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In addition to fulfilling all core requirements, MIA and MPA students must also satisfy the requirements of both a policy concentration and a specialization.

Students choose one of the following six concentrations: Economic and Political Development, Energy and Environment (includes focus areas in energy and environment), Human Rights, International Finance and Economic Policy (includes focus areas in finance and economic policy), International Security Policy, or Urban and Social Policy.

Students can choose a specialization in regional expertise (8 different regions/countries) or one of the following: Advanced Policy and Economic Analysis; International Media, Advocacy and Communications; International Organization; or Management. Regional specializations are offered in the following areas: Africa, East Asia, East Central Europe, Europe, Latin America, The Middle East, Russia, South Asia, and the United States.

Students might, for example, combine a policy concentration in International Finance and Economic Policy with a regional specialization on East Asia, or a concentration in Human Rights with a specialization in International Media, Advocacy and Communications. It is possible to meet the requirements for the concentration and specialization by double-counting courses to fulfill requirements; for example, an economics course on Latin America could be counted toward a policy concentration in Economic and Political Development and a regional specialization in Latin America.

Economic and Political Development
Economic growth is a fundamental goal for all societies, but the consequences of development can be unexpected and not always desirable. Scholars in the field of sustainable development seek to understand the often obscure links between social and natural systems, providing policymakers with the information they need to promote human welfare over the long term.
Energy and Environment
The Energy and Environment Concentration provides students with the analytical tools and substantive knowledge to address the key economic and environmental challenges of the 21st Century, and to pursue leadership careers in the fields of energy and environment in the public, private or nonprofit sectors.
Human Rights & Humanitarian Policy
Nearly every major international policy dilemma raises significant issues of human rights and humanitarian policy. From conflict resolution in Africa or the Middle East, to economic development in China or South Asia – to name only two examples – human rights and humanitarian policy are an essential element of any meaningful solution. Grappling with these issues requires not only human rights and humanitarian policy knowledge per se, but expertise in multiple other substantive realms.
International Finance and Economic Policy
As parts of the old financial system are being destroyed, new solutions will be required to take their place. SIPA’s faculty includes many leading scholars and public intellectuals shaping these debates, internationally recognized as experts in all the crucial fields, such as international trade, financial and monetary theory and policy, and development economics.
International Security Policy
The International Security Policy Concentration (ISP) is designed for students interested in political violence and conflict management, defense policy, military strategy, terrorism and unconventional warfare, arms control, intelligence, peacekeeping, coercion, negotiation, and alternatives to the use of force as an instrument of policy. It provides a conceptual foundation for understanding conflict and the political, economic, and military components of policies and capabilities for coping with the possibility of war, as well as expertise for analyzing specific functional and regional security issues.
Urban and Social Policy
The only global trend that is guaranteed to continue during the 21st century is urbanization; we are reaching an era in which more than half of the world’s population resides in cities. Cities now have responsibilities in virtually every policy arena from developing infrastructure, to sustainable economic development, to meeting the basic needs of safety and security and human welfare, including: education, health, and housing.