Engage With Policymakers

Proximity to power and access to thought leaders create rich academic and professional opportunities.

Room for Debate

Each day at SAIS something happens that can improve the world. Come visit one of our classes. We have saved you a seat.

Community of Thinkers

Join a community of diverse individuals of vision, intellect and creativity with a common commitment to positive change.

Learn From the Best

The school’s respected faculty of scholars and practitioners bring unparalleled insight and experience to the classroom.

Challenging Curriculum

Students choose courses that combine high academic standards with application to their policy interests.

Global Presence, International Perspective

Our unique interdisciplinary education provides the theoretical insight and practical tools required for a successful career in today's global environment. A presence on three continents and a network of partnerships with leading global educational institutions set SAIS apart. SAIS students combine the study of international economics with key policy areas of global concern that span the world's pivotal regions. Our curriculum is complemented by a specialized, practical language proficiency program. SAIS produces innovative thinkers and problem-solvers, equipped to deal with global challenges in any context around the world.

Master of Arts

This two-year program for full-time students is the cornerstone of the SAIS experience. About half of all entering M.A. students spend a year at SAIS Europe and a year in Washington, while the other half spend both years in Washington. The academic program is the same for both groups of students and consists of interdisciplinary course work in international relations, economics and languages.

International Economics

At SAIS, we have always believed a solid background in the theory and practical application of economics is necessary for understanding international policy issues. This aspect of the SAIS curriculum is essential for navigating the challenges of today's global economy.

International Policy Areas

International Relations students choose from distinct programs focused on functional areas, including international law; the environment, natural resources and energy; global theory and history; humanitarian crises; and war and conflict. International Development students learn to analyze development in its economic, political and social dimensions through an interdisciplinary approach to the study of developing countries. These broadly based programs educate tomorrow's decision-makers to think constructively about states and governance.

Regions of the World

International events are driving a renewed interest in regional studies, which emphasize an in-depth knowledge of how societies throughout the world function and interconnect. Our regional studies programs represent all corners of the globe, allowing students to master the languages, cultures and history required for effective leadership and problem-solving.

     Language Studies

In today's globalized world, possessing a second language has become a necessity for success. Professionals in international relations must be able to communicate with their international counterparts, and SAIS's foreign language proficiency requirement gives our graduates a competitive edge. The school offers an unparalleled language program, a highly trained dedicated language faculty, small class size and a specialized curriculum that emphasizes the vocabulary and grammar needed to engage in the range of political, economic and international topics studied at SAIS.

Learn more about the Language Studies Program and the 17 language programs we offer.

At a Glance

    • Emphasizes international economics, global themes world regions and languages
    • Offers study in Washington, SAIS Europe and Nanjing
    • Allows dual-degree options with other premier institutions

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Master of Arts in International Affairs

Offered in Bologna, this two-year master’s degree is research-oriented. It allows students to submit a thesis in lieu of two of the non-language courses normally required for the M.A. Master’s students from European partner universities can study for one year in their home program and for one year at SAIS Bologna, obtaining the M.A.I.A. plus a master’s from their home university.

At a Glance

    • Offered only at SAIS Bologna
    • Focuses on research
    • Requires the preparation and defense of a thesis

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Master of Arts in International Studies

Offered at the Hopkins- Nanjing Center (HNC), this two-year program is the only master’s degree fully accredited in both China and the United States. Students complete course work and a thesis in Chinese, culminating in a degree jointly awarded by SAIS and Nanjing University. Mandarin proficiency required.

At a Glance

    • Requires Mandarin language proficiency
    • Offered only at the Hopkins-Nanjing Center
    • Awarded jointly by SAIS and Nanjing University

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Master of Arts in International Economics and Finance

This 11-month, full-time program prepares students to understand advanced economic theories, develop quantitative skills and analyze current international economic issues.  Students move through the program in a cohort format and focus on how international trade and finance shape economic performance. Further, students develop their own perspectives by interacting one-on-one with world renowned scholars while specializing in either Macroeconomics/International Finance or in International Trade/Development.

At a Glance

    • Full-time program, completed in less than one year
    • Specialize in Macroeconomics/International Finance or International Trade/Development
    • Students can add additional international affairs courses

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Master of International Public Policy

This flexible degree is designed for experienced professionals who wish to develop advanced analytical and leadership skills. Studying under world-class scholars and practitioners, students customize their course of study from an array of functional, regional, and economic course topics to advance their expertise and position themselves for continued professional success.

At a Glance

    • Designed for professionals with at least nine years of relevant work experience
    • Requires successful completion of eight non-language courses (32 credits)
    • Most students attend full-time and complete program in one year
    • Students hail from diverse employment sectors and geographies

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Doctor of Philosophy

This full-time program is for individuals who hold a Master and seek to become scholars as well as practitioners in international relations. Each Ph.D. candidate works with a faculty adviser to design a unique academic and research plan to prepare for their dissertation. Students develop a comprehensive understanding of qualitative and quantitative analytic skills, international relations, economics, and regional studies.

At a Glance

    • Each Ph.D. student works with a faculty adviser to plan a comprehensive curriculum
    • Curriculum emphasizes qualitative and quantitative analytic skills
    • Program requires passing three comprehensive exams
    • Students write and defend a prospectus and dissertation

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Other Programs

Beyond our core academic degrees, SAIS offers several other opportunities for graduate students and professionals seeking to advance their knowledge of international issues or develop new areas of interest. We offer a variety of unique programs at our three global campuses, including certificates, diplomas, part-time and summer course work, and executive training. Pursue one of these options today to gain your career-building edge.

At a Glance

  • Includes options for study on three continents
  • Offers programs for academics and working professionals
  • Provides a range of opportunities for developing a distinct professional advantage

Executive Education

SAIS professors and practitioners are thought leaders in the fields of international development, international economics and international relations. Partner with SAIS Executive Education to develop customized programs and seminars to address the complex global challenges and issues specific to your organization.

At a Glance

  • Custom programs can vary in topic, duration and location
  • Taught by internationally recognized scholars and practitioners
  • Programs can be customized to include site visits relevant to course topics
  • Clients around the world include educational institutions, embassies, governments, NGOs, nonprofits, private companies and public institutions
  • Participants can benefit from SAIS locations in Washington, D.C.; Bologna, Italy; and Nanjing, China

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Dual Degrees

To enhance their graduate education and professional opportunities, numerous SAIS students pursue dual-degree programs in business, law, public administration, and public health. SAIS offers partnerships with leading graduate schools in the United States and around the world. Students may also create ad hoc dual-degree programs with other prominent universities.

For those accepted to a dual-degree program, SAIS reduces the number of required courses from 16 to 12 in recognition of course work taken at another approved school. Students in the dual-degree program receive a quarter/semester of advanced standing at each school, allowing them to complete the two degrees in one year less than traditionally required.

Voices of SAIS

Explore Our Three Campuses