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Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

  • Campus: Washington DC
  • Program Duration: Average time to completion 5.5 years; Full-Time

General information regarding the PhD program should be directed to saisphdprogram@jhu.edu

Admissions-related inquires:
Johns Hopkins SAIS | Office of Admissions
1740 Massachusetts Ave NW
Washington DC 20036
+1 (202) 663-5700
+1 (877) JHU-WASH (US toll free)
sais.dc.admissions@jhu.edu

Overview

The full-time only PhD program at Johns Hopkins SAIS will cultivate your expertise as a scholar of international relations. During your studies you will work closely with a faculty advisor to develop a customized academic plan that best supports your dissertation research. You must have already completed (or be in the process of completing) a relevant master’s level degree to apply.

Become an Expert

Throughout your PhD studies you will gain a comprehensive understanding of qualitative and quantitative analytic skills, international relations, economics, and regional studies. The program is divided into a pre-dissertation, resident stage based in Washington DC, and a non-resident, dissertation stage.
 

PhD students will have one of the following areas of focus (either a policy or region):

International Policy

  • American Foreign Policy
  • Energy, Resources and Environment
  • Global Theory and History
  • International Development
  • International Relations
  • International Political Economy
  • Strategic Studies

Regions of the World

  • African Studies
  • Canadian Studies
  • China Studies
  • European and Eurasian Studies
  • Japan Studies
  • Korea Studies
  • Latin American Studies
  • Middle East Studies
  • South Asia Studies
  • Southeast Asia Studies

What Your Schedule Will Look Like

The PhD program will provide you with a comprehensive understanding of qualitative and quantitative analytic skills, international relations, economics, and regional studies.

The Pre-dissertation resident stage status lasts up to two years if you have completed the two-year Master of Arts degree at Johns Hopkins SAIS and up to three years without the two-year Masters of Arts degree from the school. You will complete coursework, comprehensive exams, and defend the dissertation prospectus.

During this portion of the PhD program you will be based at the school's main campus in Washington DC and take a full course load or approved independent study. 

Required Courses

In addition to individualized coursework agreed upon by a faculty advisor, all students must complete the following:

  • Research Methodology
  • International Economics
  • Statistics and Econometrics

Research Methodology: all students must successfully pass Theories and Methods of Qualitative Political Research and Research Design and Causal Inference. Prerequisites for Research Design and Causal Inference include fulfilling Statistical Methods for Business and Economics and Econometrics.

Within six months of passing the third comprehensive exam, you must prepare a written prospectus of the dissertation and present it in a formal defense that is open to members of the university doctoral community.

 
 

During the dissertation non-resident stage, you can explore opportunities to study at SAIS Europe, the Hopkins-Nanjing Center, or at other prominent global institutions.

You will advance to the dissertation stage after successfully defending a prospectus. You are not required to be on campus, however you are still considered full-time status. You should defend the dissertation within five years of the prospectus defense.

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Admissions Events

May 18 12:30 pm - 1:30 pm Online SAIS Event

MASIS Virtual Information Session

The MASIS is a one-year graduate degree for early professionals and junior scholars in national security, intelligence, and diplomacy.  The MASIS offers an exceptionally high degree of flexibility to students....

May 19 10:00 am - 11:00 am Online SAIS Event

Graduate Schools in International Relations

Hear admissions representatives from the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University, the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University, The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at...

Jun 10 12:30 pm - 1:30 pm Online SAIS Event

Mid-Career Virtual Information Session

The Office of Admissions invites you to learn more about the Master of International Public Policy (MIPP) and the Master of Arts in Global Policy (MAGP) degree by joining an...