Objective

Students in the one-year MPA-EPM program gain the skills they need to become highly accomplished policymakers and professionals in market economies. The course of study applies the theoretical rigor of the social sciences to the practical lessons of economics and management science through the intensive study of actual economic policy successes and failures.

Who It's For

The MPA-EPM is best suited for mid-career professionals and policymakers with at least 3 years of work experience in economic decision-making at institutions such as central banks, finance ministries, national and international development agencies, and international financial institutions. Professionals from financial, consulting and energy backgrounds are also encouraged to apply.

Career Paths

Students graduating with an MPA-EPM degree acquire skills to advance their career and work in leadership, management, and research positons in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors. Recent employers include the World Bank,  Bank of England, People’s Bank of China, Inter-American Development Bank, and Deloitte Financial Advisory Services, to name a few.

Curriculum

The core of the MPA-EPM program comprises two three-semester course sequences in macroeconomic policy management and econometrics. The program starts in May and finishes the following May. This core is supplemented by courses in management skills and political economy. Each course is built around real-world examples and case studies. Students may choose additional elective courses offered at SIPA and other graduate schools at Columbia.

MPA-EPM students must choose one of three curricular focuses:

  • The traditional Economic Policy Management focus (EPM) builds students' technical competence with the tools of economic management and policymaking
  • The Global Energy Management and Policy focus (GEMP) teaches the fundamentals of the energy industry, including international energy systems and business organizations involved in the production, transportation, and marketing of energy products
  • The Central Banking and Financial Markets focus (CBFM) teaches the latest techniques in capital market development and macroprudential policy

View full curriculum

Admission Requirements

In addition to SIPA’s general admission requirements, the MPA-EPM program requires the following:

  • Meaningful professional exposure to economic policymaking, preferably in a public agency or nongovernmental organization
  • At least three years of work experience
  • An undergraduate degree with a record of superior academic accomplishment, and preferably with strong economics content

Learn more about what MPA-EPM looks for

Learn how to apply to SIPA

FAQs
Is the review process for applicants to the MPA-EPM program the same as for other SIPA programs?

The MPA-EPM program has a separate admissions committee that reviews applications and selects students for admission.

What is the difference between the one-year MPA-EPM and two-year MPA?

The MPA-EPM is best for mid-career professionals who are interested in emerging markets and focused economic policy issues, while the two-year MPA is better for younger candidates who want to explore broader issues.

Can I transfer credits into the program?

MPA-EPM students who have previously completed a graduate degree in economics or a related discipline may apply to transfer up to 12 credits from their previous graduate degree toward the MPA-EPM degree. Students who wish to apply for such transfer should contact the MPA-EPM Office prior to March 15 at mpa-epm@sipa.columbia.edu.

What is the application process to apply for the Joint Japan/World Bank Graduate Scholarship Partnership Program (JJ/WBGSP) through MPA-EPM?

Up to 12 students from emerging markets will receive the JJ/WBGSP scholarship, which funds the entire program and a living stipend. The MPA-EPM admissions team screens the applications and nominates about 30 candidates for consideration by the JJ/WBGSP Steering Committee. From this group of nominees, the World Bank Steering Committee selects up to 12 candidates for financial support under JJ/WBGSP. Applicants who are interested in being reviewed for the JJ/WBGSP must submit their MPA-EPM application by January 5.

When do I need to confirm a focus?

Students confirm a focus at the end of Summer Session II. The MPA-EPM curricular focuses are: the traditional Economic Policy Management Track (EPM), the Global Energy Management and Policy Track (GEMP), and the Central Banking and Financial Markets Track (CBFM).

What is the difference between the Economic Policy Management focus area (EPM), Global Energy Policy Management focus area (GEMP) and Central Banking and Financial Markets focus area (CBFM)?

The EPM focus builds students’ technical competence with the tools of economic management and policymaking and their application, and also educates students about current thinking on the global economic environment, as well as its history and institutions. The GEMP focus teaches the fundamentals of the energy industry, including study of international energy systems and business organizations involved in the production, transportation, and marketing of energy products. The CBFM focus teaches an in-depth understanding of corporate finance, capital markets, banking and regulation, covering both emerging and advanced economies while also examining the process of building sound capital markets in emerging economies.

Can I study part-time?

No, the one-year MPA-EPM is a full-time program at SIPA. Students take six courses in the summer, six courses in the fall, and six courses in the spring.

Can I visit classes or schedule an informational interview?

Prospective students are welcome to sit in on a MPA-EPM core class. If you are traveling to New York City, please email mpa-epm@sipa.columbia.edu to schedule a class visit. MPA-EPM encourages prospective students to schedule their visit between July 5 and August 5 for the summer term, September 30 and November 30 for the fall term, and between February 1 and April 1 for the spring term.

Can I speak to alumni about their experience in the program?

Yes, through MPA-EPM’s Ambassador Program. Please email mpa-epm@sipa.columia.edu for more information.

Program Requirements

All MPA-EPM students take six courses in each of the program’s three semesters. Courses in the three focus areas are identical in the first semester but then diverge in the second and third semesters.

Visit the SIPA Bulletin for detailed information regarding each focus area.

To discuss the possibility of waiving any core requirements, contact the MPA-EPM program office.

Application Checklist

Online Application for Summer

Transcript(s)

  • A bachelor's degree or its equivalent from an accredited institution is required to enroll at Columbia SIPA. Please submit transcripts from all colleges, universities, and professional schools attended (including Columbia).

Test

  • GRE/GMAT
  • TOEFL/IELTS/PTE
    • Required if your first language is not EnglishRequired if undergraduate degree was not taught in English
    • TOEFL: Minimum score: 100
    • IELTS: Minimum score: 7
  • 3 Letters of Recommendation from professional or academic references

Personal Statement (Essay 1)

  • What impact do you hope to have on the world in the future? Please be as clear as possible about your future goals, the policy/public service issue(s) you are passionate about, and your personal motivation(s). Be sure to include details regard the feature of SIPA that you believe are integral to helping you in your pursuits and what skills you need to develop to achieve a lasting impact.(400 words maximum)

Short Essay (Essay 2)

  • Describe a policy issue that has impacted your life, either in a negative or positive way. If given the opportunity to amend the policy, what action would you take and why? (200 words maximum)

Optional Essay

  • This optional essay will allow you to discuss any issues that do not fall within the purview of the required essays. Please share any additional information about yourself that you believe would be of interest to the Admissions Committee. Please focus on information that is not already reflected in the other parts of your application or might not be clear in the information submitted. (No word limit, but use previous essays as a guide)

Résumé/CV

  • Professional CV
  • Quantitative CV

Application Fee: ($95.00)

 

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Students
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