SIPA 2020-21 Assistantships

Below please find important resources and guides to assist you in navigating this process:

  • SIPA Guide to Assistantships 2020-21 click here
  • SIPA Assistantships job descriptions Fall 2020 click here
  • SIPA Assistantships job descriptions Spring 2021 click here
  • SIPA Assistantship 2020-21 Info Session held January 24, 2020 click here for PPt, Presentation, or Q&A
  • Best Practices for TA's and Readers HERE
  • For SIPA IT Positions, please apply separately. The deadline is February 7, 2020:

To Apply


FALL 2020 Assistantship Application

Opens January 24, 2020. Closes January 31, 2020.

To be eligible for Fall 2020 Assistantships, you must be enrolled FULL TIME in residence at SIPA for the Fall 2020 term

Spring positions are determined separately for Fall positions. For example, if you were selected as a Fall PA for a concentration or office, this does not mean that you will hold the same position in the Spring. You will need to submit a separate Spring application.

1. Students submit application for as many positions as they are interested in. They should only list positions they are willing to accept, if offered.

2. Faculty ranking: Faculty submit ranked lists of candidates.

3. Selection: Assignments are made based on randomly assigned priority of faculty ranked lists.

4. Selections will be made in stages:

FALL 2020

Position Notification
TA 3/11/20
Reader 3/11/20
PA Concentrations 4/3/20
PA Offices 4/22/20

This means that if you did not receive any notification on 3/11/20, then you did not receive a TA or Reader award for Fall 2020. You may however, still be offered a PA position.


Notifications June 30, 2020

Student Assistant positions- administrative work for selected courses paying $20/hour- will be assigned during the summer.


Salary Information

Position          Salary/Semester                    Service Commitment

TA                    $12,000                                    20 hours/week

Reader            $6,000                                      15 hours/week

PA                    $30/hour up to$6,000           200 hours/semester (average 12-13 hours/week)

SA                    $20/hour up to $3,000          150 hours/semester (average 9-10 hours/week)

Handbook for TA's and Readers


OSA Tutors

The Office of Student Affairs provides Math and Writing tutors at no cost to all SIPA students. Students interested in tutoring services should contact individual tutors directly. Tutors names and contact information are listed below:

Read more

Spring 2020

Writing Tutors:

Delfina Müller  dmm2247
Catherine Brown cb3417
Priyanka Sethy ps3106

Math Tutor:

Alexander Dow ad3557

Note: As a courtesy to your fellow classmates we ask that you do not send tutors papers to edit within 24 hours of a deadline (unless previously arranged).


Columbia Writing Center

The Columbia Writing Center provides writing support to undergraduate and graduate students. In one-on-one consultations and workshops, our consultants offer feedback and strategies to help you improve at every stage of your writing, from brainstorming to final drafts. Students can make appointments with them for up to two hours a week at no charge. One hour can be a drop-in session and the other can be booked in advance.

Students who speak English as a second language are invited to explore offerings through the American Language Program at Columbia University’s School of Professional Studies.


The Technology, Media, and Communications (TMaC) specialization offer lectures on basic and advanced writing and reporting. Please consult the TMaC website and TMaC's course listings for more details.

Please click here for additional writing tips.

Students interested in learning to write more simply, concisely and clearly are invited to read the following (all can be bought online):

  • Evans, Harold. Essential English for Journalists, Editors, and Writers or his older book, Newsman’s English.
  • Ross-Larson, Bruce. Edit Yourself.
  • Rentoul, John. The Banned List: A  manifesto against jargon and cliche.
  • Mounsey, Chris How to Write: Successful Essays, Dissertations, and Exams, Oxford University Press.
  • Lindgren, Hugo. in the New York Times blog "Words We Don’t Say"

Department of Mathematics

Many mathematics graduate students from the Department of Mathematics offer tutoring services on a private, one-on-one basis. Hourly fees vary from student to student, depending on the number of hours needed and the topics to be covered.

Association of Graduate Economics Students

The Association of Graduate Economics Students provides a listing of economics graduate student tutors who can be hired directly. Tutors are available in a variety of areas including microeconomics, macroeconomics, and statistics.


SIPA Timeout

SIPA believes that faculty/student engagement outside the classroom is not only a vital component of the graduate student experience but also central to creating and sustaining a dynamic community. As such, Timeout SIPA is a program which brings SIPA students and SIPA faculty together outside the classroom for breakfast, lunch or dinner. For students, we hope these sessions inspire spontaneous and free-flowing discussions about their coursework, expectations, and questions concerning career choices and professional opportunities.  For SIPA faculty, we hope the sessions provide a chance to engage students on topics influential to their teaching, research, and matters important to the school.

Read more

Funding Criteria:

  • A maximum of $150 of support is provided for each outing.
  • Students may host once per semester.
  • SIPA faculty may host and participate in student hosted activities as often as they are able.
  • SIPA faculty and administrators may be reimbursed for up to 2 outings per academic year.
  • A minimum of one SIPA faculty and three students are required at each event.

Instructions for Requesting Funds

Submit an online Timeout Funding Request Form 

NOTE: Request forms MUST be received at least one (1) week (5 business days) prior to the event.  Once your event has been reviewed and given there is funding available, you will receive a notice of your approval via email.  TimeOut funding is a reimbursement and no funding will be distributed prior to the event. Additionally, you may not use vouchers.

Instructions for Reimbursement

After the event, you should complete a Travel/Business Expense Form, which can be accessed here.

Attached to your completed Business Expense Reports you must include:

  • Original receipt(s) for the event
  • Credit/debit card statement, if your purchases was made with a credit/debit card.
  • Approval email from the Office of Student Affairs

Completed forms and supporting document (including receipts, and TBER) must be emailed to the business office: It takes approximately 15 days for processing.


Conference Travel Fund

SIPA students often have unique prospects for academic and professional related travel. This can be a significant financial challenge for many students. OSA would like to support endeavors that will contribute to your academic and professional goals.  Activities that are part of the SIPA academic program (capstones, internships, etc) are not covered through these grants. 

Read more

Funding Criteria

  • Student applicants must be in good academic standing
  • Funding will only be given to students who are presenting at conferences
  • There is a limit of one award per student per academic year for domestic OR international travel
  • The deadline to apply for funding is the last day of classes in the spring semester, although funds are limited and granted on a first-come, first served basis
  • An application must be submitted prior to the conference/event/etc.

Domestic Conference (Presenter): Up to $300
International Conference (Presenter): Up to $600

Instructions for Requesting Funds

Submit the online Conference Travel Grant Application 
NOTE: Conference Travel Grant funds are a reimbursement only.

Instructions for Reimbursement

All paperwork must be submitted within 10 of returning from your conference.

After you return from the conference:

  • Complete a Travel/Business Expense Form
  • Attached to your completed Business Expense Report you must include:
    • Original travel receipt(s) 
    • Credit/debit card statement, if your purchases were made with a credit/debit card
    • A print out of your submitted form with status "Approved".
  • Completed forms and supporting document (including receipts, and TBER) must be emailed to the business office: It will take approximately 15 days to process.