Sponsored Content

FP Guide

2017 Applying to Grad School

THIS GUIDE IS NO LONGER ACTIVE. For the current FP Guide, click here.

Johns Hopkins University, School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS)


“We look for candidates who are creative, passionate, and driven, and who demonstrate that they are poised for success,” says Sidney T. Jackson, assistant dean of global enrollment and recruitment at the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS). “We seek talented and motivated candidates who wish to further their expertise and build a globally minded career.”

Most successful applicants to Johns Hopkins SAIS have worked, studied, volunteered, or traveled outside of their home country. Many applicants are proficient in one or two foreign languages.

“Successful candidates also demonstrate strong analytic and quantitative aptitude—as evidenced through previous coursework, professional experience, or, in some cases, standardized test scores,” says Jackson. Johns Hopkins SAIS requires the GRE or GMAT for most of its degree programs; the GMAT is especially popular among students planning to pursue a dual MA/MBA degree.

“Test scores, however, are not the determining factor in the admissions review,” notes Jackson. “For example, there are some candidates who do very well on the GRE or GMAT but lack appropriate work experience.”

“By connecting the theoretical study of economics, international relations, and regional studies to the practical work of policymakers, students at Johns Hopkins SAIS build the knowledge, skills, and networks required for success in today’s complex global economy.” –Sidney T. Jackson, Assistant Dean of Global Enrollment and Recruitment, Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS)

An applicant’s work history helps the admissions committee to see that their goals are informed by practical exposure to the subjects they wish to study. Students often contribute to classroom discussions by sharing their relevant work experiences. Even so, about 10 to 12 percent of students entering the Master of Arts program each year arrive at Johns Hopkins SAIS directly from undergraduate programs. Such students typically distinguish themselves by having a particularly strong academic record, unique internship experience, or a fellowship supporting their graduate study.

If a candidate is currently employed, the admissions committee would prefer that at least one of the two required recommendation letters come from an immediate supervisor. The longer a candidate has been out of school, the more the emphasis is likely to be placed on their professional accomplishments and career trajectory.

Many undergraduate applicants who have not yet entered the workforce will have one of their professors write academic recommendations, but the committee also welcomes recommendations from an internship supervisor or a volunteer organization. Applicants should seek a recommender who knows them well and can talk about their interpersonal skills, character, leadership, and ability to succeed in the program.

Although Johns Hopkins SAIS offers an early notification enrollment option for some master’s degree programs, the acceptance rate in the early notification pool is comparable to that of the regular decision pool. Deadline dates vary by program, and candidates should apply as soon as they feel their application best highlights their academic and work experience, extracurricular activities, and personal or professional leadership roles.

Master’s Degree Program Options and Campus Locations:
• Master of Arts (Bologna, Italy; Nanjing, China; Washington, D.C.)
• MA in International Affairs (Bologna, Italy)
• MA in International Studies (Nanjing, China)
• MA in International Economics and Finance (Washington, D.C.)
• MA in Global Policy (Washington, D.C.)
• MA in Global Risk (Bologna, Italy)
• Master of International Public Policy (Bologna, Italy; Washington, D.C.)

Fall 2018 Application Deadline: Varies by program. Visit www.sais-jhu.edu/admissions for more information.
Standardized Exam Scores: GRE or GMAT
Recommendation Letters: Two required
Application Checklist: www.sais-jhu.edu/application-checklist

To receive school information, see request info.