MPA ESP

Curriculum

Program Schedule | Curriculum and Course Schedule | Core Curriculum | Environmental Science and Earth Systems Concentration

 

Curriculum

Students enrolled in the Environmental MPA Program are awarded a Master of Public Administration degree from Columbia University’s world-renowned School of International and Public Affairs after a single year of intensive study. The curriculum, outlined below, provides a management and policy analytic core and a natural and social science earth systems concentration. Students complete a total of 54 points over three semesters. The intensive course of study begins in early June with an orientation program. The summer term begins immediately afterward, followed by the autumn and spring terms. The summer term features the fundamental science of earth systems and conservation biology, as well as an introduction to environmental policy and management issues. In the fall and spring, students delve deeper into the formulation and management of public policy. The physical and social sciences are linked throughout the program so that students gain an integrated understanding of earth systems.

 

Program Schedule

Classes are offered five days a week and are augmented by informal group work in all core courses. The program begins in late May/ early June and ends the following year in mid-May. Please see the schedule for exact dates. There is at least a weeklong break between the summer and fall semesters and a longer break between the fall and spring semesters. There is also a weeklong spring break in March. Click here to see Columbia University's full academic calendar.

 

 

Schedule for the 2013-2014 Academic Year

Summer Term:
Orientation: May 28, 2013

Summer Term:
May 29-August 16, 2013
Fall Term:
September 3 - December 20, 2013 (end of final examinations)
Spring Term:
January 21 - May 16, 2014 (end of final examinations)
Spring Break:
March 17-March 21, 2014
SIPA Graduation Day: TBA May 2014

Commencement Day:
May 21, 2014

Curriculum and Course Schedule

Curriculum and Course Schedule (All courses are 3 credit points unless otherwise noted.) Click on course names for descriptions.

Summer Term—18 points Autumn Term—18 points Spring Term—18 points

ENVP U6220 Environmental Chemistry (2 points)

ENVP U6221 Risk Assessment and Environmental Toxicology (2 points)

ENVP U6115 Climatology (2 points)

ENVP U6116 Hydrology (2 points)

ENVP U6111 Principles of Ecology (2 points)

ENVP U6112 Urban Ecology (2 points)

ENVP U9229 The Workshop in Applied Earth Systems Management I

ENVP U6241 Earth Systems and Environmental Politics, Policy, and Management

ENVP U6234 Sustainability Management

ENVP U8213 Microeconomics and Policy Analysis I

ENVP U6310 Quantitative Techniques and Systems Analysis in Policymaking and Management I

ENVP U6225 Ethics, Values, and Justice

ENVP U9230 The Workshop in Applied Earth Systems Management II

*ENVP U6320 Political Context of Public and Private Management

ENVP U8201 Financial Management

ENVP U8216 Microeconomics and Policy Analysis II


ENVP U9232 The Workshop in Applied Earth Systems Policy Analysis (5 points)

*ENVP U6224 Environmental Data Analysis

*ENVP U6230 Sustainable Economic Development

 

The Core Curriculum


The classes that comprise the core curriculum prepare students to analyze and understand the formulation and management of public policy. Students learn about organizational analysis, budgeting, financial analysis and reporting, probability theory, applied regression analysis, and applied microeconomics. Throughout, the program emphasizes a hands-on approach so that students may acquire the analytic, communication, and work skills required to be problem-solving earth systems professionals. These skills include memo writing, presentations, team management, and financial analysis.

The core also includes
Workshops in Applied Earth Systems Policy Analysis and Management, which challenge students to apply their theoretical knowledge and functional skills to address real-world environmental policy and management issues. This unique aspect of the program helps the participants synthesize what they are learning and gives them valuable experience as they prepare for careers in public policy. VIEW COURSE DESCRIPTIONS

 

The Environmental Science and Earth Systems Concentration


In the Environmental Science and Earth Systems concentration, students learn the fundamental science of earth systems and conservation biology, including their human dimensions. Moreover, they examine how science is used, not used, or misused in the human management of ecosystems. The lessons from the research conducted at Columbia and regional case studies provide the subject matter that students use to explore how people can better approach environmental problems.

Students with an undergraduate background in natural and physical sciences come to better understand the social implications and consequences of environmental science research, while students with an undergraduate background in the social sciences and humanities develop a better understanding of the processes involved in collecting and analyzing natural science data.

Classes in the concentration focus on developing a multifaceted understanding of the human role in environmental change.

Students, therefore, learn how to distinguish human-induced change of the environment from natural variability, as well as how to evaluate efforts to manage human effects on the biosphere.