Advanced Standing Policy

Full-Time Enrollment

In addition to requiring 54 points of credits for graduation, both the MIA and MPA degree programs require students to enroll full-time for four semesters. Students who make arrangements for advanced standing based on graduate degrees completed before enrollment at SIPA may reduce their period of study to three semesters of full-time enrollment. Below are the procedures for requesting advanced standing.

Advanced Standing

Advanced standing for the MIA and MPA degree is awarded based on graduate degrees completed before enrollment at SIPA in fields relevant to the MIA & MPA degrees. All students requesting advanced standing must fill out the Advanced Standing form and return it to the Office of Student Affairs.

Examples include MBA, JD, MPH and master's degrees in political science, economics, history, urban planning, sociology and/or anthropology; although the associate dean for students may accept advanced standing from other graduate degrees at her/his discretion.

Advanced standing credits depend upon the dean's office assessment of the quality and relevance of the work. Advanced standing will not be given for language courses and advanced standing will only be awarded for postbaccalaureate courses that were part of a completed graduate degree, with the exception of relevant postbaccalaureate courses taken at Columbia University. At the discretion of the Associate Dean, relevant postbaccalaureate classes completed at Columbia University may count toward advanced standing; but in no circumstance, will advanced standing beyond 12 credits be awarded. 

Students must have a grade of B or better in courses for which they seek advanced standing credit.

Policy on Advanced Standing in Economics: All students are required to fulfill 6 credits of Economics coursework as part of the SIPA degree, regardless of academic or professional background. Students who have completed graduate level Economics courses (Micro and/or Macro) and were awarded a graduate degree (outside Columbia University) may apply to have those courses counted as ELECTIVE transfer credit. If a student feels they have sufficient knowledge of Economics and would like to waive out of the core Economics courses in order to take more advanced coursework, they may take the Economics Placement Exam (previously referred to as a Proficiency exam). The Placement Exam consists of a Micro section and a Macro section. Students may elect to take one or both of the sections, but may only take each section once during their academic career. If a student is successful in passing one or both sections of the Economics Placement Exam, they are still required to complete an alternate Economics course(s) (3-6 credits) to fulfill the SIPA masters degree Economics requirement.

To prepare for the test you can study these textbooks.

  • Microeconomics: Besanko and Brautigan
  • Macroeconomics: Bernanke and Abel
  • Microeconomics: Pyndyck and Rubenfeld
  • Macroeconomics: Blanchard

Requests for advanced standing are evaluated by the Office of Student Affairs. No evaluation can be performed until initial orientation/registration. All advanced standing requests must be received by October 15th. No requests for advanced standing will be accepted after those dates.