One of the hallmarks of the Security Studies Program is the vibrant and supportive student community. With over 400 students, SSP is the largest program in the Graduate School of Foreign Service, and our students come to SSP from diverse educational, professional, and personal backgrounds.
Life Outside of the Classroom
A large portion of our students work full-time and take courses part-time during any given semester. Most courses are offered after 5:00pm to allow working students to be part of the program, and students are able to change between full- and part-time throughout their time at SSP. Many of our full-time students also work for part of their time at SSP, taking advantage of the many internships available at SSP or finding a position on campus as a research assistant, teaching assistant, or fellow.
A Network of Colleagues
With so many of their classmates working full-time, SSP students are constantly engaged with people currently in the security field. These connections, along with the broad network of SSP alumni, give students links to some of the top organizations that hire SSP grads. Many of our students find their internships and full-time jobs through the SSP network–including some who find a permanent job well before graduation!
While many of these connections are made through informal networking, SSP also offers an alumni mentor program, in which students can be paired with one of our successful alumni. In addition, SSP alumni frequently send job opportunities to the program so that they can be shared in our weekly student emails.
SSP hosts more than 80 events per year, with academic options ranging from guest speakers every Tuesday at lunch and dinners with faculty members to major public conferences. Career development events, including networking sessions and workshops, are also offered throughout the year. Finally, SSP hosts a number of formal and informal social events, including weekly Student Council-sponsored happy hours, a semesterly flag football game against other SFS master’s students, and an annual semi-formal gala for students and alumni. SSP students can also take advantage of a vast array of events offered across Georgetown.
Check out our News and Events section to see some of our recent events for students, as well as our upcoming public events.
SSP is home to two dedicated student groups. The Georgetown Security Studies Review (GSSR) is the official academic review of the Center for Security Studies. As a completely student-run journal, it produces one issue each semester and maintains an active online presence on the GSSR Forum, an online-only component of GSSR which hopes to contribute to ongoing debates about U.S. foreign policy, national security, and international security. GSSR offers several levels of engagement for students at all stages in their SSP career. Students can serve as peer reviewers, reporters and columnists, or editors for the journal and online site.
The SSP Student Council, an elected body of current students, plays an integral role in the planning and execution of student events and advocates for the student body to the SSP administration. The SSP Student Council also liaises with the broader SFS Student Council, which connects all graduate programs in the School of Foreign Service through events and social gatherings. New students are actively encouraged to join Student Council, and one position on both the SSP and SFS Councils is reserved for a new student in each election.
Outside of SSP, Georgetown University is home to more than 200 student organizations, many of which count SSP students among their members and leadership. The Center for Student Engagement maintains a complete list of student groups (filter by “GSO groups” to see those that actively target graduate students).