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The Hoya Way to Internal Transfers

By Esther Li SFS'22

For many, when applying to colleges, selecting your intended major is more of an educated guess than anything else. At 17 or 18 years old, your exposure to the world is significantly more limited compared to the amount you’ll learn in college. The growth students experience as they gain exposure to new modes of thought, new courses, new clubs, new people, etc., often changes what they want for themselves. What changed for me was knowing I wanted to combine both a practical business education with a vigorous liberal arts education grounded in critical thinking, reading, and developing my global perspective. In this blog post, I want to take you through my experience transferring to the SFS and offer any insight I can on internal transfers at Georgetown.

As you begin thinking about how to approach your internal transfer application, I’d like to first say that Georgetown wants to see you flourish and that the university doesn’t have ulterior motives to prevent you from studying your passions. That being said, you should be able to convince the essay reader why you are seeking this change.

STEP 1: Take some time to reflect.

This is a great opportunity to slow down and think: what do you really want out of your education? If things are in conflict, how can you prioritize them and make the best choice with the information that you have? If some information is missing, what can you do to fill the gaps with what’s available to you? The career center, academic deans, older students, mentors, friends, parents, etc. can all be resources, but it is also important to stay grounded internally as well. After this inward reflection, I knew I was pulled to pursue studies in both business and global affairs.

STEP 2: Learn about the various programs and initiatives at Georgetown that would support your academic and professional goals.

As a freshman in the MSB class of 2022, I had a few avenues to pursue this. First, the business school has an international business major with two tracks: International Political Economy and Business and International Business Regional Studies. I felt that this wasn’t the route for me after seeing just 4% of business students pursued this major. Secondly, I knew of the Global Business Fellows Program (GBF) but did not want to risk not being accepted my sophomore year when the applications open. Applications to transfer opened in the spring my freshman year and by June of 2019, I was notified via email that I had been accepted into the SFS to study Global Business (GBUS).

Besides these 3 programs, I also wanted to mention two other avenues to study this intersection for those who may be interested. Starting the year after me, with the Class of 2023, there is a new program that offers a B.S. in Business and Global Affairs (BSBGA). Additionally, if you are in the SFS, there is also the International Business Diplomacy (IBD) that serves like a MSB minor.

STEP 3: Submit your application.

In terms of the application itself, the process only consisted of a Google Form and a one page essay emailed to two people in the SFS Dean's Office. The application, which you can find here, also provides dates of information sessions specifically for internal transfers to the SFS. It is highly recommended that you attend a session to learn about the process. My advice for those planning on transferring is to make the essay reader’s job easy. State your intentions clearly, what drives this change, and show how you would take advantage of the transfer.

Additionally, remember, the academic advisors want to make sure your education stays on track, so showing what has prepared you for the transfer and how this change would fit into your college plan would serve you well. As quoted directly from the application Google Form, “evidence of academic accomplishment in fields directly related to the SFS curriculum, particularly the social sciences, economics, and foreign languages, is necessary. In addition, a serious interest in international affairs and participation in activities beyond the normal scope of the classroom are major factors in determining whether an applicant from within the University may be offered admission.” Some examples of what has prepared you for the transfer may include previous language and economics coursework, involvement in student clubs, and any experience that has affirmed your interest. Internship or work experience may be great on the resume but don’t overlook any experiences like an impactful conversation or event that may have changed your worldview. Lastly, consider having a few people read over your essay -- whether that be for grammar, content, or both.

At the end of the day, your major does not define you! At a school like Georgetown, if you put in the effort, you will be equipped with the skills to take on whatever challenges you seek.


Esther Li is a junior in the SFS majoring in Global Business. She is involved in HoyAlytics, Chinese Student Alliance, Delta Phi Epsilon Professional Foreign Service Sorority, and is an intern for Georgetown’s Endowment. In her free time, she loves to listen to news podcasts, bartend, and take walks around different neighborhoods throughout D.C.

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