The Georgetown University Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service (SFS) announced on Sept. 18 two new master’s degree programs: a Master of Science in Environment and International Affairs and a Master of Arts in International Migration and Refugees.
These programs, which will begin in August 2024, will join the other nine programs hosted by the SFS and aim to account for global developments and challenges.
The Environment and International Affairs program (MS-EIA) has three possible concentrations: Global Sustainable Energy Technology and Policy, Global Environmental Science and Policy and Environmental Science and International Security. The International Migration and Refugees program offers two concentrations: Migration Analytics and Humanitarian Practice.
Ara Friedman, the director of communications for the SFS, said the programs were created to critically explore new global developments.
“International migration and the environment are critical global issues that will continue to shape international affairs into the future,” Friedman wrote to The Hoya. “SFS established these two new master’s degrees to look more deeply at these global questions.”
Friedman said the MS-EIA program differs from the existing Masters of Foreign Service with a Concentration of Science, Technology and International Affairs.
“Currently, STIA has no master’s degree focusing on environmental science,” Friedman wrote. “This new MS-EIA degree differs from the MSFS concentration because it is a one-year master’s degree comprising 30 credits. It is offered jointly by STIA and Earth Commons, and allows students to take a higher overall percentage of science courses.”
Ideal applicants for these master’s programs demonstrate a strong interest in the issues of migration and environmental work in addition to a rigorous academic record, according to Friedman.
“For the Master’s in International Migration and Refugees, the ideal applicants will have a strong academic record and an interest in the issues, work or volunteer experience with migrants or refugees would be a plus. There are burning humanitarian, economic and political issues in every region of the world and SFS hopes to attract students who are interested in working in this dynamic field,” Friedman wrote.
“For the Master’s in Environment and International Affairs, the ideal applicants will have an interest in addressing urgent global challenges like the climate crisis and biodiversity loss. Strong applicants will understand that rigorous training in both policy and environmental science are parts of a successful career path in these emerging fields,” Friedman added.
Joanna Lewis, a director of Georgetown’s STIA Program who will be a professor in the MS-EIA program, said the program is catered to global environmental issues today because it is the only master’s program in the SFS Master’s degree that has an explicit focus on the environment.
“Almost all current global challenges have a foundation in science and technology issues, especially global environmental challenges,” Dr. Lewis wrote to The Hoya. “We have designed the new MS-EIA Program to give students a uniquely interdisciplinary training at the intersection of global environmental science and international affairs.”
Marcus King (SFS ’93), director of the new MS-EIA program, said the focus on scientific and technical skills is the distinguishing characteristic of the new program.
“Students who graduate from the MS-EIA program will have knowledge of both international affairs and global environmental and energy policy while other graduate programs concentrate in only one of these areas,” Dr. King wrote to The Hoya.
“MS-EIA also has a capstone program where students will have the chance to work with prospective employers giving them an advantage when they compete for jobs in the sector. Finally, key faculty members will have professional experience that provides insight and connections to the job market,” King added.
Joel Hellman, dean of the SFS, said the new programs will expand the reach of the SFS into new environments and possibilities.
“The issues of climate change and migration are at the very center of the global challenges we now face,” Hellman said in a press release. “These new degree programs will ensure that SFS continues to fulfill its mission of preparing new leaders to address the most critical issues in our world.”