The five-year BA/MA program with the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) in Washington, D.C., allows select undergraduate students to pursue an intensive program in international studies and also obtain a Master of Arts in International Relations (MAIR) from SAIS.

SAIS is a prominent and respected graduate school of international affairs, with campuses in Washington, D.C.; Bologna, Italy; and Nanjing, China. Today, SAIS alumni are political, business, and organizational leaders in more than 140 countries around the world—including more than 130 graduates who have served as ambassadors for their nations.

Program details

The BA/MA program with SAIS includes three years of study at the Homewood campus and two years of study at SAIS. Students may not graduate from SAIS in fewer than four semesters. Furthermore, the BA/MA program is a consecutive five-year degree program, thus admitted students cannot defer their enrollment to SAIS or take a leave of absence.

Formal attendance at SAIS begins in what would have been the senior year of undergraduate study (year four). All students may apply to spend their first year of SAIS at the Bologna campus, while students proficient in Mandarin may apply to spend their first year at the Nanjing campus, followed by two to three semesters at the D.C. campus. (NOTE: students who attend the Nanjing campus may participate in May commencement activities but, due to differences in the academic calendars of Homewood and the Hopkins-Nanjing Center, will have their undergraduate degree conferred in the summer following the fourth year of study.)

Although the BA is not awarded until the end of the fourth year, it is expected that most undergraduate requirements will be completed in three years so as to facilitate continuation toward the MAIR at SAIS. Affiliation with the Homewood campus is terminated after the fourth year of the program.

Students pay SAIS tuition during their fourth and fifth years of study, although Homewood financial aid applies during their fourth year. Financial assistance for the fifth year is determined by SAIS and is not guaranteed.

Students admitted to the BA/MA program may study abroad during their Homewood years on a case by case basis and should discuss their plans with the International Studies Program Director before submitting an application to the Global Education Office. Only semester-long programs will be allowed.

All courses taken at SAIS in the fourth year (including foreign language courses even though they are zero credits) will be listed on the undergraduate transcript with letter grades and credit and thereby factored into the undergraduate GPA.

For more information on SAIS academic policies and procedures, view the Student Handbook.


The BA/MA program with SAIS is open to sophomore International Studies and Political Science majors.  Sophomores majoring in East Asian Studies may apply to the Nanjing campus only.  Students transferring into Johns Hopkins as sophomores and declare their major in one of the above mentioned programs will be considered on a case by case basis, and should make an appointment with the International Studies Program Director to discuss their intentions. All students should:

  • Demonstrate strong academic performance (normally a GPA of 3.5 or above)
  • Have completed macro- and microeconomics courses with a minimum grade of B- in each class
  • Possess a high level of maturity and a strong desire to pursue a master’s degree in international relations
  • For Nanjing applicants: Be proficient in Mandarin (via the STAMP test). Students who have not achieved the recommended test score by the application deadline may be conditionally accepted to the Nanjing program under certain circumstances.

Application Process

Students apply to the BA/MA program with SAIS during the fall semester of their sophomore year. All materials should be submitted to the SAIS Slate application system prior to the application deadline. A complete application consists of:

  • The online application form (NOTE: students should select their start term as Fall 2025 in Slate; if accepted, your admission will be deferred to Fall 2026)
  • A statement of interest indicating motivations for wishing to pursue the BA/MA program (including your reasons for wishing to study in Bologna or Nanjing, if applicable).
  • An official or unofficial transcript.  For detailed instructions on how to properly request an official transcript from the National Student Clearinghouse (NSC), please visit the Registrar’s Website.
  • An updated resume
  • One letter of recommendation from a member of the Hopkins’ community (professor, TA, etc.). Students will be prompted to provide the e-mail address of their recommender on the on-line application form. That person will then receive instructions on how to upload their letter directly to Slate.
  • For Nanjing applicants: your STAMP Chinese language proficiency exam test score.  Students will be prompted to register for the STAMP test through the on-line application form once they have selected the Hopkins-Nanjing Center (HNC) as their preferred campus. 

The deadline for applications is October 5.

Applications will be reviewed by a joint selection committee composed of representatives from both SAIS and Homewood. Selected students will be invited for an interview at the SAIS campus in Washington in mid-October. Notifications of acceptance will be sent shortly thereafter. Those who are accepted will begin study at SAIS during the Fall 2026 semester.

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