Full-time Enrollment Requirement and Advanced Standing

Full-Time Enrollment

In addition to requiring 54 points of credits for graduation, both the MIA and MPA degree programs require students to enroll full-time for four semesters. Students who make arrangements for advanced standing based on graduate degrees completed before enrollment at SIPA may reduce their period of study to three semesters of full-time enrollment. Below are procedures for requesting advanced standing.

Advanced Standing

Students may apply for advanced standing for the MIA and MPA degree based on graduate coursework completed before enrollment at SIPA in fields relevant to the MIA and MPA degree. Advanced Standing credit is applied only towards elective courses; students remain fully responsible for satisfying all core and specialization/concentration credit. Advanced standing is not granted for language courses, internships, or independent study. Under no circumstances will the Committee of Deans grant Advanced Standing beyond 12 credits / 1 residency unit.

In order to be eligible to apply for advanced standing, courses must:

  • have been taken for credit either as part of a completed and conferred non-Columbia graduate degree OR Columbia graduate credits that will not be applied towards another Columbia degree/credential; and
  • be applicable to SIPA degree requirements; and
  • have been completed with an earned grade of B or better (or equivalent mark).

No evaluation can be performed or credit granted until the student has matriculated at SIPA. All Advanced Standing requests and official transcripts must be submitted to the Office of Student Affairs during the students' first semester at SIPA; for students matriculating in the Fall requests must be submitted between September 1 - October 15 and students matriculating in the Spring must submit these requests between January 1 - February 15. Students who do not apply for Advanced Standing during these time periods in their first semester are permanently ineligible for Advanced Standing. 

Whether Advanced Standing is granted - and how much advanced standing is granted - depends upon the assessment by the Committee of Deans in the Office of Student Affairs. A course syllabus must be provided in English (or with English translation) for each requested course. The submission of an Application for Advanced Standing does guarantee approval by the Committee of Deans, and all decisions by the Committee of Deans are final and not subject to appeal.

Apply for Advanced Standing