Spring 2020 Capstone Workshop Application is now Available!
Deadline to Apply is Thursday, October 31, 2019- 12pm (noon)
To find out more information about the Capstone projects, you can access the individual project description, link to the client website, and the faculty bio below. Students apply through this online application.
Who should apply? All graduating MIA/MPA/MPA-DP and fall graduates should apply. Graduating MIA/MPA/MPA-DP students who have not satisfied their Capstone Workshop requirement will receive first priority and are guaranteed a space on a workshop. Fall graduates that are required to take a Capstone workshop will be given next priority. (Fall graduates who do not take a workshop in the spring semester will have the opportunity to take one in the fall semester).
For students who are not in these two groups? Once all MIA/MPA/MPA-DP students have been placed on a project, we will have a second application cycle in early November for any projects that have space available. Students who would like to take the project as an elective or who are in their first year are asked to wait for the second application to apply. Teams will be announced in mid-November.
To apply, students must:
(1) Submit a PDF resume saved as one’s UNI (not as your name, please use your UNI)
(2) Complete all of the required fields on the online application, including the release form. On the online application, students must rank order their Capstone preferences from 1 - 5 (1 being the first choice) and submit a 250-word “statement of interest” for each Capstone. In addition, students must list their relevant coursework, writing the full name of the course (rather than writing the SIPA course number or an abbreviation of the course). Relevant coursework may include courses taken outside of Columbia University but please indicate where and when the course was completed.
Information sessions for the Capstone workshops will be held in room 1501 IAB at the following dates:
All applicants are strongly advised to attend ONE of these sessions. The information sessions will cover important information about the application, workshop placement, etc. This is also the best opportunity to bring up any questions that you may have.
Please review the timetable for the workshops to make sure that the projects you select are not in conflict with any other core required course you must take next spring. The timetable is available here.
Read the Capstone Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for Students
Capstone Workshops Overview
A core requirement for the Master of International Affairs (MIA), Master of Public Administration (MPA), and Master of Public Affairs in Development Practice (MPA-DP), the Capstone Workshops give students an opportunity to put learning into practice. Serving as a culminating educational experience for the Master of International Affairs and Master of Public Administration degree programs, students in all of the concentrations, except for the Economic and Political Development (EPD) concentration, complete a Capstone Workshop in their final semester. Students are organized into small consulting teams (between 4 to 8 students per team) and assigned a substantive, policy-oriented project with an external client. Clients include public agencies (from the local to national level), international NGOs and multinational organizations, and major firms in the private sector—recent examples include Barclays, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, Mercy Corps, Morgan Stanley, New York City Mayor’s Office, United Nations Peacebuilding Support Office, and the World Bank Group. Student teams, working under the supervision of a faculty expert, answer a carefully defined problem posed by the client. Each team produces an actionable report and an oral briefing of their findings at the close of the Capstone that is designed to translate into real change on the ground.
SIPA Capstone Workshops are available to MIA, MPA and MPA-DP students primarily during the spring semester of their final year. A small number of workshops are offered in the fall semester for students who are graduating at the end of the fall term.
Spring 2020 Capstone project descriptions and application materials will be made available in mid-October. To view past Capstone Workshops, please visit Capstone Workshop Directory.