SAIS launches new doctoral degree program for international affairs practitioners

Doctor of International Affairs program can be completed within 2-3 years

A new doctoral program at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies in Washington, D.C., will provide students with the practical skills and experience needed to become the next generation of senior-level policy experts, national security analysts, development strategists, and senior officials in government, nonprofit, and private sectors.

The Doctor of International Affairs degree is designed for experienced professionals who seek to advance their careers as international relations practitioners. It will complement the school's PhD program, which typically prepares students for an academic career.

The program requires at least one year of residency at the school's D.C. campus. The final year may be completed remotely and part-time while students prepare their doctoral thesis. Recruitment is under way for the inaugural cohort, which will begin in the fall. Interested candidates are encouraged to seek sponsorship for the program from their employers.

"The creation of the Doctor in International Affairs will advance the Johns Hopkins SAIS mission to train the very best global leaders of the future, trained in both our prestigious academic curriculum and a deep knowledge of policy and practice," said SAIS Dean Vali Nasr. "This innovative program will be the first accelerated practitioner doctorate in international affairs offered at a leading academic institution, introducing a new kind of scholar-practitioner prepared to take on the most complex global issues of our time."

Students in the current SAIS PhD program typically spend between five and seven years studying a unique track of international relations, economics, regional studies, and/or analysis under a faculty adviser. The new DIA program can be completed in two years for students who hold a relevant master's degree in international relations. A three-year track is available to students who do not hold a relevant master's degree.

Students are expected to conduct applied research in an area of study related to a topic of school expertise, which may include:

  • Conflict resolution and negotiation
  • Climate change, energy, and global environmental policy
  • Global poverty, foreign aid, and sustainable development
  • Human rights and humanitarian affairs
  • Emerging markets, economic development, and international political economy
  • American foreign policy, grand strategy, history, and statecraft
  • Defense and security, cybersecurity, and terrorism/counterterrorism

This degree program is pending review and endorsement by the Maryland Higher Education Commission.