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

Washington DC | Pre-Term

Pre-Term is a full-time program that offers incoming SAIS students the chance to get a jump-start on their studies and get re-acclimated to the academic world. Pre-Term courses can help you fulfill key economics and quantitative reasoning graduation requirements, and free up space in your schedule to pursue electives, minors or specializations.


The safety of our students, faculty, and staff is of the utmost importance to us at Johns Hopkins SAIS. We have been closely monitoring the evolving situation related to COVID-19 to evaluate the outbreak's impact on our global learning communities. Given the continued spread of the virus and the many travel restrictions in place, the school's Washington campus has decided to offer Pre-Term courses online and virtually this year during the following dates:

Statistics: June 1 – July 26; Online course

  • Registration form due: May 20
  • Tuition due: June 15

Microeconomics: July 27 – August 25; Virtual course

  • Registration form due: July 5
  • Tuition due: July 7
  • Pre-Calculus and Calculus Assessments due: July 15

Online classes are broken up into weekly modules, consisting of pre-recorded lectures, activities, and assignments. While there is no scheduled class time for you to listen to lectures, faculty will schedule regular virtual meetings enabling you to interact with your classmates. Assignments and activities, just as in in-person courses, have due dates and deadlines and are administered using the learning management system where the entire online course is housed. You will also engage with classmates via technology-driven, learner-centric classroom forums and other instructional activities.

Virtual classes follow a similar schedule to in-person courses. Students and faculty meet virtually, via a platform like Zoom Web Conferencing, at a regularly scheduled time for the duration of the class session. Communication with professors and administration of assignments and exams takes place in real-time during the virtual session, as well as over email and via technology-driven learning management systems. Learning, which consists of listening to lectures, having open discussions with faculty and your peers, solving equations and problem sets as a class, happens on the web-conferencing platform.

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 foundation economics or quantitative reasoning course requirements. 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.

Completion of this course will fulfill the Microeconomics requirement for the Master of Arts in International Relations (MAIR) curriculum, reducing the number of economics courses that you must take from 4 to 3. You will free up space for an additional elective, which can be offered by any academic program, during your time at SAIS.
Microeconomics at SAIS is taught at the intermediate level and utilizes basic calculus, such as functions and derivatives. The Pre-Term Microeconomics course is taught at an accelerated pace, so you must complete the following eligibility requirements before you can enroll:

  • Introduction to Microeconomics- Students must have completed an intro microeconomics course prior to the start of Pre-Term. Courses taken in your previous studies will count provided you earned a B- (or Pass if you took the course Pass/Fail) or higher, as will SAIS’ Online Principles of Economics course.
  • SAIS Pre-Calculus and Calculus assessments in Blackboard- Incoming students will be given access to Pre-Calculus and Calculus self-study tutorials in mid-May. These are located in Blackboard under the “Community” tab, and each instructional videos, practice problems/quizzes and a brief 10-12 question assessment. Students wanting to take Microeconomics during Pre-Term must earn a grade of 58% or higher on these assessments to enroll. You will have a chance to retake each assessment if you do not achieve a passing grade the first time. Please note that while we recommend all students review these math tutorials, you do not need to pass these assessments in order to register for Microeconomics in the fall or spring as those courses are not in an accelerated format.

Completion of this course will fulfill the quantitative reasoning requirement for the Master of Arts in International Relations (MAIR) curriculum. You will free up space for an additional elective, which can be offered by any academic program, during your time at Johns Hopkins SAIS.

The Math for Economics course will not run this year. Incoming students will be given access to Pre-Calculus and Calculus tutorials in mid-May, which are located in Blackboard under the “Community” tab. These self-study, self-paced tutorials offer a step by step learning environment that can assist you to review or, in some cases, learn these subjects. They include instructional videos and problems to be worked out with a solution provided on the video. Additional exercises, solutions, and quizzes are also provided along with a proficiency assessment at the end. Academic support will be available to all students.

Pre-Term English courses will not run this year. In their place, we are offering several options for students to choose from to meet their English condition in place of Pre-Term:

  • Enroll in an online or on-site English course offered by an accredited institution
    • Courses must be offered by an accredited institution and should be taken for credit and a letter grade when possible. Students must earn a B- or higher or a P if the course is Pass/Fail
    • MOOCs such as Coursera courses will not be accepted
    • The focus of the course should be academic writing, and it should be taught at an advanced-low level
    • The preference is for courses that are not self-paced.
  • Re-take the TOEFL or IELTS
  • Test out of the requirement via the Cambridge Proficiency Exam (any passing grade accepted)
  • Test out of the requirement via the ACTFL Exam (minimum grade of Superior in writing, and Advanced High in speaking)

Please submit syllabi to the Advising Office at for any English course you would like to take so they may approve it. 

The courses listed below have been approved by Johns Hopkins SAIS to satisfy the Pre-Term English requirement for Conditional English Admits.

*Note: These are not Johns Hopkins SAIS courses. Students enrolling in these courses must follow the policies, deadlines, and tuition fees issued by the institution offering the course. Students should contact the course instructor if they have questions about the course expectations. Students can contact for syllabi of these courses.

UC Berkeley (online courses)

Registration and Tuition fee details

Tufts University Summer Institute [Enrollment Closed]

Temple University (virtual courses for Japan campus) [Enrollment Closed]

Registration and Tuition fee details for ENG0812 (summer session 1)
(You would be a non-matriculated Continuing Studies student)

University of Ottawa (virtual courses) [Enrollment Closed]

ESL courses require passing language placement exam first

Registration and Tuition fee for ESL courses
(You would be a new Special Student)

Given the adjustments that we have had to make to our Summer Term and Pre-Term offerings this year, we are affording students the chance to select their enrollment type for these courses. Students can enroll in Microeconomics and/or Statistics with the following enrollment options:

  • Enroll as a Summer student and take the course for credit ($4400 tuition)
  • Enroll as a Pre-Term student and take the course pass/fail without earning credit ($1400 tuition for one course, $2000 total for two courses)
  Pre-Term Student Summer Student
Tuition $1400/$2000 $4400 (per course)
Credits Earned? No Yes
Fulfills Econ or Quantitative Reasoning Requirement? Yes Yes
Grading System Pass/Fail Pass/Fail OR Letter Grade
Grade will affect GPA? No Pass/Fail- No
Letter Grade- Yes
Counts toward total number of courses to graduate? No Yes

Student Testimonials

“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

“Pre-Term gave me a chance to readjust to school before starting the fall semester.” – MAIR Student

“I was able to get a key course out of the way and clear up my schedule for more classes.” — MAIR Student

“Pre-term provided a smoother transition back into academics and to re-learn study habits again after working for five years.” – MAIR Student

“Pre-Term freed up my course schedule enabling me to pursue an economic specialization.” – MAIR Student

“Pre-Term is the perfect opportunity to establish a foundation to be a successful student at the school.” – MAIR Student