Here are some guidelines for choosing your concentration at Columbia SIPA:
1. Choose your concentration based on what kind of classes you are most interested in:
Below is a list of the six concentrations with links to the classes at Columbia that would fit under that concentration.
- Economic & Political Development: EPD courses
- Energy & Environment: EE courses
- Human Rights & Humanitarian Policy: HRHP courses
- International Finance & Economic Policy: IFEP courses
- International Security Policy: ISP courses
- Urban & Social Policy: USP courses
2. Choose your concentration based on what kind of jobs/internships you are most interested in:
A quick and easy way to figure out which jobs and internships you may have great access to depending on your concentration is to go over to LinkedIn and do an Advanced People Search.
- Search for people who went to Columbia SIPA.
- Type into the keywords field the particular concentration you are curious about.
- Look at the types of jobs SIPA students and alumni with that concentration have.
Two quick tips:
- Search for both the full name: Columbia School of International and Public Affairs as well as for Columbia SIPA.
- Search for the concentration name written out in full as well as its abbreviation.
3. Choose your concentration based on what kind of impact you want to have:
For each concentration, you are going to have a different set of stakeholders, value creation methods, tools for measurement, etc.
- What issues do I most care about?
- With what kinds of people do I most want to work?
- Who do I want to be held accountable by/to?
- Which of these concentrations has the most potential to hold my attention and follow my career trajectory over the next 3, 7, 10+ years?
To get insight to help you answer these questions, all you have to do is read the Columbia SIPA Admissions blog. Here are the blog posts at the SIPA Admissions blog about what you should concentrate in.
There is also a plethora of information at the Concentration page on the Columbia SIPA website.
Remember to choose a concentration based on what interests you—not what you think the AdCom is looking for. They are building a diverse class, so every concentration is equally valued and appreciated by the AdCom. Choose the concentration that is most meaningful to you, your career, and your professional goals as a leader and public servant.