School of Foreign Service
Seal of Georgetown University
|Affiliation||Roman Catholic (Jesuit)|
|Location||Washington, D.C., United States
The Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service (commonly abbreviated as SFS) is a school of international affairs within Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.. Recognized as one of the world's leading international relations schools, SFS is sometimes referred to as the "West Point of the U.S. diplomatic corps" due to the large number of SFS graduates who end up being diplomats. Founded in 1919, SFS predates the U.S. Foreign Service by six years.
Despite its reputation for producing top diplomats, SFS is not exclusively a diplomatic academy and its graduates go on to have careers in a diverse set of private and government sectors. The school's most notable alumni include U.S. President Bill Clinton, CIA Director George Tenet, King Felipe VI of Spain, and U.S. Secretary of State Alexander Haig, among others.
The School of Foreign Service was established in 1919 by a Jesuit priest Edmund A. Walsh. The main purpose of the school's founding was to prepare Americans for various international professions in the wake of expanding U.S. involvement in world affairs after World War I. Today, SFS hosts a student body of approximately 2,100 from 80 nations each year. It offers an undergraduate program based in the liberal arts, which leads to the Bachelor of Science in Foreign Service degree, as well as eight interdisciplinary graduate programs. Its faculty include many distinguished figures in international affairs, such as former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, former President of Poland Aleksander Kwaśniewski, and former Prime Minister of Spain José María Aznar.
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The school has evolved from its original emphasis on diplomacy and law to become a center for research and teaching on global affairs. Faculty are today drawn from disciplines such as political science, history, economics and cultural studies, as well as from business, the non-profit sector and international organizations.
The school has about 1,500 undergraduates seeking a Bachelor of Science in Foreign Service (B.S.F.S.) degree. The undergraduate program is intended to provide a liberal arts education with a focus in international affairs. Undergraduates concentrate in International Politics (IPOL), International History (IHIS), Culture and Politics (CULP), International Economics (IECO), International Political Economy (IPEC), Regional and Comparative Studies (RCST), Global Business (GBUS), or Science, Technology, & International Affairs (STIA). The STIA program was the first of its kind. Harvard and Georgia Tech, among others, now have STIA programs as well.
Graduate students can pursue eight graduate programs: five regional studies programs as well as the Master of Science in Foreign Service (MSFS), Master of Arts in Global Human Development and the Master of Arts in Security Studies Program.
Graduates go on to careers in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors as well as further higher education. Alumni include current (Jordan, Lithuania, Spain, and Bosnia), and recent (United States, Philippines) heads of state. The current dean of the school is Joel Hellman. Notable faculty members at the Walsh School of Foreign Service include former US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, former Undersecretary of Defense Douglas Feith, former Polish President Aleksander Kwaśniewski, former National Security Advisor Anthony Lake, former U.S. Senator and Obama Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, Ambassador Donald McHenry, former CIA Director George Tenet, former Malaysian Deputy Prime Minister and current Malaysian Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim, former World Bank VP Callisto Madavo, former Dean Peter F. Krogh, former USAID head, former Special Envoy for Sudan Andrew Natsios, Ambassador of Israel to the United States Michael Oren, former Prime Minister of Spain José María Aznar, and former President of Colombia Alvaro Uribe Velez.
The School of Foreign Service's undergraduate program features a rigorous core curriculum including a freshman proseminar, two philosophy courses, two theology courses, two humanities and writing courses, two government courses, three history courses (including two non-Western regional history courses), a four-course economics sequence, and a geopolitics course unique to SFS entitled Map of the Modern World. To graduate, students must also attain proficiency in at least one modern foreign language, demonstrated through successful completion of a specially-designed oral exam (and other requirements as determined by the department).
Following completion of the core, students declare one of the following interdisciplinary majors:
- Culture and Politics
- Global Business
- International Economics
- International History
- International Political Economy
- International Politics
- Regional and Comparative Studies
- Science, Technology, & International Affairs 
In addition to their major, students may choose from a number of undergraduate certificate programs: African Studies, Arab Studies, Asian Studies, Australian & New Zealand Studies, German and European Studies, International Business Diplomacy, International Development, Muslim-Christian Understanding, Jewish Civilization, Justice & Peace Studies, Latin American Studies, Medieval Studies, Russian & East European Studies, Social & Political Thought, and Women's and Gender Studies. However, the International Development certificate program, by far the most popular among students, has suffered budget cuts in recent years that threaten the future existence of the program.
Graduate students can pursue eight interdisciplinary graduate programs: the Master of Science in Foreign Service (MSFS); the Master of Arts in Security Studies Program; the Master of Arts in Global Human Development; and five regional studies programs (Arab Studies; Asian Studies; German and European Studies; Eurasian, Russian and East European Studies; Latin American Studies). The Georgetown-ESADE Global Executive MBA is an executive MBA program is offered in partnership with the McDonough School of Business at Georgetown University and the ESADE Business School in Spain. In addition, the Institute for the Study of Diplomacy holds the Georgetown Leadership Seminar for an annual gathering of selected rising leaders from around the world for a week of intensive discussion on major international issues
Washington D.C.'s Georgetown University confirmed that former Colombian President Álvaro Uribe has been named a "distinguished scholar in the practice of global leadership" by the university, where he will keep himself busy after leaving office by giving classes. From September 1, 2010 Uribe will give "seminars and other programmatic activities" to students of the university's Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service (SFS).
While a University-wide endeavor in general, the Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security is housed within the SFS. It is also partnered with the Association of Professional Schools of International Affairs (APSIA),  which seeks to improve graduate education in international affairs.
The school has published the Georgetown Journal of International Affairs semi-annually since 2000. Each issue includes a "Forum", containing in-depth analysis of particular issues, and nine regular sections.
SFS is also home to International Migration, managed by the Institute for the Study of Migration; and German Politics and Society, under the control of the BMW Center for German and European Studies.
The School of Foreign Service used to publish the National Security Studies Quarterly, but publication has ceased. In addition to more general topics, the journal's special focus was "military technical issues."
Reputation and Rankings
Georgetown's programs in international relations have consistently ranked among the best in the world in surveys of the field's academics that have been published biennially since 2005 by Foreign Policy magazine. In 2012, Foreign Policy ranked Georgetown's master's programs first in the world and its bachelor's programs fifth. In a separate survey of makers of American foreign-policy, Georgetown ranked second overall, after Harvard, in the quality of preparation for a career in the U.S. government, regardless of degree earned.
The School of Foreign Service main campus is located in northwest Washington, D.C.. It opened another campus, which is known as SFS-Q, in Doha's Education City, in the Emirate of Qatar in 2005. Nearly all SFS undergraduates spend a minimum of one semester or a summer abroad, choosing from direct matriculation programs around the globe as well as programs of other universities and those run by Georgetown. Two of the most popular of Georgetown's own programs are those based in the University's villas in Alanya, Turkey and Fiesole, Italy.
Georgetown University's undergraduate schools and medical campus are located together on Main Campus, which sits on the "Hilltop", an elevated site in the heart of Washington above the Potomac River. The campus' main gates are located at the intersection of 37th and O Streets, NW. Georgetown University Medical Center is on the northern side of campus, best accessed through the multiple entrances on Reservoir Road between 37th and 39th Sts, NW.
The main campus measures just over 100 acres (0.4 km²) and is home to 58 administrative, classroom, and other buildings, including student dorms and apartments capable of accommodating 80 percent of undergraduates as well as various athletic facilities. Most buildings employ collegiate Gothic and Georgian brick architecture. Campus green areas include fountains, a cemetery, large clusters of flowers, groves of trees, and open quadrangles. The main campus has traditionally centered on Dahlgren Quadrangle, although Red Square, the brick-lined area in front of the Intercultural Center (ICC), has generally replaced it as the focus of student life. Healy Hall, built in Flemish Romanesque style from 1877 to 1879, is the architectural gem of Georgetown's campus, and is a National Historic Landmark. Both Healy Hall and the Georgetown University Astronomical Observatory, built in 1844, are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
In late 2003, the school completed the Southwest Quad, bringing a new 907-bed student dorm, an expansive dining hall, an underground parking facility, and new Jesuit Residence to the campus. The school's first performing arts center, named for Royden B. Davis, was completed in November 2005, while longer-term projects include a self-contained business school campus, construction of a unified sciences center, and expanded athletic facilities.
In 2002, the Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development presented the School of Foreign Service with the resources and space to open a facility in the new Education City in Doha, Qatar. SFS-Qatar opened in 2005; as of 2008, SFS-Q had a student body of 145. The first graduating class of SFS-Q, all of whom have BSFS degrees with a major of International Politics, received their diplomas in May 2009. Gerd Nonneman serves as the current Dean for the SFS-Q Campus.
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- Bill Bryant, Seattle Port Commissioner from 2008 to 2015
- George Casey (1970), U.S. Army Chief of Staff
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- Laura Chinchilla Miranda (1959), 46th President of Costa Rica
- Bill Clinton (1968), 42nd President of the United States
- Richard Durbin (1966), US Senator from Illinois, Majority Whip of the United States Senate
- HM Felipe VI (1991), King of Spain
- Luis Fortuno (1982), Governor of Puerto Rico
- Dexter Goei (1993), CEO of Altice
- Dalia Grybauskaite President of Lithuania
- Alexander Haig (1961), US Secretary of State under Ronald Reagan, Supreme Allied Commander Europe of NATO (1974–79)
- James L. Jones (1966), President Obama's National Security Advisor
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