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Washington DC | Pre-Term

Pre-Term is a full-time program that offers incoming students the chance to get a jump-start on their studies, build professional skills, and connect with classmates before the academic year begins. Pre-Term courses help you fulfill the data analytics and professional skills course degree program requirements of the Master of Arts in International Relations (MAIR) curriculum, freeing up space in your schedule to pursue electives and more advanced coursework. It also meets the English entry requirement for non-native English-speakers.


Registration for Pre-Term 2023 will open April through June 15. Tuition will be due June 23. Reserve your place for Pre-Term through our Online Registration Form.


Pre-Term is offered in a fully online and virtual format except for the Professional Skills Course (PSC) at the end of the program. The PSC will be held onsite prior to Fall 23 Orientation. Students can participate in the online and virtual classes from anywhere in the world as long as they have high-speed internet. Statistics for Data Analytics is offered fully online. Asynchronous learning sessions are divided into weekly modules, consisting of pre-recorded lectures, activities and assignments housed in the Canvas learning management system. Students attend twice weekly live sessions. The purpose of the live sessions is to connect with the professor, practice problem sets with your classmates, and to help synthesize the material you are learning in the pre-recorded lectures.

The reading and writing portion of the Pre-Term English course will be held fully online and asynchronously. Students will also meet virtually 1:1 with their instructor to review their writing each week. The speaking and listening portion of the Pre-Term course will be held virtually via Zoom Mondays through Fridays.

In August, all students will come to campus to complete the Professional Skills Course (PSC) which also counts toward one of the requirements for the MAIR degree.

English (online and virtual)

  • July 5 – July 29; Online reading and writing portion of the course
  • July 31-August 11; Virtual speaking and listening portion of the course (Zoom)
  • Review and Final exam: August 13-15
  • Pre-Term English Schedule

Statistics for Data Analysis (online)

  • July 5 – August 12
  • Review and Final exam: August 13-15
  • Pre-Term Statistics Schedule

Professional Skills Course (PSC)

  • August 21-22 (2 days); On-campus
  • Students will take part in a PSC. The course will fulfill one of two skills course requirements of the MAIR and will emphasize team-based problem solving, leadership skills, and experiential learning through out-of-classroom activities. All Pre-Term students complete the PSC at no additional cost. PSCs held during Pre-Term are only open to students enrolled in English or Statistics.

Pre-Term Courses & Tuition

Unlike Summer Programs, Pre-Term courses are non-credit and do not count toward the number of courses/credits required for graduation, but they offer the opportunity to complete the data analytics and professional skills graduation requirements for the MAIR curriculum. Successful completion of Pre-Term courses is noted by High Pass (HP) or Pass (P) on your transcript. No mention of Pre-Term is noted for failed courses. Students who do not pass Pre-Term courses must take these courses for credit during the academic year. Pre-Term tuition is due June 23.

Non-native English speakers will develop their reading, writing, listening and speaking skills in preparation for graduate coursework.

Students will enroll in a professional skills course that will be offered the last week of Pre-Term onsite and is a complement to the international relations field. For MAIR students, the course will fulfill one of two skills course requirements and will emphasize team-based problem solving, leadership skills, and experiential learning through out-of-classroom activities. For all other degree students, enrolling in the skills course is optional but strongly recommended. The skills courses are offered at no additional cost and are open to all students enrolled in Pre-Term.

Completion of this course will fulfill the data analytics requirement of the MAIR curriculum and free up space for an additional elective, which can be offered by any academic program at the school. The course also fulfills prerequisites for more advanced economic coursework.

 Pre-Term Student
Tuition$1750 for English or Statistics for Data Analysis, $2370 for both courses
Credits Earned?No
Fulfills Data Analytics Requirement?Yes, Statistics for Data Analysis
Grading SystemPass/Fail
Grade will affect GPA?No
Counts toward total number of courses to graduate?No

Student Testimonials

Pre-Term led me to meet the people who would become my closest friends while at SAIS, as it gave me the opportunity to meet people at a deeper level without the stress and hecticness of a regular semester.

MAIR Student

Attending Pre-Term was one of the best decisions I made. I would recommend it to any incoming student as a major key to success at the school.

MAIR Student

At Pre-Term I was able to get a key course out of the way and clear up my schedule for more classes.

MAIR Student


If you have a question regarding Pre-Term at the Washington DC campus, please contact [email protected] or +1 (202) 663-5671.