Prefrosh Preview: A guide to the School of Foreign Service
This week, Vox wanted to give the Class of 2015 a sneak peek into each of Georgetown University’s four undergraduate schools. Today, we take a look at the School of Foreign Service (SFS).
With a heavy load of core requirements, you’ll still be stuck in Comparative Political Systems while your friends in the College are taking drawing classes.
One of those required classes is the proseminar. Freshmen SFS students takes this course—usually taught by a top professor—during their freshman fall in order to improve their writing and analytical skills.
Overall, the core consists of two government courses (international relations and comparative political systems), three history courses (one introductory course and two regional histories), and proficiency in a modern foreign language. Sincerest apologies to those who have spent countless years studying Latin—it counts for nothing in the SFS.
Perhaps to weed out the weak of constitution, the SFS also requires all of its students to take four—yes, four—economics courses, including international trade and international finance.
“I’m sorry, I have to go participate in (insert major world event)”
This might not make up for those four econ classes, but the School of Foreign Service faculty does boast a number of big shots in the domestic and international policy realms.
Dean Carol Lancaster has served as deputy administrator for the U.S. Agency for International Development, while her predecessor Robert Gallucci now runs the MacArthur Foundation. Other notable professors include former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, former National Security Council member Victor Cha, and former Special Envoy to Sudan Andrew Natsios.
Former Colombian President Alvaro Uribe served as a Distinguished Scholar in the Practice of Global Leadership this past year, an appointment that set off a firestorm of complaints from human rights activists. He and former Spanish President Jose Maria Aznar, another controversial guest lecturer, left last spring.
“You mean you don’t know where Tuvalu is?”
Even though you’ll all take pretty much the same prerequisites, you may not all have the same tyrannical CPS professor. Map of the Modern World, meanwhile, unites all SFS students.
This one-credit spring course has only one professor—James Reardon-Anderson, who taught the class at SFS-Qatar prior to his return to the Hilltop—and is typically offered in two large group lectures.
Although it is a requirement for graduation, some students are able to skip out of Map by passing an exemption test offered in the fall. Don’t be shocked if you hear complaints about the class from disgruntled seniors who took an older version of Map that had a different focus and professor.
Bottom line: SFSers come out of Map knowing more about geography than most people reasonably need to know, but it might give you a slight edge when playing trivia at the Tombs during senior year.
How to be President 101
The SFS is the school to be in if your plan is to rule the world—or at least have an impact on politics.
The most notable alumnus of the SFS (and arguably of the entire University) is Bill Clinton (Class of ’68), the 42nd President of the United States. But he’s far from Georgetown’s only executive-level graduate. Others include the President of the European Commission José Durão Barroso (Class of ’87), former President of the Philippines and Clinton classmate Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo (Class of ’68), and Illinois Governor Pat Quinn (Class of ’69).
Other famous alums include former U.S. Army Chief of Staff George Casey (Class of ’70), former CIA Director George Tenet (Class of ’76), and former Secretary of State Alexander Haig (Class of ’61).