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Master of Arts in International Affairs (MAIA)

  • Campus: SAIS Europe
  • Program Duration: Two Years; Full-time | 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 a European university that is one of our cooperative degree partners. 

Become an Expert

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

What Your Schedule Will Look Like

You will learn under the American system of graduate education and can select courses based on your academic interests.


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

Sample Courses

  • Survival Italian
  • Intermediate Microeconomics
  • Statistical Methods for Business and Economics


Mid August - Mid September 

Fall Term

Whether you are interested in building your expertise in economics, a specific region of the world, or a specific international affairs issue, you can tailor your studies and select courses from the 40 courses taught at SAIS Europe each fall. 

Sample Courses

  • Theories of International Relations
  • Risk in International Politics and Economics
  • History and Politics of the Middle East and North Africa
  • Migration and Security


September – December 

January Intersession

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

Spring Term

Develop expertise in your area of focus by completing your 14 academic courses and writing a thesis. In lieu of a thesis you can complete two additional courses, one of which should entail a substantial research paper.

Sample Courses

  • European Research Seminar
  • Political Systems of the Developing World
  • EU Foreign Policy


January – May


You may pursue both years at SAIS Europe or one year at a participating European university as part of a cooperative degree program.

Cooperative Degree Partners 

  • Institut d’études politiques de Lille (Sciences Po Lille, France)
  • Diplomatic Academy of Vienna, Austria
  • University of Leiden, the Netherlands
  • University of Bologna, Italy

Learn more about Cooperative Degree Partners.

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

Professor of History and International Studies

Raffaella A. Del Sarto

Associate Professor of Middle East Studies

Justin Frosini

Adjunct Professor of Constitutional Law

In the News

Italy government totters ahead of €200bn EU COVID relief.

Gianfranco Pasquino wrote in EUObserver, 01/15

After the Qatar boycott, can the GCC come together?

Sanam Vakil interviewed on World Politics Review’s Trend Lines podcast, 01/14

Foreign policy priorities for the Biden administration.

Sanam Vakil wrote for Chatham House, 01/14

Parallel campaigns pre-WWI Austria, Britain 2022: Jubilee festivals as public diplomacy and soft power.

David Ellwood wrote for USC Center on Public Diplomacy’s CPD Blog, 01/14

Qatar crisis: A beginning to the end?

Sanam Vakil wrote for Chatham House, 01/08

Morocco normalizing relations with Israel.

Raffaella A. Del Sarto interviewed on UCLA Nazarian Center for Israel Studies’ Israel in Depth podcast, 12/16

Key Middle East influencers on U.S. Iran policy and the implications for the UK.

Sanam Vakil wrote for Royal United Services Institute, 12/16

The U.S. and the Israeli –Palestinian conflict.

Raffaella A. Del Sarto participated in Österreichisches Institut für Internationale Politik webinar, 12/10

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 alumni–including more than 20,000 graduates–8,000 of which studied at SAIS Europe–will expand your global professional network.

87% of the one-year Master of Arts in International Affairs Class of 2019 were employed, pursuing fellowships or internships, or had gone on for further study within six months of graduation.*

Recent Employers

  • Ernst & Young
  • Eurelectric
  • Europe Analytica
  • European Central Bank
  • ENI
  • ING
  • International Criminal Court
  • Lundquist
  • Prometeia
  • Societe Generale
*Based on results of a survey of students who graduated between December 2018 and August 2019. MAIA survey participation rate was 100%.

Build Your Network

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

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.

photo of Elif

A Culturally Rich Education at SAIS Europe

"The international composition of the school has allowed me to engage with and learn from people of varying regions,cultures and backgrounds, an opportunity I am grateful to have been given."

View Story

photo of rony

Finding the Perfect Fit at SAIS Europe

"I had a short list of objectives when searching for a graduate school and when I came across SAIS Europe I knew I found what I had been looking for all along."

View Story


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.