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How to Apply | MAIS

We encourage you to review all of the Master of Arts in International Studies (MAIS) application instructions before beginning the application. 

Application Deadlines

  Enrollment Term Application Deadline Notification By
Application Early Notification Fall 2024 November 1, 2023 Mid-December, 2023
Application Regular Decision Fall 2024 February 1, 2024 Mid-March, 2024
Extended Consideration Fall 2024 Rolling Rolling

Application Checklist

All MAIS applicants MUST submit the following materials:

  • Online application
  • Application fee, $85 USD
  • Resume/CV
  • Personal Statement
  • MAIS Thesis Essay
  • Essay (optional)
  • Transcripts for all college-level course work
  • Two (2) letters of recommendation
  • GRE or GMAT scores (optional)
  • Chinese Language Proficiency Test Results (STAMP test)
  • English Langauge Examination (non-native English speakers)
  • Interview (optional)

MAIS applicants may complete an optional virtual interview, which can be scheduled through the "Optional Admissions Interview" tab of the online application. An admissions interview is a great opportunity to let the admissions committee learn more about your background and how the Hopkins-Nanjing Center aligns with your academic interests and career goals. Interviews are conducted in English by current students or an Admissions Officer.

Interviews are conducted between September and January and must be completed by the application deadline in order for it to be considered by the Admissions Committee. All interviews will be conducted virtually via Zoom.

Application Instructions 

Please refer to the guide below when completing your application.

  1. Name: Please list your full legal name. If you have a maiden name or alternate name that you previously used legally, please list it in the "Other Last Names Used" section.
  2. Addresses: Please list both your permanent and mailing addresses. If your mailing address expires before admissions decisions are rendered, then any posted correspondence will be sent to your permanent address. If your current mailing address changes at any time during the application process, please notify the Office of Admissions as soon as possible.
  3. Email Address: Please provide an email address that will be valid throughout the entire application process. Take care to ensure that emails from Johns Hopkins SAIS are not filtered to a junk folder because we will communicate with you primarily through email.
  4. Phone Number: When entering your phone number, if you are listing a non-US phone number, please include the country code when entering the number, leaving out any parenthesis, dashes, or other symbols.
  5. Citizenship Information: Please select your citizenship. Dual citizens should select both nationalities. If you do not have a current Current Immigration Status, please select "OTH" from the drop down menu. Citizens of the People's Republic of China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macao should contact [email protected] for eligibility requirements.
  6. Social Security Number: This is required if you have a US Social Security Number at the time of application.
  7. Race/Ethnicity Optional: This data is collected as required by the US Federal Government and does not influence our admissions decisions. We encourage you to answer both questions. Ethnicity definitions are provided.
  1. Degree Type: Please select “Full-time” as your degree type.
  2. Program: Please select “Master of Arts in International Studies” as your program of choice.
  3. Location: Please select "Hopkins-Nanjing Center" as your location of study.
  4. Anticipated Start Term: Please select your anticipated start term. If your term of interest is not visible, we are currently not accepting applications for that term.

Early Notification: Please note, for your application to be considered for Early Notification, all supporting documents (as listed in the application instructions) must be received by the Office of Admissions no later than November 1. If any supporting documents are received after November 1, the application will be reviewed during the Regular Decision process.

All applications and supporting documentation become the confidential property of the Johns Hopkins SAIS Office of Admissions and cannot be returned.

Please use the "type ahead" option in the institution name to search for the College/University you have attended. Selecting your institution through this feature will automatically populate some of the fields below and ensure that the identifying information for this institution is formatted properly in our records. If your institution code is not available, please type the name in "Institution."

Submit Transcript: You must submit transcripts reflecting all university-level course work listed on the application. You may upload unofficial transcripts via the online application, or submit official transcripts via hard copy or electronic copy, either from the college/university directly or via a transcript clearinghouse.

You should not list: 1) institutions at which three or fewer courses were completed, or where courses were only audited or taken on a non-credit basis, 2) executive education programs, 3) non-credit language institutes, or 4) non-credit certificate programs.

Mailing Transcripts: Transcripts in hard copy should be sent to the Office of Admissions in Washington, DC:

555 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, WS-605
Washington DC, 20001
Transcripts in electronic copy should be sent to [email protected].
Unofficial transcripts: Admitted applicants who submit unofficial transcripts as part of the application process will be required to submit official copies prior to enrollment.
Study abroad grades and transfer credit: Transcripts listing study abroad grades and/or transfer credits are required unless both the grades and credits are reflected on the primary undergraduate transcript.
Non-English-language transcripts: If your transcript is in a language other than English, you are asked to provide an official translation of the entire transcript and an explanation of the grading system of the university. You are strongly encouraged to use a credential evaluation service, particularly if you are not sure of how to obtain original transcripts or face difficulties obtaining them. See the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services for a list of providers. Transcripts and translations must be received by the Office of Admissions before the relevant deadline, so please make any requests well in advance.

GRE And GMAT scores are optional. If you have completed an exam more than once, please list your most recent scores. In addition to listing the scores in the online application, applicants must also send official test scores via the appropriate testing services.

  1. STAMP scores: All applicants to the Hopkins-Nanjing Center are required to take the Avant Assessment STAMP Chinese proficiency test. The HNC Washington Office must have the completed test materials by the application deadline. To request the STAMP test, you will need to start an application to a Hopkins-Nanjing Center program and complete the personal background and program details sections. You'll then complete the STAMP Test Request section, where you'll be able to choose from two proctoring options: in-person or virtual. Once you complete this section, you will receive an email from [email protected] with testing instructions and a link to pay the testing fee. After you have completed the test, you will need to notify the Hopkins-Nanjing Center Washington Office by emailing [email protected]. You’ll then receive your score within 2 business days. Applicants are limited to taking the STAMP test once every three months.

  2. GRE or GMAT scores: If you decide to submit scores for either the GRE or the GMAT, Johns Hopkins SAIS will only accept scores directly from the testing service. Please arrange for all standardized test scores to be sent in advance of the application deadline. The GRE code for Johns Hopkins SAIS is 5610-0000; the GMAT code is KGB-GX-99.
  3. English Language Examination: You must submit an official English competency score if (1) English is not your native language and (2) you do not hold an undergraduate degree from an accredited institution in a country where English is an official language and where English is the language of instruction. Official test scores must be received for admissions consideration. For more information and instructions, please review our English language examination policy.

Please provide details of all of your professional positions.

  1. City of Birth: Please type the name of the city where you were born.
  2. US Military: Please indicate if you are an active duty or former member of the US Armed Forces in the space provided.
  3. Current Residency: Please provide the country and city, where you currently reside.
  4. Diversity: Johns Hopkins SAIS receives applications from a diverse pool of candidates. These questions ensure we have the clearest possible understanding of each candidate’s background. Your answers will be kept confidential.
  5. Affiliations: The Office of Admissions offers application fee waivers to participants or alumni affiliated with the professional development programs listed in the 'Application Fee' section below.
  6. Languages: Please list your native language; bilingual applicants should list their dominant language. Your native/dominant language is the one that meets 2 out of 3 requirements: it is (a) the main language of communication between you and one of your parents or caregivers, (b) an official language in the community where you grew up, (c) the language of instruction in the high school you attended.

    You should indicate levels of proficiency for up to two additional foreign languages in the areas of reading, writing, speaking and listening comprehension. Any language experience beyond these should be included on your resume.
  7. Time Spent Abroad: You should use this section to indicate any time spent living, working and/or studying outside of your home country. Please list the most significant experience abroad first.
  8. Financial Aid: If you are eligible for financial aid, indicate in this section that you wish to apply for Johns Hopkins SAIS scholarships.

Please note: in order to be considered for scholarship funding, you must answer “yes” to the question in this section. Applicants who answer “no” will not be considered for any scholarship funding.

For more information on financial aid eligibility and forms, visit Financial Aid.

Upload the relevant required documents here for your program of interest.

  1. Résumé/CV: Provide a current résumé or curriculum vitae, which includes your education, employment history, awards and accolades, international exposure, publication credits, and leadership roles in any volunteer and/or extracurricular activities.
  2. Personal Statement: Tell us why you want to study at the Hopkins-Nanjing Center and how studying at the HNC would contribute to your academic and professional goals. Please submit your essay in English only. Chinese characters do not display correctly. (600-800 words).
  3. MAIS Thesis Essay: Please discuss in detail your proposed thesis topic. (Approximately 600 words. Please note your proposed thesis topic may be altered once studying at the HNC.)
  4. Essay: Reflect on a personal, academic, or professional challenge that you have encountered in your journey towards pursuing a journey in international relations. Describe the barriers you faced and how you overcame them. How has this experience shaped your passion for the field and reinforced your commitment to making a positive impact on the world? (600 words)
You are required to submit two letters of recommendation and have the option of submitting a third. Recommendations should be written by individuals well placed to discuss the applicant’s qualifications for graduate study and a career in international affairs.
Please note that Johns Hopkins SAIS will accept letters of recommendation only through our online application system or in hard copy directly from the recommender. Recommendations submitted via email or fax will not be accepted. Please list all your references in the "Recommendations" section, including recommenders who prefer to submit their letter in hard copy.
If your recommender prefers to submit a hard copy letter of recommendation, please advise them to mail to:
555 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, WS-605
Washington DC, 20001

All required fields must be completed before your application can be submitted. Required fields are designated by an asterisk.

To submit your application, click the button that reads “Finalize Application and Pay." Please note that you must complete all required fields in order to submit your application. Any missing fields will appear on the "Review" section. Prior to submission, please review all application sections to check for any errors or incorrect data.

After you have submitted your application, confirmation of your application status as “submitted” will appear on the online application dashboard. A checklist of all application materials will also be visible in order for you to track the status of supporting documents.


The $85 USD application fee is payable through the application system via credit card, debit card, or e-check.  

To receive a fee waiver, please upload official documentation confirming your participation in the selected program. On the "Review" page, select "Finalize Application and Pay," however do not complete payment.

The following participants or alumni affiliated with the following professional development programs are eligible for an application fee waiver:

Unfortunately, we do not grant fee waivers for financial hardship.

Submission of Materials 

We encourage applicants to submit materials as early as possible before the applicable deadline. You are responsible for making sure all supporting documents, including letters of recommendation and academic transcripts, are submitted on time. Incomplete applications will not be considered. 

All applications and supporting documentation become the confidential property of the Office of Admissions and cannot be returned.

Additional Information

The Office of Admissions retains application files for one year after a decision is rendered. An applicant who applied for an academic year before last year is not considered a re-applicant, and must resubmit all application materials. Candidates who did apply last academic year do not have to resubmit all materials and can follow this checklist:
  • Online application form
  • Application fee, $85 USD
  • Updated résumé/CV
  • Chinese Language Proficiency Test Results (STAMP test)                                                                                     
    STAMP test results are valid for one year. If it has been more than 12 months since you last took the STAMP test you must retake the test. Contact [email protected] for test request details.
  • Re-applicant essay: 
  • How have you improved your candidacy since your last application? This essay should be no more than 1000 words in length.
  • New transcripts: 
  • Transcript(s) of any additional courses you have taken since you last applied (include grades not finalized at the time of your last application).
  • Recommendation letter: 
  • One new recommendation letter, preferably from your current employer. If you have already used your current employer for a recommendation, please choose someone else in a supervisory role or a client.
  • Interview (optional)

Technical Support

If you experience technical difficulties at any time while using the online application, please contact the Hopkins-Nanjing Center Washington, DC Admissions Office at [email protected] or call +1 (202) 663-5800.

Contact Us

Contact the Hopkins-Nanjing Center Washington Admissions Office with questions about applying to this program.

[email protected]

+1 (202) 663-5800