Author Archive for Emily Tao

Holiday Office Closures and Updates for Spring and Fall Early Decision

Today is the last day of classes for the Fall 2018 semester, and we can’t quite believe how fast this semester has gone by either. Here’s a quick update of where we’re at with SIPA Admissions:

  • Congratulations to the incoming Spring 2019 class! Decisions went out to our future J-termers a few weeks ago (J-term because they start classes in January), and we can’t wait to welcome them to campus next month. They have an advantage of an extra summer semester to pack in more internships or work opportunities during their graduate school experience — which is already short as it is.
  • In observance of the holiday season, the Admissions and Financial Aid office will be closed December 24, 2018 through January 1st, 2019. We’ll be open, business as usual, on January 2nd, 2019.
  • This means for you Fall 2019 applicants who are submitting on the January 5th deadline – get your application questions in as soon as possible! Please do your research, of course — we don’t want to get backlogged with questions that could have been easily answered with an internet search — and plan accordingly to make sure you can submit your application on time.
  • A reminder from Financial Aid to U.S. citizens and permanent residents: SIPA offers scholarships to a limited number of admitted applicants, and those scholarships are based on not only candidates’ academic and professional credentials, but financial need as well. In order to receive consideration for these awards, don’t forget to complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (the FAFSA) for the 2019/20 academic year. Columbia’s school code is 002707. We recommend that you complete this by about January 5th so that once the Fellowship Committee’s deliberations begin, we will have all required information from all applicants. The FAFSA is also required if you want to consider student loan options from the federal government or Work Study positions.

And to our Early Decision applicants waiting on your decision, trust that we’re working hard to get that to you before the end of the year! Thank you for your patience, and the Admissions Committee is grateful that you put so much work into your applications and to share your aspirations with us. We think SIPA will be a great place for many of you, and you’ll hear the official word soon.

New Courses at SIPA: Military technology, private sector work, and social impact campaigns

SIPA is constantly expanding it’s curricula so that students are equipped with the tools they need to start solving pressing global policy issues. There’s a wide range of areas that SIPA students choose to go into, so here are some new course highlights from this semester. (No need for a TL;DR, these course highlights are just one minute long.)

Working with the Private Sector for Development Outcomes

Military Technology Assessment

The Art of Creating Social Impact Campaigns

Thanksgiving Holiday Schedule and Post Roundup

In observance of the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday, the Office of Admissions and Financial Aid will be closed starting tomorrow, November 21, at 2pm ET, and will be closed Thursday and Friday. We’ll reopen as usual on Monday, November 26.

While we’re out, we’ll leave you with some resources to help you out with your application. Here’s a roundup of the most popular blog posts from the last few days:

  • How NOT to write your personal statement – The essay topics will change but the advice won’t. Advice highlight: “There’s nothing that upsets people more than when someone asks a question they could’ve easily found the answer to with a 30-second Google search.”
  • Here’s a few Do’s and Don’ts on Your SIPA Application – Some good overall pointers as you go along preparing for applications. Advice highlight: “We understand that most applicants are also applying to other graduate programs in addition to SIPA, however, it is important applicants are diligent and address their essay to the correct school. The last thing that you want to happen is to submit a very generic essay and then address it to the wrong school.”
  • What’s in an App: admissions video essay – Remember, the video essay will be available to you after you finish the rest of the application and pay the application fee. Advice highlight: “This isn’t the be-all-end-all deciding factor for your admissions decision. This component provides the Admissions Committee a sense of who you are in person as well as your thought process and how you respond to questions.”
  • Preparation for grad school app – Past student (and now alum!) Nancy Leeds shares advice she wished she’d received when going through the process that you’re going through now. Advice highlight: “Visit the campus. Trying to distinguish between schools from their websites and viewbooks is kind of like online dating – you won’t get a real feel for them until you meet them in person.”

We hope you all have a chance to share a meal with your loved ones this week, be it family or friends. Happy Thanksgiving!

A mid-November check-in: Snow, Virtual Info Sessions, Application Tips

Winter is Coming

It was the first snow of the season yesterday! Here’s a snapshot courtesy of first-year student @luzangil.

Unfortunately due to the snow causing transit issues, we did have to postpone the Diversity Spotlight event arranged with the SIPA Students of Color (SSOC). I’m so happy to see the level of interest in this event, and we’re so sorry for the inconvenience. Everyone will be notified once it’s rescheduled; in the meantime, learn a little more about SSOC’s most recent Identity @ SIPA panel.

Register for our Virtual Information Sessions

While we let everyone know about events on-campus here in NYC in case they’re able to attend, we’re aware that many of you are busy or live further away. With that, we have multiple virtual information sessions coming up that you should register for.

An exciting addition to these virtual events: SIPA’s Concentration Directors will be talking about their unique concentrations and what they look for in program candidates. There’ll be a chance for Q&A at the end, and this is a great way to get a detailed look at the nuances of what each concentration offers.

Application Tips

Finally, for those of you working on your Fall 2019 applications, here are blog posts addressing some common questions we’ve been receiving lately:

What does voting mean to SIPA students during this midterm election?

SIPA is closed today for the 2018 U.S. elections. This is a midterm election, meaning it takes place halfway through a president’s four-year term. Today, voters across the country will go to the polls to for positions from Congress all the way to local school board members.

Over the last few weeks, SIPA students have been incredibly involved in get out the vote efforts, including student organization Civic & Voter Engagement Coalition (CiVEC). They’ve been phone banking, canvassing, registering voters, and most recently flew out to Florida, Texas, and Georgia to help get civically engaged. Many are staying in the New York and New Jersey area to help get out the vote.

Why? Here’s what voting means to them:

“Civic Engagement is a quintessential element of what makes our American democracy so beautiful and appealing to many. It is important, now more than ever, to exercise our right to vote and amplify the voices of those who believe that decency and hard work can overcome hate and polarization.” — Andres Chong-Qui Torres ’19, SIPA CiVEC Co-Founder and President

“To me, voting is about more than making my own voice heard. I vote because as a CiVEC member, SIPA student, and a progressive, I know my voice is loudest when it comes together with the voices of my friends and neighbors.” — Alexandra Yellin ’20, SIPA CiVEC Member

CiVEC students have been working to get out the vote in Florida, Texas, Georgia, New York, and New Jersey.

See more photos of SIPA CiVEC on Facebook.

"The most global public policy school, where an international community of students and faculty address world challenges."

—Merit E. Janow, Dean, SIPA, Professor of Practice, International and Economic Law and International Affairs

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