Thursday, December 24, 2015

The SAIS Admissions Office will be closed December 24-25 and December 31-January 1 in observance of the winter holidays.
Additionally, we will be closed to visitors through January 15, as we will be very busy processing your applications!  But we will be available to answer questions during this time via email at or via phone at 202.663.5700.
We hope you have a lovely holiday!
Don’t forget, the M.A. application deadline is January 7.  To start (or finish!) your application, click here.
Thanks for reading!
Photo is a derivative of “Happy Holidays” © Marcus Quigmire / Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY-SA-3.0 / GFDL

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Next Week at SAIS: December 13 - December 19

"Central Asia 2050"
9:00 p.m. – Rome Auditorium
Our speakers Harinder Kohli and Johannes Linn are co-editors of Central Asia 2050, a year-long study conducted by the Emerging Markets Forum.  Our forum will discuss the surprisingly positive long-term economic and social prospects and challenges of the Central Asian economies through 2050, based on the highlights and findings of this study. RSVP here.

"Women's Leadership Initiative withThe Honorable Barbara Barrett"
5:00 p.m. – Kenney-Herter Auditorium - The Nitze Building
Ambassador Barbara Barrett, Chairman of The Aerospace Corporation, will deliver the inaugural Women Who Inspire lecture. For more information, please click here.

Can't make it to one of these events? Check out our recruiting calendar to see what upcoming events you will be able to attend.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Did You Apply for Early Notification?

If you did, it adds an entirely new dimension to the excitement of the holiday season, doesn't it?

Well, you only have to wait a little while longer before you hear back about your application.  We are hard at work, poring over and reviewing each and every early application, and soon after that is finished we will convene to make our decisions.

Admissions decisions will be released no later than December 30.  Keep an eye out for an email message from us around that time--the email message won't have your decision, but it will tell you that a decision has been rendered, and that you should log in to your Apply Yourself account to get your decision.  (Just in case, double check your spam/filter settings to make sure that our email doesn't go to your junk folder!)

Something for all early notification applicants to take note of: we never reject anyone during the early notification process, and applicants who don't receive a positive response during the early cycle may still be admitted.  Anyone not admitted during the early round is simply deferred to the regular cycle, and will receive a final decision in early March.

If you have any questions, you can leave a comment below, or you can email us at

Thanks for reading!

Thursday, December 10, 2015

DaQuan, What Extracurriculars Did You Participate In This Semester?

Greetings!  My post this week pertains to the world of extracurricular activities at SAIS. I would be remiss if I did not emphasize the role that the city has played throughout my tenure as a SAIS student. Within the United States, Washington DC is nationally known as the political capital; however within the global community, the District is internationally known as a transnational political and economic nucleus. Justifying its reputation, Washington DC is comprised of an abundance of multinational organizations, international corporations, non-government organizations, and governmental institutions that facilitate international relations events. In addition, SAIS has an innumerable amount of seminars, forums, roundtable discussions, and brown-bag lunches that are hosted by the institution and its collaborating organizations. Furthermore, SAIS offers a wide range of student organizations and career clubs to complement and supplement its career services center and the academic experience of its students. Each of the aforementioned factors significantly contributes to the overall SAIS experience.

This semester I had the pleasure of participating in a research project based on the Indonesian palm oil industry. In August I joined an esteemed delegation of SAIS students, who traveled to Jakarta, Indonesia under the auspices of the SAIS International Law and Organizations department, to investigate the social and environmental impacts of Indonesian palm oil cultivation. After our trip, we compiled our research and hosted a day-long conference to present our findings to the SAIS community and the greater Washington area at-large.  Internationally the palm oil industry grosses over 20 billion dollars, and the crop is regarded as a premier vegetable oil. Not to mention the fact that palm oil extracts are found in over 50% of products sold in American and European grocery stores.  Nevertheless, pardon my tangent.  I strongly advise all prospective and future SAISers to take advantage of SAIS’ vibrant student life community and extracurricular opportunities. You surely will not be disappointed!

Thanks for reading!
DaQuan, Student Blogger

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Preparing Your Application: The Analytical Essay

This is the sixth and final post in a blog series discussing best practices for preparing your application for Johns Hopkins SAIS. Today, we'll be covering the Analytical Essay. This one only applies to certain applicants, as other programs, such as the MIEF and GPP, don't require the Analytical Essay.

The Analytical Essay topic is, to put it bluntly, pretty vague:
Discuss an issue of national or international importance and its concern to you.
Not surprisingly, we get a lot of questions about this:
What type of essay are you looking for? Should I write about something related to my concentration choice? Should I include citations?
These are just a few of the questions we receive.

So let me give you my breakdown of the Analytical Essay. We want to know how well you can convey your ideas and thoughts in the written form, and we want to see you thinking critically and analytically about your topic of choice.

The form of the essay isn't important. Some applicants write op-ed style essays, others write their essay in the form of a policy memo. Still others write what amounts to a mini research paper, with citations and all. (And as a side note: No, citations don't contribute to your word count.) Consider which writing style best suits you and your topic of choice.

Speaking of topic, we don't require the topic be related to your intended area of study, but it's probably a good idea to choose a topic relevant to what you choose to study. If your planning on spending the next two years studying conflict resolution in the Caucuses, you'll want to demonstrate that you already possess some knowledge on the topic and can discuss it thoughtfully.

Basically, we intentionally left the topic vague because we want to see what you choose to do with it. It's going to tell us a lot about you as a candidate and as a person. There's no right or wrong answer to this one, it's more about getting to know who you are as a student of international relations.

Do you have questions about the analytical essay? Leave them in the comment section below!

Thanks for reading!

--Erin Skelly, Associate Director

More in this series
Letters of Recommendation
Class Visits
Statement of Purpose
Standardized Tests