Prospective Students

Why Debate at Georgetown?

Legacy of Excellence

Georgetown has one of the oldest and most successful competitive policy debate teams in the country. The team has won the National Debate Tournament four times, placed second six times, fielded five Top Speakers, and much more. (Check out “Georgetown Debate History” for more.)

Supportive Team Culture

Georgetown Debate is a tight-knit, mutually supportive environment in which we are all committed to one another’s development and success. Students with little formal training in policy debate feel equally at home with students from nationally competitive backgrounds.

Student Focus

We want each student to get exactly what they want out of debate, whatever that may be. Students and coaches work closely together, and the focus is always on students’ goals and aspirations.

Application Basics

We encourage you to check out Georgetown’s admissions page. In addition, if you are thinking of applying and interested in debating in college, send an e-mail to mm4438@georgetown.edu to indicate your interest.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What should I do if I’m interested in debating at Georgetown?

A: E-mail mm4438@georgetown.edu to indicate your interest.

Q: Will debate help me get into Georgetown?

A: The admissions office considers a wide variety of factors in making its decisions, but a strong commitment to debate cannot hurt an applicant. We will advocate on behalf of interested debaters who reach out to us, though candidates should understand that their applications will be considered holistically.

Q: Does Georgetown offer scholarships for debate?

A: Unfortunately, Georgetown University does not allow merit-based financial assistance, which makes debate scholarships impossible. However, we encourage you to explore Georgetown’s financial aid system.

Q: Do I have to have a strong competitive record to be on the team?

A: We have no competitive requirements or other pre-requisites to join the team, other than some prior policy debate experience or exposure and a love for debate.

Q: Is it possible to do other extracurriculars and debate?

A: Yes! Contrary to popular misconception, debate is absolutely compatible with other commitments. Debaters take full variety of Georgetown’s wide variety of opportunities, from campus social organizations to internships on the Hill.

Q: How do partnerships work?

A: This is a collaborative process. Before the season begins, students will meet with coaches to discuss their goals for the year, travel schedule, and possible partnerships. Coaches will assign partnerships based on these meetings, with strong student input.

Q: How is research divided?

A: Much like partnership decisions, research is a collaborative process between students and coaches. Research assignments are created and divided according to need, interest, and various other considerations.

Q: What does the travel schedule look like, especially for first-years?

A: The typical travel schedule for a college debater includes 4 tournaments per semester. This will often include a combination of regional and national tournaments; however, all first-years will attend at least some “major” national tournaments, and many Georgetown first-years have qualified to the National Debate Tournament.

Q: What does it cost to debate in college?

A: Travel and entry fees are covered by the debate team. The only costs incurred from debate travel are occasional meals.

Q: Are there argumentative restrictions?

A: We do not place restrictions on the arguments made by debaters. Research and argument construction are part of a collaborative process between students and coaches.