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Mission & History

Defining International Relations for 75 Years

For 75 years, students have come to the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) to build their professional networks, learn from renowned faculty, train with policy practitioners, and gain hands-on work experience.

The school was founded in 1943 by Paul H. Nitze and Christian A. Herter who sought new methods of preparing men and women to cope with the international responsibilities that would be thrust upon the United States following the end of World War II. Scholars and professionals were assembled to teach an academic curriculum emphasizing international relations theory, international economics, and foreign languages. That education, combined with skills training and experiential learning, would prepare students for impact-oriented work in policy and other sectors. In 1955, a campus in Bologna, Italy was established, and in 1986 the school initiated one of the first Western university programs in the People’s Republic of China in Nanjing.

Today, guided by the vision of its founders, the school’s cadre of expert faculty prepares students for exciting careers across sectors and around the world. With a global alumni network of more than 20,000 graduates, you can be sure to find our alumni taking action in dynamic roles. From private-sector executives to entrepreneurs, leaders of nongovernmental organizations to ambassadors, and international media correspondents to energy consultants, alumni of the school are known for being innovative thinkers and problem-solvers with the economic and policy expertise to address today’s most pressing challenges.

Through the Years