BA/MA Program With SAIS

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.

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 intended to be a consecutive five-year degree program so admitted students cannot defer their enrollment.

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 Nanjing may participate in May commencement activities but 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 Office of Study Abroad. Only semester-long programs will be allowed.

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


The BA/MA program with SAIS is open to International Studies and Political Science majors.  Students majoring in East Asian Studies may apply to the Nanjing campus only.  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) if the student wishes to spend his/her first year at the Nanjing campus. 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 second semester of their sophomore year.

Unless otherwise noted, all materials should be sent to prior to the application deadline. A complete application consists of:

  • The online application form, which includes 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 transcript, sent electronically to For detailed instructions on how to properly request a 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.)
  • For Nanjing applicants: your STAMP test score. The STAMP test must be requested by starting an application via the Graduate Admissions Application web site and, under First Time Users, completing the personal background and program details sections on the application for a Hopkins-Nanjing Center Program. 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 with testing instructions and a link to pay the testing fee. Note: you do not have to complete any additional tabs within the application.

The deadline for applications is February 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-February. Notifications of acceptance will be sent shortly thereafter. Those who are accepted will begin study at SAIS during the fall 2023 semester.

Direct Matriculation Program

Highly-qualified students displaying a strong interest in international studies may apply for a direct matriculation program as undergraduate applicants, which guarantees acceptance to an MA program at SAIS after three or four years at the Homewood campus. Applicants will be notified of DMP acceptance along with university admission, and can reapply during sophomore year if not accepted. Learn more about direct matriculation.