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.
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.
Orientation: May 28, 2013
May 29-August 16, 2013
September 3 - December 20, 2013 (end of final examinations)
January 21 - May 16, 2014 (end of final examinations)
March 17-March 21, 2014
SIPA Graduation Day: TBA May 2014
May 21, 2014
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 U6234 Sustainability Management
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
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.