Initial Publication Date: June 24, 2013

Science, Technology, and International Affairs Program at Georgetown University

Information for this profile was provided by Douglas Howard, Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University. Information is also available on the program website. Students in this program are pursuing a bachelors degree.

Program Design & Assessment


Science, Technology and International Affairs (STIA) is a unique, multi- and inter-disciplinary liberal arts program. It equips students with the tools they will need to understand and address the complex issues related to science and technology (environment, health, energy, security, and development) that are interwoven with the historical, political, economic, social, and cultural concerns of international affairs. STIA's essential goal is to produce graduates who can manage issues with a strong content of science and technology. STIA is the only SFS major to have a science requirement, and provides SFS students with the option of continuing in science after graduation in fields such as the environmental and energy sciences and medicine. The major provides comprehensive knowledge within four concentrations:

  1. Environment and Energy
  2. Business, Growth and Development
  3. Biotechnology and Global Health
  4. Science, Technology and Security

Strengths of this program

The School of Foreign Service provides STIA students with the fundamental interdisciplinary liberal arts core curriculum that focuses upon the study of international affairs. Completion of the core prepares SFS students to select one of seven interdisciplinary majors in advanced international studies. The core design strengths focus on philosophy, theology, humanities, history, government, economics, with emphasis on international affairs. There are also strong emphases on writing and particularly on proficiency in a modern foreign language. Students then choose an interdisciplinary major such as the Science, Technology, and International Affairs program that provides four concentrations heavily weighted in science and technology. This design aims to equip students with the tools needed to understand the complex problems at the intersection of scientific and technical issues and international affairs. What is also unique about the program is that approximately 75% of SFS students study abroad in their undergraduate careers.

Types of students served

Liberal arts students with interests in international policy related to science and technology, many of who pursue careers in environmental, sustainable energy, biotechnology, and global health arenas.

Program Goals

The goals of this program are as follows:

The STIA education prepares students to do so in the following ways:

  • Understand, evaluate, and apply the key concepts and research in science and technology in international affairs
  • Be knowledgeable about quantitative and qualitative methods, and able to apply them in research
  • Recognize and apply a toolkit of scientific techniques and methods
  • Understand and evaluate the world's most important science and technology challenges
  • Identify key institutions and dynamics in international science and technology
  • Explicate and critique science and technology issues in clear written and oral presentation
  • Develop substantive and theoretical expertise necessary to understand, interpret, and explain complex events and case studies in international science and technology
  • Recognize important moral dimensions of scientific issues and apply ethical frameworks to these challenges
  • Develop the substantive, analytical and ethical skills necessary to anticipate emerging threats, challenges and opportunities in the global arena and respond effectively

The learning goals were informed by the following resources:

Primarily though historical program goals, institutional policies, and advisement from alumni, faculty, and students.

How program goals are assessed

One primary method is through the Georgetown University Cawley Career Education Center's Senior Survey which comprehensively accesses all GU students' academic and career pursuits after graduation. This senior survey provides information about post-graduation activities, their future plans, industries and employers where they are employed, their job functions, and average starting salaries. Student responses are correlated to their undergraduate major at GU.

Design features that allow goals to be met

With the goal of providing the student with the skills to attain careers in international arena the curriculum is designed to integrate the knowledge required throughout all coursework. Fundamentals are preceded by more advance topics. Students are well prepared through modern foreign language requirements and the science behind the technologies that are used globally.

Alumni Careers

Graduation rate

School of Foreign Service:
Class of 2011 there were 349 graduates
Class of 2012 there were 371 graduates

Careers pursued by our alumni

School of Foreign Service, Class of 2012:

PRIMARY post-graduation activities:

  • Employment, full-time 71%
  • Employment, part-time 1%
  • Graduate or professional school, full-time 14%
  • Seeking employment 7%
  • Military Service 1%
  • Service activity (e.g. - Peace Corps, Jesuit Volunteer Corps) 4%
  • Other activity 2%
Industries of employment:
  • Consulting
  • Education
  • Financial Services
  • Non-Profit/Public Service
  • Government
  • Research
  • Law
  • Other
  • Public Relations
  • Accounting
  • Communications
  • Energy/Environment
  • Healthcare
  • Fashion/Retail
  • Manufacturing/Production