Georgetown University


Georgetown University

Collegium of Georgetown University

Motto Collegium Georgiopolitanum ad ripas Potomaci in Marylandia ("Georgetown College on the banks of the Potomac in Maryland")
Established January 23, 1789
School type Private, Jesuit
President John J. DeGioia
Location Washington, DC, USA
Enrollment 6,537 undergraduate, 6,637 graduate
Faculty 1,515
Campus Urban
Athletics 21 varsity teams

Georgetown University is a Catholic university in Georgetown, Washington, DC. It is the oldest Catholic university in the United States of America, and the first Jesuit one, having been founded on January 23, 1789 by Archbishop John Carroll. Today, it is one of 28 member institutions of the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities. The founding date is the subject of some controversy, as construction on the buildings began in 1788, the first student was admitted in 1791, and classes commenced in early 1792. The official date is that of when the Jesuit order acquired the title to the land that became the core of the campus.

About Georgetown

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View of Georgetown University from the Observatory in 1893

One of America's most prestigious universities, Georgetown University currently has 1,100 full-time and 330 part-time faculty spread across its three campuses. As of 2002-03, there were 6,332 full-time and part-time undergraduate students, 3,768 full-time and part-time graduate students on the Main Campus, 2,043 students at the Law Center and 713 students in the Medical School.

Georgetown is one of the most selective universities in the United States: its overall undergraduate acceptance rate is 22%, and many of the graduate programs, particularly in the Law Center and Medical School, are similarly competitive. The undergraduate schools maintain an Early Action admissions program. According to admissions fact sheets, applicants applying to Georgetown typically consider similarly prominent institutions such as Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Duke, and the University of Chicago during their application and subsequent enrollment periods.

Prominent student organizations include the main student-run newspapers, The Hoya, The Voice and The Independent; the Philodemic Society, a debating group; The Georgetown International Relations Association, a student-run group that participates in and hosts Model UN events for high-school and college-aged students; and Mask & Bauble, the oldest continually operating student theater group in the country.


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Georgetown University Law Center

Situated upon a hill overlooking the rest of Washington, DC and a stone's throw from the Potomac River, Georgetown University's Main Campus, with its classically collegiate ivy-covered buildings, fountains, cemetaries, open quadrangles, and picturesque groves of flowers and trees, has been described as one of the most beautiful college settings on the East Coast.

The Main campus, center of Georgetown student life and intellectual activity, is just-over 100-acres in size. Within that space, the University counts 58+ buildings, student residences capable of accomodating a large portion of the student body, and diverse athletic facilities. In Fall 2003, the Southwest Quadrangle Project was completed. This project brought a 784-bed student dorm, an expansive cafeteria, an underground parking facility, and new Jesuit Residence to the campus. Slated for completion in 2005 is a new performing Performing Arts Center; longer term projects include the building of an internal business school campus and the construction of a Unified Sciences Center.

The Main Campus is approximately two miles from the White House, and four miles from the Capitol building. The main gates, more commonly known as the Healy Gates, are located at the intersection of 37th and O Streets, NW. A majority of undergraduates live on campus in several dormitories and apartment complexes, though a minority lives off-campus in the surrounding neighborhoods - Georgetown to the east and Burleith to the north - and a few reside further away. As of Fall 2004, a limited number of dormitory rooms are available for graduate students, but most still reside off-campus.

The Medical School is located on a property adjacent to the northwestern part of the Main Campus on Reservoir Road. All students in the Medical School live off campus, most in the surrounding neighborhoods, though some live in Dupont Circle and elsewhere.

The Law Center is located downtown on New Jersey Avenue, near Union Station. Some first-year students at the Law Center live in a single on-campus dormitory. Most second-year and third-year students, as well as some first-year students, live off-campus. As there is little housing nearby, most are spread throughout the Washington metropolitan area.


Georgetown College suffered from continual financial difficulties during its early years, but was bolstered when it received a federal charter in 1815. The Medical School was founded in 1850, and the Law Department (now Law Center) in 1870. The school nearly collapsed during the U.S. Civil War, as most of the students left to fight for both sides. After the war, students chose to commemorate the actions of their predecessors by adopting blue and gray as the official school colors. The school did not begin to recover until the presidency of Reverend Patrick Healy, S.J. (1868-1878), the first African-American to head an American university. Healy is credited with reforming the undergraduate curriculum and the Medical and Law programs, as well as creating the Alumni Association.

The School of Nursing was founded in 1903. The School of Foreign Service (SFS) was founded in 1919 by Father Walsh in response to the need for institutions to train American youth for leadership in foreign commerce and diplomacy. The School of Languages and Linguistics (now Faculty of Languages and Linguistics) was organized in 1949. The Georgetown School of Business was organized out of the SFS in 1955. It was renamed for Robert E. McDonough in 1999.

In December 2003, Georgetown completed its Third Century Campaign, joining only a handful of universities worldwide to raise at least $1 billion dollars for financial aid, chair endowment, and new capital projects.

In the Fall of the 2004 semester, Georgetown announced the appointment of former-CIA director George Tenet to the University teaching staff. Tenet joined other distinguished Georgetown faculty including former National Security Advisor Anthony Lake, former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, Ambassador Jeane Kirkpatrick, former Ambassador at Large Robert L. Gallucci, and former Prime Minister of Spain Jose Maria Aznar.


White-Gravenor Hall

Bachelors, master's, and doctoral programs are offered through the Georgetown College, the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, the Robert Emmett McDonough School of Business, the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service, the Law Center, the School of Medicine, the School of Nursing and Health Studies, the School for Summer and Continuing Education, and the Center for Professional Development.

Majors and Certificates

Georgetown University offers undergraduate degrees in 48 different majors in the four undergraduate schools, as well as offering opportunities for students to design their own individualized courses of study. Majors in the Walsh School of Foreign Service are known as concentrations.

All majors in the College are currently open to students in the College and the School of Business as minors, as are certain other fields, including Catholic Studies, Culture and Politics, Environmental Studies, Justice and Peace Studies, Medieval Studies, Social and Political Thought and Women's Studies. Students in the College and School of Foreign Service may complete certificate programs in African Studies, Arab Studies, Asian Studies, Australian and New Zealand Studies, European Studies, International Business Diplomacy (SFS only), Justice & Peace Studies (SFS only), Latin American Studies, Medieval Studies (SFS only), Muslim-Christian Understanding, Russian, Eurasian and East European Studies, Science, Technology and International Affairs (College only), Social and Political Thought (SFS only) and Women's Studies (SFS only).

Georgetown College - Bachelor of Arts

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View of Healy Hall and New South Hall from across the Potomac River in 1999

Georgetown College - Bachelor of Science

Walsh School of Foreign Service

McDonough School of Business

School of Nursing and Health Studies


The school's sports teams are called the Hoyas. Many years ago, students well-versed in the classical languages invented the mixed Greek and Latin chant of "Hoya Saxa," translating roughly as "What Rocks," in reference to both the stalwart defense of the football team and the stone wall that surrounded the campus. ('Hoia' is Greek for 'what' or 'what a,' and 'saxa' is Latin for 'rocks.') The mascot is a bulldog named Jack. The teams participate in the NCAA's Division I. Most sports teams compete in the Big East Conference, though the football team competes in the Division I-AA Patriot League.

Intercollegiate men's sports include baseball, basketball, crew, football, golf, lacrosse, soccer, swimming and diving, tennis and track and field. Intercollegiate women's sports include basketball, crew, field hockey, golf, lacrosse, soccer, swimming and diving, tennis, track and field, and volleyball. There is also a co-ed sailing team.

The Men's Basketball team won the NCAA championship in 1984.

Famous alumni


  • B - Business
  • C - College
  • DDS - Dental School
  • G - Graduate School of Arts and Sciences
  • L - Law Center
  • M - School of Medicine
  • MPP - Masters Degree (Institute of Public Policy)
  • MSFS - School of Foreign Service (graduate)
  • SFS - School of Foreign Service (undergraduate)
  • SLL- School of Language and Linguistics (now Faculty of Languages and Linguistics)
  • SSCE - School of Summer and Continuing Education

Law, Government, and Politics

Members of the U.S. Senate

Members of the U.S. House of Representatives

Interior of Riggs Library



Entertainment, Media and Culture

Science and Medicine

Religion, Social Action and Education



External links