Skip navigation

Summer Programs

The current global pandemic has illustrated that the world is changing quickly and it is essential for leaders to understand how geopolitics, security, health and the environment are inextricably linked—and exactly what you will learn as a student at Johns Hopkins SAIS. 

Summer Courses

Each summer, the school welcomes visiting students and working professionals to explore the world of international relations through courses and certificate programs. Whether you seek to build professional skills in a graduate certificate, complement an internship, prepare for graduate school network with talented classmates working across sectors and industries, you will be inspired by world-renowned experts known for their academic and practical experience.

Online and Virtual Courses

In many ways, online and virtual classrooms are similar to in-person classes. The objective always remains the same: for you to master knowledge in a particular subject area. You will still earn four graduate-level credits per course that can be transferred to a degree program or count towards one of our three graduate certificates the school offers.

Online classes: June 1-July 26

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.

The following online courses will be offered this summer:

Pavithra Suryanarayan

This is a graduate-level course that will survey major topics in the field of comparative politics. Its purpose is to introduce major theoretical and conceptual aspects of the field including theories of collective action, how to study the origins and impact of political institutions, the state, democracy and democratic institutions, ethnic politics and populism. The course proceeds thematically every week. 

Required for those pursuing a Certificate in International Development.

John Harrington
International Economics
This course provides a comprehensive introduction to econometrics. Develops tools for estimating functional relationships and critically reading empirical studies that use different econometric techniques; presents assumptions of multivariate regression and discusses the most common econometric problems and the potential consequences and remedies; and discusses omitted variables, sample selection, heteroscedasticity, autocorrelation, multicollinearity and use of discrete variables. Introduces students to instrumental variable technique. Uses statistical software in applied exercises.
Prerequisite: Statistical Methods for Business and Economics.

Johannes Urpelainen
Energy, Resources and Environment
This course identifies the important linkages between energy and environment. It focuses on how the pollution abatement policies work and examines the use of market-based instruments. Students will analyze policy challenges in resource conservation and waste management, investigate how politics and political economy interfere with energy policy, and evaluate the role of energy policy in climate change mitigation. The use of policy tools to promote clean technology innovation in energy will be reviewed. Students will also assess trade-offs between environmental conservation and economic growth and apply principles of policy analysis to manage global environmental problems in the energy sector.

Vikram Nehru
International Economics, International Development
The course focuses on the key concepts and ideas surrounding economic development. Students will learn about the global patterns of economic development from the mid-19th century to today. They will also learn about key economic development concepts and measurements, and the waves of theoretical thinking in the development economics discipline since the mid-20th century. Finally, the course will explore the development experience of several countries, with an emphasis on the role of economic policy. 

The course is appropriate for students without prior course work in development. Prior course work in principles of economics is desirable, or additional self-study may be needed. 
Required for those pursuing a Certificate in International Development.

Marta Giagheddu
International Economics
Macroeconomics is an intermediate-level course that studies the theoretical and institutional framework of modern national economies. Develops analytic tools used to understand how the economy functions in the aggregate. Focuses on the primary purpose of those tools to explain national levels of income, employment, prices and interest rates, as well as changes in these variables over time. Devotes equal attention to short-run economic fluctuations and long-run economic phenomena, especially economic growth and development. Assesses the role of fiscal and monetary policy in determining economic outcomes in both closed and open economies as well as the important relationship between financial markets and macroeconomics.

Prerequisite: Principles of Macroeconomics or equivalent.

John Harrington
International Economics
Students will study basic statistical tools for data analysis. Emphasizes facility in problem-solving in statistical inference and two-variable regression and correlation analysis. Presents descriptive statistics, probability and probability distributions and their use in hypothesis testing. Uses computer to solve problems and to reinforce statistical concepts.

Virtual classes: June 1-July 14

Structured for the working professional, summer courses are small and held two evenings per week from 6:00 p.m.- 9:00 p.m. in a condensed 6.5 week term.  Due to ongoing social distancing measures, courses previously intended to be delivered in-person this summer will be adjusted to a virtual format.  

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, participating in discussions, and solving equations and problem-sets as a class, happens on the web-conferencing platform.

The following courses will be offered in a virtual format this summer:

John Karaagac: Tues/Thurs 6pm-9pm
Core; American Foreign Policy
Covering the history of US foreign relations since 1945, the course emphasizes competing traditions of statecraft, successive administrations and applications from International Relations Theory to American Foreign Policy. After considering the Cold War era, the course will examine future challenges facing American policy-makers and citizens alike.

Michael Chase: Tues/Thurs 6pm-9pm
China Studies
Fueled by decades of extraordinary economic growth, China has transformed itself into a major power on the world stage. Along with its growing economic power, China has been expanding its diplomatic influence and strengthening its scientific and technological and military capabilities. Even as China increases its power and influence, however, it faces daunting challenges, both at home and abroad. This course considers China as an emerging superpower, with a focus on various domestic and international aspects of China's rise.

Nina Gardner: Tues/Thurs 6pm-9pm
International Law; International Development
This course will examine the complexities of transnational and cross-political business practices and strengthen students’ ability to counsel corporate clients effectively in a transnational business environment. The class will touch on the legal dimensions of international business and human rights, starting with postwar prosecutions of business leaders in the Nuremburg trials, and continuing through contemporary human rights challenges against corporations and corporate executives based upon their alleged complicity in human rights violations. It will focus on the increasing importance of corporate social responsibility, the creation of shared value for business, and the crucial role of the financial sector, advocacy groups and the internet in rewarding (and penalizing) businesses that do not take human rights and sustainability into account. The class will cover a few sectors that pose specific challenges in the business environment, namely: extractive industries, internet privacy, human trafficking, and health.

Adam Szubin: Mon/Wed 6pm-9pm
Strategic Studies
This course will examine the methodologies used by criminals and terrorists to raise and move money, the tools that governments use to track and stop them, and the latest developments in the field. Students will look at how illicit finance campaigns are being fought in the areas of terrorism, organized crime, human rights violations, and cyber-crime. The course will cover both the systemic/structural (e.g. governments enhancing global anti-money laundering) and targeted/tactical levels of the fight (e.g. law enforcement tracking financial flows to unravel plots). Students will learn not just what is being done but how to critically assess tools and policy efforts in the field. 

Elie Canetti: Tues/Thurs 6pm-9pm
International Economics; International Development
Students will gain an understanding of how and why governments, corporations and financial institutions raise funds in financial markets—debt and equity—domestically and internationally. Themes include how financial markets differ from other markets from a public policy and regulatory perspective; innovations in capital-raising techniques; and the changing pattern of risk in financial markets resulting from globalization. The course will address key factors that distinguish financial markets and institutions in OECD nations from those in developing countries.

Mon/Wed 6pm-9pm
International Economics
Students will learn the basic theory underlying the international monetary system. Topics include balance-of-payments analysis, foreign-exchange markets, interaction of economies at the macro level and exchange-rate regimes.

Prerequisite: SAIS Macroeconomics, or intermediate macroeconomics from another institution and passing the SAIS Macroeconomics online waiver exam.

David Steinberg: Mon/Wed 6pm-9pm
International Political Economy; International Development; Latin American Studies
Students will study the relationship between politics and international economics in developing countries, with a focus on the emerging market economies. The course will critically evaluate different political science theories of foreign economic policymaking in emerging markets and focus on developing countries’ embrace of economic globalization over the past thirty years. The course will explore the different political reasons for why emerging market and developing countries have liberalized foreign trade, removed barriers to foreign investment, and reduced the state’s role in the domestic economy since the 1980s.

Tues/Thurs 6pm-9pm
International Economics
This course covers the theory and practice of international trade and investment. The first part of the course examines the cause of trade, the sources of the gains from trade and the domestic and international distribution of those gains. The second part examines the instruments and consequences of trade policy measures, especially tariffs and quantitative restrictions. Addresses preferential trade agreements and the practice of trade policy.

Prerequisite: SAIS Microeconomics, or intermediate microeconomics from another institution and passing the SAIS Microeconomics online waiver exam.

Microeconomics will meet from July 27 to August 5 this year. The class will be held during business hours 3-4 times per week.
International Economics
Microeconomics is an intermediate-level course that focuses on the theory of decision-making under conditions of scarcity. Analyzes consumer theory, choice and demand, production, cost, the firm, market structures and market failure. Emphatsizes economic efficiency and the application of economic theory to government and firm decisions and public policy problems. Introduces game theory and some differential calculus. Prior knowledge of differential calculus is helpful or additional self-study may be needed.
Prerequisites: Principles of microeconomics or equivalent, high school algebra and facility with graphs.

Seth Kaplan: Mon/Wed 6pm-9pm
Global Theory & History
Politics affects risk on many levels (e.g., international, national, regional, and local) and is the result of the interaction of many different elements. Students will examine basic issues with regard to risk analysis as well as why forecasts often fall short before examining three broad issues: country structural fragility, problems with collective action policymaking, and operational breakdowns. The class focuses more on the risks that face countries than on how particular risks might impact corporations or NGOs, though the latter is also examined. The course will also examine how to prioritize and mitigate risk. Each class aims to provide students with a set of frameworks to think about and assess these issues and to work on case studies to develop their skills.

Marsha Olive: Tues/Thurs 6pm-9pm
European & Eurasian Studies
Far from expectations of partnership after the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, Russia looms large in today’s international security debates as a nuclear-armed opponent of the US-led world order. The course looks behind the headlines to examine why Russia became a revisionist power that poses a greater challenge to the West than at any time since the mid-1980s. It equips students to understand the domestic dynamics behind Russia’s strategic posture and to formulate approaches for dealing with Russia in the Putin and post-Putin era.  

Tues/Thurs 6pm-9pm
Strategic Studies
State-sponsored cyber operations are a staple of 21st century geopolitics. News reports of digital intrusions, espionage, and sabotage are abundant but the ability to evaluate their contents eludes laypeople and political decision-makers alike. This course aims to communicate a conceptual framework for understanding the cyber espionage and sabotage operations of state-sponsored threat actors. Students will critically analyze contemporary reporting on active espionage campaigns with an eye towards understanding the rationale for assigning attacker intentions, configuration, and intentions. In the process, students will come to understand the life-cycle of these operations, their necessary investment, and outcomes.
Technical competence is encouraged but not required. Students of INFOSEC I & II will have an advantage with requisite concepts. Students interested in acquiring greater technical competency will be provided with additional materials.

John Karaagac: Mon/Wed 6pm-9pm
This course presents a set of tools for understanding, predicting and formulating policy on international conflict and cooperation. Examining leading schools of international relations theory, including Realism, Liberalism and Constructivism, the course will also survey topics such as alliance formation, nuclear deterrence, imperialism and international institutions. Students will explore the domestic sources of foreign policy, trade, global environmentalism, international law, the integration and disintegration of states, globalization and the future of international relations.

Required for the Certificate in International Studies.

Joshua White: Mon/Wed 6pm-9pm
Asian Studies; American Foreign Policy; Strategic Studies
Nowhere does the United States face greater long-term security and defense challenges than in Asia. This course, combining a thematic approach with weekly case studies, provides a rigorous examination of key security issues across the Indo-Pacific — from Pakistan to Japan — and their implications for U.S. interests and policy planning. Topics include the evolving Asian security order; defense challenges posed by the rise of China; trends in conventional military modernization; implications of the Sino-Indian rivalry on regional stability; emerging dynamics in Asian nuclear deterrence; and trends in security competition in the maritime, space and cyber domains. This course includes a practical focus on policy writing. 

Summer Academies

Spend four weeks of your summer exploring international affairs in the heart of Europe or Washington DC. 

Rising sophomores, upperclassmen, and recent college graduates earn four graduate-level credits studying with Johns Hopkins SAIS' world-class faculty. 

Washington DC Academy SAIS Europe Academy