Georgetown University, USA

Georgetown University, established in 1789, is located in the bustling Georgetown neighbourhood of Washington. Students participating in this placement will study at the Georgetown Centre for Security Services (CSS) which forms part of the prestigious Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service.

Georgetown University website

Who can go?

Eligible full-time residential students of the School of International Relations MLitt programmes.

The number of students selected for this programme varies from year to year. There are currently one to five places available to study at Georgetown per academic year for a period of one semester.

How to apply

The application process for a place at Georgetown University is competitive. Interested students will be invited to submit a 3000-word assignment by 2 October. The assignment title will be set at the beginning of Semester 1 and will be circulated to all matriculated full-time residential students by email.

In order to be offered a place on the exchange programme, students must achieve a 16.5 or above for this assignment which will be marked internally by the Centre for the Study of Terrorism and Political Violence (CSTPV) at St Andrews. Applicants must also supply a reference as part of their application. 

Successful applicants must attend a briefing session with CSTPV staff early in October; the exact date will be confirmed nearer the time.

For further information, please contact the CSTPV study abroad co-ordinator, Gillian Brunton, by emailing

Your studies

Students participating in this exchange will study at Georgetown University during Semester 2 of the academic year at the University, which runs from January to April.

Students must also attend a three-day orientation for incoming international students. One day is spent with CSS and the remaining days are spent with the rest of the incoming international students across campus. This is a free event with the only cost to the student being an evening meal.

Each module varies slightly but assessment is similar to that of St Andrews-based modules. The majority of classes take place in the evening.

Students will be contacted by their MLitt Convener in March or April regarding their dissertation, and will also be prepared for their return to St Andrews for the summer semester.

Passports and visas

You will likely be required to apply for a visa to enter the USA. Visa applications can be a lengthy process so it is recommended that you start the process as early as possible. Immigration laws are complex and subject to frequent changes, so it's best to check requirements with the Embassy of the United States before applying. Find out more about getting a visa for the USA.

You should ensure that your passport is valid for the duration of your trip, and for at least six months after you return to the UK. You should scan your passport and keep a copy for your records.

If you are an international student who has a visa to study in the UK, and you have any questions about the implications of studying or working abroad whilst matriculated at St Andrews, you should consult Student Services by emailing

About the University

From its establishment in 1789 by Jesuits, the principle of educating the ‘whole person’ underpins academic programmes at Georgetown University, as does the institution’s commitment to justice and the common good.

The Georgetown Center for Security Studies (CSS) is located within Georgetown University’s main campus. This hilltop campus, steeped in history, is situated in the bustling Georgetown neighbourhood of Washington.

Students can enjoy a range of activities both on campus and in Washington D.C., and the University’s strong connection to the capital itself. Particularly, CSS students benefit from a number of events and direct exposure to relevant government agencies and institutions.


Scholarships may be available from the Security Studies Program (SSP) from Georgetown University to cover insurance and gym membership.

CSTPV will give an award of £500 per student (2019-2020) to be used towards travel costs to the USA and any accommodation charges you may incur.


Georgetown University accommodation is not guaranteed. Students can contact the Georgetown Off-Campus Housing Office for advice about accommodation at Georgetown. Information will also be provided by CSTPV staff.

Accommodation in Washington is expensive, and students should plan financially for this.

Students returning to St Andrews for the summer should note that it is easier to find accommodation for the summer months than during term time.

Travel and transport

It is recommended that students fly to Washington National Airport, rather than Dulles Airport. Onward travel to Georgetown University is then possible by taxi, metro or bus. A free university shuttle bus service, GUTS, operates a number of routes between 5am and 12 midnight.

Find out more about public transport in Washington.

Student support

International students, faculty and researchers are an integral part of the Georgetown University community. The Office of Global Services provides services to the international community, including immigration advising and cultural and educational programming.


Collaborations and Study Abroad
University of St Andrews
St Katharine's West
The Scores
St Andrews
KY16 9AX

Phone: +44 (0)1334 46 2245

CSTPV study abroad co-ordinator
Gillian Brunton