Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Academics: Theoretical insight, practical tools

How many courses do students take at SAIS Europe? How many economics courses? Are there electives?

Today we offer chapter and verse on the academic prerequisites.

Buckle up: The requirements are complicated, as you would expect from a multidisciplinary program that prepares its graduates for leadership posts in a range of professions around the world.

Here is our guide, a seven-page document spelling out the requirements for the four main degrees pursued at SAIS Europe. Those degrees are the:
  • Master of Arts in International Relations (MA)
  • Master of International Public Policy (MIPP)
  • Master of Arts in International Affairs (MAIA)
  • SAIS Bologna Diploma
Before diving into the nitty gritty of the program requirements, consider their overarching objective: to provide the theoretical insight and practical tools required for a successful career in today's global environment.

"SAIS produces innovative thinkers and problem-solvers, equipped to deal with global challenges in any context around the world." -- the SAIS website.

That is a tall order and explains the mix of challenges that SAIS students face.

Most SAIS students pursue the MA; its requirements are spelled out on pages 1-4 of the summary document.

All MA candidates must fulfill the requirements for:
  • International Economics
  • a second concentration, either in Global Themes (International Relations or International Development) or a Region of the World
  • a foreign language

In addition, MA candidates must pass examinations in at least two of four core subjects; those pursuing the European and Eurasian Studies concentration must pass three comprehensive exams instead of the core exams.

We get more questions on International Economics than just about anything else. All MA candidates must meet the requirements for:
  • Microeconomics
  • Macroeconomics
  • International Trade Theory
  • International Monetary Theory
Note that micro and macro are at the intermediate level; all SAIS students have to have passed university-level introduction to micro and introduction to macro before starting their course work. Some do so during the summer before coming to SAIS by taking our online Principles of Economics course.

In addition, all MA candidates must complete a quantitative reasoning course. They can choose from among:
  • Statistical Methods for Business & Economics
  • Econometrics
  • Applied Econometrics
  • Macro Econometrics
  • Risk Analysis and Modeling
SAIS teaches a total of 17 languages. All MA candidates must pass the proficiency examination in one of those languages, and of course it must not be the candidate's native language.

For more information on the language requirements, click here.

Questions on the requirements for the other degrees? Please consult the master document and get back to us if you have any questions.

We would not expect prospective candidates, most of whom are only starting to get their applications in order, to commit the SAIS program requirements to memory. But familiarity with them can help strengthen an application by deepening a candidate's understanding of the SAIS academic experience.

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