SSP strives to enroll a diverse class of students each semester and international students are an important component of the program’s student body. International students are valued because of the unique perspectives they bring to classroom discussions and to the SSP community as a whole. Recent students have come from all regions across the globe.
SSP offers international students solid grounding in international relations theory as well as practical analysis, critical thinking, and writing skills. These skills are crucial regardless of the region you find yourself working in. International graduates of the program have found employment both in the United States and around the world in a variety of organizations.
The application process for international applicants is the same as for United States citizens and permanent residents. Information on the application process for SSP can be found under How To Apply. Note that you may have different standardized testing requirements depending on where you completed your previous degree.
International applicants must provide a certified English translation of their official transcript from their undergraduate (and, if applicable, graduate) university. Certified translations must be accompanied by the original documentation. International applicants are not required to use World Education Services (WES) or similar services, since all international grades are evaluated based on the scale upon which the applicant was graded.
SSP encourages all international applicants to visit EducationUSA’s website for their country and learn more about the services available to them. EducationUSA is a service of the U.S. Department of State and helps international students come to study in the United States.
Resources for International Students
Office of Global Services
The Office of Global Services (OGS) at Georgetown provides valuable services for international students. All international students are assigned an advisor who will assist them with all required paperwork and any other concerns. OGS offers international students academic resources, housing guides, information on cell phones and other essentials in the United States, international student groups, legal information, banking information, and visa information.
SSP merit aid is available to international students. SSP does not offer stipends or funds to cover travel or living expenses, books, or health insurance. See our Financial Aid page for more information about aid offered by SSP as well as information about outside funding for international students.
Careers for International Students and Alumni
SSP’s international graduates go on to pursue security careers in a variety of sectors. While the opportunities available to international students are often different than those available to U.S. citizens, our international students are generally able to find positions in their field both during and after their time as SSP, just as our U.S.-citizen students are.
SSP strives to support our international students in every way possible. We host events specifically for international students to learn more about their options, connect with other students, and provide feedback to the SSP administration. Our academic advisors are also well-versed in the requirements for international students and can give current students guidance on what employment can look like during and after the program.
Working While in School
There are several types of visas and work permits issued by the U.S. Government, which each present their holders with certain employment rights and restrictions. Individual circumstances may vary, but generally speaking, all international students are eligible to work on campus during their time at SSP, and many are able to work off campus.
Within SSP, students may apply for positions as Research Assistants (RAs), Teaching Assistants (TAs), and Fellows. Other administrative and research positions are also available in departments across campus.
Students are also often able to work off-campus in positions related to the security field. Note that restrictions on off-campus work are much stricter than those for employment within Georgetown. The Office of Global Services (OGS) is the main resource at Georgetown for all visa and work authorization questions and provides detailed information regarding employment for both F-1 and J-1 visa-holders on their website.
Finally, international students may be able to take unpaid internships across Washington D.C. by registering for an Internship Tutorial course. Note that this course does incur fees, just as any other SSP course does.
Working After Graduation
Finding a Job
The SFS Graduate Career Center serves current students and alumni of all SFS master’s degree programs, including SSP. Career counselors offer one-on-one consultations, mock interviews and evaluation, information sessions, and employer recruitment on campus. In addition, they assist with cover letter and résumé writing and internship opportunity coordination, and they provide an online job database for all SSP and SFS students to use both for finding positions and posting materials for recruiters’ review.
Working in the U.S.
International students have a few options that allow them to continue working in their positions after graduation. The most common temporary worker visa is the H1-B visa, and some students may be able to work for up to a year on their student visa following their graduation. More information on options following graduation can be found on the OGS website. Please be aware that non-U.S. citizens cannot obtain careers as U.S. Federal Government employees or work in positions that require a U.S. Federal Government security clearance.
Because of visa restrictions and job availability, many of our international students pursue positions abroad. Due to their international experience and, in many cases, advanced language fluency, our international students often have an advantage over U.S. students when it comes to security-related positions outside the U.S. government.