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Master of Arts in Global Policy (MAGP)

  • Campus: Washington DC
  • Program Duration: Part Time Intensive; 16 months


This 16-month interdisciplinary program is designed for working professionals with seven or more years of experience who wish to continue full-time employment while pursuing their degree. 

Become an Expert

Under the guidance of world-renowned scholars, diplomats and policy makers, you will move through the program as a cohort and develop strong professional connections with accomplished and diverse colleagues. You will complete two preparatory courses in international economics and politics online, and a series of core and elective courses on campus. This format delivers a broad overview of global issues, customized to suit your academic interests. The program is delivered in Washington DC on an alternating weekend (Friday/Saturday) schedule. 

What Your Schedule Will Look Like

The curriculum reflects the school’s core strengths and provides policy-relevant expertise in international politics, economics, strategy, and law. Classes meet on alternating Fridays and Saturdays.

Online Preparatory Courses

Begin your studies by taking two introductory courses on international economics and politics online prior to the in-person start of the program.


  • Introduction to International Economics
  • International Politics



International Policy Residency 

With instruction from former and current policy makers, students work in teams to research, write, and brief policy memos.


Three Days

Module I

Gain theoretical and practical frameworks for understanding international and comparative politics and an in-depth understanding on current issues related to global trade. 


  • International Politics
  • Comparative Politics
  • Global Trade & Policy



Module II

Examine the debates surrounding American foreign policy and gain a firm grasp of the theory and tools of economics, finance, and the functioning of the international economic system. Classes begin in December.


  • Strategy & the Use of Force
  • Contemporary Issues in American Foreign Policy
  • International Monetary Policy & Banking



Policy Simulation Residency

In March, you will team up with members of your cohort and enhance your understanding of international bargaining and negotiating as you take on the role of international leaders and policymakers in a time of crisis. 


Three Days

Module III

Gain an in-depth understanding on the root causes of conflict and the most pressing challenges facing the developing world. 


  • Conflict Management & Negotiations
  • Topics in International Development
  • Elective



Policy Leadership Residency 

Participate in a military-style staff ride to a historic battlefield to study leadership and examine the many challenges of decision-making.


Three Days

Module IV

Choose from a variety of elective courses to further enhance your studies and gain expertise in your area of interest. Recent electives in the MAGP program have included Politics and Risk, Economic Sanctions and Statecraft, US National Security Policymaking Process, Global Trends from the Developing World Perspective, Contemporary Middle Eastern Affairs, and Topics in International Finance.


  • Elective 
  • Elective 
  • Elective



Module V

Gain a better understanding on how to lead change in a global environment in preparation for your final capstone project, where you will tackle a policy challenge in a foreign country, analyze it in a comparative context, and propose recommendations in the form of a memorandum and briefing.


  • Leading Change in a Global Environment
  • International Residency Preparation



Global Policy Residency

During the final module of the 16-month program, you will conduct one week of intensive field research overseas and conclude the program by presenting your recommendations to policy experts. Recent global residency locations have included traveling to Georgia, India, and Morocco. 



One Week

Learn From the Best

Study with world-class experts who are renowned for their scholarship, influence, and networks.

Daniel Markey

Senior Research Professor in International Relations, Academic Director of Master of Arts in Global Policy Program

Karen Mathiasen

Adjunct Lecturer in the Master of Arts in Global Policy Program

Hal Brands

Henry A. Kissinger Distinguished Professor

Adam Szubin

Distinguished Practitioner-in-Residence

In the News

Weekend edition.

Hal Brands interviewed on Bloomberg Opinion Radio, 1/12

Trump’s Iran policy spirals toward control.

Hal Brands wrote in Bloomberg Opinion, 1/3

New Trump sanctions target Turkish economy and military.

Lisel Hintz quoted in Arab News, 12/22

The best of books 2019.

Hal Brands’ book cited in Foreign Affairs, 12/19

The Afghanistan papers reveal a tragedy, not a crime.

Hal Brands wrote in Bloomberg Opinion, 12/17

RIP the Carter Doctrine 1980 – 2019.

Hal Brands wrote for American Enterprise Institute, 12/13

U.S. bets old ideas in a new package can deter China.

Hal Brands wrote in Bloomberg Opinion, 12/11

Macron wants to lead Europe. Why would Europe want that?

Hal Brands wrote in Bloomberg Opinion, 12/3

China's Uighur crackdown shows fear and insecurity.

Hal Brands wrote in Bloomberg Opinion, 11/26

Build Your Network

A tremendous strength of the MAGP is the cohort format which allows students to move through the program with other working professionals from the public, private, nonprofit, and multilateral sectors. On day one, you will begin to strengthen your network by making lasting connections with accomplished classmates from diverse backgrounds.

Students of MAGP's fourth cohort take a group photo following the presentation of their thesis.

Students traveled to the country Georgia where they conducted interviews and site visits for their individual capstone projects related to a wide range of global policy challenges.

For their final project, students tackle a global policy challenge and propose recommendations.

Valuable Skills and Networking Opportunities Gained Through a Flexible Program for Working Professionals

"I am constantly inspired by the intellect and unique perspectives my classmates contribute every day."

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Building on a Career in Diplomacy

"The selection of courses offered by the school have deeply supplemented my job experience and provided valuable perspective with which I can better represent my country."

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Beyond the Classroom

Experiential learning is an important component of this degree program for working professionals. In addition to academic courses, students participate in experiential learning opportunities such as application seminars and residencies.

Global Application Seminars

Gain increased exposure to the school’s faculty, especially those with deep regional expertise.


Participate in intense, multi-day exercises that take you out of the classroom and challenge you to apply lessons learned from your coursework. Three of the residencies take place locally. For the fourth, you will travel abroad to a country selected by your cohort.

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 discussing critical turning points from the perspective of the leaders of the day.

Program Updates

MAGP Georgia Residency Blog

What insights did SAIS MAGP students gain from their weeklong policy research trip to Georgia, a remarkable little country in the South Caucasus? The cohort selected Georgia as their destination and the focal point for their capstone research projects. Read their 29 blog posts on topics from infrastructure to IDPs, winemaking to Russian disinformation…

International Policy Briefings

On Day 3 of their first residency, Cohort 5 students dived right in with policy briefings to “Secretaries of State” Alexander Bick and Sheba Crocker. While they played the part that day, Bick and Crocker have extensive experience in government. Bick served most recently as the Director for Syria at the National Security Council, and Crocker as the Assistant Secretary for International Organization Affairs at the State Department. Their tough questions forced MAGP students to rethink their policy recommendations and consider the challenges that real policymakers face.

MAGP Staff Ride

Staff Ride: Petersburg Campaign

MAGP students explore the leadership styles of individuals from the Civil War by walking the same grounds of Petersburg, Virginia where Union and Confederate soldiers fought over 155 years ago. By putting themselves in the shoes of wartime leaders, students unpack difficult policy decisions and apply those lessons to contemporary challenges.