Application Deadlines | Tuition and Fees | Financial Aid |Fellowships | Health Insurance | Duration of Study

Admission to the School of International and Public Affairs is competitive, based in large part on academic excellence and professional focus. The applicant must have a bachelor’s degree or evidence of equivalent preparation as determined by the director of admissions. Undergraduate work should include courses in economics. At the very least, students should also have taken chemistry and biology at the level taught in high school. We advise those lacking an economics background and a basic understanding of chemistry and biology to make up these deficiencies before entering the program.

Applicant to SIPA’s Environmental MPA program are accepted for the summer term that begins in late May/early June.


Application Deadlines

November 1:
Early application deadline

Applicants who submit a complete application by November 1 are promised a decision by December 1 for the session beginning the following late May.

January 15:
Deadline for admission with fellowship consideration

February 15:
Final deadline for admission

Please Note: International students and overseas applicants are encouraged to file applications for admission a month in advance of the respective deadlines.


Tuition and Fees

Tuition for 2012-2013 academic year will be approximately $23,000 per semester. Students are also required to pay fees for certain specific services at Columbia, such as access to the computer labs. A complete list of applicable fees will be provided on your billing invoice. Please visit the SIPA website for more information.


Withdrawal and Adjustment of Fees

Withdrawal is defined as the dropping of one’s entire program in a given term as opposed to dropping a portion of one’s program. Any student withdrawing from the program must notify the Student Affairs Office in writing. Additionally, students must complete a Notice of Withdrawal form. Notification of instructors or failure to attend classes does not constitute a formal withdrawal and will result in failing grades in all courses.

A student who withdraws will be charged a withdrawal fee of $75. In addition, the health service fees, the medical insurance premium, and all application fees, late fees, and other special fees are not refundable, and any coverage will remain in effect until the end of the term.

Any adjustment of the tuition that the student has paid is determined from the date on which the Student Affairs Office receives the student’s written notification. Students receiving financial aid will not be entitled to any portion of a refund until all Title IV financial aid programs are credited and all outstanding charges have been paid.

Financial Aid

Applicants to the program who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents are typically eligible for federal Stafford student loans up to $41,000 for the length of the program, covering the bulk of tuition. All interested applicants must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), which is available online at The School’s Title IV code is 002707. Students are strongly encouraged to submit their FAFSA forms at the beginning of January 2013.


The School of International and Public Affairs and The Earth Institute at Columbia University award a limited number of fellowship/scholarship grants to incoming students on the basis of merit and need. International students are considered on the same basis as domestic applicants. A fellowship application is included as part of the application for admission.


Health Insurance

All students are required to be covered by health insurance and are automatically enrolled in the Basic Plan unless it is waived.


Duration of Study

Students complete the Environmental MPA Program in three semesters: summer, autumn, and spring.