Thursday, 20 December 2012

Answers to your questions - Part I

Today we run a Q&A aimed at addressing key issues facing candidates applying to SAIS Bologna for 2013-14. We will run another Q&A on December 26.

A reminder that the deadline for applications is January 7. If anyone has any questions, please send an email to

Q: What if my application is not complete by January 7?
A: Your application must be complete before the Admissions Committee can consider your candidacy. If you are unable to submit all elements of your application by January 7, please submit what you can and drop a note to explaining what is missing and why. The longer your application remains incomplete after January 7, the less likely the Admissions Committee will consider it.

Q: I am a non-native English speaker but my undergraduate curriculum was conducted entirely in English. Do I have to submit the results of an English proficiency exam as part of my application?
A: It depends. If your university was in a country where English is an official language, you are exempt. Otherwise, you need to submit a test score.

For more information on the English language requirements, click here.

Q: Is it better to choose a preferred campus or indicate that I would be willing to start in either Bologna or DC?
A: If you would prefer to start at one campus or the other, please check that campus as your preference. If you are open to either campus and do not have a preference, then check that box, keeping in mind that the Admissions Committee will choose a campus for you if you are admitted.

Q: Will my chances of entry to SAIS Bologna be hurt if I do not submit a GRE or GMAT score?
A: While SAIS Bologna does not require either the GRE or the GMAT of non-U.S. candidates, we do recommend one or the other. The tests are not perfect tools for assessing a candidate’s aptitude or promise, and the results are only part of a complex picture painted by an application. However, an unusually strong score can help a candidate, while an unusually low score can raise a warning flag for both the candidate and the Admissions Committee.  Keep in mind that we want candidates to be confident of their ability to succeed in a demanding program such as SAIS.

Having said that, we do not require the GRE or the GMAT, and so candidates who do not submit scores from either of these tests will not be punished.

Q: What if I encounter technical problems when I try to submit my online application?
A: On each page of the online application there is a box called “Tech Support”. If you are having technical problems, please click the box and follow the instructions.

While candidates who submit their application early gain no advantage in the admissions process, we do recommend that you not wait until the last minute to submit your application. We would not like a technical glitch to hinder your submission.

Q: What documents need to be sent by snail mail to SAIS?
A: All documents other than undergraduate transcripts and standardized test scores can be uploaded to the online application system.

There are two ways to send undergraduate transcripts:

1. The candidate’s undergraduate institution can send an official undergraduate transcript by mail to the SAIS DC Admissions Office, where it will be uploaded into our system:

SAIS DC Admissions
1740 Massachusetts Ave, NW

Washington, DC 20036


2. Or candidates can use a credential evaluation service. For a list of such services, click here.

Standardized test scores should be sent directly to SAIS as follows:
  • By electronic submission (SAIS code):
    • TOEFL (5610-0000)
    • GRE (5610-0000)
    • GMAT (KGB-GX-99)
  • By mail to SAIS DC Admissions (address above):
    • IELTS
    • Cambridge Proficiency
Authors of letters of reference can either submit their letters through the online application system or send hard copies to the above address in Washington, DC.