Archive for Spring

Don’t let time pass you by

You want to pursue your MIA/MPA degree at Columbia SIPA but you’re not confident that you have the right credentials to compete with the other applicants. One of the reasons we don’t like to state our admissions rate is because it discourages prospective candidates from applying, who may have been good candidates. They get stuck on the number and they second guess their value. My word of advice (and I am sure my colleagues would echo it), JUST APPLY. You have a 50/50 chance of being admitted if you try and a 0% chance of admission if you don’t try.

Of course, you should put together the best application you can and not haphazardly pull something together for submission. You also should be clear about why you are applying to the school and what you wish to get out of the degree. If you can’t answer those two basic questions, you should take some time to think about it before you invest your time and money in pursuing a degree you may not need or really want.

The most daunting part of the entire application is gathering and submitting all the requested materials within the posted deadlines. Don’t procrastinate – You don’t want to accidentally miss the deadline for getting all your materials in for consideration and/or miss an opportunity to be considered for a scholarship because you didn’t submit your application in time. If you have time, consider submitting your application several weeks prior to the deadline so that if the office of admissions finds pieces of your application missing, you have time to gather and submit them. You may also view your status on your application status page.

OCTOBER 15 – Preferred


ROLLING ADMISSIONS We accept and consider applications during a broader period of time and will render decisions once an application has been reviewed. Class closes November 30.


NOVEMBER 1 EARLY ACTION You receive a decision from us by January 1 (Merit Scholarships to top candidates will be awarded).   Non-binding.




You will be considered for a SIPA scholarship.


FEBRUARY 5 FINAL DEADLINE All applicants who wish to be considered for fall 2015 admission, must submit by this date.


Note that our spring term uses a “rolling admissions” process. This means that the admissions office accepts and considers applications during a broader period of time and will render decisions once an application has been reviewed – Applicants do not all receive their decisions at the same time on a particular date far in the future. It’s a good idea to get your application in as early as possible since will review and allocate scholarships and fellowships to admitted students on a first come, first serve basis during the spring rolling admissions process. The earlier you apply, the better the chance you will receive the financial help you need to go to school.

The key to a successful application is time – giving yourself enough time to collect materials, find and instruct the best people to write letters for you, write and edit your essays. Good luck!


J-Term Student Orientation 2014

SIPA’s Dean Merit Janow had the pleasure to welcome the newest J-Term class on January 15th and 16th. J-Term stands for January Term.  SIPA accepts a small class of global minded students in January (in addition to the main fall admittance). One great benefit among many is that students who enter in the J-Term have two full summers to do internships. The class of 34 students had two days of a heavily packed orientation schedule that informed the new “Seeples” (combination of SIPA and people – SIPA students sometimes like to refer themselves as Seeples) about how to register for courses, what classes to take for their respective concentration, where to find assistance for IT issues, where to get the best coffee and where the best study areas are. The orientation also was a great opportunity for the new students to get to know their Deans, career services representatives, Admission and Financial Aid staff, and to tour the beautiful Columbia University campus in the heart of New York City.

Three Peer-Advisors, current students and also J-Termers from the previous year had the wonderful tasks to make the new Seeples transition as smoothly and convenient as possible, and share their best practices. This of course would have not been possible without the great support by the Office of Student Affairs, by its Deans and all the other great assistance from staff we received. The best part of the orientation according to many new students and my fellow Peer Advisors was the commingling and making new life-long friends while at SIPA and beyond the time on campus. The two days of orientation were wrapped up with a fine wine and cheese reception while enjoying the magnificent skyline of the Big Apple.

Welcome class of J-Termers 2016 and all the best! You will have an awesome time!


posted by Andreas Maerki, MPA International Finance and Economic Policy, J-Termer 2015 & Peer Advisor


Are you ready for the spring?

The SIPA MIA/MPA Spring 2014 application deadline is TODAY!  If you have questions or need assistance, call us at 212-854-6216.   We’re here to help.  You can always get a friendly voice on the telephone Monday through Friday, 9:00 am to 5:00 pm EDT (UTC/GMT -4 hours) .  We would love to hear from you.

what will you be doing in 2014?

The deadline to apply for the Spring 2014 term is quickly approaching… It’s a week away!  If this is the right time to pursue a graduate program, then go for it.  Why wait until the fall if you can begin in the spring?  (re-read the “J-Termer Experience” post) For admissions requirements, please click here.  If you need additional time to submit last minute documents such as GRE scores or you’re waiting for the last recommender to submit her reference letter; go ahead and submit your MIA/MPA application — just be sure to contact the Admissions Office to let us know what’s on its way.

If you’re still not sure whether SIPA is the right place for you, come see us at the APSIA Admissions Forum to be held in New York (15 Barclay Street) on Tuesday, October 15th from 6pm to 8pm.  You will have the opportunity to meet with school representatives not only from SIPA but also from other reputable international affairs institutions.  It’s free to attend; you may register online through the APSIA website.  Hope to meet you along the way to a bright future at SIPA!


Summer Internship at the U.S. Treasury

I just returned from DC to NYC and from a great summer at the Department of the U.S. Treasury. Working as an International Economist Graduate Intern in the Office of South and Southeast Asia was a great opportunity to work with intelligent and smart professionals. My previous professional experience has been in the private sector and therefore gaining the understanding of how the government works was a valuable experience. The Treasury is the official source for the White House to receive advice on domestic and international economics, finance and budget related issues.

US Treasury

This summer, approximately 165 interns from colleges and universities across the country contributed their time and expertise in a variety of roles throughout the Treasury Department, working in the offices of International Affairs, Economic Policy, Domestic Finance, and more.

It is great to know that my analysis of macroeconomic trends, briefings about financial markets, country and systemic risks in South and Southeast Asia supported senior officials with policy making for the United States at home and abroad. I was assisting the desk economists of India, Indonesia and Myanmar. It was a very busy summer, especially after the Fed’s announcement of potential “tapering”. The markets experienced a great sell off and funds outflow from the emerging and frontier markets in the South and Southeast Asia. Specifically, India and Indonesia suffered a great weakening of their currencies, a widening of the BOP deficit, and a slow-down in the growth rate.  These market movements required our office to determine the overall risk of these affected countries to the world economy in general and to the United States in specific. The active markets helped me to get involved in many great projects with quick turn-around times and therefore get lots of valuable hands on experience.

US Treasury Secretary, Jacob Lew

One of the highlights was that we got to meet and take a group picture with Treasury Secretary, Jacob Lew. During an internal event we also had the chance to see the Fed Chairman, Ben Bernanke and U.S. Vice President Joe Biden. I highly recommend the U.S. Treasury as a place to do a summer internship and get practical experience to contribute to significant and meaningful work. Best of all is that this internship confirmed my interest to pursue a career in country/sovereign risk analysis. Still left to determine is if it will be the private or the public sector.

DC was also a great city to explorer after work and over the weekends. Happy hours and cultural events are very popular and a great way to connect with other interns and Washingtonians. DC is different than NYC and therefore great to spend some time there. I enjoyed the city a lot and made many great new friends as well as deepened my network with existing SIPA colleagues and Alumni, who also got to spend the summer in our capital.

The U.S. Treasury (main building), main entrance

The U.S. Treasury (main building), main entrance

The National Mall and the U.S. Treasury (Main building) to the right

The National Mall and the U.S. Treasury (Main building) to the right

Andreas Maerki is a MPA degree candidate who joined us this spring as a J-termer and will graduate in 2014.  He is concentrating in International Finance and Economic Policy (IFEP) at SIPA.


"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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