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 (previously Georgetown University School of Foreign Service in Qatar or SFS-Q), also known as GU-Q, is a student-centered research university that serves as the Qatar campus of Georgetown University. The Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service established in 1919 in Washington, D.C.[5] and in 2005 in Qatar, is a premier school of international affairs providing rigorous education combining theory and practice while instilling the values of service in all students. GU-Q, is supported by a partnership between Qatar Foundation and Georgetown University.

Currently, the University offers a Bachelor of Science in Foreign Service (BSFS)[6] degree with the ability to major in one of four fields: International Politics, Culture and Politics, International History and International Economics,[7] the curriculum and course content of these majors are identical to those offered at Georgetown's main campus.

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 initiative came from Qatar Foundation, which was seeking to bring a top university renowned for its focus on the liberal arts with a specialization in global affairs to Education City.

Since beginning its operations, Georgetown University in Qatar (GU-Q) has been offering a Bachelor of Science in Foreign Service degree – an interdisciplinary program that prepares students to tackle the most important and pressing global issues by providing them training in critical thinking, analytic and communication skills within an international context.

In addition to the internationally respected degree, the University offers a range of service and societal engagement opportunities for its students, as well as career services and formal internships with a number of partners, it hosts public discussions by prominent dignitaries and business leaders, and runs a community class program that has helped more than 300 residents and nationals of Qatar develop their skills.

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.


GU-Q has developed a sustainable strategic framework for student enrollment through both local and international recruitment drives that aims to achieve both a strong Qatari presence and genuine diversity in terms of country of origin and socio-economic background, this serves the school’s educational mission and enhances the student learning experience.

Each year, the Office of Admissions sets out to recruit students from across Qatar, the Persian Gulf region, and beyond, while working within the framework of the University’s vision for diversity, inclusion, academic excellence, and commitment to Georgetown University’s Jesuit values.

GU-Q admissions representatives regularly visits local independent (public) and private high schools throughout Qatar, hosts open houses and campus tours, and organizes programming centered on student life at GU-Q.

In addition to national recruitment efforts, admission representatives also visits schools outside the country to promote the GU-Q campus as a premier international destination for post-secondary study.

GU-Q is a very diverse institution as reflected in the applications received by the University.



Georgetown offers a four-year Bachelor of Science in Foreign Service (BSFS) degree based on a liberal arts education that stresses multidisciplinary studies across the social sciences and humanities in a global context. 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.

Students devote much of the first two years to a core curriculum that provides the foundation for further intellectual development, at the conclusion of their second year, students choose from one of four majors:

  • Culture and Politics (CULP): A multidisciplinary program that enables students to understand the connections between culture, society and politics in international affairs.
  • International Economics (IECO): 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.
  • International History (IHIST): A multidisciplinary program that enables students to understand the world, both past and present, through the comparative, transnational study of historical events and phenomena.
  • International Politics (IPOL): 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.

In their second two years, students 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 exam in a second language.


Apart from the three majors, GU-Q offers three certificate options:

  • 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 an 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 GU-Q 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.
  • The Certificate in Media and Politics is an innovative joint program with Northwestern University in Qatar[8](NU-Q) that provides students with an enhanced understanding of the role of mass communication in political, diplomatic, and policy-making processes,as well as the role of politics in the shaping of mass media products and policies. It’s offered at NU-Q as a minor degree.

Arabic Language Program[edit]

Georgetown University hosts one of the strongest university-level Arabic Language Programs in the world. Building on that tradition, GU-Q is proud to offer a rich program in Modern Standard Arabic (MSA) as both a Foreign Language and as a Heritage Language to meet the needs of students in the Persian Gulf region. All Arabic language courses employ innovative pedagogy in a culturally rich environment and use course materials published by world-renowned scholars in Arabic language learning.

The MSA Foreign Language Program is designed for students who have no linguistic or cultural background in Arabic.

The MSA Heritage Language Program is designed for students with some colloquial or cultural knowledge of Arabic.

Both the Arabic Foreign Language Program and the Arabic Heritage Language Program are designed to help students attain proficiency in Modern Standard Arabic. Emphasis is placed throughout on the development and utilization of fundamental reading, writing, listening and speaking skills. Students who continue their studies beyond the advanced level in either program have the opportunity to develop their MSA skills to the highest levels of proficiency, this will enable them to communicate effectively in Arabic in academic, professional, and social contexts.

Scholarships and financial aid[edit]

Students studying at Georgetown University in Qatar receive the same tuition charges as their counterparts studying in Washington DC.[9] Most students at GU-Q have some combination of scholarship, financial aid loan, and self-funding.


Georgetown students in Qatar have access to top-tier scholars and academics. GU-Q is committed to partnerships that enrich academic offerings for students, and increase opportunities for the intellectual and professional enrichment of faculty, staff and students; in 2016, GU-Q faculty numbered 52,[10] which includes both teaching and research staff.

The GU-Q faculty demonstrate an unrivaled commitment to world-class research, teaching, and public service. Faculty members conduct research on a variety of intellectual and social issues, they use innovative research techniques to examine matters of concern to the modern world and to gain deeper insights into the ancient world.

In addition, the Center for International and Regional Studies (CIRS) continues challenging scholars around the world to think about issues in the Persian Gulf and the Middle East that others miss. To this end, CIRS sponsors major studies of regional and international significance, including research initiatives in the areas of international relations, political economy, and domestic politics of the Persian Gulf. CIRS recently broadened its remit to include Asia (publishing their new series, the Asia Papers) and global public policy.


In line with Georgetown University’s research tradition, GU-Q made research a priority of the Qatar campus along with simultaneously delivering the strong academic curriculum of the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service.[11]

Since its establishment, GU-Q has demonstrated a commitment to research excellence. Faculty, staff, students, and other affiliated researchers conduct research on a variety of issues of global significance and relevance to Qatar's national development goals, including a diverse array of topics in the social sciences and humanities.

Past and current research projects[12] 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.

Student Research[edit]

GU-Q aims to develop a thriving culture of research by equipping students with the tools necessary to conduct research within the social sciences and humanities, teaching students how research is conducted and how evidence is collected and evaluated, and training them to construct arguments based on that evidence.

GU-Q students formed the Middle Eastern Studies Association (MESSA)[13] in 2012 as a forum for organizing an annual global conference to showcase undergraduate research in the social sciences and humanities, the conference is attended by students from Qatar and abroad, who present and discuss their research on the Middle East. 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.

GU-Q students have access to research grants funded by the Qatar National Research Fund Undergraduate Research Experience Program (QNRF-UREP)[14] for research projects with topics that are relevant to Qatar’s national development. Students who work on these projects are given a unique opportunity to conduct funded research and to develop their research skills under the guidance of a faculty mentor. Research skills are directly relevant to employment and to graduate education once they leave Georgetown University in Qatar, and in that sense, UREP projects are an important vehicle for transforming Qatar into a knowledge economy.

Center for International and Regional Studies (CIRS)[edit]

Established in 2005,[15] the Center for International and Regional Studies (CIRS) at the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service in Qatar is a premier research institute devoted to the academic study of regional and international issues through dialogue and exchange of ideas, research and scholarship, and engagement with national and international scholars, opinion-makers, practitioners, and activists. Guided by the principles of academic excellence, forward vision, and community engagement, the mission of the Center for International and Regional Studies (CIRS) revolves around five principal goals:

  • To provide a forum for scholarship and research on international and regional affairs.
  • To encourage in-depth examination and exchange of ideas.
  • To foster thoughtful dialogue among students, scholars, and practitioners of international affairs.
  • To facilitate the free flow of ideas and knowledge through publishing the products of its research, sponsoring conferences and seminars, and holding workshops designed to explore the complexities of the twenty-first century.
  • To engage in outreach activities with a wide range of local, regional, and international partners

A list of their publications can be accessed here.


The Georgetown University in Qatar building[16] 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 renowned architect Ricardo Legorreta of Mexico City.

Education City includes facilities such as a recreation center which houses a branch of Qatar National Bank, a laundry service, a post office, DHL, a photo printing area, a travel agency as well as other recreational facilities such as an indoor pool, a jacuzzi, indoor basketball courts, squash courts, and many others, each education city university is equipped with a cafeteria that provides breakfast and lunch on weekdays while the central cafeteria provides all 3 meals every day of the week.

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

A virtual tour of the campus is available here.


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,[17] over three floors as well as more than 6000 movies and documentaries on DVD. The Library offers a variety of wifi-enabled spaces for group and individual study.[18]. A computer commons includes internet enabled PCs and Macs. Assignment preparation services include multimedia computers, scanners, photocopiers and printers. Library staff offer research skills assistance and instruction in collaboration with faculty and a Writing Center is located within the Library offering students advice on writing skills and strategies.

The Library space is open to all with many visitors from other Education City institutions, Qatar University and the wider community in Qatar, 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]

Student organizations at GU-Q promote a vibrant campus life that informs an education fit for future global leaders; in the Jesuit tradition, GU-Q's diverse array of activities empowers students to improve themselves, serve their communities, and make a positive impact on the world.

Through their involvement in student organizations, Hoyas experience personal growth, build professional skills, reinforce a commitment to lifelong learning, and become "Women and Men for Others."

Student activities include:

About 25[19] student groups exist on the school's campus. Student activities include:

  • Brainfood: Brainfood arranges discussions over dinner between GU-Q students and professors. Past guests have included visiting theologians and the US Ambassador to Qatar.
  • Debate Club: The Debate Club has members learn from the best debaters in Qatar and in the world, and engages them in an environment where they are challenged to come up with practical but innovative ideas for social change. The Debate Team attends Qatar Universities Debate League, attends international trainings and tournaments, and hosts debate tournaments under the Georgetown name.
  • The Women’s Society and Development Club: This club empowers and educates men and women on various contemporary and traditional issues related to womanhood and women's rights since 2010. Additionally, it explores and enhances understanding of gender dynamics through discussions, events, and a variety of student-driven initiatives.
  • Amal: This student-run organization, which was co-founded by a student who has dealt with accessibility issues, highlights access and inclusion issues in the Qatari community for those with disabilities. The English meaning of the Arabic word, "amal" is hope, as part of its initiatives, Amal conducted an accessibility assessment of Qatar Foundation buildings and presented their findings in a report.
  • Hoya Empowerment and Learning Program (HELP): HELP is a volunteer outreach program, in which students organize and teach weekly English language courses for Education City service providers and workers.
  • Model United Nations: This student club 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 GU-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.
  • Senior Class Committee: The Senior Class Committee organizes fun events for members of the senior class, aimed at promoting group bonding and school spirit. Members also provide vital input into the planning of commencement and other senior events.
  • Performing Arts Club: Tackling all things from Monty Python to Shakespeare, the club invites any and all to perform, observe, and enjoy all that the club has to offer.
  • Georgetown Business Society (GBS): This student-run organization brings the education and business worlds together, and aspires to infuse the international affairs-minded campus with a corporate flavor, demonstrating how GU-Q students can use their skills beyond areas such as foreign service and diplomacy. GBS publishes the magazine Enterprise, the first GU-Q student magazine that focuses on business, entrepreneurship, and global markets.
  • Georgetown Investment Association: The club launched a magazine focused on the investment banking industry, titled “The Georgetown Portfolio”. This magazine shares voices and opinions from global and local leaders within the investment banking space, and aims to foster an interest in the industry by giving GU-Q students a chance to develop and pitch investment ideas and create mock stock portfolios.

Community Engagement Program (CEP)[edit]

Community engagement is one of the cornerstones of a Georgetown education, the CEP projects at GU-Q inform, involve and empower students to develop stronger notions of social responsibility and to wrestle with questions of social justice. Following 30 hours of intensive instruction in the classroom on the chosen theme, CEP participants travel to a selected location where they can study their theme in action. Community Engagement trips, which last from a week to ten days, take place during the Spring and Summer holidays, during these trips, students learn about the ways in which communities respond and deal with issues such as access to education and health care, gender parity, governance, and development. students do not only participate, but they are also actively involved in the ideation, management, and any follow-up activities.

Some of the past CEP[20] destinations include the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Bangladesh, and China.

Zones of Conflict, Zones of Peace (ZCZP)[edit]

Zones of Conflict, Zones of Peace (ZCZP) program at Georgetown University in Qatar enables students to study conflict management and resolution in their real-life application across the globe, since 2007,[21] the award-winning program has been taking students to zones of ethnic, political, religious and social conflict, with the goal of better understanding both the causes of the conflict and the difficult process of reconciliation.

ZCZP trips occur during the summer holiday and involve 10-15 Georgetown students as well as faculty and staff members, the trips last seven to 10 days and involve meetings with politicians, journalists, community organizers, and other change-makers in the destination zone, as well as visits to points of historical interest. Participating students also attend lectures and film screenings, and complete reading requirements for their respective trips.

Some of the past[22] ZCZP destinations include Oman and Tanzania, South Africa, Northern Ireland, Germany and Poland, Rwanda, Timor Leste, Cambodia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cyprus, and Jordan.

Executive and Professional Education (EPE)[edit]

GU-Q contributes to human capacity building by leveraging local faculty and resources, as well as the extensive expertise from the Main Campus in Washington, D.C., to deliver organizational development programs, and provide learning experiences for the adult learner, including community classes, and custom programs.

As part of this effort, Georgetown University became the institutional academic partner to the Josoor Institute, which is building the skills of a generation for the management of major events including the 2022 FIFA World Cup. Georgetown University is assisting the institute in designing, developing, and delivering a variety of courses for a wide spectrum of positions and programs associated with the sports and events management industry, including the upcoming FIFA World Cup, which will engage and impact thousands among both the local and regional community.


  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. ^ "About - School of Foreign Service - Georgetown University". School of Foreign Service - Georgetown University. Retrieved 2016-11-16. 
  6. ^ "Academic Programs". Georgetown University - School of Foreign Service in Qatar. 2014-06-23. Retrieved 2016-11-16. 
  7. ^ "Majors and Certificates". Georgetown University - School of Foreign Service in Qatar. 2014-06-23. Retrieved 2016-11-16. 
  8. ^ "Minor, Media and Politics - Northwestern University in Qatar". Retrieved 2016-11-16. 
  9. ^ "Finances". Georgetown University - School of Foreign Service in Qatar. 2014-07-07. Retrieved 2016-11-16. 
  10. ^ "Meet Our Faculty". Georgetown University - School of Foreign Service in Qatar. 2015-12-03. Retrieved 2016-11-16. 
  11. ^ "SFS - School of Foreign Service - Georgetown University". School of Foreign Service - Georgetown University. Retrieved 2016-11-16. 
  12. ^ "Faculty Research". Georgetown University - School of Foreign Service in Qatar. 2014-07-07. Retrieved 2016-11-16. 
  13. ^ "MESSA - Middle Eastern Studies Students Association". Georgetown University - School of Foreign Service in Qatar. 2012-02-01. Retrieved 2016-11-16. 
  14. ^ "UREP". Georgetown University - School of Foreign Service in Qatar. 2014-07-07. Retrieved 2016-11-16. 
  15. ^ "About". Georgetown University in Qatar. 2014-09-01. Retrieved 2016-11-16. 
  16. ^ "Facilities". Georgetown University - School of Foreign Service in Qatar. 2014-07-07. Retrieved 2016-11-16. 
  17. ^ "Collections & Gifts | Georgetown University Qatar Library". Retrieved 2016-11-16. 
  18. ^ "Library Explorer | Georgetown University Qatar Library". Retrieved 2016-11-16. 
  19. ^ "Clubs and Organizations". Georgetown University - School of Foreign Service in Qatar. 2014-07-07. Retrieved 2016-11-16. 
  20. ^ "Community Engagement Program". Georgetown University - School of Foreign Service in Qatar. 2014-07-07. Retrieved 2016-11-16. 
  21. ^ "Zones of Conflict, Zones of Peace". Georgetown University - School of Foreign Service in Qatar. 2014-07-07. Retrieved 2016-11-16. 
  22. ^ "Zones of Conflict, Zones of Peace". Georgetown University - School of Foreign Service in Qatar. 2014-07-07. Retrieved 2016-11-16. 

External links[edit]