Archive for open house

Katherine McGehee, MIA ’15, reflects on ASD 2015

Today, we’re sharing a blog post from our PA, Katherine McGehee, MIA ’15. She was one of our volunteers at this week’s open house, Admitted Students’ Day 2015. She served on the student panel, assisted students with registration, and chatted it up with newly-admitted students at the evening reception. Always on top of things, Katherine wanted to share her personal experiences from ASD, and how they compared to the decision many of our newly-admitted students are making right now. Here’s what she had to say:

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Time Line for Fall 2010 Admission

The Admissions Committee continues to read/review at a fast and furious pace and no, decisions have not started to be posted to the system yet.  As a reminder, you will receive an email from us when your decision is ready to be viewed on the application Web site.  We cannot provide estimates on when individual decisions will be published and not all decisions are published at the same time.

I did want to provide a quick overview of the time line that will follow the release of admission decisions.  Applicants admitted to SIPA should be aware of the following information.

Starting on March 22 the Admissions Office will host an internet message board that will allow admitted applicants to interact with one another and with current students.   SIPA students will be taking a spring break from March 15th to 19th and we will have the board up after their return.  Details will be sent to admitted students once the board is activated.

Second, SIPA will host an Admitted Student Day on Tuesday, April 13th.  Admitted Student Day will take place on the Columbia Campus and it will be a full day event.  Professor Jeff Sachs will be giving a special talk during the lunch portion of Admitted Student Day.

Third, May 3rd is the date by which admitted students must pay a deposit confirming enrollment for fall 2010.  In earlier communications I had noted the date would be May 1st, but since May 1st falls on a Saturday we moved the response date to the next business day, Monday.

Fourth, a series of communications will be sent to admitted applicants and these messages will come from the address.  Please ensure that your email client is set to receive messages from this account.  Faculty, current students, administrators, and alumni will all be included in the communication chain.

Fifth, if you are admitted you will need to ensure that official academic transcripts and official test reports are in our office no later than June 15th.  We will work with admitted applicants to determine if official copies of these documents were already provided to us during the application process.

Last, unfortunately applicants placed on the waitlist are unable to participate in admission related activities until an admission offer is made.  More details regarding the waitlist will be published on this blog in the future.  We will begin to “work” the waitlist in April and this process will often continue into the summer.

For admitted applicants, specific details on all of the above information, and many other topics, will be available on a Welcome Page that is referenced in the admission letter.

Thank you for your attention . . . now back to Committee meetings . . .

Miscellaneous Information: The Process

A few applicants have submitted inquiries regarding the application review process.  Here are answers to some of the questions that have come in recently.


Does the completion date of my file impact the admission decision?

No, the date a file is completed has no impact on the decision process.  The process of completing files in the office is time consuming and we appreciate your patience as we work quickly to make sure everything has been received so that we may forward the file to the Committee for review.   If we are missing any required documents we will let you know.

When/how will I find out about my decision?

Our goal is to make decisions available in early March.  We do not send out all decisions at once.  Some files take a bit longer to review than others and we do not wait until a decision has been made on every file before starting to send decisions.  When your decision is ready to view you will receive an email from our office letting you know.  The email will instruct you to visit the application site to view your decision letter.

I will post updates on the process on this blog so please make sure to subscribe to the blog by entering your email into the Feedburner box in the right hand menu or add this blog to your RSS reader.

Are interviews a part of the admission process?

With thousands of applicants applying from all over the globe, it is not possible for the Admissions Committee to conduct interviews with students.  In rare cases I may be asked to follow up with an applicant regarding a detail in their application.  As stated, this is rare so you will likely not hear anything from our office until an admission decision has been made.   However, you can stay up-to-date with the admission process by following this blog as I do provide updates on the process.

Will there be an opportunity for admitted applicants to visit SIPA?

SIPA will host an Admitted Student Day on Tuesday, April 13th.  It will be a full day event open to all applicants admitted to SIPA for the fall 2010 semester.  We also have information sessions each Monday and Friday, with exceptions for holidays.  If you wish to register for an information session, you may send an email to

Registration for the Admitted Student Day on April 13th will take place after admission decisions have been made.  Registration for Admitted Student Day takes place on a secure Web page and admitted applicants will be given access to this page.

I have more information that I would like to include in my file, can I send it to you?

The application review process at SIPA is paper based.  All of the required documents are placed in a file and that file then is sent to Committee members for review.  Although we know what individuals are reviewing particular files, it is not possible for us to quickly track down files once they are batched and sent out for review.

As you might image, it would not be possible for members of our staff to try to track down a file and add additional documents as this would be incredibly time consuming.  If you submitted all of the required documents and your file is complete, the Committee will have the information it needs to make a final decision.

What size of class does SIPA plan to enroll?

The final enrollment goals may ajust slightly as time progresses, but at this point this is a good estimate of the number of students we wish to actually enroll for fall 2010:

  • MIA: 325 students
  • MPA: 120 students
  • MPA-DP: 25 students

How does being an international student affect my consideration for SIPA fellowships?

First let me say that fellowships at SIPA are mainly reserved for second year students.  Unfortunately we are only able to offer roughly 10-15% of first year students fellowship funding.  Approximately 70% of second year students that qualify to apply (by obtaining at 3.2 GPA at SIPA) receive a second year award and the average award is roughly $20,000.

Second, SIPA fellowships are not based on citizenship.  We have one fellowship budget and it is used to award funding to qualify applicants, no matter the country or origin or citizenship.  Therefore, citizenship has no impact on the fellowship process at SIPA.


As a reminder, I highly recommend that you print this diagram and place it somewhere where you can see it on a daily basis.  The bottom of the diagram shows that you should be at step 3 and you can review steps 4 and 5 to know what to expect starting in early March.

On the top, steps A-G are meant to help provide you with information that will help increase your chances of making attending SIPA a reality.  A thumbnail photo of diagram is below, but click here for the full diagram.


Missed Open House?

If you are an admitted student that missed the SIPA Open House on April 14th you can still catch some of what went on during the day.  In the morning we had several discussions featuring senior administrators and faculty from SIPA regarding the curriculum offerings at SIPA.  These panels were recorded and are now available for viewing on our Web site.  You can find the videos on our Open House Page.  The program for the day can also be accessed via this link.

Resources for Those Unable to Attend Open House

We understand it is not possible for all admitted students to attend the Open House scheduled for Tuesday, April 14th.  One resource is the Message Board (view the Welcome Page referenced in your Admission letter for details) and for those who would like to visit at another time, we provide the following advice.

In the PDF document at the end of this entry you will find our Spring 2009 Concentration Directory and our Spring 2009 Classes for Visitation list.  The Concentration Directory contains all pertinent contact information for the Directors and Program Assistants of all of SIPA’s Policy Concentrations, Regional Institutes and Special Programs.

Contacting the PAs with any questions that you may have is a great way to learn more about the concentrations, specializations and programs as well as what they offer students both when attending SIPA and upon graduation.  Additionally, should you be able to make it to the NYC area another time, we have included a list of classes that you are welcome to visit.

Please note that on the directory you will see the email listed as a few letters followed by a few numbers.  Simple insert “” after the letters and numbers to send an email.

If you will be unable to travel to campus, please utilize iTunes or use the video/interview sections of our Web site (lectures here and interviews here) to see classes, seminars and interviews with some of the many people here at SIPA.  In iTunes all you have to do is type “SIPA” in the iTunes store search box and you will have access to over 100 different SIPA lectures, panels, or forums – all for free.

Also, if you will be visiting campus, we do have information sessions scheduled for each Monday evening at 6:00 P.M. and each Friday at Noon.  Although primarily geared toward those who have yet to apply, the sessions also incorporate information that can be very useful to those who have been admitted and are trying to obtain more information.  If you wish to make a reservation, send an email to

If visiting, you are welcome to try to use the message board to set up a time to speak with a student and the Office of Student Affairs, on the sixth floor, is a place to go to have general academic questions answered.  You are welcome to try to set up a time to speak with a faculty member by using the contact information in the PDF below.  Do please understand that on short notice faculty members may be unable to accommodate visits as their primary priority is working with enrolled students.

Once we have finalized our program for Open House 2009, we will post it to this blog as well.

Again, if you have any follow up questions please send an email to

Click here for the PDF referenced above.

"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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