Tuition and Financing

Tuition and Fees

Tuition for 2019-2020 academic year can be found on the School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) Financial Aid website under tuition and fees

Total costs, including university fees, books, room, board, transportation, medical insurance, and other personal expenses during the 2019-2020 academic year are estimated to be $119,354. Please visit the SIPA website for a more complete list of tuition, fees and other estimated expenses.

Funding Sources

Program Fellowships
The MPA ESP program awards the Dean’s Fellowship in Environmental Science and Policy – a full-tuition grant and Earth Institute Internship, valued over $80,000.

The program also awards numerous fellowships, which typically range from $5,000 to $25,000, but can be as high as $40,000.  All fellowships are applied as a tuition discount, evenly divided across our three semesters.

All fellowship awards are based on academic merit and financial need. Fellowships are awarded without regard to citizenship, so international students are also eligible.

Students who apply by one of our two fellowship deadlines — November 1 and January 15 — are automatically considered for fellowship funding. Our online admissions application includes a section to express your interest in fellowship funding, so there is no separate application to fill out. Students are notified if they have received a fellowship as part of the Admissions Decision. 

Earth Institute Internships
Students may apply for paid internships in the Earth Institute, and in environmental organizations that participate in the Earth Institute’s Internship Program. The positions pay an hourly rate and students may work up to 20 hours a week. Hourly rates and the number of work hours vary for internships at organizations both on and off campus. Students should express interest in Earth Institute internships on their online application or may contact Kristie DiBenedetto for more information.  

Course Grading Assistantships
Students may also apply for a limited number of Earth Institute course grading assistantships. Students in these positions perform administrative functions associated with the instruction of courses, including the grading of homework assignments and exams. Students in these positions earn $5,000 – $6,000 per semester.

Shardashish Interschool Fellowship
The Shardashish Interschool Fellowship is made possible by the generous support of the UNM (Uttambhai Nathalal Mehta) Foundation.  The UNM Foundation is committed to expanding educational opportunities at all levels. Believing that education and health are cornerstones of societal development, particularly in a developing country like India, the UNM Foundation expends significant resources in both these areas. The intention of the Shardashish fellowship at Columbia University is to make available the best of global educational opportunities to bright and committed students who are economically challenged.  Beneficiaries of “Shardashish” (blessings of Mother of Knowledge) must push their existing boundaries to achieve and excel.  The expectation of Shardashish fellows is that they will maximize their learning opportunities and once successful will pay it forward, through enabling others.

Criteria for this fellowship:

  • Established commitment to India and its future
  • Demonstrated financial need
  • Preference to residents of India
  • Must have applied and been admitted to one of the eligible programs of Columbia University.

Fellowships are awarded through a competitive process after admission. Funding is for one year, varying in amount depending on the particular program, level of financial need, and application qualifications. The maximum amount for any individual is $50,000 for one year. The award can be applied to tuition and fees.

Applications for 2019-2020 are now available.

Federal Financial Aid
Applicants to the program who are U.S. citizens may apply for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), which is available online at The School’s Title IV code is 002707. Students are strongly encouraged to contact SIPA Financial Aid Office for assistance with FAFSA and financing their degree:

514 West 113th Street
New York, NY 10025
Phone: 212-854-6216

Please visit the SIPA Financial Aid website for information:

Yellow Ribbon Program
The MPA-ESP program proudly participates in the Yellow Ribbon Program with the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs, which provides an additional scholarship funding match. We strongly encourage veterans to apply to our program. No background in science is required. Please make note if you are a veteran on your online application. Prospective student veterans can contact our Assistant Director, Kristie DiBenedetto, for program information. For information related to the Yellow Ribbon program, please contact the SIPA Financial Aid Office at 212-854-6216.