MPA In Economic Policy Management

Patricia Mosser
Director, MPA In Economic Policy Management

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Students in the one-year, STEM-designated MPA-EPM program gain the skills they need to become highly accomplished policymakers and professionals in market economies. The course of study applies the theoretical rigor of the social sciences to the practical lessons of economics and management science through the intensive study of actual economic policy successes and failures.

Who It's For

The MPA-EPM is best suited for mid-career professionals and policymakers with at least 3 years of work experience in economic decision-making at institutions such as central banks, finance ministries, national and international development agencies, and international financial institutions. Professionals from financial, consulting and energy backgrounds are also encouraged to apply.

Career Paths

Students graduating with an MPA-EPM STEM-designated degree acquire skills to advance their career and work in leadership, management, and research positions in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors. Recent employers include the World Bank, Bank of England, People’s Bank of China, Inter-American Development Bank, and Deloitte Financial Advisory Services, to name a few.  With a STEM degree, students enter the job market with a nationally-recognized designation, and it allows international students to apply for an additional 24 months of OPT after their first year of standard OPT.


The core of the MPA-EPM program comprises two three-semester course sequences in macroeconomic policy management and econometrics. The program starts in May and finishes the following May. This core is supplemented by courses in management skills and political economy. Each course is built around real-world examples and case studies. Students may choose additional elective courses offered at SIPA and other graduate schools at Columbia.

MPA-EPM students must choose one of three curricular focuses:

  • The traditional Economic Policy Management focus (EPM) builds students' technical competence with the tools of economic management and policymaking
  • The Energy & Environment focus (E&E) teaches the fundamentals of the energy industry, including international energy systems and business organizations involved in the production, transportation, and marketing of energy products
  • The Central Banking and Financial Markets focus (CBFM) teaches the latest techniques in capital market development and macroprudential policy

View full curriculum

Admission Requirements

In addition to SIPA’s general admission requirements, the MPA-EPM program requires the following:

  • Meaningful professional exposure to economic policymaking, preferably in a public agency or nongovernmental organization
  • At least three years of work experience
  • An undergraduate degree with a record of superior academic accomplishment, and preferably with strong economics content

Learn more about what MPA-EPM looks for

Tuition & Fees

Learn more about our Tuition & Fees

What does STEM-Designated mean and why is it important?

STEM is an acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math.  The US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) supports STEM education in the U.S. by establishing criteria that marks some degree programs as “STEM degrees.”

Students completing STEM-designated programs receive an internationally recognized education in these disciplines, which can help them prepare for and secure jobs after graduation.

International students completing a STEM-designated program are eligible to apply for the F-1 STEM OPT Extension. This designation enables students to apply for an additional 24 months of OPT authorization beyond their standard 12-month OPT.

Is the review process for applicants to the MPA-EPM program the same as for other SIPA programs?

The MPA-EPM program has a separate admissions committee that reviews applications and selects students for admission.

What is the difference between the one-year MPA-EPM and two-year MPA?

The MPA-EPM is best for mid-career professionals who are interested in emerging markets and focused economic policy issues, while the two-year MPA is better for younger candidates who want to explore broader issues.

Can I transfer credits into the program?

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. Students who wish to apply for such transfer should contact the MPA-EPM Office prior to March 15 at [email protected].

When do I need to confirm a focus?

Students confirm a focus at the end of Summer Session II. The MPA-EPM curricular focuses are: the traditional Economic Policy Management Track (EPM), the Global Energy Management and Policy Track (GEMP), and the Central Banking and Financial Markets Track (CBFM).

What is the difference between the Economic Policy Management focus area (EPM), Global Energy Policy Management focus area (GEMP) and Central Banking and Financial Markets focus area (CBFM)?

The EPM focus builds students’ technical competence with the tools of economic management and policymaking and their application, and also educates students about current thinking on the global economic environment, as well as its history and institutions. The GEMP focus teaches the fundamentals of the energy industry, including study of international energy systems and business organizations involved in the production, transportation, and marketing of energy products. The CBFM focus teaches an in-depth understanding of corporate finance, capital markets, banking and regulation, covering both emerging and advanced economies while also examining the process of building sound capital markets in emerging economies.

Can I study part-time?

No, the one-year MPA-EPM is a full-time program at SIPA. Students take six courses in the summer, six courses in the fall, and six courses in the spring.

Can I visit classes or schedule an informational interview?

Prospective students are welcome to sit in on a MPA-EPM core class. If you are traveling to New York City, please email [email protected] to schedule a class visit. MPA-EPM encourages prospective students to schedule their visit between July 5 and August 5 for the summer term, September 30 and November 30 for the fall term, and between February 1 and April 1 for the spring term.

Can I speak to alumni about their experience in the program?

Yes, through MPA-EPM’s Ambassador Program. Please email [email protected] for more information.

Program Requirements

All MPA-EPM students take six courses in each of the program’s three semesters. Courses in the three focus areas are identical in the first semester but then diverge in the second and third semesters.

Visit the SIPA Bulletin for detailed information regarding each focus area.

To discuss the possibility of waiving any core requirements, contact the MPA-EPM program office.

Application Checklist

More information about the application deadlines and checklist can be found on How to Apply to SIPA. Detailed instructions on the application requirements may be found once you start an account in the online Application Portal or by browsing the Admissions Blog.

Learn how to apply to SIPA

Employment Statistics


Employment By Sector

Employment by Sector: Public Sector, 88.9%; Private Sector, 11.1%; Nonprofit Sector, 0.0%; Pursuing Further Study: 0.0%



Employed / Pursuing Further Study


Seeking Employment


Not Seeking Employment

Employment information as reported by the graduates six months after graduation. In AY 2021, 11 students graduated from the MPA-EPM program, 10 reported.

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