Program Activities
External Resources
Events Calendar
Our Alumni

The International Law and Organizations Program prepares graduates to work in human rights, the rule of law, post-conflict reconstruction, environmental cooperation, corporate social responsibility, protection of international investment, negotiation of international trade agreements and other areas handled by multilateral organizations and NGOs.

The program provides a working knowledge of the general principles of international law, multilateral organizations, and the particular regimes that govern international human rights, international arms control, the limits and use of military force, the law of the sea, regulation of the environment, international health problems, and investment and trade.

Intl Human Rights Clinic 2016 - 2017
Vietnam Conference April 2017
ICC Moot Court Team 2017
Intl Human Rights Clinic 2016 - 2017 (Peru Research Team)
Intl Human Rights Clinic 2016 - 2017 (Kenya Research Team)
Intl Human Rights Clinic 2016 - 2017 (Sri Lanka Research Team)
Indonesia Trip August 2015
Indonesia Trip August 2015
Indonesia Trip August 2015
Jessup Moot Court Team 2015
ICC Moot Court Team 2015
Intl Human Rights Clinic (Dominican Republic) January 2015
UN Trip March 2014
ICC Moot Court Team 2014
Bologna Conference "Enforcement of International Human Rights Law Through the Mechanism of UN Special Rapporteurs" March 2014
Jessup Moot Court Team 2014
Intl Human Rights Clinic (Ankara Research Team) January 2014
Intl Human Rights Clinic (Istanbul Research Team) January 2014
International Law Weekend EU Reception October 2013
Professor Ruth Wedgwood at International Law Weekend October 2013
Cambodia Trip August 2013
Cambodia Trip August 2013
Thailand Trip August 2013
Cambodia Trip August 2013
Law of War & the American Civil War Course Spring 2013 Staff Ride Antietam
Hague Trip April 2013
Intl Human Rights Clinic Spring 2013 (Kuwait Research Team)
Intl Human Rights Clinic Spring 2013 (Philippines Research Team)
ICC Moot Court Team 2013
Jessup Moot Court Team 2013
Intl Human Rights Clinic Spring 2012
Bangladesh Trip March 2012
Bangladesh Trip March 2012
ICC Moot Court Team 2012
International Law Weekend October 2011
Sri Lanka Trip March 2011
India Trip November 2009
India Trip November 2009
Show More


  • [2]
    Edward B. Burling Professor of International Law and Diplomacy, Director of International Law and Organizations
    Washington, D.C.
    Email [4]

Program Activities


Speaker Series and Student Trips

The International Law and Organizations Program has an active speaker series, featuring policymakers, diplomats and international lawyers involved in current issues. The program occasionally sponsors a student trip to the United Nations in New York for high-level briefings, as well as small-group visits in Washington, DC, to the US Supreme Court to hear oral arguments and to the US State Department Legal Adviser’s Office. Students also may have the opportunity to take part in an international academic field trip, contingent on available funding. Through generous support from the Starr Foundation, the program has organized trips to India (November 2009), Sri Lanka (March 2011), Bangladesh (March 2012), Cambodia/Thailand (August 2013), Indonesia (August 2015), and Vietnam (January 2017).

Furthermore, students have access to the American Society of International Law (ASIL) and its annual Washington meeting and the American Bar Association Committee on Law and National Security, which hosts speakers on the law of armed conflict, arms control and counterterrorism. Students also have the opportunity to attend International Law Weekend (ILW), an annual conference held in New York City, sponsored by the American Branch of the International Law Association (ABILA) and the International Law Students Association (ILSA). The United States Institute of Peace, the Brookings Institution and the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, all in close proximity to the Washington campus, also present programs on the United Nations.



Students have held internships at the UN Human Rights Committee in New York and Geneva, the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations, the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, the International Criminal Court, the UN Foundation, and various development organizations and human rights NGOs, including the Foundation for Human Rights Initiatives in Uganda. The program has some financial resources for internship placements and supports its students in seeking supplemental funding.



INTERNATIONAL LAW & ORGANIZATIONS | MA Academic Requirements (Entering Class 2018-2019)

Learning Goals and Objectives [5]

MA students must complete 64 credits and all degree requirements in order to graduate.

Students who are approved for a Dual Degree program or with Advanced Standing only need to complete 48 credits or 56 credits as determined by Academic Affairs, but still must fulfill all degree requirements.


International Law and Organizations Concentration

MA students concentrating in International Law and Organizations must complete 24 credits of applicable coursework and a program capstone. 16 credits must be International Law and Organizations courses and must include one of*:

  • Introduction to International Law (SA.650.700)
  • Foundations of International Law (SA 650.760)
  • Legal Foundations of International Relations (SA.744.400)

The remaining 8 credits must be divided between two different programs below:

  • Conflict Management
  • Energy, Resources and Environment
  • Global Theory and History
  • International Political Economy
  • Strategic Studies

International Law and Organizations concentrators studying at SAIS Europe must complete at least 3 concentration courses at SAIS Washington. International Law and Organizations concentrators in a Dual Degree program or with Advanced Standing must complete only 2 concentration courses at SAIS Washington.

*Can be waived with permission of the program's Associate Director or Director. If this course is waived, it must be replaced with another International Law and Organizations course.

International Law concentrators must complete one of the following capstones:

  • Submission of a substantial (no less than 8,000 words, including footnotes or endnotes) research paper of publishable quality on March 1st of their final semester. This paper can be the revised product of a regular International Law course or independent research supervised by an ILAW faculty member.
  • Successful completion of an oral exam testing the student’s knowledge of international law and organizations based on the student's particular coursework. The exam will be administered at the end of the student’s final semester by at least one full-time or adjunct professor from the International Law & Organizations Program.
  • Successful completion of an International Law tools course during the student's second year that is based on practical applications of substantive law. The following count as tools courses: Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition (SA.650.802); PACE/ICLN International Criminal Court Moot Competition (SA.650.800); or International Human Rights Clinic (SA.650.780).
  • MA Oral Exam (to compete for honors—if eligible)

**For those whose final semester is fall, consult the Program Director for due date.


International Economics Concentration

MA students must complete a concentration in International Economics (16 credits). The four required courses are:

  • Microeconomics
  • Macroeconomics (pre-requisite or concurrent: Microeconomics)
  • International Trade Theory (pre-requisite: Microeconomics)
  • International Monetary Theory (pre-requisite: Macroeconomics)

If a student is waived [6] from a required course(s), the student must take a replacement International Economics course(s) to fulfill the concentration requirement.

Students who pass the non-credit Microeconomics course in Pre-Term [7] will have this concentration reduced to 12 credits, but still must complete the remaining required International Economics courses (or a replacement course(s) if waiver exam(s) passed).

International Economics GPA Requirement
Students must achieve an International Economics concentration GPA of at least 2.67.

In the standard case, the concentration GPA is the average of the grades in Microeconomics, Macroeconomics, International Trade Theory, and International Monetary Theory.  If a student completed the non-credit Microeconomics course in Pre-Term, the concentration GPA is calculated based on the grades in the remaining required International Economics courses. If one or more of the required courses is waived, the highest grade(s) from any eligible replacement International Economics course(s) is used.

Students who do not meet the minimum International Economics concentration GPA must re-take required courses (or take additional replacement courses if any required course(s) are waived) until the minimum is achieved. The highest grade from any attempt at a required course is used in this calculation.


Quantitative Reasoning Requirement

MA students must fulfill the Quantitative Reasoning Requirement (4 credits). Eligible courses include:

  • Statistical Methods for Business & Economics 
  • Econometrics (pre-requisite: Statistical Methods for Business & Economics)
  • Applied Econometrics (pre-requisite: Econometrics)
  • Macro Econometrics (pre-requisite: Econometrics)
  • Life Cycle Assessment
  • Risk Analysis and Modeling
  • Quantitative Global Economics (pre-requisite: International Monetary Theory)
  • Credit Markets & Credit Risk (pre-requisite: Corporate Finance)

Students may not double-count the same course toward the Quantitative Reasoning requirement and as a replacement International Economics concentration course and vice-versa.

If a student is waived [8] from a Quantitative Reasoning course, the student must take a different course from the list above to fulfill the Quantitative Reasoning requirement.

Students who pass the non-credit Statistical Methods for Business & Economics course in Pre-Term [7] will have fulfilled the Quantitative Reasoning requirement.


Core Requirements

MA students must fulfill two Core requirements. Students may fulfill a Core requirement by passing a for-credit Core course or by passing a non-credit Core exam.

For students concentrating in International Law and Organizations, one of the Core requirements must be:

  • Theories of International Relations

This must be completed prior to the start of the third semester. 

The second Core requirement may be one of:

  • American Foreign Policy Since WWII
  • Comparative Politics
  • Evolution of the International System

Students may not take a Core exam in the semester in which they plan to graduate. If Core requirements are not completed before the start of a student’s final semester, the student no longer has the option of completing the exam and must enroll in the Core course(s) for credit.


Language Proficiency

MA students must pass exams to demonstrate proficiency in a non-native language taught at SAIS. Students enroll in non-credit language courses to prepare for the proficiency exam.

Students whose native language is not English may use English as their proficiency language. All non-native English speakers are required to pass an English placement exam upon entering the school, even if not using English for proficiency, and may be required to take additional English language coursework.


Electives, Minors, and Specializations

Beyond the requirements, MA students may have room in their degree for electives, a minor, and/or a specialization(s).

Students may pursue an optional minor in any policy/regional area [9] other than General International Relations.

Students may pursue an optional specialization(s) in five areas International Economics [10] or Emerging Markets [11].


Program Requirements by Academic Year

Entering Class 2017-2018 [12]
Entering Class 2016-2017 [13]
Entering Class 2015-2016 [14]
Entering Class 2014-2015 [15]
Entering Class 2013-2014 [16]
Entering Class 2012-2013 [17]
Entering Class 2011-2012 [18]
Entering Class 2010-2011 [19]
Entering Class 2009-2010 [20]


International Law and Organizations Minor Requirements

  • 3 ILAW courses (12 credits) including:
    • SA.650.700 Introduction to International Law or SA.650.760 Foundations of International Law (at SAIS Europe) or SA.744.400 Legal Foundations of International Relations(at HNC)*
    • 2 additional ILAW (or cross-listed) courses (8 credits)
  • Passing Theories of International Relations as one of the two core requirements is highly recommended

*If the required course is waived, it must be replaced by another ILAW course.

General Minor Requirements:

  • MA students may pursue an optional minor in a policy or regional program. A student cannot pursue a minor in General IR or International Economics, but can pursue a Specialization in International Economics [21]
  • A student can have only one minor and can declare a minor at any time prior to graduation.
  • Students do not receive bidding priority for a minor.
  • All minors require three courses. Some minors require a specific course(s) and/or language proficiency.
  • A student may use a maximum of one applicable cross-listed course (4 credits) toward both a minor AND concentration requirements. In the IR or Asia concentrations, the cross-listed course must be from the primary concentration area and not from the 2 additional required courses in the other IR or Asia areas.
  • General IR concentrators can minor in an IR area or policy area (Conflict Management, Global Theory and History, International Law and Organizations, International Political Economy, Energy, Resources, and Environment, or Strategic Studies) by completing 2 additional area/policy courses (8 credits) beyond the 1 used toward the concentration.


Contact Us

Ruth Wedgwood
Edward B. Burling Professor of International Law and Diplomacy, Director of the International Law and Organizations Program
rwedgwood@jhu.edu [43]
Rome 418

Tiffany Basciano
Associate Director of the International Law and Organizations Program, Professorial Lecturer
tbascia1@jhu.edu [44]
Rome 419

Address & Phone

International Law and Organizations
Rome Building
1619 Massachusetts Ave., NW
Suite 420
Washington, DC