This 13-month, cohort-based program builds on the core strengths of SAIS Europe by introducing students to a broad array of concepts and tools in the social sciences necessary to undertake sophisticated political and economic risk analysis. Students complete a capstone project in the form of a practicum or original thesis.

Analyze, Assess, Act: Tackling Risk in the 21st Century

The instability that has characterized the last decade has increased the demand for qualified professionals who are able to understand and analyze global risk in its many forms. Today's risk experts are no longer confined to the realm of actuarial tables or financial derivatives. Technology, politics, the environment, regulation, immigration, pandemics, and religious extremism are all areas where the theoretical frameworks of risk and uncertainty provide key insights and drive decision-making in both the public and private sectors.

To meet the growing demands of candidates seeking to advance their understanding of global risk and the management of uncertainty, Johns Hopkins SAIS has launched a new master’s degree program, which is unique in Europe. The Master of Arts in Global Risk (MAGR) is a 13-month, cohort-based program at the SAIS Europe campus in Bologna, Italy. The MAGR builds on the school’s strengths in a multi-disciplinary analysis by introducing students to a broad array of concepts and tools from the social sciences that are necessary to undertake sophisticated political and economic risk analysis.

Courses are taught by Johns Hopkins SAIS faculty, renowned for their interdisciplinary approach to the study of economics, politics, and history, as well as recent innovative work in the field of risk and uncertainty. MAGR students benefit from SAIS Europe's international community with classmates from over 40 countries. They also have access to extracurricular programmings, such as the faculty research seminar series, where distinguished guests including scholars, diplomats, central bank governors, and business leaders deliver evening lectures and engage with students in an informal setting.


The MAGR is guided by a conceptual framework that focuses on the following key elements:

  • Understanding the methodological problems associated with the analysis of risk and uncertainty;
  • Examining the major sources of risk that characterize global, international, and domestic affairs;
  • Analyzing the different theoretical approaches to managing risk in economic decision-making;
  • Gaining in-depth insight into the major sources of risk that develop in the realm of elections, political parties, policies, and social movements at the national and sub-national levels;
  • Developing specific expertise in a particular market, international organization, country, or region of the world.

Thematic cohort classes lay the foundation for a Johns Hopkins SAIS approach to political and economic risk analysis that serves to complement more traditional training in quantitative methods. Students review economic concepts related to risk in the summer session, are introduced to statistical techniques in the first semester, the fundamentals of corporate finance in an intensive intercession course, and quantitative approaches to risk assessment in the second semester.

The program starts with an intensive introduction to fundamental economic concepts and mathematical skills during a four-week summer term. During the fall semester, students explore the methodological problems associated with the analysis of risk and uncertainty (Risk in International Politics and Economics), the different theoretical approaches to managing risk in international relations (Risk in Political Thought), and apply quantitative approaches to risk assessment (Introduction to Statistics). Other areas of study include an assessment of how even establish democratic societies can rapidly become politically unstable (Instability and Political Change in Consolidated Democracies).

During the spring semester, students learn about the principal sources of risk as they have developed in the realm of elections, political parties, policies, and protests at the national and sub-national levels of analysis (Sources of Risk in Global Politics), develop the techniques to evaluate the success of decision-making (Quantitative Approaches to Risk Assessment), and also take a number of elective courses. Students also begin work on their capstone project, a client-based, professional practicum or an original research paper, under the supervision of a Johns Hopkins SAIS faculty member, which they then conclude and present during their second summer term.

Employment Outcomes

The MAGR degree provides students with the skills, concepts, and analytical techniques required to understand and manage global risk factors in public policy and private-sector decision-making. MAGR graduates are prepared for a variety of roles in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors such as:

  • Consultancies (political risk, environmental, public health, city planning, public affairs);
  • The energy sector (political affairs, upstream/downstream, exploration);
  • International organizations (e.g., European Commission, UN, World Bank, OSCE, NATO);
  • Government (foreign service, military, and intelligence, emergency management);
  • The financial sector (financial services, asset management, rating agencies, banking and insurance).

The SAIS Europe Office of Career Services works closely with MAGR students to guide their professional development and job searches. Given its strategic location in the heart of Europe, Bologna provides a convenient base for seeking employment in major capitals across the continent, where active networks of Johns Hopkins SAIS alumni occupy the highest ranks in European policymaking, business, and nongovernmental organizations. Furthermore, access to the professional positions in the sectors mentioned above would be facilitated by the internship opportunities and institutional relationships that are already available to SAIS Europe in policy research, public affairs, consulting, international business development, financial and macroeconomic analysis, political movements, central banking and more.

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Last updated October 8, 2018
This course is Campus based
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13 months
45,720 EUR
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