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Summer Academy | Washington DC

June 10-July 5, 2024

Gain valuable, hands-on experience focusing on national security and foreign affairs in the heart of the US policymaking community. Rising sophomores, upperclassmen, and recent college graduates earn four graduate-level credits studying with SAIS’ world-class faculty at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg Center on Pennsylvania Avenue.


Learn about contemporary international security challenges, intelligence tools and tradecraft, and the shaping of national security policies. The Summer Academy introduces students to strategic thinking and the challenges of crafting strategies through seminars, simulations, guest speakers, role-playing exercises, and site visits to make the most of what Washington DC has to offer.

Program highlights include:

  • Learn about instruments of statecraft and contemporary security challenges, and how intelligence informs policymakers.
  • Site visits to some of the most important locations in US national security and intelligence such as the Department of State, US Congress, intelligence agencies, and private organizations.
  • Case studies, games, and simulations designed to develop a sense for the demands of the national security and intelligence fields.
  • Earn four graduate credits from Johns Hopkins SAIS that can transfer to many of the school’s degree programs. 

The SAIS Washington Summer Academy courses on national security policy, Intelligence, and cybersecurity are designed to provide students with a deep understanding of the key concepts, principles, and practices that underpin the formulation and execution of national security strategies. It particularly focuses on the critical role of intelligence, technology, and cybersecurity in safeguarding a nation's interests. In an ever-evolving global landscape, where security challenges are diverse and dynamic, this course equips students with the knowledge and analytical skills necessary to contribute to effective national security policy and intelligence efforts in the digital age.

The Role of Intelligence in US Foreign Policy
Instructor: Mark Lowenthal
This course is an introduction to national intelligence (meaning intelligence created or conducted to support policy makers), with an emphasis on the U.S. experience.  The course examines each of the major phases or activities in intelligence (supporting the policy maker, collection, analysis, operations, oversight), ethical and moral concerns and the issues raised in each phase. There are also two case studies to provide more in-depth examinations of analytical and operational issues.

Strategy & Statecraft for US National Security
Instructor: Albert “Jim” Marckwardt
How do policymakers understand threats to U.S. national security? What instruments of statecraft are available to address these threats? This course introduces students to strategic thinking and the challenges of crafting national security strategies. It explores the instruments of statecraft and the particular authorities, capabilities and cultures of the American institutions that make national security policy. Through case studies and role-playing exercises, the course will give students an understanding of policymaking and practice applying critical thinking.

Studying in Washington DC

From the halls of Congress to the headquarters of U.S. diplomacy in Foggy Bottom, the nation's capital is an excellent backdrop for the study of international affairs. Not only will you hear directly from top voices of the policy community and learn directly from leading scholars of the field, you will add Washington DC experience to your resumé for an advantage in future internship and employment searches. In addition, you will enjoy visiting world-class museums, catching a World-Series-winning Nationals baseball game, and dipping into the local culinary scene.

Students apply through Johns Hopkins SAIS Summer Programs.

Applications will open October 30 and decisions will be rendered on a rolling basis.


  • Online application
  • Undergraduate transcript
  • Resumé
  • Personal statement
  • Two academic references
  • No application fee

Students will stay at a housing location near SAIS.  They will share an apartment-style space that offers a small kitchenette, study/bedroom with closet, and a bathroom.  Additional services will be available such as laundry facilities, a fitness center, wireless internet, staff support and security.

Rising sophomores (students who will have completed one year of college by summer 2024) and upperclassmen may apply with a minimum 3.0 GPA. The program is also open to recent college graduates who have completed their undergraduate degree within the past two years. High-performing undergraduates from any discipline are encouraged to apply.

Students who successfully complete the Summer Academy courses will earn up to four graduate credits from Johns Hopkins SAIS. These credits can be transferred back to your home institution. Credits will also transfer to most Johns Hopkins SAIS degree programs.


2024 Direct Costs (Subject to change)  
Tuition (4 credits) $4,500
Program Fee $1,500
Housing $1,900
Total Direct Costs $7,900
Indirect Costs  
Board $500
Books & Supplies Included
Travel $400
Personal Expenses $375
Total Indirect Costs $1,275

The school can sponsor international students on a J-1 or F-1 visa if they are enrolled in the Summer Academy. Students on F-1/J-1 visas will be automatically billed for student health insurance for the 2024 summer term.

All Summer Academy students are eligible to apply for scholarship funding through Johns Hopkins SAIS. Once students apply, they will receive a link to the scholarship application.

Opportunities for Current JHU Students 
  • Study Abroad Scholarship - Current Johns Hopkins University undergraduate students are eligible to apply for a Study Abroad scholarship for up to $5,000 to attend the SAIS Academy in Washington, DC. The deadline to apply is March 2, 2024. Contact [email protected] with questions.
  • Aronson International Experience Grant- Current Johns Hopkins University undergraduate students majoring in International Studies are eligible to apply for an Aronson Grant for up to $2,500. The deadline to apply is April 1, 2024. Contact [email protected] with questions.

Learn More

Contact Us

Contact Johns Hopkins SAIS Summer and Non-Degree Programs at [email protected].

Upcoming SAIS Summer Academy Information Sessions

Monday, March 25, 12:30-1pm (EST), online
Thursday, April 4, 12-12:30pm (EST), online