Graduate Education at Georgetown- An Introduction from the Dean
People attend graduate school for different reasons. For some, it allows greater earning power or career advancement. For others, the graduate school opens the door for a career change. Yet others want to pursue advanced projects, learn to perform research at the highest level, or simply become part of the chain of generation of knowledge. All good graduate schools at research universities allow you to pursue these dreams and others. The Graduate School of Arts & Sciences at Georgetown University is not different. For instance, our more than twenty Ph.D. programs in the humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, and life sciences are committed to forming new scholars at the forefront of their disciplines. However, in our ethos, research is more than just the discovery of new knowledge. The service to others is often part of the conversation when members of our faculty are talking about research or education. The same ethos of service permeates many of our more than fifty Master’s programs. They provide the substantive knowledge and analytic skills that enable students to assume leadership roles in a full range of professions, but always with a preoccupation about the greater good. This preoccupation is at the core of our mission statement, which promises, “To Promote Collaborative and Interdisciplinary Approaches to Graduate Education and Research in Service of Society.”
This mission statement reflects two other ways in which our graduate school is unique. First, faculty and students from all the schools of Georgetown University form a single deliberative body to collaborate for ensuring the high quality of each our graduate programs. Therefore, we use the collective wisdom of the community, not top-down mechanisms, to guide our choices in graduate education. Ours is a community of graduate programs, not isolated silos.
Another way in which our graduate school is unique is that it directly develops and administers its own interdisciplinary graduate programs. Most graduate programs across the country are associated with established disciplines. Those disciplinary graduate programs are very important and Georgetown University has many of the best in various fields. In addition, we offer a variety of interdisciplinary and dual degree programs. They give students access to resources that they can arrange to meet their own intellectual interests and career plans. However, even more importantly, our community realizes that important and urgent social problems are complex and thus, require a partnership of multiple disciplines to tackle. Hence, our graduate school has been developing specially designed graduate programs to allow faculty from different schools and disciplines to collaborate in tackling these problems. These programs also educate a new generation of leaders that can understand the complex issues from multiple perspectives.
Yet another advantage to many of our graduate programs is the location of Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. This location is specially important given that many of our Ph.D. and Master’s graduates make important contributions to research and practice in socio-political- economic areas. These areas include governance, health, development, business, communications, health care, and domestic and international policy. Furthermore, few places in the world offer as many opportunities to people interested in serving society as Washington.
For these reasons, graduate education is very important for Georgetown University. Thus, the presence of graduate students at our campuses is central to our identity. We see these students as our partners and aspire to relate to them as young colleagues who can strengthen our community through their contributions and example.
We welcome your interest in Georgetown University and its programs, and hope that you will find something here that excites you.
Please feel free to contact either the Graduate School or our individual programs with any questions that you may have.
Dr. Alexander Sens
Interim Dean, Graduate School of Arts & Sciences