kshithij Shrinath (9 September 2014). "SFS-Q Launches Journal on Middle East". The Hoya. Retrieved 23 October 2015. 
  23. ^
  24. ^ a b "Qatar Campus Constructing New Facility". Blue & Gray. January 26, 2009. Retrieved February 4, 2009. 
  25. ^ "School of Foreign Service". Legoretta & Legoretta. 2008. Retrieved April 29, 2008. 
  26. ^ "Student Center". Qatar Foundation. 2008. Retrieved October 21, 2008. 
  27. ^
  28. ^ "Residence Hall". Qatar Foundation. 2008. Retrieved October 21, 2008. 
  29. ^ "Admissions FAQ". School of Foreign Service in Qatar. 2007. Retrieved September 29, 2007. 
  30. ^
  31. ^
  32. ^

External links[edit]