Master of International Affairs (MIA)

MIA Curriculum

The curriculum of the MIA degree program is designed to provide students with qualitative and quantitative analytical skills and with the hands-on management skills required by leaders in the major fields of international affairs, combined with substantive knowledge of a policy concentration and demonstrated foreign language ability. The program of study requires 54 graduate points and four semesters of full-time enrollment. Dual degree students and students with advanced standing from prior graduate degrees may be able to reduce their period of study. See below under advanced standing for details.

Please note: Full-time students must be registered for at least 12 points each semester.

For additional information on the Master's of International Affairs program, including information for prospective students and admissions, please refer back to the MIA program page.

Faculty Members Teaching in the Masters of International Affairs Core Curriculum

Hisham Aidi, Lecturer in Discipline of International and Public Affairs

Gary Bagley, Lecturer of International and Public Affairs (part-time)

Norman Bartczak, Lecturer in the Discipline of International and Public Affairs

Alan Brott, Adjunct Associate Professor of International and Public Affairs

Andrea Bubula, Lecturer in the Discipline of International and Public Affairs

Doru Cojoc, Lecturer in the Discipline of International and Public Affairs

William Eimicke, Professor of Professional Practice in International and Public Affairs

Emanuele Gerratana, Lecturer in the Discipline of International and Public Affairs

Erin Gore, Adjunct Associate Professor of International and Public Affairs

Thomas Groll, Lecturer in the Discipline of International and Public Affairs

Sarah Holloway, Lecturer in the Discipline of International and Public Affairs

John C. Liu, Adjunct Associate Professor of International and Public Affairs

Dipali Mukhopadhyay, Assistant Professor of International and Public Affairs

Richard Robb, Professor of Professional Practice in International and Public Affairs

David Siegel, Adjunct Associate Professor of International and Public Affairs

Michael Ting, Professor of Political Science and International and Public Affairs

Paola Maria Valenti, Lecturer in the Discipline of International and Public Affairs

Alan Yang, Lecturer in the Discipline of International and Public Affairs

Core Curriculum

The purpose of the core curriculum is to ensure that every student in the MIA program receives basic, broad-based, interdisciplinary training in international affairs.

This includes graduate-level course work in economics, statistics, interstate relations and management. Students must also demonstrate proficiency in a foreign language. Students are required to take a year-long course in international economics, two international politics courses (Conceptual Foundations of International Politics and one course in interstate relations), and one-semester courses in statistics, management, and financial management. Conceptual Foundations, Economics, Statistics, and Professional Development must be taken during the first year. Other core requirements can be distributed throughout a student’s program of study.

Interstate Relations Requirement: Courses that fulfill the Interstate Relations requirement focus on relations between and among states (including diplomatic, military and other interactions between and among governments), international politics and policy, and international institutions. The conceptual and analytical framework for these courses is typically from the political science sub-field of international relations. Click here to view Interstate Relations courses

Points
Conceptual Foundations4
Conceptual Foundations of International Politics
and Conceptual Foundations - Discussion
Economics6
Select one of the following:
Microeconomics for International & Public Affairs
and Macroeconomics for International & Public Affairs
Microeconomic Analysis for International & Public Affairs
and Macroeconomic Analysis for International & Public Affairs
Quantitative Analysis3
Quantitative Analysis for International & Public Affairs
Management3
Select one of the following:
Analysis of Public Sector Organizations Course Video
Effective Management in the Public Service Course Video
Strategic Management for Public Service Organizations
Public Management
Management & Administration of Nonprofit Organizations Course Video
Strategic and Entrepreneurial Management
Sustainability Management
Financial Management3
Select one of the following:
Accounting for International & Public Affairs
Nonprofit Financial Management
Budgeting and Financial Management for Government
Economics of Finance
Interstate Relations3
Select from a menu of courses that fulfills this requirement.
Professional Development0.5
Professional Development (PD) Career Conference
Workshop3
Capstone Workshop
Capstone Workshop in Development Practice
Internship1.5-3
Internship
Total Points27-28.5

Policy Concentration

All students choose one concentration from the list below. Each concentration is described in more detail below.

Specialization

All students also choose one specialization consisting of 3 courses: a skill or area of specialized knowledge to pair with their policy concentration:

Language Proficiency

Proficiency in a language other than English is required for graduation. Proficiency is defined as the ability to read, write and speak the language at the Intermediate II level. This requirement is met in one of three ways:

  • As a native speaker of a language other than English who also demonstrates that a substantive part of their education (e.g., high school, college, prior graduate degree) has been in that language. TOEFL/IELTS will also be taken into account as supplemental evidence of proficiency in another language.
  • By passing a language proficiency exam in Spanish, French, German, and Portuguese administered by SIPA. (Proficiency/placement exams in other languages may be arranged through the departments teaching in those languages.) The exam can only be taken once. You are advised to take the exam in your first year.
  • By achieving a grade of B (3.0) or better in an Intermediate Level II (4th semester) language course at Columbia. Students may register for any language course at Columbia. However, Elementary-level courses cannot count toward the 54 credits applicable to the degree. Intermediate-level courses will count as electives. If you are at the elementary level, you should start your language courses in your first semester.

Sample Program

Year 1
FallPointsSpringPoints
Conceptual Foundations (INAF U6800 & U6804)4Economics (SIPA U6301 or SIPA U6401)3
Core - Management Course3Specialization Course 13
Economics (SIPA U6300 or SIPA U6400)3Internship Registration (Optional)1.5
Professional Development (SIPA U4040)0.5Quantitative Analysis (SIPA U6500)3
Concentration Course 13Concentration Course 23
 13.5 13.5
Year 2
FallPointsSpringPoints
Concentration Course 33Interstate Relations Course3
Concentration Course 43Concentration Course 53
Core - Financial Management Course3Specialization Course 33
Elective Course 13Elective3
Specialization Course 23Capstone Workshop (SIPA U9000)3
 15 15
Total Points: 57

MIA and MPA Graduation Requirements Overview

Students must meet the following requirements in order to be approved for graduation:

  • Complete 54 credits in residence at SIPA *
  • Complete 4 residency units *
  • Complete all core, concentration and specialization requirements*
  • Have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or above
  • Have no pending grades. All grades must be final. Any notations indicating a pending grade must be converted to a final grade prior to graduating. These include, “IN” (incomplete), “CP” (credit pending) and  “YC” (year-long course).

* Requirement for dual degree students may differ.

In addition to the above please note that grade changes cannot be made post-graduation.

Tracking MIA and MPA Core Requirements:

Students can use the Degree Audit Report (DAR) in Student Services Online to track their academic progress.  Currently, the DAR can be used to review the MIA and MPA Core requirements only.

The DAR is an unofficial guide to the MIA and MPA core. The Degree Audit Report cannot be utilized by dual degree students. Dual degree students should see their Advising Dean in the Student Affairs Office.

To request revisions to the Degree Audit Report, please fill out the Degree Audit Report Correction Form and submit the form to the Student Affairs Office.

Degree Audit Report Correction Form (PDF)

Concentration/Specialization Declaration:

All students are required to declare a concentration and specialization. Students can opt to change their Concentration or Specialization via the Concentration Specialization Declaration Change Form .  Requests are reviewed and approved  by OSA advisors. If there is an issue with the request your OSA advisor will contact you. Otherwise, if approved, the new Concentration/Specialization will appear on your record in SSOL

Tracking Concentration Requirements

Concentration audit forms are designed to assist students and concentration directors in determining if the concentration requirements have been met.  All students must complete one concentration to graduate except for PhD students and those pursuing dual degrees with other Columbia University schools. 

Students are required to meet with their concentration director once per semester at SIPA to ensure they are fulfilling the appropriate concentration requirements.  Prior to their final semester, students should download the concentration audit form, meet with their concentration director and return the signed audit form to the Office of Student Affairs. 

Concentration audit form deadlines are August 1st for October graduation; November 1st for February graduation; and January 29th for May graduation.