Master of International Affairs (MIA)
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 the 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
Steven Cohen, Professor of Professional Practice in the Faculty of International and Public Affairs
William Eimicke, Professor of Professional Practice in International and Public Affairs
Dipali Mukhopadhyay, Assistant Professor of International and Public Affairs
Richard Robb, Professor of Professional Practice in International and Public Affairs
Michael Ting, Professor of Political Science and International and Public Affairs
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
|Conceptual Foundations of International Politics|
and Conceptual Foundations - Discussion
|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 Analysis for International & Public Affairs|
|Select one of the following:|
|Analysis of Public Sector Organizations|
|Effective Management in the Public Service|
|Strategic Management for Public Service Organizations|
|Management & Administration of Nonprofit Organizations|
|Strategic and Entrepreneurial Management|
|Select one of the following:|
|Accounting for International & Public Affairs|
|Nonprofit Financial Management|
|Budgeting and Financial Management for Government|
|Economics of Finance|
Select from a menu of courses that fulfills this requirement.
|Professional Development (PD) Career Conference|
or SIPA U9001
|Capstone Workshop in Development Practice|
All students choose one concentration from the list below. Each concentration is described in more detail below.
- Economic and Political Development (EPD)
- Human Rights and Humanitarian Policy (HRHP)
- International Security Policy (ISP)
- Energy and Environment (EE)
- International Finance and Economic Policy (IFEP)
- Urban and Social Policy (USP)
All students also choose one specialization consisting of 3 courses: a skill or area of specialized knowledge to pair with their policy concentration:
- Advanced Policy and Economic Analysis (APEA)
- Gender and Public Policy (GPP)
- International Organization & United Nations Studies (IO/UN)
- International Conflict Resolution (ICR)
- Regional Specializations
- Technology, Media, and Communications (TMaC)
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.
- Students may fulfill the language requirement for the MIA degree and the MPA/EPD Concentration with any spoken language offered by Columbia University language programs or the Language Resource Center: http://www.lrc.columbia.edu/languages/#languageprograms. Information on language proficiency assessment at Columbia University is provided here: http://www.lrc.columbia.edu/proficiency-testing/. Students must achieve a grade of B (3.0) or better in an Intermediate Level II (4th semester) modern language course at Columbia. Students may register for any modern 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.
- 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.
|Conceptual Foundations (INAF U6800 & U6804)||4||Economics (SIPA U6301 or SIPA U6401)||3|
|Core - Management Course||3||Specialization Course 1||3|
|Economics (SIPA U6300 or SIPA U6400)||3||Internship Registration (Optional)||1.5|
|Professional Development (SIPA U4040)||0.5||Quantitative Analysis (SIPA U6500)||3|
|Concentration Course 1||3||Concentration Course 2||3|
|Concentration Course 3||3||Interstate Relations Course||3|
|Concentration Course 4||3||Concentration Course 5||3|
|Core - Financial Management Course||3||Specialization Course 3||3|
|Elective Course 1||3||Elective||3|
|Specialization Course 2||3||Capstone Workshop (SIPA U9000)||3|
|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.
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.