International Dual Degrees Explained

A while ago we posted an entry on the nuances of our dual degree programs with other Columbia schools.  In that entry I made mention of the fact that we also have partnerships with schools in other countries.  We refer to these dual degrees as international dual degrees.  The following entry is meant to provide information on these programs.  For information on the Columbia programs, please see this previous entry.

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SIPA has partnered with a number of international institutions around the globe to offer a variety of dual degree programs.  Such programs allow students to study public policy from two different academic, cultural, and professional perspectives. After a two-year program of study, students are awarded both the relevant SIPA degree and a degree from our partner institution, thereby earning two masters degrees in the same amount of time it takes to obtain one.

SIPA currently offers dual degree programs with its Global Public Policy Network partners, which include Sciences Po Paris, the London School of Economics and Political Science, and the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy at the University of Singapore. We also have partnerships  with the Hertie School of Governance in Berlin, Fundação Getulio Vargas Escola de Administração de Empresas (FGV) in São Paulo, and the University of Tokyo Graduate School of Public Policy.

There are two types of Dual Degrees: Flexible Dual Degrees and Fixed-Track Dual Degrees. Each type has a specific application process.

In the case of the flexible dual degrees, students who are already admitted to either SIPA or a partner institution apply to a dual‐degree program during the course of their first year of study. If admitted, they study at the partner institution in their second year.  For example, you have been accepted to SIPA for a Fall 2011 start date and during your first year at SIPA, you decide to apply to the Dual Degree program with the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy (LKYSPP).  You apply to the program in Spring 2012 and upon acceptance, pursue your second year of studies in Singapore, beginning in Fall 2012. At the end of the two years, you receive a degree from both SIPA and the LKYSPP.

In the case of the fixed-track dual degree, students apply to both SIPA and our partner institution at the same time. Their application is reviewed by a joint-committee comprising of representatives of both schools.  If admitted, students begin their course of study at SIPA and proceed to the partner school in year two (with the exception of the Sciences Po MIA – students start in Paris and finish in New York).  For example, you apply to the SIPA MIA or MPA/LSE MPA program for a September 2011 start date. You submit your application in January 2011 and are notified of the decision in April. Upon admittance, you begin your studies in New York and finish in London during the 2012-2013 academic year. At the end of the two years, you receive a degree from both SIPA and the LSE.

Flexible Dual Degrees are offered for the following programs: the LSE MPA, Sciences Po MPA, LKY Master of Public Policy (MPP) and the Hertie School of Governance MPP. All programs are open to MIA and MPA students at SIPA.  This means that you can apply to the LSE MPA program in the spring of your first year at SIPA, whether you are enrolled in the MIA or MPA program. At the end of your two years, you will earn either an MIA or an MPA from SIPA and an MPA from LSE.

Fixed-track Dual Degrees are offered for the programs outlined above, as well as: the Sciences Po MIA, Fundação Getulio Vargas MPP or Master in International Management, and Tokyo University MPP. Unlike flexible dual degree programs, this is a fixed sequence of study. In other words, if you apply to the Sciences Po/SIPA MIA program, you will earn an MIA from Sciences Po and SIPA. You cannot switch into the MPA program for your second year SIPA.

Note that the language of instructions for all programs is English, except for the Sciences Po MIA, which is conducted in French and the Fundação Getulio Vargas MPP track, which holds instruction in Portuguese.

You may be wondering what the pros and cons of each track are. While the flexible track is more, well, flexible, you need to plan your course of study carefully to make sure that you will be able to fulfill the requirements at both schools. The fixed-track lays out clearly your course of study at both institutions. Admission rates vary depending on the program, fixed versus flexible, and the strength of the competition in any given year. Finally, regarding tuition: it’s paid to the institution you are enrolled in.

For more information on dual degrees, visit the GPPN website http://sipa.columbia.edu/academics/gppn/index.html, or contact Tan Nguyen, Assistant Dean, Office of External Relations:  tn2102@ columbia.edu

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