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MPA in Global Leadership

Master of Public Administration in Global Leadership

Program Start

The program starts at the end of July

Important Deadlines

Early Action Deadline: November 1, 2023

Regular Deadline With Scholarship Consideration Due: December 20, 2023

Final Application Due: March 1, 2024

Program Length

10 Months

Degree Awarded


Enhance your global perspective with our new MPA for mid-career leaders.

Leadership with impact requires strategic thinking, an understanding of critical global issues, and a dash of courage. From the local community to the national or international arena, contemporary problems reflect a variety of forces at work; solutions must do the same.  

The Master of Public Administration (MPA) in Global Leadership helps prepare experienced professionals to tackle global challenges and make a difference. It’s a 10-month, full-time program for leaders with more than 10 years of experience who seek the skills to keep growing in their careers, enhance their leadership capacity, and create greater impact.

Join a cohort of leaders — in business, international and domestic public affairs, and the nonprofit sector — striving for meaningful change. You’ll become part of the School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) community at Columbia University, a place that fosters some of the world’s boldest thinkers and doers.

Meet and learn from global leaders. Customize and design your curriculum. Build lifelong relationships. Experience New York City.

MPA in Global Leadership

The Master of Public Administration (MPA) in Global Leadership is a 10-month, full-time program for mid-career professionals who seek the skills to keep growing in their careers, enhance their leadership capacity, and create greater impact.

Why an MPA in Global Leadership

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Customize a curriculum that best suits your needs. You’ll follow SIPA’s rigorous curriculum and enjoy access to the best tools and guidance to manage your professional development. Customize 75 percent of your studies with courses that will help you achieve your professional goals.

Join a highly accomplished group of professionals. Your classmates will comprise a diverse international community and a range of disciplinary backgrounds, enriching the learning environment of the program. Learn from their experiences, work collaboratively, and build lifelong relationships.

Learn from leaders around the world. Hear from prize-winning scholars and distinguished figures from a host of nations, including during the 6-week Summer Program. Talks by visiting heads of state, government officials, and business executives will deepen your insights and forge the connections you’ll need to make an impact.

Call New York City your home. Your experience will extend beyond the classroom walls. NYC is an incredibly exciting and dynamic place to live, with incomparable career opportunities, enviable cultural resources, and exciting social opportunities. 

Be part of Columbia University’s alumni network. Across the world, Columbia’s network of more than 380,000 alumni are shaping the future in every discipline and sector.

Leadership Approach Meet our Candidates Download Brochure  

Program Information

  • The program provides you with the policy expertise, analytical skills, and strategic thinking to advance your career, expertise, and impact. You’ll receive tailored advice from the faculty program director to help align your studies with your career objectives and personal interests

    Summer Program

    You begin the program with a six-week (6-credit) immersion experience during late July and August, focused on major global policy issues and the strategies to address them.

    The summer session includes private sessions with SIPA’s faculty as well as cohort-building activities. It’s an opportunity to refresh your knowledge of economics and quantitative analysis, enhance your leadership and management skills, and individually craft your educational plans for the remaining two semesters.

    Fall & Spring Semesters

    You are required to complete at least 12 credits in both Fall and Spring semesters, drawing from nearly 450 courses offered every year at SIPA, as well as courses throughout Columbia University. Depending on your educational interests, you will select at least one 3-credit course from one of the following categories: 1) Economics and Quantitative Analysis; 2) Management and Leadership; 3) Policy Foundations. 

    In addition, you’ll be part of a unique 3-credit workshop each semester on policy leadership that introduces you to global leaders in the public and private sectors. 

    Integrative Seminar I on Global Policy Leadership 3 credits
    Individualized course of study from SIPA courses and eligible courses elsewhere in Columbia University Minimum of 12 credits
    Integrative Seminar II on Global Policy Leadership 3 credits
    Individualized course of study from SIPA courses and eligible courses elsewhere in Columbia University Minimum of 12 credits
  • This 10-month degree program is designed for leaders with an average of 10 to 15 years of experience who seek to deepen their knowledge of specific global policy issues, strengthen analytical and leadership skills, and expand their professional networks.

    Application checklist:

    • Personal statement / Essay questions
    • Professional résumé / CV
    • Two recommendations (a third one is optional) from individuals in professional and academic settings who know you well and can provide insight on your qualifications for the program  
    • Academic transcripts (undergraduate and beyond)
    • GRE or GMAT scores (optional)
    • Evidence of fluency in English if it’s not your native language. See more details in the FAQs.
    • Application fee: $95
    • Online Video Response. This video of your response to a random question, generated by the SIPA Admissions office, helps us to assess your English language skills. It is not meant to measure your expertise in global policy issues.


    By invitation only. The admissions committee will conduct interviews with selected applicants via Zoom.

  • Explore our Tuition & Fees »

  • Summer Program 2023
    July 24 Monday First Day of Classes. Summer Term
    September 1 Friday Summer Term ends
    Fall Term 2023
    September 4 Monday Labor Day. University Holiday
    September 5 Tuesday First Day of Fall Term
    November 6 Monday Academic Holiday. No classes
    November 7 Tuesday Election Day. University Holiday
    November 22 Wednesday Academic Holiday. No classes
    November 23-24 Thursday-Friday Thanksgiving. University Holiday
    December 11 Monday Last Day of Classes
    December 22 Friday Fall Term ends
    Spring Term 2024
    January 15 Monday Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Observed. University Holiday
    January 16 Tuesday First Day of Classes. Spring Term
    March 18-22 Monday-Friday Spring Recess
    May 6 Monday Last Day of Classes
    May 22 Wednesday Commencement. Graduation Day
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Ready to Apply?

Scholarship Opportunity

SIPA’s MPA-GL is a participating program in JJWBGSP. A JJWBGSP scholarship provides tuition, a monthly living stipend, round-trip airfare, health insurance, and travel allowance.

Contact Us

Dr. Mauricio Cárdenas
[email protected]

Sreenidhi Rao
Assistant Director, MPA in Global Leadership 
[email protected]

One-on-One Appointments
If you have specific questions about the MPA in Global Leadership program or admissions process, sign up for one 30-minute virtual appointment to speak with our Assistant Director.

Request an Appointment

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Frequently Asked Questions