Campus Life | Washington, DC

At Home on Embassy Row
Professional Development
A Global Center of Diplomacy and Policy
Beyond the Classroom

The Washington, DC campus is in historic Dupont Circle, home to many embassies, think tanks, and cultural organizations.

The school is home to multiple career clubs, including Global Women in Leadership which organizes an annual student-led conference and many opportunities to engage with cross-sector leaders.

With locations strategically chosen for studying a changing world, Johns Hopkins SAIS creates an immersive experience in policy and international relations.

Students regularly go into the field to bring learning to life through career treks, staff rides, practicums, and presentations at global forums.

Student Activities
Student Government Association
Wellbeing and Support
Living in DC
Student Publications


Washington, DC, a major world stage where important global issues are debated, provides an exciting backdrop for the study of international relations. The school’s reputation and accomplished alumni network affords students access to networking events, lectures, and panel discussions at multilateral organizations, global corporations, federal agencies, nongovernmental organizations, and think tanks across the city. Students are also encouraged to immerse themselves in the vibrancy of the capital city to attend cultural events, embassy receptions, and alumni gatherings, as well as to engage with students at neighboring international relations schools.

Student Activities

The school’s Washington, DC campus is home to dozens of student-run clubs and organizations, ranging in topic areas from religion and spirituality, to academic and athletic interests. All registered student clubs and organizations receive base funding from the Office of Student Life to support their programs. Students can also apply to start new clubs. A listing of current clubs and organizations can be found here.
Being a part of Johns Hopkins SAIS means having access to hundreds of programs, conferences, and events each semester. Students also have the opportunity to travel to further cultivate their graduate school experience. There is likely to be something of interest happening right now on campus! Check out the events calendar.

Student Government Association

Johns Hopkins SAIS wants to ensure that every student has a voice in their personal and educational experience while on campus. For this reason, students elect a group of their peers to serve on the Student Government Association (SGA). The SGA acts as a conduit to the school’s administration and also implements annual programming. The SGA is comprised of ten officers: President, Vice President, Programming Chair, Treasurer, SAIS Europe Representative, Hopkins-Nanjing Center Representative, MIPP Representative, MIEF Representative, as well as two first year MA Representatives.
Some of the SGA’s signature events in Washington, DC include:

  • SAIS’ Got Talent: An annual talent competition, showcasing some of the most diverse and entertaining student  performers on campus.
  • Cherry Blossom Ball: An exciting formal evening of dancing and socializing at one of the city’s premier event locations.
  • Weekly Happy Hours: A time of socializing and meeting new friends in an informal atmosphere. Clubs and organizations are invited to host a happy hour in conjunction with the SGA.

Wellbeing and Support

The transition to graduate school can present unforeseen challenges, both personally and academically. Whether you have been working professionally for some time, or are continuing your studies directly from your undergraduate institution, the community is here to support you and your specific needs.


Johns Hopkins SAIS has developed a “one-stop-shop” model to ensure that navigating the school’s resources is seamless. The One-Stop-Shop and is staffed by full-time student affairs professionals who are prepared to help you as you address questions ranging from financial aid and health insurance to how to get involved with student life on campus.

Johns Hopkins Student Assistance Program (JHSAP)

JHSAP is a resource that can help you identify and manage challenging issues in healthy ways. Getting help is free, convenient, and confidential. JHSAP is prepared to help students navigate a variety of critical issues including crisis response, healthy relationship support, school-life adjustment coaching, and faculty/staff consultations. Additionally, the program provides educational workshop and short-term counseling services. These benefits are also available for partners and spouses of enrolled students. More information about the JHSAP program can be found here

Disability Accommodations

Johns Hopkins SAIS is committed to providing all students with the opportunity to pursue excellence in their academic endeavors. This includes supporting students with disabilities requiring special accommodations in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Accommodations vary depending on disability, and are made available through a joint effort between the school’s Office of Student Life and the university-wide Office of Disabilities Services.

Health Insurance

Johns Hopkins University requires that all students have comprehensive health insurance. Students are automatically enrolled in the student health benefit plan ( However, students may waive enrollment in the school plan if covered by a plan that is comparable to that offered by the University.

Office of Institutional Equity

The Johns Hopkins University Office of Institutional Equity leads the university’s efforts to foster an environment that is inclusive, respectful, and free from discrimination and harassment. Students, faculty, and staff are strongly encouraged to report all sexual misconduct, harassment, or assault to campus security and/or OIE. Campus security and OIE will then work in partnership with university personnel to investigate complaints, with discretion and sensitivity. Learn more about OIE, here.

Living in DC  

From the heart of Embassy Row to the halls of Capitol Hill, Washington, DC is an exciting city to pursue graduate studies in international relations. The school has several resources available to help students successfully navigate living in DC, including a Guide to Washington, DC for all admitted students.
Below are links to:


Washington, DC is a vibrant and engaged community filled with culture and possibility. The District and its surrounding areas provide students with exceptional opportunities to participate in the active life of this unique city. While you study here, we understand housing may be a challenging area to navigate, which is why we offer a housing website that will assist you in the process. Visit to browse housing options curated with our students in mind. The Student Life staff is also available to answer questions regarding your housing situation should you require any further assistance.

Student Publications

Students at Johns Hopkins SAIS have access to some of the most talented professors in the field of international relations. Students often partner with faculty as research assistants and have contributed to work published in top academic journals. In addition, students may choose to be a part of the following student-run publications:

  • China Studies ReviewA journal of Johns Hopkins SAIS China Studies. 
  • SAIS Observer: Student newspaper, published for Washington, Bologna and Nanjing students. 
  • SAIS Perspectives: Annual publication of the International Development Program that publishes submissions from faculty, alumni, and current students from all concentrations. 
  • SAIS Review: Journal dedicated to advancing the debate on leading contemporary issues in world affairs. 


Attending new student orientation is the first step toward understanding the resources available to students at John Hopkins SAIS. Attendance is required for incoming students and those continuing their studies from SAIS Europe or the Hopkins-Nanjing Center. This two-day comprehensive experience provides participants with the knowledge and resources to facilitate a transition to living and studying in Washington, DC, as well as informs students of their responsibilities as members of the community.