Master of Arts in International Affairs

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Conduct research while attending classes taught by renowned professors.

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Conduct your own research and take part in established programs across Europe.

Overview
Curriculum
International Economics
Language
Cooperative Degree Programs
Co-Curricular
Details
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Master of Arts in International Affairs

Offered in Bologna only, this is a two-year research-oriented degree program that does not require a concentration. Students submit a thesis instead of taking two of the non-language courses normally required for the MA degree. Master’s students from European partner universities can study for one year in their home program and for one year at SAIS Europe, obtaining the MAIA plus a master’s from their home university.
 
 

A World of Resources
 

The Students

Dual degree programs with University of Bologna in Italy, the Diplomatic Academy of Vienna in Austria, Sciences Po Lille in France, or University of Leiden in the Netherlands are offered under this program, enabling students to experience the diverse academic environments. With access to archives and libraries across Europe, MAIA students benefit from a wealth of international resources for their research.


The Faculty

Courses at SAIS Europe emphasize economics, political science, history and foreign language proficiency, providing a cross-disciplinary approach. Core faculty and adjunct professors from major European institutions combine personal advising with a broad choice of curriculum. MAIA students select a course of study that complements their research focus.


Recent Speakers
  • Mario Draghi
  • Romano Prodi
  • Kenneth Waltz
  • Tariq Ramadan
 

Broaden Your Experience in Bologna, Italy

Home to the oldest university in Europe, Bologna’s long tradition of education, cultural heritage and political vitality makes it an attractive location for the school's European campus. On the cusp of its 60th anniversary, SAIS Europe is distinguished by strong faculty-student relationships, vigorous debate and a cohesive social and intellectual community. Exposure to contrasting European and US perspectives on global issues offers a distinctive academic pairing—making for an extraordinarily enriching experience.

Teaching at the Bologna campus is complemented by a thematic seminar series, and small classes, strong faculty-student relationships and vigorous debate characterize the cohesive social and intellectual community.

 

Gain a Career-Building Edge

Graduates are highly valued by employers and in great demand in the international relations field. Economics knowledge, analytical abilities, regional expertise, diplomatic skills, language proficiency and the capacity to apply theory to real-world problems give our students a career-building edge.
 
Career Services

The Office of Career Services works with students to explore careers and set goals, acquire job experience and contacts, and strengthen their leadership abilities.



A Global Alumni Community

Students have access to a lifetime network of alumni–extraordinary individuals who hold positions of global leadership in government, business, journalism, nonprofit groups and multilateral organizations.



Common Paths

Alumni have pursued careers at:

  • US Department of State
  • United Nations
  • The World Bank
  • Booz Allen Hamilton
  • US Agency for International Development
  • JP Morgan Chase & Co.
  • The EU Commission
  • Brookings Institution

 

Thesis

All MAIA candidates present and defend a 20,000-word research thesis. Upon admission to the program, candidates discuss options for thesis topics with the program director, and then contact faculty in their subject area regarding the supervision. It is preferable that either the primary supervisor or the second reader be chosen from among the full-time resident faculty, but students can also take advantage of the wide-range of research interests of the many adjunct faculty who teach at SAIS Europe. Once a faculty member agrees to act as primary supervisor, the candidate prepares a thesis proposal which must be evaluated and approved by the supervisor.
 

Courses

There are two categories of MAIA students: Those who do the dual degree with one of our partner institutions and those who do the entire MAIA at SAIS Europe. For the former, students must pass six courses and write a thesis. For the latter, students must complete 14 courses and write a thesis.



International Economics

All MAIA candidates must successfully complete at least two economics courses during the fall or spring terms with a cumulative GPA of 2.67 (equivalent to a B- grade), usually it is required to complete Microeconomics and Macroeconomics. Students who only complete the Microeconomics and Macroeconomics components will also need to enroll in a non-credit Fundamentals of Trade and Monetary Theory course to ensure a basic understanding of International Economics.

Those who have taken an equivalent course elsewhere, may take a waiver exam to demonstrate their competence. Students who pass one waiver exam must substitute the waived course with the corresponding upper-level course (International Trade must be taken if Microeconomics is waiver and International Monetary theory if Macroeconomics is waived).

Students who have previously taken Intermediate Microeconomics or Calculus, or have taken the online Calculus test, may consider taking Microeconomics at SAIS Europe during Pre-Term. Pre-term courses are not counted toward the MAIA economics requirement although they will fulfill pre-requisite requirements for other courses. MAIA students who pass Microeconomics in Pre-Term must take Int’l Trade Theory during the course of the academic year.
 
Students are encouraged to consult with the head of the economics program in Bologna if they have questions.




 

 

Language

For the MAIA, non-native English speakers must pass a comprehensive proficiency examination to demonstrate the required competence in English. Those students who apply for the MAIA program during their first semester at SAIS Europe must pass all four sections of the English proficiency prior to admission to the MAIA, i.e. by January. Those students who come from one of our partner institutions and enter as second year must pass all four sections of the English proficiency by the end of their year in Bologna, i.e. May. Nevertheless, the written section of the exam must be taken by all non-native English speakers, MAIA applicants included, during Orientation Week.

Native English speakers must pass a proficiency examination by the end of the second year in one of the seven foreign languages offered at SAIS Europe (Arabic, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish).

Cooperative Degree Programs

SAIS Europe offers cooperative two-year degree programs with leading European universities. Students may begin their course of study at either institution, earning a Diploma or Master’s degree from both. Cooperative degree candidates satisfy SAIS Europe’s prerequisites in economics and languages and write an original 20,000 word thesis. Students apply to both institutions. 

  • Institut d’études politiques de Lille (Sciences Po Lille, France)
    Students who are pursuing their first year of study for the Master’s cycle at Lille can apply to SAIS Europe in Bologna for a second year of study. Upon successful completion of their second year at SAIS Europe, students will earn both a Master’s degree from Sciences Po and Master of Arts in International Affairs (MAIA) from Johns Hopkins SAIS. Students who begin at SAIS Europe will earn the Bologna Diploma and then go on to pursue a Master’s at Sciences Po Lille. 

  • Diplomatic Academy of Vienna, Austria
    Students who begin the program in Vienna can apply to  spend their second year of study in Bologna at SAIS Europe. Upon successful completion of study, students earn a MAIA from Johns Hopkins SAIS. Students who begin their first year of study at SAIS Europe can spend their second year at the Diplomatic Academy. Upon successful completion of their second year in Vienna, students earn both a Master of Advanced International Studies (MAIS) from the Diplomatic Academy and a Bologna Diploma. 

  • University of Leiden, the Netherlands
    Students who are pursuing their first year of Master’s study at Leiden can apply to SAIS Europe in Bologna for a second year of study. Upon successful completion of their second year at SAIS Europe, students will earn both a Master of Arts in International Relations (Humanities) from the University of Leiden and a MAIA from Johns Hopkins SAIS. Students who begin at SAIS Europe will earn the Bologna Diploma and then go on to pursue a MA in International Relations at the University of Leiden. 

  • University of Bologna, Italy
    SAIS Europe offers four, two-year cooperative degree programs with the University of Bologna at campuses in Bologna, Forlì and Rimini.
     
    Facoltà di Scienze Politiche, Bologna and Forlì
    Students who begin the program at the University of Bologna and complete their second year at SAIS Europe earn both a Laurea Magistrale in Relazioni Internazionali (RILM) and an MAIA from Johns Hopkins SAIS. Those who begin at University of Bologna, Forlì  and complete their second year at SAIS Europe earn both a Laurea Magistrale in Scienze Internazionali e Diplomatiche (SID) and an MAIA from Johns Hopkins SAIS. Students who complete their first year of study at SAIS Europe earn a Diploma and then pursue either the RILM or SID at the University of Bologna.
     
    Resource Economics and Sustainable Development of the School of Economics, Management and Statistics, Rimini
    Students who begin the program at the University of Bologna, Rimini and complete their second year at SAIS Europe earn both  a Laurea Magistrale in Economics and Market Policy and a MAIA from Johns Hopkins SAIS. Students who complete their first year of study at SAIS Europe earn the Bologna Diploma and then pursue the Laurea Magistrale in Economics and Market Policy at the University of Bologna, Rimini.
     
    School of Economics, Management and Statistics, Bologna
    Students who begin the program at the University of Bologna and complete their second year at SAIS Europe earn both earn a Laurea Magistrale in Economics and a MAIA from Johns Hopkins SAIS. Students who complete their first year of study at SAIS Europe and second year at the University of Bologna will earn both the MAIA degree from Johns Hopkins SAIS and the Laurea Magistrale in Economics from the University of Bologna.

Internships

The Office of Career Services at SAIS Europe focuses on planning and counseling for first-year students to help them develop career objectives and management skills. It also develops relationships with employers in Europe to facilitate job and internship opportunities for students across all campuses.

Past internship placements have included the following organizations:

  • Belgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Brussels
  • Istituto Affari Internazionali (IAI), Rome, Italy
  • United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Paris
  • Booz Allen Hamilton, Tbilisi, Georgia
  • Bain & Company, Shanghai, PRC


Student Organizations

In Bologna, there are a number of ways students stay involved with the topics that matter most to them. Organizations include the SAIS Europe Student Government Association, Model UN, the Defense and Intelligence Club, the Chess and Board Games Club, the International Finance Club, the Gastronomica Club and the Bologna Center Journal of International Affairs (BCJIA).

  • SAIS Europe Student Government Association (SGA)
  • Bologna Center Journal of International Affairs (BCJIA)
  • Model UN
  • Global-I (Global Individual)
  • Defense and Intelligence Club
  • Chess and Board Games Club
  • Gastronomica Club
  • International Finance Club

Discover Student Organizations at Johns Hopkins SAIS


Seminars

Various seminar series are organized at SAIS Europe throughout the academic year. Seminars are grouped thematically and each one is hosted by a faculty member. These events bring prominent scholars and practitioners from Europe, the United States and other parts of the world to present current research to the Bologna Center and local community.

 

Prior to Attending

Non-Native Speakers of English

All non-native speakers of English must have proven English competence by submitting a TOEFL, IELTS or a CPE score (see the Admissions page for more information). The TOEFL/IELTS/CPE exam requirement may be waived for individuals who have done their undergraduate degree in English in a country where English is an official language.

 



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Contact Us

Washington, DC

Office of Admissions
The Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies
The Johns Hopkins University
1740 Massachusetts Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20036
+1.202.663.5700
+1.877.JHU.WASH (U.S. toll free)
admissions.sais@jhu.edu
 

SAIS Europe

Office of Admissions
The Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies
The Johns Hopkins University
Via Belmeloro, 11
40126 Bologna, Italy
+39.051.29.17.838
sais.eu.admissions@jhu.edu
 

Hopkins-Nanjing Center 

Office of International Admissions
The Hopkins-Nanjing Center
1740 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, Room 406
Washington, DC 20036
+1.202.663.5800
+1.800.362.6546 (U.S. toll free)
nanjing@jhu.edu