News & Stories

SIPA Expands STEM Programs

Posted Aug 09 2021
This aerial view of Morningside campus, looking north over Harlem, features IAB near the center.

Building on longstanding strengths in sustainability, environmental and energy policy, economics, and data analytics, SIPA has secured recognition of four programs as Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics designated (STEM-designated).

STEM designation conveys recognition as a science, engineering, or math-intensive program, and it qualifies graduates who are on F-1 student visas to apply for up to three years of practical training through work experience in the United States after finishing their degree. In comparison, international students who graduate from non-STEM programs are eligible for only one year of practical training after graduation.

“Securing STEM designation for these four additional programs means that, going forward, nearly half of SIPA graduates will specialize in critical, multidisciplinary fields in science and economics that are needed to address the most pressing problems of the 21st century,” said Dean Merit E. Janow. “In addition, the enhanced opportunity for post-graduate, on-the-job training in the United States further advances SIPA’s longstanding commitment to prepare young leaders from around the world to address the most challenging global policy issues—both in the U.S. and abroad.”

Columbia University has a rigorous vetting process to determine which academic programs are STEM-designated, according to the Department of Education’s classification system. Beginning early in 2021, SIPA carefully reviewed all existing programs and secured recognition of the following as STEM programs:

No other program or combination has been authorized at this time.

Beginning Fall 2021, new full-time SIPA students are eligible to complete any of the four new STEM programs. Continuing students in Fall 2021 must complete at least two additional full-time semesters (i.e., Fall 2021 and Spring 2022) and fulfill all program requirements to qualify for the STEM designation.

In the case of the MPA-DP in the field of Sustainability Studies, the combined IFEP/DAQA curriculum, and the combined EE/DAQA curriculum — each cited above — the STEM designation will also apply to qualifying graduates in February 2022 and, retroactively, to qualified graduates in May 2021.

For more information: SIPA Bulletin | STEM Policies

[Updated September 23, 2021]