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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.dc.admissions@jhu.edu

SAIS Europe | Office of Admissions
via Andreatta, 3
40126 Bologna, Italy
+39 051 291 7838
sais.eu.admissions@jhu.edu

Overview

The Doctor of International Affairs is designed for professionals with at least five-years of full-time work experience in international affairs or a related field 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

Doctor of International Affairs vs. PhD

The Doctor of International Affairs is a practitioner’s 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 careers that include, but are not limited to, academia.

What Your Schedule Will Look Like

48-credit Program 

Year One

Advanced standing is available if you possess a relevant master’s degree. You must complete 32 credits prior to the final, non-residential thesis year. 

Schedule

  • Eight courses in the academic year, including two methods courses
  • Six courses based on your specific interests and research agenda

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.

Schedule

  • 8 credits of “Thesis” each semester

80-credit Program 

Years One and Two

You will complete courses on a full-time, resident basis through fall and spring semesters for two academic years. You may begin your studies at either the Washington DC campus or at SAIS Europe.

Schedule

  • Fulfill the requirements of the school's Master of Arts in International Relations degree (MAIR) in international economics, quantitative reasoning, research methods, and foreign language proficiency

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.

Schedule

  • 8 credits of “Thesis” each semester

48-credit Program 

Year One

Build your expertise through classes based on your specific interests and research agenda. 

 

Schedule 

  • Complete four courses of your choice in the academic year, two each semester

Year Two

The second year of study will entail a combination of methods courses and courses based on your specific interests and research agenda.

Schedule

  • Complete four courses in the academic year, two each semester. This includes two method courses and two courses based on your specific interests and research agenda.

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.

Schedule

  • 8 credits of “Thesis” each semester

LEARN FROM THE BEST

Adria Lawrence

Aronson Associate Professor of International Studies and Political Science

Peter Lewis

Interim Vice Dean for Education and Academic Affairs, Warren Weinstein Chair of African Studies, Director of Africa and Middle East Programs

Hal Brands

Henry A. Kissinger Distinguished Professor

Jessica Fanzo

Interim Vice Dean for Faculty Affairs and International Research Cooperation, Bloomberg Distinguished Professor of Food Ethics and Policy, Director of the Global Food Ethics and Policy Program


In the News

China in Africa: Zambia’s Chinese debts nearly double the official count, study says.

Deborah Brautigam quoted in South China Morning Post, 09/29

Afghanistan debacle aside, U.S. isn’t done with nation-building.

Hal Brands wrote in Bloomberg Opinion, 09/28

Australia sub deal should upset China, not France.

Hal Brands wrote in Bloomberg Opinion, 09/21

Huawei’s decline shows why China will struggle to dominate.

Hal Brands wrote in Bloomberg Opinion, 09/18

The Afghanistan War wasn’t a cynical misadventure.

Hal Brands wrote in Bloomberg Opinion, 08/31

Why we need a sane Republican Party.

Yascha Mounk hosted The Good Fight podcast, 08/28

Admissions Events

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

Scholarship Programs and Part-Time Master’s Degrees for Mid-Career Professionals in the Diplomatic Community

Are you a U.S. or foreign diplomat, or another type of public servant, with at least 7 years of professional experience considering a part-time graduate program?  If so, please join...

Oct 19 8:00 am - 9:00 am Online SAIS Event

SAIS Europe Virtual Information Session

Join SAIS Europe to learn more about all our degree offerings. This informative virtual information session will present information on the admissions process for the MAIR (SAIS Europe), MAIA, MAGR,...

Oct 19 12:30 pm - 1:30 pm Online SAIS Event

Washington, D.C. Graduate Schools of International Relations – Learn About Top Programs

Join admissions teams from four of the top graduate schools of international affairs in Washington D.C. for our graduate admissions forum. Prospective students can meet admissions representatives who will talk...

Beyond the Classroom

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

Study Treks

Each year the school organizes more than two dozen study treks, providing students with valuable opportunities to conduct field research, engage with partner organizations, and gain new perspectives on major global issues.

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 regularly hosts 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.