Thursday, March 24, 2011

Concentrate on your future

Before we dive into concentrations, I would like to thank all of our candidates for attending your interviews. Now you can sit back and breathe a sigh of relief. The Admissions Committee will gather next week, and shortly after candidates will be informed.    
All SAIS students take up two concentrations. Each student needs to fulfill the requirements of International Economics. In addition, a student needs to choose either a Regional or Functional program of study.

The Regional programs focus on every area of the globe. The Functional programs include International Relations and its various strands -- conflict management, energy/resources/environment (ERE), international law, global theory and history, strategic studies -- as well as International Development.
If you have applied, you will have indicated either a Regional or Functional concentration on your application. The choice you indicated is not binding. During the first year a student has the chance to think things through, to attend different classes and to make a final choice. Your academic adviser will help you select your concentration and make sure it is aligned with your career goals.

International Development ("IDEV" in SAIS-speak) is the only program with capped enrollment. A limited number of students admitted to SAIS are accepted into IDEV, although courses are open to all SAIS students on a space available basis. Students are admitted directly to IDEV as part of the SAIS application process.

The International Economics concentration requires the successful completion of at least six economic courses. Four are required: intermediate microeconomics and macroeconomics, trade theory and monetary theory. The other courses can be chosen from a rather long list covering economic theory, development economics, quantitative methods and international finance.

If you have already taken intermediate micro or macro, or both, you can opt to take a waiver exam to place out of that course and to enroll in higher level courses. If you have not taken intermediate economics, pre- term is a good way to meet some of the requirements before the start of the academic year. 
You have already heard us mention the importance of languages at SAIS. We deem them so important that Regional concentrations require students to demonstrate proficiency in a language of that region, whether or not they have already passed a proficiency exam in a language from outside that region.

A student at SAIS Bologna can pursue any concentration. We recommend that candidates interested in concentrating in Asian Studies consider spending two years in Washington, partly because Asian languages are not taught in Bologna. However, there are some top-notch courses on Asia taught in Bologna. This term, Prof. Plummer is teaching "Asian Economic Development" and Prof. Pomfret is teaching "The Economies of Central Asia".

Any questions? You know how to find us.

Amina Abdiuahab

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