The Max Bell School-SAIS partnership: A multi-disciplinary experience

This cooperative program allows students to make invaluable connections on both sides of the Atlantic.

The cooperative degree program between Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) and McGill University’s Max Bell School of Public Policy allows students to simultaneously earn a Master of Arts in International Affairs at SAIS Europe, the School’s European campus located in Bologna, Italy, and a Master of Public Policy from McGill University, Montreal. Students admitted to this two-year program spend one year at each campus and can begin their studies in either Bologna or Montreal. 

“The SAIS Europe-Max Bell School partnership is one of a kind,” says Chris Ragan, Director of the Max Bell School. “It’s a tremendous opportunity for tomorrow’s leading thinkers to round out their graduate studies in a practical, multidisciplinary way with two world-class universities.”  

The Director of SAIS Europe, Michael Plummer, notes that, “Our complementary strengths and common vision to develop global leaders capable of tackling the world’s most pressing challenges will make the SAIS Europe-Max Bell School partnership an excellent opportunity for students interested in a multidisciplinary, tool-based graduate education in international affairs.”  

“The cooperative degree program perfectly combines my academic interests in international affairs with the practical, practitioner led opportunities and emphasis on evidence-based policymaking in the Max Bell MPP,” says Paola Salas. She has just begun her studies at Max Bell and will be attending SAIS in the 2022/23 academic year. “I am looking forward to gaining both a Canadian and European perspective over the next two years, strengthening my French and learning Italian all while making invaluable connections with professors and peers on both sides of the Atlantic.” 

Benjamin Dooley graduated from the MPP program in 2020 and is currently enrolled at SAIS in Bologna. “I was excited at the prospect of learning from practitioners who had worked at some of the highest levels of U.S. and international diplomacy. I’m really looking forward to engaging with other scholars from all over the world. As a journalist, hearing the perspectives has proven more important and revelatory than any qualification I’ve gained over the years. It will be a real privilege to do that in an academic setting with scholars who have such dedication and capacity for hard work.

Seira Iwai has always been fascinated with how public policy brings positive effects on people’s lives. Having experienced international conferences such as G7 and G20 as a government official, she was immediately drawn to the Max Bell School-SAIS partnership “Before I joined this program, I was involved in global discussions for communications technologies as a member of the Japanese ministry. The rules of these areas are struggling to keep up with the pace of technology. I believe a stronger background in international relations will give me a clearer view of these complex global challenges.”

Watch the SAIS and Max Bell School 2021 Information Session

Interested in apply for this program? Watch this info session for tips on how to apply.

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Max Bell School of Public Policy's MPP Program

We prepare students for public policy careers in the government, private and non-profit sectors at the local, national and international levels. Discover our 11-month MPP program and how to apply.


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