The Johns Hopkins University SAIS Bologna Center

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The Johns Hopkins University SAIS Bologna Center is the European campus of the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), a division of Johns Hopkins University located in Washington, D.C.. The Center offers an interdisciplinary academic program that emphasizes international economics, international relations, languages, and specializations either in functional areas or regional studies.

The Center was founded in 1955 by C. Grove Haines as the European branch of SAIS. In 1961, the Center moved to its present location on Via Belmeloro and completed a major renovation of its facilities in 2006.


The Bologna Center has an enrollment of about 200 students from 35 different countries with a student-faculty ratio of approximately 6 to 1. One of the distinguishing characteristics of the Center is its resident faculty complemented by some 40 adjunct professors drawn from top universities, institutes, think tanks, international NGOs, consulting firms and financial institutions in Europe and beyond. In a typical year, students can choose from more than 60 course offerings.

The relatively small size of the student body—numbering just under 200—and the broad international diversity—with over 35 countries represented each year—allow students to develop the ability to communicate across national borders and cultures, while fostering a sense of community.

The Director of the Bologna Center is Kenneth H. Keller, Professor of International Policy and President emeritus, University of Minnesota. The Center has an Advisory Council, an independent consultative body of members from the United States and Europe.

In Foreign Policy (magazine) polls, SAIS is consistently ranked as a top master’s degree program for those pursuing a career in international relations.

Degree Programs Offered

  • Master of Arts in International Relations - M.A.: The Master of Arts in International Relations is a two-year program. The first year is in Bologna and the second year at the SAIS Washington DC campus.
  • Master of Arts in International Affairs - MAIA: This is a two-year course with both years in Bologna. After completing the first year of the MA program, candidates for the MAIA spend their second year in Bologna where they complete further courses, and defend a research thesis.
  • Master of International Public Policy - MIPP: The MIPP is a one year degree course held at the Bologna Center aimed at mid career professionals working in the field of international affairs. Candidates for this degree must complete eight courses at the center.
  • Diploma in International Studies: The Bologna Center Diploma is a one year course provided at the Bologna Center. The diploma also counts as the first year of the MA course.
  • Joint degree programs: The Bologna Center also agreements with two other universities to offer joint degree programs: an MAIA/MAIS (with the Diplomatische Akademie Wien in Vienna) and an MAIA-Laurea Magistrale with the University of Bologna

Research Institutions and Publications

  • The Center for Constitutional Studies and Democratic Development: The CCSDD is a joint project of the Bologna Center and the University of Bologna Faculty of Law. It conducts research on countries undergoing a transition to democracy, and runs educational courses in these countries to provide training and capacity building for the growth of democratic institutions.
  • The Bologna Center Journal of International Affairs: The BC Journal of International Affairs is a scholarly journal run by the students of the Bologna Center, published by the center yearly since 1997. Its stated purpose is to provide, 'a forum for the discussion and dissemination of ideas about current issues in the field of international relations to a broad audience concerned with foreign relations.'
  • The Italian Foreign Policy Dialogue: The Italian Foreign Policy Dialogue is a forum for Italian academics, foreign affairs professionals and think tanks. It aims to improve communication between these groups and improve the effectiveness of Italian foreign policy.