The final Fall 2016 application period recently closed, and we’re in the middle of matching application materials and reviewing completed applications for admission. Depending on where you are in the review process, you may have noticed that you received two confirmation emails. One confirms that your application was submitted successfully and the other says your application was reviewed for errors and is complete. Some people are confused by the similar wording, so I wanted to break them down for everyone today.

After you submit your application, you receive an email within 24 hours with the subject line Confirmation: Your Columbia SIPA application was received. This is purely a confirmation email explaining your application form was submitted without any problems. It also reminds you that no changes may be made to your application once it has been submitted.

From there, the Office of Admissions will review the materials you’ve submitted — the essays, resumes, transcripts, etc. If there is an error with your application (i.e. the transcripts are illegible or we never received your TOEFL score report), we will contact you directly. If there are no issues with your application we will send you another email within two to four weeks.* This email will have the subject line Your Application is Complete. Once you receive this email, you can feel confident knowing that we have ALL of your materials; including the application fee you forgot to pay and that final recommendation letter from your traveling professor. This message also states that your application has been officially forwarded to the Admissions Committee for review.

In this email we also encourage you to take a moment to update your Personal Information page (accessible through the Status Page) and update your biographical and contact information. Why? Well, if you are admitted to SIPA the information listed in this part of the application will be used to populate your official Columbia University record.

So there you have it in a nutshell — the differences between the submitted and completed email messages.

In the few days I’ll try to share some insider knowledge about the review process and the applicant pool. In the meantime, good luck to all of our applicants!

*It has come to my attention that a handful of MPA-DP Fall 2016 applicants have not received the complete email. Please check your spam folders for this email, as our messages are sometimes delivered there. I am resending the complete email to this cohort for their records. However, if there were any issues with any applicant’s materials, we would have emailed them directly detailing the problem.