Best Profs/Classes for a current SFS student

<p>Calling all SFS students or graduates...</p>

<p>Pre-registration starts on Nov.7th and I wanted some input on who you all thought were the best professors and/or classes you've had/taken at Georgetown. Is there a class or professor that in your opinion is a "must have" experience at Georgetown (especially for someone in the SFS)? </p>

<p>My son is currently a freshman and leaning toward majoring in IPOL with a focus on Security Studies (it is still early and that may change). Because of his last name, he'll be taking PHIL 099 next semester. Any great prof recs for PHIL 099? He is also contemplating taking THEO 074 w/Van Der Waag but doesn't know anyone who has taken him. </p>

<p>On the flip side, is there anyone he should avoid like the plague? </p>

<p>Thanks for any input and sharing your class experiences.</p>

<p>In my view, anyone leaning IPOL should take Intro to IR as soon as possible. If your soon didn't take that in the fall, I'd highly advise taking it in the spring. </p>

<p>I for one never took Van Der Waag, but he was the chaplain on my floor and from what I hear, he's easy but a little on the boring side. I'm curious, though, back in my day you took PST one semester and POG the other; why didnt your son take in the fall or have they changed that?</p>

<p>For someone interested in security, I think the essential courses are Brent Sterling's Military Security in World Politics and Mark Kauppi's Intro to Strategic Thought. Its also a great experience to take a class with the various policy types who cycle through over time.</p>

<p>Thanks for sharing...It is always interesting to hear students perspectives on professors/classes. In what year do students normally take Intro to IR? Are there any prereqs?</p>

<p>My son is in POG this semester and he's due to take PST in the Spring. His Dean suggested pre-registering for the following course schedule for this Spring: (5 courses + Map of the World-- then drop one course during the ADD/DROP period) Macro, PHIL 099, either another THEO or PHIL course, GOV 006, Adv. Spanish II, Map of the World. I think she wanted to keep him away from any other reading intensive courses due to PST. He may pick up another (non-intensive language) instead of an additional THEO or PHIL course. </p>

<p>The profs names that keep coming up for PST are J. Lichtenberg, R. Douglas, J. Koons and for GOV Bennett and Arsenault. Any one of these professors better than the other?</p>

<p>I was IPOL Security Studies as well. This was long enough ago that a lot of the survey course professors have changed, so I can't really help with the professors you named.</p>

<p>Most SFS students take Intro to IR (which is GOVT-006)their first or second semester. It is, itself, a pre-requisite for many courses, but there are no pre-reqs to take it. I don't know about Bennett, but the other professor teaching 006 in the spring is Keir Lieber. I've never had him as a professor, but I do work with him, and he's a good guy and is very committed to teaching and helping students. </p>

<p>If your son does drop one course during add-drop, he'll be taking 14 credits [three 3-credit courses, one 4-credit course (PST), and one 1-credit course (Map]. The standard load is 15, so that should be fine. I took 18 credits the 2nd semester of my freshman year and it was definitely hectic, though doable.</p>

<p>In terms of must-have courses, especially for Security concentrators:</p>

<p>The gold standard is Keith Hrebenak's "The Military Instrument of National Power." Don't let the innocuous INAF-239 course designation (which keeps out grad students) fool you: this course could easily be taught at the War College to field grade officers. The reading load is insane - I did the MA in Security Studies at Georgetown as well and none of those graduate courses were as rigorous and intensive as Hrebenak's. He is gruff, demanding, and utterly brilliant. He looks like a Civil War soldier. He inspires cult-like devotion and has past students act as TAs to assist with grading (no shortage of takers). </p>

<p>I rather foolishly took this class as a sophomore. This one needs to be saved for junior or senior year (it's only taught 2nd semester) and the rest of the schedule cleared so that you can devote as much time as possible to it. Your GPA will probably take a hit; I got a B+ and was happy to get it. But you will learn more than you thought possible in one semester. I would pay money just to sit and listen to Hrebenak lecture. And if you do well, Hrebenak will go to bat for you. He wrote a letter of recommendation for me that I'm sure helped get me into grad school.</p>

<p>Information Warfare with Matt Devost is an interesting and eclectic course. Probably the exact opposite of Hrebenak's course, as the instructor is very laid-back, but it is a great introduction to the topic for laymen (those who aren't computer science types).</p>

<p>Bill Daddio's "Sociology of Terrorism" is ever-popular.</p>

<p>David Goldfrank's course "The Terrorists" is a historical look at the topic with a master historian (and the quintessential eccentric professor who is a Georgetown institution unto himself). </p>

<p>"Somalia to Afghanistan: A New World" with Ambassador Holmes is always a very difficult class to get into and gets high marks.</p>

<p>I enjoyed Richard Schroeder's "Technology and Intelligence" course a great deal - he's a former CIA case officer and does a very nice job with the topic.</p>

<p>I understand that the students can be pretty frank about their likes and dislikes on Rate</a> My Professors | Find and rate your professor, campus and more - RateMyProfessors.com.</p>

<p>^dzleprechaun Thanks for taking the time to write so much detailed information about the IPOL/Security Studies classes. My son often talks about the incredible variety of classes offered each semester that it is hard to know which are the must haves and which ones could best be left for another time. He like a kid in a candy store, really. I will e-mail your suggestions to him. </p>

<p>Interestingly enough I spoke with my son this evening and he was still recuperating from his Micro mid-term where he's pretty sure he just got his butt handed to him. He was eager to talk anything but ECON and mentioned that he was going to put down Prof. Lieber as his 1st choice for GOV. He was still polling friends about Prof. Pinkard for PHIL 099 or perhaps Prof. J. Mitchell. To be honest he was a bit frustrated b/c he said so much of each student's perception of the class depends on the TA's that it is hard to get a good read on which professor to choose. </p>

<p>Thanks again sharing!</p>

<p>I had Dr Van der Waag for POG freshman fall. He's great!</p>