Daniel Gourvitch/The Hoya

Georgetown students have long been known to quibble over which undergraduate school within the university is the best, and according to this year’s intra-school transfer rates the School of Foreign Service appears to be the most popular transfer destination.

The SFS accepted 42 intraschool transfer applicants, while only 10 students transferred from the SFS to other schools, giving the SFS the greatest net growth from intraschool transfers. At .75 percent, the SFS also has the lowest proportion of students transferring to other schools, with the College following at 1.9 percent.

Out of the 63 students who exited the College this fall, 31 of them transferred to the SFS while only 20 transferred to the cDonough School of Business and 12 to the School of Nursing and Health Studies.

The increase in the popularity of the SFS though, may be a recent development.

According to Sue Lorenson, assistant dean in the College, part of the increase of students transferring to the SFS appears to be a result of Sept. 11, 2001, because more students are interested in an international focus. This effect has also been seen in the College, where there has been a significant increase in the number of Arabic majors and minors.

According to Brendan Hill, assistant dean in the SFS, approximately 70 to 80 students tried to or displayed serious interest in transferring to the SFS this fall, while only 42 students actually transferred. Many students decide not to transfer because of curriculum problems that would complicate the student’s graduation requirements.

Hill also said that sometimes students are deferred by the new school until they have completed some more credits in their current schools.

Katie Duerr (COL ’05) said she transferred into the SFS from the College at the end of her freshman year because she was interested in international politics and thought that the SFS curriculum “sounded appealing.”

After spending only a year in the SFS, and declaring a Culture and Politics major, Duerr quickly decided that the College was a better fit for her and transferred back at the end of her sophomore year.

After becoming a government major and double-minor in French and Psychology, Duerr said she now feels as though she is “in the best place.”

Duerr said that the transfer process was not difficult. “The deans in the College are really helpful,” she said, adding that they welcomed her back into the school, even after transferring for the year.

Lorenson accounted for high transfer rates to and from the College because it is the least “specialized” of the four undergraduate schools.

“High school students tend to focus on the college or university they wish to attend without necessarily honing in on the particular programs at those schools,” Lorenson said.

Some high school students believe that the way in which students end up in the SFS, NHS or MSB is by spending a year in the College, figuring out their interests and then transferring, she added.

“Students who are on the fence about which school to apply to often view the first year as a time to `figure it out,’ and think that the curricular freedom of the College affords them this opportunity,” Lorenson said.

The NHS had the most even numbers of entries and exits, 12 and 14 students, respectively. All 12 students who entered were from the College.

Academic interests also play a part in transfers within the NHS, and the recent increase in transfers from the College to the NHS may be due in part to new offerings in health studies.

Anne Hensler (NHS ’05) said that although she had wanted to be a doctor her whole life, she was disillusioned after taking biology courses in the College.

After speaking with many different people, including Fr. Ryan aher, S.J. (CAS ’82), assistant dean in the College, Hensler said she decided to transfer to the NHS.

Hensler suggests that students who are thinking of transferring talk to as many people as possible, because “no one person is going to be able to have all the answers for you . Someone suggested that I try out nursing and I knew immediately that it was perfect,” she said. “If you’re going through the trouble of transferring to something else, that means you’ve really found it.”

In reverse, the College is also a popular destination for NHS students – out of the 14 who transferred out, 11 transferred to the College with two entering the MSB and one entering the SFS.

Out of the 22 students who entered the MSB, none came from the SFS.

Although in the past, the MSB has received transfers from the SFS, MSB Academic Counselor Chip Gurkin guessed that this also has to do with varying interests versus specific difficulties with curriculum.

In order to transfer, students must fill out an application with an essay written on why the student wants to switch schools. Students cannot transfer between undergraduate schools after their sophomore year.

“In evaluating transfers in, deans review the student’s essay and transcript, and use the information to determine whether the transfer is in the student’s best interest,” Lorenson said.

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