Archive for deadlines

The January 5th deadline has passed. What happens now?

It’s Winter Break but January is a busy time for us here in the Office of Admissions and Financial Aid due to the influx of applications (and application-related questions!). We’re very excited to be reading your applications, by the way. But enough about us – I’d like to update you a little on what to expect.

I submitted my application by the January 5th deadline. What now?

Now, we ask for your patience! In the meantime, you can review the Admissions FAQs for peace of mind: “Decision notifications are posted to the application portal. You will receive an email when a decision is available. The Admissions Committee will begin reviewing fall applications starting in January once all required materials have been received. Fall decisions are communicated in mid-March.”

You can also check out the SIPA external funding sources page, either to explore what is available or start on gathering (more) resources for scholarships and funding.

I’m shooting for the February 5th deadline, what about me?

Make sure you have everything in order to take your shot for February 5th. This blog itself has many resources, so do dig around a little bit. At this point I encourage you to follow up with your recommenders if your letters aren’t all in. Remember that all application materials must be in by the deadline for you to meet that deadline; the Admissions Committee cannot review an incomplete application.

If you have questions about the application, remember that we are here to help you with this process. BUT – you will receive a faster response from us if you email sooner. As in, don’t wait until the last minute! It’ll be difficult for you AND us! Here are some tips to communicate with our office so you can help us help you. (And the #1 Last-Minute Tip before submitting: Proofread. Once you submit your application, you’ll be unable to make changes to it.)

What can I expect the next few months?

Other than decisions releasing sometime in March, we’ll also have Class Visits coming up in a few weeks for the Spring semester – we’ll send an email once that is available. We’ll be highlighting some SIPA student life events here on the blog, and welcoming a new Program Assistant as well.

I’d also still encourage you stop by an Information Session because you can get your questions answered in person with our admissions staff. You can also check out the Columbia University and SIPA campus areas to get a feel for the place. Even though it’s a little chilly here, campus is beautiful in the winter. (Check out @columbia.sipa on Instagram for more sweet views and SIPA community highlights!)

And if you can’t make it in person soon, register for our Virtual MIA/MPA Info Session this Thursday, January 17. Executive Director of Admissions, Grace Han, and Financial Aid Officer, Rory Placa, will give an overview of the SIPA programs and the application process, and you’ll have the opportunity to ask questions via online chat.

SIPA 2015 APPLICATION IS NOW AVAILABLE

The anticipation is over.  The 2015 SIPA MIA/MPA application is now available online.  If you are interested in applying for the 2015-2016 academic year, please create an account and get started.  Select an email address you use regularly and a password that you will remember.

There are two entry points to our 2-year MIA/MPA program — Spring and Fall.  Please select the appropriate term you wish to begin your program of study.  Spring applicants should submit their application by October 15; spring applications are reviewed on a rolling basis which means the earlier you submit your application, the earlier you will hear back from us.

If fall is a more ideal time for you to begin your studies,  you should submit your application and all supporting documents no later than February 5, 2015.  There are two additional (and equally important) application deadlines to take note.  If you like to plan early, we offer, for the first time, an EARLY ACTION option.  If you submit a completed application by November 1, 2014, the Admissions Committee will review and render a decision before the new year.  An early decision is only offered to those who meet the November 1 deadline.  Applications submitted after November 1 will not receive a decision before March 14.  And if you wish to be considered for a SIPA merit scholarship, you must submit your application by January 5, 2015.  Admitted students who are selected to receive a SIPA fellowship will be notified in March of their award.

Looking forward to “meeting” you.

>> 2015 SIPA Application<<

 

Applying Students: A Refresher On Some Common Questions

At this time of the year, we have been getting emails from prospective students on all things related to their applications. We thought we would take a moment to address some of the most frequently asked questions and direct you to older blog posts where some of them have been addressed:

Obviously, prospective students always want information about how they can fund their SIPA education. Here is the blog post on relevant financial aid information. It is important to note that first-year applicants are considered for fellowships and scholarships through the university regardless of nationality.

Here is the blog post about things that you should avoid doing when applying to SIPA.

Tps that may touch on some of the specific application areas:

Applying to multiple programs: 

The system allow applicants to easily apply to multiple programs under the same log-in. As per SIPA’s Admissions policy, you may apply to more than one program but you must submit full applications (with all required materials, application fee, etc.) to each program to be considered.

What restrictions are there?

Applicants may apply to any combination of programs EXCEPT you may NOT apply to the (two year full time) Master of International Affairs (MIA) and the (two year full time) Master of Public Administration (MPA) simultaneously (in the same term).

How do I create a new application?

Many people have written or called asking how to create a new application. You may do so by logging in to the application system and in the “application management” page you will see “start new application” below the list of open applications. Select and add the program and term.  You may see a screenshot of my test application below:

Résumés:  Check out guidelines for the résumés: Ready to Talk about Résumés?

Personal Statement:  Each program has specific question prompts that are required to be answered for review by the Committee. Some of these questions may be the same as the prompts for other programs but don’t think that you can submit the same responses if you are applying to more than one program, it will be obvious. You can get a refresher on the personal statements here.

Recommendation letters:  We have received a LOT of calls and emails about recommendation letters so a few refresher posts, such as Can’t Say it Enough, Recommendation requests, with a little time and the Ins and Outs of Recommendation Letters may be useful for you to review.

However, the sheer number of emails and phone calls from panicked applicants indicates that there are some outstanding issues.

  1. Recommenders have not received the recommendation request submission notification and are confused as to how to proceed. The most common reason for this issue is that the email message was delivered to the referee’s spam inbox and so we advise that recommenders check their email folders first.  If the notification has not been received, it may be due to security protocol, particularly if the email addresses has an “irregular” domain name or uses abbreviations (typically addresses from various countries, organizations or even universities/institutions), that prevents the message from being received.

  2. As an alternative, applicants may use a different email address for the recommender but this requires the recommender entry to be deleted and then re-entered to include the updated email address.

  3. As a last resort, recommenders can send the letter (as an attachment) to sipa_admission@columbia.edu directly and then our staff can upload the letter to the application manually.  Due to high volume of activity, we request your patience as we process received materials.

GRE/GMAT:  The GRE/GMAT is an important component of the application, and all of your questions about these tests can be found here.

Another item on test scores, WE DO NOT REQUIRE AN OFFICIAL TEST SCORE REPORT TO BE RECEIVED BY THE DEADLINE. The Committee ONLY requires applicants to self-report your scores on the application. I have thought quite a bit about why this is confusing so I have provided a screenshot of “add test” below:

This example is of a GRE score but you only need to type the SCORES and the PERCENTILES in the boxes to report the GRE (or GMAT) and/or TOEFL or IELTS scores in order for your application to be reviewed. It is true that the self-reported scores are considered “unofficial” or a “copy” as you may have seen on your application status page, but this is EXACTLY what the Admissions Committee is looking for.  Once you have submitted your application, you will see something similar to the screenshot below on your application status page:

If your official test score has been received and matched with your application, it will show as “verified” or “original” on the application status page.

Deadlines!

Another area of confusion has been the deadlines for each program so you may find the dates below helpful.  If you click the link to each program, you will be taken to the appropriate program checklist page.

Program

With fellowship

Admission only

MPA/MIA

January 6, 2014

February 5, 2014 (11:59pm EST)

MPA-DP

January 15, 2014

February 5, 2014 (11:59pm EST)

PEPM

January 6, 2014

February 5, 2014 (11:59pm EST)

EMPA

March 1, 2014

June 1, 2014 (11:59pm EST)

MPA-ESP

January 15, 2014

February 15, 2014 (11:59pm EST)

SIPA Holiday Hours and Stuff

Finding someone to talk to at SIPA during the winter break may seem like a scavenger hunt.  The halls are a bit quieter but the news broadcast from the television can still be heard echoing through the lobby.  Students and faculty depart after finals to take advantage of the time to visit family and friends or to work on their Capstone project [or books] on another “island” (that is not Manhattan).

However, with application deadlines around the corner, I am sure you are busily working on putting together the strongest application.  During this period if you find yourself wrestling with questions, don’t pull out your hair.  You can still find support in the Admissions Office.   Call (212-854-6216) or write or visit.  We will be here to answer your questions.  Unfortunately, the school kicks us out of the building for a few days so be mindful of our holiday schedule.

SIPA Admissions and Financial Aid Holiday Schedule:

  •   Monday, December 23:  Closing @ 2pm
  •   Tuesday, December 24  & Wednesday, December 25:  CLOSED
  •   Thursday, December 26 & Friday, December 27:  Open 9am – 5pm
  •   Monday, December 30:  Closing @ 2pm
  •   Tuesday, December 31 & Wednesday, January 1:  CLOSED
  •   Regular office schedule resumes Thursday, January 2

If you emailed us recently and have not heard back from our office, please know we are trying our best to respond to all of the email messages we have received “in a timely manner” but there’s A LOT; and more coming in each day as we get closer to the January 6 application deadline [with merit fellowship consideration].

Since we are kind of on the topic of fellowship and deadlines, there is still some confusion to where an applicant can find the “other” scholarship applications (i.e. Lemann, IFP, Harriman, Jayanti, etc.).  After you have submitted your admission application, the scholarship applications will appear.  A separate scholarship application/essay is required for each scholarship opportunity.  The SIPA scholarship applications must be submitted by January 27 so the earlier you submit your admission application, the more time you will have to work on the scholarship applications.  These [SIPA scholarships] are additional opportunities outside of the MERIT fellowship process. All applicants who submit a completed admission application by January 6 are automatically considered for a merit fellowship and no additional application/essay is required.  Our final admission application deadline is February 5 so if SIPA funding is not a concern for you, then you have an additional 4 weeks to pull together your application — so enjoy the holiday festivities.

 

"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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