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On 6/5/2020 at 6:22 AM, LazarusRises said:

For anyone wondering, I got in touch with admissions and learned that the official deadline for COVID-19 deferrals is August 1st, but they'll consider deferral requests up until classes start. Nice to have some flexibility. 

Hi, are you planning to defer? My friend’s NYU Wagner deferral request was approved but a co worker’s HKS request was denied. HKS and going online this fall, charging the same fee and students who defer will have to wait for two years to matriculate. I’m really worried about SIPA’s response if I ask for deferral. I’d love to know your thoughts. Thanks!

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A friend currently at SIPA sent me this email. Looks like decisions are still on track to come out before Monday!

The waiting is just brutal. I did some digging and found the first posts reporting results in each year's SIPA MPA admissions thread: 2019: 3/11, 6:30 PM EST 2018: 3/9, 3:43 PM EST 2017

I feel very happy, excited and proud of myself. I started studying English myself several years ago by watching CNN, reading book, doing Couchsurfing to practice my speaking .etc.. And with that effor

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15 hours ago, Jojoson said:

Hi, are you planning to defer? My friend’s NYU Wagner deferral request was approved but a co worker’s HKS request was denied. HKS and going online this fall, charging the same fee and students who defer will have to wait for two years to matriculate. I’m really worried about SIPA’s response if I ask for deferral. I’d love to know your thoughts. Thanks!

At this point I'm about 90% sure I'll be deferring. Everything I've read & heard from the admissions office suggests that they will be very lenient & flexible with one-semester deferrals. It certainly can't hurt to ask. 

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On 6/11/2020 at 5:57 AM, LazarusRises said:

At this point I'm about 90% sure I'll be deferring. Everything I've read & heard from the admissions office suggests that they will be very lenient & flexible with one-semester deferrals. It certainly can't hurt to ask. 

Hey thanks for your prompt response. I’m seriously considering a deferral as well. Any idea what will we be missing out if we join SIPA in spring? For some reason, they call them J termers. Thanks!

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14 hours ago, Jojoson said:

Hey thanks for your prompt response. I’m seriously considering a deferral as well. Any idea what will we be missing out if we join SIPA in spring? For some reason, they call them J termers. Thanks!

Seems like not much--I've been told repeatedly by both students and faculty that there are J-termers every year, and that the program is well set-up to accommodate both starting points. If anything matriculating in spring 2021 might give us a bigger & more diverse cohort, as it'll give some international folks the time to sort out their visas.

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 6/8/2020 at 7:03 PM, Mppirgradschool said:

As you mentioned, regarding dual-degrees, I think SIPA protects its MIA students a bit more. I know Dr. Ian Bremmer only offers courses to those in the MIA program -- and this happens with other professors as well. The most similar program to it is JHU SAIS' MA -- also SAIS' flagship. MSFS is not as intl. development focused, but also a peer school.

Course structure is very similar between both (MIA and MPA). Intended outcomes are not, however. MIA is geared towards placing its graduates at multilateral organizations. MPA is focused on placing graduates in government/ministry related roles in the student's country of citizenship. Both programs place into international NGOs, although the MIA has more name recognition. I believe most diplomats at SIPA also favor the MIA. Anecdotally, just doing a quick LinkedIn search, the MIA students hailed from better undergraduate institutions than MPA students.

The MPA is 70% international vs the MIA, which is only 40%. I am guessing that average GREs are probably higher for MIA because of this, as U.S. domestic students have been taking standardized tests all their life. I am going to assume that MPAs are also going to favor the urban and social policy concentration more than MIAs, while more MIAs will favor economic development and security policy -- just by virtue of each program's intended outcomes.

 

So Im in two minds about this. I was initially hoping to pursue a dual degree at Columbia – MIA at SIPA and MS at Columbia’s School of journalism. Im interested in studying a combination of policy and media and SIPA offers some rigorous policy related classes (leaning towards an EPD concentration at the moment) along with courses under the Media, tech and communications specialisation.

But Journalism’s 100k tuition fee is a serious disincentive for me and the reigning consensus (at least amongst all the media professionals/journalists I’ve consulted) seems to be that acquiring domain expertise in a policy field is far more appropriate. And given that students can cross-register, Im hoping I will be able to take specific courses at Columbia’s J-school as well.

On the application front, Im wrapping up with my quantitative coursework (Micro, Macro and Statistics) requirements and outlining ideas for essays. I plan to go full steam ahead with GRE prep from July. And as it turns out, Columbia SIPA is actually accepting applications for next fall without GRE scores. (Im not entirely sure what this implies for this years applicants and we’ll be going up against.)

By the time I apply I will have little over two years of full time work experience at a well known news outlet in New Delhi and three strong letters of recommendation (two professional and one academic). For SIPA, I plan to apply for the early deadline in November.

So I guess I’d really appreciate any advice on whether its an MIA (along with the option of a dual degree at J-school) or an MPA (since it has a larger cohort and better prospects for admission) that I should aiming for at SIPA. For HKS, I was considering the MPP instead of the MPA because I believe graduate-level quantitative coursework is very important prerequisite for the MPA and my quant coursework is strictly undergrad level.

Im also curious to know if I should be considering Georgetown, Berkeley and JHU as well given my overlapping interests in policy, global affairs and media?

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3 hours ago, PartTimeStresser said:

So Im in two minds about this. I was initially hoping to pursue a dual degree at Columbia – MIA at SIPA and MS at Columbia’s School of journalism. Im interested in studying a combination of policy and media and SIPA offers some rigorous policy related classes (leaning towards an EPD concentration at the moment) along with courses under the Media, tech and communications specialisation.

But Journalism’s 100k tuition fee is a serious disincentive for me and the reigning consensus (at least amongst all the media professionals/journalists I’ve consulted) seems to be that acquiring domain expertise in a policy field is far more appropriate. And given that students can cross-register, Im hoping I will be able to take specific courses at Columbia’s J-school as well.

On the application front, Im wrapping up with my quantitative coursework (Micro, Macro and Statistics) requirements and outlining ideas for essays. I plan to go full steam ahead with GRE prep from July. And as it turns out, Columbia SIPA is actually accepting applications for next fall without GRE scores. (Im not entirely sure what this implies for this years applicants and we’ll be going up against.)

By the time I apply I will have little over two years of full time work experience at a well known news outlet in New Delhi and three strong letters of recommendation (two professional and one academic). For SIPA, I plan to apply for the early deadline in November.

So I guess I’d really appreciate any advice on whether its an MIA (along with the option of a dual degree at J-school) or an MPA (since it has a larger cohort and better prospects for admission) that I should aiming for at SIPA. For HKS, I was considering the MPP instead of the MPA because I believe graduate-level quantitative coursework is very important prerequisite for the MPA and my quant coursework is strictly undergrad level.

Im also curious to know if I should be considering Georgetown, Berkeley and JHU as well given my overlapping interests in policy, global affairs and media?

I wouldn't get a dual degree as the costs are exorbitant and outside of getting an MD, JD or MBA -- pretty much worthless when coupled with a policy degree. You can easily cross-register at the School of Journalism -- or other Columbia graduate schools --- as needed.

I think all policy schools are going to make standardized testing optional for at least next year. Ivy League Schools have already adopted this approach for undergraduate admissions. I would still take it and present scores if you hit the 75%+ percentile combined.

You'll find more people interested in journalism in the MIA, and the tech + media will probably be evenly distributed. Evan Hill, a 2019 MPA, won the Pulitzer Prize this year for his work with the Visual Investigations Team at the NYT -- so both programs should set you up for it.

Yeah, the HKS MPA requires 4 graduate level courses as a prereq. Check the MPP employment snapshot to see if these outcomes interest you, as the program is more domestic and about 1/3 of grads stay in Boston: https://www.hks.harvard.edu/sites/default/files/OCA/files/20 DPSA OCA Employment Snapshot_web.pdf

Out of those 3 schools, think Georgetown may be the best fit for you. Berkeley is far from the epicenters of IR (DC and NY) and JHU SAIS is primarily geared towards setting graduates up at the WB/IMF. SAIS and SIPA are different in that the outcomes at SAIS are more narrow, and the outcomes of SIPA tend to be broader -- much of them falling in the journalism/media/tech spaces that interest you.

 

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20 hours ago, Mppirgradschool said:

I wouldn't get a dual degree as the costs are exorbitant and outside of getting an MD, JD or MBA -- pretty much worthless when coupled with a policy degree. You can easily cross-register at the School of Journalism -- or other Columbia graduate schools --- as needed.

I think all policy schools are going to make standardized testing optional for at least next year. Ivy League Schools have already adopted this approach for undergraduate admissions. I would still take it and present scores if you hit the 75%+ percentile combined.

You'll find more people interested in journalism in the MIA, and the tech + media will probably be evenly distributed. Evan Hill, a 2019 MPA, won the Pulitzer Prize this year for his work with the Visual Investigations Team at the NYT -- so both programs should set you up for it.

Yeah, the HKS MPA requires 4 graduate level courses as a prereq. Check the MPP employment snapshot to see if these outcomes interest you, as the program is more domestic and about 1/3 of grads stay in Boston: https://www.hks.harvard.edu/sites/default/files/OCA/files/20 DPSA OCA Employment Snapshot_web.pdf

Out of those 3 schools, think Georgetown may be the best fit for you. Berkeley is far from the epicenters of IR (DC and NY) and JHU SAIS is primarily geared towards setting graduates up at the WB/IMF. SAIS and SIPA are different in that the outcomes at SAIS are more narrow, and the outcomes of SIPA tend to be broader -- much of them falling in the journalism/media/tech spaces that interest you.

 

This is actually immensely helpful. Thank you!

On the GRE front, I definitely intend to give the exam provided the option to take the test at home is available. Given the way COVID-19 cases are surging here, I think taking the GRE at a test centre will be unimaginable this year.

Just one more query if you’ll indulge me: Should I also be considering MALD at Fletcher? As in would career prospects for MALD students align with my areas of interest?

I would preferably like to limit the number of schools Im applying for to four so I can concentrate best on them.

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On 6/25/2020 at 4:10 PM, PartTimeStresser said:

This is actually immensely helpful. Thank you!

On the GRE front, I definitely intend to give the exam provided the option to take the test at home is available. Given the way COVID-19 cases are surging here, I think taking the GRE at a test centre will be unimaginable this year.

Just one more query if you’ll indulge me: Should I also be considering MALD at Fletcher? As in would career prospects for MALD students align with my areas of interest?

I would preferably like to limit the number of schools Im applying for to four so I can concentrate best on them.

Fletcher is the most traditionally academic of the IR schools. Popular amongst prospective students that want to eventually study a PHD. Not sure how Fletcher is going to be able to adapt to the cross-functional, data-driven international policy world of the XXI century. Tufts isn't known for having strong accompanying graduate schools to cross-register at, which makes me think that Fletcher's brand may hurt in the coming years.

It'll be interesting to see the how elite tier of IR schools fares in the future. I do think that having strong accompanying graduate schools is essential, as one can tailor courses to their goals.

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On 6/27/2020 at 12:11 PM, Mppirgradschool said:

Fletcher is the most traditionally academic of the IR schools. Popular amongst prospective students that want to eventually study a PHD. Not sure how Fletcher is going to be able to adapt to the cross-functional, data-driven international policy world of the XXI century. Tufts isn't known for having strong accompanying graduate schools to cross-register at, which makes me think that Fletcher's brand may hurt in the coming years.

It'll be interesting to see the how elite tier of IR schools fares in the future. I do think that having strong accompanying graduate schools is essential, as one can tailor courses to their goals.

I see Fletcher being extremely problematic going forward into the future. They can brag about the relationship with Harvard all day the long, but the problem is that they organically don't really leverage Tufts University that much as a source of programming + career strength. So they basically don't have a vast organic programming infrastructure, aren't really genuinely aligned in a multi-disciplinary world, don't really have a strength in leveraging big data, and historic strengths have been in NGO, non-profit, and foreign service - all three of which have been hurt by the latest realities. Oh and they essentially in a suburb. Also, the average professional American has no idea what Fletcher is.

Don't get me wrong, I met some stellar people from Fletcher, but they will be the first to admit, that the school has struggles going forward.

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  • 4 weeks later...

hello people, I have a question for you. Does anyone know how many courses should we take (or if there is a minimum and a maximum number of courses) per semester and if the tuition fee will change accordingly? I tried to find an answer on the website but I couldn't! 

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6 hours ago, ran255 said:

hello people, I have a question for you. Does anyone know how many courses should we take (or if there is a minimum and a maximum number of courses) per semester and if the tuition fee will change accordingly? I tried to find an answer on the website but I couldn't! 

Up to 18 credits can be taken without paying additional tuition. More info under FAQ: http://bulletin.columbia.edu/sipa/registration/#faqtext

I think the minimum number of credits is 12. Classes are usually 4, 3, 1.5, or .5 credits and tuition is charged by semester, not per credit. 

 

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Hello, would anyone know if there are any significant advantages to applying to Columbia SIPA by the early action deadline (November 1) as opposed to the regular one (January 1)? As in are there higher chances of acceptance or fellowships/financial aid? SIPAs blog only states that early action applicants get decisions early – by December end.

So far, I had been targeting the early action deadline for MPA for Fall 2021, since SIPA is my first choice. But I think another month or twos preparation should significantly improve my GRE score (I got a 157 on verbal and quant in a practice test after a month’s preparation). So should I push things and apply by the early action deadline or take some more time to work on the GRE and apply by January?

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On 6/24/2020 at 3:31 PM, PartTimeStresser said:

Is there any word on how many incoming students plan to defer an entire year? I was all set on applying this year, but the prospect of limited funding and a more competitive applicant pool is giving me second thoughts.

No word, but I think you hit it dead on. I'm not risking an extra semester of deferral unless they give us assurance that our funding will be preserved (which I think is very unlikely to happen). 

EDIT: I misread your post, I thought you were talking about deferring. You may as well apply, but I agree that it will likely be a more competitive pool than usual. 

Edited by LazarusRises
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  • 1 month later...

Hi guys

Stumbled upon this post about Columbia SIPA. Am planning to apply next year and thus wanted to get an idea about the kind of profiles successful applicants have. I am unsure about applying due to a lack of academic or professional experience in a relevant field and would love to hear from you all.

I had got a chance to participate in some fairs and talked to their representatives but only got some generalized information and page links, so personal experience would be very helpful.

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  • 7 months later...
On 6/13/2020 at 3:20 PM, LazarusRises said:

Seems like not much--I've been told repeatedly by both students and faculty that there are J-termers every year, and that the program is well set-up to accommodate both starting points. If anything matriculating in spring 2021 might give us a bigger & more diverse cohort, as it'll give some international folks the time to sort out their visas.

Hello, I know it's been a year but I'm interested to know what you did! Did you defer for Spring? I'm a SIPA admit for fall 2021 but the embassy isn't even accepting applications yet. So I might defer to spring. I am really wanting to understand how the J-term works! 

 

Thanks

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