Practitioners and scholars in fields as diverse as public policy, development, international relations, and security studies increasingly recognize that successful programs in their fields require effective and accountable governance. The Democracy and Governance Program seeks to understand the foundations of democratic and responsive government, how policymakers can create and implement policies to achieve these objectives and prepares students for careers in democracy assistance, governance reform, politics, and international affairs. Situated in the heart of Washington D.C., this program is the most comprehensive and unique of its kind in the United States.

The program provides graduate training with its Masters in Democracy and Governance (M.A.), executive and professional education opportunities, and advances research in the areas of democratic change and governance reform through the Center for Democracy and Civil Society (CDACS). CDACS is a member of the National Endowment for Democracy's Network of Democracy Research Institutes, and conducts scholarly research, undertakes policy advocacy, hosts speakers, and conferences, and publishes the biannual journal Democracy and Society.

The Master of Arts in Democracy and Governance stands at the confluence of political science, international development, public policy, and diplomacy. Our program reflects a commitment to a diverse curriculum that blends theory and practice, provides students with focused and relevant training, utilizes Georgetown University's international expertise and reputation, and provides unique opportunities for practical experience.

To realize these goals, this academically-demanding program requires the successful completion of 42 credit hours of coursework over two years. Leading scholars and practitioners teach classes examining the challenges that contemporary democracies face, the philosophical, social, and economic forces that have fostered political change across the globe, and the practical problems of governance reform. With an average incoming class size of 12 students, the program offers graduate students individualized academic opportunities, unparalleled access to professors, and a cohesive community of scholars.

  • Focused and Relevant Training
    The program reflects a commitment to a diverse curriculum that provides students with the necessary exposure to the fundamental elements of democracy and governance, while also allowing students to tailor the program to their specific thematic and regional interests.

  • Institutional Expertise and Reputation
    Georgetown University is recognized around the world as a leader in educating and training students for careers in research, public service, and the for-profit and non-profit sectors.

  • Opportunities for Practical Experience
    Washington, D.C. is the ideal location to study how theories of political change translate into actual policies. Students gain first-hand experience through relevant classes, internships, lectures, workshops, and conferences with leading policymakers and scholars in the field.

  • Languages
    Graduates are required to show proficiency in at least one foreign language. Georgetown offers over 20 language programs and provides graduate scholarships for language study.


Under the instruction of leading scholars and practitioners, students may select from a variety of courses that provide the skills and knowledge to effectively develop and implement programs in the fields of democracy and governance. Students must complete 42 credits of coursework that include:

  • 3 Core Courses (Comparative Democratization or
    Theories of Political Development, Political Institutions or
    Democracy Promotion, and Program Design or
    Elements of Research Design
  • 4 Directed Electives in specific sub-fields
  • 6 General Electives
  • 1 Course with a Regional Focus
  • A Language Examination
  • A Final Comprehensive Exam

Many students take advantage of the numerous opportunities available in

Washington, D.C., and take internships in lieu of two 3-credit general electives.

Collaborative Relationships

The Democracy and Governance Program has formed excellent relationships with leading public and private sector organizations through internship opportunities, classes taught by prominent practitioners, conferences, and special events.

Democracy International

A number of students and alumni have worked for DemocracyInternational (DI), a private consulting firm in Washington, D.C. The program had a very close relationship with DI during Pakistan’s 2008election, Afghanistan’s 2009 and 2010 elections, and Egypt’s 2013election when alumni, faculty, and students served as election observers and logistical staff.

International Foundation for Electoral Systems

The program has co-sponsored election management workshops with the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES). The workshops brought together students and IFES staff to address contemporary challenges in elections management.

United States Agency for International Development

The program has a partnership with the Center of Excellence onDemocracy, Human Rights, and Governance (USAID-DRG). Students can join faculty sponsored study groups for credit that produce actual research and presentations used by practitioners.

The Democracy &Governance Graduate

A Master of Arts in Democracy and Governance from Georgetown University reflects the highest standards of excellence. The program’s ability to provide rigorous academic training, hone analytical skills, allow real-world experiences, and provide language skills make our graduates leaders in the field.

Career Building Skills

The Democracy and Governance Program works with the Walsh School of Foreign Service Career Development Center to advise and train students for the job market. The Career Development Center acts as a referral for internships, sponsors fairs, and workshops, and offers professional development classes.

The Democracy and Governance Program also offers opportunities to develop needed professional skills such as grant writing and budgeting with a number of 1-credit offerings and specialized for-credit summer workshops.

A Robust Global Alumni Network

The people you meet at Georgetown will be your life-long friends and colleagues. Our close alumni network spans the globe and the professional field. Alumni stay connected with the Democracy andGovernance Program and are an essential component of our program.


We value applicants with strong academic preparation, professional experience, and international exposure. Our students come from a variety of undergraduate backgrounds and English proficiency is a requirement.

For more information on the program or the application requirements, you can visit our campus or connect with us online.

Application Requirements

  • Georgetown University Graduate School of Arts and Sciences online application;
  • Official transcripts from undergraduate and graduate institutions;
  • Resumé or C.V.;
  • Academic writing sample (500 words);
  • Three (3) letters of recommendation;
  • GRE test scores;
  • TOEFL/IELTS scores for international applicants who have not attended an English speaking college or university;
  • Georgetown application fee.
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This course is Campus based
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2 years
51,041 USD
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