Archive for checklist

Dissecting the Application Checklist

With the final enrollment deadline here, I wanted to share with our newly-admitted students (and newly-enrolled students) an update to your status pages. If you’ve visited the Status Page or read this January 7 blog post, you are already familiar with how it works. And you may have noticed it can be ambiguous with the details, specifically regarding the Application Checklist. During the application period, the Application Checklist uses red Xs and green checkmarks indicating if our office received your required application materials. It distinguishes between “Awaiting” and “Received,” depending on if we had acquired your materials or not; without discerning between official and unofficial. Thus, for our admitted students it’s not quite that easy to see the differences in the received status of your official vs. unofficial documents.

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Four days post the MIA/MPA App Deadline (with fellowship consideration)

The first application deadline has passed and the admissions staff is busily processing all submitted applications.   A few of the submitted applications are missing a couple of items so they are in our “Awaiting materials” bin until ‘completion’.  However, the majority of the applications submitted are complete and have already moved forward for review.   Congrats!

But we did notice a couple of applicants mistakenly did not complete all three required essays:

If you are a re-applicant, you will also need to respond to the “Re-applicants Only” essay: How have you enhanced your candidacy since your previous application?  Please detail your progress since you .

There is also an optional essay for any applicant who has something more to say about their candidacy.  There is no word limit; however, use some discretion and keep it within reason.

Please make sure all your materials are submitted by the indicated deadlines for consideration.  If you forgot to upload required materials and clicked the “submit” button — No worries, you may still upload them into your application.  If you have trouble doing it yourself, please let us know.  You can find a checklist of required admission-related items on our website.

You may track your application status by logging back into your application account any time.  Materials submitted and received will be reflected as we process them — this may take up to 10 days.   If you are reading this post over the weekend, don’t check now and freak yourself out — there was a glitch in the system today that changed all received materials to “awaiting material” status so if you submitted and you see this in your application status, relax.  We got you.  The tech team is working on this and will have it resolved early next week. 

An application that is (submitted and) complete goes to the Admissions Committee for review.  Once an admission decision is reached, you will receive an email to check your account again (this will happen in March); so don’t lose your application log in information.

For now, don’t lose sleep and enjoy your weekend.

SIPA Application Checklist

The application deadline for our MIA/MPA two year program is Thursday, January 5th.

Below is a check list of all the documents we will need to receive by the deadline so go through the list as you edit your essays (for the third time) or rewrite your CV and make sure nothing is forgotten.

  • Application form – it’s online — All documents, including transcripts and test scores can be uploaded to the application Web site for admission consideration. We will use unofficial copies of transcripts and test scores for admission consideration. Candidates offered admission will later be required to supply official transcripts and test scores prior to enrollment. Sending hard copy materials can delay the evaluation of your application so we recommend that you submit as many materials via the online application site as possible.
  • Personal Statement – Questions are subject to change each year. The following questions are for those applying for 2012 admission.

First Topic (500 Word Maximum)

What distinct impact do you hope to have on the world in the future? Please be as clear as possible about your future goals, the policy/public service issue(s) you are passionate about, and your personal motivation(s). Be sure to include details regarding the features of SIPA that you believe are integral to helping you in your pursuits and what skills you need to develop to achieve a lasting impact.

Second Topic (300 Word Maximum)

Please CHOOSE ONE of these options to write about – do not address both, pick one or the other.

A competition is being conducted that will provide one million dollars as seed funding to start a new organization.  The competition requires a 300 word essay/statement.  Compose a 300 word essay/statement to submit in order to be considered for this seed funding.

You have just read a news story that has deeply moved you.  Compose a 300 word response in the form of a letter to the editor.  The news story you are responding to can be real or fictional and does not need to be limited to the present time – it can be framed in the past, present, or future.

Third Topic (200 Word Maximum)

Please share any additional information about yourself that you believe would be of interest to the Admissions Committee. Please focus on information that is not already reflected in the other parts of your application or might not be clear in the information submitted

  • Standard Résumé/CV
  • Test Scores

GRE or GMAT (GRE/GMAT scores are valid for five years.)

    • GRE Code: 2161 (do not list a department code)
    • GMAT for MIA: QF8-64-56
    • GMAT for MPA: QF8-64-99

TOEFL or IELTS exam for applicants whose native language is not English (TOEFL/IELTS scores are valid for two years.)

    • TOEFL code is 2161
  • Three letters of recommendation: If a person writing a letter of recommendation for you wishes to do so in another language, please have the letter sent to an official translator. The translator should include both the translated copy and the official copy of the letter in a sealed envelope, along with their contact information – these letters must be sent to us.
  •  Academic Transcripts: You are required to submit transcripts from all colleges, professional schools and universities attended (including Columbia University).

Our preferred method is that you upload unofficial copies of your transcripts to the application Web site. When scanning transcripts to upload, be sure to scan the reverse side of the transcripts if applicable or any additional pages that include comments on the grading system used.  Transcripts not in English must be translated into English prior to uploading.   If you cannot read the transcripts, we will not be able to either. Thus after scanning your transcript you should print it to see if it is legible. Once you have determined that it is legible please upload the transcripts.

Transcripts may also be mailed to our office; the registrar should seal the transcript in an envelope, sign across the seal and return it to you. Do not open these envelopes or break the seals. Some universities may prefer to send transcripts directly to our office. If this is the case, please have official transcripts sent to:

Office of Admissions and Financial Aid
420 West 118th Street, 4th Floor
Mail Code 3325
408 International Affairs Building
New York, NY 10027

All documents, except foreign transcripts judged irreplaceable, become the property of Columbia and cannot be returned.  All documents must be in English or accompanied by certified translations.

  • Application fee – $85

One final note… The Admissions Committee only accepts documents that are specifically asked for in our instructions. As much as we would like to be able to read writing samples and other information you might wish to submit, our tight time line and desire to treat every applicant fairly means that we will only put required documents in your file for review – all other documents will be discarded.

Good luck!  And Happy Holidays!

"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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