SAISCorps volunteers in Honduras

Each Day Something Happens at SAIS That Can Improve the World

Students at SAIS do more than study global politics and interactions among nations—they live international relations. Across our three campuses, more than 1,000 full-time students create a close-knit community where lifelong relationships, both personal and professional, are formed. Our student body represents approximately 75 nations, promoting a diversity that lends richness and vitality to academic life.

At all three SAIS campuses, students share a desire to help others and a commitment to community service. They volunteer assistance to many local and international humanitarian projects, such as running a water supply and sanitation project in Panama, teaching high school students in the Balkans, launching the student-run Migrant School Learning Initiative in Nanjing, and helping in the aftermath of earthquakes in China, Haiti and Japan.

Prior to Attending

The SAIS student body is diverse, and admission to the school is highly competitive. The Admissions Committee values applicants with solid academic preparation (including course work in economics), practical professional experience, and international exposure. We strongly encourage students of varied undergraduate backgrounds to apply. Because classes are taught in English in Washington and at SAIS Europe competence in English is a prerequisite for all applicants. Mandarin proficiency is a prerequisite for all programs at the Hopkins-Nanjing Center.

Prerequisites by Program

Master of Arts

General

Applicants must hold a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent. All incoming M.A. students must complete introductory microeconomics and introductory macroeconomics courses (receiving a grade of B- or higher) prior to enrolling at SAIS. Completion of these courses is recommended but not required to apply to SAIS. 

Volunteer positions, internships, and employment all are encouraged. While international experience is strongly recommended, students should be able to show their interest in the field of international relations.

Language

All non-native speakers of English must have proven English competence by submitting a TOEFL, IELTS or, for SAIS Europe, 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.

For Non-U.S. Students

Most non-U.S. students at SAIS enter the United States using either F-1 student or J-1 exchange visitor visas–student category. Since a student’s academic career can span several years, we encourage you to keep copies of all immigration-related documents related to your stay. This includes copies of your passport, I-20s, DS-2019s, as well as any applications and correspondence submitted to the government for immigration-related benefits, etc.

All non-European Union citizens at SAIS Europe enter Italy using a student visa. The visa wil be valid for the duration of the academic year.

For Dual Degree Seekers

Students must be admitted separately to each school, satisfying the admissions requirements of both institutions. Students interested in pursuing dual degrees from SAIS and a two-year program must either apply to the schools simultaneously or be admitted to the second school by the end of their first year at the first school. Students interested in pursuing dual SAIS and law degrees must apply simultaneously to each school, apply to the law school before completion of the first year of the SAIS degree program or apply to SAIS before the second year of law study has been completed.

Master of Arts in International Affairs

General

This program entails two years of study at SAIS Bologna. Students who wish to enter this program (except for those coming from our partner institutions) are initially admitted to the SAIS M.A. and must submit an M.A.I.A. application during their first semester of study at SAIS Bologna. Students are selected on the basis of their performance in the first semester, their academic potential, and a research proposal that will become the subject of their M.A.I.A. thesis in the second year.

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.

Master of Arts in International Studies

General

College graduates with an advanced level of Chinese language proficiency may apply to the Hopkins-Nanjing Center. There are no specific prerequisites for students attending the center, though M.A.I.S. candidates planning on pursuing a concentration in International Economics are expected to have taken at least introductory microeconomics and macroeconomics courses before enrolling.

Language

All applicants are required to take the STAMP Chinese Proficiency Test. Students who intend to have further Chinese language study between taking the test and enrolling in the program should make this clear on the application, as this information can play a role in admissions decisions.

For International Students

Applicants whose native language is not English (or in the case of bilingual students, whose dominant language is not English), and who have spent less than two years at an accredited university where English is the medium of instruction, are required to submit an English-proficiency score.

The HNC accepts the TOEFL and IELTS. The HNC and SAIS's Washington, D.C., campus share the TOEFL code of 5610-0000.

Citizens of the People's Republic of China, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macao who wish to study in English should contact Cai Jiahe, deputy director of Academic Affairs, at caijh@hnc.nju.edu.cn for eligibility requirements and application.

Master of International Economics and Finance

General

Given the intensive 11-month nature of the M.I.E.F. program, it is preferred that candidates have an undergraduate degree in economics or a related field with strong analytic skills. Qualifications for application may include the following:

  • B.A. or B.S. in Economics or Political Economy from an accredited U.S. college or university or an equivalent international credential with a GPA of 3.0 or higher (especially in economics courses).
  • B.S. or B.A. in a natural science or an equivalent technical area from an accredited U.S. college or university or an equivalent international credential with a GPA of 3.0 or higher AND successful coursework in basic economics (microeconomics and macroeconomics) AND at least one upper level economics course; preferably econometrics.
  • A solid academic background in quantitative courses including coursework in calculus statistics and/or econometrics.  This may be at either the college level or the high school level, via AP courses with test score of 4 or higher. 
  • GRE Quantitative score of 157 or higher.


Non-Native Speakers of English

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

For Non-U.S. Students

Most non-U.S. students at SAIS enter the United States using either F-1 student or J-1 exchange visitor visas–student category. Since a student’s academic career can span several years, we encourage you to keep copies of all immigration-related documents related to your stay. This includes copies of your passport, I-20s, DS-2019s, as well as any applications and correspondence submitted to the government for immigration-related benefits, etc.

Master of International Public Policy

General

The M.I.P.P. is designed as an executive program, and all applicants must have at least nine years of work experience after completion of an undergraduate degree. The M.I.P.P. degree consists of eight non-language courses, preferably completed full-time within one year, but when necessary an M.I.P.P. candidate can request part-time status and complete the degree over the span of two years.

Non-Native Speakers of English

All non-native speakers of English must have proven English competence by submitting a TOEFL, IELTS or, for SAIS Europe, 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.

Prior to Graduating

Language

The M.I.P.P. degree does not require foreign language study. However, some regional affiliations may require or encourage study in a foreign language from a particular region. Non-native speakers of English must pass an English placement exam. Non-native English speakers graduating from the M.I.P.P. program at SAIS Europe are required to pass the English proficiency exam.

Doctor of Philosophy

General

Ph.D. applicants must hold a master's degree in a field directly related to their proposed field of study. Advanced professional degrees, such as a J.D. or a M.B.A., cannot be substituted for advanced work in international affairs. An advanced degree in strategic studies from a military institution is not considered appropriate for admission to most Ph.D. programs, but is sometimes acceptable for admission to the Strategic Studies Program at SAIS.

Language

All SAIS students must have proven English proficiency. Students whose native language is not English must demonstrate their preparation in the English language via strong TOEFL or IELTS scores.

For International Students

All applicants to SAIS whose native language is not English (or in the case of bilingual students, whose dominant language is not English) and who do not hold an undergraduate degree granted by an accredited college/university where English is the medium of instruction are required to submit a score for the TOEFL or the academic version of the IELTS exam. The minimum required score for the TOEFL is 100 on the Internet-based exam (600 in the paper-based exam), and the minimum IELTS score is 7.

Financial Aid and Funding

A limited number of fellowships are available each year. Students with an M.A. from SAIS may receive a maximum of three years of funding, and non-SAIS M.A.s may receive a maximum of four years of funding. The fellowship may include tuition and/or stipend benefits.

Ph.D. students are urged to seek outside support for their studies at SAIS. In the annual review process, applications for outside support will be treated as one sign of a student's seriousness of purpose.

Students receiving fellowship awards will be carefully evaluated by the Ph.D. Committee on the basis of performance in class, satisfaction of degree requirements, and a written evaluation from the student’s Ph.D. advisor at the end of each academic year to determine if the financial award will be renewed.

Diploma in International Studies

General

All students enrolling at the Bologna Center, after satisfactorily completing two semesters as full-time residents, will receive the one-year diploma. Students must spend two semesters at the Center as full-time residents. For those who continue their studies, this year counts as the first year of the M.A. In order to receive the diploma, all candidates must complete successfully eight non-language courses taken for credit, normally within two consecutive semesters of study.

Language

Non-native English-speaking candidates must either pass an English proficiency examination by the end of the year or must successfully complete two semester courses in advanced English. All native English-speaking candidates must either pass a foreign-language proficiency examination or must successfully complete two regular semester courses in one of the languages offered at the Center.

Certificate in Chinese and American Studies

General

College graduates with an advanced level of Chinese language proficiency may apply to the Hopkins-Nanjing Center. There are no specific prerequisites for students attending the Center.

Language

All applicants are required to take the STAMP Chinese Proficiency Test. Students who intend to have further Chinese language study between taking the test and enrolling in the program should make this clear on the application, as this information can play a role in admissions decisions.

For International Students

Applicants whose native language is not English (or in the case of bilingual students, whose dominant language is not English), and who have spent less than two years at an accredited university where English is the medium of instruction, are required to submit an English-proficiency score.

The HNC accepts the TOEFL and IELTS.  The HNC and SAIS's Washington, D.C., share the TOEFL code 5610-0000.

Citizens of the People's Republic of China, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macao who wish to study in English should contact Cai Jiahe, deputy director of Academic Affairs, at caijh@hnc.nju.edu.cn for eligibility requirements and application.

Hopkins-Nanjing Center Five-Semester Options

General

Five-Semester Option applicants must hold a bachelor's degree or its equivalent. Successful candidates for the Five-Semester Option are advanced in their Chinese language abilities, have demonstrated professional development through work experience and have a background in the fundamentals of economics.

Language

Five-Semester Option applicants are required to take the STAMP Chinese Proficiency Test. Students who intend to have further Chinese language study between taking the test and enrolling in the program should make this clear on the application, as this information can play a role in admissions decisions.

For International Students

Applicants whose native language is not English (or in the case of bilingual students, whose dominant language is not English) and who have spent less than two years at an accredited university where English is the medium of instruction, are required to submit an English-proficiency score.

The HNC accepts the TOEFL and IELTS.  The HNC and SAIS's Washington, D.C., campus share the TOEFL code of 5610-0000.

Citizens of the People's Republic of China, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macao who wish to study in English should contact Cai Jiahe, deputy director of Academic Affairs, at caijh@hnc.nju.edu.cn for eligibility requirements and application.

Summer Programs

Part-time Programs

Executive Training