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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

Chinese diplomats must notify Washington of meetings with state or local officials

Andrew Mertha interviewed in South China Morning Post, 10/17

Trump takes American leadership down a notch…again.

John McLaughlin wrote in OZY, 10/10

European Parliament, flexing muscle, rejects France’s commission nominee.

Simone Tagliapietra quoted in The New York Times, 10/10

A synagogue attack on the holiest day of the year.

Yascha Mounk wrote in The Atlantic, 10/9

Democracy in Poland is in mortal danger.

Yascha Mounk wrote in The Atlantic, 10/9

Trump's dangerous war on the National Security Council.

Hal Brands wrote in Bloomberg Opinion, 10/8


Oct 24 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm Off Campus SAIS Event

SAIS Europe Information Session at AmCham EU in Brussels, Belgium

On Thursday, October 24th from 6 to 8pm, SAIS Europe, along with Georgetown, SIPA (Columbia), and Fletcher (Tufts) will host a recruiting event at the American Chamber of Commerce to...

Oct 24 8:00 pm - 9:00 pm Online SAIS Event

Hopkins-Nanjing Center Information Session

The Hopkins-Nanjing Center Washington Office will host an information session on how you can earn your master's degree or a one-year graduate certificate in Nanjing, China. The Hopkins-Nanjing Center, an...

Oct 26 10:00 am - 2:00 pm Admissions Conference Room

Admissions Office Hours for Experienced Professionals (MIPP & MAGP)

The Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) Admissions Office will host office hours specifically for prospective students for our graduate programs for mid-career professionals, the Master of Arts...

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.