Alma Mater – Columbia University

Five-Year Joint Degrees

SIPA offers a program for Columbia undergraduate students, a five-year joint degree program, which leads to a BA and an MIA or MPA degree in five years. 

Columbia College and General Studies 5-Year Programs: Students interested in pursuing the five-year joint degree program with Columbia College and General Studies should contact  Dean Karina Nguyen

Barnard College 5-Year Program: Students interested in pursuing the five-year joint degree program with Barnard College should contact Tsuya Yee, Associate Dean for Student Affairs.


SIPA's Office of Student Affairs (OSA) manages the School's Five-Year Program.

The Dual Degree Program with Columbia College, the School of Engineering, Barnard, and the School of General Studies gives exceptional students the opportunity to earn their undergraduate degree and a Master of International Affairs (MIA) or Master of Public Administration (MPA) degree in just five years.

Students accepted into this combined Bachelor’s/Master’s program take SIPA graduate courses during their senior year of undergraduate studies, in addition to any remaining courses needed to complete their bachelor requirements. During their fifth/last year, students matriculate at SIPA and spend two semesters completing their masters requirements.

54 credits are required for the MIA or MPA degree.  Up to a total of 24 credits of advanced standing are completed during students' senior (fourth) undergraduate year. Students then complete at least 30 credits (two academic semesters) during their fifth year as students in-residence at SIPA to meet the overall requirements for the MIA or MPA degree. 


The SIPA Five-Year Program is designed for outstanding students who are passionate about and committed to public administration, foreign service or international relations. Prospective students should consider the following:

  • Applicants will have completed most of their requirements for their undergraduate major at the end of their junior year. 
  • Applicants must consult with the Dean’s Office of the applicant’s college to obtain their approval regarding eligibility and confirm they are on-track to complete their bachelor requirements within a year of being admitted to the program. All students who are admitted to the five-year program must have their bachelor degree conferred prior to their first semester in residency at SIPA.
  • Applicants are strongly encouraged to highlight in their applications whatever background they have in economics, modern languages, political science, statistics, and mathematics.

Interested students must consult with the Dean’s Offices of their colleges to obtain approval regarding eligibility. Once approved to apply to the Five-Year Program, students must complete the online application. The application deadline in early January is the same for Five-Year Program applicants as it is for all other SIPA applicants. However, applicants to the Five Year Program do not have to take the GRE or pay the application fee. Moreover, admitted students do not need to pay the SIPA deposit. Students already enrolled in another dual degree program are ineligible for admission to the Five Year Program (and students enrolled in the Five Year Program are ineligible for other dual degree programs).

Tuition and Financial Aid

Students pay the tuition and fees of the schools in which they are registered each term. SIPA has a flat tuition rate for a minimum of 12 and a maximum of 18 credits per term. Explore our Tuition and Fees »

Students are granted institutional financial aid by the school in which they are registered each term. Students should follow the procedures and deadlines in each school as they will be different. To plan for optimal aid, students must consult as soon as possible with the financial aid offices at both schools.

SIPA Teaching Assistantships

Five-Year students may apply for merit-based Teaching Assistantships after completing at least one semester of study at SIPA - the Fall semester of their fourth year. Students must be in good academic standing. Other conditions may also apply.

The SIPA Assistantship application is available online in January. Explore Funding for Current Students »