Senior Bridge Courses

1-Credit Courses for Seniors

Skills. Reflection. Transition.

The Bridge Courses were launched in Spring 2017 as a series of 1-credit, pass/fail seminars to help seniors gain personal and professional skills, reflect on their undergraduate experiences, and prepare for leading a meaningful and fulfilling life after graduation. We designed the Bridge Courses for seniors who are seeking opportunities to prepare for the transition from college to the world beyond the front gates in a way that makes the most of their Georgetown education.

**Registration does not open until 3 PM on Monday April 17**

Fall 2023 Bridge Courses (UNXD 350-412 in MyAccess)

This class has 4 sections: 2 pairs across Main Campus and Doha

Seniors: 3365-01 GU MAIN students (TH 10 – 10:50AM)
3365-70 (GU-Q students (TH 5-5:50PM)

Sophs and Jrs: 3365-02 GU MAIN Students (TH 11-11:50AM)
3365-71 GU-Q Students (TH 6-6:50PM)

The class will meet in-person 10 times on the following dates: August 24 and 31; September 7, 14, 21, 28; October 5, 19, 26; November 2, 2023.

This course focuses on how Georgetown students develop a sense of well-being, belonging and purpose within the various communities they live.  This course takes a social and developmental psychology perspective, encouraging students to reflect, explore, and discuss how key aspects of their identity have evolved during their time at Georgetown (and beyond).  The learning environment will be enhanced through a cross-cultural component where students from the main campus and GU-Qatar campus will interact in real time.  The course will create opportunities for exploring and expressing one’s authentic self through in-class interactions with peers and various out of class experiences (online and volunteering).  Students will attend to the relationship between their individual well-being and sense of purpose and that of the multiple communities they live and represent (Georgetown, Qatar/DC, groups that reflect various identities).  In doing so, students will address the following existential question: to what degree should I expect to nurture myself or my communities and vice versa.  Topics that influence the interaction between personal development and community affiliations – power dynamics, identity statuses, core values and belief systems, and social-navigational strategies – will be investigated.  In doing so, students will strive to understand their optimal balance between personal fulfillment and responsibility to the communities within they exist.  

Instructor: John Wright, Director of Student Life, GUQ

UNXD 409

(W 4-6pm)

Georgetown prides itself on its religious ecumenicalism and welcomes students from a variety of religious backgrounds.  But what about those students with no religious affiliation?  Where do they fit within a Jesuit university? 

Georgetown’s Core Curriculum asks all students to wrestle with important existential questions: How did we come into being? Do our lives have purpose? What happens to us when we die?  How do we create an ethical framework for decision-making?  How do we create a life imbued with meaning and purpose? 

Regardless of our personal religious affiliations, how we respond to these questions shapes the contours of our lives – our sense of purpose, our identity, our personal relationships, and our individual ethos. 

This course offers an opportunity to reflect upon these questions in ways that both draws upon and challenges the Jesuit education under which it is taught.  How do students without a religious affiliation navigate through these philosophical waters?  How can these students engage with Jesuit practices in an enriching and meaningful way?

Through critical reading of both ancient and contemporary texts, we’ll explore some ways in which others have attempted to address these existential questions from outside a religious framework.  From there, we’ll turn to Ignatian spiritual practices– the examination of consciousness, discernment, reflective and imaginative exercises – and reflect on ways in which these practices may or may not apply to non-theist students.  Finally, we’ll look ahead and think about how we can create meaning, purpose and community in our lives, regardless of whether we identify with any specific religious tradition.  How can students who doubt or reject a religious tradition benefit from a Jesuit education?  How might Jesuit practices apply outside of Georgetown? How can non-theist and theist students better engage in meaningful dialog with one another? And how do we create lives with meaning and purpose, regardless of our religious beliefs?

Students of all faiths (and no faith) are invited to participate in this conversation about whether it’s possible to create a good life without believing in an afterlife.  

Instructor: Anthony Pirrotti, SFS 

UNXD 410 (W 5:30 – 7:20)

 This seminar will provide students the opportunity to explore the core beliefs that guide their daily lives, and how their backgrounds and life experiences influenced and shaped the beliefs they hold today. Utilizing Jesuit values as our foundation, this course will examine students’ formation process throughout their Georgetown career within the context of their daily lives. Students will be challenged to contemplate “Where They Are From,” connecting this journey to the larger construct of power and privilege. The course will conclude with students (re)developing “This I Believe,” in order to articulate to themselves and other persons the core of who they and who they aspire to be.

Instructors: Christopher Barth, Joan Riley, Fr. Jerry Hayes SJ

For more 1-credit courses, check the Fall 2023 Just Communities schedule!

Archive of Courses

Past Bridge courses explored skillsets and mindsets not normally found in the traditional curriculum, in low-pressure and relaxed settings. The courses are offered under the Just Communities course categories (Ways Of...) and Purposeful Careers. The Just Communities courses bring added attention to the relationship between one's own individual well-being and purpose and that of the multiple communities in which one lives and serves. The Purposeful Careers courses support you in developing the senses of discernment and purpose as you embark on career paths of meaning and service.


John Trybus, Center for Social Impact Communication

Environmental degradation. Gender inequality. Toxic political division. The list of challenges facing society can often seem endless, overwhelming and without solutions. What can one person do to make an impact on the world? 

Learn more here.

John Wright, CAPS, CMEA

How do our identities impact how we relate to others? How do variables such as race, class, religion, and gender affect our interpersonal relationships not only at Georgetown?  How might a better understanding of these identities allow for intra- and interpersonal growth in this time of transition from college to beyond. 

Learn more here

Frank Ambrosio, Philosophy

What does it mean to be responsible for oneself and to others in 2020 and beyond? How should we understand the dynamics of accelerated change at work in the world and a heightened level of stress, anxiety and conflict they produce?

Learn more here. 

Sarah Stiles, Sociology

To what degree do we have agency in our lives? Is it possible to direct our lives to thrive in our post graduate lives? Within the last ten years researchers have discovered game changing information about how the body and mind function. With this knowledge we can steer ourselves to flourishing.

This bridge course aims to provide students with up to date research on human flourishing that they might effectively manage their own lives so as to thrive in their postgraduate lives. Students learn they have agency in directing the trajectory of their lives through self care, discernment, and relationships.

Learn more here. 


Andrew Caffey, GU Law

Through a series of negotiation exercises, lectures, videos and class discussions, students will come to understand negotiation theory and practice negotiation skills that will be useful for a lifetime. Simulation exercises employ hypothetical situations in which students agree on the various terms of a new job, negotiate the terms of an apartment lease, and buy/sell a house, among others. Simulations give students an opportunity to develop and try their negotiating skills in a safe environment with continuing feedback from the professor and their classmates.

Learn more here.

Al Pierce, SFS

This is a course in applied ethics or practical ethics, one that does not fall into one of the traditional academic disciplines, but rather should appeal to students with various academic majors.  It will help prepare you to deal more successfully with some of the kinds of ethical challenges you might face in your career.  It will do so by using case studies of real people who have been confronted with ethical challenges, and by introducing you to various concepts and frameworks for moral reasoning and ethical decision-making.


Learn more here.

Thomas Xenakis, Art & Art History

How can we think and innovate creatively in professional spaces? How can creativity be an asset in our personal and professional lives beyond college?  This course will offer seniors organizational plans for maintenance, for growth, for using creative gift(s) for creative expression and for creative problem solving.

Learn more here.


Fr. Matt Carnes SJ, Government, Center for Latin American Studies

This course examines our increasingly interconnected – yet stubbornly fragmented and unequal – world, and asks how we, as global citizens, might conscientiously choose to live and act in it. Drawing on the fields of comparative political and economic development, we will explore the cross-national patterns of behavior by states and private actors that are shaping outcomes in education, growth, social inclusion, and political participation. Learn more here.

Joan Riley, NHS, Fr. Jerry Hayes SJ, Mission and Ministry, Christopher Barth, Jesuit Community

Utilizing Jesuit values as our foundation, this course will examine students’ identity formation process throughout their Georgetown career within the context of their daily lives. This seminar will provide students the opportunity to explore the core beliefs that guide their daily lives, and how their backgrounds and life experiences influenced and shaped the beliefs they hold today. Learn more here.

James Olsen, CNDLS, Philosophy

Headlines are dominated not simply with bad news, but potentially catastrophic news. It is not mere hyperbole to note that you will spend your adult lives confronting global challenges and tragedies whose scale goes well beyond that of former ages—from environmental degradation to inequality and poverty to mass migration to technological revolutions and labor disruptions. This creates a uniquely poignant existential burden. The key question this course will examine is: Given this context, how do we utilize our reason and other capacities to pursue both the good and the good life? How do we live well in a dark time? Learn more here.

Keith Hrebenak, SFS

This course will consist of 7 sessions on questions that will most probably arise as Georgetown Seniors transition from their student life to a working life and beyond. We will reflect on your education at Georgetown and chart a possible courses to apply it for the rest of your life. The problems we discuss have no permanent solutions; people have been wrestling with them from time immemorial. Life challenges you to create answers to new situations, mostly new to you, until it ends. We will explore the idea of a life of learning, based on your Georgetown education, as a path to your most successful and rewarding life. Learn more here.



Through a critical examination of constructs such as Chaos Theory of Careers (Pryor & Bright) and Self-Authorship (Baxter Magolda), students will explore frameworks to guide their reflection process.  Readings, written assignments, group discussion among students, and conversations with participating alumni will facilitate the development of stories related to beliefs about life and work, values, strengths, and relationships with others.  Students will create and present a living project that can be refined in the years to come.

Learn more here

Previous Semesters

UNXD 353: Vocation and Purpose
UNXD 367: Spirituality and Leadership
UNXD 406: Flourishing in the Future
UNXD 409: The Problem of No God

Recent Updates

Destination: DC

DC is the only place where you can be a citizen on both the local and national level….We want students to think about what it means to be a citizen, to engage with a city or town, and take that ideology to wherever they go after Georgetown.

When Opportunity CALLs

When I applied to transfer to Georgetown University last winter, I would have never imagined that my first semester would