Georgetown University in Qatar

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Georgetown University in Qatar
جامعة جورجتاون في قطر
Georgetown University seal.svg
Seal of Georgetown University
Former names
Georgetown University School of Foreign Service in Qatar (2005–2015)
Motto Utraque Unum
("Both into One")[1]
Type Private
Established August 31, 2005
Affiliation Roman Catholic (Jesuit)
President John J. DeGioia
Dean Ahmad Dallal[2]
Academic staff
Undergraduates 252[4]
Address P.O. Box 23689, 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

Nickname Hoyas

Georgetown University in Qatar (GU-Q; previously Georgetown University School of Foreign Service in Qatar) is a university in Education City, outside of Doha, Qatar. GU-Q, is supported by a partnership between Qatar Foundation and Georgetown University, an American university.

In 2015, the University broadened its remit to include executive and professional education and custom training programs, in addition to the primary BSFS degree. It rebranded to Georgetown University in Qatar to cover this wider scope of activity.


In 2002 Georgetown University studied the feasibility of opening a campus of the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service in Qatar in October 2002, and joined four other U.S. universities in opening a campus in Education City in 2005.

The campus is also home to the Center for International and Regional Studies (CIRS), GU-Q’s premier research institute, which focuses on issues facing the Middle East and broader Asian region.


Georgetown offers a four-year Bachelor of Science in Foreign Service (BSFS), with four majors within the program:

  • Culture and Politics (CULP)
  • International Economics (IECO)
  • International History (IHIST)
  • International Politics (IPOL)

Apart from language courses, including Arabic and French, all courses in SFS-Q are taught in English and the curriculum and course materials in the specified majors are identical to those offered at Georgetown's main campus in Washington D.C.

GU-Q offers three certificate options:

  • The Certificate in American Studies
  • The Certificate in Arab and Regional Studies
  • The Certificate in Media and Politics


In 2016, GU-Q faculty numbered 52,[5] which includes both teaching and research staff.

The Center for International and Regional Studies (CIRS) sponsors studies of regional and international significance, including research initiatives in the areas of international relations, political economy, and domestic politics of the Persian Gulf.


Past and current research projects[6] have included the study of Islamic bioethics, skills training for migrant workers, food security in Qatar, Arabic language pedagogy for heritage learners, and the history of women in Persian Gulf countries, among many others topics. Funding sources are available both within GU-Q and from external funding bodies.

GU-Q students formed the Middle Eastern Studies Association (MESSA)[7] in 2012 as a forum for organizing an annual global conference to showcase undergraduate research in the social sciences and humanities. The conference is also fully organized by GU-Q students who consult extensively with a faculty board to help select papers for presentation and to peer review papers for possible publication in the annual Journal of the Georgetown University in Qatar Middle Eastern Studies Student Association. This journal is the first peer-reviewed scholarly journal run by students in Qatar.[citation needed]

GU-Q students have access to research grants funded by the Qatar National Research Fund Undergraduate Research Experience Program (QNRF-UREP)[8] for research projects with topics that are relevant to Qatar’s national development.


The Georgetown University in Qatar building[9] in Education City was inaugurated in February 2011. The purpose-built 360,000-square-foot (33,000 m2) building features a three-story high atrium, an auditorium with a seating capacity for 300 people and 14 classrooms and lecture halls. It includes offices, classrooms, a library and other facilities for more than 200 undergraduate and graduate students. The facility was designed by Mexican architect Ricardo Legorreta.

The student center opened in 2009 and offers students recreational facilities.


GU-Q Library offers online access to more than 2 million scholarly resources and an intercampus loans service with Georgetown's library services in Washington DC. There is also an interlibrary loans services agreement with other universities on the Education City campus and with Qatar University. The Library houses over 90,000 books,[10] and over 6,000 multimedia items.

The Library space is open to the public. As of 2016, over 650,000 members of the GU-Q community and the general public have visited the library since 2005.

Student life[edit]

About 25[11] student groups exist on the school's campus. Student organizations include Brainfood, The Women’s Society and Development Club, Amal, Hoya Empowerment and Learning Program (HELP), Model United Nations, Photography Club, Senior Class Committee, Performing Arts Club, Georgetown Business Society (GBS), and the Georgetown Investment Association.

Criticism and controversy[edit]

Georgetown has been the subject of ongoing criticism of whether it is appropriate to maintain a campus in Qatar, given the Qatar's links to state-sponsored terrorism, the lack of freedom of speech in the country, and the country's absolute monarchy. In an interview with Gulf News Journal, Herbert London, president of the London Center for Policy Research and a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, said “universities I think have compromised themselves” by having campuses in a country like Qatar where academic freedom and freedom of the press are severely limited.[12]

Along with other universities with campuses in Qatar, Geortown has received criticism for accepting money from Qatar due to their support of terrorism worldwide and their abysmal human rights record, especially in the lead up to the 2022 World Cup. Some question if universities who profit from campuses in Qatar are thereby complicit in Qatar’s alleged sponsorship of terrorism and human rights abuses.[13][14]


  1. ^ From the Epistle to the Ephesians 2:14. See official explanation Archived 2010-06-09 at the Wayback Machine.. Other translations available.
  2. ^ "Georgetown University in Qatar Welcomes New Dean" (Press release). University of Georgetown. Retrieved June 18, 2011. 
  3. ^
  4. ^ "Georgetown Welcomes Class of 2021" (Press release). 
  5. ^ "Meet Our Faculty". Georgetown University - School of Foreign Service in Qatar. 2015-12-03. Retrieved 2016-11-16. 
  6. ^ "Faculty Research". Georgetown University - School of Foreign Service in Qatar. 2014-07-07. Retrieved 2016-11-16. 
  7. ^ "MESSA - Middle Eastern Studies Students Association". Georgetown University - School of Foreign Service in Qatar. 2012-02-01. Retrieved 2016-11-16. 
  8. ^ "UREP". Georgetown University - School of Foreign Service in Qatar. 2014-07-07. Retrieved 2016-11-16. 
  9. ^ "Facilities". Georgetown University - School of Foreign Service in Qatar. 2014-07-07. Retrieved 2016-11-16. 
  10. ^ "Collections & Gifts | Georgetown University Qatar Library". Retrieved 2016-11-16. 
  11. ^ "Clubs and Organizations". Georgetown University - School of Foreign Service in Qatar. 2014-07-07. Retrieved 2016-11-16. 
  12. ^ "Roots of American universities grow deeper in Qatar, drawing criticism". Gulf News Journal. 2015-06-08. Retrieved 2016-05-13. 
  13. ^ "Advocate questions motive behind Qatar's financial ties to U.S. colleges". Gulf News Journal. 2016-04-08. Retrieved 2016-05-13. 
  14. ^ "While U.S. universities see dollar signs in Qatari partnerships, some cry foul". Gulf News Journal. 2015-09-24. Retrieved 2016-05-13. 

External links[edit]