Top 10 Communication Tips 2011 – #2

This is the second entry in our “Top 10″ list for you to consider when communicating with our office and applying.

Number 2 – Avoid Unnecessarily Creating a Duplicate Online Application

I am sure almost everyone has forgotten a user name of password.  However, please do not follow the temptation to simply create a new application in our system if you forget this information.  Having multiple applications in the system can lead to problems with document tracking.  Our software provider has tools that will allow you to retrieve your user name and password so do not create another account because you forgot your user name or password.

As an example of what can happen, perhaps you have one “active” application in the system and one that is “hibernating” (you lost the user name or password) and will never be used.  Our office does not know which is the “real” application and this may lead to our office tracking different documents to different applications and therefore neither of the applications may reach complete status.  Please contact technical support (see instructions on the application site) if you lose your user name or password and do not succumb to the temptation to create a new application.

There is one important footnote.  In some cases SIPA does allow for applications to more than one program.  In this case, applicants will want to create more than one application in the online system and inform our office that they are applying to two different programs by sending an email to sipa_admission@columbia.edu.  Here are some important details.  In examples 2 and 3 below, the same application system is used, but two separate applications must be created.

1. An applicant may not apply to both the MIA and MPA program.

2. An applicant may apply to the MIA or the MPA and to any of the following programs:  PEPM, PESP, MPA-DP, EMPA.

3.  Applicants can also apply for either the MIA or MPA and any one of the international dual degree programs listed here: an MPA with the London School of Economics, an MPA with Sciences Po, an MPP with Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, an MPP with the Hertie School of Governance, and an MIA or MPA with FGV-EAESP in São Paolo.

4. The dual degree MIA program with Sciences Po requires that an application be submitted only through the Sciences Po application site.  If an applicant wishes to apply for the dual MIA degree with Sciences Po and to SIPA, that is fine and would require two applications: 1) one for the dual degree program through the Sciences Po Web site 2) One for the stand alone program at SIPA through our online system.

For details on all of our international dual degree programs, visit our international dual degree page.   If any of this sounds confusing, I do not blame you – it can be a bit complex.  If you have questions about our international dual degree programs we have an adviser that can assist you.  His contact information is here.   If applying to a Columbia University dual degree program, you must submit separate applications to each school.  For a list of Columbia dual degree programs click here.

It is possible to create two applications in our system, but you should only do so if you are absolutely sure.  This is one of those circumstances where it might make the most sense to contact our office if you do not feel you understand all of the details.  You can reach us at sipa_admission@columbia.edu.

And one final note, if you are reapplying do not use a previous PIN number.  Each application is associated with a unique PIN.  So if you are reapplying be sure to create a new application to create a new PIN number.