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Master of Arts in International Affairs (MAIA)

  • Campus: SAIS Europe
  • Program Duration: Two Years; Full-time
  • Credits: 64 Credits


Through this two-year, research-focused degree, you will have the flexibility to personalize your curriculum and focus on the contemporary issues in international affairs of the greatest importance to you and your career interests. You may pursue both years at SAIS Europe or spend one of the two years at an international university that is one of our cooperative degree partners. 

Become an Expert

Deepen your knowledge of international affairs and acquire the skills to address complex global challenges. With Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East you will gain valuable experiences both inside and outside the classroom.   

What Your Schedule Will Look Like

You will select courses based on your academic interests.


Get a jump-start on your studies and meet classmates and professors during Pre-Term.

Sample Courses

  • Intensive Italian
  • Survival Italian
  • Statistics for Data Analysis


August - Mid September 

Fall Term

Whether you are interested in building your expertise in economics, on a particular region of the world, or on a specific international affairs issue, you can tailor your studies and select courses from the approximately 35 options taught at SAIS Europe each semester.  If you are writing a Long Thesis, you will participate in the research method course.

Sample Courses

  • Risk in International Politics and Economics
  • History and Politics of the Middle East and North Africa
  • Democracy and its Discontent
  • Multiculturalism and the Human Rights of Women
  • Energy and Climate Change
  • Constitutional Development and Democratization


September – December 

January Intersession

Gain hands-on experience in your field of study by participating in a study trip or a career trek to meet with company executives and alumni to further explore different career paths.

Spring Term

In the spring term of your first year (for two-year MAIA), continue to develop expertise in your areas of interest by selecting 4 courses. If you are in your second year (or a one-year cooperative program) during this semester you will complete your final academic courses. Long Thesis writers take two courses and focus on their thesis, while the others take two additional courses, one of which includes a Short Thesis.

Sample Courses

  • Topics in International Finance
  • Conflict Risk and Stability in Cyberspace
  • Scenarios for the Future of Europe
  • Rural Development, Gender and Social Inclusion
  • Twin Pillars of the Gulf
  • The Geopolitics of Organized Crime


January – May

Learn From the Best

Study with world-class experts who are renowned for their scholarship, influence, and networks.

Nina Hall

Assistant Professor of International Relations

Mark Gilbert

C. Grove Haines Professor of History and International Studies

Justin Frosini

Robert Abernethy Adjunct Professor

In the News

A Closer Look at the Gaza Casualty Data

Good Authority (blog), December 14, 2023. With Marc Lynch.

The Ghosts of Lebanon

Foreign Affairs, November 14, 2023.

The Political Dynamics of Disasters

Arts & Sciences Magazine, November, 2023.

Italy’s new leader faces familiar problems, including fickle voters

In the Washington Post, Professor Gilbert writes about the results of the Italian general elections that occurred this past weekend. He explains that Giorgia Meloni's win has brought fear to the public because, although she claims to no longer be a fascist, her political party descends from neo-fascist ideals.

Far-right Nationalist Giorgia Meloni Elected as Italy's First Female Prime Minister

Mark Gilbert gives background information and analysis in an NBC news special report on the election of Giorgia Meloni.

Is EU enlargement to Ukraine and Moldova credible?

The Loop published an article co-authored by Professor Anghel which discusses the possibility of both Ukraine and Moldova entering the European Union despite not meeting EU membership criteria. The authors mention previous EU membership promises to the countries of the Western Balkans, however, note that there may be a difference when security of the EU is in question.

From Elizabeth II to Charles III: A Triumph of British Ceremonial and Soft Power

David Ellwood discusses the significant contributions Queen Elizabeth II made during her reign, and what may occur now after her passing. In his article published to the CPD Blog, he also touches on King Charles, and his possible continuation of soft power.

Coups in the Kremlin

In a Foreign Affairs article, written by Professor Radchenko, there is discussion on what may occur to Putin in the coming years. With the turns of the war, supporters of Putin are starting to have their doubts on what lies ahead. Will he maintain his position of power? Or will there be a transition?

Russian history professor breaks down Putin's latest speech

After Putin calls military reservists for the front lines of Ukraine and to annex parts of Ukraine to Russia, Professor Radchenko goes on NPR to discuss the meaning of these calls. In the interview Professor Radchenko speaks to how the Russian people are starting to feel directly affected by a war which is for Putin's imperial dreams. The interview then closes off with brief questioning on possible nuclear weapon use.

Advance Your Career

Our graduates are valued in the global marketplace and known for their ability to address multifaceted challenges across all sectors around the world. Johns Hopkins SAIS alumni–including more than 20,000 graduates–8,000 of which studied at SAIS Europe–will expand your global professional network.

94% of the one-year and two-year Master of Arts in International Affairs Class of 2023 were employed, pursuing fellowships or internships, or had gone on for further study within six months of graduation.

Recent Employers

  • Austrian Development Agency
  • Brunswick Group
  • European Food Safety Authority (EFSA)
  • Japanese Government
  • Morgan Stanley
  • Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development
  • Parliamentary Assembly of the Mediterranean (PAM)
  • S&P Global
  • United Nations

*Based on results of a survey of students who graduated in August and December 2022 and May 2023. MAIA survey participation rate was 86%.

Build Your Network

Join an influential alumni network of 20,000 Johns Hopkins SAIS professionals working across sectors in 140 countries around the world.

The MAIA combines international relations, regional studies, international economics, and language studies with an academic writing focus and gives complete flexibility to self-design the curriculum based on the wide variety of courses available. Spend two years at SAIS Europe or join one of the cooperative programs with leading international universities around the world and spend one year at each institution.

Master of Arts in International Affairs Degree, Study Trip profile

Throughout the academic year, students have the opportunity to learn outside the classroom during study trips, where they visit a myriad of organizations and meet with individuals who offer unique perspectives on current global affairs.

Master of Arts in International Affairs Degree, Alumni Weekend profile

Alumni return to SAIS Europe each year for the school's annual alumni weekend to share their professional and personal stories since graduating, and to connect with current students.

Alexander Guglia Profile Image

Making the Most of Learning; both Inside and Out of the Classroom

Alexander Guglia, a MAIA Cooperative student from the Diplomatic Academy of Vienna, discusses learning at SAIS, and how this occurs both in and out of the classroom. Guglia speaks about past events and gatherings that he has been able to join, as well as a future study trip he plans on taking.

View Story

Alejandra Flores Renteria

Achieving the Dream of Studying International Affairs in Europe

SAIS Europe Student Body President Alejandra Flores Renteria came to SAIS with goal of furthering her work in migration policy. She has made great memories along the way. Read her story to learn more about her experience.

View Story

Admissions Events

Check back soon for upcoming events.

Beyond the Classroom

Through study trips, career treks, and internships, you will gain practical, hands-on experience.

Bologna Institute for Policy Research (BIPR)

Contribute to BIPR - the research division of SAIS Europe. Its purpose is to promote problem-centered, interdisciplinary research in international policy by drawing upon the global network of the school's faculty, students, and scholars.

Student Government Association

Serve as the liaison between the student body and administration, offering ideas for programming at SAIS Europe and selecting guest speakers for the faculty research seminar series.

World-Class Events

Hear groundbreaking research from leading scholars and practitioners at our weekly seminars. Recent sessions have explored topics including the dynamics of commodity economies, push and pull factors in international migration, and Canadian climate policy in a warming world.

Networking Events

Network with alumni and professionals and organize student-led events exploring your area of interest's challenges and opportunities outside the classroom.