SAIS unveils new Master of Arts in European Public Policy

October 13, 2019

By Gerhard Ottehenning

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Prospective SAIS students with an interest in European Union  institutions and governance may have noticed the addition of a new program: the Master of Arts in European Public Policy (MEPP). Beginning in Fall 2020, SAIS Europe will welcome its first cohort of MEPP students to its campus in Bologna, Italy. Leveraging the European campus’ access to EU officials and its transatlantic faculty, the MEPP program aims to prepare students for a successful career in the European policy community. The year-long MEPP program will be divided into four terms beginning in the summer of 2020 and ending with an internship or original research project in the summer of 2021. The winter term allows students to spend two weeks visiting EU governing institutions and exploring the areas that most interest them. 

The program will be directed by former European Commission director-general and political scientist, Michael Leigh, and will fall under the responsibility of SAIS-Europe and its director, Michael Plummer. Leigh said that the MEPP will “provide students with an insider’s understanding of the functioning of the EU and to support them in their efforts to build a career in areas related to the EU.” This will include efforts to facilitate student access to governing institutions, think tanks, professional associations, law firms and other entities with close ties to the EU. The goal is to ensure MEPP graduates have “a clear advantage over their competitors in pursuing EU-related careers,” Leigh said.

Given the wide array of masters programs offered at SAIS, Leigh said that the MEPP is seeking to set itself apart by appealing to “students eager to develop their career in the [European policy community] who were ready to dedicate one year, but not two years, to a masters program.” The program hopes to attract a mix of recent graduates, students with a first masters degree, and mid-career professionals whose work brings them in close contact with EU institutions. Daniela Coleman, director of admissions and recruiting at SAIS-Europe, said she hopes the MEPP will appeal to students “seeking or engaged in a career as an official, contract agent, consultant, diplomat, lobbyist, government affairs expert, business, NGO, regional or professional representative, journalist and more.” Those with an interest in such careers may enjoy the unique benefits of the program’s winter term including “one-to-one meetings” and “training in specific skills needed to operate effectively in the EU policy community including negotiation, languages, public speaking, and drafting of political briefings and communications,” Leigh said.

The current price tag for the MEPP is 30,000 Euros ($33,082 USD) for tuition, with an estimated total cost of 56,236 Euros ($62,013 USD). Financial aid will not be offered for the program due to the MEPP being subsidized by SAIS Europe. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis, with the final deadline for admission at the end of April 2020.