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Frequently Asked Questions

If you cannot find the answer to your question here, please contact the relevant Admissions Office.

What prerequisites are required to apply or enroll?
Applicants must have completed at least a three-year undergraduate degree, and they must be proficient in English.
 
Applicants to the MIPP program must also have at least seven years of work experience.
 
All incoming Master of Arts (MA) and Master of Arts in International Affairs (MAIA) students are required to have completed introductory microeconomics and introductory macroeconomics courses, with a grade of B- or higher, before they can start course work at Johns Hopkins SAIS. The microeconomics course should cover the principles of supply, demand, equilibrium and marginal analysis. The macroeconomics course should cover national income, inflation, unemployment and interest rates. Completion of these courses is recommended but not required to apply. If the economics courses will be taken between the application deadline and the start of classes, transcripts must be submitted to the Admissions Office before the applicant will be allowed to begin any course work, including Pre-term. Admitted candidates who have not satisfied the basic economics requirements can fulfill them during the summer before classes start. SAIS offers an online course in basic microeconomics and macroeconomics to enable these candidates to meet the requirement.
 
While there are no prerequisites for incoming MIPP students, any MIPP student wishing to complete economics coursework are also required to complete the economics prerequisites.
 
What is the average Grade Point Average (GPA) of the students who are admitted?
3.3-3.8 on a 4.0 scale is the middle 50% range GPA of the incoming 2019 MA class. However, please keep in mind that the admissions committee is much more interested in the details of your transcript than in the cumulative GPA. Weak grades in your first year will not greatly affect your chances for admission. However, a weak grade in a political science or economics course can affect your competitiveness.
 
How important is work experience?
Work experience is one of many factors considered when evaluating an applicant. About 90% of the incoming Master of Arts class had at least one year of work experience following graduation. This work experience varies widely and need not necessarily relate directly to the field of international relations. In addition to working in US and non-US government agencies, many incoming students have had experience working in the financial sector, consulting, non-profit, teaching, and law industry.
 
Each year, around 10% of the incoming class enters immediately following their final year of undergraduate study. Less experienced candidates typically have participated in substantial internships directly related to the fields of international relations or political science.
 
My economics classes were not titled "Principles of Micro" or "Principles of Macro." What should I do?
The microeconomics course should cover the principles of supply, demand, equilibrium, and marginal analysis. The macroeconomics course should cover income, inflation, unemployment, and interest rates. When submitting your application, please include copies of syllabi or class descriptions for any economics courses you have taken not explicitly titled "Principles of Micro/Macroeconomics" that you wish to apply towards the economics prerequisites.
 
Can I schedule an admissions interview?
Washington, DC: candidates who intend to study at the Washington, DC campus, are encouraged to schedule an optional interview. Interviews are available in September through early December and are conducted in-person or via Skype.  You can schedule an interview here.
 
SAIS Europe candidates will be contacted by the SAIS Europe Admissions Office to arrange an interview with a member of the Admissions Committee and should not schedule an optional interview.
 
MAGP, MIEF, MIPP degree programs: candidates will be contacted by the Office of Admissions to schedule an interview, if needed.  
 
Does Johns Hopkins SAIS offer application fee waivers?
The school offers application fee waivers to participants or alumni affiliated with the following professional development programs:

In order to receive a fee waiver, you must submit an official document confirming your participation in the appropriate program to sais.dc.admissions@jhu.edu . We will waive the fee once the paperwork is received by our office and your application has been submitted. Unfortunately, we do not grant fee waivers for financial hardship. There is no application fee for candidates applying to SAIS Europe.

What Degree Programs are offered at Johns Hopkins SAIS?

  • Master of Arts (MA) (Locations: Washington, DC and SAIS Europe)
  • Master of International Public Policy (MIPP) (Locations: Washington, DC and SAIS Europe)
  • Master of Arts in International Economics and Finance (MIEF) (Location: Washington, DC)
  • Master of Arts in Global Policy (MAGP) (Location: Washington, DC)
  • Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) (Location: Washington, DC)
  • Master of Arts in Global Risk (MAGR) (Location: SAIS Europe)
  • Master of European Public Policy (MEPP) (Location: SAIS Europe)
  • Master of Arts in International Affairs (MAIA) (Location: SAIS Europe)
  • Hopkins-Nanjing Certificate/ Master of Arts (MA) (Locations: Hopkins-Nanjing Center and Washington, DC, with potential semester at SAIS Europe)
  • Hopkins-Nanjing Certificate/ Master of Arts in International Affairs (MAIA)(Locations: Hopkins-Nanjing Center and SAIS Europe)
  • Master of Arts in International Studies (MAIS) (Location: Hopkins-Nanjing Center)
  • Certificate in Chinese and American Studies (Location: Hopkins-Nanjing Center)
  • Diploma in International Studies (Location: SAIS Europe)

What is the student to faculty ratio?
17:1
 
I have no background in economics. Is that going to hurt my chances of getting into the Masters of Arts (MA) program?
We receive strong MA applicants who have not taken any courses in economics. These candidates are offered conditional admission and are required to fulfill the introductory micro- and macroeconomics prerequisites prior to enrolling in the program. An applicant who has completed introductory micro and macroeconomics will have an advantage over an applicant who has not. You must complete one semester's-worth of study in both introductory macroeconomics and in microeconomics with a B- or higher prior to beginning classes (but not necessarily prior to admission). The Admissions Committee will consider applicants who have not yet fulfilled this requirement. Nevertheless, these applicants should recognize that they will be expected to complete the required course work before entry and plan accordingly. Prior course work in mathematics and/or statistics is also encouraged.
 
Can I attend Johns Hopkins SAIS part-time?
There are two part-time degree program options, MIPP (SAIS DC) and DIA.  Non-degree, part-time courses are also available.
 
Are dual degree programs offered?
Yes, students interested in pursuing a second graduate degree in conjunction with their studies in international relations are offered. Approximately 10% of our students pursue a dual degree in business, law, public administration, and public health to enhance their graduate education and achieve their professional objectives. Add
 
To be admitted to a dual degree program, students must apply to, and be accepted by, both schools independently. For most dual degree programs, the school reduces the number of required courses from 16 to 12 in recognition of course work taken at the approved school. This allows students to complete the Master of Arts degree in three academic semesters instead of four.
 
A list of dual degree options can be found here.
 
Are there other academic partnerships offered?
SAIS Europe offers cooperative degree programs with several European universities. Students enrolled in specific master’s programs in one of the partner institutions can apply to spend the second year at SAIS Europe. Students who begin at a partner university and end their studies at SAIS Europe, in most cases receive a master’s from the partner institution and the Master of Arts in International Affairs (MAIA) from Johns Hopkins SAIS. Students who begin at SAIS Europe and end their studies at a partner institution, in most cases, receive a Diploma in International Studies from Johns Hopkins SAIS and a master’s from the partner institution.
 
A list of the cooperative degree programs at SAIS Europe is available here.
 
Can I pursue a dual degree with a school that is not listed?
You can create an ad hoc dual degree program of study (non-formal program) with other prominent universities. Proposals for ad hoc dual degrees are possible, but must be approved by the Office of Academic Affairs.

What standardized tests are required?
What standardized tests are required? The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) and Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT) is an optional application requirement for all degree programs, with the exception of the Master of International Economics and Finance (MIEF) and Doctor of Philosophy programs (PhD). Candidates applying to the MIEF and PhD programs are not eligible for GRE/GMAT waivers. Candidates are welcomed to submit score reports if they wish. In order to ensure that your test scores reach the Office of Admissions in a timely manner, take the examinations early and request your official score reports at least a month before the application deadline.
 
English Proficiency Exam: A TOEFL score of at least 600 for the paper-based exam, 250 for the computer-based exam or 100 for the internet-based exam is required of all applicants whose native language is not English. Students who choose to submit the IELTS exam results must meet a minimum of 7.0. SAIS Europe also accepts the Cambridge Proficiency in English (CPE) for which a passing grade (minimum C) will be accepted.
 
If English is not your native language, (or in the case of multilingual students, the dominant language is not English) and you completed a full undergraduate degree in English, at an accredited institution, in a country where English is an official language, then you will not be required to submit an English competency exam.
 
If English is not your native language, (or in the case of multilingual students, the dominant language is not English) and you completed a graduate degree in English, at an accredited institution, in a country where English is an official language, then you will need the approval of the Office of Admissions to be exempt from submitting an English competency exam, but be aware that exemptions are rarely granted.
 
What are the standardized test codes for the GRE, GMAT, and TOEFL?
GRE: The Educational Testing Services (ETS) score reporting school code for Johns Hopkins SAIS is 5610 and the department code should be left blank ("0000").
 
GMAT: The Graduate Management Admission Council score reporting school code for Johns Hopkins SAIS is KGB-GX-99.
 
TOEFL: The Educational Testing Services (ETS) score reporting school code for Johns Hopkins SAIS is 5610 and the department code should be left blank ("0000").
 
I took one or more of the standardized tests several years ago. Are my scores still acceptable?
TOEFL, IELTS, and CPE scores are valid for two years. GRE and GMAT scores are valid for five years. The test providers will not send expired test scores to our Admissions Office.
 
Visit the following website for more information on the GRE, GMAT, TOEFL, IELTS, and CPE.
 
May I submit the LSAT?
We do not use the LSAT in our evaluation process.

I applied last year but was not admitted/could not accept the offer. How do I reapply?
The Office of Admissions retains application files for one year after a decision is rendered. Reapplicants who had applied more than one year ago are considered new applicants and must resubmit all application materials.
 
Reapplication Application Checklist: (applicable to those who are reapplying within one year)

  • Application fee (where applicable)
  • Online application (indicate re-applicant status and previous admissions decision)
  • Updated Résumé /CV
  • Reapplicant Essay - Explain how you have improved your candidacy since your last application. This essay should be no more than 1000 words in length.
  • Transcript(s) of any additional courses you have taken since you last applied (include grades not finalized at the time of your last application)
  • One new letter of recommendation, preferably from your current employer in a supervisory role.
  • Pursue an optional interview with the Office of Admissions in Washington, DC. SAIS Europe re-applicants will be required to interview.

I was admitted but need to defer my enrollment. What steps do I need to take to request a deferral?
You can request a one-year deferral by contacting the relevant Admissions Office. Requests to defer will be accepted on a case-by-case basis.
 
MIPP students admitted in DC, and all students admitted to SAIS Europe, except MAGR and MEPP students, may request a one-semester deferral. If a deferral is granted, students will be expected to pay a $500 non-refundable matriculation fee and submit a $3,000 non-refundable deferral deposit (for a total of $3,500) within 30 days of approval. Students requesting a deferral at SAIS Europe will required to pay a €1,000 fee if they did not receive a scholarship and €3,000 if they received a scholarship.
 
The deferral deposit will be applied to your tuition upon enrollment. Admitted students whose future plans remain uncertain, or those with insufficient funds, are advised to decline the offer of admission and reapply at a later date when circumstances may be more certain or stable.
 
If your request for deferral is denied and you would still like to enroll in the semester for which you were admitted, you must accept your offer of admission no later than your original response deadline.
 
If I defer my offer of admission will my financial aid award be carried over? Yes.
Students who received an offer of financial support and deferred their admission, will be able to maintain the scholarship when they enroll. Federal aid will be reconsidered for the semester in which the deferred student will be enrolling upon renewal of their FAFSA.
 
Does the school offer spring enrollment?
With the exception of the MIPP program, degree programs offered in Washington, DC are for fall enrollment only (MIPP offers both fall and spring enrollment). The MIEF program begins in July. The SAIS Europe campus will consider spring enrollment for all programs, except the MAGR and MEPP, on a case by case basis.