Georgetown University in Qatar

Georgetown University in Qatar (GU-Q; previously Georgetown University School of Foreign Service in Qatar) is a campus of Georgetown University (Washington D.C.) in Education City, outside of Doha, Qatar. It is one of Georgetown University's 10 undergraduate and graduate schools,[5] and is supported by a partnership between Qatar Foundation and Georgetown University.

Georgetown University in Qatar
جامعة جورجتاون في قطر
Seal of Georgetown University
Former names
Georgetown University School of Foreign Service in Qatar (2005–2015)
Utraque Unum
("Both into One")[1]
EstablishedAugust 31, 2005
Parent institution
Georgetown University
AffiliationRoman Catholic (Jesuit)
PresidentJohn J. DeGioia
DeanAhmad Dallal[2]
Academic staff
25°18′56″N 51°26′5″E
ColorsBlue and Gray    
MascotJack the Bulldog

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 reflect the broadening of its remit.


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.[6]


Georgetown offers a four-year Bachelor of Science in Foreign Service (BSFS), with four majors within the program, the curriculum and course materials of which are identical to those offered at Georgetown's main campus in Washington D.C:[7]

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

Georgetown University in Qatar also 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,[8] 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[9] 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 other topics. Funding sources are available both within GU-Q and from external funding bodies.

GU-Q students formed the Middle Eastern Studies Association (MESSA)[10] 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)[11] for research projects with topics that are relevant to Qatar’s national development.


The entrance to Georgetown's campus in Education City

The Georgetown University in Qatar building[12] 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.


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,[13] 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

About 25[14] student organisations exist on the school's campus. Student organisations 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, The Free Society - a libertarian and free speech club, Georgetown Business Society (GBS), Students for Justice in Palestine (GUQ-SJP), The Georgetown Gazette, and the Georgetown Investment Association (GIA).

Criticism and controversy

Georgetown has been the subject of ongoing criticism of whether it is appropriate to maintain a campus in Qatar, given the Qatar's alleged links to state-sponsored terrorism, comparatively less academic freedom than its home country, and the country's de facto absolute monarchy. In an article without byline published by Gulf News Journal, Herbert London, a conservative pro-Israel activist who is founder and president of the eponymous London Center for Policy Research and a senior fellow at the think tank Manhattan Institute, said "universities I think have compromised themselves" by having campuses in "an environment like Qatar" where "free and open exchange of ideas" is impermissible.[15]

Along with other universities with campuses in Qatar, Georgetown has received criticism for accepting money from Qatar due to their alleged, yet not proven, support of terrorism worldwide and their abysmal[tone] human rights record, especially in the lead up to the 2022 World Cup. Some[according to whom?] question if universities who profit from campuses in Qatar are thereby complicit in Qatar’s alleged sponsorship of terrorism and human rights abuses.[16][17]

See also


  1. From the Epistle to the Ephesians 2:14. See official explanation Archived 2010-06-09 at the Wayback Machine. Other translations available Archived 2009-01-13 at the Wayback Machine.
  2. "Georgetown University in Qatar Welcomes New Dean" (Press release). University of Georgetown. Retrieved June 18, 2011.
  4. "Georgetown Welcomes Class of 2021" (Press release).
  5. "Our Schools". Retrieved 2019-09-21.
  6. "Georgetown University", Wikipedia, 2019-09-21, retrieved 2019-09-21
  7. "Bachelor of Science in Foreign Service (BSFS) Degree Program". Georgetown University in Qatar. 2018-07-29. Retrieved 2019-09-21.
  8. "Meet Our Faculty". Georgetown University - School of Foreign Service in Qatar. 2015-12-03. Retrieved 2016-11-16.
  9. "Faculty Research". Georgetown University - School of Foreign Service in Qatar. 2014-07-07. Retrieved 2016-11-16.
  10. "MESSA - Middle Eastern Studies Students Association". Georgetown University - School of Foreign Service in Qatar. 2012-02-01. Retrieved 2016-11-16.
  11. "UREP". Georgetown University - School of Foreign Service in Qatar. 2014-07-07. Archived from the original on 2017-06-28. Retrieved 2016-11-16.
  12. "Facilities". Georgetown University - School of Foreign Service in Qatar. 2014-07-07. Retrieved 2016-11-16.
  13. "Collections & Gifts | Georgetown University Qatar Library". Retrieved 2016-11-16.
  14. "Clubs and Organizations". Georgetown University - School of Foreign Service in Qatar. 2014-07-07. Retrieved 2016-11-16.
  15. "Roots of American universities grow deeper in Qatar, drawing criticism". Gulf News Journal. 2015-06-08. Retrieved 2016-05-13.
  16. "Advocate questions motive behind Qatar's financial ties to U.S. colleges". Gulf News Journal. 2016-04-08. Retrieved 2016-05-13.
  17. "While U.S. universities see dollar signs in Qatari partnerships, some cry foul". Gulf News Journal. 2015-09-24. Retrieved 2016-05-13.