All applicants are required to submit a completed application through our online Application Portal. While there is no separate deadline for international applicants, each degree program has its own application deadlines and requirements so review the information below carefully prior to applying. 

Please follow the instructions below to assemble and submit the online application.

Note that the applicant must submit all materials directly, not through an agent or third-party vendor, with the sole exception of submissions by the U.S. Department of State’s Fulbright Program and its three partner agencies IIE, LASPAU and AMIDEAST, and by the Danish-American Fulbright Commission (DAF), Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst (DAAD), and Vietnam Education Fund (VEF). In addition, the applicant will be required to attest to the accuracy and authenticity of all information and documents submitted to Columbia. If you have any questions about this requirement, please contact the admissions office at [email protected].

Failure to submit complete, accurate, and authentic application documents consistent with these instructions may result in denial or revocation of admission, cancellation of academic credit, suspension, expulsion, or eventual revocation of degree. Applicants may be required to assist the Admissions Committee involved in admission reviews in the verification of all documents and statements made in documents submitted by students as part of the application review process.

Please note that the applicant may upload unofficial transcripts at the start of the application process. Once an applicant has been admitted and has indicated acceptance of our offer of admission, certified and secure electronic official transcripts must be submitted directly to Columbia from the applicant’s prior institution(s)’ Registrar Office. Columbia will use its verification vendor to verify the applicant’s degree and transcript with the prior academic institutions and/or the relevant country’s Ministry of Education. 

Moreover, students who plan to enroll at SIPA will be required to participate in a verification process. More detailed information will be provided upon admission.


Spring 2021
Final Application: November 6, 2020 at 11:59 pm EST

Fall 2021
Early Action: November 1, 2020 at 11:59 pm EST
Fellowship Consideration: January 5, 2021 at 11:59 pm EST
Final Application: February 5, 2021 at 11:59 pm EST

Spring 2021
Final Application: December 15, 2020 at 11:59 p.m. EST

Fall 2021
Priority & Fellowship Consideration: March 31, 2021 at 11:59 p.m. EST
Final Application: July 1, 2021 at 11:59 p.m. EST

Summer 2021
Early Action: November 15, 2020 at 11:59 p.m. EST
Fellowship Consideration: January 15, 2020 at 11:59 p.m. EST
Final Application: February 15, 2021 at 11:59 p.m. EST

Summer 2021
Early Action:
November 1, 2020
Fellowship Consideration: January 15, 2021
Final Application: February 15, 2021

Executive Education: Partnership between SIPA and Inter-American Development Bank
Macro-Financial Policy Making in Emerging Markets
*This is a 5-day non-degree program geared towards professionals.
Final Application: March 15, 2021

GPPN (Global Public Policy Network) Application
Only for APPROVED international dual degree students who have completed their first year at a partner school.
Final Application: February 14th, 2021.

PhD in Sustainable Development
Fall 2021
Final Application Deadline: December 15, 2020 at 11:59 p.m. EST 
Applications should be completed through the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.

Application Checklist

Some application checklist items will vary by program. Please review this list carefully.

  • Essay questions (Personal Statement, Short Essay, and/or Optional Essay)
  • Video Essay
  • Professional Resume/CV
  • Quantitative & Language Resume/CV
    • This resume requirement provides the committee with additional information on your quantitative and language knowledge and proficiency. It should elaborate upon the skills you have developed related to quantitative methods and language learning. 
  • Letters of Recommendation (2 required and 1 optional for all programs; MPA-ESP requires 3 letters)
  • Academic Transcripts (undergraduate and beyond)
    • GRE school code: 2161 (no department code)
    • GMAT school code: QF8-64-56 for MIA or QF8-64-99 for all MPA programs
  • TOEFL/IELTS (international students only). Required if your native language is not English or if your undergraduate degree was not taught in English.
    • TOEFL iBT: preferred 110, minimum 100
    • IELTS: preferred 7.5, minimum 7.0
  • Cambridge English
    • C1 Advanced/ C2 Proficiency: minimum score: 185 
    • C1 Advanced, preferred score: 191 or above
  • PTE
    • Minimum score: 68
    • Preferred score of 76 or above
  • Duolingo English
    • Minimum score: 125
    • Preferred score: 135 or above 
  • Optional Fellowship Essays (Essay prompts vary per program, but all applicants are eligible for select fellowships if they apply by their respective fellowship deadlines)
  • $95.00 USD non-refundable Application Fee


Due to the large volume or requests, we are unable to offer individualized feedback to applicants until the summer. The following information addresses common suggestions we give to applicants who request feedback and wish to reapply.
SIPA welcomes applications from candidates who have previously applied for admission, regardless of the outcome. Applicants may re-apply a year after their initial application.