Graduate Programs

Through its commitment to interdisciplinary and comparative teaching of the world’s regions, cultures, and languages, the Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies at the University of Washington equips students to lead in a globalized world. The Jackson School is a member of the Association of Professional Schools of International Affairs (APSIA).

Our graduates have found careers at global companies and organizations — as well as at the top levels of U.S. government and U.S. embassies overseas.

The School’s original focus on Asia in 1909 has expanded during the last century to include master’s programs in China Studies; Japan Studies; Korean Studies; Middle East Studies; Russian, East European and Central Asian Studies; South Asian Studies; Southeast Asian Studies; Comparative Religion; and general International Studies. There is also a 10-month, intensive M.A. in Applied International Studies for students who have at least five years of professional experience.

The Jackson School’s Ph.D. program combines four innovative foundational fields — (1) Religions, Cultures, and Civilizations, (2) States, Markets, and Societies, (3) Peace, Violence, and Security, (4) Law, Rights, and Governance — that build on its renowned faculty’s expertise in area studies. Students complete the program in 3-4 years.

To apply, visit the Applications page.

Have a question? See our Frequently Asked Questions for MA applicants or see the PhD FAQ page.

Please note: The 10-month Applied International Studies program (MAAIS) has separate application procedures. Visit the MAAIS website for more details.

Length of Programs

JSIS master’s programs are structured to be completed in two years (except the MAAIS program, which is a 10-month program). Concurrent degree students usually need one year beyond the time normally required for the professional program. (For example, the MBA/MAIS-Japan Studies program or the MPA/MAIS-General program normally would be completed in three years.) The Ph.D. program assumes three to four years of study. While it may not be necessary to attend full-time in all quarters, students should not enroll with the intention of being part-time students.

Scope of JSIS Programs

Master’s and Ph.D.

JSIS master’s programs do not necessarily lead into the Ph.D. program, although they provide appropriate preparation for doctoral study (as do many other master’s programs). Many MAIS graduates pursue a Ph.D. with a regional focus through discipline departments such as History, Political Science,Anthropology, Economics, Ethnomusicology, or a language/literature department. The Near and Middle Eastern Studies Interdisciplinary Ph.D. program is administered through the Graduate School.

See for more information.

Three Separate MAIS Programs on East Asia

Those interested in this region at master’s level must choose from among the China, Japan, or Korea Studies programs.

Graduate Study About Africa, Canada, Latin America, or Western Europe.

JSIS does not have independent graduate programs for these regions. Through the MAIS general International Studies program you may complete a minor focus on one of these areas. To be accepted by the general program, however, you must meet the special admission criteria discussed above.

Day vs. Evening Study

Students admitted to the Jackson School must be able to attend day classes for all JSIS programs. A student admitted concurrently to the Jackson School and to the UW’s Evening MBA program must be prepared to complete the JSIS portion of his or her studies during the day.

Ph.D. Program

The Ph.D. Program integrates the renowned area-based capabilities of the Jackson School with leading-edge scholarship and practice in the field of international studies. This innovative program is aimed at scholars and practitioners who want to develop deep knowledge of areas in the context of specific contemporary global themes, policy challenges, and real-world problems. It combines an intensive research tutorial system with specific coursework to allow doctoral candidates to finish in 3-4 years.

Master’s Programs

The Jackson School offers nine programs that lead to an M.A.I.S. degree: seven world area-studies programs, a comparative religion program, and a comparative and thematic program in international studies that concentrates on the interaction of international, economic, political, and cultural processes with states and societies around the world.

All programs require study or competency in a foreign language; the focus of other course work is primarily in the social sciences and history. If you are interested chiefly in studying language or literature, your interests might be better served through one of the University’s many language departments (Asian Languages and Literature, French and Italian Studies, Spanish and Portuguese Studies, Scandinavian Studies, Slavic Languages and Literature, Classics, Germanics, and Near Eastern Languages and Civilization).

Master of Arts in Applied International Studies

The Master of Arts in Applied International Studies (MAAIS) program is a 10-month intensive degree option designed for professionals with at least five years of experience. Learn more.