Foreign Service


The Master of Science in Foreign Service (MSFS) prepares students for careers in international affairs in the public, private and non-profit sectors. Graduates obtain employment in:

  • International banking
  • Consulting
  • Business, public interest and research institutes
  • Lobbying and trade associations
  • Congressional offices
  • Federal agencies, such as the Departments of State, Commerce, Treasury and Defense
  • The intelligence community

Within six months of graduation, more than 95 percent of the class is employed. Our graduates have one of the highest success rates in passing the U.S. foreign service examination and in selection to the Presidential Management Fellows (PMF) program. The small size of the program creates an extraordinary bond between students and faculty, which is maintained years after graduation.

Program concentrations include:

  • Global Business & Finance
  • Global Politics & Security
  • International Development
  • Self-Designed/Regional & Comparative Studies

The MSFS curriculum combines the theoretical and practical aspects of international affairs. The program is full-time, but students are expected to have internships of up to 20 hours per week with firms, government agencies and non-profit organizations.

For more information, please visit the MSFS website.

Degrees Offered

  • M.S.
  • M.S./J.D.
  • M.S./M.B.A.
  • M.S./M.P.P. (Public Policy)
  • M.S./M.A. (Global, International & Comparative History)
  • M.S./B.S.B.A. or B.S.F.S. (5 year, Georgetown students only)

Application Deadline

Fall 2021

January 15, 2021 (priority, scholarship)

April 1, 2021 (final)

Application Requirements

Please be sure to review the Graduate School Admissions How to Apply page.


Please be sure to review the program’s website for additional information on program application requirements.

Admission requirements include:

  • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited university (or the equivalent) with a record which shows promise of success in graduate studies.
  • Two courses (three credits each) in economics (one each in micro and macro principles) with a final grade of B- or better by matriculation. Courses in economic development, comparative economic systems, economic geography, economic history or the like are not considered substitutes for the principles of economics courses listed above.
  • Two letters of recommendation (three are recommended).
  • Graduate Record Examination (GRE) (Recommended but not required.) Applicants with a bachelor’s or advanced degree from an accredited college/university where English is the language of instruction may submit either the GRE or GMAT.  This is strongly recommended but not required. If scores are not submitted, the application will be evaluated based on the other application materials received. Dual Georgetown MSFS/JD applicants may submit the LSAT in lieu of the GRE or GMAT. GRE tests are administered during the year at many locations around the United States and the world. Applicants should take the test no later than mid-December, to ensure that results reach the Graduate School by the January admission deadline. Computerized tests must be taken BEFORE the January admission deadline. For additional information about the GRE and GMAT, write or visit:

Graduate Record Exam (GRE)
Educational Testing Service
P.O. Box 6000
Princeton, NJ 08541-6000

Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT)
Graduate Management Admission Council
P.O. Box 2969
Reston, VA 20195                      

  • Demonstrated proficiency in a modern foreign language to pass a required oral examination. Additional language classes may not be substituted for MSFS electives.  Please use the M.S. in Foreign Service supplemental data sheet (please see below) to self-report foreign language skills.
  • The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) exam is required of all applicants who do not have an undergraduate or graduate degree from a college or university where English is the primary language of instruction. No other exam or certificate may be substituted for the TOEFL or IELTS.  Applicants must take the test no later than December to ensure that results will reach the Graduate School by the January application deadline. Exams taken after the January application deadline are not eligible for Fall admissions consideration for that year. Both the TOEFL and the IELTS exams are given regularly throughout the world.

The minimum TOEFL score for admissions consideration is 100 (iBT test). For additional information about the TOEFL, write or visit:

P.O. Box 6151
Princeton, NJ 08541-6151

The minimum IELTS score for admissions consideration is 7.0. For additional information about the IELTS, write or visit:

                 British Council (IELTS Enquiries)
Bridgewater House
58 Whitworth Street
Manchester  M1 6BB
United Kingdom

  • Experience living, studying, and working abroad is strongly recommended but not required.
  • MSFS-specific Statement of Purpose.
  • Resume or CV.
  • Supplemental Data
  • Transcripts – Applicants are required to upload to the application system copies of official transcripts from all undergraduate and graduate institutions attended. Visit our How to Apply (new window) page for additional details and FAQs.
  • An online video interview – For instructions, please visit the MSFS Admissions page.
  • Application fee.
  • Online application form.

In addition, admission is based on an applicant’s personal qualitative aspects, intellectual potential, and professional promise. Important as they are, quantitative measures such as undergraduate grades and performance on the Graduate Record Examination are only partial indicators. The Admissions Committee also takes close and careful consideration of indications provided by the applicant of writing ability, personal initiative, and the capacity for creative and analytic thought.

International applicants are required to meet the same standards as U.S. applicants. In the admissions screening process, the MSFS Program aims to take only those applicants from other countries who are already capable of functioning effectively in a U.S. graduate school.

SFS Program Contact Information

Telephone: (202) 687-5763
Fax: (202) 687-5116

Degree Requirements

The program requires two years of full-time study (12 credits per semester) in residence at Georgetown University (for 48 total semester hours) commencing in the fall of each year only. The first year combines a required and an elective curriculum. Offerings integrate the development of analytic and quantitative skills with advanced study in international politics, economics, history and electives in a selected field of concentration.

To fulfill the requirements of the MSFS program, a student must:

  • Maintain a 3.0 average on a 4.0 scale.
  • Pass a required curriculum of 18 semester hours.
  • Pass an elective curriculum of 30 semester hours.
  • Demonstrate proficiency in at least one modern foreign language — language proficiency is an essential skill for the professional in international affairs and is a requirement for graduation. Emphasis is placed on development of oral communication skills as well as on reading and writing ability. Because language classes do not count as electives toward the master’s degree, students must have an adequate level of proficiency upon admissions application. Placement tests are required upon entrance to the program.
  • Pass an oral examination consisting of a brief presentation analyzing a current international issue and an additional period of questions by a three-member panel of faculty and foreign affairs practitioners.
  • Intern for at least one internationally-oriented organization in the public, private or non-profit sectors.