Skip navigation

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

Warren Weinstein Associate Professor

Hal Brands

Henry A. Kissinger Distinguished Professor

Jessica Fanzo

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


In the News

The Words About Ukraine That Americans Need to Hear

Eliot A. Cohen wrote in The Atlantic, 10/22

Putin’s Regime Faces the Fate of His Kerch Strait Bridge

Eliot A. Cohen wrote in The Atlantic, 10/09

Russia’s Nuclear Bluster Is a Sign of Panic

Eliot A. Cohen wrote in The Atlantic, 10/04

“Woman, Life, Freedom”: Iran’s Protests Are a Rebellion for Bodily Autonomy.

Assistant Professor of Middle East Studies Narges Bajoghli wrote in Vanity Fair, 9/29

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.

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.

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.

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?

Admissions Events

Dec 5 9:00 am - 12:00 pm Online SAIS Event

SAIS Europe Open Day

Welcome and Introduction


9:00 AM EST | 3:00 PM CET 


  • Director Michael Plummer

SAIS Europe Faculty Panel


9:10 AM EST | 3:10 PM CET


  • Prof. Michael Plummer (MAIR, Economics)
  • Prof....

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

Public Service Fellows & Scholars Virtual Information Session

The Johns Hopkins SAIS Office of Admission invites you to learn more about the SAIS Public Service Fellows and Scholars program by joining an online information session. 

The Public Service...

Dec 9 10:00 am - 11:00 am Online SAIS Event

Master of International Economics and Finance Virtual Information Session

The Johns Hopkins University  School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) Office of Admission invites you to learn more about the Master of Arts in International Economics and Finance (MIEF) degree...

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.