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Doctor of International Affairs (DIA)

Contact Us

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 Europe | Office of Admissions
via Beniamino Andreatta,
3 40126 Bologna, Italy+39 051 29 17 811


The Doctor of International Affairs is designed for experienced professionals who seek to further their expertise through an advanced practitioner’s degree. Under the guidance of school experts and scholars, you will take courses and conduct research on the issues that most align with your professional interests.

Become an Expert

The program is delivered on an accelerated two- or three-year timeline and culminates with a doctoral thesis. The curriculum emphasizes learning, research, and evaluation allowing you to apply existing practice and knowledge toward solving real-world problems in fields such as:

  • conflict resolution and negotiation
  • climate change, energy access, global environmental policy
  • sustainable development, foreign aid, and global poverty
  • human rights and humanitarian affairs, democratization, nation-building
  • international political economy, economic development, emerging markets
  • American foreign policy, grand strategy, history and statecraft
  • defense and security, cybersecurity, and terrorism/counterterrorism
  • regions of the world, and more

Two- vs. Three-Year Track

Advanced standing is available if you possess a relevant master’s degree allowing the program to be completed in as little as two years – with one year of full-time study and a subsequent part-time, non-resident year focused exclusively on completing their doctoral thesis. A three-year track is available for those without a relevant master’s degree. The final year of this track is also conducted on a part-time, non-resident basis and is focused on completing the doctoral thesis

Doctor of International Affairs vs. Phd

The Doctor of International Affairs is a practitioners degree where students conduct applied research culminating in a doctoral thesis within their area of professional expertise. It is different from a traditional PhD, which requires comprehensive exams and is usually thought of as producing an original body of knowledge in preparation for an academic career.

What Your Schedule Will Look Like

Year One

You will complete eight courses in the academic year, including two methods courses. You may optionally affiliate with a field such as Strategic Studies or International Development and meet specific affiliation requirements. 

Year Two

The final year is completed part-time on a non-resident basis while finishing research and writing a doctoral thesis under the guidance of your faculty advisor.

Years One and Two

You will complete courses on a full-time, resident basis through fall and spring semesters for two academic years. You will fulfill the requirements of the school's Master of Arts degree in international economics, quantitative reasoning, research methods, and foreign language proficiency. You may begin your studies at either the Washington DC campus or at SAIS Europe. The second year must be completed in Washington DC.

Year Three

The final year is completed part-time on a non-resident basis while finishing research and writing a doctoral thesis under the guidance of your faculty advisor.

Adria Lawrence

Aronson Associate Professor of International Studies and Political Science

Peter Lewis

Warren Weinstein Chair of African Studies, Director of Africa and Middle East Programs

Hal Brands

Henry A. Kissinger Distinguished Professor

Jessica Fanzo

Bloomberg Distinguished Associate Professor of Ethics & Global Food and Agriculture, Director of the Global Food Ethics and Policy Program

In the News

Meanwhile, America’s Kosovo strategy is melting down.

Edward P. Joseph wrote in Foreign Policy, 3/20

Italy remains under lockdown due to spread of COVID-19.

David C. Unger interviewed on NPR, 3/17

Pandemic and the plight of American public policy.

Francis J. Gavin wrote in War on the Rocks, 4/2

Responding to China’s new tools of global influence.

Daniel Markey wrote in War on the Rocks, 4/1

China’s new Silk Road.

Kristina Spohr wrote in New Statesmen, 4/1

China’s global influence operation goes way beyond the WHO.

Hal Brands wrote in Bloomberg Opinion, 3/31


Apr 8 12:30 pm - 1:30 pm Online SAIS Event

Non-Degree Virtual Information Session

The Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) Office of Admissions invites you to learn more about non-degree, certificate, and summer programs by joining an online information session. Office...

Apr 15 12:30 pm - 1:30 pm Online SAIS Event

Master of Arts Virtual Information Session

The Johns Hopkins SAIS Office of Admission invites you to learn more about the Master of Arts (MA) degree by joining an online information session. Current MA students and Admissions staff...

Apr 16 12:30 pm - 1:30 pm Online SAIS Event

Masters Programs for Experienced Professionals (MAGP & MIPP) 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 online information session. Current...

Beyond the Classroom

Through study treks, research projects, staff rides, and more you will gain practical, hands-on experience.

Study Treks

Each year more than two dozen study treks are organized by academic programs, providing valuable opportunities to conduct field research, engage with partner organizations, and gain new perspectives on major global issues. Recent study treks have taken students to Puerto Rico, Cambodia, and Uganda.

Networking Events

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

World-Class Events

The school's academic programs and research centers regularly host expert policymakers, CEOs, heads of state, and scholars to campus. Students are encouraged to explore topics of interest by attending lectures, presentations, and special programming.

Staff Rides

During a staff ride, students gain lessons in strategy, leadership, and decision-making by visiting a historic battle site and reenacting key moments. Each year, at least one staff ride occurs outside of the US and recent staff rides have been conducted in South Korea, Scotland, Italy, and Poland.