Define Your Path

SAIS offers students the freedom and guidance to discover their most rewarding professional and life paths.

Engage With Policymakers

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

Engage With a Diverse Community

In and out of the classroom, students interact with people of diverse backgrounds and ideologies in their quest for knowledge.

World-Class Faculty

Conduct research while attending classes taught by renowned professors.

The Ph.D. program is for individuals who hold a master’s degree and seek to become scholars as well as practitioners in international relations. Through close collaboration with an accomplished faculty, doctoral candidates work to create knowledge relevant to decision-makers in the international arena. Ph.D. students may conduct portions of their research in Bologna and/or Nanjing.

Study With World-Class Thinkers

The Students

Students at SAIS do more than study global politics and interactions among nations-they live international relations. Our student body represents approximately 75 nations, promoting a diversity that lends richness and vitality to academic life.

The Faculty

Ph.D. candidates work 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.

Recent Speakers

  • Madeleine Albright
  • Tim Geithner
  • Hank Paulson
  • Hillary Clinton

Broaden Your Experience in Washington, D.C.

SAIS offers a unique sense of community in Washington, one of the most vibrant intellectual, political and economic centers of the United States.

Washington, D.C. is an undisputed center of power that acts as an extension of SAIS's campus. Students interact with distinguished guest speakers from across the globe who are engaged in diplomacy and foreign policy, attend events around the city and are positioned to take advantage of valuable internship opportunities.

Ph.D. students may spend some time in Bologna while conducting dissertation research. Home to the oldest university in Europe, Bologna’s long tradition of education, cultural heritage and political vitality makes it an attractive location for SAIS' European campus. Exposure to contrasting European and U.S. perspectives on global issues offers a distinctive academic pairing—making for an extraordinarily enriching experience.

Gain a Career-Building Edge

SAIS graduates are in great demand by employers in the public, private and nonprofit sectors. Economics knowledge, analytical abilities, regional expertise, diplomatic skills, language proficiency and the capacity to apply theory to real-world problems give our students a distinct professional advantage.


Career Services

Career Services works with students to help them explore careers and set goals, acquire experience through internships and develop a network of professional contacts. Career services staff members:

  • Offer both group and individual assessments and counseling to help students develop focused career goals
  • Organize job-hunting workshops, employment fairs and career treks
  • Offer professional skills courses that augment the academic curriculum to help students develop specific professional skills, such as presentation techniques, consulting skills and financial modeling
  • Connect students to the school's influential worldwide alumni network

A Global Alumni Community

As a SAIS graduate, you will join a 16,000-strong lifetime community of friends and colleagues around the world. Our accomplished alumni are leaders in government, business, journalism, nonprofit groups and multilateral organizations in more than 140 countries.

Common Paths

Students graduating from SAIS have pursued careers at:
  • Foreign Governments
  • International Monetary Fund
  • Various Think Tanks
  • The World Bank
  • Academia