Master of International Affairs (MIA)
Master of International Affairs (MIA) Curriculum
The MIA includes a customizable core curriculum, including a wide range of courses in international politics and political economy. Students also choose from the broadest range of majors among SIPA’s peer institutions: International Security Policy, International Finance and Economic Policy, Economic and Political Development, Human Rights and Humanitarian Policy, Energy and Environment, and Urban and Social Policy. Students prepare to work in a global environment by demonstrating proficiency in a modern language other than English. The MIA also offers special international immersion courses and fieldwork opportunities.
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.
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 two international politics courses (Conceptual Foundations of International Politics and one course in interstate relations), a year-long course in economics, 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.
|Conceptual Foundations of International Politics||4|
Students must register for both the lecture and a section of discussion
|Conceptual Foundations of International Politics|
|Conceptual Foundations - Discussion|
|Advanced Conceptual Foundations - Discussion|
Select from a menu of approximately 70 courses that fulfills this requirement: http://bulletin.columbia.edu/sipa/programs/mia/interstate-relations
Students must complete one of the following sequences:
|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|
|Management & Financial Management||3|
Students must complete one of the following courses:
|Analysis of Public Sector Organizations|
|Effective Management in the Public Service|
|Strategic Management of Nonprofit Organizations|
|Strategic and Entrepreneurial Management|
|Leading and Managing in Moments of Adversity and Opportunity|
|Mastering Leadership in Big Moments of Change|
|Accounting for International & Public Affairs|
|Nonprofit Financial Management|
|Budgeting ＆ Financial Management for Government|
|Economics of Finance|
Students must complete the required course and one (1) elective
|Professional Development - Managing Intercultural Dynamics in a Global Workplace|
|Professional Development - Effective Public Speaking|
|Professional Development - Negotiation Skills in the Workplace|
|Professional Development - Networking for Career Advancement|
|Professional Development - Using the MBTI to Enhance Communication & Teamwork|
|Capstone Workshop in Sustainable 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:
- Data Analytics & Quantitative Analysis (DAQA)
- Gender and Public Policy (GPP)
- International Organization & United Nations Studies (IO/UN)
- International Conflict Resolution (ICR)
- Regional Specializations, including Foreign Language 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 successfully complete 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 strongly advised to take the exam in your first year.
|Conceptual Foundations (IAIA U6800 & IAIA U6804/6806)||4||Economics (SIPA U6301 or SIPA U6401)||3|
|Quantitative Analysis (SIPA U6500)||3||Internship Registration (Optional)||0-3|
|Economics (SIPA U6300 or SIPA U6400)||3||Core - Management/Financial Management Course||3|
|Professional Development (SIPA U4040)||0.5||Concentration Course 2||3|
|Concentration Course 1||3||Specialization Course 1||3|
|Interstate Relations Course||3||Capstone Workshop (SIPA U9000)||3|
|Concentration Course 3||3||Concentration Course 5||3|
|Concentration Course 4||3||Specialization Course 3||3|
|Specialization Course 2||3||Elective Course 2||3|
|Elective Course 1||3||Elective Course 3||3|
|Total Points: 55.5-58.5|
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).
- Complete and submit the Application for Degree or Certificate by the appropriate deadline.
* 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 Stellic to track their academic progress.
The DAR is an unofficial guide to the MIA and MPA core.
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 meet with their concentration director and have the concentration director approve the degree audit form on Stellic.
Concentration audit form deadlines are August 1st for October graduation; November 1st for February graduation; and January 29th for May graduation.