Caroline P. Stout, 72, a former employe of the National Geographic Society and the State Department, died of renal failure Thursday at Georgetown University Hospital.

Mrs. Stout, who was born in Washington, graduated from the old Western High School and George Washington University. In 1932, she earned a master's degree in government at Radcliffe College and then returned here. She worked at the National Geographic until her marriage in 1934 to Hiram Miller Stout, who later became a professor emeritus of George Washington University and dean of its School of Public and International Affairs.

Following their marriage, they lived in Greencastle, Ind., where Prof. Stout taught at De Pauw University. During World War II, while her husband was serving in the Army in Europe, Mrs. Stout lived in Washington and worked for the State Department.

After the war, the Stouts remained in Washington. They lived in Newport, R.I., for some years when Prof. Stout headed the GWU Center at the Naval War College there. They then returned to Washington in the mid-1960s.

Prof. Stout died in 1972.

Mrs. Stout's survivors include a brother, John Ade Plugge of Chevy Chase, and a sister, Virginia P. Lane of Washington.