Program Activities
Cross-Listed Courses
Role of the US in the New World Disorder
Events Calendar

The American Foreign Policy Program prepares students to understand the history (particularly from the Spanish-American War to the present), culture (ideas, premises and perspectives), process and politics of America’s foreign relations and contemporary issues of American foreign policy.

Capitol Hill Trek 2016. April 8, 2016
Conversation with Thomas L. Friedman (10/15/2015)
GPP Residency Program 2015
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  • [13]
    Acting Associate Director of the American Foreign Policy Program
    Washington, D.C.
    Email [15]
  • [16]
    Henry A. Kissinger Distinguished Professor, Henry A. Kissinger Center for Global Affairs
    Washington, D.C.
    Email [18]
  • [19]
    Giovanni Agnelli Distinguished Professor and the Director of the Henry A. Kissinger Center for Global Affairs
    Washington, D.C.
    Email [21]
  • [22]
    Christian A. Herter Professor of American Foreign Policy
    Washington, D.C.
    Email [24]
  • [25]
    John L.
    Kenneth H. Keller Professor, Professor of American Foreign Policy
    Bologna, Italy
    Email [27]

Program Activities


Faculty Book Panel Discussions

The American Foreign Policy Program regularly sponsors discussions of recently published books written by faculty.


Research Opportunities

Small stipends are available for AFP-related research, at the director's discretion.


Domestic Study Visits

The American Foreign Policy Program sponsors annual visits to the US Congress and the US Department of State.


International Study Trips

The American Foreign Policy Program offers its students the opportunity to take part in international study trips, contingent on available funding. In academic years 2010-11, AFP sent students on a study trip to China.



American Foreign Policy | MA Requirements (Entering Class 2018-2019)

Learning Goals and Objectives [28]

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.


American Foreign Policy Concentration

MA students concentrating in American Foreign Policy (AFP) must complete 20 credits of applicable coursework and a program capstone. One of the courses may be the Core course American Foreign Policy Since World War II (SA.100.720), if taken for credit.

American Foreign Policy concentrators must produce a major research paper on a subject approved by the director or acting associate director of the program. This requirement is fulfilled by one of the following:

  • A paper produced through significant research in a regular course or through supervised independent research. Students who successfully complete either Congress & Foreign Policy (SA.200.700) or Conduct of Foreign Policy (SA.200.701) who choose the paper option will meet this requirement. All papers must be at minimum 20-25 pages (5,000-6000 words) exclusive of notes, bibliography, illustrations, summary or abstract. Papers written for other courses may need to be revised in order to meet the capstone requirement.
  • Successful completion of the course Case Studies in US Foreign Policy (SA.200.762) [offered at SAIS Europe]

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 [29] 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 [30] 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 [31] 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 [30] 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 American Foreign Policy, one of the Core requirements must be:

  • American Foreign Policy Since World War II

The second Core requirement may be one of:

  • Comparative Politics
  • Evolution of the International System
  • Theories of International Relations

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 [32] other than General International Relations.

Students may pursue an optional specialization(s) in five areas International Economics [33] or Emerging Markets [34].



Entering Class 2017-2018 [35]
Entering Class 2016-2017 [36]
Entering Class 2015-2016 [37]
Entering Class 2014-2015 [38]
Entering Class 2013-2014 [39]
Entering Class 2012-2013 [40]
Entering Class 2011-2012 [41]
Entering Class 2010-2011 [42]
Entering Class 2009-2010 [43]


American Foreign Policy Minor Requirements:

  • 3 American Foreign Policy (or cross-listed) courses, which can include the core course American Foreign Policy Since World War II (SA.100.720). 
  • Passing the core examAmerican Foreign Policy Since WWIIif not taken as one of the three AFP minor courses, is highly recommended

Minor Guidelines:

  • 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 [44]
  • 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.

Cross-Listed Courses

SA.200.700 (01)                 Congress & Foreign Policy
SA.200.700 (02)                 Congress & Foreign Policy
SA.200.701 (01)                 Conduct of Foreign Policy
SA.200.701 (02)                 Conduct of Foreign Policy
SA.200.706 (01)                 Values, Interests, and the Crafting of American Foreign Policy
SA.200.710 (01)                 Soft Power and Global Politics
SA.200.711 (01)                 International Crises: US & Third World
SA.200.716 (01)                 Road to Empire: The United States from Independence to World War II
SA.200.734 (01)                 Kissinger Seminar: Contemporary Issues in American Foreign Policy and Grand Strategy
SA.200.736 (01)                 Major Issues in US Foreign Policy
SA.200.738 (01)                 Kissinger Seminar: History, Strategy, and American Statecraft
SA.600.738 (01)                 Psychology and Decision-Making in Foreign Policy
SA.660.740 (01)                 Strategy and Policy
SA.660.742 (01)                 American Grand Strategy: 1945 to the Present
SA.660.789 (01)                 The War with Al-Qa'ida and ISIS
SA.660.816 (01)                 Seminar in Crisis Simulation
SA.600.741 (01)                 Summit Diplomacy
SA.650.752 (01)                 United Nations and International Security
SA.650.765 (01)                 U.S. Constitutional Law and the International System
SA.660.701 (01)                 American Defense Policy
SA.660.709 (01)                 Economic Sanctions and Statecraft
SA.660.710 (01)                 Illicit Finance
SA.660.740 (01)                 Strategy and Policy
SA.660.765 (01)                 The First Nuclear Era: Strategy, Force Structure, Nuclear Crises: 1945-1998
SA.660.731 (01)                 The Wars of Afghanistan
SA.660.779 (01)                 Am Intelligence: Role Practice and Impact
SA.660.779 (02)                 Am Intelligence: Role Practice and Impact
SA.660.789 (01)                 The War with Al-Qa'ida and ISIS
SA.660.816 (01)                 Seminar in Crisis Simulation
SA.680.759 (01)                 Facing the Oil Problem: The United States, Canada, OPEC and the World
SA.710.920 (01)                 Allies at War
SA.750.717 (01)                 U.S.-China Relations
SA.760.749 (01)                 US-Japan Relations in Global Context
SA.755.729 (01)                 U.S. Security Policy in the Asia-Pacific
SA.760.749 (01)                 US-Japan Relations in Global Context
SA.765.708 (01)                 The Korean Peninsula at the Intersection of U.S. and Chinese Interests
SA.780.735 (01)                 Making US Policy in Africa: Strategy, Tools and Tactics
SA.810.721 (01)                 Waging the Cold War in Latin America: US Regional Security Policy from WWII to the End of the Soviet Union
SA.810.722 (01)                 Drugs, Walls and Aging Guerillas: Seminar on Current U.S.- Latin American Relations


Role of the US in the New World Disorder

An Engagement Agenda


Antony Blinken, former Deputy National Security Advisor and Deputy Secretary of State, February 4 delivered the inaugural lecture of an American Foreign Policy Program series on “The Role of the US in the New World Disorder.”

Acknowledging that the US is in a period of foreign policy uncertainty, Mr. Blinken highlighted three trends: disruptive technological advances, increased income inequality despite reduced poverty, and changing power dynamics due to the emergence of populist, nationalist and xenophobic forces. The US role in the future world order will require responsible global engagement and avoidance of confrontation without abdication of responsibilities. “The world does not organize itself,” he said, “and if someone else is organizing it, it might not be in a way that advances US interests.”

Four issues need resolution to reforge an American consensus on future strategy: the proper roles of diplomacy and military deterrence, the impact of trade and advancing technology, the preservation of liberal norms and alliances embedded in international institutions, and management of migration.

·         The US must re-evaluate the role of diplomacy and deterrence in its foreign policy agenda. Despite its successes, diplomacy is undervalued, underfunded, and misunderstood by Congress and the wider American public. Even strengthened diplomacy will continue to need backing by deterrence to maximize effectiveness.

·         Policy on trade and technology has been imperfect. Although millions have been lifted out of poverty and into the middle class, inequality has increased under the current trading system. “The United States has to resolutely use its market power to ensure any agreement is a race to the top, not the bottom, when it comes to protecting workers, intellectual property, the environment, and middle-class wages,” he stressed. America must also preserve its technological advantage in innovations like 5G and Artificial Intelligence. Americans should be educated for a globalized world, and the US Government must craft budgets and develop priorities that invest in education, training, housing and infrastructure, progressive taxation, and healthcare.

·         America’s network of allies and international institutions should not be ignored. After World War II, America made a strategic choice to invest in rebuilding countries, creating new markets for American products, and engaging in partnerships to confront complicated global challenges. At that critical moment, the United States shaped norms and institutions that bound the United States to other nations and decreased its own leeway. Today, alternative models of governance like techno-autocratic states are challenging these norms and institutions. A strong network of allies dedicated to democracy and liberal values will ensure a future with those values. Turning away from allies isolates the United States, undermines global human rights, and strengthens illiberal, autocratic states.

·         Migration is one of the most divisive issues of the modern era. The migration question should be recast: how can nations prevent people from leaving their home countries? “People don’t leave everything they have on a whim. They do so because they have no choice: conflict, economic despair, climate change, or scarce resources.” To mitigate these problems, states must address problems forcing people to leave, in addition to providing jobs and education to incoming refugees in a way that ensures benefits to the receiving country.

 Maintaining US credibility on the world stage is vital. US withdrawal from the JCPOA was enormously disappointing, but th ideas behind the JCPOA will survive. The greater damage the current Administration is causing comes from its dismantlement of the policy process. There is little left of the people and interagency process that make wise decisions on difficult issues.

 Mr. Blinken nevertheless urged students to consider lives of service to the nation. The students thank him for the opportunity of hearing his views!





Contact Us

Daniel Serwer
Academic Director
dserwer1@jhu.edu [45]
Rome 416

Charles Stevenson
Acting Associate Director
charles.stevenson@gmail.com [46]
Nitze 513

Starr Lee
Senior Academic Program Coordinator
starr.lee@jhu.edu [47]
Nitze 503

Address & Phone

American Foreign Policy
Nitze Building
1740 Massachusetts Ave., NW
Washington, DC