The Leadership, Innovation, and Design Specialization is extremely diverse in both courses offered and its student body who come from for-profit, nonprofit, social enterprise, and government and from some 60+ countries across the globe. The program has been designed specifically for students eager to pursue careers as leaders of institutions and organizations, consultants and advisors to the leaders of major institutions and organizations, or founders of startups that fulfill a critical societal need. Students exit the program with a portfolio of skills, experiences, and content that will enable them to pursue careers in any sector.
SIPA Leadership, Innovation, and Design graduates work for consulting companies such Booz Allen, McKinsey, Boston Consulting Group, and Deloitte; international organizations such as the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, and Organization for Economic Cooperation (OECD); foreign governments; and state and city governments and agencies in the U.S., as well as non-profits and social enterprises around the world.
SIPA alumni are working across the globe solving deeply entrenched problems in education, financial services, health, development, energy, and the environment, and for those without access to resources, the disabled, and refugees. What they have in common is a passion for their work, deep empathy for those they are solving problems for, and the grit and determination to make things happen. Meet a few of our amazing entrepreneurs changing the world one venture at a time and in countries around the globe -- US, Brazil, India, Iraq, Israel, Peru, and Tunisia.
Curriculum & Courses
The Leadership, Innovation, and Design Specialization curriculum provides both the theoretical underpinnings and the practical application of the full range of knowledge required to be an outstanding 21st-century entrepreneur, leader, or manager. The specialization offers a wide variety of courses, which have been divided into:
- Leadership and Management
- Innovation and Entrepreneurship
- Design and Impact Measurement
Students must complete courses for a total of 9 points. This can include 3, 3.0 credit courses, or a combination of 1.5 and 3.0 credit courses.
- Design for Social Innovation: Improving Education Through Design + Tech SIPA and its partners, Columbia Entrepreneurship and the Columbia Entrepreneurship Design Studio, host an annual 6-month Design Challenge where teams of students from schools across the campus work on innovative ideas for tackling deeply entrenched global problems (formerly known as the Ed Tech Challenge).
- Alumni Global Social Entrepreneurs: SIPA alumni are working across the globe solving deeply entrenched problems in education, financial services, health, development, energy and the environment, and for those without access to resources, the disabled and refugees.
Highlights of Extracurricular Activities
- Events: Social Enterprise Speaker Series; Guest Speakers (Exec Directors, Social Entrepreneurs, Consultants, Alumni); Skill Building Workshops (Budgeting, Design Thinking, Presentation Skills); Social Gatherings/Happy Hours
- Support for Student Ventures: Dean’s Public Policy Challenge $50,000; Ed Tech Challenge Challenge $25,000; Columbia StartUp Lab @ WeWork Soho; Social Impact House with the University of Pennsylvania
- Student Groups: Ci3 (Columbia Impact Investing Initiative); MESS (Monitoring & Evaluation); Social Entrepreneurship Club; TISA (Tech & Innovation Student Association) Impact Investing Challenge (MIINT)