Transfer of Credit & Advanced Standing
Master of International Affairs & Master of Public Administration
In addition to requiring 54 credits for graduation, both the MIA and MPA degree programs require students to enroll full-time for four semesters and thereby earn four full-time residency units. Part-time attendance is not permitted. Students who receive advanced standing based on graduate course work completed before enrollment at SIPA may reduce their period of study to three semesters of full-time enrollment. Please see below for policies and procedures for requesting advanced standing.
Advanced Standing for non-Columbia University graduate course work
Advanced Standing for the MIA and MPA degrees is awarded based on graduate degrees in relevant fields completed at non-Columbia academic institutions before enrollment at SIPA.
Examples are: MBA, JD, MPH, and Master’s Degrees in Political Science, Economics, History, Urban Planning, Sociology, and/or Anthropology, although advanced standing for other graduate degrees may be granted at the discretion of the Associate Dean for Student Affairs.
The amount of Advanced Standing granted depends upon assessment by the Associate Dean of the quality and relevance of the work, but cannot exceed 12 credits (1 residency unit). Advanced standing will only be awarded for post-baccalaureate courses that were part of a completed graduate degree. Students must have a grade of B or better in courses for which they seek advanced standing credit. Advanced standing will not be granted for language courses, independent study credits or internships.
Advanced Standing for Columbia University graduate course work
Advanced standing for the MIA and MPA degrees is awarded based on graduate course work in relevant fields completed at other Columbia University schools before enrollment at SIPA.
Students may apply for advanced standing for graduate level course work completed at other Columbia schools, as long as those credits are not being applied towards another Columbia credential. The amount of Advanced Standing granted depends upon assessment by the Associate Dean of the quality and relevance of the work, but cannot exceed 12 credits/1 residency unit. Students who have earned a Columbia degree may not apply those credits towards a second Columbia credential except where an accredited dual-degree program exists between the two schools and programs and the student is matriculated as a dual-degree candidate. Please see https://sipa.columbia.edu/academics/dual-degree-programs for a list of accredited dual degree programs.
Procedures for Applying for Advanced Standing
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 and October 15, and students matriculating in the Spring must submit these requests between January 1 and 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 not guarantee approval by the Committee of Deans, and all decisions by the Committee of Deans are final and not subject to appeal.
MPA in Economic Policy Management (MPA-EPM)
MPA-EPM Students who have previously completed a graduate degree in economics or a related discipline may apply to transfer up to 12 credits from their previous graduate degree toward the MPA-EPM degree. Requests for advanced standing will be reviewed by MPA-EPM’s directors and will include only courses from a completed graduate degree, with grades of B or better, and which the MPA-EPM directors deem as fully satisfying the requirements of MPA-EPM coursework. Students who wish to apply for such transfer of credit should contact the MPA-EPM Office prior to orientation or as early as possible in the fall semester. Criteria for determining whether credits may be transferred will include: whether the course(s) in question was part of a completed graduate degree, the degree to which the course(s) in question relates to the MPA-EPM course(s) for which a transfer is requested, and the student's performance in the course(s) elected to be transferred.
Executive MPA (EMPA)
Advanced Standing for Professional Experience
EMPA students are required to complete a total of 54 points. Students with two or more years of full-time, professional or management experience may apply for credits to be awarded for full-time professional and management work experience. In no case will more than nine points be awarded. Decisions about the number of credits to be awarded are made by the Program Director and Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, based on the quality and length of experience.
Advanced Standing for Prior Graduate Degree
Students who have completed a master's degree at another university (before enrolling in EMPA) may apply to transfer up to two courses (six credits) from the other degree program toward the EMPA degree. Examples of relevant degrees include: MBA, JD, MPH, and Master’s Degrees in Political Science, Economics, History, Urban Planning and Sociology; courses completed for other graduate degrees may be considered. The amount of credit granted for work completed in another graduate program cannot exceed 6 credits and is determined by an assessment of the quality and relevance of the work by the EMPA Director and the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs. Credit will only be awarded for post-baccalaureate courses that were part of a completed graduate degree. Students must have a grade of B or better in courses for which they seek advanced standing credit. Credit will not be granted for language courses, independent study credits or internships.
Cross-Registration at Columbia
Students may take a total of two courses (six credits) from another graduate program at Columbia University. Courses must be approved in advance by the EMPA Assistant Director and the respective student’s Concentration Director.