Kissinger Seminar & Prize

Seminar Overview

The Kissinger Seminar on American Grand Strategy is an undergraduate course offering from the Henry A. Kissinger Center for Global Affairs at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS).

What is grand strategy? What are the major patterns in the history of American grand strategy? How has the United States handled key diplomatic and military crises in the past? What lessons do these experiences hold for today’s leaders as they confront intense debates about the future of American grand strategy? Explore these questions in the Kissinger Seminar on American Grand Strategy!

This course is a initiative of the Henry A. Kissinger Center for Global Affairs at Johns Hopkins SAIS. In addition to regular classroom meetings in Baltimore, three classes will take place at the SAIS campus in Washington, D.C. The course will be taught by SAIS professor Hal Brands, with guest lectures by current and former policymakers. The seminar will be rooted in applied history and will draw on international relations theory and contemporary policy studies.


The 2021 application deadline is: October 24 by 11:59pm ET

Enrollment is at the discretion of the instructors and space in the course is limited. To apply, email the following to

  • A one-page résumé
  • A one-page personal statement on why you want to take the class and how it contributes to your professional interests
  • A writing sample of less than 10 pages

Kissinger Center Essay Prize

The Kissinger Center U.S. Foreign Policy Essay Prize is given to one Johns Hopkins University undergraduate each year. The prize rewards the best paper written on U.S. foreign policy and America’s role in the world, broadly defined.

  • Papers will be evaluated on their originality, the quality of analysis, clarity of exposition, and the significance of their conclusions/recommendations.
  • Papers must have been submitted for credit as part of a course taken in the prior academic year, and may include both research papers and policy memoranda.

The 2022 application deadline is May 17. Submissions for the essay prize must be submitted to