How to Write Georgetown’s School of Foreign Service Essay
This article was written based on the information and opinions presented by Vinay Bhaskara and Alexander Oddo in a CollegeVine livestream. You can watch the full livestream for more info.
When applying to Georgetown, you are required to write a separate supplemental essay based on the school you apply to. If you are applying to The Walsh School of Foreign Service, the prompt is:
The Walsh School of Foreign Service was founded more than a century ago to prepare generations of leaders to solve global problems. What is motivating you to dedicate your undergraduate studies to a future in service to the world. – 1 page, single-spaced
In this article, we will discuss what The Walsh School of Foreign Service (SFS) is and how to approach this prompt.
Personalizing Your Essay to The SFS
The Walsh School of Foreign Service is the most competitive of the Georgetown schools. If the SFS is your goal, your essay is extremely important due to the competitiveness of this school. It is critical to illustrate and highlight your values in this prompt because it is a more personal question. The other essay prompts focus more on your academics or majors, but this one dives into your motivation for dedicating your undergraduate studies to a future in service of the world.
While the SFS and the regular college don’t differ in acceptance rates, the SFS is looking for a particular type of student. It is important to tailor your essays to the student qualities that they are looking for. Your application needs to have a theme or a spike that relates to the values of the School of Foreign Service.
Students usually have a lot of questions about which Georgetown school to apply to if you’re majoring in global business. If you are in this situation, the McDonough School of Business is the better option because they will have classes and professors that better suit your needs. If the School of Foreign Services still interests you, you will still be able to take some SFS classes while enrolled at the business school as well. If you are applying to the SFS, make sure that you are personally aligned with the mission of the school
Deciding on a Topic
A topic a lot of students want to write about is their foreign volunteering trips as a motivating factor. This is a bit of a cliche topic and may channel the tone of a savior complex While it might be the experience that motivates you, if you paid money to go on a volunteering trip it will come off as inauthentic and privileged.
A good topic connects your passion to a broader goal that advances diversity, equity, and inclusion or social justice. Essays covering such topics are going to stand out a lot more as they have a deeper meaning. Make sure that your passion for global and public service is extremely clear and that you can convey that you are well-informed on the topic.
Other Factors to Consider as You Write
If you are applying to the School of Foreign Service, you are most likely taking relevant classes and doing well in them. It is important to show the admissions officers that you’re interested in global politics through your classes, essays and throughout your whole application, but keep in mind that your course load is already available to them.
Your essays are an opportunity to showcase the smaller details that are not already present in your extracurricular activities and course list, so make sure that you are including revealing new information through your response. Nevertheless, your entire application as a whole – your classes, essays, and activities – should all point to the values that make you a good fit for the SFS.
Georgetown is a specialized school when it comes to politics, so this is one of the best schools in the country for this focus. It is very common that the School of Foreign Services is many student’s first choice because of this, so you need to be sure that you stand out among other applicants. Showcasing who you are, how you think, and how this is aligned with the SFS in your essays is a key way to make sure you are remembered by the admissions officers.