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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.

State of Rights Democracy Talk: Global State of Democracy
Intl Human Rights Clinic 2016 - 2017
Vietnam Conference April 2017
Combatting Terrorism: Looking Over the Horizon
ICC Moot Court Team 2017
Political and Constitutional Transitions in North Africa: Actors and Factors
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)
Civil Rights in America, from Selma to Ferguson Captives or Creators of History
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
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  • [2]
    Associate Director and Professorial Lecturer in the International Law and Organizations Program
    Washington, D.C.
    Email [4]
  • [5]
    Edward B. Burling Professor of International Law and Diplomacy, Director of International Law and Organizations
    Washington, D.C.
    Email [7]

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 Program Learning Goals and Objectives [8]

Entering Class 2017-2018

MA students must take the equivalent of 16 non-language courses (64 credits) in order to graduate.  Those students who are approved for dual degree or advanced standing may only need to take 12 courses (48 credits) or 14 courses (56 credits) as approved by Academic Affairs.



MA students concentrating in International Law and Organizations (ILAW) must take at least 4 courses within this program. One of those courses must be 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) but can be waived with permission of the program's Associate Director or Director. If this course is waived, it must be replaced with another ILAW course. 



Students must also fulfill the requirements for International Relations (IR), which include 2 additional courses from 2 different IR Areas or Policy Areas other than ILAW. These areas include:

IR Areas:

  • Conflict Management
  • Global Theory and History
  • International Political Economy

Policy Areas:

  • Energy, Resources and Environment
  • Strategic Studies

IR students studying at SAIS Europe must take at least 3 IR courses in Washington with the exception of dual-degree or advanced-standing students, who must take at least 2 IR courses in Washington.



Students must complete 16 credits. The four required courses are:

  • Microeconomics
  • Macroeconomics (prerequisite or concurrent: Microeconomics)
  • International Trade Theory (prerequisite: Microeconomics)
  • International Monetary Theory (prerequisite: Macroeconomics)

If a student passes a waiver exam [9] in one of these areas, the student must take a replacement International Economics program course(s) to fulfill the concentration requirement.

Starting with the entering class of Fall 2017, students who pass Microeconomics in Pre-Term [10] will have the concentration reduced to 12 credits, but still must complete Macroeconomics, International Trade Theory, and International Monetary Theory (or a replacement course(s) if waiver exam(s) passed). The Pre-Term Microeconomics course is not for credit and is not factored into the GPA.

Beyond the requirements, many students choose to pursue an International Economics Specialization [11] in one of four areas of economics. Students may also choose to specialize in Emerging Markets [12].

Concentration GPA Requirement
Students must achieve a combined GPA of at least 2.67 in four (or three if Microeconomics is passed in Pre-Term) required International Economics program courses or they must retake the course(s) until a 2.67 concentration GPA is achieved. In the standard case, the concentration GPA will be the average of the grades of Microeconomics, Macroeconomics, International Trade Theory, and International Monetary Theory.

If one or more of the four standard courses is waived, the school will use the highest grade(s) from any eligible replacement International Economics program course(s) to compute the International Economics concentration GPA.



Students must complete one course from the list below.

  • Statistical Methods for Business & Economics 
  • Econometrics (prerequisite Statistical Methods for Business & Economics)
  • Applied Econometrics (prerequisite Econometrics)
  • Macro Econometrics (prerequisite Econometrics)
  • Risk Analysis and Modeling
  • Quantitative Global Economics (prerequisite International Monetary Theory)
  • Credit Markets & Credit Risk (prerequisite Corporate Finance)

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

If a student passes the statistics waiver exam, the student must take an alternate course from the list above to fulfill the Quantitative Reasoning requirement.

Starting with the entering class of Fall 2017, students who pass Statistical Methods for Business & Economics in Pre-Term [10] will have fulfilled the Quantitative Reasoning requirement. The Pre-Term course is not for credit and is not factored into the GPA.



All students must pass 2 core courses and/or exams from the subjects below. ILAW concentrators must pass Theories of International Relations as one of their core requirements prior to the start of their third semester. If the core courses/exams are not completed by the start of the final semester, the student no longer has the option of completing the exam and must enroll in the core course(s) for credit.

  • American Foreign Policy Since World War II
  • Comparative Politics
  • Evolution of the International Systems
  • Theories of International Relations


MA candidates must pass exams to demonstrate proficiency in a second language. This language must be offered at the school. 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, even if not using English for proficiency.



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 IL 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 IL tools course during the student's second year that is based on practical applications of substantive law. The following count as IL tools courses: SA.650.802 Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition; SA.650.800 PACE/ICLN International Criminal Court Moot Competition; or SA.650.780 International Human Rights Clinic.
  • MA Oral Exam (to compete for honors—if eligible) 

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



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.

To add or change a minor, please click HERE [22].


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 [4]
Rome 419

Address & Phone

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